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Proof against lifegazer's mind theory

  1. Apr 20, 2003 #1
    Goal of this thread
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This thread is all about a proof that the mind of the entity "Lifegazer", which presents himself on here with a mindless hypothese about "mind", in reality does not exists at all, and that this postings must have been ariven on this board by way of a computer, connected to the internet, that runs a very sophisticated version of the program "Idealism".

    The very proof, that will be posted later on, that this entity "Lifegazer" is a program simulating a human being practicing philosophy on this physics bulletin board, and not a real human being that has a mind, will be that since we know (from our own mind) how minds work, how we reason, and how we reflect upon the outside world, that he is not able of doing that in the same way, and therefore is not a human being.

    First however, we will explain what this entity "Lifegazer" is all about and is doing, and we will present a deeper analysis of his philosophy and discussion strategy (which of one, is simply ignore a reply and start a new thread, when it comes close enough to invalidating the pilars of this philosophy itself, a behaviour recognized by most people that tried to disclose the weakness of the Idealist philosophy) on here, and then later on, we will present a more viable philosophical position, namely that of materialism.

    The more intelligent readers aboard this discussion board will be aware that this program "Idealism" does nothing more then present its futile attacks on the philosophy of materialism, and does this by presenting it's own version of reality in the form of the doctrine of Idealism, a desolate philosophy that is a fossil of the anthiques/pre-history, in which mankind had no idea about the forces of nature, and assumed the existence of "Gods" to compensate for this lack of knowledge. This has lead to several forms of mhytical stories, that "explained" man's existence and that of the world, for which at that time there were no scientific explenations available. Since the lives of humans in those days were very dependend on nature (we still are of course, but have developed several ways to protect us from the direct consequences of the forces of nature), it is quite understandable that not knowing the way nature works, formed the grounds for these ideas.

    Thus far, it is clear that the program "Idealism" that under the name of the user "Lifegazer" posts his messages here, is just a delusive way of presenting these ideas of the pre-history into the modern world, in a modern version. So far it succesfully dragged several people into their realms, and brings them in delusive states.

    This dilusion takes place in the following steps, in order to create the deception of a "Higher being" or "Deity", that in the antique/pre-historic were the causes for the forces of Nature, that mankind at that time had no way of knowing of.

    Since mankind has since then made huge progress in all fields of knowledge and in science, we are now able to know what the forces of nature are, and we know what the constituents of matter are, etc. Knowledge progresses rapidly. This however does not imply that this knowledge is absolute. Absolute knowledge itself is a fixation of mind, that belongs to the realms of Idealism itself. The way we are able of constructing knowledge, by gathering results from experiments in researches, does not enable us to form absolute truths. All scientific theories are constantly tested and evolving. We see theories being replaced by better theories, as the progress in practical research instruments also progress. This process constantly renewes and refines our knowledge and leads to increase of knowledge.


    [part 1: the position of Idealism]

    The formal reasoning of Idealism is formed in the following steps.

    Step 1.

    All knowing, and all awareness of sensory perceptions take place within the mind. We see a chair, which means that in our minds a representation arises of the chair. We can only observe the outside world through our senses, and bring that to our knowledge by our awareness of the outside world.

    Step 2.

    This awareness takes place completely within our own minds. We have no way of knowing the "outside world". Everything that exists, just takes place in our mind. Mind is the only real existing stuff.

    Step 3.

    The fact that we can have a comprehensible, sensible and rational picture of the outside world, and not only ourselves, but other people too, which is in accordance with the known principles of nature, means that there must be higher form of being. This being is referred to as "The Mind".

    Step 4.

    Our relation between our mind and "The Mind" is that we exist as "thoughts" within this one mind ("The Mind"). "The Mind" created witin our own minds a picture of the outside reality, which is why the outside reality seems "real" to us.

    Hence the stance for religion, which acknowledge the existence of "God".

    In other words, this philosophy requires us to actually believe and take for granted a higher being ("The Mind") that "created" the universe (in form of the feelings, thoughts, experiences, that can appear within the human mind), that all there exists is "The Mind". We will recognize here, that this is nothing else then the "Gods" that in the antique/pre-historic times were invented by humans, as a way of expressing their fears for the unknown forces of nature, and which evolved by cultural means into religions, that in their social context later on in history played the role of a usefull tool for the higher classes, to keep their priviliged positions in society, and surpress the lower social classes.
    Mankind however has developed in the centuries behind us science as a better tool to understand the world, not only the material world itself (physics, chemistry, biology, etc) , but also in the fields of the human society, history, politics, economy, etc.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Before introducing the philosophy of materialism, let us first examine the claims of idealism somewhat closer.

    1. Idealism based on ignorance/lack of knowledge

    As we have stated, the appearance of the claims that later on became the philosophy of idealism, are based on ignorance and lack of knowledge about the material world. As the progress of science permits us to say, the achievments of the scientific progress that enables us to have a materialistic outlook on reality, which were done during hundreds/thousands of years, as we see from the perspective of the current knowledge, to follow the ideas of idealism in this time, is nothing but ignorance.
    For the people of those days, in the ancient history, where mankind was in a constant struggle for survival with the forces of nature, such an outlook on nature was - although it may sound now primitive - just a reasonable guess, and were based on lack of knowledge, not ignorance (since there were no sources or methods of knowledge available at the time).

