So as we discussed earlier, there appears to be two similarities shared by C and whatever it is that produces the brief moments of existence – or the world at N:
1) D creates existence and C can, apparently locally alter the B-states.
2) Will in both D – who creates an ORDERED succession & C who seems to determine certain B-states
In the case of the first (1) – D creates in spite of no-thing or nihil and in C’s case – there’s the problem of C always being in the CONCEPT of the past ACTING AS THOUGH IT IS THE PRESENT. C’s own will to act is conceived by C AFTER THE ACT – which would give rise to the common naturalist misconception that B achieves a state of action BEFORE C WILLS THE ACT.
What is the real relationship between D and C?
It is very difficult to accept the proposition that some kind of intentionality beyond existence as C conceives of it, determines moment by moment everything that is and happens in reality.
Except perhaps C which maybe not completely but partially determined.
It had not always have been thought that the driving engine of reality was a set of unseen physical forces seen as attributes of matter, along with the principle of cause and effect. Earlier cultures had a working knowledge of personal ability to affect nature to some point. Further than that, understood that the unseen forces that drove the seasons, expressed displeasure through lightning and thunder and blew up mountains – these were persons, (albeit persons invisible or occupying remote regions yet retaining the power to affect lives and nature.
It wasn’t until the later medieval period that some began to suspect that nature alone worked on nature and ultimately perhaps on C as well. It seemed to increasingly impress upon C by the close of the 16th century that nature not only called her own shots but might even be predictable through the Pythagorean relation between the physical and number
The civilizations of the fertile crescent and in the Nile valley, endured millennia. In western civilization, the time lapse between Galileo and Hawking’s pronouncement that God isn’t required and a unified theory of quantum physics now will explain everything – is only a mere few centuries.
C ultimately is led into belief but C is deceived.
It looks like nature, existence itself is, after all, at the mercy of something supernatural possessing intentionality.
I’ve got to confess, I find it difficult to believe myself. The whole theory is just too counterintuitive. I keep backtracking, trying to discover where I made my mistake, where my thinking went off the rails.
But I can’t find it.
So sooner or later (probably the former), the question of GOD is going to come up. Historically and pre-historically God and Gods have represented power figures. As such, they can act as explanations for natural phenomena as well as provide a ground for rules of social behavior. But more recently, we are developing a sense of solitude in a vast, indifferent cosmos. A compassionate, personal God helps stave off despair, given as the sense of God’s reality fades.
If D is God or a God, consider the nature of the world D creates. This is cause for serious concern.
On a very informal polling basis (Over 73 and a half years), I would say that most people, maybe as much as 67% in this country (and least and probably close to the same in most other western nations – (Canada not often being the exception to almost any rule and Ontario likely even less so) – profess to a belief in God. By this I mean a being that is omnipotent, omniscient and loving.
Beyond that, the general concept begins to diversify, becoming more confused and confusing. Is God the creator? Well, maybe but a fast-increasing demographic have come to believe more in the Big Bang theory of universal origin (and we know how THAT is regarded on conceptual particulars). This shift is largely due to the post war explosion in media. God, formerly conceived as a human or humanlike being – at least a ‘person’ without human health and aging problems, was as far back as biblical times, pretty well male. But again, this too has changed or is in the process of changing. Often now, God is female or maybe androgynous, like a hermaphrodites.
The epistemic question of acquiring knowledge of reality by means of reason set against the simplicity of faith and revelation disolved like ice on a hot day in the excitement of discovering how things worked in a magical world of material attributes and the category of cause and effect. As Hawking points out, everything we need to know, everything that CAN be known, depends on how stuff hangs together.
Why pursue ancient folk tales? They never provided anything concrete; but electron microscopes, telescropes and particle colliders do. If you want knowledge, if you earnestly seek understanding, don’t pursue what can never be really REALLY known. Look at the world before your eyes. Take it apart and study what the pieces do under varying conditions. Look for consistencies, gather probabilities, locate predictability.
That’s knowledge that can be put to work practically.
But this much has to me become apparent: the existence, the world of being that science so lovingly calculates and parses, must be instant-by-instant sustained; it cannot sustain itself. It is not necessary of itself: it must be given.
So I have argued for an agency, D, that presents existence in consistent flow of minutely changed states, bounded in time and place by absolute nothing. I have emphasized that this flow is ordered rather than chaotic, at least as it appears to C.
C’s will is free. Primitive C’s first function is environmental recognition. Then it wills an action to obtain food. More developed C not only recognizes and wills to action, but it is also communicative and more importantly, contemplative. Contemplation, particularly of and in the abstract requires constant will in recognizing and categorizing discovery, question and resolution all require a free will. Such acts of the mind are far beyond the capacity of neuron sets however diversified, complex and specialized.
C is a companion of stuff. But neurons are only stuff. Their activity is not activity but a successive presentation of inert states, out of which succession the resonance of C responds.
No bunch of neurons can think: neurons can only change their electrical condition – and they don’t even do that. They are changed from inert state to inert state at N from WITHOUT by D.
If C is determined, it is determined by D not B
1) C is NECESSARY: It cannot deny its own existence- that is BOTH a logical and EXISTENTIAL contradiction.
2) Both C & D have will.
3) But C to alter B in W, has to refer back to change of B at N(+W). Only D gives W at N.
4) C as an existent in W must resonate with state-change in B.
Therefore: since D changes B to allow C, although C is free, in order to will B, C depends on and is PARTIALLY determined by D.
