Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 14101 - 14120 of total 23010 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 31, 2013 - 10:16pm PT
Meh ^^^^^
Coming from a spiritual standpoint , I'm only trying to meet you at your material Plateau


Edit: post number 14777, that must be lucky?

2nd. Edit: When in Rome...
MH2

climber
Mar 31, 2013 - 10:44pm PT
JL,

You are the one proposing that subjective experience cannot be accounted for by what neurons do.

I take the view that we can learn more about how the nervous system works and that we may achieve an understanding of consciousness as largely if not entirely a product of neuronal activity.

I have no need to prove that subjective experience and consciousness are produced by the brain. I simply don't see any good reason why that could not be the case.

However, I must point out that the brain's usefulness to an organism depends on its ability to build models of the world around it, so it may be tricky to locate "consciousness". How much of your brain is actually a representation of the world you grew up and live in? I don't think that your skin is the boundary of your "self." Information has flowed into you and out of you and influenced who you are.

To go back to an example of subjective experience:

Say you put your hand in water. If the water is warm or cold you will feel that immediately, If you leave your hand in the water for 5 or 10 minutes, it will not feel as warm or cold as it did initially (unless it is dangerously hot or cold). The water stays the same temperature but your experience of it changes. This experience can be understood as a consequence of how neurons are reacting.

Other kinds of subjective experience have been studied, too. With this kind of approach to subjective experience we gradually learn more about it. How far we can go is something we can only find out by trying.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 31, 2013 - 10:54pm PT
10-4 Mh2
R U in the>40 or <40 era?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 31, 2013 - 11:39pm PT
Before I move on, I have to address this "vomit" post. A vomit post is my newly coined word for "I've had enough and here it is!" I'm not pure. I've done it as well.

That's right BASE, I just cut and past EVERYTHING I've ever written here from some expert, er, scientist,

I think it goes a little further than cut and paste. You are parroting other people on purpose, just to poke Ed.

You get a catchy word such as Hilbert Space and toss it around like it is your best friend. That is just stupid. Who here understands Hilbert Space? I'd guess it would be Gill, JStan, Ed, maybe a couple of others. All of them scientists of some sort.

LOL. Sort of like people making sweeping conclusions about subjective adventures having never put in the work, believing that a few quips from there discursive minds will clear the flotsam once and for all.

Define discursive.

As for experience, I'm pretty confident that I have you beat in that realm.

Using a proxy to attack Ed was childish. It was a childish act. Telling a physicist that he is over the hill is also pretty f*#king rude.

Oh and this:

But some people believe God made everything out of nothing. . .

Sort of like DNA arose out of nothing - just super slowly. And by the way - WHAT went bang? LOL

Did you just cough up a hairball, there? Did "I" say this?

Dude. Your cup is full right now. Don't crack on us.

Go back to the start. That is why I posted the original post. Nobody knows the origins of what we keep talking about.

John. I'm not even saying that you are wrong here. I'm saying that playing physicist doesn't work.

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 1, 2013 - 01:29am PT
OK. My short theory.

Humans are animals. It is pretty foolish to ignore this, because it gives us a lot of good clues. After all, we share many similarities.

We have not changed anatomically in almost 200,000 years. We didn't settle down into fixed agrarian groups until 12,000 years ago.

We have brains with larger problem solving and language abilities than our ancestors. Other than that, we are physically inferior to pretty much all predators.

Our brain anatomy isn't unusual in its parts. Those are shared with most mammals. The difference is in the size of certain parts. That is probably the only evolutionary advantage that we had over predators.

Consciousness arises at or around birth. Your memory of your first few years vanishes, so the brain is developing rapidly as a young child. To think that consciousness is not an emerged quality isn't logical. We don't see children who are born with the ability to solve fantastic cosmology problems. It comes with time. We know about brain development after birth, and I've read that it continues until the early teens.

I do know that children are far more sensitive to lead exposure than adults. It can cause severe brain damage.

I see no reason to think that it is any more complicated than that.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 1, 2013 - 09:06am PT
Psilocyborg

I drank the koolaid for about 20 years of my life!

I was raised Methodist, but became an atheist at the age of reason, 7
Then started meditating, and turned into a New Age Guru, trying to link science with the other side, fields, spirits, and One Great God

My mind could find all kinds of ways to make it work, none of them truly scientific, more like Werner's God is everywhere ideology, but kind of sciency

But then I read some skeptical literature, and Finally something came along that challenged my belief system, No one really did that to me before, challenge my view of reality, I wish they had, most people just supported my belief system and thought it was a good thing.

