I wrote:

"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?
 
Peter wrote:
"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 physical."
 
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.
 
Peter wrote:
"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.
 
Peter wrote:
"By definition, therefore, existence is not necessarily a form of physical existence, but could be something else (like spiritual existence, for example)."
 
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:
Right! This 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).
 
Peter wrote:
"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.
 
Peter wrote:
"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 principle.
 
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, from non-existence.
 
Peter wrote:
"(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!
 
Peter wrote:
"and therefore 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" (Peter's term).
 
Peter wrote:
"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.
 
Peter wrote:
"I have said that it is consciousness that has come about as a result of the existence of something;"
 
You mean like a conceptual mind coming about as a result of organic evolution?
 
Peter wrote:
"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?
 
Peter wrote:
"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.
 
Peter wrote:
"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 adamantly committed.
 
Peter wrote:
"--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.
 
Peter wrote:
"Consciousness is demonstrated by the fact that perception exists."
 
Perception? By what means? I don't suppose you'll address this question.
 
Peter wrote:
"Consciousness cannot 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).
 
Peter wrote:
"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.
 
Peter wrote:
"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.
 
Peter wrote:
"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?)
 
Peter wrote:
"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.
 
Peter wrote:
"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."
 
Peter wrote:
"The argument 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.
 
Peter wrote:
"Sensory (empirical) 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.
 
Peter wrote:
"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.
 
Peter wrote:
"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.
 
CertainVerdict