    2. Source of knowledge

    Idealism states that the world is in principle unknowable. All we have is our awareness that exists in our mind of the surrounding world, which are based on perceptions. About the world outside our mind, Idealism in first instance claims that there is none. This would lead also to the fact that we are - in principle - not able of knowing the world. We are as a manner of speach sitting "in the dark".
    As we will show, the position taken in by Idealism, that everything happens just in our own mind, ultimately leads to the position of solipsism, in which only my mind exists, and nothing else.
    An Idealist like bishop Berkeley (the "father" of Idealism, almost all argument of Idealists are based on his arguments), who takes the position of rejecting the existence of an outside world, reasons as follows.

    "The reasoning of bisshop Berkeley is that, at first we have to recognize the awareness of the outside world comes to our mind only through perceptions.
    But different minds can have different perceptions of the same thing. Therefore the things only exist within our mind, and do not represent an outside world, independend of our mind.

    The ancient Greeks divided the properties of matter into two categories:
    1.- The intrinsic properties of matter (like weight, shape, density, etc) the properties which exists in matter and which are independend of the senses.
    2.- The interactive properties of matter, the properties which are linked to the process of perception (smell, taste, touch, etc) which we come to know about through our senses.

    The argument of Berkeley is that also the properties of matter in the first category are made up by the mind too. Like for instance if we are looking at the sun when it nears the horizon, it is a red and flat object, and even larger as when it is high above the horizon. This means, the view we have of the sun is distorted, and this also effects the intrinsic properties (shape for instance, as perceived by us) of matter.
    Berkeley concludes therefore that such intrinsic properties of matter do not exist at all. Materialism admits that our sensory perceptions is distorted, but that this perception can be corrected (using the methods of science), witout concluding that the sun does not exist.
    Berkely showed correctly that the distinction of the ancient Greeks were incorrect, but he draws the wrong conclusion, when he states that matter does not exist."

    This position though, rejecting the existence of the outside world, as existing in and for itself, independend of our mind, leads to the position known as solipsism. This is a logical consequence of the Idealism of Berkeley, against which however Berkely defends himself. There is no known philosopher who defends solipsism.

    [to be continued]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2003 #2
    Arguments of Idealism

    Arguments of Idealism

    1) Mind created matter

    This is the answer of Idealism on the fundamental proposition of philosophy. This answer can be explained in two different ways:
    - Either, God created the world, and the world is realy existing (outside of us).
    - Or, God created the illusion of a world, by giving us the thoughts about things, which do no realy exist outside of us.
    This last position is also known as the "immaterialistic idealism" of bishop Berkeley, who claims that mind is the only reality, en that matter is a creation of our minds.

    2) The world does not exist outside of our thinking

    Berkeley wants to make clear with the explenation that we make a mistake when we attribute properties to things, who belong to these things, because these properties only exist in our mind.. For Idealists, a bench and a chair do exist, but only in our minds and not oustide of that, because:

    3) Our thoughts create the things.

    In other words: the things are the reflection of our thinking. Because the mind creates the illusion of matter en present to our thinking an image of matter, because the awareness we have of things do not find their origin in the things themselves but exclusively in our thinking, our thinking therefore is the the cause of of the existence of the world and the things. Consequently everything that surrounds us can not exist outside our mind, but can only be the reflection of our mind. But because in the perspective of Berkeley our mind is not able of to create all the things out themselves, en moreover the mind can not do everything with the things we want (which would be the case if all things would be created by our mind) therefore we must assume the existence of another, more powerfull mind who created all this. God thus creates our mind en puts in them all the thoughts and reflections of the world to create the illusion of an outside world.

    [end part 1.]

    (to be continued)
     
  4. Apr 20, 2003 #3
    A mindfull experience: How do "I" know about the world?

    [Intermezzo]

    How humans are capable of knowing the world, and reasoning the world.

    The human minds explores the world. Two ways of exploring.

    When we are new to this world, and discover the world, in our mind all kinds of perceptions and thoughts arise about the world we perceive.
    In first instance it means we are relating to the world with our sensory perceptions, try to grab things, feel things, smell things, etc. In secondary instance we try to use our capacity of reason to make sense of the world.
    We discover all kinds of regularities and patterns, based on what our perceptions of the world give us. This learns us how to deal with the real world, and all these experiences forms our fundaments for understanding the world. But our understanding and thinking about the world does not limit itself to the world itself, we also explore our minds. We want to know of how and why we think the way we do. We can at one moment realize for ourselves and within our mind the way we think about the world. And we can then question this, and ask wy is it the case that I think that way?
    We can think not only about the simple things in the world, like the material objects, but also about more abstract things, like for instance space.
    What is this space? Is there a limit to space? We might want to explore that!
    And in our mind we can go and wonder about that things. What would it mean if space was finite? What would there be at the end of space?
    In our mind we can go and travel there, and explore the end of space. Is there a brick wall at the end of space? Suppose there was. But then we could break through the wall, and discover the other part of space, behind the wall. In other words, the mind then discovers that the initial thought about space, that it could be finite and have a boundary, is not the case. Space can have no boundary. Behind every part of space, there is still more space, and this can go on and on and on. There is no end to space! Right, then that is settled for the mind. Space is without end!