I pretty much changed over night to a raging atheist, I could see how easy it was to dupe oneself into forming beliefs and how just normal coincidences can be interpreted as Messages from God or whatever

every thing I thought was a Heavy spiritual experience was just A Human experience, nothing was really coming from the other side, my mind just thought it was.

Reality Only makes complete sense when you rid yourself of false beliefs, it's Freeing at every Mental level
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 1, 2013 - 09:11am PT
Love is just an emotion that evolved with the higher animals so they would bond to their offspring and mates. It is Not an universal energy of some sort.

I can tell you one thing, There IS NO LOVE in the center of the sun, deep space, or at an event horizon.

Saying God creating the Universe is just a way of saying you believe in Magic, Our Universe was created and is operated By Pure Magic.
And you are satisfied not knowing how the magic works, You want to be deceived.
Psilocyborg

climber
Apr 1, 2013 - 10:27am PT
Dr F, funny, I have had the exact opposite. When I hit my age of reason @ 12, I became an athiest. It wasnt until 2 or 3 years ago that I realized my own form of spirituality. The hundreds of deep psychedelic experiences I had as a teenager now have a profound meaning. Instead of being human drug induced experiences, I now realize I was transending time and space, and much more.

At the end of the day, we are both happy and content individuals, which is the point. Congradulations, peace, love, and all that good stuff.

Base....the enlargements of certain areas of the brain, wouldnt it be facinating if it was brought on by thousands of years of phychedelic mushroom consumtpion? Mana from heaven!
jstan

climber
Apr 1, 2013 - 10:31am PT
If you take ten posts from someone, read them all and carefully work through them logically, you should find something that is consistent.

If you cannot find a consistent picture, just move on. There is nothing there.




My neighbor, at 91, is in the hospital right now. Yesterday I visited and saw patients facing lung failure, smoking. A question.

A person facing lung failure who is still smoking has made their decision.

Why are they in a hospital?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 1, 2013 - 11:13am PT
We are animals. We have been around for 200,000 years.

Look at an infant. Do you remember being an infant? Perhaps. There is no doubt that the brain develops physically and anatomically after birth.

Why do we need to cling to any idea that we are somehow special? The evolution of the human brain is very clear from fossil evidence. There is enough to show a variety of hominids whose brains became progressively larger, particularly certain brain regions that are known logic and language centers.

OK. I must flee to wiki, but I admit to it. I just don't remember the details and dates of anthropology after all of these years.

I had this part right: we became anatomically evolved 200,000 years ago. We became behaviorally modern 50,000 years ago, and that is when we begin to see a richer fossil record containing tools, burials, art, etc.

At what point do you want to say that consciousness began? Is a worm conscious? It responds to all manner of outside stimulus. A lizard? They have fairly complex behavior. A mouse? Mice can learn. Even an octopus is amazingly intelligent and can be taught.

Where do you draw the line and say, "OK, here we have consciousness."

We do have to draw the line or at the least draw a spectrum of intelligence. The only thing that leaps out regarding human anatomy is the size of the higher brain centers. It is directly correlated to anatomy.

It isn't much of a stretch to see this and realize that these are evolved traits. Unfortunately we are the only surviving hominid. If others had survived we could do a lot of comparative anatomy and study of brain function.

I present you with a cave painting that is 40,000 years old:

Credit: BASE104
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 1, 2013 - 11:16am PT
A person facing lung failure who is still smoking has made their decision.

Why are they in a hospital?

I would guess that they are afraid of death. Being afraid of death is what brought this entire religious wha wha about.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 1, 2013 - 11:46am PT
Cool Altamira shot there. The rise of representational art certainly marked an epoch in consciousness. Saw this recently:

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 1, 2013 - 12:47pm PT
BASE, try and you will, you bungle my aim every time.

If you want to understand the drift, first, know that "content" or persons, places or things will not answer to the deeper questions of existence. Not everyone needs to bother with these questions - it's like wall climbing in that regards. It doesn't make you smarter or more profound to chase these questions. You have to be a transcendent fool of sorts. It's not easy work.

Second, if you want to get a fix on this, forget the content and settle with the agency of consciousness, NOT the content. But most importantly, DON'T make any attempt to quantify that agency, which will cause your awareness to narrow focus on some thing, and you'll miss the forest for the trees, so to speak. The idea is to anchor to that forest and hang out - forever.

