Re: virus: Science and Religion

Steve (
Wed, 2 Oct 1996 06:11:52 +0800

On Mon, 30 Sep 1996 23:32:12 -0500 (CDT) Kenneth Boyd wrote:

>> > The problem with subjective entities such as desire and qualia is that they
>> > can only ever be observed, never proven or measured.

>Steve, I'm going to need to know what you mean by "observe" and "measure"
>before the conflict between the two becomes intelligible to me.

An alternative word to "observe" is "experience". As David Chalmers says,
seeing "redness" can only ever be experienced. It is the *meaning* that our
brain attributes to a wavelength of light and arguably, there is no aspect
of this experience that is measurable. Not even, for example, measuring the
electrical current passing between neurons, or understanding the nature of
the neural circuitry would shed light on this subjective experience - even
if it was possible for science to develop to so detailed a level (David
Chalmers calls this circuitry perspective the 'easy' problem and the
subjective experience aspect the 'hard' problem). "Measure", on the other
hand, is when we try to quantify a value, eg, as by measuring a length or a
weight - though I have some things to say in relation to the subjectivity of
this "objective" experience as well!