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> On 10/09/01 15:45, Dace said this-
> >Materialist mysticism
> I guess I have to ask what that, exactly, is?
> - Wade
Previously Salice wrote:
> Thoughts and feelings are neurons, synapses and energy
> flowing between them.
What can we make of this statement? That which is being equated with
neurons, synapses, and energy-- thoughts and feelings-- has no meaning. We
might as well equate gnomes and pixies with neurons, synapses, and energy.
This would have neither more nor less meaning than the statement put forth
by Salice. Like his, it would simply have none.
If thoughts and feelings do indeed have some kind of existence, then
evidently they're not reducible to brains after all, in which case the
proposition is false. The statement is mystical in that it posits an idea
which, at best, can only be meaningless, much as any assertion regarding a
personalized God or the supernatural. The great step forward in the
development of science was not atheism but the recognition that statements
of the supernatural simply have no bearing. God doesn't matter. Even if he
sets the cosmic machine humming, he's irrelevant from then on. It's not
simply that defining the mind as the brain is wrong, but that it lacks
coherence or significance.
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