Now if C’s activity, including contemplation and categorization is dependent on CHANGES in brain-states given by D at N (+W), then in a sense, C’s contemplation as well as other mental activities are partially determined by D – but ONLY partially. Because the very ESSENTIAL NATURE of thinking is freedom to rove at will over fields of consideration. Propagandists attempt to curtail thought by restricting information. This works very well with the large majority of any given population, given to concerns of living, commerce or any other of the occupations of living a life.
Entertainment suffices in place of contemplation for the weak of mind and propaganda swims in the sea of electronic entertainment.
But thought is the utmost freedom given to the world of existence.
So by these considerations I cannot believe that C is entirely determined by D through state-change because C developed to abstract thinking requires freedom as a NECESSARY attribute of the ACTIVITY of thinking.
But C is curiously not normal in existence. Stuff is given in W-states at N, but C on the other hand, ENTERS W. C is not given. It seeks its most satisfying environment: the nervous system and at the most complex – the brain.
C is almost an alien invader in the world of stuff. Has C over time created its brain environment?
What about the similarities between C and D?
Pull on one sock.
For most of us, reality is about 99% consensual, led by parents, teachers, peers, newscasters, family doctors, cash out clerks, garage mechanic, bosses, bus drivers, pedestrians, tv comics, superhighway configurations, elevators, social science experts, polls, cops and coke machines, twitter and facebook and the utilities department, and our dogs.
In other words, us and that constructed and arranged by us. You can’t squat naked with lipstick-smeared symbols scrawled on your tummy and forehead with a butterknife in your hand singing incantations to strange gods under your neighbour’s deck and not expect to be tasered andhauled away by the armed forces of law and order.
Or just maybe gunned down like Billy the Kid.
Maybe it’s best not to try to publish the fact, either. That reality isn’t really real after all; that there is such a thing as a soul and it is on a journey or a pilgrimage through an unknown land.
Trying to get back home.
The Neo-Platonists had a sense of a returning if you didn’t get lost first.
Pull on the other sock.
In trying to sort out the relationship of C to D as a member of W, though NOT stuff, I am reminded of the Neo-Platonist concept of emanations.
To assert W along with time is CREATED by D, is not to say they EMANATE from D. The concept of emanation suggests that what emanates from the source, D, is of the substance of the source and will eventually at least in part return to the source.
How I have seen it is, that each creation of W at N from absolute nothing is a new world and a new existence, the former world having been replaced RETURNS to absolute nothing.
Maybe the horror of the world and the ending of all things is what makes love so poignant and so desperately sweet while it lasts.
It’s fairly apparent that C would have to be much slower than N (+W). If C were stuff, whose prime attribute is inertia, one could possibly conceive of C as being a rapid series of frozen events, but if you reflect on it, a mental event cannot be captured in a frame like stuff. It, a mental event, does not INVOLVE motion. It IS motion. It is an activity of itself, not as in matter, an attribute of something extended in space. Once the frame of an instantaneous state of the world vanishes into absolute nothing, the state too, is nothing. But immediately a new state, a new world appear. It is a continuous motion of being/not being/ being, that can very loosely be compared to the compressions and rarifactions of a longitudinal wave. I’m suggesting that this motion sets up a sort of resonance like the ting of a tuning fork. This is just a suggestion, not an argument. But there’s at least one problem: How can a resonance be maintained over instances of non-being? Even infinitely small such instances would break the continuity. We would then be back to trying to capture C in frames, like matter.
About the preceding and the intervals of non-being, this nihil or non-being is not just empty spaces (which is not really empty except in particle-intervals and the motion of fields like gravity or EM charges, but also the absence of PLACE – where space could enter. Place is an existent. Nihil removes ALL existents.
So C must be removed as well. In the creation of NEW being at N (+W), a NEW C is given. But what is given? A new position as that of, say, an electron? But C is not extended in space. Is it thus for qualia-like colour or scent? Qualia bear a one-to-one relationship with neural activity: stimulate a certain neural configuration in the brain and a subject ‘sees’ a colour specific to the activity of that neural configuration.
In this case it would seem that at least this part of C is terminated and a new C with a new (but exactly similar qualium created. But perception v s maybe more primitive than understanding, which among other things, involves categorization of what appears directly of neural activity, is understanding given WITH perception or IS UNDERSTANDING A MORE DEVELOPED AND SLOWER PROCESS THAT DOESN’T EVEN ALWAYS OCCUR ALONG WITH A PERCEPTION?
I would say likely so, to the above. Moreover, there is a difference categorically between perception and understanding. In perception, signals run through complex organic apparatuses stimulated by light or low frequency waves emitted by physical objects or by chemical stimulation of olfactory centers. They are then coded either by the brain for C OR C does the coding into images, sounds, tastes etc. The debate is over whether C takes an active part in doing the coding or a passive one. But the understanding is what receives and uses the sorting. No matter how many neurons there are, no matter how complex they are, they can’t see or hear. They only change electrical states. Whether or not special neural sets dictate what C receives is dubious. C has what seems to amount to a power of choice.
To think that neural activity directly CAUSES specific contemplative processes, even setting aside the condition that matter is inert and fleeting in any current sate and is incapable of effecting X unless C affects state-change at N, is, I think, naïve and not well-thought out. Neurons are matter and matter lacks the attribute of being able to think.
Moreover, although it is reasonable to believe that neural activity can predispose thought or provide an inclination to thinking, it isn’t binding. There can be any number of mental interventions, like emotions. Furthermore, no matter how many circuits and how complex the circuitry schematic, you can’t get enough of it into the box to begin to provide a one-to-one match for the unanticipated layer upon layer modes of C.
The initiation of thought and the injection of intuition and the sheer complexity of the algorithms involved, make a one-to-one X relationship impossible. Thought as Debono pointed out, doesn’t have to be linear, and probably, even at its simplest, isn’t. More to follow