Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 13881 - 13900 of total 22775 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 26, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
Sorry, we can't let you out of jail just yet, according to your medical exam, you're still too impulsive.



Good point.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 26, 2013 - 05:32pm PT
Cintune,

Neuroscience is just now getting the tools to examine the brain in function.

Some things can be statistically shown. There is nothing wrong with probability as long as you describe your methods. Political Polls, for example, are useful but rarely precise. If something becomes useful, it will go into the quiver until something better replaces it.

As for neuroscience, now that we have the tools to probe for answers, people are studying all sorts of things. Like anything new, it will probably take a while and some refinements to be truly accurate.

The problem is that we don't have a practicing neuroscientist here, or at least nobody has stood up to comment.

Some things can be directly connected to anatomy. Some things cannot. For the moment.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 26, 2013 - 05:42pm PT
Corgi Goes For A Hike


Undisputed qualia . . .


;>)
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Mar 26, 2013 - 05:53pm PT
From a large scale perspective, human behavior is exactly predictable and we are all exactly identical. We are born, we live for awhile and then we will die, all the while contained to the earth. Like ants scurrying on the ground, from a distance we are impossible to distinguish one from another.

When we look close enough, then we start seeing differences in behavior and personality between one person and another. Maybe we could see similar differences if we looked close enough at ants, or bacteria, or bolts in a box. From a small scale perspective there can be large differences between one bolt and another within the same batch. Thus testing a sample of bolts can be important. Now I am not saying you are all a bunch of bolts....some of you.....

At a personal scale we have to be unpredictable to a certain extent. One we would be totally bored if we were exactly predictable. Two, as carnivores we try to predict the behavior of other animals so that we can eat them and enslave them. We try to be unpredictable to those who might eat or enslave us. At least, I think that is part of the deal. Think of the famous characters who were assassinated more easily because they had predictable routines.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 26, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
well,

I am going to have neuro surgery in 14 days

on my spine, two hour procedure to remove enough of a vertebra to make room for a nerve that is being pushed on and causing me constant pain

and yes, I am damn thankful that science deals in tested truths and no BS and will help me

I have to say that it angers me to hear people denigrate "science" as somehow lacking because it does not concern itself with the subjective, the spiritual, etc


and after reading and reading everything I could get my hands on about the "spiritual", I still have to say, "where is the beef"?

science rules, my spine says so, and no amount of trained mind control makes the pain go away
WBraun

climber
Mar 26, 2013 - 06:15pm PT
Only ignorant men with poor fund of knowledge think "science" is independent from God .......
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 26, 2013 - 06:21pm PT
BASE (Mark), I don't think your reading comprehension is that sharp, or else you gloss over things without thought or consideration. I have never attacked science. Only scientism as a "favored nation" kind of approach, as if any one mode of inquiry has an exclusive on truth. The curious part of this is that people skilled with facts and figures rarely grasp this, and you end up with Freymanesqe snide quips at other camps based on caricatures and cartoon version of same.

You insist that only a crank would claim that probabilism, if fully informed by ALL the relative data, can predict human behavior or other things. But probalism works wonderfully in all kinds of ways. My question was pretty basic: Where, exactly, does it start to break down, and why? We all know about non-linear, chaotic and random factors, so this cannot so easily be explaind away as all that.

The thing that is not being copped here is that a ground-up physicalist is basically a determinist. That means there for all physical realities there is ALWAYS, at least in theory, a predictable, linear series of eventualites that preceeded the arising of any and all things. Of course it is not neat and tidy and simplistic as cascading dominoes, but in this model, nothing arises that is totally disconnected either the past of the linear sequence itself. Things can topple in from the side but there are physical things or forces and the result and connection are clear. We don't see singularities in the middle of a sequence anymore than we see someone striking a match and producing water, say, or cotton candy. What follows from dragging a sulpher tipped match across a striker is a flame, and the sequence is linear and clear.

Now, taking this a step further, a physicalist will insist that experience is itself a physical process. My contention is that if this is as advertised, and if as a hard physicalist/determinist and you are sticking with a bottom-up model of how things arise, then you can hardly say that human behavior lies outside the realm of your physicalist/determinist mode. It follows from this that if we had all the data, we COULD predict human behavior.

