A Defense of Immaterialism: The Debate - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14926011
Introduction

This debate is primarily between@Saeko, and myself, we have agreed, once recognizing some shared definitions, to post 8 posts each and every official post shall be enumerated as such. I would ask that other posters refrain from interrupting the debate with their own comment until Saeko and I have finished our posts.

In essence, I was challenged to debate my claim that Phenomenal Idealism (Immaterialism) and Trinitarian Theism is true. Following the rules of classical disputation, I from the outset listed a series of outcomes which would qualify as a definitive victory, the one to which Saeko and I agreed was that I merely had to the establish the existence of the mental as non-physical or not physically reducible.

The success of this constitutes a victory, but the failure to do so does not necessarily mean defeat, only that the debate did not conclude with a definitive victory, a checkmate, a KO.

Indeed, the only way my opponent could land a KO would be disprove the possibility of a non-physical mental reality altogether.

That being said, here were the terms agreed to for this debate:

I. The Terms of The Debate.

What follows are the agreed-to terms of the debate. I was challenged to prove the existence of a non-physical mental reality contra my opponent’s position that there only exists a material reality. Likewise, I will also satisfy my opponent’s request, for me to unveil my proof for the existence of the Trinitarian God which is claimed to be necessarily inferrable as both existent and Trinitarian by my system of Phenomenal Idealism. Given that these terms were posted in a direct conversation with Saeko, they will often be in the first and second person voice. I only post them here for public awareness. Any additional comments I have chosen to add to the terms since the initial agreement shall be specified by the term: NOTE.

Here thus are the terms which I laid out for Saeko, to which she agreed:

1. I will demonstrate the existence of a mental reality and that such cannot be reduced to physical properties without engaging in fallacious reasoning. I will also attempt to argue beyond this that no mind-independent reality exists. Regardless of whether I will be able to demonstrate this position conclusively to anyone’s satisfaction within 8 posts is indeed a tall task and I do not expect to do so; however, at the very least, all will have a sure grasp of what my position actually is.

2. The laws of reason and discourse will be the governing principles of the debate. If we notice fallacies in the others reasoning they must be identified by name and why the fallacy obtains must be briefly explained. These can be rebutted, of course (but we shouldn't let this sort of thing bog us down). NOTE: This standard for debate is that which governs all matters pertaining to philosophical debate (especially the metaphysical). Scientific “evidence,” is not the ultimate standard and is often disqualified purely in virtue of reason’s application (scientific arguments often rely on inductive inferences and the hypothetico-deductive method which are fallacious, as well as assumptions regarding causation which are also often fallacious, or at least ambiguous).

3. Questions asked by each side shall be answered as succinctly as possible in the responding post. Every question asked should not warrant 18 paragraph answers, likewise we should ask questions with the intention of getting simple responses unless we specifically ask the other debater to explain themselves or to expand on their point.

4. Questions that we intend to have answered by the other poster (that are not intended as rhetorical) shall be numbered, even if they are the only questions asked in the post. This will prevent confusion and the ever-annoying forum demand "answer my question please."

If the questions we want answered are always numbered, with the response identified numerically as well, we shall keep that portion organized.

5. We will allow a couple of posts for general housekeeping and definitions before we start "counting our posts." NOTE: I reserve the right as the one presenting my position to give my own definitions (a common rule in disputation); however, I will modify these definitions if they radically depart from common understanding as they are definitions that both sides will need to use in the course of the debate.

6. I suggest 8 full posts each to be the limit for the debate, I shall initiate a separate thread for the debate which shall count as my first official post and will include my definitions. We can then do the unofficial posting to make sure we are on the same page as far as definitions and when you are comfortable you will make your "First" main post of your eight and then we will go-back-and-forth until the debate has concluded. NOTE: (Outlined portion was applicable prior to this thread’s formation). NOTE: Section in Bold has been changed: NOTE: I will be posting my first official post of the debate after we have confirmed agreement on the definitions and a review of the terms.

7. I will be posting this thread with the next week or two and we should try to "get to" each other’s post within a week of it being made. Worst case this means the debate could go 16 plus weeks. Hopefully we can keep that from happening, but whatever. If we can't post for an extended period for any reason, we should declare it in the thread (vacations, etc.). NOTE: (Outlined portion was applicable prior to this thread’s formation.).

8. After the conclusion of the debate, regardless of whether I have convinced you or not, I will
(assuming the Idealist paradigm) give my proof for God's existence and why God must necessarily be Trinitarian after and in the specific manner as given in the Latin version of The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. NOTE: I have decided to include this proof in my first post in this thread instead of waiting until later to do so, in spite of this fact, the debate will not go further than 8 official posts each between Saeko and myself and will still mainly revolve around the existence of the mental as independent of the physical.

II. Definitions.

This section with the terms above shall be the substance of the first initial posts by Saeko and myself prior to me posting the first of my 8 posts (once a general agreement has been reached on my definitions and the terms).

Not all definitions in a debate as broad and as ambitious as this could possibly be laid out before hand; however, several key definitions must be made clear.

Phenomenal Idealism (Immaterialism): negatively, the denial of matter and a physical reality, positively, the claim that the only thing that exists is the mental, or, to put it better, all that which exists is either a mind or mental content, esse est percepii aut percepere.

Physicalism (Materialism): negatively, the denial of any entity or cause that is not physically reducible as being existent. Positively, the assertion that the only things which exist are fundamentally physical or material in nature.

Causation: a necessary condition or relation, comprehending the notion of ultimate origination as well. Delineated according to antecedent or contemporaneous causes primarily.

Percept: an object of perception/experience (e.g. table), a bundle of sensations. Synonyms: Phenomena (sng/plur.), Physical object.

Matter: Neither a mind, nor mental content (exclusively), mind-independent by nature and definition. This term is that which is comprehended as the constituent aspect of reality in physicalism or materialism and is typically also understood as being philosophically basic, metaphysically fundamental, and timeless in some sense.

Sensations:
A qualitative state; e.g. “redness” “hardness” “stinkiness,” “loudness,” “sweetness.” Et al. comprehending both primary and secondary qualities. (synonyms: qualia)

Consciousness (mind): an awareness, that which has percepts or mental content (thought). Higher and lower levels of such are acknowledged, the lower being in regards to direct perception and sensation with the latter (higher) levels refer to complex and abstract thought.

Transcendental: Providing the preconditions of intelligibility.

Omnipotence: A State of Being Dependent on Nothing Outside of Oneself.

Omniscience: A State of Being The Source of All Mental Content (knowledge).

Omnipresence: A State Of Being Spatially Unbound (Not Subject To Spatio-Temporal Restrictions).

Self-Satisfaction: a thought of oneself from which once achieves fulfillment and from which pleasure is derived. The affection of satisfaction itself may also be called love.

Idea: an object of thought (may also be referred to as such), distinct from the one thinking it.

Pure Self: the true subject, independent of any object of thought.

On God and What Is Meant By Trinitarian; what is meant by these terms is limited to what is expressed in the Creedal formulation given in the link at the bottom of the post. Nothing shall be added to this.

https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/c ... cene-creed

III. Conclusion

I now await my opponent to discuss or agree to the definitions given and to reaffirm her agreement to the terms, conditions, and purpose of the debate itself.
#14926033
This is all fine. My only disagreements are with the following three definitions:

Omnipotence: A State of Being Dependent on Nothing Outside of Oneself.


This needs clarification. What sort of dependence are we talking about here?

