"Notice, CV, that
I have not yet even begun to discuss the issue of how any awareness
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
"--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.
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.>>>
"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
"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).
"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
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.
"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
awareness of existence must come from existence itself." >>>
<<<By what means? >>>
"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.
existence must come from existence, or else it would be based on
non-existence, therefore making consciousness based on non-existence
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.
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"?
"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!
"I do not need to
tell you by what means, and any demand from you for me to do so is simply
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).
"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?
"and therefore existence,"
Ah ah ah! Watch those stolen concepts!
"in its root form (the part that is immutable, etc.) is
D'oh! You're falling into your own traps again here, Peter! >>>
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
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:
"You do not know that your senses are accurate,"
"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
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
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:
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.
"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
"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.
does not come from experiencing empirical data, because I have demonstrated
that consciousness exists regardless of whether or not the physical world
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?
"I chose my words
I appreciate this.
This is a good habit to hone. You've got a good start. But keep working on
"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.)
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
I've pointed it out numerous times
already. I know you don't like it, but that shouldn't get you huffy.
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.
"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
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.
"You are the one
who is jumping outside of the argument in order to ignore the thrust of
I don't think so, Peter. I may see more
than you realize.
"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."
"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!"
obviously "don't seem to be able to outgrow this nasty habit" of
asserting that I am stealing concepts without even bothering to demonstrate
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.
"Am I supposed to
just assume that you are right when I have put forth an intelligible and
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.
"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?