Question was inspired by this user from Yahoo, thought I'd get some opinions on this on Think Atheist.

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What do you mean, now what? I don't know, I was just asking if it were possible.


I suppose, if there were a separation between thought and the material, and we accept our own mortality, then we would start to see each other as not just evolved animals, but as beings who can say "I am. I think." Who have one chance as thinkers collectively sharing in our experience of the material world, to lead a fulfilling and happy life. Then we might not be so selfish, and recognize the dire need to assist those less fortunate. And not nuke ourselves into oblivion or destroy the environment, so that others might be able to experience this world.

Why must we swallow a load of bullshit before gaining the ability to recognize the beauty in our own existence?  This just sounds like a standard theological apologetic that says you can't be moral unless you join a cult.

There's no joining any cults, no bullshit, it's just an idea. I thought, maybe mind and matter could be separate. How can I discuss this with someone else? TO THE INTERNET!

There was no reason to be rude, that's all. I had honest intentions, and you gave me your opinions, and I said thanks.

Well, I just said it was, so I guess you're done, right? You got what you came for.

@Heather Spoonheim, thank you for providing me with some insights, and discussing the idea of dualism. I'm still undecided as to whether there is a difference between existence, or life, whatever, and the purely material but at least furthered the debate in my own mind/electrical circuits. Thanks.

To be sure, I never once suggested immortality, despite being quoted as such.

As an aside, I'd just like to say that there really is no need for people to take on such a tone with each other. If you've found out the best way to think, or be, then great! But if other people haven't you ought to be helping them to understand, not belittling them. These are not trivial questions, they constitute the very nature of ourselves. You shouldn't ridicule someone if they don't agree with you, or are just plain wrong. There's still a space for respect in honest discussion, which was why I asked a question.

It's not about belittling at all.  You started out asking if some magical idea had merit and I answered, clearly, that it did not.  Since then you've tried to re-assert the idea in various ways, attempting to illustrate the 'logic' of your magical claims, and seemingly expect me to stop and say, "Whoa!, I had never considered that before.  The complete lack of evidence for this concept and philosophical contradictions it poses suddenly seem silly compared to the ingenious analogy you just crafted to illustrate it."

I'm not just an Atheist, I'm an avid anti-supernaturalist.  I immediately, and loudly, oppose all magical claims because I hate the fact that the human mind can so easily become infected with bullshit.

Apologies if I'm being retarded, or thinking about magical ideas, but I gave it some thought and decided I'd come back for another bruising.

Let's say we do create two purely synthetic consciousnesses, identical in everyway, that can say, "I am". If we introduce them to each other and ask, "Are you the same being?" they will surely answer, "No." The physical material structure of their thought apparatus/brain will be entirely identical up to that point, yet they are not occupying the same space, therefore they will state (correctly) that they are different.

Is not consciousness the gateway between the material and the abstract? The most simple abstract thought is "I am." If a material being can conceive of this thought, it can be said to be conscious. It can take an abstract i.e. immaterial notion, and ground it in the material world. "I am here. I am not there."

Higher levels of abstraction can be accessed by more complex thinking material beings. Where are ideas about mathematics, morality, love, art etc. grounded? If all conscious minds perished, would that mean that numbers would no longer exist? If so, why? If not, they exist externally to us. When a new abstract thought has been conceived of by a consciousness, let's say for example, the idea of currency, where has this new thought come from? Currency hadn't always existed but someone came up with it, and applied it in the material world. If it did exist before, where?

My question is: Is abstract thought created or discovered?

If it was created, how does the brain create abstract ideas which cannot be perceived by our sense organs in the material world? If abstract ideas exist in the material world, where? How can we measure or quantify them as we can with everything else here? How do we conceive of notions which do not materially exist? If we create the ideas in our brains, does this mean they don't exist before they are thought of? If no-one thinks it, does it no longer exist?

If it was discovered, this implies with our conscious minds we can access an abstract dimension which exists independently of this material world.

Someone said that abstract thought is the ability to model the concrete material world. Where does this model exist? If it exists here, why can we not quantify or measure it like we can with other material things?

If we can say that possibly this model does not exist in the material world, we must accept the potentiality of a dualist system, in theory at least, rather than simply rubbishing or dismissing it out of hand.


Dualism does NOT imply theism, OR an idea of immortality but is a serious philosophical question which is not necessarily "dead".

It's very much dead for those who trade in evidence/real world observation.  Dualism is simply a philosophical construct that never holds up to observation and rarely holds up even to philosophical scrutiny.


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