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

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Stated before you even asked - so already answered.  I will not engage your circles.

Stated where? You said a concept can span two separate brains, and can be too large to be held in either. Where does it exist entirely? You haven't answered it at all.

RE: "Where does it exist entirely?" - why, in the mind of your god, of course!

(Do you SEE how much of your time you've wasted, Heather?)

Not only have I wasted my time, but I also perceive having wasted that time, and you are also able to perceive that time wasted - that is 3 times as much waste as actually occurred!  Our very perceptions of things multiply the existence of those things!

This guy reminds me of Glenn Beck.

I'll just bet that's where heaven is, Anon, and god feeds us abstract ideas! What do you think?

RE: "If all conscious minds perished, would that mean that numbers would no longer exist?"

If a tree falls in a forest and there's no one around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

If a man walks into a forest and speaks, and there's no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?

There is no evidence for a higher power at all. There is evidence that thoughts and matter exist. My question is are they separate?

The analogy you made is what I was inferring to and amounts to just that. Does the tree not still make a sound, do abstract ideas still exist without us?

If abstract ideas are contained purely in brains then we must say abstract ideas no longer exist without us. Is this your position? Heather Spoonheim suggested that some concepts are too large for a single brain to comprehend, yet two separate brains could comprehend part of it. Where does it exist in it's entirety? If you find the solution to one half of a concept and I find the solution to the other half, we combine them and they amount to a complete whole, how would it be possible that they could compliment each other perfectly? I'm being totally serious and haven't made my mind up about anything, and I'm only willing to accept things which I can think/prove to be true.

How was it possible for the Greeks and Indian philosophers to conceive of the atomic nature of structure, with empty space in between, thousands of years before we could prove it, yet finding it to be true despite being counter-intuitive? If it were the case that we simply perceived our own material world, from inside it, how could they arrive at that conclusion?

If it was 500BC and someone had come up to you without our years of rigourous scientific endeavour, and told you to look at a solid table and told you it was made mostly of space, you would have thought him insane. It's completely counter-intuitive. But now we know they were correct.

If our brains and consciousnesses were simply the accumulation of sense perception, how did they arrive at that conclusion? Where did that idea come from?

Have I not stated repeatedly that I don't believe there is a god? What is wrong with you people? Dualism does NOT equal theism.

We've seen theists come on the board and state a lot of things, most of which proved not to be the case.

RE: "Where did that idea come from?" - goddidit!

"If our brains and consciousnesses were simply the accumulation of sense perception, how did they arrive at that conclusion? Where did that idea come from?"

I don't think that's counter-intuitive at all. I see it as a foregone conclusion. Who we are is in part determined by our experiences. Our experiences are a chain of each moment's awareness. Our awareness of each moment is given to us by our senses. What would we be without any senses? We couldn't tell whether it was day or night. We couldn't feel hunger or pain. We couldn't know the warmth of heat or the touch of another person. There would be no sounds and no vibrations. There would be no images of things we take for granted like beds, toilets, and a roof. I doubt an existence like that would have emotions because there isn't anything to stimulate emotions!

If a person can receive no stimulus, is there anyway to tell if that person is conscious? What kind of thoughts could a person with no experience of the world have?

But back to reality, when all brain activity ceases, consciousness ceases. I've seen people that, due to traumatic injuries are in various states of consciousness. We aren't talking metaphysics here. We are talking straight biology. There is nothing that is you that exists without your brain. There is no special place that is somewhere other than the physical world that you go when your brain no longer functions. Likewise, there can be no "downloading" of your consciousness into a computer in some sci-fi future. We are quite stuck to our fleshy bits of grey matter. If you really think otherwise, then I suggest you meet some people who have had a lobotomy. It becomes fairly evident.

The point I was trying to make was that the Ancient Greek and Indian philosophers reached a counter-intuitive conclusion (the atomistic nature of matter) using only their sense perception. How is this possible?

I'm not talking about me anymore, or you, or existing after death. I have repeatedly stated that our consciousness dies with our brain.



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