In my previous post I argued that the comparison between Mind with no brain [God] vs. no becoming with no cause [Universe?] are not analogous. So the argumet that we do not see the latter is not answered with the observation that we do not see the former. The skeptics tried to shift the issue from brain/.mind per se to material based reality. But does that really change the issue? Since God is not a product of nature why should we expect to see analogous aspects in nature why do we have to see this in order to believe in God?
In addition to this I have some other observations.
Ryan M said...
[this is 7th stooge's comment]
"I think Joe's point is that there's a conceptual distinction between mind (or consciousness) and matter. There's no known instance of mind without a material support or correlate, but the distinction implies that there's no analytic connection between the two things."Yes that is right. That conceptual distinction is crucial and points to mind as transcendent of matter.
[Ryan M's Answer]
We might speak of mind and matter as distinct in practice, but this seems more like a social issue in our language than anything else. If I broke an arm, I might say "I'm injured", which seems to identify my body with me, but at the same time I might say "One of my arms is broken" which seems to just identify my arm as something I possess. I don't see language of mind vs matter as any different. We often say things that in some contexts make it appear that we believe something that we do not.[Metacrock]
(1) Linguistic analysis does not establish reality--what we believe does not determine reality but what is the justification?
It doesn't matter if we think of our extremities or our body as who we are or part of who we are that that will not determine the truth of weather or not mind is dependent upon brain; it's clear that in biological organisms mind is dependent upon brain. But that does not mean there can't be some forms of mind that are not dependent upon brain.
My Point the original piece was that God cannot be subjected to recurring theme in nature. God is not a product of nature but the basis upon which all reality rests. Finding some aspect in nature that mirrors God's attributes is not necessary for God to possess that attribute.
(2) Understanding ourselves as a unity of Mind and body (body,soul,spirit) is not merely one more thing to believe but a fundamental orientation to the world. In biological organisms mid supervenes upon the physical. That's because we are talking about biology. God is not biology, thus the question about God and mind/brain is irrelevant. We need not find an example of mind without brain in nature to assume God might be the source of Mind. By the way, God is also the source of matter. If God is the basis of reality then matter is dependent upon mind, in an overall ontological sense.
(3) His metaphysical assumption no less speculative than mine.
I would like to ask Ryan to clarify his view. I have seen statements from him in the past that I took to be non reductive. But now he seems to be saying that non reductionist sounding things.
It is true that we can make observations about the material world and we cannot make direct first hand observations about the spiritual world. I understand why it might seem to some as though the material connection is more likely but assuming that there can only be one kind of mind is as much a ideological assumption and a metaphysical one. There is no testable evidence that would govern that assumption. If we are willing to make other assumptions those assumptions are justified given reality of God.
[Eric Sotnak said...]
"If I broke an arm, I might say "I'm injured", which seems to identify my body with me, but at the same time I might say "One of my arms is broken" which seems to just identify my arm as something I possess."
Or how about an utterance like, "I wonder where my mind is" which seems to imply a distinction between me and my mind.brainless MindMetacrock:
But what difference does that make? We arrange our existences in relation to our metaphysical assumptions that does not govern truth. It's really a matter of what metaphors we choose to literalize.
There are two major reasons for assuming mind is not dependent upon matter:
(1) Conceptual difference
In making this argent I will draw upon Victor Reppert's argument from Reason (which he takes from C.S. Lewis). Rather than advancing it as a God argument, however, I merely use it to argue for the qualitative difference and it's implications; The qualitative difference between conscientiousness and naturalistic deterministic process.
In essence the argument might be summarized in three stages as Reppert does (p72) He does not enumerate premises as a deductive presentation this is not a deductive argument in a formal preservation but merely a summary of observations:
(1) reasoning process is essential to our epistemic ability.
(2) to fit reasoning into our universe we must accept a dualism, that is we must accept rational explanation for fundamental assumptions and inferences in addition to physical explanation.
(3) theism is necessary to account for these fundamental explanations,
Reppert uses a supporting argument, from intentionality, that illustrates the nature of the argument. This is by no means the only such supporting argument but it's the only one I'll look at. His objective in making this argument is to show that there are elements in making argument that can't be fitted into a naturalistic framework. Lewis argued that it made no sense to say that one state is about another state. If we think about brains as merely lumps of matter one lump of matter is about another lump of matter? The reasoning process is essential for understanding human being. But if naturalism is true that natural inference just does not occur.  Reppert terms this the “absoluteness argument.” He has eight more on the same principle I'll just deal with a couple. Laws of physics govern physical states without reference to what they are “about.” Then how can there be determinate meaning to the words we use? Our thought processes are incidental to the lumps of matter and how the laws of physics describe what they do. As Reppert points out “W.V. Quine argued that physical conformation leaves it indeterminate as to what a speaker of a foreign language means by...[a word] but would not this argument also show that there is no fact of the matter as to what Quine means by “naturalism” when he says “naturalism is true?” 
At this point Reppert makes a deductive argument:
(1) if naturalism is true then there is no fact of the matter as to what somone's thought or statement is about.”
(2) But there are facts as to what someone's statement is about (implied by the Existence of Rational inference).
(3) Therefore, naturalism is falseiv 
He raises the issue of eliminative materialists who think that if intentional brain states are not found nonscientific data then there must not be any. For that reason this group maintains that there are no beliefs. Of course it's not wasted upon Reppert that this is a belief. An example of eleminative materialists is Wayne Proudfoot in rejecting the idea of internal mental states due to the difficulty in solving the hard problem, He just makes it go away by refusing to accept there could be truth beyond the ability of his methodology to find it. I deal with this in chapter six ( on Reductionism)of my book God, Science, and Ideology. Reppert et al published an article proving that the eliminative position is self refuting. 
Taking it not as a God argument but merely as a means of evaluation processes that ignore reason if we assert that all mental states are reducible to deterministic understanding of brain chemistry then reason has no place. Yet those same processes are only understandable to us as the product of reasoned analysis. If we understand the qualitative difference between deterministic process and copious awareness then we can see that rescinding consciousness to brain chemistry merely loses the phenomena. Thus redaction is not an explanation but a bait and switch in which brain function is put over in place of consciousness.
An emergent property is one that stems from factors lower down in the evolutionary process that do not involve the emergent property. The emergent properties emerge from amid a set of properties none of which herald the emergent one. It just springs forth, life from non-life, consciousness from non-conscious, por soir from en soir.
...[E]mergent entities (properties or substances) ‘arise’ out of more fundamental entities and yet are ‘novel’ or ‘irreducible’ with respect to them. (For example, it is sometimes said that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain.) Each of the quoted terms is slippery in its own right, and their specifications yield the varied notions of emergence that we discuss below. There has been renewed interest in emergence within discussions of the behavior of complex systems and debates over the reconcilability of mental causation, intentionality, or consciousness with physicalism.
According to O'connor and Wang emergent properties can't be reduced to the properties from which they spring. If true that means that if consciousness is emergent it's not reducible to brain function. Yet every reductionist I've ever argued with uses emergence to explain the rise of consciousness, which they take to be reducible to brain chemistry.
 Victor Reppert, C.S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: In Defense of The Argument From Reason, Downer's Grove Il.: IVP Academic 1989
reernces C.S. Lewis Miracles New York McMilliom papperback ed 1978 224-31
Victor Reppert, “Eleminative Materialism, Cognative Suicide, and Begging the Question,” Metaphilosophy, 23, (1992), 378-92.
 Timothy O'Connor, and Hong Yu Wong, "Emergent Properties", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2015/entries/properties-emergent/>. (Accessed 9/13/15).