The Experiment that Proves Empiricism is LET’S GET DRUNK!

The only answer I have gotten so far to the question “what experiment proves materialism to be true” is the proposal that brain scans or ingesting alcohol proves that some tentative measure of correlation of some sort that might some day show that material brain conditions influence or affect states of consciousness.

Full answer is here: http://ynglingasaga.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/further-argument-with-john-wright/

This answer is so woefully inadequate that it cannot even be mocked with the mockery it deserves.

From the premise “drinking alcohol can effect your powers of concentration” the conclusion “all non-empirical statements of any kind whatsoever in this or any possible universe, including statements about abstract concepts such as justice,  can be reduced to descriptions of the mechanical causes of eternal pressures affecting brain atom motions, so that what seems to be a statement about justice is merely a report of a person reciting his own internal brain-atom-motion algorithm of that part of the cortex that reacts to encoding on the topic of justice, etc.” does not follow.

Our Viking friend simply assumes that we would all would agree that an hallucination of the smell of a rose caused by electrochemical stimulation of the brain is the same in every way as the scent of a real rose smelled with a real nose in reality. The map is the territory, the word is the thing it represents, justice is not an abstract concept, it is a mere report or recitation of the position of brain atoms in the cortex.

Not only does this not follow, but if we substitute the word ‘materialism’ for the word ‘justice’ we are left with a self-refuting statement: materialism is the proposition that materialism is not a concept, it is merely a report or recitation of the position of brain atoms in the cortex.

The real answer, of course, is that materialism is a metaphysical proposition, not an empirical or scientific conclusion of any observation or experiment.

I challenged any and all comers to repeat to me the observation or the experiment on which his belief in materialism was based, and the answer received was so inadequate to the task that this topic can be laid to rest with a condescending chortle.

No, the fact that drunks get bleary in the head does not prove that all statements about final causes can be reduced to mechanical causes; it does not prove that all non-empirical statements about symbols and concepts can be reduced to mere  recitations of the position of molecules and atoms; it does not prove that free will does not exist; it is not even tangential to the same topic as any of these things.

The real answer is, O materialist, that materialism is a supposition, not a piece of empirical knowledge springing from neuro-science. It has more to do with Lucretius, Hobbes, and Marx than it has to do with Aristotle, Averroes, Roger Bacon, Isaac Newton, or Albert Einstein.

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