saving "mind"

How does it contrast?

Well, it’s a fact that the perceiver influences what is perceived on quantum level. And not only there, so it seems; … _321.shtml

Dogma!?!? I can’t believe you actually called it that! Frankly, I’m a little offended.

I presume you are refering to this:

Yes - I used the word “can’t”. So what? For heaven’s sake, I don’t mean in the political sense. I’m not saying “You can’t, or else I’ll send the gestapo after you.” I’m saying you can’t on logical grounds. If we accept that the reason no one can prove the existence of mind is that one person can’t verify another person’s experiences, then you can’t say either that it exists or that it doesn’t. It is unfalsifiable. But, my God, that doesn’t mean it’s dogma. It’s a form of agnosticism about mind - how can that be dogma?! You are free to believe whatever you want on the matter. The idea police are not going to break down your door if you disagree with me.

Look, let’s just do this: When I say “I’m having experience X”, I’ll acknowledge this as just a claim - not an argument. In turn, you either tell me that you agree or disagree. We won’t concern ourselves with your reason for which of these you choose because, as a claim, it doesn’t demand a counter-argument, it simply demands agreement/disagreement. Yes, I realize this is not how philosophy is done, but that’s why, when it comes to stand stills like this, we stop philosophizing. But I wouldn’t say this means that my position is non-philosophical, it just means that you and I, in particular, can’t philosophize about it.

To be honest with you, JM, I can’t answer that question any better than by saying they just feel different. It’s like comparing a variety of fruits - to say that mental experiences, other than sensation, feel different than how I experience the perception of matter is like saying all fruits, except oranges, look different than what oranges look like. If mind and matter are one and the same, the way we experience each must be two different facets or properties or modes of manifestation (etc.) of that one thing. Therefore, this one thing that they both are must be something that mind and matter are both different instances of. Of course, you might label the entire class that these two things constitute as “matter” and call mind the “mental form of matter” and its physical counterpart the “physical form of matter”. Either way, I think you’d have to make a distinction.

I don’t know much about quantum mechanics; but if i’m imagining in anything close to a sensical fashion then it might be that a ‘quantum harmonic’ perspective could expand a temporal indeterminancy. Maybe something weird happens when the temporal indeterminancy exceeds the period of a particular harmonic.

At any rate, i think gib’s point speaks directly to the issue. When i look at what the brain does i see an evolution of interdependancies; but that’s all i see when i look pretty much anywhere. It is the fact that i experience that makes science possible. Though the precise nature of mental states is yet to be determined, that they exist is as obvious as any other fact of science.

can’t “philosophize” about it? as you wish…


And here we have the justice inherent in the evolution of cognition (cogitation.)

Let me bring the definition of “dogma” you provided into this thread:

“A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a church.”

I’m not a church.

“An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true.”

The principle, belief, or statement I’m espousing is not authoritative. Anyone is free to accept or reject it.

“A principle or belief or a group of them: “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present” (Abraham Lincoln).”

Well, then every ideology is dogma… I think we can dismiss this one.

The burden is on you, my friend. I’ve already acknowledge that I can’t prove it, yet you still insist that I don’t have a mind. It’s your move.

We’ve been philosophizing all throughout this thread. I presented my position, you challenged it, we exchanged a few ideas, and I even conceded to a few of your points - namely, that I can’t prove my experiences to anyone except myself. After that, I posited that you can’t prove I don’t have a mind, and I based this on the exact same argument you put forward for why I can’t prove to you that I do have a mind. I’d really like to hear what you have to say about this, but alas, you seem to keep harping on this dogmatism thing.

So let me address this in full, in the hopes that we can get on with it. You offered three definition of “dogma”, none of which characterize my position. Let me offer a fourth:

dogma: a claim that is held to be true without proof.

This is as simple as the definition gets, so I hope we can agree on it. My claim is that I have a mind and I hold this to be true. You claim that I don’t have proof, and that’s why you call it dogma. I claim that I do - my own experiences - but that I can’t show you this proof. Nevertheless, I still have proof - it’s just evident to me and me alone. For this reason, I know it is not dogma. If you want to insist that it’s dogma, the burden is on you to show that I have absolutely no proof whatsoever, not simply that I can’t display my proof publicly. Since my proof is my own experiences, your task is to show that I have no such experiences.

What is mind without sensory imput? Nothingness, as far as my experience goes.

not at all. you have to prove it to everyone else. until then you are just taking it as an article of faith, as dogma.


Thanks for calling me “delusional”. You do realize it isn’t just me you called this, but everyone who thinks they have a mind.

Anyway, I’m glad to see you’re finally calling it “my dogma” instead of dogma in general. That’s a step in the right direction. Of course, having my own private proof that my mind exists allows me to go one step further and declare it as proven… just for me, of course.

If you want to have the last word on this, go ahead. This is getting tiresome, so I’m done.

I just want to state my final stand: My experiences are my own proof that my mind exists, and that is enough for me to believe in it. You have yet to prove that I don’t have a mind, but I’m not wielding this as “negative proof”. I’m not saying your lack of proof is the proof that my mind does exist, I’m just saying that it leads to only one sound conclusion - agnosticism about mind. If you insist that I don’t have a mind, you are pushing your own version of “negative proof” - the proof that a lack of something exists because there is no proof that it does exist - and you’re doing it dogmaticly.

So go ahead and pseudo-win the debate.

Well, I don’t think one could have much of a mind without sensory inputs - but I still make a distinction between sensory inputs and the more internal experiences (thoughts, emotions, desires, memories, etc.). I’d also make a distinction between sensation and the objects being sensed. Overall though, I think your view that mind could be a certain form of matter is a sound one, and I don’t want to fully dispute it.


are all reflections of sensory imput. That is all I want be clear about.
Of course there are gradations, but no opposites.

Agreed. No opposites. But with gradations, we should be able to distinguish between the variety of grades.

Absolutely. In her book ‘Animals in Translation,’ Dr. Grandin makes the argument for three major stages of neural developement leading to the human brain. This makes sense like the mid-atlantic rift makes sense, like the periodic table makes sense; that’s good sense!

To suggest that we are not able to discuss how different neural structures and the activity of same present in the world of feeling is to neuter science in a very fundamental way. When i was young i used the possibility that i was the only conscious being to justify selfish acts; i grew out of that (i hope) when i saw myself hurting others rather directly. The ground of compassion for me has to do with a reasonable consideration of responsibility prior to an observation of a mechanism for justice in this regard. I think the human animal is inately compasionate toward perceived self, which includes some notion of community; ego can retract the application of inate compassion.

This is similar to the original point I was making at the begining of this thread. Science invests trust in sensory experiences, and builds its entire inventory of knowledge upon this. Why should all other mental experiences be ignored?