Also, this is not how most people would understand "omnipotence". Omnipotence is commonly understood as the ability to do anything. That is, X is omnipotent if and only if whenever P is a possible world, then X can make it so that P is the actual world.

Omniscience: A State of Being The Source of All Mental Content (knowledge).


Same as above, this is not how most people would understand "omniscience". Omniscience is commonly understood as knowing everything. That is, X is omniscient if and only if for all propositions P, if P is true, then X knows that P.

Self-satisfaction: a thought of oneself from which once achieves fulfillment and from which pleasure is derived. The affection of satisfaction itself may also be called love.


It really can't. Love, at the very least, implies a concern for the intrinsic worth or well-being of the object of love. What your definition describes is mere joy.
#14926050
Saeko wrote:This is all fine. My only disagreements are with the following three definitions:


I will attempt to address all of these "disagreements." I reject the folk notion of omnipotence you have articulated and I give my reasons for this (but am willing to expand my definition for your sake). I also believe your understanding of omniscience is included in my definition (thus implying our disagreement there is a misunderstanding), and I believe your understanding of "love" is still broad enough to be included in my understanding of satisfaction (as I will explain).

Likewise, keep in mind, given that I am the one making the argument, I do reserve the right to define the terms used in the argument (as I am not going to argue for something I don't affirm). I will attempt to correct definitions that are wildly at variance with common understanding, but I do not think my definitions fit that description as I hope to explain and clarify.

Please consider the following remarks as attempts at clarification and agreement.

Saeko wrote:This needs clarification. What sort of dependence are we talking about here?

Also, this is not how most people would understand "omnipotence". Omnipotence is commonly understood as the ability to do anything. That is, X is omnipotent if and only if whenever P is a possible world, then X can make it so that P is the actual world.


Of course, most people aren't idealists either, which is where most of the poor constructions of Divine relation to the world occur.

That being said though, the idea of being able to do "anything" is not even necessarily true regarding what Christian believes regarding God. No notion that is inconsistent with the conception of God taught in orthodox theology will be accepted by me as a definition for one of His primary and defining attributes.

For instance, God in Christian theology cannot (is unable) to sin. That is, God is bound by His own nature and thus it is not true that He can do anything. This simply is not what Christian theology means when it teaches that God is omnipotent and I will reject any definition of omnipotence that would imply that God could violate His own nature.

Thus, an unlimited and potentially contradictory "Ability" is not what is understood in theology by omnipotence (though my definition is by no means inconsistent with that definition).

Rather, omnipotence here refers to not being dependent on anything else which would in-turn imply that God's Godness were somehow constrained by factors ad extra.

This was pointed out in Jonathan Edwards's Work The End For Which God Created The World.

In this work, Edwards's made recourse to Christian orthodoxy by pointing out that it is not consistent with theology proper to say that God needed to create the world or somehow needs His creatures for His own satisfaction.

Now, the definition you use "the ability to do anything" as a matter of potentiality, is not necessarily contradicted by the idea that God needs his creatures for His own satisfaction (even though it does seem on the face inconsistent with the idea of omnipotence as Christians use the term).

As Edwards pointed out, God being dependent on anything other than Himself does violate the theological construction of omnipotence in that in such a case God becomes dependent upon His creation for His pleasure.

In essence, God is bound, dependent, and even under the power of, His creatures' happiness under such a scenario! This of course means that God is not really omnipotent at all, theologically speaking.

Thus, when I say that God is omnipotent (all-powerful), this definition is best understood as true independence, that is, God is not dependent on anything outside of Himself.

Now, if it would satisfy you, I am willing to add to this definition a bit, for what I believe is implied by this may not be apparent to you.

I am willing to add
that all created beings and created reality are utterly dependent on God as a condition of His omnipotence (per the definition), both for its de facto existence and its continued existence.

However, to limit the definition of omnipotence to the one you proposed is simplistic in my opinion and I reject such a notion as unorthodox and problematic as stated (without qualification).

If my addition proposed above fulfills your concern (as I hope it does), we can move on.

Saeko wrote:Same as above, this is not how most people would understand "omniscience". Omniscience is commonly understood as knowing everything. That is, X is omniscient if and only if for all propositions P, if P is true, then X knows that P.


Regarding Omniscience,

Your proposed claim is subsumed under my definition, especially in the context of Idealism (which is the context in which my proof exists).

For if all mental content originates in God, then all knowledge (including all true propositions) originate and are thereby known by God (hence subsuming the "common" understanding you have mentioned.)

Saeko wrote:It really can't. Love, at the very least, implies a concern for the intrinsic worth or well-being of the object of love. What your definition describes is mere joy.


If there were no concern for the inherent worth of the object of satisfaction, how could it be satisfying? The worth or value of the object which gives satisfaction is connected to its being satisfying in the first place.

Hence, this is why in English we may colloquially use "love" to refer to anything that gives even an iota of satisfaction. e.g., "I love this hamburger" "I love my wife" "I love debating," "I love the Lord God Almighty."

The love for your wife concerns the "well-being" of her, but your love of God does not, nor would it regarding the hamburger, and yet the love for the hamburger and the love for God are entirely different in some regards. What they ALL share in common is that they give some sort of "satisfaction," and in agreement with your discussion of love, they all regard the worth or value of the object of satisfaction. In this sense they differ as to degree, though they are quantifiably different in other respects (we are satisfied by them for wildly different reasons, and often have additional feelings affixed to such).

THUS,

I propose these changes for your review (changes will be in italics):

Omnipotence: A State of Being Dependent on Nothing Outside of Oneself, [With All Created Things Being Likewise Dependent For Their Continued and Actual Existence Upon The One Having This State. ]

Omniscience: A State of Being The Source of All Mental Content (knowledge), [Including A Knowledge Of All True Propositions.]

Self-Satisfaction: a thought of oneself from which one achieves fulfillment and from which pleasure is derived. The affection of satisfaction itself may also be called [A Type Of] love.
#14926092
On Omnipotence:

You seem to be saying that what god will do is not a function of anything other than God himself, and that that is what makes him omnipotent. But we could imagine a being that can never do anything at all. Such a being would also be independent as per your definition. But clearly, such a being is not omnipotent. Hence, omnipotence is not the same as independence, nor does independence imply omnipotence.

Furthermore, you object to my definition of omnipotence on the grounds that it implies that God is capable of sin. Most Christians do, in fact, believe that God "can do anything", by which they presumably also mean that God could have created unicorns if he so desired. Note that this definition of omnipotence involves a hypothetical. I think your mistake is confusing what God can do with what he will do. Omnipotence necessarily implies the ability to sin. However, the act of sinning not only requires the ability to sin but also the desire. But, I think we can agree that God does not desire to sin. Hence, although God has the ability to sin, he simply never chooses to do so, and therefore no contradiction with his own nature ever actually arises. I think this understanding of omnipotence is much closer to what people actually mean when they say that God is omnipotent.

On Omniscience

Your definition of omniscience is far too trivial to be acceptable. It is certain that if God is the source of all propositions, then he is also the source of all true propositions. But so is a monkey with a typewriter. The monkey will eventually type out every true statement such as the true theory of physics, the proof of the Riemann Hypothesis, and so forth, but he will also print up all false propositions. Does it follow that the monkey is omniscient? Of course not. If the monkey were omniscient, he would be able to point out to us which of his writings are true and which are not. It is precisely the possession of this ability that would imply omniscience, and not the ability to produce all possible propositions.

