217. DR. GARY MARCUS SANDBAGGED BY NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE SCIENCE QUESTIONS

What does prop up mean? Where in the scientific method does 'should not prop up' occur? Construct formulation? Observation? Inductive research? Intelligence development? Necessity formulation? Hypothesis construction?

Every single idea in the history of man was at one time, propped up. This is a false standard, taught by a modern religious order, not something taught by our key philosophers of science.



This is romanticizing - when the history of the accrual of knowledge is used to justify the oppression of thought. This is a learned martial art of immunity from scientific method (pseudoscience). It is like saying it's OK for your family to rob banks since all its ancestors were preachers and ran orphanages.

For instance, I am a solid Climate Change proponent. I have invested a ton into green energy and crude oil businesses seeking remedy of our accelerating carbon and methane ppm's. I support science in this consensus. But that does not mean that I go out and try and marginalize those who are doing Earth core exothermal cycle research. I want to see their research - even if it threatens or changes our ideas about climate change. Just because I heed the consensus on climate change does not mean that I must attack anyone who proposes a supplemental or alternative idea, by deeming it 'propped up'.

So can you imagine how extensively more invalid such activity is, when consensus does not exist?



A materialist with integrity should never be threatened by the work of those who do not share the same bent. They should be excited by the work, not attack the work as worthless and the researchers as fringe bingo. History tells us that knowledge advances by Paradigm Shifts and the passing-on of those who were holding new ideas back (Kuhn-Planck Paradigm Shift). Again, what you have related here is false social propaganda from a specific religious group.

This is not how philosophers of science, pose how science works.
I would take you more seriously if you went through Michael’s last couple of posts and dissected them. There’s plenty to work with.

Have you any thoughts about wavelengths of light interacting with cone cells and folding that into a model that denies any external reality?

We then have the interesting fact that the human neonate is colour blind, with colour vision maturing over the first 5-6 months as the eye is exposed to these wavelengths of light. No exposure in the early years = no colour vision in the adult. The implications for the development of perception, awareness and dare I say it, ‘consciousness’ are there for those that want to see.
 
I would take you more seriously if you went through Michael’s last couple of posts and dissected them. There’s plenty to work with.

Have you any thoughts about wavelengths of light interacting with cone cells and folding that into a model that denies any external reality?

We then have the interesting fact that the human neonate is colour blind, with colour vision maturing over the first 5-6 months as the eye is exposed to these wavelengths of light. No exposure in the early years = no colour vision in the adult. The implications for the development of perception, awareness and dare I say it, ‘consciousness’ are there for those that want to see.
First, I cannot produce evidence in this realm which inductively serves to falsify the idea that anything besides this realm exists. That is not philosophically (a fortiori scientifically) possible. Understanding this is key to indicating the logical grasp necessary to deal with the issue of domain. Domain theory is one of the first courses taught in graduate level philosophy - and there is a reason why.

Cones are cones precisely because the tapering diameter of the nerve bundle allows it to be sensitive to the full frequency of the visible light spectrum, so the eye does see color. The issue is the training of the brain. During the brain's formative years most of the neurological configurations necessary in adapting to this realm develop and are housed in the brain. No one doubts this. This is non-critical path and a straw man.

By your same logic then, people blind from birth could not possibly have a 'vision and color NDE'. And when they do have a 'vision NDE', such a novel sensory event should enormously confuse and indeed terrify them (as happens when a blind-from-birth living person suddenly is able to see) - yet consistently they do not. This is called a pathway of deductive inference - and should be the focus of your most intense interest then, if your mind is sincerely set on inquiry and not enforcement. The 'cones' issue is only mildly inductive in a role of proving an absence, and as such is a red herring (torfuscation). It is a waste of everyone's time.

All NDE proponents have to do is produce 1 solid case. This is the nature of deduction. It is much stronger than induction - and failure to understand the difference is the source of a lot of ignorance.

When skeptics panic to dismiss full color NDE's in the blind (Susan Blackmore and her ilk of 'figured-this-out-in-just-3-years' pseudo scientist), you can see the desperation in their agency. I find it comical.
 
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I would take you more seriously if you went through Michael’s last couple of posts and dissected them. There’s plenty to work with.
His thesis statement, although hard to find, is this.

