"Peter is still stuck
on the notion of consciousness without an object. He speaks of 'consciousness
alone'. There is no such thing, and nowhere has Peter established that
consciousness can exist in the vacuum which he imagines."
Peter now writes:
"The only argument that
I am putting forward is the existence does not need to be physical."
Existence of what?
"I have proven this by
demonstrating that if all perception is perception of an illusion, existence
would still exist because the one perceiving must exist to perceive
something, and must also be conscious. That existence, however, is not necessarily
I'm wondering how you think
your intended conclusion follows from whatever your premises are. Can you
present your argument in the form of a lucid syllogism? What do you mean by
"necessarily" here? Are you denying that there is anything
physical? If so, why? If not, then what's the point? If you're convinced
that everything you are perceiving is mere illusion, then why should anyone
take anything you say seriously to begin with? So far as I know, you're the
only one who is entertaining this notion of illusion seriously. A philosophy
based on reason is one which equips us to deal with reality, Peter.
Religion, however, is the realm of illusions (cf. the eastern term
"Maya"), and it's apparent that this is where you want to keep the
terms of debate: in the conceptual permafrost of your religious illusions.
"I have demonstrated
that this is so because if we deny all physical existence,
existence still is."
You mean, if you deny that
anything which is physical exists, it all magically disappears? Gee, Peter,
how'd you learn to do a neat trick like that? I have news for you: reality
does not conform to consciousness. You can deny whatever you want, but when
you deny reality, you simply commit yourself to stolen concepts, which I've
pointed out on numerous occasions (and which you have not yet dealt with).
Thus, Peter can deny all physical existence to
his heart's content. But if physical existence exists, then physical
existence exists. Reality doesn't "snap into order" simply because
Peter is in denial. Reality does not conform to consciousness. Thus, the
notion of a universe-creating, reality-ruling consciousness (e.g.,
"god") is completely invalid and entirely without merit.
therefore, existence is not necessarily a form of physical
existence, but could be something else (like spiritual existence, for
What do you mean by 'spiritual existence'?
Peter, do you recall, earlier in this thread,
the point I had made (and the point with which you actually agreed with,
though implicitly so) about the concept 'immaterial'? I pointed out that you
could only "define" this term by negating its opposite, e.g.,
'immaterial' means "not material." I challenged you to define the
idea in positive terms, and you never did. Instead, you had written: "We
have simply given the concept based on the material world."
And to this, I replied:
certainly implies that the perceptually available facts hold conceptual
primacy over facts which are not perceptually available. This affirms
Objectivism: Since our awareness begins with the senses, our knowledge
begins with the facts which our senses directly perceive. We give those
facts names: 'existence', 'identity' and 'consciousness'. These are the
axioms, are conceptual starting point.
You never interacted with this point, so
presumably you agree, or simply do not understand it. But here you are
asserting the notion of a 'spiritual existence', a notion which you nowhere
define, in order to contrast against 'physical existence'.
I wonder if it has ever occured to Peter that
the Objectivist axiom is not "physical matter exists" but
that existence exists. We implicitly recognize the fact that
existence exists before we even embark on identifying whether what we are
perceiving is "physical" or not. So Peter's whole shabang here
seems to miss the point completely. He must borrow from my worldview even to
think! And still he has not identified what his starting point is, nor the
means by which he is supposedly aware of it (assuming he thinks he's aware
of anything). All we've seen is evasion - Peter is a man on the
run, as if from his own shadow. All pretense (albeit quite transparent).
"You say that this is
consciousness without an object. You are assuming that all objects must be
physical objects. Prove this assumption valid."
I am not making this assumption. I am asking you
(again!) to identify the object of your awareness and the means by which you
are aware of it. To date, you have insisted that these points are
"irrelevant." To which I say: Then your whole
"philosophy" is irrelevant.
"I maintain that
non-physical objects exist"
Can you name some objects
which are "non-physical"? If they are not physical, what are they?