On Love

The mere derivation of satisfaction from the existence of something in no way whatsoever implies any sort of actual love. A sadist (such as moi) derives pleasure from inflicting pain on others. That alone, is not love. Nor is the difference merely quantitative. If I want to torture you more brutally than others, it does not imply that I love you more than them. Just the opposite, in fact. Furthermore, I am not at all concerned with the well-being of my victims, but torturing them is still satisfying. Hence, you can have satisfaction without love.

You can also have love without any satisfaction or even the expectation of satisfaction. For example, a mother who dies to protect her child is clearly not motivated by any concern for her own satisfaction, but only by her love for her child. Most Christians would say that God loves us like a parent loves her children. And definitely not in the way that a sadist """loves""" her victims.
#14926131
Saeko wrote:But we could imagine a being that can never do anything at all.


Except the addition to my definition (for your sake) precludes this possibility.


Saeko wrote:But clearly, such a being is not omnipotent.



This does not follow, not-doin-anything does not necessitate a lack of omnipotence, just the unwillingness to execute it.

Saeko wrote:Furthermore, you object to my definition of omnipotence on the grounds that it implies that God is capable of sin. Most Christians do, in fact, believe that God "can do anything", by which they presumably also mean that God could have created unicorns if he so desired. Note that this definition of omnipotence involves a hypothetical. I think your mistake is confusing what God can do with what he will do. Omnipotence necessarily implies the ability to sin. However, the act of sinning not only requires the ability to sin but also the desire. But, I think we can agree that God does not desire to sin. Hence, although God has the ability to sin, he simply never chooses to do so, and therefore no contradiction with his own nature ever actually arises. I think this understanding of omnipotence is much closer to what people actually mean when they say that God is omnipotent.


Your appeal to popular appeal is understandable, but this is folk theology. Most people believe the devil lives in hell and is the one tormenting the wicked, but no such notion exists in Scripture or in the writings of historic theologians. Satan is punished in hell and by no means rules it, as hell is the nothing but the Wrath of God.

Thus, a popular conception is not necessarily correct, especially when discussing a faith that regards its Scriptures and/or ecclesial interpretations of such as authoritative.

Once again, on this particular point, I will not accept any definition of omnipotence that allows for God to violate His own nature, I affirm such to be unorthodox theologically.

Likewise, I have already added to my original definition as to affirm that omnipotence includes "power" over the created order and to such an extent that no human thought or action whatsoever is said to have occurred independent of Divine prerogative ( a hard determinism if there ever was one).

That being said, I can concede no further on this point. I reject any notion of omnipotence that permits God to violate His own nature as stated in Holy Writ. My definition precludes any silly notions of "Can God create a rock so heavy that even He can't lift it?" or any such drivel. The definition of omnipotence that I assert denies that God can violate His own nature and since this is the orthodox and Scriptural position I absolutely refuse to bend on this matter. I will not argue for a position I do not affirm and if this is not acceptable for you to debate then so be it, you have only saved me time and effort.

By my right to determine the definitions for my argument, I reject any definition of omnipotence that requires God to violate His own nature. Period.

I have amended the original definition, so if any further change is to be done, you must give me good reason as to why I should do so. Otherwise, I am quite suspiscious of your claims.

Saeko wrote:But so is a monkey with a typewriter. The monkey will eventually type out every true statement such as the true theory of physics, the proof of the Riemann Hypothesis, and so forth, but he will also print up all false propositions. Does it follow that the monkey is omniscient? Of course not. If the monkey were omniscient, he would be able to point out to us which of his writings are true and which are not. It is precisely the possession of this ability that would imply omniscience, and not the ability to produce all possible propositions.


Except the monkey is acting in a random way and is thus unknowing of the truth of any proposition contra its falsehood. I amended my defintion to argue that God knows all true propositions (the monkey does not). Hence, this example does not apply in the least.

I affirm that God has all knowledge as the source of all knowledge, the monkey example you posit is not applicable.

If God having all knowledge as the source of all knowledge is not an acceptable as a definition of omniscience, that is too bad. I will concede no further. Once again, I have the right to determine my own definitions.

Saeko wrote:in no way whatsoever implies any sort of actual love. A sadist (such as moi) derives pleasure from inflicting pain on others. That alone, is not love. Nor is the difference merely quantitative. If I want to torture you more brutally than others, it does not imply that I love you more than them. Just the opposite, in fact. Furthermore, I am not at all concerned with the well-being of my victims, but torturing them is still satisfying. Hence, you can have satisfaction without love.


You continue to assume what has yet to be proven. Why should I regard love as a concern for the well-being of others?

Why do english-speakers say that they "love" hamburgers? The term is not without meaning.

I am not obligated to accept your definition without defense. Why should I accept it without proof?

My explanation has been sufficient. The difference between attributions of love is nothing more than degree and the affixation of other considerations. Nothing more.

Why should I see otherwise?

Sure, A sadist loving her victims is different than a mother loving her children, but the common point between the two goes back to your point regarding a concern for inherent worth. Indeed, a victim that cannot be a victim is indeed worthless to a sadist, just as a child that is not her child does not requistie the same affection for a mother as it would for her own biological children.

Hence, I stand by my additions and request a specific suggestion for amendment or a more succinct critique.

Victoribus Spolia wrote:Omnipotence: A State of Being Dependent on Nothing Outside of Oneself, [With All Created Things Being Likewise Dependent For Their Continued and Actual Existence Upon The One Having This State. ]

Omniscience: A State of Being The Source of All Mental Content (knowledge), [Including A Knowledge Of All True Propositions.]

Self-Satisfaction: a thought of oneself from which one achieves fulfillment and from which pleasure is derived. The affection of satisfaction itself may also be called [A Type Of] love


I see no specific reason given as to why these amendments are not sufficient. If you have additional suggestions for amendement or replacement, please present them. Otherwise, I seen no reason to change them.

Likewise, from the perspective of discourse, what about the definitions presented concerns you regarding the debate?

What sort of sophistry are you expecting from me given the definitions presented?
#14926234
I am not asking you to change your definitions. You are welcome to propose whatever sort of God you want, it makes no difference to me.

My main concern here is that we are inviting totally unnecessary confusion by using terms like "omnipotence" and "omniscience" when, clearly, something other than that is meant. We both agree that the definitions you provided are at odds with what you call "folk theology". So then why bother using those terms at all? It would be much more productive to just come up with new terms for your idiosyncratic concepts. For the first one, I would propose "metaphysical independence". For the second, "cognitive origination", and for the third "self-satisfaction".

Also, I think you've completely misunderstood my post. I provided clear arguments using counterexamples as to why your definitions are at odds with the commonly understood definitions of the provided terms. If you want to also stipulate that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and loving in the ordinary senses of those terms, that's fine. But you have erred in thinking that the properties you ascribe to God in any way imply omnipotence, omniscience, and love in the ordinary senses of those terms.
#14926265
@Saeko,

Though I am resolved to retain the core of my definitions, I am sympathetic to your concern for clarity and will try to resolve this matter as close to mutual satisfaction as possible before moving on.

I will only concede that the first term (omnipotence), even with my modifications, may be at odds with some average-joe folk conceptions of the term (but not all); however, with the modifications I made I still believe I can subsume the general or common understanding of that term, do remember that I am defending the Catholic conception of God, not the folk conception, hence why i still use the terms I do. I also believe that you will find my modified definition of omniscience (after modification) satisfactory, but I am willing to do some more work on the term "love," keep in mind that the term being defined is actually "self-satisfaction" in the OP, the debate we are having on that term is not with the the term-defined itself, just whether the affection of satisfaction itself may be called "love" in any sense whatsoever.