    Now let's explore things somewhat deeper. We know of all kinds of things that exist in the world. We know of the people around us, we know of the buildings, the street we live in, the city, and all kind of other things. We know we live on earth, which is a round globe in space circuling the sun, and near to the earth is the moon, circuling earth. And we know of all the stars in the universe. We can think in our mind of all things that exist. And then we can go and question this. What if supposedly, all things that we do know that exists, do not exist? What would it be for the world, if all things that are existent, would not exist? Then in our mind, we start to explore that question, and try to imagine the world without anything that is existent. At first, we do not succeed in doing that. Cause no matter how hard we think, we still think of something. We do need to think about absolute nothing.
    So then we proceed as follows. Think about anything that we know of that is existent, or that can be existent (we are not sure, we know of everything, so we have to include the possibility things exists, we do not know of) and the subsequently delete that from the image. So there go all the people I know, the street and house I live in, the city, all the animals, all the other people that exist, all the schools, all the houses, all the countries,..... Wait, hold it. This takes too long, let us increase our steps. So we think about everything that exist or can exist on earth, and then delete that in one strike from existence. And then the earth itself. Whoppa! Now we are left with the moon the sun, the planets, the stars. And whoppe, there they go. No it already gets pretty dark, but we already know, space is quite large, it is endless!!! So there must be other things around there in that immense dark space. Whatever that there can be there, let us remove that also from the image. Now it is realy realy dark. Unbelievable dark! We can not look, cause there is no light. What remains there now? Well just space, immensely and endless space and ...... me! I am still there, thinking about this. Well, we have to take it a step further, cause still there exists something. So let's try one more time....

    He! Stop! Wait! I can't do that! I can not remove myself from this, how can I do that? If I realy want the world to contain nothing, then also I do not exist then! If I take the step from an existing world, and try to look on the world as if it would not exist at all, that would also wipe me out of existence! I would for sure not want that. If I realy want to doubt all of that what is existent, then ultimately I need to also doubt my own existence. But I can not do that. It is simply impossible for me to think that. Because I care of my own existence!

    So this was another settlement of my mind. The world is there, because I am there! (#) Because if there would not be a world, if there wouldn't be anything at all, then I would exist neither! So, my true relation to this world is that there is a world, because I am there, so I can exist in it, and live in it. Let's thank the world for being there, cause I can for sure, not think it could not be there! But on the other hand, how could there be NOT a world? It is not only impossible of "thinking" there not being a world (because that would mean I would also have to remove my "thinking" from the world, which would leave the world -- the nothing -- without thinking also) but it would clearly also be impossible in itself. Since there is a world (and I know there is a world, because I know that I exist, and am thinking this), this clearly could not have been the case!

    So much for this settlement then. It was a deep exploration, but it was worth it! We now have some fundamental knowledge about the world, enough to proceed onwards in our live, since we do not have to doubt the world anymore!

    (#)
    Please do not interpret this wrongly! Cause one way of interpreting this, puts things upside down, and means the inverse of what is being stated.
    It does not say, that somehow there was an "I" (something that is capable of it claiming "I", a mind or something like that) and that the world is there because this "I" existed. Because clearly, if there would not be anything, nothing at all, then no such "I" could exist either of course!
    It needs to be interpreted therefore as follows: I can only be there, because the world is there. So the reason that I can exists, is because the world exists! No way around this! This is a clear fact of the mind itself, which states that it can only exist because the world that it perceives of exists!
    And we did not use anything in this reasoning outside the mind itself, so this thought comes from within the mind itself. It is not something that we dogmatically accept without knowing and exploring it ourselve, but this is what the mind knows for itself without any outside help. A "learnfull" and mindfull experience!

    [end of intermezzo]

    (to be continued)

    [Next: the answer of the materialist philosophy on the issues, presented by the idealist philosophy]
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2003
  5. Apr 20, 2003 #4

    Kerrie

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    title of thread was changed due to the negative suggestion of the title...
     
  6. Apr 20, 2003 #5
    Ok, but just remarking this is a serious debate on a serious and fundamental philosophic issue, and not a personal vendetta against the person of Mr Lifegazer himself, I am only struggling against his ideas, as he presented them on here.

    I thought "Anti-Lifegazer" was a nice title to fit the contents of this thread...
     
  7. Apr 20, 2003 #6
    The relation between thinking and being.

    The central philosophic issue: the relation between thinking and being.

