basic root, we could say that consciousness is self-awareness."
<<<I do not
accept this. Self-awareness is a species of consciousness; self-awareness
(or self-consciousness; I use the terms interchangeably) is not the primary
form of consciousness. To be self-conscious, something must be able to
identify itself as conscious or at least be able to distinguish itself from
other objects in its perceptual environment. But to identify itself as
conscious or distinguish itself from other objects, it must first be
conscious of something, i.e., of objects from which it can distinguish
itself. In other words, it needs the concept 'identity' which is a corollary
to the concept 'existence'.>>>
"Okay, let us use
your definition then (because my argument still stands either way)."
It does? By what means is a conscious
being conscious? You have not identified this.
is the ability to distinguish identity, then you must accept that animals
are conscious beings."
Sure. Animals are
organisms, and they possess a means of awareness, i.e., senses.
Objectivism holds that the senses are valid. Objectivism also holds that one
must assume the validity of the senses even to question them. We've seen
this already in your attacks on the senses (e.g., when you say "The
senses are not accurate" etc.).
"After all, a
lioness recognizes the difference between her cubs and her prey."
Right, and she does so by a means
of awareness, i.e., her senses.
can recognize a food source. Moths can recognize a light source.
So all these things would have consciousness, as opposed to a rock, which
does not recognize anything."
I would not dispute that moths are
conscious. But I'm not convinced tha bacteria cells are conscious. This is a
scientific question, so it is really irrelevant to the present matter.
consciousness is, it must come from existence. (I'm sure you would
agree with this, as I'm sure you believe in the metaphysical primacy of
I did not dispute it,
I simply asked you to identify, in general terms, the means by which
consciousness comes into being. I.e., what makes consciousness possible?
"As a result,
consciousness is based on existence (however it is done)."
is consciousness of existence. Consciousness does not create
existence (there goes the Judeo-Christian god who supposedly created the
universe ex nihilo by an act of will - i.e., by a means of a form
"If man has
consciousness, if animals have consciousness, then why wouldn't the total
sum of all existence have consciousness?"
Why would one say that the sum total of
all existence has existence? What justifies this assertion?? Consciousness
is an attribute of a particular kind of entities, namely living organisms
which possess a means of awareness (i.e., senses). You yourself
seem to agree that a rock does not possess the attribute of consciousness,
so even your own statements call the assumption that "the total sum of
existence could be conscious." Further, of what would it be conscious?
Of non-existence? I don't accept that. Is the sum total of existence
supposedly conscious only of itself? This is a contradiction in terms, and
Objectivism refutes it.
the question that must be asked is: by what manner do I become aware that I
<<<By a means
of awareness (but you have already said that you cannot trust these means,
so you commit yourself to stolen concepts). >>>
are committing the falacy of stolen concepts. You are assuming that
the means by which awareness comes about must be the means that you
How is this a stolen
concept? Which concept is asserted while denying its coneptual or genetic
roots? Do you disagree that consciousness requires a means? Or, do you think
that consciousness requires no means? Do you think that something can be
conscious no how? Where is the science for this? Science
(specifically psychology, neuro-science, etc.) shows us that the senses are
the means of our awareness. For instance, I am conscious of the words on the
computer screen before me. By what means do I gain this awareness? That's
simple: I gain this awareness through my vision. There is no stolen concept
"But as you aptly
note: I already said that you cannot trust those means."
This means that it is you
who commit the fallacy of the stolen concept, not I. I've pointed it out so
many times now that if you do not recognize it, it is probably only because
you are so confused by your own presuppositionalism, or you simply do not
want to see it, or both. I can't help you if this is the case. I've done all
I can to reach you. I am willing to entertain the possibility that you're
simply too far gone for dialogue to be effective here.
"That does not
mean there are no other means by which such an awareness can be known!"
Feel free to identify them, then. Let's
see what extra-sensory (or nonsensical?) "means of awareness" you
have in mind. You want us to accept and entertain the possibility that there are
other means of awareness besides the senses, but you don't tell us what
that supposed means are. Why not simply recognize that the senses are valid,
and deal with reality on its own terms? Or, why not simply be honest, and
acknowledge your stolen concepts?
"You are assuming
that empirical data is the only means and then trying to refute my argument
by inserting your foreign definition. It doesn't work."
I do not claim that "empirical
data" is man's means of awareness. Empirical data is what man's means
of awareness makes possible. The means of awareness in question are the
senses, namely sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Check the science
books on these matters, Peter. There's a lot on this. I also recommend
Binswanger's lectures on "The Metaphysics of Consciousness" and
some of the sources which Binswanger himself cites.
"Again, read my
entire argument at this point. Cutting it up like you have been to
diminish the impact is a good debate trick, but it fails you here."
I've examined your entire argument. You
have no case. You have maintained that "the senses are not
accurate" (which itself commits the fallacy of the stolen concept, as I
exposed it; you have not been able to resuscitate this premise); You suggest
that there is another means of awareness than the senses, but have not
identified it; you show willingness to conflate the concept 'consciousness'
to be equal with that of 'existence' (you mused, "why wouldn't the
total sum of all existence have consciousness?") which is a
package-deal fallacy (i.e., the failure to acknowledge essential
distinctions). Further, the entire chain of inference of your proposed
argument is very shaky: how does your conclusion follow from your premises,
and how do your premises support that conclusion? This is not at all clear.
Each one of these problems alone is sufficient to show your argument is
"---My entire point (with a minor revision of the definition of
"Now let us look at consciousness. At the basic root, we could
say that consciousness is awareness."