- If you didn't have an occasional moment of angst around this topic I'd be more worried
about you! Think of all the societal taboos our ideas break. Iconoclasts always pay some
price, hopefully not too high, in anxiety, ostracism, self-doubt, etc., but the fact that
you've been able to seriously embrace these ideas in the face of pressure (either external
or internalized) is testimony to your mental fitness.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "RC Abbott" <rc.abbott@s...>
> Thanks for your reply.
> I'm a bit embarrassed by my moment of existential angst; yet,
> it seems
> this very angst is partially fueling the debate over what
> consciousness is
> and if the explanatory gap can bridged. After having left
> fundamentalist Christianity, I accepted a crude but logical
> Naturalism and figured the "mind"; however you define it, is
> functionally the same as the brain (or brain states). I was surprised
> to learn that many thinkers don't accept this. It is hard to
> accept given our experience.
> We seem like a unified self with a personal history and personal
> responsibility; an actor and an observer who is the author of our
> I've ordered Metzinger's book. I've
> reading many of the fine articles linked to Naturalism.org especially
> your "Kill the Observer," "Function and
> Phenomenology", and "Mind the
> Gap" by David Papineau. I think your methodology is right on and
> look forward to Metzinger's book and reading more of your fine
> articles. Thanks for the focus.
> Rod Abbott
Thanks for your encouraging reply.
Of course, you're right: when a person has a certain perspective on
the world that seems so natural, so intimate; angst surely must be a
required response to the idea that they are not what they seem; in
fact, "they" are not really there in any ontological sense.
Given my own background in theism, who I was was always central to my
relationship with God. I was created by God for his good purpose. In
that context, the "I" was an invisible entity that entailed the real
me. When I left the metaphysics of faith I conceptually left dualism
and embraced the thesis that the mind/brain are really the same
thing; however, looking back on it I now realize that functionally
nothing changed. After leaving faith I felt freer to pursue life more
vigorously, the guilt was gone; but I essentially felt the same as
before: I felt like a unify 'I' who made decisions and pursued life
with a different paradigm just without God. With my recent study of
Naturalism (thanks especially to Naturalism.org and Tom Clark) and
books by Susan Blackmore, Daniel Dennett, (now) Thomas Metzinger,
etc., I'm seeing that things are far more 'mind' blowing (literally!)
than ever. It's exciting and scary as hell.
Thanks again, Ken, for your feedback and encouragement.
--- In email@example.com, "Ken Batts"
> If you didn't have an occasional moment of angst around this topicI'd be more worried
> about you! Think of all the societal taboos our ideas break.Iconoclasts always pay some
> price, hopefully not too high, in anxiety, ostracism, self-doubt,etc., but the fact that
> you've been able to seriously embrace these ideas in the face ofpressure (either external
> or internalized) is testimony to your mental fitness.