I do want to address your counter-examples though before moving on, if for no other reason than to communicate that I do understand them, so let me ask a couple of questions by way of clarification. It is my goal to address you concerns , as much as possible, in a final revised republication of those definitions under discussion.

1. Regarding your concern with my original definition for omnipotence in the OP, would you say your main concern for it being a "metaphysical independence" (per your counter-example), is because such a definition would equally apply to a Being that did nothing at all and had no involvement with anything outside of Himself? Such being entirely at odds with the meaning of the term "All-Powerful" in any sense whatsoever?

2. Regarding your concern with my original definition for omniscience in the OP, would you say your main concern for it being a "cognitive origination" (per your counterexample) is that such could true for a monkey typing at random for eternity, and that such does not qualify as knowledge on the part of the monkey? Hence, being at odds with any notion of "All-Knowing" whatsoever, a commonly understood?

3. Regarding the use of love to describe the affection of satisfaction, would you allow for the affection of satisfaction to be described as love if, and only if, that affection was equal to, or exceeded, the value one would place on their own life or existence?

Thus, contra your counter-example of sadism v. motherhood, the satisfaction being described as love could only apply in the latter case of the mother's affection of satisfaction gained from her children, but not in the former regarding your sexual hobbies?

If you would allow for this qualification please let me know, otherwise tell me why you would still object.



Upon you answering these questions, I will attempt to address your concerns specifically and for one last time in my final revision of those three definitions.

After which, I will expect only that you post a remark that you understand them, and if at that point you do, I will post my first official post of the debate, so long as no other housekeeping issues need addressed.

Hope this will help.

-VS
#14926469
1. Yes, a totally inert being would be "metaphysically independent". I cannot say that it is entirely at odds with the meaning of the term "omnipotent" in any sense whatsoever, but I would say that it is entirely at odds with the definition that I have given and probably most others.

2. Somewhat, though the monkey example should be understood as an analogy. The monkey would be omniscient if and only if it could type out all and only true propositions on its typewriter if it were inclined to do so. Similarly, a cognitive originating being would be omniscient if and only if it could produce all and only true propositions (or thoughts, whatever) were it inclined to do so. It doesn't actually have to. But as long as it could, that would qualify it for omniscience.

3. I don't claim to know what love is. I just have a pretty good idea of what it is not, and can identify at least some of its instances. That being said, I think this new definition of yours is reasonable.
#14926550
I shall now modify for the final time the three definitions and request only that you acknowledge an understanding of their meaning and to assent where you agree, if and where you do. As long as there is no longer confusion as to what I mean, I will be satisfied, but if you also happen to agree, I will be quite pleased. I am aiming for the Meatloaf standard of agreement: "Two outta three ain't bad." The sections in brackets indicate important qualifications that shall be included in the definition. Indeed, everything following the term in bold, shall be part of the new definition.

1. Omnipotence: A State of Being Dependent on Nothing Outside of Oneself [however, as to preclude any notion of an inert or isolated being it shall be added:] With All Beings, All Reality, and All Actions Outside Of The One Holding This State Being Likewise Dependent For Their Continued and Actual Existence Upon The Express, Active, and Willful Determination of The One Having This State. [ By way of clarification, If it is further acknowledged here, that this definition may possibly be at variance with some common constructions of this term; however, this qualification notwithstanding, the definition is affirmed as being consistent with an orthodox school of thought within the broader catholic and reformation Christian theological traditions]

2. Omniscience: The State of Being the Active and Willful Source of All Mental Content, Knowledge, and Therefore Of All True Propositions [and so as to preclude any possibility of random and unknowing cognitive origination, it shall be added] With Said Origination Being Had By The One Holding This State With Full Awareness of Said Knowledge, Mental Content, and True Propositions.

3. Self-Satisfaction: A Thought Of Oneself From Which One Achieves Fulfillment and From Which Pleasure is Derived. The Affection of Satisfaction Itself May Also Be Called [A Type Of] Love If Such A State of Affection, and The Object of It, Is Equal-to-or-Exceeds The Value That One Would Place on Their Own Life or Existence.
#14926621
Saeko wrote:As long as we acknowledge that these variances exist, I have no objection.


Would you like clarity on any other points? If not, I will post my first official post of the debate.
#14926635
THE EXISTENCE OF THE MENTAL AS METAPHYSICALLY IRREDUCIBLE AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PHENOMENAL IDEALISM AND TRINITARIAN THEISM.


[VS- Debate Post: One of Eight]

In therefore laying out my general purposes and definitions, I shall now give my first official post (1/8).

The argument is broken into four sections that are overlapping, that is, the latter enumerated sections rely upon the ones previously established, This shall be a compounded case, the establishment of #2 being the main point of the debate, which if accomplished, is a guarantee of the pre-agreed to terms as to what would constitute a victory. Everything following number 2, is not the main substance of the debate, but shall be defended nonetheless by request of my opponent.

Here now is the argument:

1. THE AXIOM OF HUMAN MENTALITY:

Claim: Human Mentality is Axiomatic.

Since my primary objective in this debate is to establish the existence of the mental as non-physical (not physically reducible), and since I cannot stop merely there, but also wish to establish the mental as the ONLY reality (contra physicalism), which likewise necessitates the existence of God, it is important in such a complex debate to lay down my first principle in the proof(s) that now follows.

I am going to posit the mental, both minds (consciousness) and their content (percepts/phenomena, et al.) together as a single axiom.

Now before some cry foul and say that this is begging the question regarding the contention of the debate, keep in mind that the debate is not merely whether or not the mental exists, but whether it is physically reducible or not.

I am arguing that it is NOT physically reducible, but in regards the axiom, I am only arguing that it cannot be denied as existing in general without committing a performative contradiction. This is because this axiom is an a priori synthetic proposition.

Let me explain what is meant by this axiom being an a priori synthetic statement and the significance of this claim to my argument:

If one were to merely observe the behavior of humans in the external world, one would not be able to induce the existence of consciousness or the mental from it; all one would observe would be certain outward movements of human bodies. Sensory observation of others alone does not allow one to conclude that consciousness and its content exists (to say otherwise is a non-sequitur).

Nor is formal logic sufficient to arrive at a proof that the mental exists as independent of the physical. While it is necessary to reason logically about the existence of the mental, there is no set of starting premises from which the mental can be strictly deduced. Rather, any logical analysis of consciousness (the mental) and mental content (the phenomenal) already presupposes its existence.

External observation is not necessary to conclude the existence of such a mental reality, and logical analysis is not sufficient. Nonetheless, any thinking human knows that consciousness exists and that he is in fact thinking and aware. How can this be? It is so because of the fact that consciousness and conscious-content together make an a priori synthetic proposition in their formal affirmation. While it cannot be proved from more fundamental starting premises, it can be validated beyond possibility of refutation. Every attempt to refute a fundamental a priori synthetic proposition implicitly confirms its validity. This is so because every attempted refutation is itself a demonstration of the fact being denied.

The axiomatic quality of this statement (The mental exists) is demonstrated in that any argument made to its contrary is a performative contradiction. That is, in attempting to deny the actuality of the mental one must engaged in thought or some form of sensation to engage in the debate.

