Brain in a vat

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by James R, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Capracus Registered Senior Member

    • Repeated harrassment of another member, particularly after ignoring an official warning will not be tolerated on sciforums.
    I said appropriately address the fictional content in a discussion. You took a fictional plot designed for the purpose of discussing the dynamics of a BIV scenario that required an element of justifiable captivity, and turned into a rape fantasy. If the plot had simply specified slave, you could have feigned indignation to any possible violence attributed to slavery, such as torture, rape, or even experimental brain surgery. But wait, isn’t forced experimental brain surgery one of the central elements being discussed in this thread? Shouldn’t any hypothetical casting of an opponent in such a scenario be considered intent to inflict violence?
    So how do you remove Jan’s brain and put it in a vat without his knowledge? In other words how would you violate Jan’s body in the most grievous way imaginable without his knowledge? You’d render him unconscious, kidnap him and steel his brain. Pretty nasty stuff is you’re inclined to be offended by it. And if you’re not offended by it according to some, you must be harboring sociopathic tendencies.

    I find it odd considering your characterization of it, that you made no objection to the original casting as a sex slave, only to the implausibility of the scenario in general. It wasn’t until a few exchanges later when I mentioned the capacity to engage in sex out side of the simulation, which has nothing to do with enslavement, and everything to do with continuing a semblance of life as usual out side the simulation, that you objected to the nature of the plot. Why is that?

    I claim rape scenarios to be part of healthy sexuality? By what application of logic has that been determined? My only acceptance of rape scenarios is they are indeed a reality, and thus acceptable fodder for discussion or fictional presentation. Most of western society has the same take on it, that’s why it’s so prevalent in media and literature. Ever see the movie The Searchers with John Wayne? Or Return of the Jedi? The plots in these movies contain depictions of sexual slavery, along with other expressions of violence. Does this imply a desire by the film makers to sexually assualt potential audiences? Or a desire by viewers to perpetuate the practice of sexual violence in society? According to your logic it does.

    I didn’t make up the definition, I suggest you go petition to have the English lexicon amended, or learn to properly use it.

    If forum rules prohibit casting other members in situations of implied violence, then:

    This member perceived that you cast them as a child molester.

    And above I explained how James hypothetically "brutalized" Jan by casting his brain in a vat.

    I didn’t realize consent was necessary to engage in topical discussion. I also didn’t recognize your perceived right to dictate the essentials of my presentation. And assigning a minor plot element associated with sexual violence has nothing to do with its normalization outside the realm of fiction; its proper use in this respect has already been normalized by society. Your objection to it is what’s out of the norm.

    It’s OK to hypothetically drug, kidnap, and surgically remove a brain for experimentation, but to feed that brain the simulated identity of a sex slave is over the line? Let’s empty the prisons of all such violent offenders, because your inverted sense of ethics grants them absolution by comparison..

    If I had cast my female coworkers as such, in a fictionalized thought experiment that had nothing directly to do with sexual activity, I guarantee you they would not act in the irrational and hysterical fashion you did.

    If you can’t show a sensory advantage of an unvatted brain just say so.

    It’s not that I’ve failed to establish such links; it’s that you refuse to acknowledge them

    If I get a sports score in a simulation that references a real life game, it’s equivalent to receiving that score by way of a real life experience. An envatted brain can receive enough real information about itself in a simulation to reference itself. It doesn’t have to know everything about itself to accomplish this.

    But from a knowledge standpoint it can be equivalent. Everything contained in the simulated skull is modeled structurally and functionally to be identical to the real brain. The real brain could be contained an actuated container that would mimic stresses imposed in the simulation. For example a concussion sustained in the simulation would result in like trauma to the real brain.

    No it doesn’t, the gedanken is not that narrowly defined, there’s all kinds of room for customized stipulations.

    What gives you the right to dictate the content of my propositions? Because they offend your irrational sensibilities? You were a target of an intellectual discussion, not an exercise of sexual conquest. That you can’t acknowledge the difference illustrates your lack of intellectual competency.

    The critical designation for the character was a captive, which is satisfied by the condition of slave. I chose to further refine the plot by adding the topical news reference of sexual slavery in a basement, as described in the Pizzagate topic that both you and I have addressed in the politics forum. Realistically any form slavery is going to carry implications unwanted violence. But like it or not, I considered forced captivity to be an essential element of the BIV concealment.

    I would expect you to behave as a rational man and not fixate on a trivial element of a thought experiment, or to further impose irrational limits on its discussion.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
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  3. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Where is the question of ''whatever reality might be''?
    Every thing we experience is ''reality'', meaning there is no such thing as no reality.

    I don't believe that is ''scientific faith'', I don't even think one needs faith for that.
    Faith is the belief in something that you hope for, but have no control over the outcome.
    And it only rears it's head when absolutely necessary.
    You just can't turn faith on, anymore than you can turn love, or happiness on, lest you merely pretend.
    Generally we are equipped to be able to discriminate between the reality of these feelings and emotions, by being honest, and seeing things as they really are. We may drop a few eggs in the beginning, but over time we'll get to recognize the symbols that make it a reality.
    Unfortunately modern society is such that we tend to disgard the elders (who have experience of life), and think of them as 'Batty', or 'out of touch' with modernism. Hence we ourselves are out of touch with natural, organic wisdom.

    The dialogue between Creationists and mainstream science really has nothing to do with anything, and it certainly isn't about faith. The truth of the matters of their concerns are present.
    I would be more convinced of it being a faith, if they were able to work together, sincerely, in a bid to find the actual truth. Instead they are locked in battle. A waste of time in my opinion,

    I disagree. My brain is envatted. In my skull.
    Alluding to another vat, and using it as a tool to claim we can know nothing all, with any degree of certainty, does nothing but increase one's skepticism, and creates an imbalance in our psyche. The wiered thing is that to do so, one has to make knowledge claims (the very symptom of the condition one denies), to keep the prison alive. If nothing else, that should set off warning bells.

    Imagine you have a pet dog, and you also have a robotic dog, but you see the robotic dog as a genius work of art, bypassing the real genius work of art as something that nature drummed up. Me personally, while I can see why that situation is most likely to occur, I think it is quite silly. But that is no different, IMO, to believing the possibility of being a BIV, then concluding that you cannot know anything, bypassing the skull-vatted brain, and the contained knowledge of such. I'm beginning to understand that this can be used as a form of mind-control.

    More importantly, why would you even entertain the idea? It seems you are violating Occam's Razor, by adding more scenarios than is necessary. What is amusing is that it is okay to ponder on these ideas and no one objects. In fact they add to it by trying to make the possibility as much as a reality as they can muster, and doing the job of the gatekeepers by making sure no one can even escape their phantasmogoria. Yet one isn't even allowed to imagine God as a reality without the present of skeptics to shoot it down, thereby keeping their prison in tact.

    And God could impart knowledge to us, that we may be certain.

    Thanks. I'll have a look.

    ''I'' do agree that our brains are envatted in our skulls.
    ''I'' agree that we can't know everything with any certainty
    But we may disagree on the separatedness of the ''I'', and the physical body, and what is the nature of the ''I''.
    If the ''I'' is material by nature, then we cannot know anything outside of our designated material purpose, and everything we see, think, and feel, is the truth no matter what, as it is entirely natural.
    If the ''I'' is spiritual by nature (relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.), then like the material bodies, the spiritual bodies/manifestations have a spiritual source. ''I think therefore I am'' is the first rung on the ladder of separatedness between the spiritual and material designations. The next is to get to know the source.

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
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  5. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    I don't regard it as a limitation. I regard it as the beginning of knowledge. All other knowledge can be irrelevant if we so choose, and still be a successful species. All the knowledge about this world, in the world does not surpass that realisation.

    What is the ''differentiation'' between the building blocks of reality? What is Mount Everest compared to a tea spoon from the sub atomic pov? The reality is that everything is energy. Mount Everest only exists in that form from a perspective, but that isn't what it is up close and personal.

    We can know of the source of our consciousness, if we choose.

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  7. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Again, I did address your scenario appropriately. Just because you don't like me additionally calling you out on your bullshit doesn't change that.

    And again, interjecting sex into an otherwise asexual discussion is completely unwarranted. You keep trying to justify it with cherry-picked examples that would be warranted. And if you don't see how repeated referring to you as "castrated eunuch Capracus" (which you technically would be, as a brain in a vat) only serves as a trolling red herring, I'd be happy to make that your new "fictional" moniker. Do you consent to that? (See how that works?)

    Did Jan ever object to any of that? Remember consent?

    Wait, did you just admit to having no problem with rape?!

