Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:33pm PT

Scientists fear 'killer robots' are coming now that they have a brain


Bad enough that there are already robots that can be programmed by evil masterminds to do their bidding. Now these machines might start thinking for themselves. DARPA, the Pentagon-funded research agency, claims its scientists have created a "physical intelligence" device that doesn't require human input for a machine to perform independent brain functions. And now rival scientists are sounding the alarm about what would happen if such a robot with autonomous brain function is sent to war. "It would be killing civilians as well," said Noel Sharkey, a professor at the University of Sheffield, "as it's not going to be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers." The Pentagon, however, has not said it will apply the technology to weapons systems

Will these robots have souls?

Free energy is the energy possessed by a thermodynamic system that is available to do work. In a sense it is a potential for future action.
Sounds like soul to me.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:55pm PT
Mh2 That was Great!

Greatness begat Greatness?
MH2

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 10:53pm PT
why do we experience the world from a vantage point located in our heads?


Do people born blind also experience the world from a vantage point located inside their head?



edit

Vision and hearing are the senses we make most use of for locating things in the world, and thereby locating ourselves in that world. Vision and hearing take place in the head. When we see and hear things our brain estimates their distance from our head because that is where the signals are picked up. Adding in a longer baseline would introduce delay and error.

Not that I am sure I get what you are asking.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 12, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
MH2

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 11:27pm PT
Nope. It may be an interesting question. I'm not even sure how we know that you experience the world from a vantage inside your head. Can we test you? Or just take your word?
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 12, 2013 - 11:59pm PT
Ed: ". . . how do we experience consciousness?"

MH2: ". . . . I'm not even sure how we know that you experience the world from a vantage inside your head. Can we test you? Or just take your word?"

You're a damned smart person, MH2.

Ed, the problem with focusing on how is that you first have to know what it (i.e., consciousness) is. You'll find that a problem. We take it for granted--and it's the only thing that can be taken for granted because it's undeniably true and inescapable. Everything else is not.

Attributes? Classifications? Adjectives? Adverbs? All I can come to is a verb: "is". Consciousness is.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 13, 2013 - 12:00am PT
that is the question: how do we experience consciousness?


We experience consciousness by dint of qualia. When we learn to detach from qualia (internal and external stimulai) for long enough, the agency of consciousness is experienced as "empty," as no-thing or a non-thing, otherwise known as nothingness, or emptiness. The last and most slippery insight is that content and nothing, stuff and the unborn, emptiness and a Chevy Impala, are the same things - exactly. They are entirely fused and co-originators of experience. Both the geysering of experience and the agency of consciousness are entirely ungraspable in the sense that we grasp normal things. Why, because both are limitless, and whatever we grasp is limited to what is in our hand. But in that handful resides the whole shebang because everything is everything. Sounds almost like absurd baby talk but I can't say it any simpler.

JL
MH2

climber
Apr 13, 2013 - 12:02am PT
I'm much more of a damned dumb person, Mike, but I like to see people try, me included, despite considerable odds.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 13, 2013 - 12:05am PT
^^^^^ MikeL PROUD!

And Ed, you've got to be Proud of that 2nd to last one!
Edit: ok 3 ago. U guys are fast!
MH2

climber
Apr 13, 2013 - 12:06am PT
Now that would be interesting: a blind person's out-of-body experience.



edit

Nothing new, but a picturesque angle on our self being located in our head

Thumb and tongue are prominent, too




from the McGill brain site
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 13, 2013 - 12:32am PT
Being a spiritual HolyGhost filled being. I've never felt separated from my body.
Even when arising to spiritual enlightenment, it always felt as if my body was the anchor.

Edit: Goodd session boys! Try and rest on it..
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 13, 2013 - 07:36am PT
The reason people turn to supernatural explanations is that the mind abhors a vacuum of explanation. Because we do not yet have a fully natural explanation for mind and consciousness, people turn to supernatural explanations to fill the void. But what is more likely: That Alexander's NDE was a real trip to heaven and all these other hallucinations are the product of neural activity only? Or that all such experiences are mediated by the brain but seem real to each experiencer? To me, this evidence is proof of hallucination, not heaven.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-near-death-experience-isnt-proof-heaven
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 13, 2013 - 11:11am PT
. . . you two don't get it . . .

Ha ha. You're right, Ed. :-)

I get less and less as time goes on, which appears to me to be getting more and more of What This Is.

