From: Mark Steven Heyman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Nov 04 2004 - 17:09:25 GMT
On 3 Nov 2004 at 8:56, Scott Roberts wrote:
> For me, SOM is fine for dealing with scientific questions, but is
> silent on moral issues. The rational empiricism of the MOQ absorbs
> the excellence of som-science and expands upon it to include a
> hierarchy for making moral decisions. I like this very much.
Me too, though I think that one needs to go beyond empiricism even to
deal with scientific questions. Mathematics is necessary for physics,
but mathematics itself is not empirical.
That's where the "rational" part of rational empiricism comes in. We
accept the foundational premises of mathematics because math is
essential in the empirical evaluation of reality.
And, as Platt would point out, the choice to be empirical is not
Agreed. The choice to be empirical is a rational response to the
immediate and undeniable value of experience.
If one argues that empiricism's value is evident (through the value
that science has brought),
I would argue that empiricism's value is self-evident, as is the
reality of Quality. See my last comment...
I would respond that science only works on the inorganic, but there
are three other levels to deal with.
I think there's a sense in which science works fine at the organic
level , as well. That's what Biology is all about. But I know what
Just how empirical we are being when we say things about the other
levels (other than their inorganic substrate) is, in my view, an open
Agree. Though perhaps an argument could be made that since the
inorganic level is the foundation of all the others, there might well
be a scientific ripple effect upward. For example, at the social
level, we use science to demonstrate global warming, hoping to affect
> msh before:
> The Metaphysics of Consciousness assumes that consciousness is the
> ground of being and has always existed, so the question of whence
> consciousness arises becomes moot. Cool. But the MOC involves the
> notion of non-material consciousness, what you call a verb without
> a noun, an idea which, for me, is completely undecipherable.
I only mentioned using verbs instead of nouns as a way to avoid
bringing in presuppositions of the nature of whatever ground is being
considered. So one can speak of perceiving, valuing, or knowing,
without presupposing a self-existent perceiver, valuer, or knower,
thus avoiding presupposing SOM. Another way is to posit a completely
undefinable ground which makes perceiving, perceiver, and perceived
possible. In both cases, though, we are only emphasizing our
ignorance -- learned ignorance, as Nicholas of Cusa called it.
Maybe. But for me, for now, belief in disembodied consciousness
would be emphasizing ignorance as well as defying experience..
> Furthermore, I think the non-materialist underpinnings of the MOC
> might well result in a fundamental schism between the MOC and the
> undeniable value of scientific data. have no experience of non-
> material consciousness, but I experience sense data and Quality
> every day of my life.
The MOC would not undercut scientific findings any more than the MOQ
or SOM. The only difference is that the MOC understands that what
science is studying is what consciousness produces, namely, our sense
See above. Non-material consciousness may be self-contradictory.
The question is far, far, from resolved.
In any case, you have a great deal of experience of the
non-material. When you are thinking or dreaming you are experiencing
non-material consciousness. When you are reading, you are not
experiencing ink on paper, but non-material thoughts.
This line of reasoning might have been persuasive, indeed WAS
persuasive for some, prior to the last, what, 50 years of scientific
studies of the brain? There is all sorts of measurable and distinct
brain activity occurring when we think, dream, or read. So the
precise nature of what it is we are experiencing is till open to
However, f I can ever get my material brain wrapped around the idea
of non-material consciousness, I just might subscribe to your MOC.
Mark Steven Heyman (msh)
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