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    No, Capracus, I assumed you would not continue the characterization if I ignored it. You continued, so I quit ignoring it. This justification is sounding an awful lot like victim blaming, where the victim's lack of objection somehow mitigates your behavior. This could be construed as further harassment. As well as a vain attempt to obfuscate the fact that I addressed every part of your scenario.

    You cast me as the victim and then called me prude for objecting. (Sounds exactly like harassment to me.) Hence, you think objecting to being involuntarily cast as a rape victim warrants derision. You just keep coming up with cherry-picked examples that do not cast someone you know or interact with as the victim, so they're complete irrelevant. I'm not an actor who consented to playing such a role, and you are not a filmmaker, who would be required to gain consent.

    Really? You can't even admit "sex" and "sex by force" are different?

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    And you will notice neither of you actually managed to quote anything I said to support such an accusation. So...still waiting.
    Did he repeatedly say "dismembered Jan"? Did Jan object and give him ample chance to stop? No and no. Again, your justifications are irrelevant to what you did.

    H5. Comments about other forum members that are derogatory, overtly sexual or which constitute harassment are unacceptable.
    Again, you made your opponent the victim in your scenario. That is not generally acceptable nor normalized. Again, try it on a female coworker if you really doubt it.

    You seem to labor under the misguided justification that casting other forum members in hypothetical situations magically grants them some perspective or insight they cannot possibly achieve without this special help from you.

    Again, try casting a female coworker in both scenarios and see how you fair. Would she really not find the sex slave part objectionable? Or do you just have so little association with women that you truly don't know? Go ahead, try it. Say, "Hey Beth, what if you were a sex slave..."

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    You're blaming the victim for your forum rule violation. Harassment can also be used to bully or troll.

    So you admit it was an off-topic addition.
  8. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Again, arm waving will not help you. You're the one who made the claim that "Any sense you have about your brain in the real world is available to an envatted brain." Since you never supported that claim, there's nothing to refute.

    Now you've just devolved to saying "Nuh-uh". Otherwise, show me where you've established the causal connection to reference...other than your misguided conflation of physical connection to referent connection.

    Really? You think abstract things, like "scores", are equivalent to actual objects, like brains?

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    And you think, what, that playing a sports video game is equivalent to playing the sport in real life?

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    You just keep making analogies that cannot be compared one for one.

    And? What does that have to do with what a person can knowingly reference? Again, you're making irrelevant analogies that are not equivalent.
    Concussions and reference. LOL!

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    Yes, the gedanken specifically says the subject cannot know they are a brain in a vat. You're welcome to stipulate things that do not violate that, but assuming an a priori causal reference link to the original violates the gedanken. You have yet to show any way a person can knowingly reference their own envatted brain.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Mod Hat ― Catching up to the moment

    Attend the word "necessarily". See #505↑. See also #544↑. Quite simply, you don't get to decide what another person considers sexual harassment.

    There are a couple schools of thought here, that I would ask you to consider:

    Follow the standard ― This recognizes the proposition of sexual harassment and allows the people living the moment to establish the standard. To wit, the abstract consideration of a sex slave may or may not be useful; the personal appeal is its own question mark, but we also have our resolution in post #505, and reiterated more particularly by #544. Those two posts settle the question.

    Set the standard ― For years we've waited for these complaints to roll in largely because we don't like policing every last post people put up. We can, instead, simply declare a standard and start tacking people to the shed as necessary. By comparison, as soon as the sex slave abstraction was applied to anyone personally, we would start raining red flags. Any number of grotesqueries people have gotten away with over the years would no longer pass muster if committed again, so the fact that someone got away with it once upon a time won't help anyone.​

    By contrast, in no case do you get to decide what another person considers sexual harassment or not.

    Attend James R's note at #585↑ above. The priority you show insisting on the personalized application―

    ―does, in fact, stand out as the priority. At this point, you're merely on about your own priorities.
  10. Capracus Registered Senior Member

    No, I don’t like that you insist on addressing the scenario outside the context of the experiment, by doing so you create an issue that has no legitimate basis for concern.

    Considering the Latin translation for Capracus is goat like, being labeled a castrated goat is no more offensive to me. I’ve had castrated goats, dogs and cats as pets, they seem to get along just fine. Are you intimating that castrated men aren’t real men? Why would you consider a person's consequential sexual identity a mark of shame? What shame is there in being a sex slave? The shame belongs to the enslavers. Once again you’ve stood logic on its head.

