At 20:00 you say that it seems “just absurd” to you that before organic life there would be no sense/experience, silent darkness etc., but you simply don’t give an argument for it.
You then call it a “bias” and ironically mention the previously mentioned stuffed animals, in context of “naive realism”. Ironically, because the same bias that makes us humans so quick to attribute intentionality to inanimate objects, is what I suspect makes you think it’s “absurd” that there was none of that before organic life. Maybe it’s absurd that we have to think there always was experience, just because we have it? I don’t think “We make mistakes when it comes to these things. It seems absurd to me that it was “dark” out there.” etc. is very convincing.
Your personal convictions and emotions about the matter don’t provide any weight, and just because we are prone to mistake, doesn’t mean we should suddenly assume the converse of we’d might assume. Just that we should be cautious. But then we could also use some concrete arguments.
At some point you mention billions of years without experience. Do you have the solution to the Fermi-Paradox? If not, don’t make an implicit commitment in attempt to make a stronger case for this “absurdity” you mention.
Why the anthropocentrism? You make another implicit commitment saying “there was no experience, until we humans…”. Life started 3 and a half billion years ago. Start there, perhaps. Or at least when 600 millions years ago the nervous system first appeared. Granted, you then later go into “a billion years”, which is fine, but then it goes back to the above: you professing the absurdity of no experience without “life”
Those are good points, and I understand what you are talking about that it would seem to by a hypocritical position to say on one hand that we can’t trust our assumptions about what has experience and on the other that I know that it is absurd for the universe to have existed without experience. The reason why it isn’t is a little outside the scope of that interview and more into the expectations that come out of the structure suggested by multisense realism.
Try this. Why is it more of a serious operation to have your head amputated than your foot? In one sense, both are risky, and indeed if someone amputates the foot of some creature of a species from another planet, I have no particular omniscience about whether that creature’s brain lives in it’s foot or not, so in theory, some creatures could have their brain in their foot and amputating it would kill them.
In a universe of unstructured panpsychism or panexperientialism, we should expect much more varied integration with organs and tissue types - more crossover between organic and inorganic matter in biology. Why not have an organism that uses the calcium in the bones to compute awareness so that the skull is really the brain instead of the soft thing inside?
I make an intuitive call here that this is not coincidence (or hundreds of millions of coincidences) and that there are some good reasons why life depends on water, why animals depend on particular kinds of brains, etc. I think that these reasons are likely to arise from events in history which, like wavefunction collapse or decoherence have an effect through time which is irreversible and to some extent final. Think of an era of history and what was emerging as new on Earth - The Industrial Age with its Rockefeller, Morgan, and Vanderbilt, or the Personal Computer Age with its Gates, Jobs, and Wozniak. The Axial Age had its Lao Tzu, Socrates, and Siddhartha. The Bronze Age had its megalithic monuments. The Jurassic Period had it’s dinosaurs and conifers.
We are talking about how qualitative changes happen in the universe, so it is very different from the kind of weeding out that happens statistically from the bottom up. This is storytelling, iconic summation of many many lifetimes and experiences. We are talking about top down superiority of vision and exceptionally good fortune that might seem to some like divine guidance or others like inevitable niche-filling. I think that is it neither, rather both of those judgments are relativistic, and the reality is that there is no reality exterior to our capacity to experience that continuum of meaning about it.
To get back to the question of the emptiness of a universe without experience, this is a different level of epistemology than the level of assessing the quality of consciousness within particular structures in the universe. To the contrary, I think that our understanding of our own limitations and our scientific insight into the dependence on our nervous system and sense organs is what should tell us that sense is not a given. We cannot assume that we can learn to see without eyes and we cannot assume that the universe would be able to ‘exist’ let alone function without it’s version of eyes. We cannot assume that amputating the head is an option or that it might be no worse than amputating the foot. This is not worth doubting in my opinion. There is a big difference between acknowledging the uncertainty between different levels of quality of awareness in the universe and assuming that awareness could accidentally be invented by a non-universe which has no sense at all. I don’t see it as a defensible position. Give me an example of how something can happen without the existence of some kind of sensory input in the universe?
“you professing the absurdity of no experience without “life”“
No, not at all. I am professing the absurdity of life evolving without pre-biotic experience. This doesn’t mean however, that inorganic or pre-biotic agents are all created equal. Only one group was chosen (or self chosen, or won the lottery), and that was the group of water, protein, sugars, lipids, and some trace minerals. They were/are the Robber Barons of the bio-terrestrial Era. This is all new, so I don’t expect people to just accept it, I only say that it seems to me to make more sense than the alternatives.
It’s a much different approach than any other integration of consciousness and cosmos. I tried to illustrate that with this icon in comparison to the other approaches: