Re: Dualism and the DA

From: jamikes <>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 10:36:11 -0400

Dear List,
I cannot keep to myself remarks on TWO kinds of "unreasonabilities" surfaced
and are still being discussed to saturation (euphemism).

#1: the use of the conditional form. This, as usually applied, pertains to a
select aspect of the model without (of course) taking the "rest of the
world" into consideration which effacts/affects all changes. One cannot
think of changing one aspect and disregard the result of ALL influences onto
Maybe Job's bluecollar parents provided a firm and steady grip on his
growing up giving him the discipline to become a successful person, while
the affluent couple's possibilities would have led him into drugs and/or

Si "nisi" non esset, perfectus quodlibet esset.
 It's a mind-game. Sci (or not so sci?) - fi???

One closing idea: the world is deterministic: All
that happens has its origin in intereffectiveness, we have access only to a
limited cognitive circle. So those 'facts' we want to hypothetically change
are determined by the OM circumstances. It is nonsense: just like the 10^100
pensimilar copies in 10^100 pensimilar universes - all according to our
(human and present) understanding, design and conditions. Our own
mind-limited artifact.

#2: Over the millennia faith-strategists invented dualism to imply something
that 'survives' us and can be praised or punished just to secure the grip of
'faith' (organizations?) on the 'faithful, aoup carrying such memes over
millennia. It was not an esoteric thought: the basic reductionist thinking
humanity developed with its limited models gave rise to "thinking in things"
ie cut models, without understanding of the total interconnectedness.

If we step a bit further, we find that "the world" is change, process,
"substance" is reduceable into such and it is our reductionist logic that
looks for "material substance" on traditional basis.
The process, change, ie. the 'function' usually assigned to such 'substance'
as being considered a separable entity (like spirit, soul, consciousness,
power, whatever) and voila: we have dualism.
I do not imply that the "soul" is the "function" of the "body": the unit we
realize as our model of a human being (or anything else) is considered as
having a substrate AND a function separately. So the personalized function
can(??) 'survive' the substrate's demise. Bovine excrement: there is an
intrinsic unity of 'functional units' - no "mind" separable from the (so
called) material tool: the neuronal brain (and its functions).

I don't blame Descartes: in his time dualistic basis kept him from the
inquisition. And we cannot judge by our present epistemic level of ongoing
information at our cognitive inventory, the outcome of another (lower?)
level conclusion. Ptolemy was right in his rite. Passť.

I like this list, because it 'thinks' for the future. Of course sometimes it
is hard to shake off the firm handcuffs in thinking by traditional terms. We
all have been brainwashed into them.

Please, excuse my unorthodoxy

John Mikes

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jonathan Colvin" <>
To: "'"Hal Finney"'" <>; <>
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 4:34 PM
Subject: RE: Dualism and the DA

> Hal Finney wrote:
> >It's an interesting question as to how far we can comfortably
> >or meaningfully take counterfactuals. At some level it is
> >completely mundane to say things like, if I had taken a
> >different route to work today, I wouldn't have gotten caught
> >in that traffic jam.
> >Computer head Steve Jobs gave a pretty good graduation speech at Stanford
last week, ...
> >Does it make sense for Jobs to say, who would I have been if
> >that had happened?
> >The point is that we can imagine a range of counterfactuals ...
> >...
> Those are counterfactuals regarding personal circumstance, and do not seem
> particularly controversial, even admitting that it is not straightforward
> define a single theory of personal identity that "covers all the bases".
> as "Who would I be if my mother and father hadn't had sex?", or "who would
> be if they'd had sex a day later and a different egg and sperm had met?".
> I have to disagree with you here, and state that this sort of
> seems to indeed embody a difference of kind, not just degree. We're not
> talking about "imagining_whats_it_likeness". We are talking about me
> someone different.
> Jonathan Colvin
> -----------------------------
> And may I quote: Russell St.
to JC Thursday, June 16, 2005 2:00 AM:
>>>On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 10:30:11PM -
>>>Jonathan Colvin wrote:
>>>> Nope, I'm thinking of dualism as "the mind (or consciousness) is
separate from the >>>>body". Ie. The mind is not identical to the body.
>>>> - RS:
>>>These two statements are not equivalent. >>>You cannot say that the fist
is separate from >>>the hand. Yet the fist is not identical to the
>>>hand. Another example. You cannot say that >>>a smile is separate from
someone's mouth. >>>Yet a smile is not identical to the mouth.
>>>... JC:
>>>>> As a little boy once asked, "Why are >>>>lions, lions? Why aren't
lions ants?"
>>>> Jonathan Colvin
>>>I have asked this question of myself "Why I >>>am not an ant?". The
answer (by the >>>Doomsday Argument) is that ants are not >>>conscious. The
question, and answer is quite >>>profound.
(Here I object: ants ARE conscious, of course not "Humanly Conscious" but
that is definitional.JM)
Received on Sat Jun 18 2005 - 10:40:37 PDT

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