    An illustration of the issue of how thinking corresponds and relates to being, was given in the intermezzo, which explores this fundamental relation between "I" (the thinking) and the world, and which already gave us the correct answer to this question, and it also made clear how the wrong interpretation given by Idealism is arrived upon.
    The thought experiment performed there, shows that one can go in imagination up to the point of imagining there not be an existent world, but that the last step involves us to imagine a world in which not even the thinking is present! This is clearly and obviously impossible, cause as long as we are alive, we will be thinking, and only when we go dead, this thinking stops. For the "I" this issue of wether or not there is a real world, in the situation in which the "I" would not even be there, would be rather indifferent (it would not be indifferent of course as long as we live, cause we for sure will think sometime about the world of how it would be after we are gone, for instance of how our loved ones will be doing then, and how to take measures now for example for taking care of our children after we are gone). But given the situation that the "I" is thinking in this world, there is no way of imagining it not being there.
    If we try to think of the world, as how it would or could be, if there would not be anything existent, in final instance we discover that -- even if we think we have perceived of and arrived at fundamentally an image of nothing -- there is still the "I" which is thinking. This is probably the first time in our thinking in which we perceive of the "I" without any admixtures, because it is the only situation in which we do not think of "something" (something that is not "I") but in which the "I thinking" is perceived.
    Removing that "I" from the thinking (removing the "I thinking" part) is obviously impossible. We can not in our imagination think of "not-thinking" since that would imply no perception (not even the inner perceptions), and is therefore clearly impossible. It would in fact be equal to the thinking of a dead person.
    The knowledge we arrive at when thinking about this relation between the thinking and the being (the "I" and the world itself) is that no matter how hard we try, we will still percieve of the "I" that is thinking. This is central of course. In our thinking, we can get rid of any perception we have of the world, but we can not get rid of the thinking part itself. Translating this facts to the world it would mean that it is not possible for the world, to not exist.
    This would mean, as we also conclude from this inner though experiment, that in that situation neither we would be there. The "I" which is thinking can never arrive at "not thinking", unless of course in the case of when we are dead, but then neither there is an "I" anymore (but there sill remains the world).
    If it would be for the world, that there is no world, then also there is no "I" who can think of the world. Since I know, and have by way of the thought experiment, arrived at the inner sensation of the "I", and know therefore I am there, thinking this. Because of that knowledge, (I am there), I therefore also know that the world is there, and not just in my imagination! Because I do not imagine I am there, I am there! If I would be an imagination, then for sure it would be able for me to be not there (at will, and only using my thoughts!). This however, I could not achieve! I can not get rid of my thinking, just by thinking or imagining it not to be there! And in last instance, I do not even want that, cause all I know about, is that I care about my own existence in the world.
    The fact that, while at some level, in your imagination you can do anything (thinking the sun is not there.... I can do that! And whoops! it disappears!), on the other side, brings it's own limitations (I think of I not being there...... I can't! I am still there!) is the difference with the real world. Cause we know in reality, we can not bring things in and out of existence just as a matter of thinking (although it would be a nice feature... I would for sure want to think my bills out of existence!!!). That is what distinguishes reality from imagination.

    That what differentiates Idealism with Materialism can be further explained with the following statements.

    = According to Idealism the world (which is of course defined as only the thinking part) in first instance consists of thinking by an "I". The world exists, because this "I" exist. All perceptions of the world are created by the "I".

    Comment:

    It somehow looks as if the thought experiment (imagining there is no world) implies the consequences that are adapted by idealism. Since in the thinking about the world, one could easily go without the thinking about the real existing world (just by imagining it not to be there) but one cannot arrive at imagining (thinking) oneself not thinking. It sure looks, up to that point, to be a valid path of thought, ain't it? Since the claim is then, that ultimately there is this essence, this "I" (which in the terminology of Idealism then forms "The Mind" or "God") that persists to exist, and can't be thought of not to exist, and within itself forms ("creates") the perception of the world.
    But when inspecting this proposition this is of course something that is circular. How can one be able of not perceiving oneself? The meaning of it is, however, not that there must be a God, that created everything, but that as long as one lives, one's mind is in a constant process of thinking, which one can perceive of by inner thoughts, and when that ceases to be, one is simply dead. The validity of the claim that the world exists because the "I" exists (which Idealism translates as "God" exists as the "final cause") is a claim of inversed (and therefore WRONG) logic, which was derived from the proposition: "I am there, so the world must be there". This doesn't mean to say that the world itself, has any dependence of my existence, since only my thoughts about the world are dependend of my existence.
    Since what I concluded in the final part was just that "I" exist. I have verified in last instance my own existence, since it is the only thing I am aware of without perception. So in very last instance I concluded that, whatever there is or can be there, I know I am there. This negates in itself the initial thought I presented and explored. It was the thought that supposed that there was not anything in the first place. This clearly could not be the case. Cause even when we use only our thoughts, this will lead us no further then this. If there was nothing, then neither there was an "I" (not anything, or any mind, that reflects on itself as "I"). Since I know my thoughts are there, at the very minimum, I know that the world must be there, since the world exists seperately of me and independly of me (I can "think" of the sun, not to be there, but this thought is of no consequence to the sun itself). The world has a persistence of existence, which is independend of any thought I can project within myself. Which means for the world, it continues to exist after I am no longer there, and was already there before I was there. The world therefore has existence of it's own. Because there is a world, there can also be a me. The world itself can neither be created nor destroyed, but just is in endless motion / change.
     
