Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Postlude: Materialism Is a Monist System Nothing Could Possibly Be An Exception To It, Any Exception Destroys It

For all of their insistence on materialism ruling, man, materialists are always tellingly peeved when you push their claims to their logical conclusions.  They, like so many others, insist that they can have it both ways, that their monist faith that everything is a matter of physical causation, or if they want to cover that up "physical law," as if there's really any difference.  Only, when someone presents them with problems with that model, that it doesn't match our experience of the universe, they have a tantrum.   And there were tantrums.

Only, most of the atheists you encounter these days are so abysmally ignorant of everything that they don't even realize that what they push has a name other than "atheism".   And I'm including a lot of people with PhDs in science, some of them quite famous.   I'll even include a few philosophers such as Daniel Dennett who gets tangled up in the most obvious of ways.

The most basic problem is that they pretend that every single thing about their materialist model of realty doesn't rely, entirely, on the thing they have to impeach or ignore because it can't be made to conform to their model, our minds and our minds experiencing reality as we live in it.   They want to claim an unlimited number of exemptions for their preferred model of reality, as many of those as needed to maintain their belief in their model, exactly the same thing religious and political fundamentalists insist on.  So, I present them with problems for their model that are quite obvious and in the daily experience of all of us.

The fact is that any, even the most minutely detailed and complex problem of our perception or thought, would have to have, not merely its image or representation BUT ITS ORIGIN in a physical structure in our brains, constructed through biochemical action by our brains, exactly the right structure to account for the exactingly detailed millions of ideas we have in the course of a week, each tiny nuance, each shading of meaning, some of them entirely unique in our experience -to our brains - or in the experience of our species and to get it right and for it to be appropriately linked with other structures so as to fit into a larger range of experience and coherence.   And our brains have to do all of that in real time, in the fractions of seconds in which those ideas would have to form to account for us remembering things in as tiny a detail as one of the 32nd notes in a long run of them in each individual performance of a piece of music such as J.S. Bach's Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue.   If the mechanism for the brain making those proposed idea-structures can't be explained or found, the "brain-only" materialist brain falls.  If it doesn't seem plausible, as I think the anger at my post indicates it is not plausible, there is every reason to reject that materialist model and, without an ability to turn our experience into the result of physical causation,  materialism as an ideology fails.   If they think their anger doesn't lead me to conclude they can't respond to my points, let me take this occasion to tell them that is exactly what I conclude from their reaction.

I am not the one making the claims I investigated yesterday, I'm merely pointing out a few and hardly even a large percentage of the complications involved in that claim.

If you think yesterday morning's piece was nit picking, it was nothing.  Similar things could be said about mathematics and every single thing purportedly done and discovered through the methods of science, in which case the objective reality of even arithmetic would be impeached.  The very god substitute of popular materialism would be its own victim, it would be like Cronus eating himself in addition to all of his children.  

It's not my fault that a basically self-refuting ideology is all the rage with the self appointed champions of science and everything modern and fashionable, with the superficial and the angry materialists.   Their toy models of reality don't match our experience of reality.  That starts with the fact that they want the universe to match their model in every way, it is a closed, monist ideological system, just as religious fundamentalism is a closed, monist system, which is the reason atheists love to pretend that all religion, all "authentic" religion is fundamentalist.   Monist systems are generally the easiest to poke holes in and push them over.  Only it works with atheist monist models as well. 


  1. Locke, to refute the reigning Platonic model of "recovered memory" of knowledge of the forms the soul had pre-birth (which, for a few thousand years, explained to the West how human beings could have any knowledge at all), replaced the idea of the soul with the metaphor of the "blank slate." Upon this, he said, experience writes and human beings learn.