"Non-physical" tells us only what they are not (assuming you can
establish that these objects in question actually exist). If you cannot
explain in positive terms what "non-physical" means, and concede
that you use this term in contradistinction to "physical" (just as
you conceded in your use of the term 'immaterial' in contradistinction to
'material'), then you concede that the concept 'physical' holds conceptual
primacy to the idea of 'non-physical' (just as you conceded that the concept
'material' holds conceptual primacy over 'immaterial'). Before, you tried
this same cheap tack with the idea of 'immaterial'. I pointed out how you
could only use this term in contrast to that which is material, and thus put
a hole in your baloon (since this term antecedes those which you posit in
contrast to it). Now you're back with the same cheap scheme but in the guise
of another term. Clearly, you have a hard time thinking in terms of
Now, if you really think there are
"non-physical objects," please identify what they are (in positive
terms) and the means by which you acquire awareness of them. If you do not
meet both of these burdens, then I must conclude that your entire argument
has neither content, context nor reference, for without answers to these
basic questions, no one can know what you're talking about (we can only know
what you're not talking about, which is existence). But, I suppose
this kind of intellectual fallout is what happens when one is convinced that
all reality is an illusion.
Furthermore, please explain in detail how you
distinguish these "non-physical objects" which you claim exist,
"(as evidenced by the
fact that physical existence is not necessary to validate actual existence;
and therefore the two are not linked necessarily),"
Notice here that Peter is
attempting to divide a perfectly good concept ('existence') into a
self-opposing dichotomy: "physical existence" vs.
"non-physical existence." What warrants breaking this concept in
two like this? The only thing Peter has given us to justify this is that he
thinks what he perceives is not reality, but an illusion, and that he cannot
prove otherwise. Thus, granting this nightmarish view of his own mind
credibility, he thus argues that the illusory must be the norm (since he's
renounced the one tool he needs to dispel such absurdities, which is
reason), and thus concludes that existence is not "necessarily
physical." Necessary for what? Peter does not say. How does he
determine all this? By appealing to illusions. What secures his conclusions?
Layer upon layer of stolen concepts, false dichotomies, frozen abstractions,
package-deals, non sequiturs, etc., etc., etc. The
litany of conceptual errors plaguing Peter's pseudo-reasoning process grows
with each time he submits another post to the Theism vs. Atheism Web, and
still he has not even gotten around to presenting a proof of God's
existence is not based on physciality."
Doesn't follow (i.e., non sequitur). Even if
Peter could show the existence of "non-physical objects" (which he
has not even defined, let alone proven), this conclusion would not
necessarily follow. It could be the case that there are non-physical
objects, but that they are dependent on "physical existence"
"You say that it is
consciousness alone--not at all."
Actually, this is what you
said. Remember? You stated that "existence... at its root is
consciousness." We're all still wondering exactly how you think you
managed to arrive at this conclusion (we only have what you presented, which
I showed to be invalid). Furthermore, you have not answered questions which
were put forth in consideration of your attempt to argue for it.
"I have said that it is
consciousness that has come about as a result of the existence of
You mean like a conceptual
mind coming about as a result of organic evolution?
"that existence need
not be physical for my assertion to remain logically valid and reasonably
true, but it must exist."
Per Objectivism: Existence
exists. What exactly is the fuss?
"Can you prove that all
existence is physical, CV?"
It is not my position that "all existence
is physical." This dichotomy is all yours, not mine. I simply
acknowledge that existence exists.
"You say that I have
consciousness existing in a vacuum"
What else can we conclude
from what you've presented in your statements? You do not identify either
the object of your consciousness, or the means by which you are supposedly
aware of those objects. For all we know, you are claiming to be conscious
while denying the need for objects and the necessity of a means of
consciousness, thus exposing the stolen concepts to which you seem so
"--not at all, read
what I wrote."
