Peter wrote:
"Notice, CV, that I have not yet even begun to discuss the issue of how any awareness actually comes"
 
Believe me, I've noticed that you've been avoiding this issue. Why do you think I continually ask you to identify the means by which something is conscious? This is crucial.
 
Peter wrote:
"--I am looking at a far more basic level than that at this point."
 
Level of what? How can you discuss consciousness in the manner in which you do and yet neglect to identify the means by which something is conscious? You are treating consciousness as if it did not require a means. Perhaps you do not intend to do this? Then simply identify the means by which something is conscious.
 
I wrote:
<<<What does it mean that "awareness must come from inside existence"? What does it mean that "awareness must come from outside existence"? What do you mean by "come from" here? I'm not saying this is right or wrong, only that it is now interjected without validation.>>>
 
Peter wrote:
"I do not see how the context of what I wrote could be misleading."
 
You might not see it, but others might, especially if you speak on the nature of consciousness, yet continually fail to address the crucial question: by what means is an organism conscious?
 
Peter wrote:
"I am asking the question of why there is awareness."
 
Then I think you might be getting ahead of yourself here (when indeed you should be correcting your own errors up to this point, which I have kindly and patiently pointed out to you numerous times now).
 
Peter wrote:
"Awareness "comes from" (ie: is based on; is the result of; is due to--take your pick of synonyms) either existences or else something outside of existence."
 
Okay, that's a little better. But if consciousness is consciousness of existence, and consciousness is an attribute which belongs to only a particular class of existents (things which exist), then how can you justify your leap that "existence, in its root form... is consciousness"? As I showed in my last post, this conclusion is certainly unwarranted given your premises as well as given the facts of the matter. Existence and consciousness are not one and the same thing. The concept 'existence' is far broader than consciousness. While it is the case that everything which exists exists, it is not the case that everything which exists possesses consciousness. Furthermore, due to the issue of metaphysical primacy, since consciousness is consciousness of existence, there is a relationship between consciousness and existence, and this is not a relationship of equals. The primitives (as well as most of today's academics) failed to recognize these fundamental facts, and thus committed themselves to a fundamental reversal. Instead of recognizing that existence holds metaphysical primacy over consciousness, they assumed the reverse, accepting an enormous stolen concept to which they themselves could never remain consistent, and began to build their ideas on this reversal (which resulted in god-belief and the religious view of the world). It's no surprise that some would eventually claim that the universe was the product of consciousness, just as the early Jewish writers thought when they claimed that a god created the world by an act of will. While it might be arguable that those primitives had some excuse for passing off their errors as knowledge, today's thinkers surely cannot have this same excuse.
Peter wrote:
"My point is simple--if it is outside of existence, then it does not exist.  Therefore, whatever awareness comes from it must be part of existence."
 
Understood (I just wanted to make sure you do).
 
Peter wrote:
<<<Therefore, awareness of existence must come from existence itself." >>>
 
I asked:
<<<By what means? >>>
 
Peter wrote:
"It does not matter by what means.  The conclusion is valid regardless of our knowledge of the means."
 
I've shown your argument and conclusion (particularly the one in which you say that "existence, in its root form, is consciousness") to be guilty of numerous errors. I think it would be helpful to you if you identify the means by which something is capable of consciousness, since you have already rejected the senses. For all we know, you must think that something can be conscious by no means. This amounts to the endorsement of nonsense, and I will not accept it.
 
Peter wrote:
"Awareness of existence must come from existence, or else it would be based on non-existence, therefore making consciousness based on non-existence too."
 
This is not the conclusion which I'm disputing. So in regard to attempting to establish this premise, I agree, you do not need to identify the means by which something is conscious. But this is only a minor premise, and you wander quite far from it when you attempt to draw the conflated idea that "existence, in its root form, is consciousness." This conclusion cannot stick. What is meant, after all, by "existence, in its root form"? This is a very foggy idea at best. It needs to be explained. But no matter how you want to define this, you cannot sidestep the fact that consciousness and existence are distinct, and that the relationship between the two is not one of equals.
 
Peter wrote:
"This would obviously refute what was previously established as being true, therefore it is not possible."
 