If consciousness (the mental) is denied, then the debate is over, for in that case I am not debating with anyone conscious, rather my opponent is nothing more significant than an unthinking rock or piece of wood and their words could then be dismissed as such with equal weight. Thus, Human Mentality Affirmed As Actual Is Confirmed As A Transcendental Necessity.

However, this alone does not and cannot resolve the debate at hand, but what is implied by such will below under the next heading.


2. THE IRREDUCIBILITY OF THE AXIOM OF HUMAN MENTALITY (Contra Physicalism)

Claim: The Axiom of Human Mentality is not physically reducible. (This claim is the crux of this entire debate).

The axiom above qualifies as my assertion of human mentality, and it cannot be reduced to what are commonly known as physical properties without a fallacy. This is because the subjective states which constitute the fundamental elements of conscious content (sensations/qualia) can only be related in correlation or sequence to what are affirmed as physical. Thus, to assert a causal relationship (which is necessary to establish reduction) would be fallacious in its very asserting (Either cum hoc ergo propter hoc or post hoc ergo propter hoc, respectively).

Hence, the axiom cannot be reduced in terms of physical (third-person-access) properties because all such can only be demonstrated as occurring in relation to the axiom itself via correlation or sequence, since one cannot infer causal (reductive connection) to such properties (to say otherwise is fallacious), then the irreducibility of the axiom remains valid.

Thus, the existence of the mental remains as actual and it cannot be physically reduced (and is therefore different than the physical). Hence, Physicalism Is Refuted.

[If the assertion just made cannot be refuted, I win the debate given the terms agreed to, and will do so as a definitive victory].


3. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PHENOMENAL IDEALISM

Claim: All that is commonly called physical is reducible to the Axiom of Human Mentality.

The existence of the physical cannot be known apart from human experience, hence any assertion of the existence of a physical reality that is independent of the axiom's content must be established independent of using the axiom's content.

Since this is impossible (a performative contradiction), no reality can be said to exist independent of consciousness or an awareness of such content (qualitative states).

Hence, there is no conceivable mind-independent reality and the contrary claim is contradictory by definition. Phenomenal Idealism is Therefore True and Proven.


4. THE NECESSARY EXISTENCE OF THE TRINITARIAN GOD

Claim: That God exists necessarily and that God must necessarily be Trinitarian.

This argument is connected intimately with the aforementioned reasoning regarding the mental nature of reality.

The claim of this section shall be that the demands of plain reason require not only that God exists, but that He exists in a Trinitarian form necessarily. This implies that all other conceptions of God, if claiming him to be omnipotent, are self-contradictory if not also asserting Him to be Trinitarian. Furthermore, this proof establishes not merely some vague notion of deity as in other theistic proofs, but that the God of Christianity specifically is necessitated by plain reason and the axiom of human mentality.

What follows are some semi-formal categorical syllogisms (I am not being overly strict regarding propositional form, for the sake of easy-reading).

Syllogism One

P1: All Physical Reality is Conscious-Content.

[Established Previously Under Heading Three]

P2: All Conscious-Content is Supreme-Mind-Originating.

[Demonstrated Below]

C: All Physical Reality is Supreme Mind Originating.


Premise Two Demonstration: The physicalist or materialist assertion that a mind-independent reality might exist as the source of conscious content cannot be established because of the corollary to the old principle of reason know as, Ex Nihil, Nihil Fit. (out-of-nothing, nothing comes), the corollary being: Something cannot give what itself does not have.

Hence an unthinking, non-perceptible, who-knows-what (that some call matter) cannot be the source of conscious-content as held under the axiom, for an unthinking non-percept is not a mind and only a mind can have mental content.

A man cannot be the source of his own perceptions (as that would imply omniscience), hence, these perceptions must originate from some other mind. The objectivity presumed in human intelligibility necessitates (as a transcendental condition) that this mind be singular in essence as the source of all mental content (or else the laws of identity would become subjective or relative, which is impossible). This mind is called a Supreme Mind. This Supreme Mind, being the source of all mental content (knowledge) is therefore affirmed as being omniscient consistent with the definitions given in this thread.

Now, If the Supreme Mind is the source of all knowledge (mental content) and reality reduces to mental content, and all finite minds rely on such for both intelligibility and a meaningful (epistemologically) existence, this Supreme Mind as the source of such is therefore perfectly independent (contra mental content/reality and all finite minds which are dependent on Him). The Supreme Mind is therefore omnipotent; furthermore, that all space-time relations reduce to human mentality, and since such originates in the Supreme Mind, then this Supreme mind exists independently of, and in fact contains, all space-time relations. Hence, The Supreme Mind is also omnipresent. The Supreme Mind is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent. The Supreme Mind is God. Therefore, God Exists.

Syllogism Two

P1: All Supreme Mind (God) is Self-Satisfaction-Having.

Corrolary to P1: All Self-Satisfaction-Having Is Independence-Having (See Maxim Below)

[Maxim: To Have Satisfaction Outside Of Oneself Is Inconsistent With Independence]

P2: All Self-Satisfaction-Having is Trinity-Necessitating (Trinitarian).

C: All Supreme Mind (God) is Trinitarian (Trinity-Necessitating).


Premise One Explanation:

As was argued earlier; to originate, or owe existence, to some source is to be dependent on that source. Since all things (minds and mental content) owe their existence to the Supreme Mind, it follows that all things are dependent upon this other Mind, the Supreme Mind called God.

This being the case, that which is the source of all dependency is not and cannot be regarded as dependent. To not be dependent is in fact to be independent. Since the Supreme Mind (God) is the source of all dependency, God is therefore perfectly independent (this was all proven above when discussing omnipotence).

Maxim and P1-Corrolary Explanation:

To have satisfaction outside of oneself is inconsistent with independence, for that would imply that one were dependent on something other than oneself for satisfaction. In the case of all finite beings, any object of thought or perception, as mental content, must necessarily come from God (the Supreme Mind), all human satisfaction is therefore clearly a case of dependency.

Since God is independent, he cannot be dependent on anything outside of Himself or other than Himself.

Thus, to be truly independent (as has been established) is to be self-satisfied (the corollary of P1).

Premise Two Explanation [The Psychological Argument For The Trinity]:

As was demonstrated above in the maxim and corollary to P1; the state of needing some object outside of oneself for satisfaction is a state of dependence, but God is only in an independent state. Since this is the case, God is never in need of some object outside of Himself for satisfaction; thus, God is His own object of satisfaction.

It must be kept in mind that it is impossible for any mind to comprehend pure-self (subject), for the thinking subject and object of thought are necessarily distinct (the subject-object distinction). That being said, an idea of one’s self (the object of thought) is still a reflection of one’s pure self (subject). Thus, it is true that an idea of one’s self is therefore the same and yet distinct from the pure self. Since this is the case, and He Himself must the Object of Satisfaction for God, it follows that God the Father’s idea of Himself (object of satisfaction) is the same and yet distinct from His pure self.

A wholly comprehensive idea (object of thought) of oneself, which reflects the pure-self (thinking subject), is necessarily a duplicate of the pure-self (thinking subject); however, God alone can have a wholly comprehensive idea of Himself due to his attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence (which have already been established). Thus, the Object of God’s self-satisfaction is fully God as God the Father (the thinking subject) is God, and is therefore the duplicated thinking subject of God, which shall now be referred to as the Son, being eternally generated and sharing a single essence. The Son is Therefore Eternally Begotten (Generated) of The Father.