"Exotic" is an unsurprising word choice. It's just another thinly disguised way of seeking to rubbish ideas you disagree with. As is the use of the word "giants", implying that those revered by materialists possess the most likely version of truth.
His contention bears some validity. These are words choices of agency, not simply bias. Bias is OK - as we all have them. However, one cannot have a productive discussion with agency.
 
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I not only don't provide succour to YECs, I thoroughly reject YEC.
The two aren't mutually exclusive.

You say "a" mainstream view. I don't think so: it's Hoffman's view, and it's hardly mainstream. Most mainstream scientists are materialists who think of the world in a WYSIWYG way.
My example of (the mainstream view of) colour perception completely refutes this strawman characterisation. We can play a similar game with patterns of air waves interacting with precise delicate hairs being translated into noise in our awareness, but I fear it would be a waste of time.


Sophistry again. Just playing with words.
I'll take that as a compliment from an acolyte of Kastrup :D




No need to reconcile the problem; idealism makes it disappear because it reverses the direction of causality. No longer does consciousness have to arise from that which doesn't possess consciousness. Instead, consciousness is fundamental and gives rise to the world of appearances.
Hmmm.

"Exotic" is an unsurprising word choice. It's just another thinly disguised way of seeking to rubbish ideas you disagree with. As is the use of the word "giants", implying that those revered by materialists possess the most likely version of truth. Would it be extremely unusual to find experts "wildly erroneous"? I think not. There are plenty of examples of experts who got things wrong in the past, and there's no reason to believe that present experts are immune; if they were, then there'd be no point in doing science, would there? We'd always get things right on the first outing and progress would be impossible.

Science is predicated on people eventually being proven wrong, though we're in a cultural phase where this has been forgotten, and are drowning in certainties that are blocking scientific progress. Fact is, quite a lot of the current models of reality adopted by science are in some cases beyond laughable, such as the current cosmological model; the Darwinist model of macroevolution; and the materialist, self-refuting model of consciousness. Inconsistencies abound in science: are the rule rather than the exception.
See my response to TES about the incremental creep of human knowledge. Sure, mistakes and refinements. Even fraud, deception and poor practice, but the march is generally in the same direction, thus progress. Historically, backing one fringe viewpoint/paradigm shift after another has a poor return, but I'm open to surprise.

You can't escape your WYSIWYG view of the world. For you, the arrow of causation simply must go from inanimate, unconscious (unless you're a panpsychist) particles to animate, conscious entities. That's what your senses are telling you, and you're accepting it literally, which is why you're trying to tell me that Hoffman's views are compatible with materalism -- move on, nothing to see here. I think people like Hoffman have such intriguing and well-founded hypotheses about reality that even people like you have to accommodate them in some way. Not wanting to deny them outright, you are attempting to fit them in with your predilections as if they cause no serious difficulty for them. Who do you think you're kidding?
I've kinda covered some of this above. You’re still deflecting my question though... Do various wavelengths of light interact with cones or not?


Category error, shmategory error.
:D
 
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First, I cannot produce evidence in this realm which inductively serves to falsify the idea that anything besides this realm exists. That is not philosophically (a fortiori scientifically) possible. Understanding this is key to indicating the logical grasp necessary to deal with the issue of domain. Domain theory is one of the first courses taught in graduate level philosophy - and there is a reason why.

Cones are cones precisely because the tapering diameter of the nerve bundle allows it to be sensitive to the full frequency of the visible light spectrum, so the eye does see color. The issue is the training of the brain. During the brain's formative years most of the neurological configurations necessary in adapting to this realm develop and are housed in the brain. No one doubts this. This is non-critical path and a straw man.
I'm sympathetic to Idealism. I understand that we may be all whirlpools of consciousness in a river of awareness. Michael is proposing this domain. To understand it better could you flesh out what you mean by "the visible light spectrum" in the above paragraph.

By your same logic then, people blind from birth could not possibly have a 'vision and color NDE'. And when they do have a 'vision NDE', such a novel sensory event should enormously confuse and indeed terrify them (as happens when a blind-from-birth living person suddenly is able to see) - yet consistently they do not. This is called a pathway of deductive inference - and should be the focus of your most intense interest then, if your mind is sincerely set on inquiry and not enforcement. The 'cones' issue is only mildly inductive in a role of proving an absence, and as such is a red herring (torfuscation). It is a waste of everyone's time.

All NDE proponents have to do is produce 1 solid case. This is the nature of deduction. It is much stronger than induction - and failure to understand the difference is the source of a lot of ignorance.

