Originally Posted by Hiro
To follow up that wonderful steaming pile of self indulgent philosophy.
Heheh....I like you already!
1) Prove to me your consciousness exists.
Nope. Sorry. I have an aversion to being told what to do and anyway, I don't really deal in 'proof'.
People's reality-tunnel is what they need it to be in the main and if someone's reality differs from another's then never the twain shall meet.
2) Prove to yourself your consciousness exists.
Ditto to the above.
I don't need to. Though for those whose reality-tunnel is of the sort labelled 'rationalist' I think Descartes has been there and done that.
Neither proof can be accomplished because without just accepting something actually exists there isn't anything to base a proof on. Hmmm.
If you have to just accept Thing A in order to do a proof, what's the difference in just accepting Thing B as a basis for a proof. Logically there isn't any difference if both Things A and B are "unprovable" without some acceptance of another thing.
I agree...which is kind of my point. In this case it's foolish to talk of 'proof' then surely?
The whole set of philosophical movements that try to dismiss the works as non-existing outside the mind are just logical deathtraps and toy language games as useful as trying to prove you cannot pass through a door because you always only get halfway there; therefore how could you possibly ever pass the asymptotic threshold.
I don't agree with that. Returning to "I think therefore I am" - this has been shown to really be reducible to "something we might call thought
If one accepts this - even as a working hypothesis - then it is not necessary for thought to be the unique property of a given individual consciousness. It could be a subset of an unknown larger part.
But that would take us into metaphysics and religion, possibly even mysticism. Rationalists - who like to claim a monopoly on this field of conjecture and define the 'rules' - will not allow the debate to go there so we'd better stop.... rules should at least SEEM to be obeyed.
Take a concept, apply it out of context, maybe sprinkle in a hidden philosophical equivalent of divide-by-zero and presto! New narcissistic philosophical logic where nothing can exist but the self!
It depends on how you define self and what you mean by exist. And what form of belief-system you mold your reality to.
As for Free Will; Some philosophers have considered that you can only have Free Will if given that you can freeze a moment in time, with all it's quantum "randomness" perfectly quantified and knowable in advance, you can choose to do any next thing, despite the fact that all that known quantum "randomness" perfectly quantified and known says the next thing you will do is something different. In short, they are arguing for a enforced destiny all the way down to the quantum level and Free Will only exists if you can defeat that enforced destiny.
I would agree with that in a large part. I've never seen it put like that before and it's quite beautiful but yes, this is my belief too.
The buildup to that leads through an impressive set of steps of accepting the way matter interacts and accepting the "random" nature of quantum mechanics. I don't know where exactly it is (I haven't studied the area just had it described by a philosopher), but I smell the bad assumption/out of context concept in there someplace. Does that mean Free Will exists or doesn't? No, it just means there's another well camouflaged, incredibly compelling, yet broken proof out there and that if we only know Free Will as well as we know Art and Pornography we still have a ways to go.
Hmmm....I think it is fairly self-evident that we do not and cannot have free will in our current condition. The real question is whether it is a possibility to us that we could achieve.