"I can only prove
my own consciousness,"
"Can you prove you're conscious without being conscious? Can you validate
your mind without using it?"
"What does this
have to do with being able to prove my own consciousness?"
If you claim that you can prove your
conscious by using your consciousness, then you commit the fallacy of the
stolen concept. See the article by Branden which I linked above. (Also, I
notice you didn't actually answer the question.)
"Secondly, what are
you refering to by "mind." If it is synonymous with
consciousness then look at my argument again. If by "mind" you
mean a physical brain, then no. You do not validate a physical
brain as being a mind, because it is possible that your mind existence without
a physical form because, as I have already demonstrated, existence exists even
if a physical world does not."
By 'mind' I am referring to a conceptual
form of consciousness, of which man is capable (but which many short-circuit
by relying on stolen concepts).
"But what I do know is that existence causes consciousness."
"Again I ask: By what means?"
"Again, I must
point out, IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE HOW."
Why are you reluctant to
"My argument is not
how it happens, but that it does."
Eventually, for your
overall argument to have any content, you would have to address this question.
"That is all I need
to prove in order to disprove your arguments."
How do you know this?
"I do not need to
actually put forth a positive case as to what it is in order to prove you
wrong--you are wrong regardless of whether or not I can prove anything
positive on my end."
How do you know this?
summarize what we have so far, existence is eternal, self-existent, outside
the realm of time, immutable, and is consciousness."
"So a rock is conscious? Now you're package-dealing again!"
"You are assuming
that all physical forms have equal existence (in which case there would
be no difference between a bear and a beatle)."
What do you mean by
"equal existence"? Can something exist "more" than
something else? My question above, posed in response to your statement that
"existence is... consciousness," was intended merely to raise your
awareness that this equation ("existence is... consciousness") is a
package-deal, for it fails to acknowledge crucial distinctions. Existence and
consciousness are neither metaphysically nor conceptually equivalent.
'Existence' is a collective noun; it refers to all things which exist. Did you
see that? Things - plural. Consciousness is an attribute which
belongs only to a certain class of existents. I do not hold that the universe
as such (the sum total of all that exists) is consciousness, any more than I
hold that a rock is conscious. Thus, I reject your assertion that
"existence is... consciousness."
"Secondly, how do
you know that a rock is not conscious."
By a means of knowledge.
"Is failure to
communicate with you proof that it is not conscious?"
Not this alone. For I
know many people, some theists for example, who appear to be conscious,
but apparently cannot communicate. Besides, I hold that conscious is only
possible when there is a means of awareness, i.e., the senses (otherwise, one
literally endorses nonsense). Rocks have no sensory receptors. Also,
consciousness is an attribute which belongs only to a particular class of
existents, namely living animals. Rocks are neither animal nor living. A rock
would not need consciousness, since it is not living, and thus does not face
the fundamental alternative of living organisms, which is existence vs.
"(Now, because I
know you're going to misread everything--I am not saying that a rock IS
Actually, I assumed
you'd know this. And I did not misread you to saying that you think rocks are
"I am only saying
that there is no way for you to know whether or not it is.)"
Oh? Okay. If you like.
"Again, you are not
using my stated definitions. The existence that I am refering to is that
part of existence that is all the stated qualities: eternal, self-existent,
outside the realm of time and immutable--that is the part of
existence that is conscious too, and logically necessarily so (since you do
not refute this argument, but merely use another irrelevant attack and do not
First of all, I do not need to refute an
argument which invalidates itself by means of conceptual errors. I merely
point them out, and show how the argument refutes itself. Second, the
attributes 'eternal', 'self-existent', 'outside the realm of time' and
'immutable' apply to the totality of existence, not to a part of it. Again,
existence is a collective noun. Whether or not your stated definitions in mind
take this into account is unknown to me, and I'm not sure where you identify
'existence' to be a collective noun as you use it. According to Objectivism,
which supplies the definitions, meanings and nuances which I am assuming,
'existence' is a collective noun in the sense that I have stated here.
Furthermore, there are no organisms which
possess the faculty of awareness and which are eternal, immutable and out of
time in the sense that a measurement of action or motion is inapplicable to
them. So all indicators which I have detected point in the general direction
of a package-deal which you're trying to smuggle into your argument. This
invalidates your argument, whether you like it or not.
Peter had written:
"Further, since we know that these things are true regardless of whether
or not the physical world exists, existence is not dependent upon the physical
world for existence."
"Not only has Peter not established this, he must accept stolen concepts,
frozen abstractions and package-deals in order to pass it off as one of his
conclusions. I cannot accept it as it is all invalid."
Now Peter writes:
"But all we have is
your assertions that I have stolen concepts, used frozen abstrations, and
accepted package-deals. You have not proven the invalidity of any of
these concepts either."
On the contrary, the
presence of conceptual error invalidates your use of the concepts in question.
Furthermore, you have done nothing to validate the concepts which you employ.
You have told us nothing about the means by which you form concepts. So,
clearly this is a neglected onus on your part. If you want anyone to take your
arguments seriously (i.e., if you really want to prove that god the superspook
exists), then you need to do a lot more homework, Peter. That's just all there
is to it.
"You merely state
them over and over and over again, and then pretend to reject everything that
I say on a "reasonable" and "logical" basis."
Not at all, Peter. I've
provided far more substance than you seem willing to deal with. You also show
an uncanny incapacity to integrate the points and criticisms which I've
provided in response to your arguments. Again, it's not my problem if you do
not choose to think these matters through a little more carefully.
"Well, you haven't
offered an argument demonstrating how I have actually done any of
this--you are simply repeating the charge over and over and over again.
Start proving, not labelling."
I think you're in deep denial, Peter. You
see only what you want to see, respond only to what you want to respond,
believe in those beings which you want to believe. That's fine. It doesn't
really matter to me what you do. Just don't poke anyone's eye out!