Properties of the soul?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Dinosaur, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    At least you accept that responsibility.

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    The fact is the context does not require you to state that if consciousness was created by the brain, then it would be natural. You both agree that it was. You meant that the brain doesn't produce artificial consciousness, or artificial intelligence, because it produces them naturally. You made two claims. That is what is written. There are no points to score, it's there for the world to see.

    Everything you stated requires, and is borne out of consciousness. Consciousness is the essential component. Without that there is nothing.

    Soul; the non-physical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character; the soul.

    the non-physical part of a person regarded as their true self and as capable of surviving physical death or separation.

    You think it's simple, but as usual you haven't really thought it through.

    And some believe consciousness is borne out the the brain, and people who can't dance have no soul.

    It does not mean that the cannon isn't scripture.

    I'm not struggling with anything. One of us knows what it means for something to be classed as scripture, and it's not you.

    You asked if it matched a hindu perspective, didn't you?

    If wetness is a symptom of water, does it mean that wetness must be more than water? Because it seems that is what you're saying.

    Maybe.

    How do you know that? Maybe understanding beauty require a certain level of consciousness. The flower could actually be infused with the quality of beauty. Maybe truth is infused with beauty. Just because you see it a certain way, doesn't mean everyone does.

    Stop acting as though you are a logical person, as opposed to me. Because you may study logic, doesn't you are logical.
    You've already slipped big time, by claiming the consciousness, and intelligence are produced by the brain, yet you have, not one shred of evidence to back it up. A logical person would know better than to make such claims.

    Another example of your illogic. You make up stuff, then assign me to it, and act as though what say is true.

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    Properties of the soul. The title of the thread.

    I told you I'm not going to go there, right off the bat. Which meant I will not bother to discuss it if you ask. I didn't refuse to answer you. But of course you need to score points. Hey Baldeee?

    Jan.
     
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  3. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    You'll interpret it in any way that makes you right in your view, Jan.
    That's to be expected.
    But you are wrong.
    If you wish to pick up on the interpretation of what I said, then please do so in that thread.
    I have told you what I meant, and the intention of what was written.
    Either accept it or don't, but the issue is closed.p as far as I'm concerned.
    Essential, perhaps, but not "pure consciousness" as you have stated.
    Actually it really is that simple when you do think it through.
    Give it a try,
    Indeed, but I'm sure you intended to make a point?
    I never said the cannon wasn't scripture.
    But works not included in the cannon are not considered scripture for that religion.
    To consider a work "scripture" is thus, as I have said, to invoke those religions that consider it as such, otherwise it is simply a written work.
    You're right, I'm not classed as scripture.
    But I know what it means for something NOT to be classed as scripture.
    Do you?
    As in which aspect of Hinduism, not an individual Hindu.
    Symptom?
    It is a property of water, not a symptom.
    There's no "maybe" about it.
    Because beauty is a subjective view.
    Thus to refer to something as beautiful is to invoke a subjective perspective (unless the term is part of its title).
    Try arguing logically, then.
    Never said it does.
    Where have I made that claim?
    Oh, you mean in the quote you are refusing to acknowledge in context?
    The one I have explained the context and intention behind and that you are simply refusing to accept?
    If you say so, Jan.
    So telling me that you won't answer is not a refusal to answer?
    I don't need to score points off you, Jan.
    Not only is it not my intention but you also score enough own goals yourself.

    Thanks for your time, though.
    You have confirmed enough about yourself that I have no need to respond further.
     
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  5. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting, because it is fairly common in the UK to refer to inanimate objects as experiencing things.

    Just typing "experience" into Bing and this is what I get:

    ex|peri|ence
    [ɪkˈspɪərɪəns, ɛkˈspɪərɪəns]

    NOUN
    1. Practical contact with and observation of facts or events;
      "he learned his lesson by painful experience"
      synonyms: involvement in . participation in . contact with .

      2. an event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone:
      "audition day is an enjoyable experience for any seven-year old"
      synonyms: incident . occurrence . event . happening . affair .
    VERB
    1. encounter or undergo (an event or occurrence)
    "the company is experiencing difficulties"
    synonyms: undergo . encounter . meet . have experience of .
     