Mark says this is crackpot, but what he fails to do is to show why hard physicalism/determinism fails somewhere, as it must if the predictions themselves fail. Cintune made the same error is insisting that any expectation for 100% accuracy was a meaningless part of inquiry, while providing no insight why this is so beyond the standard non-linear, chaos, randomness rap, which might make a priori predictions impossible, but a linear sequence would appear, the thinking goes, should we reverse engineer things after the fact. Al the way down, says physicalism/determinism, key things would be connected in some manner of a linear chain, meaning at no time could you trace the appearence of water back to the matchstick. If water showed up it would be owing to the kid with the hose.

So in this light maybe the question is: what exists in the physical world (including experience) that after the fact, you cannot reverse engineer to antecedent causes or factors?

JL
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 26, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
Only ignorant men with poor fund of knowledge think "science" is independent from God .......


only children and ignorant adults with poor intelligence think "god" has anything to do with science



there, fixed that for ya
WBraun

climber
Mar 26, 2013 - 06:51pm PT
what exists in the physical world (including experience) that after the fact, you cannot reverse engineer to antecedent causes or factors?

That would be "Time" itself for it is without properties, and it is perceived only by it's effects .......
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 26, 2013 - 06:55pm PT
...meaning at no time could you trace the appearence of water back to the matchstick. If water showed up it would be owing to the kid with the hose.

Yeah, bad example. Never took a chemistry class, huh?
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 26, 2013 - 07:05pm PT
Credit: Dr. F.
Does this say it all?
NO, It doesn't, there is more...
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 26, 2013 - 07:15pm PT
So in this light maybe the question is: what exists in the physical world (including experience) that after the fact, you cannot reverse engineer to antecedent causes or factors?

My reply would be my meditative experiences. While I am open to the idea that maybe I produced them all in my own mind myself, for that to have happened, I have to have much more insight and knowledge than I am aware of. Of course it can be argued that the information was there all the time, I was just unaware of its presence until those breakthrough experiences. However, I doubt the folks on this thread would be willing to admit that I'm at least three times smarter than I normally appear using my usual state of consciousness which I do see connected to genetics and life experiences. LOL !

What is so interesting about the meditation tradition I follow (kundalini yoga) is that the spectacular biochemical and electrical experiences always are preceded by an insightful, wisdom oriented, forgiveness oriented, open to whatever help I can get attitude. I never have these experiences when concentrating on anything but understanding the nature of the spiritual universe, improving myself as a person, improving my understanding and interactions with other people, or helping another person or animal in dire need. The latter is of course the definition of the purpose of the spiritual life.

While open to unexplored knowledge of the power of the brain from a materialistic science point of view, until that aspect of the brain can be explained and predicted by science, I will continue to believe that there are dimensions to this universe that are not physical or at least not understood by science yet.

I suspect there are others on this thread who concur, but let me be the one to say it.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 26, 2013 - 07:37pm PT
Credit: Dr. F.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 26, 2013 - 08:15pm PT
Best answer so far is werner's, time. But you could also include all math and physics at least, that have no antecedent factors. Maybe basic principles of things, just exist without being an effect of some cause.

On the other hand, if you're asking if there's anything that just happens on its own without being caused by something else, unless you have something in mind you would be trying to prove a negative, that there is no cause. Or maybe you don't know the cause. Let's say a radioactive atom decays that has a half life of 1000 years. What made it decay at that particular moment instead of 1000 years from now? Maybe someone knows the answer, I don't. But assuming no one does, could you really say its random and has no cause? When you're talking about probabilities, it makes me think of the weather forecast. Maybe it will snow, maybe not. For that one, I would say that we're just not up to the task, but if we were, it would be determinable. So if you come up with something with no cause, I think the challenge would be, how do you know that?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 26, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
John,

As for reading comprehension, this is how it went down.

You said:

Some "hard" physicalists might even say that if we had all the relevant data, we could predict a person's behavior down to the smallest nuance.

Since I have heard the opposite of this, I said:

Name one. Just one who isn't a crank.

I should have said, "Name one decent scientist."

I never said anything about a topic being a crank. I want you to find one good scientist who claims that if you know the position and state of every particle in the Universe, you can define what will happen in the future.

You can't. That is the nature of chaotic and turbulent systems. You can know every position and be unable to work it backwards as well.

That doesn't mean that it is entirely useless. You can work with probabilities, also known as statistics.

Find a modern scientist who thinks that the entire future of the universe can be determined with absolute knowledge of any state in time.