When skeptics panic to dismiss full color NDE's in the blind (Susan Blackmore and her ilk of 'figured-this-out-in-just-3-years' pseudo scientist), you can see the desperation in their agency. I find it comical.
It would be an interesting phenomenon. How do you think someone with no light perception since birth would acquire the language to recount the colour in an nde or dream?
 
I'm sympathetic to Idealism. I understand that we may be all whirlpools of consciousness in a river of awareness. Michael is proposing this domain. To understand it better could you flesh out what you mean by "the visible light spectrum" in the above paragraph.
You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means. hehe... :) From The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science - the three general forms of Idealism are below. The first two do not apply to the logical critical path of this argument because they are subjective (domains), and the third is an absolutely necessary alternative of science under Ockham's Razor. So I am not completely sure what the argument is. Possibly you are arguing objective idealism and Michael is arguing subjective.

Subjective Idealism (the opposite of materialism)
Idealism - the view that the contents of human knowledge are ineluctably determined by the structure of human thought (Berkeley)
Ontological Idealism - the view that epistemological idealism delivers truth because reality itself is a form of thought and human thought participates in it. (Kant)
Objective Idealism (a subset of pluralism and the opposite of monism) -
Primacy of intelligence - asserts the primacy of consciousness and intelligence as the origin and prerequisite of material phenomena. According to this view, consciousness exists before and is the substrate of material existence. (Russell)
The only quip I could find which relates a definition in both of your discourse (probably the first thing you should have done) is...

"The materialists posit that the physical causes the mental, whereas idealists posit the reverse. And one advantage of that is that the Hard and Combination problems cease to be problems."​
This is like contending that 'God' solves the problem of our existence. It does not, because in that contention, one is claiming a subjective domain to resolve an objective epistemology. This is a mismatch in philosophical tools.

The two alternatives are Material Monism versus Objective Idealism (as a subset of Pluralism). To bring in subjective idealism (as in the quote above) is ingens vanitatum. Makes for a useless discussion.

The actual critical path, incremental question is "Is intelligence substrate to our physical reality?" - This is the foundation of the hypothesis. This bears mechanism, intelligence, a body of data, and offers an incremental risk provision. It can be tested by physicists and held to account. Features of hypothesis which material monism cannot offer. This is an alternative which needs to be pursued by science - but is blocked by terrified material monists.

And calling it 'idealism' is part of that process of obfuscation. To wit, my next post.
 
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How do you think someone with no light perception since birth would acquire the language to recount the colour in an nde or dream?
Note: 'Idealism' is a stupid name for this hypothesis. First it carries too much baggage and serves to increase the entropy of understanding, Second it gives too much credit to old academicians who did not even possess the concepts of 'scientific hypothesis' and 'critical path', and finally it is not really a construct - the result of observation which one sponsors into a hypothesis. But since we are stuck with such doltishness, I will use the term here.

The Role of Deductive Inference in Objective Idealism as a Hypothesis

I don't know that they acquire the language.​
How do they see their body, when in fact it does not exist in the first place, much less their mental construct of what constitutes their body? There appears to be some form of resident knowledge then. Vicki Umipeg, a blind-from-birth case study within the overall Ring-Cooper Study, cited that she caught glimpses of the crumpled vehicle in which she crashed, and was able to recognize a doctor and nurse. She saw buildings and a horizon - things she had never 'seen' before. So, how could she process or possess this visceral cognition?​
Similarly, blind-from-birth Brad Barrows observed his hospital roommate get up from his bed and leave the room to get help. How did he know what a visual bed was, or a human for that matter?​
Why would a person who is blind-from-birth, hallucinate with specific context images they had never seen before? Never dreamed before? Never even encountered before - such as pieces of medical equipment they had not so much as even touched? This is by default, the definition of a deductive (not inductive) double-blind experiment.​
The test is therefore a test of ex nihilo knowledge. This will serve to falsify the null. This bears intelligence, data and mechanism and can be tested. This is deductive science.​
The Discipline of the Null - What it Is and Is Not
The alternative hypothesis of Objective Idealism is necessary therefore (Ockham's Razor) that recognition is resident (intelligence is substrate to reality) independent of the machine used to integrate it with the physical. The null, that intelligence is a product-only of a monist domain - is ONLY A DOMAIN PLACEHOLDER.... It is no different ethically than proposing God as an explanation for one's existence. Except that we do observe a physical reality and monism often stands as the null; however - the null of monism itself is not an actual objective hypothesis nor theory. It bears none of the elements of hypothesis. It is a tool of discipline and not a scientific alternative.​
Why this is Important in Dispelling Pseudo Science and Oppression