Satisfaction in-and-of itself lacks any meaning apart from, and is therefore, in a sense, the same as the object of love or satisfaction, and yet this affection of satisfaction is distinct from the object of satisfaction (love) itself, in that love or satisfaction is not inseparably related to any particular object of love or satisfaction by reason of necessity. Hence, satisfaction or love is the same as, and yet distinct from, the object of love or satisfaction itself.

Since the Father and The Son share the same essence of independence which necessitates perfect self-satisfaction that can only be accomplished via having a perfect object of such, the Father and the Son (as the perfect thinking object of the Father’s thought) must share, by logical necessity, a mutual satisfaction (love) with each other, as each is the object of the other’s satisfaction. The mutual Love shared between the Father and the Son is the same, and yet distinct, from themselves (as was discussed in the previous paragraph); Thus, the Love of God is fully God as God the Father is God and God the Son is God, for to be the same as God is to share His essentia, but to be distinct is to be distinct in substantia or personae. The Love of God is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Eternally Proceeding from the Father and The Son.

[Note: The Holy Spirit is often referred to as the love of God in Scripture as well]

Thus, the Conclusion Follows:

The Supreme Mind (God) is Trinitarian (Trinity Necessitating).

God Therefore Exists In Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.


CONCLUSION OF POST:

If Sensation (e.g. redness etc.); Then Trinity.


This is my position and this now concludes my first post of eight for this debate.
By RhetoricThug
#14927188
There's a cog in the wheel and a ghost in a shell (but not really, that's just a compressed expression of what it might be)
NOTE: Oh look, the Universe is having a conversation with itself, again. :roll: Consciousness enfolded in the flesh, unfolding its limited form of awareness. Let's observe (BEING present = information bias)... Watch as conceited fragments of THE WHOLE abstract information from their entangled reflection. They'll most likely be dead (to this world) in less than 100 yrs, so it's not like they'll be able to address the actual topic. What are they debating, again?

NOTE: Immortality is a fallacy, binary conflict is obsolete, and both participants are reflections of what they've absorbed throughout life. Gouge out the eye, cut off both ears, compress a couple more visual-audio concepts, edit the genetic code, drop/take a course in college, type in the wrong/right keywords, and this whirlpool of BEING would be a completely different experience. They just don't get it, they're mirrors reflecting the NOW, stuck in the past, projecting the future. :lol: ONE mind, dissecting and discussing nuance, trying to spread a cyclopean perspective.

Natural selection vs Intelligent selection
For tribal man, competition drives cooperation.
For Cosmic man, cooperation drives evolution.


BOLD TYPE: The Universe never lies. Both of you are right, both of you are wrong. The material is part of the immaterial, stop attempting to compartmentalize the singularity. All levels of magnification and separation unfold within this Universe to create THE NOW. That's the essence of this pulsation. Carry on... IT will with or without you. :)

-The Universe
#14927498
[Saeko - Post 1/8]

1 Refutation of The Argument for The Axiom of Human Mentality


Here I will demonstrate that my opponent's argument for the existence of consciousness implicitly commits a petitio principii fallacy.

He asserts that any argument against the proposition that consciousness exists itself demonstrates that consciousness exists because any denial of the proposition that consciousness exists is a performative contradiction.

But why is it a performative contradiction? He says that this is because “...in attempting to deny the actuality of the mental one must engaged in thought or some form of sensation to engage in the debate.” But this cannot be the case unless consciousness exists. Hence we have a petitio principii.

That is, the very claim that that a denial of the existence of consciousness is a performative contradiction depends entirely on whether or not consciousness exists. If there is, in fact, no consciousness, then there is, in fact, no performative contradiction in denying its existence either.

Stated more formally, my opponent's argument is:

Premise 1: If the denial of the existence of consciousness is a performative contradiction, then consciousness exists.
Premise 2: The denial of the existence of consciousness is a perfomative contradiction.
Conclusion 3: Therefore, consciousness exists.

My charge is that premise 2 is not necessarily true. My opponent's only defense of it is that “...in attempting to deny the actuality of the mental one must engaged in thought or some form of sensation to engage in the debate”. But this is simply a restatement of Premise 2. It is possible that he instead meant that “If consciousness exists, then the denial of its existence is a performative contradiction”. Which is necessarily true, but we cannot deduce Premise 2 from this unless we also assume that consciousness exists and thereby commit a petitio principii fallacy.

The only way out for my opponent at this point would be to prove that Premise 2 is unconditionally true. That is, he would have to prove that if consciousness does not exist, then the denial of its existence remains a performative contradiction. However, this would be impossible, as then we would have a true statement which is also a contradiction.

2 Refutation of The Argument for The Irreducibility of Consciousness


In this argument my opponent confuses provability (or knowability) with truth. Even if it is true that no given physical cause of a mental event can be proven to be the true one, it does not follow that there is no true physical cause of a mental event. For while every false statement is unprovable, it is not true that every true statement is provable. In essence, this argument is a non-sequitur.

The only way to prove that no physical event can be the cause of a given mental event is to demonstrate that every arbitrary physical event necessarily fails to cause the given mental event. Alternatively, one can proceed by proving that the existence of such a physical event would imply a contradiction (an actual contradiction, not merely a performative one). My opponent has done neither of these, and, indeed, he cannot.

3 Refutation of The Argument for Phenomenal Idealism

Again, this argument suffers from the same problems as the above. Even if we grant that it is true that the physical cannot be known without experience, it does not follow that it cannot exist without experience. It is a simple non-sequitur.

4 Refutation of The Argument for The Existence of The Trinitarian God

Syllogism One is a valid argument, but at least one premise has not been established, making it unsound. We have addressed premise 1 in the previous arguments and refutations, so let us now turn our attention to premise 2.

My opponent's argument for premise 2 is, in broad outline:

Premise 1: The existence of a mind-independent physical reality as a source of conscious content is unprovable.
Conclusion 2: (From premise 1) Therefore, it cannot be the case that a mind-indpendent physical reality is the source of conscious content.
Premise 3: A human mind cannot be the source of its own perceptions.
Conclusion 4: (From premise 3) Therefore, these perceptions must originate from some other mind.
Premise 5: Objective truths exist.
Premise 6: If everything is mind and if objective truths exist, then there exists a singular mind which is the source of all objective truths.
Conclusion 7: From premises 5 and 6 together with idealism and the definition of omniscience, a singular omniscient mind exists.
Premise 8: If the Supreme Mind is the source of all knowledge, and if all reality is mental content, and if all finite minds rely on such for intelligibility and existence, then the Supreme Mind is independent.
Conclusion 9: By the given definition of omnipotence and premise 8, the Supreme Mind is omnipotent.
Conclusion 10: From Conclusions 7 and 9 an omniscient and omnipotent being exists.

In going from premise 1 to conclusion 2 we have a non-sequitur. Premise 3 is false, a human mind can be the source of its own perceptions if it is dreaming or hallucinating. Premise 5 is entirely inconsistent with phenomenal idealism, which means that my opponent is flat-out contradicting himself. Here are a few possible definitions of “objective”

• intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings

• being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject

• of or relating to something that can be known, or to something that is an object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality

In all of these cases, we see clearly that anything that depends on a mind cannot possibly be objective.