  8. Apr 20, 2003 #7
    The relation between thinking and being [2]

    = According to Materialism the world (the world in itself) is in first instance matter, existing independly of "I". The "I" exists, because the world exists. If there would not have been a world, neither an "I" would exist. But the world exists necessarily, and independenly of "I" (even if "I" would not be there). Since there is a world now, it must have always been there, evolving endlessly in time.

    Comment:
    The important distinction between Materialism and Idealism, is that Materialism is referring to a real existing world, and not just our inner perceptions of such a world. It is stated that the world exists seperately of our thoughts and of our existence in the world. We can - in our imagination - think of a world in which for instance the Moon would not be there, but this is of course of no consequence to the real world. The world needs to be explained, and the only way to do that, is to study the world, by research and experiment. This is what brings us knowledge, and not just by studying our own thoughts, and mental cognitions about the world. Materialism brings real knowledge, derived from practice. Idealism brings us nothing more then our dreams and imaginations about reality.
    While Idealism ultimately seeks the world to explain as consisting in last instance out of "thoughts" thought by an "I" (Idealism calls that "God", but we can not however perceive of any other mind then our own mind with direct knowledge from inside) and only secondary as our perceptions of the world which were created by the "I". Idealism wrongly assumes that the world is created in last instance out of thoughts (how could there be thoughts without there being something/someone material that has the ability to think, has a brain and a body, etc.), and that it could be possible for the real world, to be non-existent (as the experiment shows, this is only true for our THOUGHTS about the world we perceive, not the real world itself, which can not be non-existent).
    The all important substance in the real world, is as explained by Materialism, matter. Matter was neither created nor destroyed, but only can be transformed from one form into another form of matter. Like energy can create mass-having particles, and mass-having particles can transform into energy (nuclear energy). Nowhere has there been seen matter without motion, or motion without matter. Space and time are the modes of existence of matter. The material world formed not only the galaxies, stars and planets, but formed and shaped also the earth, and life forms on earth, including humans.
     
  9. Apr 20, 2003 #8
    How would you experience the world if you were deprived of at least one or two of your five senses? It would be a lot more abstract would it not? Therefore, unless the mind has a means by which to perceive the world, then the way we experience it can become just as abstract as the so-called "ill-notion" that God doesn't exist, Right? And yet that doesn't mean either one of them doesn't exist ...
     
  10. Apr 20, 2003 #9
    The fact that I know that "I" exist, cause I can reach out and toucht this by inner experience (which brings some people in a state of Mind in which they figuratively speeking say that they meet "God"), is the most basic and profound knowledge I can have about the world, and which is independend of all other perceptorary organs and senses.
    This holds true of course, and perhaps even more, when I don't have or have less capacities for sensory perceptions.
     
  11. Apr 20, 2003 #10
    So basically what it boils down to is that the mind "is" the key to perception. So why can't the mind perceive what's in the mind or, what's on the other side of the mind, if in fact there is a "spiritual dimension?"

    This is basically all I'm getting at, that if such a thing exists, then there must be a means by which we (our minds) can perceive that it exists.
     
  12. Apr 20, 2003 #11
    Within the mind, there can be thought of a "spiritual dimension" if you want.

    But I will come back to these comments later, cause I am nowhere near finishing this thread, and presenting the materialist arguments and foundations, and bring them in discussion with the claims idealism has. Will take me some time to finish this thread though!
     
  13. Apr 20, 2003 #12
    The answers from materialism on the issues put forward by idealism

    The answer of the materialist philosophy on the issues, put forward by the idealist philosophy.]

    1. Why study materialism?

    We have seen that the answer to the issue of the relation between being and thinking, only two and contradictionary solutions are possible.

    In the first part we have explored and studied the answers given by idealism and the arguments they use to defend this position.

    We will now investigate the second answer to this fundamental issue (which is the basis of any philosophy) and see what argumenst materialism uses for it's defense.

    2. How did materialism come into existence?

    Philosophy in general can be described as a way of explaining the world, the universe. We know the way we can explain things, develop accordingly to the level of human knowledge, and therefore there in history tow point of views have opposed each other: on one side an un-scientific point of view, which invokes one or more higher spirits or minds; and on the other side a scientific point of view, which relends on facts and experiences.
    The unscientific point of view is defended by Idealism, the scientific point of view is defended by Materialism. Materialism must be considered in the first place as the scientific explenation of the world.
    Idealism finds it origin in the absence of knowledge of people. Materialism was founded in the struggle against obscurantism and absence of knowledge.
    The absence of knowledge was fed in the course of history of societies by cultural and political forces, who supported the point of view of Idealism.
    This fact explains why the philosophy of Materieliasm is so much struggled against, and even in our days in its modern form (dialectical-materialism) not very well known and practices in official universities.