To what are you referring here, and how was this previously established idea "established as being true"?
 
Peter wrote: 
"As a result, awareness of existence must come from existence itself."
 
Are you aware that 'existence' is a collective noun? Again, consciousness is an attribute which belongs to a particular class of existents. Watch the package-dealing! I'm on to you!
 
Peter wrote:
"I do not need to tell you by what means, and any demand from you for me to do so is simply irrelevant."
 
At this point in your case, perhaps. But in the broader argument you are trying to construct, your failure to address this question will render your conclusion contentless, as should be clear by the points I've brought out (since you've already shown yourself to be prone to accepting stolen concepts).
 
Peter wrote:
"It is not my argument to tell you what means awareness comes from--it is my argument to tell you that the basis of awareness must be in existence."
 
Well, I already told you this a long time ago. Consciousness is consciousness of existence. As I wrote in my May 7 post to the thread "Definition of Catholic & a look at morality": "Our awareness of reality (i.e., consciousness of objects) begins with the senses (i.e., with perception)." We exist in reality, thus so do our senses. And since cosciousness is consciousness of existence, consciousness is in existence. Indeed, consciousness exists. Did it take you this long to get this point?
 
<<<Peter wrote:
"and therefore existence,"

Ah ah ah! Watch those stolen concepts!

Peter wrote:
"in its root form (the part that is immutable, etc.) is consciousness."

D'oh! You're falling into your own traps again here, Peter! >>>
 
Peter wrote:
Look, it does not matter how many times you assert that I am stealing a concept or falling into a trap.  All you have done is ASSERT this.  You have not demonstrate it."
 
Oh, Peter, here you are completely wrong. I have pointed your stolen concepts out left and right! Take for instance this passage from the same May 7 post to which I referred to just above:
 
Peter wrote:
"You do not know that your senses are accurate,"
I wrote:
"How do you know this? Can you tell us how you establish this without
assuming that your own senses are accurate? If your senses are not accurate,
is this sufficient to determine that someone else's senses are not accurate?
How does the inaccuracy of someone else's senses follow from the
inaccuracies of your senses? And if your senses are not delivering accurate
messages to your brain, and your mind is functioning on the basis of those
inaccuracies (which presumably you are admitting to here), how can you
confidently critique the statements of others, which you can only learn
about by using your senses? You yourself must assume that you're reading
these words accurately in order to interact with them in the way that you
do. But to assume that you are reading my statements accurately, you have to
assume that your senses are reliable. So here we find your stolen concept on
this matter: in order for your own arguments against the validity of the
senses to be valid, they must presume that they are valid to begin with, yet
you've already denied this.
As a result, whatever undercutting you want to
pass off onto the minds of others, will only come back to bite you in your
own backside, Peter."
There you go, Peter.
 
Furthermore, in response to lordbyron's request that I explain the nature of this nasty fallacy, I provided some links to several articles which discuss and provide examples of the fallacy of the stolen concept in my May 10 post to the thread "Proof." Here are those links again in case you did not see them:
 
http://www.nathanielbranden.net/ess/ton04.html

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Sparta/1019/Fallacies.htm

http://home.nuclei.com/phil/essays/Floating_vs_Stolen.html

http://www.alwayslearn.com/Objectivism/Stolen%20Concept.htm

http://www.primenet.com/~byoder/stolen.htm
 
Stolen concepts are a real problem, Peter, and if you are unaware of them, then you will not be able to identify them when you meet them, or avoid them when your own reasoning is built on them.
 
Peter wrote:
"Show me how it is a trap for me to argue that awareness (consciousness) is from existence, which must be immutable."
 
The trap to which I was referring was the package-deal which I've pointed out several times now. A package-deal is a fallacy, and its presence in your premises invalidates your argument.
 
Peter wrote:
"And since you did not respond to that part, I must assume you agree that existence in its basic "root form" is immutable."
 
I agree that existence is immutable in the sense that the fact that existence exists does not change. This is what Rand means when she makes the point that existence is immutable, uncreated and indestructible. However, particulars (existents which exist) can change, such as the size of a tree, the course of a river, or the molecules in an amoeba. The notion of a "root form" of existence, as I mentioned earlier, is a murky idea. I think my point of clarification here avoids this murkiness.
 
