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An Argument against Substance Dualism

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Consul
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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Consul » June 18th, 2018, 12:54 pm

Mosesquine wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 7:57 am
I think that Descartes' version of substance dualism is flawed. According to Descartes, soul and body are two distinct substances. It's because body is always located in space-time points anyway, but soul is always not located in space-time points at all. I think that all causal processes nomically occur in space-time points. I also think that all interactions of anything are happening in space and time. According to Descartes' version of substance dualism, soul is not located in space-time points, so soul cannot interact with body causally!es. This follows that Descartes' version of substance-dualistic-assumption that soul is non-spatio-temporal and body is spatio-temporal is false.
Descartes didn't know Einstein's concept of spacetime. Like Newton, he regarded space and time as separable, non-unified categories; and, as far as I know, he regarded souls as substances which are spatially unlocated (exist nowhere in space, don't stand in spatial relations to other souls or bodies) but temporally located (exist somewhen in time, stand in temporal relations to other souls or bodies).

All theologians agree that God doesn't exist in space, but they disagree over whether or not he doesn't exist in time either. However, of course, if Einstein is right—and it seems he is—then it is inconsistent to say that God exists in time but not in space. So, in the light of modern physics, theologians cannot help but assert for the sake of consistency that God exists neither in space nor in time. However, they are thereby jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, because the very concept of an a-/extra-temporal (conscious) mind is self-contradictory. All (conscious) mental phenomena—all sensations, feelings, and thoughts—are dynamic phenomena, being events or processes, which are temporal phenomena by definition. So God must exist in time; and if to exist in time is to exist in space too, with space and time being inseparably unified into spacetime, then God must exist in space too. But this is incompatible with the traditional doctrine of theism!
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Mosesquine » June 18th, 2018, 2:05 pm

Consul wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 12:54 pm
Mosesquine wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 7:57 am
I think that Descartes' version of substance dualism is flawed. According to Descartes, soul and body are two distinct substances. It's because body is always located in space-time points anyway, but soul is always not located in space-time points at all. I think that all causal processes nomically occur in space-time points. I also think that all interactions of anything are happening in space and time. According to Descartes' version of substance dualism, soul is not located in space-time points, so soul cannot interact with body causally!es. This follows that Descartes' version of substance-dualistic-assumption that soul is non-spatio-temporal and body is spatio-temporal is false.
Descartes didn't know Einstein's concept of spacetime. Like Newton, he regarded space and time as separable, non-unified categories; and, as far as I know, he regarded souls as substances which are spatially unlocated (exist nowhere in space, don't stand in spatial relations to other souls or bodies) but temporally located (exist somewhen in time, stand in temporal relations to other souls or bodies).

All theologians agree that God doesn't exist in space, but they disagree over whether or not he doesn't exist in time either. However, of course, if Einstein is right—and it seems he is—then it is inconsistent to say that God exists in time but not in space. So, in the light of modern physics, theologians cannot help but assert for the sake of consistency that God exists neither in space nor in time. However, they are thereby jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, because the very concept of an a-/extra-temporal (conscious) mind is self-contradictory. All (conscious) mental phenomena—all sensations, feelings, and thoughts—are dynamic phenomena, being events or processes, which are temporal phenomena by definition. So God must exist in time; and if to exist in time is to exist in space too, with space and time being inseparably unified into spacetime, then God must exist in space too. But this is incompatible with the traditional doctrine of theism!

Theological issues are not needed here. The definition of God as existing in time but not in space is not normal for *existing* being or such. All concrete objects are things that exist in space-time points. All the rest other things fall into abstract objects. (Quine rejects even the existence of abstract objects except mathematical objects and sets, though...) If God is an object existing in time but not in space, then God does not exist, by definition of concrete objects.

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Wayne92587 » June 18th, 2018, 2:34 pm

The duality of point Singularity, a Soul point.

A Point Singularity, has a dual quality, a point Singularity not being a materiality, has no substance.

A material substance can only be monotheistic.

A Spiritual Reality, point Singularity, having the potentiality of having a Dual Quality.

In the beginning, a point Singularity has no relative numerical value, has a numerical value or Zero-0.

Upon displacement a Point Singularity of Zero-0 having no relative, numerical value, having a numerical value of Zero-0, as if by magic, is converted, Transfigured, is morphed, into the first in a series, the beginning of a continuum such as the Space-Time continuum, the beginning of a process, such as the Evolutionary Process, is converted into a Singularity having substance, into the Reality of First Cause, the First Point Singularity, Spiritual Reality to have relative, a numerical value of One-1.

The first, Point Singularity, Singularity of Zero-0, to have relative, a numerical value of One-1, as the Reality of First Cause, a Singularity of Zero-0 became a Singularity of One-1, became the direct material Cause of a System of Chaos, out of which the Heavens and the Earth, the Universe, the Reality of Everything that Exists in the material sense of the word, was made Manifest Reality.