    3. Why and how did materialism develop?

    In contradiction with the statements of the claim of those, who fight against the philosophy of Materialism, namely that this philospohy would not have develop itself during the last 20 centuries, the history of Materialism shows us that this philosophy is living as a manner of speach, and in continuous development.
    In the begin of the history of thinking, in the Greek antique, mankind did not have much scientific knowledge. The first scientists were also philosophers. At that time philosophy and science formed a unity, in which the philosophic thinking was an extension to the poorly developed scientific research.
    At the time that science provided accurate data for explaining the phenomena of the world, which conflicted with the dogmas of the idealist philosophers, a struggle occured between philosophy and science.
    This conflict between science and philosopohy urged science to develop itself seperately from philosophy.
    Scientists liberated themselves from the philosophic mumbo jumbo, and leaved the constructing of big systems of thinking to philosophers, in order to contemplate themselves to limited issues, who were ripe for a quick solution. Thus a seperation between science and philosophy emerged.
    But Materialism, which had been born with the science, is attached to it, and dependend on it, has developed itself with the sciences, until it succeeded in uniting itself again with the philosophy, through the development of modern materialism of Marx and Engels, in the form of dialectical-materialism.

    We will now discuss the foundations of materialism. Foundations that are an integral part of the different philosophical disciplines, that are founded on materialism.

    4. What are the foundations and the arguments of materialism?

    To answer this, we must go back to the fundamental issue of philosophy, which is the relation of thinking with being.
    In fist instance, materialists do not deny that there is a relation between being and thinking, between matter and mind/thinking. For materialism matter is the primary element, and mind is the secondary element, dependend on matter.
    For materialist this it is not the case that Mind or God created the world, but the world, matter, nature, created the mind.
    The mind is just the highest product of matter.
    On the question as what cause man to think, the answer provided by materialist is that this is the case cause man has brains. Thinkin is performed by the brain. In the viewpoint of materialism, thinking is impossible without matter, without a body.
    Our consciousness and our thinking are just the product of a material, bodily organ, the brain.
    In the viewpoint of materialists being - matter - is something that realy exists, independend of our thinking, which does not need the mind to exist. And secondly because the mind can not exist without matter, it is impossible that an immortal soul, independend of the body, exists.
    In contrast with the explenation of idealism, the things surrounding us exist independend of us. They procide us the images; and these images are just projections of the things in our brains.
    The issue of the relation between being and thinking, also has another side.
    How do our thoughts relate to our surrounding world themself? Is our thinking able to know the real world, can we in our imagination and thoughts about the world, create a correct/justified projection of the reality?
    This issue is know in the language of philosophy as the identity of thinking and being.
    Materialists answer this with: yes, we can know the world, and the projections we make of this world become more and more correct.
    With the use of science we can explore and research the world en in that we experience that the things surrounding us, have an existence of their own.
    The best proof of this is the ability to artificially produce a number of things.

    In summary the materialist point of view towards the fundamental issue in philosophy is:
    1) Matter creates the mind. The existence of a mind independend of matter has never been proven on the basis of scientific research.
    2) Matter has an existence, independend of the mind. In contrast with idealism, it is not so that the mind creates the outside world, but the outside world and the things in us, create the thoughts.
    3) We are able of knowing the world. The ideas we have formed about the world, become more and more correct, because we can improve and extend our knowledge constantly with the use of science, thus creating more and deeper knowledge.
     
  14. Apr 20, 2003 #13
    Re: The answers from materialism on the issues put forward by idealism

    I think you are serving me a purpose here. Because there's nothing within these posts of yours to convince people that a material-reality exists outside of the mind. And it's quite amusing to watch you disguise the ultimate realisation of any materialist: it's a belief which requires faith. It is not justifiable in itself. Interested readers are invited to read my own topic, as for the reasons why this is the case. I am currently just discussing external reality, and have given my reasons why it's not viable.
    1 + 1 = 2 assumptions. You're not a very good philosopher if this is the method of your logic. I know for a fact that you can't prove that. All you can prove is that there is a dynamic relationship between the 'awareness' and what it is seeing. The matter of the brain is in-tandem with the mind which thinks it is amongst matter. But this doesn't automatically mean that matter has caused the mind to be. Indeed, I actually showed that the senses are created by an aspect of the Mind itself. Therefore, I showed that the Mind has created an awareness of 'matter'. Our knowledge of 'matter' is an internal process.
    Well; it can certainly be proven by direct experience. We all have senses. We all have reason. We all have emotion. Indeed, these things are the basis for knowing about existence. Even science is founded upon sensory-experience. And yet science hasn't proved that the senses are real. Ironic really.
     
  15. Apr 20, 2003 #14
    Why use a telescope to look at the moon? Something is being witnessed, whether you are capable of acknowledging exactly what that "something" is or not (meaning, you won't get a complete understanding of the moom by looking through a telescope).

    What's the difference between a telescope and our five senses which can also be viewed as instruments?
     
  16. Apr 20, 2003 #15
    Idealism or materialism?

    Idealism or materialism?

    I. How to state the issue?
    II. Is it true that the world only exists within our mind?
    III. Is it true that our ideas create the things?
    IV. Is it true that the mind creates matter?
    V. The correctness of the materialistic answer to the fundamental issue
    of philosophy is acknowledged by science.