    You’re saying it’s OK to assault someone first, and ask for permission later?

    Do you really want to go down this road again? Accusing another member of advocating sexual assault? Remember the last time you tried that?

    Not so, by your own reasoning in Jan’s case, since you didn’t object to the initial proposition, by default you granted consent. If you had a problem being cast in a fictional setting, you could have at least been specific, considering the whole experiment is based in fiction. Then we could have explored you’re inconsistent acceptance of violence and how to deal with it.

    To be cast in the BIV scenario in any way is to be cast as a victim, and brutally so. So when you object to a relatively trivial detail because of implied sexual content, prude seems as good an explanation as any.

    By entering into the discussion you essentially consented to joining the cast of the movie. The discussion requires you to entertain the implications of the experiment, which entails either putting yourself, or someone else in hypothetical situations of captivity and violence. By being imagined a subject by yourself or others, you’ve consented to be cast as anything the reality of the simulation can dish out, it’s implied in the experiment, it’s part of the movie contract.

    I admit it, they're both sex.

    Remember, by your own reasoning it’s not about what you claim your intent was, it’s how your words are perceived by the victim. As I recall there was ample verbiage on you part to substantiate the perceived charge.

    He didn’t have to repeat depictions of violence, it’s implied in any mention of the experiment. Jan didn’t object because he understands and accepts the implied consequences of the particular discussion.

    The experiment itself implies overt impositions of violence on the participants. My characterization was a construct within the experiment and not directed at a real individual.

    All who enter the discussion are required to imagine the implied consequences of the experiment, fleshing out the possibilities by any member can only lead to a fuller understanding.

    Here’s where you tunnel vision shows. You left out the original point of the conversation; you know that whole business of a brain in a vat and the associated implications? That’s why you have an obvious problem with context; you fail to properly qualify your statements. How many slaps to face has that behavior earned you?

    I’m blaming you for either intentionally or irrationally constructing you own victimhood.

    Nope, just a convenient plot detail based on a current event.

    Already had the mod talk with James, don’t see any point in extending it with you.

    If you want to further discuss the ethics associated with this situation, move it to a thread in the ethics forum and we can continue it there, otherwise we’ll just continue to pollute this thread with more off topic nonsense. I’m done with it here.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
  11. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    You are the one who insisted on making what you had been repeatedly told was an inappropriate reference to another forum member, and the only thing continuing it now is your insistence on justifying behavior by blaming the victim (or just using me as a proxy to argue the moderator action).

    So now you're conflating "assault" and "harassment"? You should have the good sense to refrain from specifically positing another forum member in a compromising scenario. And yet again, where's this supposed "Accusing another member of advocating sexual assault"? Quote it. This is just another attempt to justify your behavior, and a tu quoque fallacy to boot.

    Wow! So if there's no objection the FIRST time ("didn’t object to the initial proposition"), then the victim loses any right to do so in the future?! Any leeway the victim gives you to correct your own behavior is the victim's fault, right? And you're even going as far as to deny that I specified that I "had a problem being cast in a fictional setting"?

    What utter nonsense. Joining a discussion is not tacit consent for harassment. NO ONE need be cast as anything for an intellectual discussion. And again, you're justifying your ridicule of a victim, e.g. "prude", who objects to harassment. This is further harassment, by way of continuing to deny the validity of consent.

    You're basically trying to claim that you have the RIGHT to harass other forum members.

    Admit it, consent is a very important difference.

    Your "recall" aside, opinions/observations of someone's expressed opinions are not harassment. Again, you're trying to use erroneous and tu quoque arguments to justify what moderators have already told you is a violation.

    Show me ONE definition that requires any real person participate as a character in the scenario of any thought experiment. This is your own stipulation, seemingly only to justify your behavior.

    Funny you should mention slaps in the face, since that's probably the least of the reactions you would receive trying to cast female coworkers in any scenario as a sex slave. Go head, test it for yourself...and by all means, with the BIV scenario. Keep harping on "sex slave Beth", even after she's expressed discomfort. You are extremely thick if you think that behavior would be the least bit acceptable.

    And while we're at it...

    After you've been reprimanded or fired for sexual harassment at work, go ahead and keep trying to justify your behavior to your victim...including calling her a prude for objecting in the first place. Remind her that she failed to object the first time, so that made you repeating "sex slave Beth" completely okay.

    Let me know after you get a restraining order slapped on you.