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Consul » June 18th, 2018, 3:04 pm

Mosesquine wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 2:05 pm
Theological issues are not needed here. The definition of God as existing in time but not in space is not normal for *existing* being or such. All concrete objects are things that exist in space-time points. All the rest other things fall into abstract objects. (Quine rejects even the existence of abstract objects except mathematical objects and sets, though...) If God is an object existing in time but not in space, then God does not exist, by definition of concrete objects.
It depends on the definition of "concrete". If it simply means "mental or physical" (and "abstract" correspondingly means "neither mental nor physical"), then a spatially/spatiotemporally unlocated object such as the theistic God is still a concrete object. (All substances, be they material or spiritual, are concrete objects. No abstract object is a substance.) By the way, spacetime as a whole can be regarded as one concrete object or substance; and it is certainly not itself located anywhere in spacetime.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Consul » June 18th, 2018, 4:03 pm

Mosesquine wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 7:57 am
We know that our mental activities interact with our body performances.
Epiphenomenalists deny that we know this, because they believe it is not the case. (If p is false, you cannot know that p.) According to them, there is no psychophysical interaction, i.e. bilateral mental-to-physical and physical-to-mental causation but only unilateral physical-to-mental causation.

But, as far as I know, all defenders of substance dualism defend mental(-to-mental and mental-to-physical) causation and are thus non-epiphenomenalists about mental events or properties, especially as all causal activity of an incorporeal entity such as God can be nothing but purely mental causation. Of course, the big problem is that purely mental causings performed by nonphysical souls or spirits are magical speech- or thought-acts.

Quran 2.117: "He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth, and when He decrees something, He says only, 'Be,' and it is."
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Mosesquine » June 18th, 2018, 4:43 pm

Consul wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 3:04 pm
Mosesquine wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 2:05 pm
Theological issues are not needed here. The definition of God as existing in time but not in space is not normal for *existing* being or such. All concrete objects are things that exist in space-time points. All the rest other things fall into abstract objects. (Quine rejects even the existence of abstract objects except mathematical objects and sets, though...) If God is an object existing in time but not in space, then God does not exist, by definition of concrete objects.
It depends on the definition of "concrete". If it simply means "mental or physical" (and "abstract" correspondingly means "neither mental nor physical"), then a spatially/spatiotemporally unlocated object such as the theistic God is still a concrete object. (All substances, be they material or spiritual, are concrete objects. No abstract object is a substance.) By the way, spacetime as a whole can be regarded as one concrete object or substance; and it is certainly not itself located anywhere in spacetime.


The definition of 'concrete objects' is given below:

For every x, x is a concrete object iff x is extended in space-time points, and x is a member of a set (or more).

By this definition above, your objection to my atheism is not supported. The following ones are definitions of 'mental'.

(J.J. C. Smart's version of 'mental') = For every x, x is mental iff x is a brain process.
(Donald Davidson's version of 'mental') = For every x, x is mental iff x is an event, and x is a extensional physical event plus attitude verbs with subjects.

According to your conjecture, God is not a physical object (i.e. not located in space-time points). God is not a mental object, since, according to Smart's definition of 'mental', God is not a brain process. God is not a mental object, since God is neither an event, according to Davidson's version of defining 'mental'. In summary:

For every x, x is God iff it is not the case that x is a physical object, and it is not the case that x is a mental object, and it is not the case that x is an abstract object, and it is not the case that x is a brain process, and it is not the case that x is an event ...

The set of definitions keeps proving that there is no God.

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 18th, 2018, 6:20 pm

Frost wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 11:33 am
I think there are a couple fundamental issues with this argument.

What is a causal process? What are the mechanisms? How does anything occur at all?

What is the nature of spacetime? Is it emergent?

What I'm getting at is that there is a good argument that the non-physical is critically linked with the physical that allows for such an interaction.
"Causal Process" does not exist. Cause and effect just happen; one thing after another without any "process". A glass falls to the floor and breaks. We can only observe, record and try to explain.
Adding a soul, or other incorporeal element does not help the explanation, and only adds unnecessary baggage to the description. For, having added a non-physical you simply have to offer a cause for that too.
Science can add as many levels of causality as is needed, none are non-physical, but they all add more detail.

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Wayne92587 » June 19th, 2018, 1:15 am

God does not exist in the material sense of the word.

I am is not a statement of fact about the Physical Existence of God, of self.

I am is a statement of fact about One's non-Physical Self, is about the word existence itself; a verbalization of One's
thoughts about the existence of the Immaterial Self, the Spiritual Body, which of course has no substance, is not measurable as to location and momentum in Space-Time, that exist without form, as a Great Void, Nothingness, a Random State, Field, of Singularity, of ever present Infinitely Finite, Indivisible Singularities, a thought about self; I exist, I am.

Three Times Great, Hermes Trismegistus; Lord, Keeper, of the Holy Grail, of King Solomon's Ring.

Ye, Amen, Ra !~~~>0

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Wayne92587 » June 19th, 2018, 1:22 am

The set of definitions keeps proving that there is no God.
Not so, if God is an Immortal, is not a mortal, material Being.