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Well said. There's also that stubborn gap between the qualitative and the physical you introduced to me once. Something like saying photosynthesis is a process going on inside the plant and is also the movie "Gone With The Wind" going on in full technicolor at the same time.

    "Why should there be conscious experience at all? It is central to a subjective viewpoint, but from an objective viewpoint it is utterly unexpected. Taking the objective view, we can tell a story about how fields, waves, and particles in the spatiotemporal manifold interact in subtle ways, leading to the development of complex systems such as brains. In principle, there is no deep philosophical mystery in the fact that these systems can process information in complex ways, react to stimuli with sophisticated behavior, and even exhibit such complex capacities as learning, memory, and language. All this is impressive, but it is not metaphysically baffling. In contrast, the existence of conscious experience seems to be a new feature from this viewpoint. It is not something that one would have predicted from the other features alone. That is, consciousness is surprising. If all we knew about were the facts of physics, and even the facts about dynamics and information processing in complex systems, there would be no compelling reason to postulate the existence of conscious experience. If it were not for our direct evidence in the first-person case, the hypothesis would seem unwarranted; almost mystical, perhaps. Yet we know, directly, that there is conscious experience. The question is, how do we reconcile it with everything else we know?”
    David J. Chalmers, The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory
     
  8. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    10,128
    I have told you whatI meant, andthe intention of what was written.
    Either accept it or don't, but theissue is closed.p as far as I'mconcerned.


    There is no need of interpretation. It says what it says. Sorry mate, but it is a fact. If you meant it the way you explained it, in hindsight, then fair enough. But that's not what you wrote, and the context makes no difference.

    Essential, perhaps,but not "pureconsciousness" as you have stated.

    I assume you accept that there are different levels of consciousness (awareness)?

    Actually it really is that simple when you do think it through.
    Give it a try,


    The thing is, you aren't able to know whether or not I have thought it through.

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    Indeed, but I'm sure you intended to make a point?

    Yes. That my two points, and yours, are equally valid, and equally pointless in this discussion.

    But works not included in the cannon are not considered scripture for that religion.

    So what? Scriptures aren't reliant on people observing them as such. They are what they are, and those who can understand see it. And those that don't, don't.

    To consider a work "scripture" isthus, as I have said, to invokethosereligions that consider it as such,otherwise it is simply a writtenwork.

    To consider something, is to be consciously be aware of that thing. I'm sure you will agree that there are as many different levels of consciousness, as there are forms that are able to consider. My point is, that your point is extremely narrow in the scheme of things.

    Symptom? It is a property of water, not a symptom.

    Wetness can be a symptom a larger body of water nearby. Agreed?
    Is that wet patch more than the water that is causing it.
    I'm only trying to understand your logic.

    Because beautyis a subjective view.

    Explains nothing as all views are subjective.

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    Thus to refer to something as beautiful is to invoke a subjective perspective (unless the term is part of its title).

    But it might actually be beautiful, and we have the capacity to comprehend it. At least basically. Do you think it is possible?

    Try arguing logically, then.

    You're the one making claim you can't back up. Not me.

    Sometimes it comes across that way.

    As you haven't asked about it, I haven't technically refused.

    As in which aspect of Hinduism, not an individual Hindu.

    I see "Hinduism" as the culture of Hindus. There beliefs, and philosophy are very broad. I do read the scriptures they read, as well other scriptures. So my philosophy can extracted from any scripture.

    Jan.
     
  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Most people are subliminal panpsychists. Which commonsense realism arguably reflects in a roundabout way (which is to say, the world is always "showing itself" and categorizing / conceptually understanding its content just as takes place in human consciousness). It's kind of innate or the result of our not having to think deeply to begin with about what awareness of an outer environment and one's own thoughts entails in terms of consequences.

    If someone believes that what follows death is non-consciousness, and the latter is the absence of even a cognition of nothing, then that also equates to a belief in what the normal condition of matter is to itself: An absence of experiential / empirical and intellectual evidence for its own existence. Essentially that the cosmos at large is mind-less and accordingly everything we're familiar with is thereby missing (at least in the sense of being manifested and interpreted as _X_ things).