Oh, I have, Peter. Not only
have I read what you wrote, I have examined it and interacted with virtually
every point. I'm quite familiar with what you've been trying to argue, and
I've been tireless in exposing the problems in your statements. You seem
unaware of this. Perhaps you're in such denial that you'll never see.
Religious indoctrination tends to do this to many people. It puts them into
a kind of intellectual stupor. Look at the Palestinian suicide bombers. Look
at the Saudi and Egyptian suicide hijackers on 9/11. All resulting from mysticism.
All a result of accepting the primacy of consciousness view of reality and
taking it seriously throughout one's philosophy. Christianity is no
exception. The only thing is, few Christians take there religion as
seriously as the Muslims in the Middle East take their religion. That is why
Christianity is in such disarray around the world: it is splintered into so
many mutually exclusive factions (dozens to suit every taste) that there are
raging disputes as to what really constitutes a Christian in the first
place! Good grief! Christians should have gotten their own house in order
before they went and corrupted the rest of the world.
demonstrated by the fact that perception exists."
Perception? By what means? I
don't suppose you'll address this question.
occur without existence of some kind."
Agreed. The primacy of
consciousness is invalid. Existence holds metaphysical primacy over
consciousness. This rules out all god-beliefs. One cannot hold a god-belief
without compromising the primacy of existence principle and committing
himself to the primacy of consciousness, which is a contradiction.
Objectivism shows this. Theists committed to their confessional investment
in god-belief are unwilling to accept this, and simply kick against the
pricks when it's pointed out to them (as Peter has done for some time now).
"As a result, existence
exists and is proven by consciousness."
I wouldn't say
"proven." This would be another stolen concept. But I guess you
either do not understand this, or you simply do not care.
"In no case
does this imply that consciousness exists in a vacuum!"
On your own premises, covert premise-smuggling
and rejection of reason, it certainly does.
"Invalid data can be
perceived as having come from the senses, even when it has not."
What is meant by the idea
'invalid data'? How do you validate this idea? (Or, do you simply take its
assumed validity for granted, as you seem to do here?)
"As a result, trusting
on sensory data is not sufficient to determine what reality is
because invalid data appears identical to valid data."
Again, the idea of
"trusting sensory data" commits the fallacy of the stolen concept,
as I clarified before. We do not "trust" the senses. The senses
are not voluntary. We cannot pick and choose what our eyes see, or what our
skin feels. If I touch my finger to a flame, I cannot choose to feel
pleasure instead of pain. Existence exists, and existence exists independent
of consciousness. Wishing does not make things change.
"Just because you have
seen, or heard, or felt, or tasted, or smelled something does not make that
something a real existent object;"
If something exists, then
nothing is needed to make it "a real existent object."
is simple and I stated it several times already."
Yes, and I've pointed out
the errors on numerous occasions now as well. You've done nothing to
correct the stolen concepts which lie at the root of your arguments. Until
you do, your argument will remain invalid.
data is not sufficient to determine reality"
What do you mean by
"determine reality"? As I've maintained, we
"determine" (i.e., identify) reality by means of reason. Reason
is the faculty which identifies and integrates the data provided by the
senses. Data does not "determine" something. People using reason
determine things. Careful not to argue against your own misrepresentations
and then parade your conclusions as a defeat for your opponent's view.
You've already demonstrated in stunning fashion that you are quite
ignorant of my views, even though I've tried to explain them to you.
"because we have
demonstrated that invalid data will appear identical to valid data."
"...appear..."? By what means,
Peter? You're still reluctant to address this question.
"As a result, the
physical world that we perceive through our senses need not be actually
real--it could all be entirely illusary."
Peter, if you want to
accept this view, you're free to do so. The thing is, I don't think you do
accept this view for yourself. Rather, you simply want others to accept
it, or at least treat it as a legitimate concern. But if the whole notion
relies on stolen concepts, then there's no reason why anyone should treat
it as a legitimate concern. Such "arguments" as Peter is
presenting take themselves so seriously that no one else needs to.