[ExI] Redness comes from Context?

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Mon May 6 11:44:28 UTC 2013

Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com> wrote:

>You're clearly still missing much.  First off, you said:
>     "I know it /feels/ like there is, but that's no guide."
>Surely you must believe that if you know ANYTHING, whether mistaken or
>not, there must be something that is that knowledge or that is the
>seeming /feels/.  If you don't agree with that, then you're not talking
>about any kind of intelligence with knowledge that is physically real.

Sorry, not with you here.  What is "knowledge that is physically real"?  Is there "knowledge that is not physically real"?  Afaik, there is just knowledge.  Adding "physically real" on to the end makes as much sense to me as saying "inquisitiveness that  is spherical".

Anyway, you seem to be saying that feelings are things that have an existence independent of the system that has them.  Like a vortex having an existence independent of any fluid, or a wave having an existence independent of a hand.

The 'something' that is a feeling is a /process/ generated by a system, is what I'm saying.  It has no existence outside that system.

>You also said:
>"Forget 'a simple elemental redness quality', there is no such thing."
>for which there is lots and lots of scientific evidence that falsifies
>this, so don't expect me to believe such completely violates known
>science assertions.  For example, when people take certain psychedelic
>drugs, all these bound together pieces of information "disassociate" and
>become consciously clearly separated - having nothing to do with each
>other.  If you're interested, I can point you to a book where Steven
>Lehar scientifically documents having such experiences.

I think you're confusing reported experiences with scientific evidence.  Reported experience *on drugs*.  Drugs that disrupt the normal processes of cognition.

Here's a question:  Let's suppose for a second that there was such a thing as an 'elemental redness quality', what kind of thing could it be?  I know that the world is made up of five fundamental things: Space/Time, Matter/Energy and Information. There is nothing else.  Everything we know to be real is composed of some combination of those five things.  Some configuration of matter and energy, organised in space and time according to some information.  I know of nothing that doesn't conform to this recipe.  The relative amounts of the ingredients may vary (empty space in an cosmic void probably doesn't have much information, a quark doesn't have much space, etc.), but the recipe is always there.

This applies to our mental states just as much as it does to a volcano.  We have a couple of pounds of neurons that are specialised for dealing with information, lots of it.  They throw energy and matter around in complex, changing patterns.  We call many of these information patterns our 'thoughts', or 'mental states'.

So:  What is this fundamental redness quality?  What's it made of?  I see no room for any such thing.  All I see is that it must be one of those 'thoughts', in other words, a pattern of information created in a brain.  Not 'fundamental' at all, but an information process.

If you don't like this conclusion, if it feels wrong, there's not much I can do except point out that this feeling of 'wrongness' is just another information pattern in your brain, likely a result of our evolved psychology from long ago.  Thinking about these things is not what we're good at, philosophers tend to get eaten or starve in the kind of environment we're adapted for.  Our instincts on these matters are likely to be wrong, so we need help.  We have to use logic, ruthlessly question our assumptions, and apply the scientific method no matter how 'wrong' it feels, otherwise we're just cavemen worshipping the thunder god.

Ben Zaiboc

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