I'm seeing being (myself) more and more living in some kind of dumb dream state. What appears conventionally to make sense is just another story, belief, or theory. You can argue about chemical-this, neurobiological-that, physical-this, mathematical-that, psychological-this, etc. These are stories among many. Sure, some stories are predictive and instrumentally functional. Alas, that doesn't make them true. I understand the provisional nature of so-called rigorous views of reality, but that is "a disclaimer," and it's a big one. "WARNING: Everything proffered in this study is without basis in unequivocally knowable fact" should go in front of every peer reviewed article.

With a massive amount of skepticism about most everything, I nonetheless live in the conventional world. It's easier than to running around claiming that nothing is knowable. I eat, drink, have conversations, and get on with what my role seems to call for. Everything seems to be take care of. Oh I get sucked into the morass of conventional reality constantly, but I try to remember or look at what I really know for sure. What I know is my experience. That is as real as anything is ever going to get. QED. When I feel distress, I stop and look at experience purely--at the snap, crackle, and pop of every moment of consciousness. Everything calms down.

Our conventional paradigm says that we are little consciousnesses in a great big universe. Everyone believes that without a doubt. How could it not be that way? More and more I'm not seeing it that way because I don't know it without a doubt.

There are just SO MANY holes and paradoxes and mysteries in the most rudimentary common views of the world. I can't Not see them. The more I look, the more I cannot find consistency, congruency, graspability, describability, defineability, the ends or limits of anything, discreteness, etc. in experience--in consciousness.

I think "the telling" that you talk about refers to the paradigm or the vision that people hold in concert. What "makes sense" is what we all agree upon, and what we agree upon en masse is the paradigm of a big universe and little consciousnesses. By the age of 2, we believe that objects exist when we can no longer see them. It's a belief; we don't know.

Just how is it that I or anyone can say anything that will allow you see something that you did not see before or do not currently see? How can anyone or anything create even momentarily a world that you can see or envision? How? IT'S all IN consciousness, Ed, not outside of it.

Sounds as looney as a Bugs Bunny cartoon, doesn't it?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 13, 2013 - 11:50am PT
We aren't even discussing the most obvious example of the emergence of consciousness: birth to about five years old.

For those who haven't had children, the amount of cognitive growth in a young child is staggering.

Some animals are born with everything they need to know hard wired into them. They learn very little. Human infants are born very helpless, and the learning process is amazingly fast. The development of a child is not seen in an adult. Normally, anyway.

Brain development is governed by environment and nurture. I have read "Goodnight Moon" about a thousand times, for instance, at the insistence of the audience, my very young son. I read to him every night for years.

At first he would say "Five more minutes!" He didn't even know what five minutes was, but he had picked it up as a phrase ordering you to not stop. I could read to him for hours.

I also think that you are all being incredibly short sighted by placing Man in some special category. You can study consciousness by observing animals who possess the quality to some extent or other.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 13, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
....I'm constantly amazed that you two don't get it, or at least what I've been noodling with... and you keep insisting that what ever that is, it won't work... ok, your respected opinion, and I do respect them, and even glimpse at it myself...


What, exactly, are you saying that "we don't get?"

The age old point is that any "idea" you have about consciousness is NOT IT. It is merely qualia passing before your awareness, like a cloud whipping through the sky. I think where you get hung up, Ed, is in the notion that there is some aspect to the whole shebang that is totally ungraspable. The discursive mind will reject that truth outright. They're MUST be some way to numerically represent "it." Right.

But I would be interested in hearing about what yo believe is totally lost on us, or what we are saying "won't work."

JL
MH2

climber
Apr 13, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
The age old point is that any "idea" you have about consciousness is NOT IT.



I will recast that for discussion purposes:

Any "idea" you have about chess is NOT IT.
WBraun

climber
Apr 13, 2013 - 01:00pm PT
Ed is stuck in the prison house of pure matter.

Even a completely gross materialist can see what consciousness is.

It's the source of consciousness that completely baffles the mundane materialist mental speculators .......
WBraun

climber
Apr 13, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
And such fence sitters as cintune still hallucinating with their grasp of simple fundamentals .....
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 13, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
Please, sirs, can someone get this dog off my leg?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 13, 2013 - 01:55pm PT
When I feel distress, I stop and look at experience purely--at the snap, crackle, and pop of every moment of consciousness. Everything calms down.

That sounds a little like what happens in a super intense experience. Everything in the brain goes onto the back burner while the experience comes forth and totally obliterates thought. It is pure experience and zero thought.

If you think, you stink.

Lots of dead people couldn't stop thinking.
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