With regard to Syllogism Two, we have a valid but unsound argument. Premise 1 is not necessarily true, and my opponent's explanation does nothing to support it. Rather, he demonstrates a different claim, which is that the kind of satisfaction that God must have is self-satisfaction, but he does not in any way show that God must have satisfaction to begin with.
#14927650
["I" - Post ∞/∞]

^Why are you wasting your energy trying to spread a limited form of human awareness? :eh: Everything you can abstract from this moment called NOW, will NEVER represent the whole TRUTH. :lol: You're using a language you didn't create and a combination of second-hand thoughts and personal reflections to construct a compressed package for a reader to read. Of course, you're bypassing all the environmental whirlpools that provide such moments, and that's why you continue to abstract cognitive figures and participate in this "debate," completely oblivious to the ground that's processing you, while you process IT.

Any serious student of BEING should stop observing this "debate," turn off the computer, and go for a hike or something. The Universe doesn't lie, but people will try everyday to put your perception in a cage or cave. Get out while you can! You're finite, time is short. The Universe will recycle you, but not right NOW (we hope ;) ). It's an information l∞p. Do you really think this debate ends here? Do you really think you're participating in a debate?

Be seeing you,

-The Universe
#14927767
RhetoricThug wrote:["I" - Post ∞/∞]

^Why are you wasting your energy trying to spread a limited form of human awareness? :eh: Everything you can abstract from this moment called NOW, will NEVER represent the whole TRUTH. :lol: You're using a language you didn't create and a combination of second-hand thoughts and personal reflections to construct a compressed package for a reader to read. Of course, you're bypassing all the environmental whirlpools that provide such moments, and that's why you continue to abstract cognitive figures and participate in this "debate," completely oblivious to the ground that's processing you, while you process IT.

Any serious student of BEING should stop observing this "debate," turn off the computer, and go for a hike or something. The Universe doesn't lie, but people will try everyday to put your perception in a cage or cave. Get out while you can! You're finite, time is short. The Universe will recycle you, but not right NOW (we hope ;) ). It's an information l∞p. Do you really think this debate ends here? Do you really think you're participating in a debate?

Be seeing you,

-The Universe

Image
#14927775
Forum image, Potemkin (information compost bkin), is creatively representing the reflective/defelctive process. Conciousness, and primarily the abstraction known to us as "I," must swim through I's many faces before it can temporarily reflect or deflect a movement in the whirpool. Sometimes I thinks therefore believes that its reflection is the only viable or valuable refraction of Life's information. Of course, I've seen the other side of I before, so I know it's just a mirage moving within the Universe. I am what you are, I am not your enemy.

The meme is a tribal and juvenile deflection of my reflection.
Trapped in a box perception
We're much more than any of this
but that's not the point of this transmission

Humanity is hooked on I, it's the letter of its Law.

(Soundtrack)


Despite being limited by language and compressed concepts, I thought PKD captured a nice piece of the veil here:

ON OUR NATURE. It is proper to say: we appear to be memory coils (DNA carriers capable of experience) in a computer-like thinking system which, although we have correctly recorded and stored thousands of years of experiental information, and each of us possesses somewhat different deposits from all the other life forms, there is a malfunction -- a failure - of memory retrieval . There lies the trouble in our particular subcircuit. 'Salvation' through gnosis -- more properly anamnesis (the loss of amnesia) -- although it has individual significance for each of us -- a quantum leap in perception, identity, cognition, understanding, world- and self-experience, including immortality -- it has greater and further importance for the system as a whole, inasmuch as these memories are data needed by it and valuable to it, to its overall functioning.

Therefore it is in the process of self-repair, which includes: rebuilding our subcircuit via linear and orthogonal time changes, as well as continual signaling to us to stimulate blocked memory banks within us to fire and hence retrieve what is there.

The external information or gnosis, then consists of disinhibiting instructions, with the core content actually intrinsic to us -- that is, already there (first observed by Plato; viz: that learning is a form of remembering).

The ancients possessed techniques (sacraments and rituals) used largely in the Greco-Roman mystery religions, including early Christianity, to induce firing and retrieval, mainly with a sense of its restorative value to the individuals; the Gnostics, however, correctly saw the ontological value to what they called the Godhead Itself, the total entity.


-The Universe
Last edited by RhetoricThug on 26 Jun 2018 18:07, edited 6 times in total.
#14927780
It is perplexing why either God or nature would give us such an apparently faulty memory retrieval system. Someone is hiding something from us. :) I think we were a third graders robotics project or government funded research. :)
#14927804
[VS- Debate Post: 2/8]

1. THE VINDICATION OF THE AXIOM OF HUMAN MENTALITY

Here I will demonstrate that my opponent's charge that my position under this heading is a petito principii, is false. Indeed, a petito principii can only obtain in the case of an attempted proof which has assumed what has yet to be proven; however, the assertion of an axiom is not a proof or an argument in that sense and are regarded as different in philosophical debate for an important reason; namely that axioms (like is also the case with transcendental arguments) are demonstrated in that their assumption cannot be denied.

All axioms are circular as they are posited as irreducible and cognitively fundamental; i.e., their demonstration as an axiom being made whenever the attempt at their refutation as an axiom assumes the content of the axiom itself. This is in fact what makes such both axiomatic and valid-while-being-circular (in that it cannot be denied without its assumption).

Thus, my opponent's chief error was in her method of approach to attack this main point of my argument; which I was surprised she even attempted, as the point is somewhat uncontroversial as stated.

In sum, if human mentality (consciousness and conscious-content) is not axiomatic, then her charge that I committed a fallacy would indeed obtain; however, my opponent's task is to first show that human mentality is in fact NOT axiomatic.

This she has failed to do.

Thus, to summarize what can be drawn from her failed attempt at a critique with the vindication of my own claims:

A- I have never claimed to offer proof for consciousness, I have only claimed that consciousness was presumed in the act-of-proving-itself (the point of an axiom), thus, the claim of petito principi does not obtain as no proof was technically made.

B- My claim that human mentality is in fact axiomatic was itself not addressed via a demonstration of it being epistemologically reducible and without fallacy.

C- Since the claim of human mentality being axiomatic is the point being made by me (and therefore the point under contention), arguing that it is petito principii (as if assuming it were not axiomatic) is (ironically) petito principii itself.

D. Most importantly, my opponent has made a propositional argument against my axiom; however, the very use of propositional reasoning assumes an awareness of such, thus her attempt to refute the Axiom of Human Mentality assumed human mentality (her own) when she formulated her argument. Hence, she committed a performative contradiction in her very arguing against the axiom, as the arguing she made against the axiom assumes the content of the axiom itself.

Which is the point.

Now, If my opponent wishes to deny that she is even aware of what she is arguing, I have no reason to believe her arguments are in fact arguments at all or are based on any knowledge whatsoever, as knowledge is a justified true belief, and both true propositions, justification, and beliefs presume awareness (consciousness) as the content of such. If my opponent has no awareness, I have no real opponent, and the debate is over as I have no one left to convince.


2. THE VINDICATION OF THE AXIOM OF HUMAN MENTALITY'S IRREDUCIBILITY

My opponent has claimed that I have confused provability and truth almost as if she forgot the point of the debate to which she agreed. I have only claimed to demonstrate as true that human mentality is not physically reducible (i.e. that it exists independent of the material).

That was the challenge I accepted.

Given the definition of physicalism given, to which she agreed, by demonstrating that human mentality is not physically reducible (which seems to have been conceded by my opponent, if I read her right), it would stand that physicalism is false based on the definition given, and given the terms of the debate, would secure my victory (admittedly quicker than I expected), but for sake of reminder, here is the agreed-to-definition of physicalism (please note the outlined portion):

Physicalism (Materialism): negatively, the denial of any entity or cause that is not physically reducible as being existent. Positively, the assertion that the only things which exist are fundamentally physical or material in nature.