    That conflicts with the panpsychism. But since the latter is subliminal in most folks, no conflict between the two views is recognized. Thus there are curious encounters with materialists who laugh at the idea of panpsychism, while actually themselves reflexively regarding the world as "showing" itself and being conceptually discriminated when they ponder it as objective or mind-independent (also mind-less).

    This is also why a percentage of us seem incapable of even apprehending what the "hard problem" is, no matter how it is described. If I'm already a panpsychist (albeit unknowing of it) who takes for granted that objects and qualities manifest themselves outside of brains, then I can't understand why there would be a problem in matter having such properties or abilities.

    However, if I was a materialist who became aware of that subliminal stance in myself, and formally expressed it to the public, then I would be ridiculed as Galen Strawson often is with his physicalism that openly integrates panpsychism. Strawson initially chastised Nicholas Humphrey because the latter was seemingly embracing eliminativism about phenomena, deeming experience to be a hoax or illusion. Humphrey retaliated by then making fun of Strawson's panpsychism.

    Ergo why no progress is made on the hard problem. Even if all the dualism options are discarded, the remaining solutions will still be judged crazy via the perspective of this or that faction: panprotoexperientialism; eliminativism; brute emergence. The philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel even introduced a view called "Crazyism" that apparently focuses on this issue or barrier of all explanations of experience / consciousness being "crazy".

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    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
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  10. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    browsing:
    Here's the headline:
    Scientists Found That the Soul Doesn’t Die – It Goes Back to the Universe
    and the text:
    "It turns out that the human brain could be similar to a “biological computer,” and that human consciousness may be like a program which is run by a quantum computer within the brain. What’s even more astonishing is that after someone dies, “their soul comes back to the universe, and it does not die.”

    This is all according to American physicist Dr. Stuart Hameroff and mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose, both of whom argue that the soul is maintained in micro-tubules of brain cells. The two scientists refer to this process as “Orchestrated Objective Reduction,” or “Orch-OR.” Allegedly, when human beings are “clinically dead,” microtubules in the brain lose their quantum state but are still able to retain the information inside of them.

    This theory was recently outlined on The Science Channel’s ongoing documentary show Through the Wormhole, in which Dr. Hameroff elaborates: “Let’s say the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing; the micro-tubules lose their quantum state. The quantum information within the micro-tubules is not destroyed, it can’t be destroyed, and it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If the patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the micro-tubules and the patient says ‘I had a near-death experience.’ If they’re not revived, and the patient dies, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul.”

    Hameroff’s words suggest that human souls are much more than mere “interactions” of neurons in the brain. In fact, this theory indicates that these “souls” could have existed since the very beginning of time itself. And with all of the recent discoveries pertaining to dark energy and dark matter—substances which humans cannot see or interact with, but substances which we know exist, nevertheless—this theory could end up explaining things that are even more mysterious and fascinating."
    and the link:
    http://irelease.org/scientists-found-that-the-soul-doesnt-die-it-goes-back-to-the-universe/

    ...........................
    I have no opinion on the subject
    (always suspicious when I see funky stuff like doesnt instead of doesn't)
     
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  11. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Yep, Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose have been promoting "Orch-OR" since at least the publication of the latter's The Emperor's New Mind in 1989. With regard to this "soul" stuff, I would have ventured in the past that Hameroff is probably running away with it in ways beyond what Penrose originally intended. But perhaps not.

    Penrose, of all people, already knows that spacetime would "preserve" a person's whole life, anyway. Years ago in some quasi-forgotten BBC documentary, he stated a view that can be subsumed under the older eternalism category of philosophy of time. Part of the transcript:
    • Roger Penrose: I think there is a positive side to this picture of space and time being laid out there as 4 dimensions, because it tells you that all times are there once and it can affect the way one thinks about people who have died. I mean, I remember thinking in this kind of way when my mother died. In some sense she was still there because her existence is still out there in space/time although in our time she is not alive. A colleague of mine had a son who died in tragic circumstances and I presented this idea to him and it helped his understanding also. This was before I heard that Einstein had a colleague died and he wrote to the man's wife that Bessa was still out there, and that somehow this was reassuring. I certainly think this way often, that space/time is laid out and that things in the past and things in the future are out there still.

      [...]

