Are There Other Minds On Youtube? (Part 2)

The other day I posted about a youtube conversation with someone called cindyisa10.  Here is the most recent response I sent:

Eh? The only reason I didn’t list evidence is because I didn’t think that is what you were asking for. I thought you were just asking for scientific methodology.

Even in childhood, kids have enough evidence to know that other people have minds like theirs. If they didn’t, how could they report having thoughts? How could they remember, play, or refer to themselves? How could they report being aware of themselves (and providing correct details) if they are not aware of themselves? How could they report thinking if they are not thinking? How could they report the same kinds of internal capabilities that our own mind has if they don’t have that internal capability? The capabilities of other people is one of the oceans of evidence.

Another kind of evidence is the cause of our own mind. What causes our own mind? Well, it seems to be situated in a living human body, and can undergo changes like sleeping and stuff where our mind seems to go away during the dreamless parts. When we see other living awake humans (and if we are well educated we also know about brains) it makes sense to say that duplicating the conditions that cause our own mind would cause another mind.

Now on to your claim about Carrier’s argument. You don’t go through his four points, so maybe you missed how wrong you are with your comparison to the existence of a god. He says we fail to confirm any god. But guess what? We easily confirm that at least one mind exists: our own. And the evidence overwhelmingly points towards other living humans having a very very very similar thing inside of themselves.

Then you weirdly say “It’s entertaining when a person demands evidence for a cosmic mind when they can’t provide evidence for ANY self-aware mind beyond their own.”

But now I have given a large amount of evidence for other minds. Notice that all of this evidence is missing for the existence of a “cosmic mind”. (also notice that you are giving a red herring here. There isn’t even any evidence of something that might be a cosmic p-zombie, so talking about other minds is irrelevant to the existence of a cosmic entity)

EDIT:  The conversation continues:


Yesterday 11:09 PM

+bpansky First of all, THANK YOU for taking the time to discuss and read my responses. I apologize for the long discourse ahead:

The issue isn’t that we believe other physical systems have self-aware minds. It’s around KNOWING that such a belief is RATIONAL and JUSTIFIABLE. Can we confidently claim such as KNOWLEDGE? This is why it’s called the “epistemological” problem of other minds. Also, I appreciate your attempt to provide evidence to support the existence of self-aware minds. However, your attempt doesn’t solves the epistemological problem. At most, you have provided an inferential argument. You’re now relying on the same inferential argumentation for other minds that theists use for god’s existence. Like you, I believe in other self-aware minds even though I can’t empirically demonstrate this. Since we both seem to hold to this belief, allow me to flip the entire issue of self-awareness on its head to demonstrate one of many problems that it creates for Metaphysical Naturalism.

Allow me to first define ‘The Hard Problem of Consciousness’ which is the problem of explaining HOW and WHY any physical state is conscious (self-aware) rather than non-conscious. As D. Chalmers puts it “Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does.”

Basically, if atheistic Naturalism is true, we should be p-zombies. A physical system DOESN’T require self-awareness nor a rich inner life to survive. The fact that we are self-aware flies in the face of Naturalism. There isn’t any adequate explanation in evolutionary science for WHY a first-person introspective conscious experiences is needed for our survival. Now to the evidence that self-awareness isn’t required under Naturalism:

1) Many organisms in nature seem to survive just fine without it. Consider the amoeba or bacteria for example. They react to environmental stimuli without requiring self-awareness (we assume they’re aren’t self-aware). Why should you and I be any different?

2) Activities such as breathing and digestion happen without us being aware of them. Digestion and breathing are required for our survival yet conscious awareness of pain isn’t.

3) Physical systems such as computers execute their operating instructions without the need to be self-aware of anything. Why should bio-computers (you and I) be any different?

4) Artificial Intelligence has also demonstrated that robots can be programmed to survive. They don’t require self-awareness. Why should you and I be any different?

5) The current configuration of sub-particles in our heads and from our environment fully dictate all our thoughts, actions, and beliefs. These sub-atomic particles simply conform to the law of physics. Therefore, why do we need to be aware of our thoughts, actions, and beliefs? Particles can only conform to the laws of physics.

Therefore, attempting to argue that self-awareness gives us an evolutionary advantage and/or survival advantage is misguided. Adding self-awareness to a physical system does nothing to improve survivability of that physical system. It’s clear that we can simply negate the introspective self-aware conscious experiences from the physical system altogether and the system would survive, act, function, and behave in exactly the same way just like a silicon computer. As you can see, this is a SERIOUS problem for naturalists to explain away as they will lazily tell me it’s simply an epiphenomenal evolutionary fluke. Also, this so-called fluke (if true) has caused a whole spectrum of unnecessary awareness of pain and suffering which goes DIRECTLY against the idea of survivability in the first place. It would sure be nice to NOT be aware of physical pain, yet react or respond to the threat of such just like an amoeba. Imagine how that would improve our survival condition. If atheism were true, we would be p-zombies. Dr Carrier’s Metaphysical Naturalism is full of serious problems.


10:15 AM
Yikes, this will be difficult because you are wrong on so many points, and maybe unclear on others.
You are very confused and are giving more red herrings (talking about evolution and survival is irrelevant, you must admit that if a god created p-zombies, they would still appear to believe that each other had inner consciousness, and you would look at them and think they are the same etc. so the whole issue remains)
Your ranting is becoming alarmingly ignorant (awareness of pain isn’t necessary for survival?  What?!?)

Justified belief is a huge topic, but I think it is is a red herring here because I assume we all accept logic and reason and evidence.  And I think that’s all I need to use here.

Your insistence that atheism and Naturalism entail p-zombies is typical, but nonsense.  P-zombies are nonsense, and have been debunked numerous times.  Just go to the Wikipedia page if you like.  Googling “The Intentional Stance” might also be helpful.

Perhaps I should have connected the dots better between the scientific methods I outlined and the evidential case I made.  I said that predictions have to be based on a hypothesis.  But a hypothesis has to be coherent.  P-zombies have never been coherent.  Thus it does not predict any of the evidence.  This is why I listed some of my evidence as questions about how else it would be possible.

I could pick apart your other points too, but that would be a waste of time.  Let’s please try to avoid derailing with red herrings.


1 Comment

  1. I don’t buy her argument that self awareness in not an evolutionary advantage. It isn’t necessary, but it is clearly a huge advantage. Without consciousness, there is no delayed gratification. Without delayed gratification, progress only occurs at the biological level. In other words, without consciousness, civilization would not exist and humanity would still be living in caves.


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