    It's still the reigning model in Western thought. How "experience" "writes," and on what, however, is still unexplained. Linguists talk of a "Language Acquisition Device" in the brain, which makes it possible for a new born to acquire language just from exposure to it within the first three years of life. intellectually this is an amazing accomplishment. The grammar seems to be innate. Pinker tried to call it an "instinct." If it were, it would be the only one we have, except "instinct" is a hard-wired (to use another metaphor) set of behaviors, such as birds that build the same nests as their parents without ever having seen the nest be built, or studying its structure when they were nothing but open mouths begging food. Language can't function that way, or there would be such a diversity of languages.

    So "LAD" is the "black box" that explains this process; except, of course, it doesn't. We have the effect; we have no idea what the cause is. The "box" represents the mystery.

    Frankly, all knowledge is too complex to acquire as we do, except we do it, somehow. That knowledge is complex and built on previous knowledge is beyond cavil: it's how our entire educational system is structured. You don't learn calculus until you know arithmetic; counterpoint until you know the scales; etc. But how do you even acquire the rudiments of arithmetic? What knowledge base do you build on to let you get the first understanding?

    Try to acquire a language after age 3, and you see the point. Some of this is cultural; Europeans seem to have an easier time acquiring second languages than do Americans. I know Spaniards who acquired English in early adulthood; Americans struggle with one language their entire lives (it sometimes seems). But what does that prove about the "materialist" brain?

    Hume went further. His idea of "consciousness" was, effectively, the room in the Matrix where Neo meets the Architect: a series of TV screens, here the metaphor for sensory inputs from the body. But there is no one in the chair tapping a pen to change the pictures upon command. There is only the "illusion" of consciousness created by all that sensory data coming into....what? And how does that work? If Hume were right, then Arthur Clarke would have been right 60 years ago, and the internet by now would be "sentient," because there are so many computers linked together and some kind of "critical mass" (to borrow yet another metaphor) would have occurred by now, creating an artificial intelligence from the World Wide Web.

    That that hasn't happened is only proof the idea that enough neurons connected together makes a brain, is a silly notion. Yet what is unique about neurons that they generate thought from matter? We still don't have the first idea. And it may still be we are asking the wrong questions.

    Which means we'll never get the right idea, until we start asking the right questions. Basing it solely on materialism, however, is not yielding anything, except metaphors. Dead metaphors, in fact.

  2. The longer I see what is said on the world wide web it would seem that, if anything, it has achieved artificial stupidity.

    Every time I think about what would have to be involved if ideas are the ephemeral manifestation of structures built by our brains, in our brains, the stupider the idea looks. The vague, frequently parroted assertion that it is all the product of natural selection and that ideas are put together as a result of DNA, instructions encoded in that molecule there as a result of natural selection acting on random mutations, is probably the most non-sensical idea current in the culture of the sci-rangers. Including a lot of actual scientists. I am certain that the speed with which amino-acid chains are formed and folded into biologically active proteins could never possibly account for our experience of thought, not to mention the fact that the DNA would have to have universal knowledge in order to create just the right form for the related cellular chemistry to fold in exactly the right way so as to create the range of experiences we have.

    Whenever you look, seriously, at the proposed mechanisms for that how, eventually, the atheist will prop up an god substitute, DNA,"natural selection" some kind of quantum force, etc. which will have to have the same attributes as some theologians assign to God. Not even the atheists can explain things without the creation of a god, only they won't call their god a god and they can pretend that's not what they've done. I think it's going to prove necessary to expose the gods of the atheists, to pull back that veil and show everyone what's behind the curtain of atheism. They're never going to admit what they're doing, themselves. And the stupid among them won't even understand what's going on, which is something I learned from reading the "reality community" at Eschaton, Democratic Underground, Alternet, Salon.... and even at places where they should have caught on a lot faster like Digby's blog.

    It's also going to be important to point out what a total and basic fraud "the Enlightenment" has been, as we descend farther and father into the darkest of the dark.

    1. And what you would have to say about DNA having effectively universal knowledge, precognition, the most incredible of competence in engineering and synthetic chemistry, you would have to say about any proposed materialist mechanism of making our ideas out of matter. They can't get away from constructing their own gods, only deny that's what they're doing.