      Roger Penrose: The question of the passage of time is something the scientists have rather set aside, and taking the view that its not really physics, it's a subjective issue; and subjective questions are not part of science. Now when you start talking about phenomena like one's own perception of the passage of time, then that is a subjective thing. And that's almost a taboo subject for science because it's subjective. The physical world at least according to Relativity, is out there, and there is no flow of time, it's just there; whereas our feeling (we have this feeling of the passage of time) are intimately connected to our perceptions.

      Physicist: We have this subjective feeling, that time goes by, but physicists would argue this is just an illusion.

      Roger Penrose: Yes I think physicists would agree that the feeling of time passing is simply an illusion, something that is not real. It has something to do with our perceptions.
    - - -
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  12. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Seriously????

    Of course they have samples of these microtubules in the brain and can show how they lose their quantum state. Of course they then go on to extract the information which has been held with them?

    Then of course comes the outstanding peer reviewed publication and numerous repeated examples with fellow scientist lauding their work with nominations for the Nobel flooding in

    Ooops I just woke up and found myself in the land of Woo Woo

    Sorry bout that

    Coffee time

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  13. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    at the risk of needless redundancy, I repeat:
    I have no opinion on the subject
    (always suspicious when I see funky stuff like doesnt instead of doesn't)
     
  14. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry I should have made it clearer I was going for

    American physicist Dr. Stuart Hameroff and sidekick
    mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose

    I have just read up a bit more on their works and a few of the side research articles

    To this amature brain it appears the whole idea of melding the biological cell activity of my 3 neurones to the quantum mechanics of uncertainty to produce consciousness is implausible

    If if if they can work it out good luck and it would be a well deserved Nobel if not overshadowed by discoveries in other fields of perpetual motion or time travel

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  15. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Other's opinions is why I posted.
     
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Those who require supernatural entities to account for the aspects of life commonly labeled evidence of a soul , and those who deny the existence of any such aspects because they appear to require supernatural entity, seem alike in vastly underestimating the complexity of the natural or "material" world.
     
  17. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    What is it about the complexity of the natural world people of either persuasion, vastly underestimates?

    Jan.
     
  18. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    However much complexity there is in the Universe magic is not the reason for it

    What's with the natural or "material" world? Surely you are not suggesting a unnatural or "non material" world?

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  19. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    " Underestimating complexity of the material world " Born do to the implanted desire to mate mitotic product so the specie will not be extinct. As a product it become a vassal of higher intelligence creation , where The Creator will implant a soul, were the soul will grow and have a relationship with the Creator
     
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps. I'm inclined to reduce "consciousness" (nobody ever defines that word, it's always left vague and mysterious) to causation. Since the hand responds to touch, temperature and its own movements, and sends information regarding those things back up the nerves to the central nervous system, I suppose that one could argue that it's aware of those things in some minimal sense, since it responds (however mechanically) to them.

    What it isn't aware of is the fact that it's aware of anything. I hypothesize that the ability to become aware of (to detect and respond to) to one's own states of awareness is where "consciousness" enters the scene. That requires information processing systems of suitable complexity to create and cognize abstractions such as 'I' and 'me' and 'aware'.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  22. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    person."

    I think we can agree that when a human being is conscious there are various outward, material signs of that consciousness
    .

    OK.



    Homing in on the source, sooner or later we arrive at the brain.

    Along with other organs and appendages Ok.

    Damage the brain and you can quite clearly damage the personality.

    Personalities tend to change regardless of brain damage. But OK.

    Kill the brain and there is no detectablepersonality any more.

    Kill the brain and there is no more life. Period. Obvious, but OK.

    Those who claim that the soul is the person would have us believe that when the brain dies the soul somehow lingers on, as the "pure consciousness" that it is. But where is it? What is itdoing? Looking around for a new bodyto animate? What about when we sleep? Is that the soul taking a breakfrom the body, temporarily flittingaround in heaven or something?

    Nobody (on here at least) is having you believe anything that you don't believe, or don't want you to believe. Some of us believe in a soul, albeit different explanations (expected).

    As to where it is, and all the other questions you ask, is the reason for the thread, I presume.

    Where, if anywhere, can we find a "pure consciousness" separate from a brain?