You already said, "Some." I say NONE. That is all I'm saying.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 26, 2013 - 10:07pm PT
what exists in the physical world (including experience) that after the fact, you cannot reverse engineer to antecedent causes or factors?

you don't know, and you cannot know...
--


If you cannot show the connectedness between linear physical processes in the physical world, if in fact we "don't know and cannot know" such things," then on what grounds can we claim a bottom-up reductionistic model as valid? This pretty much scraps a hard-deterministic model as well if we are saying that ther is no such connectdness - unless we default out of the conversation and claim there IS a mechaical, determined connectedness, but we just don't know and cannot know what it is.

If science is built on the verity of predictions, on what factors are such predictions based if not a time-bound chain of events (including chaotic and random factors)?

By what process does any thing arise? Or is creation itself a misnomer?

Only some will ever find such things interesting. I accept that going in. But fobbing off non-answers and the intemperate panty waste snipes of a Cintune do little to further the conversation IMO.

JL
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 26, 2013 - 10:26pm PT
John,

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

A lot of scientific data is statistical. A LOT of it is statistical. You can repeat an experiment many times and look at the range of results. It depends upon the experiment, of course.

Everyone with a science degree who also took statistics please raise your hand.

Mine goes up.
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Mar 26, 2013 - 11:25pm PT
Base wrote,
There are other things that we don't qualify at all, such as happiness.
Not sure if you meant qualify or quantify or what your exact intent was. I think you meant that happiness is still out of reach of understanding by science. I don't think that is the case myself.

I think one problem with understanding happiness is that we are so culturally saturated with foolish ideas about happiness that it is hard to see the fairly obvious actual evidence about happiness. Then when we continually find that the happiness promised by songs, religion, salespeople, advertising, and on and on, don't actually work out, we fall back on the idea that happiness is some sort of magic.

In my opinion, a big myth/problem idea is that happiness is some sort of steady state that is achievable if we do the right thing, pray to the right god, say the right incantation, buy the right product, and on and on. Clearly that is not the case, but we disbelieve the evidence and assume that we just didn't do the incantations right, didn't believe quite hard enough, should have gotten a better product, should have married somebody else.

The evidence, which all of us experience, is that happiness is a very transitory state which fades quite rapidly after each experience that generates it. Rock climbing supplies pretty good lessons of the nature of
happiness. We get to the top of a climb, and maybe we are happy at our accomplishment. But then as the feeling fades, we start thinking about what to do next. If happiness was some sort of steady state, then we could just stay on top of a mountain and remain happy. If we believe that happiness can be a permanent condition, some sort of heaven, but we ourselves can't maintain it, we assume something is wrong with ourselves.

My personal, best guess at the moment about the nature of happiness is that it is a feeling we get as we make progress in dealing with problems. So, as I make progress on a climb, I feel pretty happy. As a crux is passed or the climb is completed, the tension is released and that feeling bursts forth stronger. But then it immediately starts fading and I start looking for new problems to solve. With some accomplishments/experiences the sense of happiness fades pretty fast while with others it seems to fade slowly.

Whether or not my hypothesis is on the right track, it seems to me possible and worthwhile to try and find useful questions to ask about emotions and happiness. To me, useful questions are ones that lead somewhere. Where we don't know.

Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 27, 2013 - 04:40am PT
Good point Paul. I listened to a psychology course on itunes, I think it was from Yale, and the prof told a very interesting story. He said, what would be the best thing I could imagine happening to me? He says, he could win the nobel prize in pyschology. For a few days at least, he'd feel like king of the world, but then being a nobel prize winner would be normal and the feeling would wear off. Then what? He'd have to win a second nobel prize, and be the first psychologist to ever do so. Again, the buzz would only last a few days, and life would be back to normal. Then he said, what would be the worst thing that he could imagine? How about being hit by a car and paralyzed from the neck down? As it turns out, when people in that condition are studied, they're just as happy as everyone else. I'll take his word for that, I guess. The moral of the story is ... this is how your brain works. You may be able to imagine a steady state of happiness, but it's not physiologically possible.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 27, 2013 - 07:19am PT
But fobbing off non-answers and the intemperate panty waste snipes of a Cintune do little to further the conversation IMO.

So sorry, but if you're going to keep trying to lead the "conversation" by the nose to its foregone conclusion, you should at least make an effort to get your facts straight. Otherwise people might get the false impression that you really have no f*#king clue what you're talking about, right?
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