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Consul » June 19th, 2018, 8:07 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 6:20 pm
"Causal Process" does not exist.
Well, see: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-process/
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Consul » June 19th, 2018, 8:53 am

Mosesquine wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 4:43 pm
The definition of 'concrete objects' is given below:

For every x, x is a concrete object iff x is extended in space-time points, and x is a member of a set (or more).
What exactly does "extended in space-time points" mean? "Spatiotemporally extended", "four-dimensional"? What about spacetime points themselves, which are zero-dimensional? And what about zero-dimensional immaterial souls which are located at or occupy some spacetime point? Philosophers wouldn't regard them as abstract entities. They don't even regard spatially unlocated Cartesian souls such as God as abstract entities. For all entities or objects with mental attributes are arguably concrete.

Everything is a member of a set, including abstract objects such as numbers (e.g. 7 e {7}); so this is an irrelevant condition. (Whether sets really exist is another question.)

There is no such thing as the official definition of "concrete" (and "abstract").
See: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/abstract-objects/

In my understanding, being neither mental nor physical is a necessary condition of abstractness. Lacking spatial extension and spatial location are necessary conditions too. Another necessary condition is lacking causal powers (both active and passive powers): abstracta aren't agents; they cannot act or be acted upon; they cannot cause or influence anything. These conditions are jointly sufficient for abstractness.
Mosesquine wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 4:43 pm
By this definition above, your objection to my atheism is not supported.
:?:
I didn't object to your atheism.
Mosesquine wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 4:43 pm
The following ones are definitions of 'mental'.

(J.J. C. Smart's version of 'mental') = For every x, x is mental iff x is a brain process.
(Donald Davidson's version of 'mental') = For every x, x is mental iff x is an event, and x is a extensional physical event plus attitude verbs with subjects.
Smart's materialist statement that all mental occurrences (facts/states/events/processes) are physical occurrences in brains is not a definition of "mental" but a hypothesis about the ontological nature of mental phenomena, which if true, is not true by definition (of "mental"). And Davidson's anomalous monism is equally a thesis or theory regarding the mental rather than a definition of "mental".
Mosesquine wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 4:43 pm
According to your conjecture, God is not a physical object (i.e. not located in space-time points). God is not a mental object, since, according to Smart's definition of 'mental', God is not a brain process. God is not a mental object, since God is neither an event, according to Davidson's version of defining 'mental'. In summary:

For every x, x is God iff it is not the case that x is a physical object, and it is not the case that x is a mental object, and it is not the case that x is an abstract object, and it is not the case that x is a brain process, and it is not the case that x is an event ...

The set of definitions keeps proving that there is no God.
Substance dualists and spiritualist substance monists simply reject Smart's & Davidson's physicalist theories of the mental. Mental events/processes whose substrates are immaterial souls rather than bodies are certainly not brain events/processes, since bodiless souls are brainless too.

By "mental object" I mean a nonphysical object with mental properties; and the theistic God is such an object by definition. It's part of the theistic concept of God.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 19th, 2018, 1:42 pm

Consul wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 8:07 am
ThomasHobbes wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 6:20 pm
"Causal Process" does not exist.
Well, see: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-process/

Oh FFS.
Try and read what I wrote and attempt to respond to it.

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Mosesquine » June 19th, 2018, 6:40 pm

Consul wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 8:53 am

By "mental object" I mean a nonphysical object with mental properties; and the theistic God is such an object by definition. It's part of the theistic concept of God.

All nonphysical objects with mental properties are absurd things. All tables are physical objects. All transparent dragons are, maybe, nonphysical objects with mental properties, perhaps. Maybe, the flying spaghetti monster is better than the theistic God. You totally fail to explain how 'nonphysical object with mental properties' exists.

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Consul » June 19th, 2018, 7:46 pm

Mosesquine wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 6:40 pm
All nonphysical objects with mental properties are absurd things. All tables are physical objects. All transparent dragons are, maybe, nonphysical objects with mental properties, perhaps. Maybe, the flying spaghetti monster is better than the theistic God. You totally fail to explain how 'nonphysical object with mental properties' exists.
To explicate a concept is not to postulate an object that falls under it. I don't believe in the existence of God or any other nonphysical objects with mental properties. The concept <nonphysical object with mental properties> exists, but its extension is the empty set, which is to say that there are no such objects.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: An Argument against Substance Dualism

Post by Mosesquine » June 20th, 2018, 3:01 am

Consul wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 7:46 pm
Mosesquine wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 6:40 pm
All nonphysical objects with mental properties are absurd things. All tables are physical objects. All transparent dragons are, maybe, nonphysical objects with mental properties, perhaps. Maybe, the flying spaghetti monster is better than the theistic God. You totally fail to explain how 'nonphysical object with mental properties' exists.
To explicate a concept is not to postulate an object that falls under it. I don't believe in the existence of God or any other nonphysical objects with mental properties. The concept <nonphysical object with mental properties> exists, but its extension is the empty set, which is to say that there are no such objects.

Your point is not clear. Say anything clearly.

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