    The spirit soul is defined as immaterial, and all encompassing (regarding the body it animates. So your question, although understandable, is inappropriate.

    I understand that you require physical evidence, in order to accept something like the spirit soul actually exists, but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
    Ultimately it boils down to you don't believe, that you are essentially a spiritual being.

    Or can we find this "pure consciousness" elsewhere in the material world? If it isin the material world, how can "pure consciousness" be detected?

    The question is; what is meant by "pure consciousness?

    We agree that consciousness is basically, awareness. Awareness of what you perceive, and awareness of what it is that perceives.

    Pureness is that which is not mixed, or adulterated with any other substance or material.

    So basically, pure consciousness means being situated in the Absolute Truth. Thus one's conscious awareness eventually becomes purified. Of course it isn't as simplistic as I've just explained, but it gives you a basic idea.

    This process is achieved through religious/yogic processes, and can take many life times to perfect. Again, I'm just giving a basic description to give some idea.

    What instruments should we use to determine if there's a pure consciousness floating around somewhere nearby?

    What makes you think it is floating around somewhere?

    We can put a person into an MRI scanner and look at activity in thebrain as the person carries out conscious tasks. There are repeatable, predictable patterns there, clearly accessible to science. Yet no MRI scanner can show there is any "pure consciousness" separate from a brain.

    Why do you think it should?


    If you think about raising your right arm, an MRI scanner will show activity in particular regions of your brain. It is your personality that wills your arm to raise, and we can see activity in the brain when your will is at work.

    If think about making a right turn in my car, the car will show a righthand indicator flashing light, the car will manoeuvre into position, slow down, and eventually make the turn at the appropriate moment. The car is a machine, much like the brain and the body, and will show outward signs that only occur because the person wills it.

    But perhaps this will is really the "pure consciousness" of the soul, controlling and directing the brain processes, which in turn cause the arm to rise. Maybe if the soul wasn't there, the will wouldn't work any more and the armwouldn't rise. The "person" wouldn't be there, it is argued by some. A brain without a directing soul would be an empty shell, incapable of any will or consciousness.


    That is the basic idea, yes.

    Ok, so let us entertain the idea that there really is a soul in the form of"pure consciousness" that steps in to operate the brain whenever you will your right arm to raise.

    What do you mean by 'stepping in to operate the brain? Also, what do you mean by' in the form of pure consciousness". It is due to conscious activity that it is understood that a spirit soul is present.

    The question that then natually arises is: how on earth does the "pure consciousness" effect the physical workings of the brain?
    This is a serious issue. The soul issupposed to be this disembodied, non-material, spiritual thing. But the brain is clearly a material thing. So how can a non-material thing interact at all so as to control a material thing? What's the mechanism?

    You are affecting the connect. The real question is; what is "you"

    For that matter, how does it work in the opposite direction? When the eyes see something, they sent messages to the brain, and soon after that you perceivewhat was seen. But if you are actually the disembodied soul, then at what point do those physical messages from the eyes, in the form of nerve impulses to and in the brain, get translated to a suitable non-material form in which they can be communicated to thespiritual soul? And how does that happen? Spiritual soul magic, perhaps?

    The problem is your comprehension of what a spirit soul is. For a start you see it as something separate to yourself. So your your questions are already loaded with the presumption that the soul is non existent.

    What does the idea of a soul add to the idea of a person? "The eyes are thewindow to the soul." Or, maybe the eyes are just a window to the brain. They are directly and demonstrably connected to it, after all, whereas there's no detectable connection to anynon-material "pure consciousness".

    The eyes are useless without an observer. The question is; what is it that observes. Not what they are connected to. When camera is operated by a person who can observe, it works. It won't work, however you connect it to the power source that is required to make it operational.

    Jan.
     
  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean by that. I might fit the description since I tend to want to reduce mind and mental attributes to neuroscience and hence to chemistry and physics. So sure, the principles of physics and chemistry have the potential to support and ultimately perhaps to explain mind in my view. But that doesn't mean that each subatomic particle already is a mind.

    Where I have the most trouble is with the whole category of 'psychism' in 'panpsychist'. There's an implicit dualism there that I don't accept. I don't recognize the category of 'the psychic' as a fundamental ontological category, and see it instead as emergent in much the same way as cell metabolism seems to be.