Therefore, holding a domain (materialism) as consensus - becomes an oppressive action called an Einfach Mechanism. Most scientists do not take much philosophy, so they fall vulnerable to this mind trick. This is why consensus cannot be a popularity contest among scientists, as such error always results in oppression - rather consensus is a "consilience of agreement among falsified alternatives" (Oxford, Nagel's Account of Reduction, pp. 464-466).​
Materialism is NOT a 'consilience of agreement among falsified alternatives'. Therefore its insistence as truth, is a religion (agency), and not a science nor philosophy.​
The least scientific thing one can do, is to believe the null hypothesis. This gets even worse, if the null hypothesis is not even a true hypothesis.​
 
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I've kinda covered some of this above. You’re still deflecting my question though... Do various wavelengths of light interact with cones or not?:D
Cones are the way that certain processes involved in what we call sight appear to human perception. Light waves are a model of how light behaves, not necessarily how light actually is. Idealism posits that neither is a cause of anything, but rather, is an appearance to perception coupled with a physicalist narrative or explanation.

All of language is predicated on acceptance of what our normal senses tell us. We perceive the world as being WYSIWYG, no way round that. What I think Hoffman is saying is that appearances may be deceptive and merely iconic -- good enough to help us negotiate our way in life, but not accurate representations of reality.

So from my viewpoint, your question is a kind of trap. It's not a question of whether wavelengths of light interact with cones or not. Whichever answer I were to give would in its own way play into the physicalist narrative. If I were to say yes, then I'd be accepting physicalism outright. If I were to say no, then your natural rejoinder might well be to ask for some alternative explanation, probably expecting it to be couched in physicalist terms.

One aspect of idealism is that it rejects the very idea that causality has its origins in particulate interactions. In the end, this is something built upon age-old observations of how macroscopic phenomena appear to us: a stone falls off a cliff onto a object and breaks it, or a building falls down and kills someone, so the stone or the building is thought of as at least part of the cause of such events. Scientific reductionism carries this idea to its logical extreme, where every conceivable event or phenomenon must be caused by particulate interactions (or interactions of properties of particles), right down to what is thought of as the subatomic level.

To me, that's just a modelling exercise, and generates inconsistencies and contradictions, such as the incompatibility of GR and QM and the hard problem of consciousness. What is beguiling is that in some circumstances, physicalist interpretations are genuinely useful, despite the inconsistencies. Because the interpretations sometimes seem to work, there's an almost irresistible tendency by some to assert physicalism must be correct, and that the inconsistencies are merely defects in current understanding that will one day be cleared up by better physicalist explanations.

But we've seen where physicalism has led to in science: to the postulation of entities that aren't empirically observable, and quite possibly never will be. In order to avoid the conclusion that consciousness might be involved in the universe, science has postulated a potential infinity of other universes: the ultimate in unparsimoniousness. It's also postulated all sorts of other events/entities that can't be observed, abandoning its roots in empiricism, and grasping at the merest slivers of evidence to corroborate its opinions. Oh look -- there's a black hole:

01-eso1907a-press.jpg

Well, what I see is a dark something in front of a lighter something, or maybe something light with a hole in the middle. If we had never postulated black holes, it might well be interpreted as something different.

Likewise with space being bent by massive stars, something "proved" by empirical observation during eclipses. But maybe a simpler postulate is that light bends round stars, and this can be detected during an eclipse. Whether that's due to light having some small amount of mass, or some other effect not yet understood, who can say. All we can say with certainty is that during an eclipse, stars appear to be in a different place than they usually would appear to be.

No one is questioning empirically verifiable observations; it's more a question of how those are interpreted: how do we explain what is apparent to our senses? The physicalists claim things actually exist exactly as we perceive them, independently of, and external to, our consciousness; and the idealists, that they only appear to exist in an external reality independent of our consciousness. Eliminative materialists prefer to deny the existence of consciousness altogether, claiming it's an illusion -- using, ironically, the very consciousness they deny the existence of.

We're never going to agree, Malf, and the only reason I'm bothering to reply isn't to convince you, so much as to explain my views to others who may be reading this.
 