Peter wrote:
"Consciousness does not come from experiencing empirical data, because I have demonstrated that consciousness exists regardless of whether or not the physical world exists."
And I commented:
"And to do that, you had to put forward a stolen concept (and a frozen abstraction on top of that!) and assume the diaphanous model of consciousness. Did you see it? Now you're running into a new problem - the fallacy of pure self-reference - e.g., consciousness conscious only of itself, which is a contradiction in terms. I'm afraid the diagnosis doesn't look good here, Peter."
 
Peter now says:
"But that is not my argument at all, CV.  Therefore it is you who are falling into the stolen concept traps."
 
Where exactly have I done this? Which concept have I asserted while denying its roots? Remember, so far, you still have not identified the means by which you are aware. Do you not see the relevance?
 
Peter wrote:
"I chose my words carefully."
 
I appreciate this. This is a good habit to hone. You've got a good start. But keep working on it.
 
Peter wrote:
"I said that existence exists "whether or not the physical world exists" (emphasis added)."
 
But the physical world does exist. So why should this even be relevant? (Unless, you don't want to deal with the physical world.)
 
Peter wrote:
"This is undeniably true, because even if I deny all that I empirically see, I still know that I must exist in order to have a false illusion (thereby proving existence apart from physical and empirical data).  Prove this argument wrong, CV.  Don't just sit there and say, "Stolen concept!  Stolen concept!  Stolen concept!"  Repitition won't make you right."
 
I've pointed it out numerous times already. I know you don't like it, but that shouldn't get you huffy.
 
Peter wrote:
"Furthermore, consciousness being concious of itself does not mean that it is conscious only of itself.  Where have I said that?"
 
If one denies the physical world and the objects of consciousness, of what can something be conscious? My point was in reference to the only inference made possible by your own arbitrary standard. That's all.
 
Peter wrote;
"I have not asserted that the physical world is not real, I have merely asserted that it is, as yet in this particular argument that I am using now, unproven."
 
One does not prove the existence of the physical world. Again, proof is the process of logically relating that which is not perceptually self-evident to that which is perceptually self-evident. The existence of the physical world is perceptually self-evident. It's everything, including you, of which you are directly aware by means of your senses. There is no need to prove its existence. One must accept stolen concepts to think that it must be proven.
 
Peter wrote:
"You are the one who is jumping outside of the argument in order to ignore the thrust of it."
 
I don't think so, Peter. I may see more than you realize.
 
Peter wrote:
"Existence, which may or may not include the physical world (we have not yet said anything about the material world), necessitates consciousness apart from empirical data."
I wrote:
"Wow! There's another doosey of a stolen concept! My oh my Peter! You sure don't seem to be able to outgrow this nasty habit!"
 
Peter protested:
"And you obviously "don't seem to be able to outgrow this nasty habit" of asserting that I am stealing concepts without even bothering to demonstrate it."
 
If the existence of the physical world is accepted or treated as a variable, then where did you get the concept 'existence'? If you say from consciousness of yourself, is there anything else of which you are conscious?  If not, then we must infer that you mean consciousness only of itself (fallacy of pure self-reference). You yourself seem to think that consciousness is possible without objects ("necessitates consciousness apart from empirical data"). Thus, the concept 'consciousness' is 'stolen' because its genetic roots are denied or ignored. That is, by definition, an instance of the fallacy of the stolen concept.
 
Peter wrote:
"Am I supposed to just assume that you are right when I have put forth an intelligible and logical argument."
 
I'm hoping that by now you've learned how to recognize stolen concepts. Perhaps I have more confidence in your intellectual ability than is warranted. My bad.
 
Peter wrote:
"It is going to take actual argumentation on your part to dismantle what I have put forth, not just lame "stolen concept" excuses."
 
Actually, that's not true. I am simply examining your argument and I am finding that it relies on stolen concepts, as well as other cognitive errors. This means the argument in question is invalid. Do you not agree that fallacies invalidate an argument?
 
CertainVerdict