    Blaming the victim for expecting some minimal boundaries to be respected.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Moderator note:

    Capracus has been warned again, having apparently failed to take the previous warning seriously.

    When somebody asks you to stop harrassing them, you stop. You don't tell them they are wrong to feel victimised by you. You don't tell them that their complaint is invalid. You don't keep harrassing them.

    Get it?
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  13. Capracus Registered Senior Member

    When you consider the whole accusation nonsense you do. And since when is it harassment to answer the charges leveled against you? Show me where Syne asked me to stop replyng to his comments? You can't even keep the rules straight in your own addled brain. Non simulated, simulated sexual harassment. God you guys are pathetic.
  14. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

    You are deliberately attempting to evade the point - you were asked to stop HARASSING someone... which Syne asked for here:
    If you are incapable of parsing that request, then perhaps an online forum isn't the place for you... truthfully, if you are incapable of understanding such simple things as "stop" and "no", then perhaps I might suggest a padded room, far away from any other human interaction?
  15. Capracus Registered Senior Member

    Stop yelling in caps, your hurting my feelings. I stopped associating the S- words with my comments directed at Syne, just as I was instructed to by James. No one said I wasn't allowed to discuss the matter further with Syne.

    No, perhaps this forum with its irrational PC moderation isn't the place for me.

    How did that work out for you?
  16. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

    Tldr - you are incapable of conversing like a rational, mature adult. Fair enough - there are methods for dealing with folks with your mindset

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  17. river

    This thread has nothing to do with rationality , logic or the like .

    It is an exercise of nonsense
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Did you miss Tiassa's post, above?

    Refer to Syne's posts:

    And, the second time:

    Now, how much clearer do you want it to be than "You can stop your sexual harassing fantasy now."?
  19. birch Valued Senior Member

    The point is whether your brain is in a vat that is being artificially simulated or not, the sensory experience cannot be denied.

    So therefore, for instance, if one were to be in control of that simulation and it produced agitation, pain, fear etc that would be evil just as much even if the actual body wasnt killed, maimed, raped, violated ad nauseum. It's because of the experience, that is the point.

    Consider how damaging experiences can be with outcomes such as ptsd, depression, phobias etc. The physical experience or sensory experience may be over but it is deeply damaging to psyche partly as a defense mechanism as it could happen again, real or simulated (does not matter). If there was a simulation where your hand was burned on a hot stove, whether an actual hand was burned or not is not the only issue as the sensory input of pain is real in itself as well.

    You could torture someone just as well in a simulation. If it was all a joke and hypothetically you were let in on or be privy that it was a simulation, that may be some relief but that is only partly because the experience (simulated) was cruel anyways.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Not how ... that.

    It is pretty much generally agreed that there is no scientfic evidence for a soul. It is pretty much generally agreed that the brain is the seat of the mind.
    You stop the brain, you stop the mind.

    the mind is facilitated by the brain is certainly going to be an active area of study for a long time.
  21. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    That the mind is facilitated by the brain has only been correlated. That relationship could only be deemed causative if we know how. Correlation is not causation.
    Who said there was any evidence for a soul? Like I said, there's no reason to believe that the hard problem of consciousness is even within the domain of science.
    Again, you stop your computer, you stop its programs and connection to the internet. Does this mean the user no longer exists? Of course not, because the user and computer are only correlated, so stopping one does not necessarily stop the other.
    Now this may depend on how you define "mind". If "mind" is only the computing and regulating processes of the brain, it is trivial that the mind is dependent upon the brain. But if "mind" includes self-direction to the extent that it can cause it's own structural changes by choice, science is very far from accounting for that.
  22. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

    I fail to see the cause of your disagreement here - certainly, there is sufficient evidence to show that complete death of the brain tissue results in the ending of thought for the individual...
  23. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    The end of "apparent thought", sure. We cannot know what happens subjectively upon death, unless you choose to believe NDE accounts (which I generally don't). We can only say what happens objectively, as an external observer. If we were some race of artificial intelligences, aliens, or something, wouldn't we express equal incredulity to the idea of qualia? Like, "What, you think you experience something you call "red"? You claim an apple can be the source of this supposed "red", but we can only correlate your claim to apples. We cannot establish a causative link between the light frequency and your experience, that makes you somehow enjoy one light frequency more than others."

    Or as a more concrete example, do you always assume anyone who smiles is genuinely happy? Why not? Why should what we externally observe be determinate in one case but not the other?

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