Cones are the way that certain processes involved in what we call sight appear to human perception. Light waves are a model of how light behaves, not necessarily how light actually is. Idealism posits that neither is a cause of anything, but rather, is an appearance to perception coupled with a physicalist narrative or explanation.

All of language is predicated on acceptance of what our normal senses tell us. We perceive the world as being WYSIWYG, no way round that. What I think Hoffman is saying is that appearances may be deceptive and merely iconic -- good enough to help us negotiate our way in life, but not accurate representations of reality.
I still think you're misrepresenting the "physicalist" view with WYSIWYG. There is far more overlap than you appear to credit and I have given some solid reasons for maintaining that position.


The mainstream physicalist: All that exists to us are conscious minds and their thoughts. (Our experience is all we have)

Larkin & Hoffman: All that exists are conscious minds and their thoughts. (Our experience is all there is)


So from my viewpoint, your question is a kind of trap. It's not a question of whether wavelengths of light interact with cones or not. Whichever answer I were to give would in its own way play into the physicalist narrative. If I were to say yes, then I'd be accepting physicalism outright. If I were to say no, then your natural rejoinder might well be to ask for some alternative explanation, probably expecting it to be couched in physicalist terms.
Something that suggests an interaction with external reality is considered a "trap"? Sometimes this whole forum feels like a series of traps to bash up on "science"/"materialism"/"mainstream opinion" etc. :D

I can't help feeling "consciousness" researchers miss a trick by consistently referencing mature, adult consciousness as their starting point, and then folding that into a preferred reality. The way infant awareness develops and the impact (extrernal?) stimuli have in driving that development is well researched, and suggest a process that is uncomfortable to a proponent of "fundamental consciousness".


One aspect of idealism is that it rejects the very idea that causality has its origins in particulate interactions. In the end, this is something built upon age-old observations of how macroscopic phenomena appear to us: a stone falls off a cliff onto a object and breaks it, or a building falls down and kills someone, so the stone or the building is thought of as at least part of the cause of such events. Scientific reductionism carries this idea to its logical extreme, where every conceivable event or phenomenon must be caused by particulate interactions (or interactions of properties of particles), right down to what is thought of as the subatomic level.
You keep saying stuff like this. If there is a physical realm, I consider if full of magic and mystery. Can you reference a modern mainstream scientist/science communicator/skeptic who denies QM?


We're never going to agree, Malf, and the only reason I'm bothering to reply isn't to convince you, so much as to explain my views to others who may be reading this.
I get that. As I said earlier we have to come to terms with what "works" for us. As an Idealist what does it offer you in terms of living a better, happier life? I ask because I've adopted Stoicism as my day-to-day liveable philosophy and I find its perspectives very helpful.
 
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I get that. As I said earlier we have to come to terms with what "works" for us. As an Idealist what does it offer you in terms of living a better, happier life? I ask because I've adopted Stoicism as my day-to-day liveable philosophy and I find its perspectives very helpful.
What has a better, happier life to do with the matter at hand? I don't even consider that when thinking about idealism, or materialism for that matter. Whatever is, is, regardless of whatever I think or whether I feel happy or unhappy.

Most of the time, I'm reasonably content with my lot, but that isn't because I'm an idealist/not a materialist. It's mainly a philosophical thing; a question of what I find intellectually convincing or not. My spiritual experiences, such as they are, do affect my level of happiness, but they don't arise from intellectual considerations. Naturally, I could never support something that isn't consistent with my personal experience, which materialism isn't, and of the various alternatives, idealism is the best metaphysical view I've so far come across.

If you gain your happiness from stoicism, good for you, but personally I can't see why a materialist (perhaps especially one who expresses the idea that consciousness is a kind of illusion) would need, or be accepting of, a philosophy focussing on a system of ethics as a source of happiness (eudaimonia). That would seem, to me, to be for such a person an existential choice rather than something based on inner conviction, which latter implies for me a real consciousness rather than an illusory one.

Which is why I tend to think that such a person might not actually be a convinced materialist. Though some might think in their own minds that they have resolved the problem of reconciling stoicism with materialism, I suspect the two are actually irreconcilable.

To my mind, one can be either a materialist or a stoic, but can't be both, since at their base there are are conflicting convictions. The one implies that everything arises blindly and without direction from matter, whilst the other implies there's something real that is more important than matter, viz. happiness, or facing both favourable and adverse circumstances with equal aplomb. But quite how or why happiness should arise out of matter, rather than misery, or some other emotion (or indeed none at all), escapes me.

