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Posted by Harvey on July 25, 2003 14:44:59 UTC


He doesn't like to respond to me (which is why he hid me... he he). Any case, I like to point out faulty reasoning, so I'd like to point out Dick's errors (as you recognize, there are so many).

However, the mechanism which provides that mapping is out of my control and out of your control; the mapping is a consequence of squirrel decisions, and not logic. What I am saying is, let us not worry about that issue at the moment. The problems can only be resolved with logic. That is, the issue of resolving the controversy must be a conscious rational decision and not influenced by the squirrel decisions made by intuition. That is the real source of my difficulty.

Error #1. Dick is in effect saying:

1) You have a conceptual scheme, and I have a conceptual scheme. Let's ignore we have conceptual schemes and resolve the interpretation problems of differing conceptual schemes by making conscious rational decisions. What Dick is not realizing is that this set of 'conscious rational decisions' is itself part of his conceptual scheme. He wants to speak objectively outside a conceptual scheme as if he is above all of that. Of course, this is what he cannot do since whatever results he obtains by pretending to be conscious and rational will only be with the subset of his own particular conceptual framework.

Being part of reality was never an issue in this discussion. The fact that your conscious awareness is part of reality and the fact that your subconscious processes are also a part of reality has absolutely nothing to do with what your perceptions are and is no defense whatsoever for your "squirrel decision" that your perceptions cannot be illusions created by your subconscious.

Error #2. Dick is trying to create a divide where none can be known to exist. Dick's phenomenalism has one important flaw. By justifying his skeptical approach to perceptions because illusions are possible is to also to undercut the very connection we have of the world that makes the act of justification a meaningless one. Let me give an analogy to this. Imagine if we wanted to know the directions to Toronto (Aurino's hometown), however we were skeptical of the directions from maps, people, etc, that could tell us the way to Toronto. Now, in such a scenario with such severe skepticism, we have actually made our intent to know the directions to Toronto a meaningless intent by the act of being skeptical of any information that could give us such directions. We are short-circuiting our intent such that the question "What is the directions to Toronto?" an entirely meaningless question. That is, a question is not meaningful unless we allow for an answer that can actually allot for an answer.

What Dick is in effect doing by painting this picture of perceptions being 'squirrel decisions' is to make his question ("were the sense impressions a direct representation of reality or were they illusions created by the mind?") a meaningless question. Just like the question asking for directions to Toronto, this question has no meaning because any possible answer embodies characteristics in the answer that his skepticism rejects. In effect, Dick is tail chasing and hasn't the sense to know that he will never catch his tail. He can never answer his question, and if he insists on doing so with his present extreme skepticism, he will continue only to fool only himself and whomever he can convert to such nonsense.

All I can say is that the only interpretation which makes sense to me is that you are back paddling as fast as you can to avoid thinking about the issue I am bringing up.

For Dick, any unwillingness to engage in tail chasing is seen as not willing to face the tail chasing question. Any attempt to say that you cannot catch your tail, is - Dick's mind - a statement that it is impossible to do so without even trying to catch your tail.

By presuming that all your sense-impressions are direct perceptions of reality, you are avoiding thinking about the profound capabilities of your mind. Don't feel bad about that as everyone I have ever met has made every effort available to them to avoid such thoughts.

Error #3. Dick assumes a dichotomy where none exists. Unlike Dick perceives, most people don't assume either that all my sense impressions accurately represent reality or they do not. There are miles of ground between these two positions. One possible ground is that we are satisfied that in most instances that we accurately perceive reality with our sense impressions, and it is good enough for whatever purposes we have to do our jobs, hobbies, whatever. Sometimes we are not satisfied with our sense impressions, and maybe in those instances we ask our friends to drive (don't drive drunk). The important point here is that Dick tries to create a false dichotomy so that he can enforce his extreme skepticism upon us, and try and 'force' us to some erroneous logic that led him to create his 'model of reality'. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, his 'model of realiity' has an inherent ontic/epistemic distinction error in it, and therefore cannot satisfy the skeptical question ("were the sense impressions a direct representation of reality or were they illusions created by the mind?") that he wishes to answer using his mathematical model.

Good for you Mike that you can walk away. Don't be surprised to get insulted as a result. Most of us have. (I'm hoping that because many of us are onto his game that he'll be more careful with you).

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