    I. How to state the issue?

    Now we know both the statements of idealism and materialism, we shall try to determine which one of them is right.
    First we want to remark that these statements are completely contradictionary and that to defend one or the other theory leads to consequences of great importance.
    To know which one is right, we go back to the three points, in which we summarized both ways of thinking.
    The idealists say:
    1) That the mind creates matter
    2) That matter does not exist outside of our thinking, that it is just an
    illusion.
    3) That our ideas create the things.

    For convenience we will research the two statements, which are immediatetely judgeable by common sense.
    1) Is it true that the world exists only in our mind/thinking?
    2) Is it true that the things are created by our ideas?
    These two statements of the "immaterialism" of Berkeley lead to, same as religious statements, to the third question:
    3) Is it true that mind creates matter?

    By discussing these questions, who are related to the fundamental issue of philosophy, we can come to know which of these two philosophies we must consider to be right. For materialist these questions are of utter importance, cause the materialist answers on these questions are common for all materialist philosophies, including dialectical-materialism.

    II. Is it true that the world exists only in our thinking?

    Before answering this question, we want to explore the meaning of the two philosophical terms, which we must use and will encounter often in philosophical literature.
    The subjective reality: this is the reality which exists only in our mind.
    The objective reality: the reality, which exists outside our thinking.
    The idealists say that the world is not an objective, but a subjective reality.
    The materialist say that the world is an objective reality.
    To show to us that the world and the things only exists withing our mind, our thinking, Berkeley subdivides this in a number of properties (colour, size, density, etc). He proofs us that these properties, who are different to each of us, are not present within the things themselves, but in the minds of each of us. He concludes from this that matter is not a totality of objective, but subjective properties, and that therefore matter does not exist.
    To return to our example of the sun: Berkeley shows us that according to his method of argumenting about the properties, that the sun is neither flat nor red. The sun is therefore not an objective reality, because it does not exist on itself, but a subjective reality, a projection that only exists within our thinking/mind.
    The materialist claim that nevertheless, the sun exists. Not because we percieve the sun as a red, flat disk - because this is just the naive realism of children and the first humans who only had their own perceptorary senses at their disposal to judge the reality - but with the aid of science. Science makes it possible for us to correct for the mistakes our senses make.
    Same as Berkeley we conclude that that the sun is not a red, flat disk, but we do not accept his conclusion: the denial of the existence of the sun.
    We don't talk about the properties of things, but of their existence. We are not occupied in the issue wether or not our senses deceive us and misform reality, but are occupied with the question wether or not this reality exists independ of our sensory perceptions.
    The materialist therefore acknowledge the existence of our reality outside of our mind/thinking, and present the proof that science has delivered.
    What do the idealists do to proof they are right? They argue about words, creaye large monologues, and write numerious texts.
    Let us for am moment assume that the world only exists in our thinking, then it would not have been possible for the world to have existed before the were humans. We know that this is nonsense, because science proofs us that mankind only arived on earth, after a long time. Some idealist will argue against this that before there were humans, there were animals, and that the mind was present in them. But as we know the earth, before there were animals or any life, was uninhabited and without any organic form of life.
    Others will conjecture that even when mankind had not existed, the thinking, the mind, was still present in God. This leads finally to the ultimate form of idealism. We have to choose between God and science. Idealism can not sustain without God, and God cannot sustain without idealism.
    The issue therefore has to be stated as follows: What do we need to base ourselves on: God or science?
    God is the pure mind that created matter: a statement without proof.
    Science will proof to us based on experience and practice that the world is an objective reality, en will answer the following question:

    III. Is it true that our ideas create the things?

    An example: on the moment in which we walk on the street in the company of an idealist, with which we are just engaged in a discussion about the question wether or not the things are an objective or a subjective reality, en wether it is true or not that the things are created by our mind, a bus is approaching. Of course we will then watch carefully not to be driven over by the bus. In practive the idealist is urged to acknowledge the existence of the bus. In practice for him there is no difference between a subjective and an objective reality. This proofs that in ordinary daily life, idealists are materialists.
    Nowadays there is almost noone that claims, like Berkeley, that the world does not exist. The arguments in most cases are much more subtile and covered. See for example the methods of arguing of idealists in the chapter "The discovery of the elements" (V.I. Lenin, "Materialism and Empirio-criticism").
    Acording to Lenin, the practical test will enable us to checkmate the idealists.
    They will for sure argue that theory and practice are two different things. This is incorrect. Only by testing in practice we can know if a thought is correct or not. The example of a bus proofs us that the surrounding reality exists objectively, and that it is not an illusion created by our mind.
    Now we only have to verify if the mind is the creator of matter, as is the conclusion from all idealist philosophies, of religion and theology.

    IV Is it true that mind creates matter?

