Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 12, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
We'll just see how this plays out in the meantime. I'll bet it won't be like what any of us currently believe in, and i hold out virtually no hop[e for a bottom up, fully self-contained model to go anywhere past objective functioning.

But it's only going to play out because of "bottom-up" research, since all the "top-downers" do is offer their heartfelt assurances.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 12, 2013 - 06:03pm PT
But it's only going to play out because of "bottom-up" research, since all the "top-downers" can do is offer their assurances.


Kindly give an example of top-down "research??" (excepting financial stuff - where it is commonly used. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-down_and_bottom-up_design);

And the examples that Ed gives are interesting but they all have to do with objective functioning - a heart beating, this doing that, and so forth. Without belaboring the point, applying this kind of manufacturing or "production" to subjective realities such as memories seems logical only when you neglect to acknowledge the magnificent difference between the subjective and objective. When everything is dumbed down to the same "thing," from the smell of Channel No 5 to an atom smasher, you're left with an impossible thing to square - that the subjective is the objective, which also means the objective is the subjective if in fact they are the "same things." If we say that no, they are not selfsame, but rather the subjective is an emergent function of the physical, a kind of sub-set derived from material, then we must explain the magical transition from physical to experiential (an aspect of the so-called "hard question" of consciousness), or use daft and meaningless language like, consciousness is simply what the brain "does." While there are simple reasons why the heart beats, there is a 1,000,000 prize for anyone who can demonstrate a soulution or explanation of the "hard question" in a peer reviewed journal. As mentioned MANY times, neuroscientists have "no idea" using traditional methods. So far, the idea belief that the brain is the only player in consciousness is simply science fiction and magical thinking.

JL

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 06:13pm PT
We've covered all of this before. One side says that the mind and the spirit and whatever wha wha resides in the brain. Where else would it be?

Then you have the faithful who believe that we are a soul that invisibly goes to paradise at the moment of death.

Then you have Largo in the middle. He refutes a physical model but refuses to acknowledge religion or an ever lasting soul.

I think I got that right. More or less.

We have plenty of evidence which proves that the brain is where all of our cognitive functions reside. I know that Werner says it is all in the heart, but I don't see him or anyone else wearing a helmet around the chest. I'm sure that Werner has seen many brain injuries and the outcome, just like the rest of us.

Just look at stroke victims. I have a buddy that I help almost every day due to a stroke he had a while back. His problem is aphasia. He has trouble speaking or typing. The language part of his brain was seriously damaged. It is terrible, because he is younger than us and is blisteringly smart and witty. Now it is all trapped inside.

I can make a brain that will function perfectly. I had a son. A lot of teaching was involved, but my wife and I taught him language and social skills, as well as how to change a flat tire.



BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 12, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
WHOA! THIS IS SUPPER GOOD^^^^^ (try'in to keep up w/ Largo and Ed)


Base;
Then you have the faithful who believe that we are a soul that invisibly goes to paradise at the moment of death.

The soul is "some-THING", which isnt apparent to the EYES of your body.
And paradise was an intermediate place BEFORE Christ rose.
Now we go straight to Heaven!
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 12, 2013 - 06:21pm PT
So far, the idea belief that the brain is the only player in consciousness is simply science fiction and magical thinking.

Oh the irony.

But since were slinging Wikipedia definitions about, here's one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps#Usage_in_referring_to_a_type_of_argument
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 06:21pm PT
JL, it isn't very genuine when you say that the brain has been well studied for a century. For most of that time, brain function couldn't be observed while alive and processing. Neuroscience, to those of us who don't know jack about it, is pretty young.

If we only had a cutting edge neuroscientist in on this argument. They would probably shame us because we are so ignorant of the science. I will say that an article about the brain is on the cover of about half of the Scientific Americans that I receive.

It is the beginning of the Golden Age of brain research. 50 years ago it was lobotomies and ice picks.

At the same time we already knew a lot about capture cross sections, neutron scattering, infinite reflectors, and fast neutron induced fission chain reactions.

That was more useful to the human race, evidently.
MH2

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 06:24pm PT
As mentioned MANY times, neuroscientists have "no idea" using traditional methods. So far, the idea belief that the brain is the only player in consciousness is simply science fiction and magical thinking.


Sounds definitive. It has been mentioned. MANY times. Take that you foolish materialists.



Much as I like science fiction and magical thinking, I will point out that the human brain, like the ant, did not arise de novo. We, like the ant, are a creation of Nature. Neither we nor the ant are "the only player" in consciousness or any other context. We can only be understood as players in the larger world around us.

For example:

JL is bored at work.


jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 12, 2013 - 06:33pm 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 - 06:55pm PT
Mh2 That was Great!

Greatness begat Greatness?
MH2

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 07:53pm 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 - 07:55pm PT
MH2

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 08:27pm 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 - 08:59pm 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 12, 2013 - 09:00pm 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 12, 2013 - 09:02pm 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 12, 2013 - 09:05pm 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 12, 2013 - 09:06pm 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 12, 2013 - 09:32pm 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 - 04:36am 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 - 08:11am 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?
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