The Second Apocalypse

Miscellaneous Chatter => Philosophy & Science => Topic started by: sciborg2 on March 14, 2020, 10:26:15 pm

Title: "The hard problem doesn't exist; it's just a silly internal contradiction of..."
Post by: sciborg2 on March 14, 2020, 10:26:15 pm
The hard problem doesn't exist; it's just a silly internal contradiction of metaphysical materialism (

Where does this idea of using quantities to define the world come from? It’s not difficult to see: quantities are very useful to describe the relative differences of the contents of perception. For instance, the relative difference between red and blue can be compactly described by frequency values: blue has a higher frequency than red, so we can quantify the visual difference between the two colours by subtracting one frequency from the other. But frequency numbers cannot absolutely describe a colour: if you tell a congenitally blind person that red is an electromagnetic field vibration of about 430 THz, the person will still have no idea of what it feels like to see red. Quantities are useful in describing relative differences between qualities already known experientially, but they completely miss the qualities themselves.

And here is where materialism incurs its first fatal error: it replaces the qualitative world of colours, tones and flavours—the only external world we are directly acquainted with—with a purely quantitative description that structurally fails to capture any quality whatsoever. It mistakes the usefulness of quantities in determining relative differences between qualities for—absurdly—something that can replace the qualities themselves.

Next, materialism attempts to deduce the contents of consciousness from the matter in our brain. In other words, it tries to recover the qualities of experience from mere quantities that, by deliberate definition, leave out everything that has anything to do with qualities in the first place. The self-defeating nature of this manoeuvre is glaringly obvious once one actually understands the magic mainstream materialism is trying to perform. This is precisely why the hard problem isn’t just hard, but impossible by construction. Yet, instead of realising this, we get lost in conceptual confusion and hope to, one day, heroically prevail against the hard problem. It would be an inspiring story of human resolve if it weren’t so embarrassingly silly.

In summary, from within their consciousness materialists fantasise about a world of matter putatively outside consciousness. This imagined world is, by deliberate definition, incommensurable with the qualities of conscious experience to begin with. Then, in a majestic feat of conceptual masochism, materialists set out to reduce the contents of consciousness to such abstract… well, content of consciousness. This is the tragicomic background story of the hard problem; a problem that need not be solved as much as seen through in all its gloriously self-defeating contradictoriness.

“But what is the alternative?” I hear you ask. If matter is a self-defeating concept, how can we explain the fact that we all seem to inhabit a common external world, whose dynamisms are clearly independent of our own conscious inner life?

First of all, let us immediately acknowledge the empirically obvious: there is a world beyond and independent of our individual consciousness; a world that we all inhabit. And, alas, we clearly can’t change how this world works by a mere act of individual conscious volition. But to acknowledge this does not require the bankrupt notion of matter outside consciousness. It only requires a transpersonal consciousness within which our individual consciousnesses are immersed....

Transpersonal Consciousness sounds a lot like Physicalism or Theism...
Title: Re: "The hard problem doesn't exist; it's just a silly internal contradiction of..."
Post by: BeardFisher-King on February 15, 2021, 03:10:04 pm
This really resonates with me. The "hard problem" is only "hard' if one insists that there is only one way to view the issue, that way being the materialist approach.