    In my opinion, what we are still in need of is some plausible testable theory of mind that ties it in with and explains it in terms of physics, chemistry, information science and neuroscience. That's where I think that future advances are going to come from, not from attempts to mystify the whole subject.

    I don't understand what "showing itself" means. (It sounds rather 'continental' and phenomenological.) 'Showing itself' to whom? Must the world do so intentionally, as some kind of self-disclosure?

    I'm very much a common-sense realist (the tables and the chairs, the walls and the floor, the Sun and the Moon, really do exist.) I don't think that reality necessarily 'shows itself', it just is. I do think that many things that exist (all physical things arguably) behave causally and have the potential to interact (whether directly or indirectly through instruments) with our sense organs.

    Ok. With the added qualifier that 'consciousness' needn't be a separate ontological order of being, it might be the information processing activities of certain physical objects of a biological sort (in our case at least). Computers can already detect and classify things in their environment.

    Ok. I don't believe that the vast majority of material things (or non-material things) are conscious in the way human beings are. Rocks aren't. Asteroids aren't. Clouds aren't. Numbers aren't.

    Ok. That's essentially another way of expressing atheism, there isn't any god. The universe probably isn't a giant mind. Nor do I think of it as a huge collection of sub-atomic mini-minds. I think of it as a collection of matter, energy, abstractions like numbers and relations, out of which more complex being can emerge that do have 'minds' (whatever 'minds' are).

    No,no, no, I'm not going there. It's still there, except that nobody is aware of it.

    Ok, I happily agree that the vast majority of the universe probably exists without anyone or anything being aware that it's there. But that shouldn't be conflated with the claim that none of those things are there. (I'm denying George Berkeley's "To be is to be perceived".)

    I don't understand the argument there. What conflict? Why can't we think that the contents of the universe still exist whether anyone or anything is aware of them or not? What's wrong with thinking that the contents of the universe are at least potentially discriminable and classifiable, when and if they are discovered and observed by beings like us?

    "The hard problem" seems to me to just be an expression of David Chalmers' personal intuition about what seems to him to be the mysterious nature of consciousness. It isn't really an argument at all, it's a feeling, it's something that one agrees with or one doesn't. He insists that the qualitative nature of consciousness is inexplicable (in principle) in physicalistic terms! Why? Because that's how it seems to Chalmers and his followers and they feel very strongly about it.

    But others of us feel differently. My view is based on a philosophical intuition too, so in that sense it isn't any better than Chalmers', but I don't think that it's any worse either. At least it has the advantage of suggesting a research program. We aren't likely to have any resolution until neuroscience, cognitive and information science advance to the point where they start to produce plausible testable theories of subjective experience. My own view is that we might not be all that far away right now. (No more fanciful "zombies".) And my own expectation is that the 'hard problem' will ultimately turn out to be rather trivial, not so hard at all.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness

    I'm still not sure what this "subliminal stance" is. It needs more explanation.

    I'm not familiar with either writer, though I certainly recognize the names. I have to say that the philosophy of mind annoys me since it seems to currently be so willfully obscurantist (in my opinion).

    It's reminiscent of the 'vitalism' arguments in late 19th century biology. Back them, prominent biologists were arguing that life is inexplicable in physicalistic terms, that no materialist could possibly explain how a fertilized egg developed into a hugely complex organism of billions of cells. There had to be some influence from outside, some 'life force', some spiritual principle that shaped and steered life.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitalism

    Today life has been pretty well reduced to molecular biology, but the same sort of arguments still persist in the philosophy of mind. There allegedly is some element to mind (qualia or whatever it is) that's simply inexplicable in physicalistic terms. The argument seems to be that either there has to be some spiritual 'soul' that serves as the subject of phenomenal awareness (traditional Cartesian-style dualism), or else matter itself has to possess hitherto unacknowledged spiritual qualities that compound like molecules into minds (panpsychism). The claim appears to be that the principles that govern unconscious matter can never explain a conscious mind or its qualitative awareness.

    That may be right. It's hard to know at the present time. But I personally expect the intellectual evolution of the subject to follow much the same course that biology took.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017

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