It doesn't matter at all if you believe the objective is the subjective, or that your awareness simply and miraculously jumps off of neurons like smoke off a BBQ. All of those notions about functionality are merely ideas anyhow, and like I said, the thought realm will never give up the goods.

Any attempts to objectify or quantify the agency of mind, through which all content whistles through, will give you nothing more than more of the same, or just a bunch of functional analysis. If that's all the deeper you want to go. Fine. My efforts to talk the monkey out of the corner are pretty much over. If you have no interest in other perspectives beyond cognitive data and qualia, no harm in that at all.

The one and most basic trick is probably the hardest to those tranced by the discursive mind: Don't objectify (narrow focus on "it"). If that approach had any hops of working, we all would gladly have done so from the start. It was only after experiencing cognitive methods failing entirely that other counterintuitive paths were explored.

When I boil it all down, there isn't much more to it than that - and of course, practicing it till you're blue in the face. Beliefs, gurus, masters, faith, fuzzy feelings, "God," tea ceremonies (never care for those myself) and all the rest are part of the game, but ultimately must be given up at the zero hour. Any way you shake it, you've eventually be wrangling noting at all. The adventure starts once you run out of answers entirely, and simply give up - but don't quit.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 1, 2013 - 12:59pm PT
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Apr 1, 2013 - 01:44pm PT
I take the view that we can learn more about how the nervous system works and that we may achieve an understanding of consciousness as largely if not entirely a product of neuronal activity.

I agree that the way to study consciousness is through brains and neurons - although I would start with simple brains, but this depends on your definition of consciousness, and whether a symbolic language is a requirement.

Thought experiment: Let's say you had a computer that could model the neurons in a human brain. All their connections to other neurons and what the electrical potentials needed to make each one fire (they're like transistors). The simulation models every possible variable, blood sugar and oxygen levels in the blood, whatever may influence neural firing. You hook it up to simulated inputs, eyes, ears, even a spinal cord similator for touch. You determine the initial state of the system through a CAT scan, and say go.

The obvious question is whether this simulation would be conscious and believe itself to be the person simulated.

If so, then consciousness is a mathematical property of that system and Werner and Largo were right that it's totally independent of the meat brain. That doesn't mean its immortal, though. This one could be, but the meat brain ones aren't.

If not, then there is no way to simulate consciousness even through a perfect simulation of the neural activity that creates it. What would THAT mean?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 1, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
If so, then consciousness is a mathematical property of that system and Werner and Largo were right that it's totally independent of the meat brain. That doesn't mean its immortal, though. This one could be, but the meat brain ones aren't.


Never said consciousness is "totally independent" of the meat brain. Give us an example of something, anything that is "totally independent" of persons, place and things?

From my point of view, the simulation you set up is entirely about objective functioning. We can understand how a digital processor of enormous power might replicate certain brain functions. But I'm not following how raw awareness and self consciouslness are related to objective functioning. What model are you basing this on in Nature, where something remotely like awareness has ever been "created" by or is blowback of objective functioning. When people say, "I see no reason why awareness is not a direct function of neuronal activity alone," what is such a belief based on if not the fact that ever other phenomenon in reality seems to be the product of physical processes.

To me, believing that a computer can "produce" and replicate a consciousness that wonders if it is machine or person is sci fi far more spectacular and rare then Frankenstein, minus the forked lightning.


JL

It's Alive!
It's Alive!
Credit: Largo

jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 1, 2013 - 04:53pm PT
The adventure starts once you run out of answers entirely, and simply give up - but don't quit

Hit me with the stick again, Master, for my attention wanders . . .


;>)
MH2

climber
Apr 1, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
JL,

When you set limits on neuroscience, just for a moment consider a person looking up at El Cap in 1913 thinking, "They will never climb that."
WBraun

climber
Apr 1, 2013 - 07:06pm PT
You guys are all completely projecting all kinds of crazy sh!t Largo never meant.

It's pretty obvious most of you are not using your own selves correctly.

No training at all except pure western cave man brute force thinking.

Full speed head first into a brick wall without thinking is what you're all doing.

That's why you're all animals.

A human being has knowledge that separates him form animals.

Western material science is just plain polished animalism .......
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 1, 2013 - 09:37pm PT
When you set limits on neuroscience, just for a moment consider a person looking up at El Cap in 1913 thinking, "They will never climb that."
--


What do you believe are the farthest limits of neuroscience to try and physically explain mind?

JL
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