    As we have seen, mind in the ideas of idalists find its highest existence in the form of God. God is their last answer, the conclusion of their theory. In order to know which of both philosophies, materialism or idealism, is correct we must put the issue of mind-matter as follows: "God or science".
    The idealists say that that the existence of God is eternal and unchanging. God is pure mind for which/whom time and space do not exist. God is the creator of matter.
    To proof this statement, again, the idealist do not provide any argument.
    In defending the creator of matter they call upon numerous wonders and miracles, who are inacceptable to a scientific mind.
    When we go back to the origin of science and recognize how the primitive humans in their midths and in lack of knowledge, have built up an image of God, we can detect that idealists in the 21-st century are equally unaware of as the first humans with knowledge, which has been gathered in patience and persistent work. Because God is for the idealists at last unexplainable, en is for them a belief for which there is no proof.
    When the idealist "show" us the necessity for a creator of the world, they come with the argument that matter could not have existed always, that there has to be a beginning of matter, and therefore a God who created matter, but which neither had a beginning. In what way does this explain anything to us?
    To proof their statements, the materialists lend on science, that is developed by mankind in order to increase knowledge and conquer ignorance.
    is the thought that matter was created by mind in accordance with science? No.
    The idea of creation of matter by kind is unthinkable, because we do not know of this from experience. To enable this, there would have needed to be mind before the existence of matter - which is what idealists indeed claim to be the case - which as science proofs us is impossible, because there has never been an immaterial mind. On the contrary, mind is always bound to matter; we know for example that the human mind is bounded to the brain, where our thoughts originate. For science it is unthinkable that ideas would exists in emptyness/nothingness.... To be able to exist the mind-God would need to have brains.
    We can therefore say that God created neither matter nor humans, but that matter in the form of brains created mind-God.
    We shall investigate further if science leaves the possibility open to believe in God or in something, on which time would have no influence en for which space, motion and change would not exist.
    But we can already make a conclusion now:
     
  17. Apr 20, 2003 #16
    Idealism or materialism? [conclusion]

    V The correctness of the materialist answer to the fundamental issue in philosophy is acknowledged by science.

    The materialists claim justifyably:
    1) In contradiction with the idealism of Berkeley and the philosophers, who hide behind immaterialism: the world and the things exist independend of our thinking en they don't need us to be able to exist. Our ideas do not create the things, but the things create our ideas.
    2) In contradiction with all idealist philosophies, which lead to the statement that matter was created by mind, and which leads ultimately to acknowledging the existence of God and support to theology, materialist explain and proof on the basis of science that matter creates mind, and that the "hypothese of God" is not necessary to explain matter.

    Note: We want to focus the attention to the way idealists state the isues. The state that God created mankind, while we have seen that mankind has created God. They state that mind created matter, while we have seen that the opposite is true. We must therefore make clear that the idealists have a complete inverse conception of development.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2003
  18. Apr 20, 2003 #17
    Re: Re: The answers from materialism on the issues put forward by idealism

    I did not write this post for you.

    And as a matter of fact, I claim to have knowledge, which does not come from anywhere (not from books, literature, or perception) except from my own mind, that the claims of materialism are true.

    If you have read this topic very well, and studied all of it, you know where the basic problem comes from. It explains why the idealist approach is inverse logic, and contradicts normal reasoning.

    Read that part very well, and try to comment on THAT, instead of perputually claim that "things are the other way around".

    (your method is always pure ignorance on the arguments which realy do defeat idealism).

    But what can be said of a mindless, dumb philosophy simulating program?

    The other remark I do not even comment on. Science did not even discover the sensory organs??? What are you talking about?
    You could as well claim that there is no science in the first place.

    Based on your hypothese, about anything can be claimed and stated.
    Which does not serve the hypothese of course, but just proofs how ridiculous it realy is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2003
  19. Apr 20, 2003 #18
    The only thing being witnessed is that there is a universe of things which are all related to one another. These things form the basis of our knowledge. And this knowledge provides the basis of my philosophy. The moon is either a piece of rock in 4-dimensional space, or that's what it's supposed to portray of itself - through the Mind. The 'meaning' of the moon itself is dependent upon the reality we exist within.
    A telescope is an aid to the sense of sight. It is not a sense unto itself.
     
  20. Apr 20, 2003 #19
    Re: Re: The answers from materialism on the issues put forward by idealism

    Your claims are not based on anything.
    I can, like I explained in these posts, assume that no material reality would exists, and form within the mind a mental image of how that could be the case. This would however leave me with only 2 options:
    - Either, I would not exist either. Which "I" can't assume.
    - Or I do exist, and so does all of reality. Because, if there is no reality at all, then also "I" (ANY mind that can refer to itself as "I") do not exist

    The point is of course: there is nothing in between. I can not say that "I" am real and not the world, or the world is real, but not "I", because I know that is not the case.

    Your program is so stupid, you did not even see that!

    How much thinking do you think can exist, without an real existing material world? I am sure I can not think when there is no real world.

    The external reality of you (the question wether you have a mind at all that is able of perceiving itself), which is putting into question your inner reality, is the topic of this post, as you know.

    So far, you only proof that your 'mind' lacks self-understanding and self-knowledge, which are vital qualities a mind should have.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2003
  21. Apr 20, 2003 #20
    Then why can't we transport ourselves to the moon, if technically it's not "far away" from us, and just appears to be so?
     
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