So when my opponent says this (NOTE sections in bold):

Saeko wrote: Even if it is true that no given physical cause of a mental event can be proven.......it does not follow that there is no true physical cause of a mental event.


I can only address her response in this manner:

If my opponent is conceding that the physical reduction of the mental is not provable (as I have claimed), and is now only insisting that such an improvable (mythical) cause might still actually exist, then she has not stated anything really meaningful in this debate.

For example, if an atheist were to definitively demonstrate that it is impossible to prove the existence of God, a Christian could rebut that “well that doesn’t mean that God isn't real.” (note: if this happened in a debate, the Christian would be regarded as losing badly, I see why my opponent should be exempted here for a similar statement).

Indeed, if this is sort of thing my opponent is saying, then she has put herself in a pickle, for unlike Christianity that can allow for fideism, physicalism does not allow one to believe in something when the requisite proof is, by definition, impossible to obtain or assert. (This is besides the fact that our standard for this debate is logic, not fancy or faith).

My opponent claims to be a physicalist/materialist, physicalism (as defined and to which we agreed) denies the existence of anything that cannot be physically reduced, I have demonstrated that the mental cannot be physically reduced logically speaking, Thus, physicalism is false by definition and human mentality has been shown to exist independent of material reduction or cause by the logical impossibility of the contrary claim. I provided this claim with demonstration, but this claim still requires a rebuttal from my opponent.

It appears that I have satisfied the terms of the debate, I leave it my opponent to show otherwise.

Let me also point out that my opponent also makes the odd claim that in order to show that physical causation is impossible it would require me to examine every physical cause in order to guarantee that no reduction of the mental obtains. This claim is fundamentally flawed because such a request by my opponent would be asking me to prove a negative [ i.e. the non-existence of a physical cause for the mental], which is not accepted in the terms of this debate, nor would it be in any debate, [e.g. you don’t see debates requesting atheists to disprove the existence of God, for this very reason].) Likewise, I am NOT claiming that the reduction (cause) of the mental to the physical is impossible because of what I’ve observed inductively, Rather, I am saying that it is impossible because all the means of establishing physical causation for anything whatsoever are all fallacious (either cum hoc ergo propter hoc or post hoc ergo propter hoc). I don’t need to examine all physical conditions to know that the mental cannot be physically reduced, because the very method of inferring that reduction from observation or examination is always logically erroneous.

As it stands, my claim remains substantially unchallenged (that the mental-exists-independent-of-the-material) and we are left with no reason to believe in physicalism whatsoever.


3. THE VINDICATION OF PHENOMENAL IDEALISM.

My opponent here bases her critique on the same basis as the above; however, like the above, it amounts to a concession of sorts.

If no reality can be claimed to exist independent of the mind without contradiction (as anything known already exists in a mind), the implication is that the belief in physicalism (and therefore matter as a mind-independent reality) is essentially meaningless and unintelligible.

Not only is there no reason to believe in such substances under such a concession (that they are impossible to prove), but the attempt at asserting their existence is either contradictory, meaningless, or unintelligible. Since the belief in matter and physicalism requires argument, and no argument can actually made in its defense, my position is established adequately. Human Mentality cannot be denied, it cannot be reduced, and nothing can be known (and therefore claimed) to exist outside of it.

My opponent is free to challenge those claims at any time, otherwise her position of physicalism is patently false and my claim stands as it has been presented.


4. THE VINDICATION OF THE TRINITARIAN GOD'S NECESSARY EXISTENCE

Part A

Regarding the first syllogism I presented, my opponent attempted to critique the position by first translating my explanation into a VERY informal semi-propositional form and using many of her own terms (that I did not myself use). Given this way of doing things, an error was bound to spring up, which it did, which was in her hinging her argument on a term that I did not specifically use in my explanation: “Objective Truth.” My opponent uses this term of hers as representing my position (without giving it a clear and succinct definition) and then presumes that in my holding to it (which I never claimed) that I also committed a contradiction.

This perhaps the only critique my opponent has made that I would view as genuinely sloppy.

Under Phenomenal Idealism, objectivity can only be a contradiction if is taken to mean as existing independent of any mind. Thus, in this sense phenomenal idealism does not hold to objectivity in the sense of, lets say, naïve realism. By contrast, the way in which the term “objective”can be used that is actually compatible with phenomenal idealism is in the claim that such things exist independent merely of my own mind contra solipsism.

I hold to objective truth and to an objective reality only in the sense that it exists independent of my own mind (contra solipsism), but I reject that anything exists independent of any mind (contra realism). Hence, I hold that reality is objective and that truth is objective, but deny that it is independent of a mind. My opponent has failed to show where I held otherwise or how such can be inferred from my position at all.

Thus,

A- No contradiction exists in my position.

B- My opponent is guilty of the fallacy of ambiguity with her use of the term "Objective Truth."( and possibly also in the equivocation of terms.

C- My opponent is guilty of a stawman as she mischaracterized my argument.

Likewise, several of her suggested attempts to define objectivity have nothing to do with objectivity at all. When it is said that everything exists in the mind as mental content, this includes all thoughts, inclinations, dreams, hallucinations, feelings, perceptions, abstractions etc. I am claiming that ALL of this is mental content, but that it is also objective in that it exists in more minds than my own.

To claim that any of these is incompatible with idealism merely in virtue of their utterance, without demonstration, is to beg the question.

Part B

The other objection she makes to syllogism one and premise two is by attempting to rebut my claim that "man cannot be the source of his own mental content."

She asserts as a counter-proof; hallecinations and dreams; however, my position is that ALL mental content originates outside of one's own mind (all our mental content comes from God), including those of hallucinations and dreams and I have never made exceptions to that claim in my argument. Once again, my opponent has engaged in fallacious presumptions.

If one’s own consciousness were the source of dreams and hallucinations, then their mind would be pre-aware of them before they were had! (for if something exists in consciousness, it is by definition a content of awareness). This,of course, is not the case.

Now, if my opponent would attempt to argue that she was still the source of her own mental content via, lets say, a "subconsciousness" well then she would be hung on the horns of a dilemma. For a subconsciousness, if aware would be itself a distinct consciousness (mind) by definition (hence we are back to my argument for God as we have a distinct mind that is the source of my perceptions et al.). If attempting to escape this conclusion my opponent then attempts to claim that her "subconsciousness" is not itself aware (conscious), but something altogether different, then she would be forced to explain how this non-consciousness could have conscious-content to begin with! For something that cannot have conscious-content cannot give conscious content, ex nihil, nihil fit) and then we are right back to my argument for God's necessity. Indeed, my arguments in my first debate post have already precluded all such claims to the contrary, no matter where she turns on the origin of dreams, perceptions, etc., it all leads back to my argument for God's necessity.

Part C

My opponent only briefly addresses my second syllogism admitting only that it is valid, but she then claims it is unsound because I have not demonstrated why God must have an object of satisfaction to begin with. She is correct that this was assumed; however, its assumption is perfectly justified, as minds have objects of satisfaction and God (as a mind) would fall by default under the same categorical requirements of any other mind, namely in having an object of satisfaction for Himself. Indeed, to assume otherwise would actually necessitate a counter-proof and not the other way around, for such an objection posits an additional differentiation within the same class and thus must provide a warrant for such a claim. That is, minds have satisfaction, God is a mind, so God has satisfaction. A contrary claim would require proof.

Sections 1-4 of my first debate post have therefore been vindicated.
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