"Stoical materialism", it seems to me, wants to have its cake and eat it. It wants to abjure nihilism, yet I think the latter is the natural consequence of materialism. It wants to claim that life has some kind of meaning, brings something worth pursuing. IMO, were materialism to be the actual case, life would have no meaning, nothing would be worth pursuing, and adopting stoicism or some other virtue-based philosophy would be a matter of arbitrary choice which wouldn't make a bit of difference in the grand scheme of things.
 
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What has a better, happier life to do with the matter at hand?
Almost everything imo. Once philosophy leaves that unattended it is, more-or-less, dead.

If you gain your happiness from stoicism, good for you, but personally I can't see why a materialist (perhaps especially one who expresses the idea that consciousness is a kind of illusion) would need, or be accepting of, a philosophy focussing on a system of ethics as a source of happiness (eudaimonia). That would seem, to me, to be for such a person an existential choice rather than something based on inner conviction, which latter implies for me a real consciousness rather than an illusory one.
Claiming one type of consciousness is "realer" than another is a bit sneaky. I think we've already established in this thread that awareness is illusory under any model (remember: You are maintaining that the external reality is illusory). Is there colourful world out there, or does it just feel like there is? Is there a monkey riding the tiger, or does it just feel like there is?

Which is why I tend to think that such a person might not actually be a convinced materialist. Though some might think in their own minds that they have resolved the problem of reconciling stoicism with materialism, I suspect the two are actually irreconcilable
To my mind, one can be either a materialist or a stoic, but can't be both, since at their base there are are conflicting convictions. The one implies that everything arises blindly and without direction from matter, whilst the other implies there's something real that is more important than matter, viz. happiness, or facing both favourable and adverse circumstances with equal aplomb. But quite how or why happiness should arise out of matter, rather than misery, or some other emotion (or indeed none at all), escapes me.

"Stoical materialism", it seems to me, wants to have its cake and eat it. It wants to abjure nihilism, yet I think the latter is the natural consequence of materialism. It wants to claim that life has some kind of meaning, brings something worth pursuing. IMO, were materialism to be the actual case, life would have no meaning, nothing would be worth pursuing, and adopting stoicism or some other virtue-based philosophy would be a matter of arbitrary choice which wouldn't make a bit of difference in the grand scheme of things.

You'll find it hard to find anywhere that I identify as a "convinced materialist". However, Stoicism does jive quite nicely with a more deterministic, "what will be, will be" approach. For example, the behaviours or opinions of others is outside of your control and not worth your upset; the further consolation is that anybody with the same history and experiences of that other will behave in that way, or have those opinions. To get upset is a waste of emotional energy, we are all (largely) products of our inputs.
 
Almost everything imo. Once philosophy leaves that unattended it is, more-or-less, dead.
Unmitigated bollocks. Philosophy deals with all sorts of things, not just happiness. And why in any case have you used the term "philosophy" (which I didn't use) in lieu of "the matter at hand" (namely the nature of consciousness)?
I think we've already established in this thread that awareness is illusory under any model (remember: You are maintaining that the external reality is illusory). Is there colourful world out there, or does it just feel like there is? Is there a monkey riding the tiger, or does it just feel like there is?
We have established no such thing. I believe that noumena (things-in-themselves), are real, in fact the only reality -- there's nothing illusory about them. The perceptual correlates of noumena, viz. phenomena, aren't so much illusory as the way noumena appear to us, and help in day-to-day life and survival. Tangentially, read this quite brief article by Donald Hoffman. Also, please watch at least the first ten minutes or so of this latest Thinking Allowed interview of Bernardo Kastrup:


Bernardo describes subjective and objective Idealism and says he's an Idealist in both senses, depending on what perspective he takes. He points out that there isn't necessarily a 1-to-1 correlation between noumena and phenomena, but asserts that the "physical" world is actually only an appearance to perception of things-in-themselves, which I'll add exist in the consciousness of M@L as something we'll never (at any rate normally) be able to experience.
You'll find it hard to find anywhere that I identify as a "convinced materialist".
Great. So it appears you agree with me: a person like you isn't a convinced materialist - isn't a nihilist, which convinced materialists are.

There's hope for you yet.
 
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