Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 6, 2013 - 11:29pm PT
the difference is I can explain the physics (science), you can't explain your idea... which is fine as far as I'm concerned... but you know when I'm wrong (which seems to be all the time)... it is possible, as you yourself would concede, that I could practice for 10, 20, 50 years and still not get it...


The problem here is that you're assuming that the correct "answer" is something that will satisfy your evaluating mind, re: my explanation will be info that you can evaluate as true or false, according to physical criteria. That would mean I was doing physics, or science. I have stated 100 times that this is not so.

The esoteric arts are not about any of this, and what you continually get hung up on is the notion that what this is all about is merely an "idea" that I arrived at by way of a process, itself the fruit of an evolved brain that creates the mind that provides the experiences. In other words, you are doing your damnest to frame what I am talking about as a thing, a quantifiable or discrete experience or some kind of mental content that squares with your quite rational belief that the eitire thing about us humans can be neatly and entirely explained by biology. This fits neatly into a discursive envelope so long as you overlook the horrendous problems of those thorny transitions from nothng to something, from chaos to self-organizing DNA, from inorganic to organic, from physical to subjective, from meat to self-conscioueness.

One of the first things you come to know about consciousness is that it is the opposite of randomness, and randomness can never achieve what consciousness can accomplish because they are not the same thing. But I'll hold off till tomorrow when I am fresher.

An interesting thing to ponder is that Ed how Ed is holding against me the charge that I cannot explain my "idea" even though I have repeatedly said that the subjective and objective are NOT the same, that the objective concers the external world of discrete things, knowable in a sense, to all, whereas the subjective involves the experiences of the subject, known the subject, and ungraspable (unquantifiable) to those outside the experiential bubble. Now Ed can hardly call the experiential less tangible than the objective since he too lives entirely in his subjective space, for which there is NO escape so long as we are alive. It is no fault of Ed's that he cannot, nor can I, express experience within our given subjective worlds in terms of hards facts and figures. This is simply the way that reality IS. Expecting that I can and should be able to do so, if I really and true knew what I was talkign about, is basically saying that the objective and the subjective are selfsame and can be understood and explained the very same way. That, Ed, is simply not so.

And the basis of consciousness is NOT content or facts and figures not yet biology, but nothing, no thing, void. I'll take a crack at that tomorrow.

JL




MH2

climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 12:13am PT
What I see in JL's latest post is that he considers a person's subjective experience to be unknowable and ungraspable by another person. He is therefore unable to express to us in any satisfactory way what he is experiencing in his own subjective realm.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 7, 2013 - 12:56am PT
Ed, some of the things you say I'm saying are a bit beyond what I've actually said. For the record, there is really nothing special in what I've experienced. If there is any difference from what I talk about and what you talk about is that I believe what I'm talking about is empty. If there is a difference in what I see and what you see is that I occasionally see without concepts and frameworks, while you only seem to see through them.

What I see in JL's latest post is that he considers a person's subjective experience to be unknowable and ungraspable by another person. He is therefore unable to express to us in any satisfactory way what he is experiencing in his own subjective realm.

This may disagree with John, but here's my take on this stuff.

1. Experience itself (whether John's or mine) is ungraspable, unstoppable, non-local, multi-dimensional, undefinable, and unresolvable. You can't say just exactly what it is. That makes it inexpressible.

2. Experience IS knowable.

That's the claim. I'm not saying what experience is. I'm saying that I can't say what it is. But I know what it is.

If you want to disagree, then you have to now say what experience is.

That's John's argument as I read it, and it's relatively mild.

I'll make a stronger claim. Forget experience. Nothing is graspable, stoppable, local, single-dimensional, definable, and resolvable. That includes not only what is subjective, but also what is supposedly objective.

If you want to disagree, then you have to now say what anything is completely.

(Hint: you're going to need a more powerful tool than the scientific method to do that.)
WBraun

climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:05am PT
MikeL -- "Nothing is graspable .... "

In your impersonalism feature that may be true.

But beyond the impersonal feature is always personal.

As in; "No-thing IS graspable"

There's NO escape .......

jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:06am PT
One of the first things you come to know about consciousness is that it is the opposite of randomness, and randomness can never achieve what consciousness can accomplish because they are not the same thing


Maybe two sides of the same coin?


Priceless.


;>)
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:31am PT
Ed: then we are both happy. I'm happy to be living my life, and you yours. Cheers.


Werner: (somehow I knew I was going to have to write this)

No thing is "graspable": you can't quite grasp a hold of things empirically or cognitively.

No thing is "stoppable": there is no real control over things; causes and circumstances are not created or controlled by any one or any thing.

No thing is "local"; I'll call this "interdependence"; it means that no thing exists in only one time and space; everything seems to be connected to everything else; the Buddhists call this "dependent origination."

No thing is "single-dimensional": all things exhibit different characteristics at microscopic & macroscopic levels; as well as meaning, size, color, chemical / physical make-up, etc.

No thing is "definable" (except denotatively, perhaps by linguistic convention; dictionary definitions are the worst).

No thing is "resolvable" (no thing ever finally boils down to a single essence or final item).



One more time: all phenomena are empty. We see them apparently manifesting, but we cannot find their existence in any way or in any form that is finally satisfying. We are always left wanting.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:33am PT
I'll make a stronger claim. Forget experience. Nothing is graspable, stoppable, local, single-dimensional, definable, and resolvable. That includes not only what is subjective, but also what is supposedly objective.

Imagine serious investigators of nature taking this sort of approach: people would still be dropping like flies from Bubonic Plague.
This is serious delusional nihilism at its most delusional, and nihilistic.

Post -modernism in noticeable ineffectual decline in the 21st century.

An unconvincing attempt to distill a personal nihilistic mood congruent mythology into a blueprint of human consciousness.
What next ? Existential Quantum Flux?


Empirical evidence is always imperfect ......

Hey, the only thing close to perfect was the town where the Stepford wives lived.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 7, 2013 - 09:51am PT
Imagine serious investigators of nature taking this sort of approach: people would still be dropping like flies from Bubonic Plague.

The Bubonic Plague would have ran its course, as does everything Ward, irrespective of human interventions. Just what is it that you think you or Man controls?

Your decisions? Recent research indicates that cognitive activity milliseconds prior to a conscious act of making a decision. (Oops, was that free will that just fell out of your hands?)

Your behaviors? Give me a break. You and the rest of us find ourselves doing things that we have no control over whatsoever (instinct, emotions, thoughts, insights, apprehensions).

Social events or problems? Good lord, what real social problem do you want to point to that's been nothing but the indication of complete failure? The banking industry? Healthcare? Education? Poverty? War?

Physical dynamics? Sure. Try exercising control over gravity.

And you think I'm living in a dream world? HA! You might as well be a metal ball rolling around in a pin-ball machine. Shakespeare and the Greeks articulated the lament over and over and over.

[Regarding the complaint that empirical evidence is always imperfect]: the only thing close to perfect was the town where the Stepford wives lived.

This tends to be one of the dumbest positions an honest intellectual / searcher can take. "I know it's not true, but it's pretty good." Right, that makes you a technician, a pragmatist, and bougeoise. You need to find another thread. We're trying to do some heavy lifting here, my friend.

"Close enough" may work for hand grenades and nuclear weapons, but the issues here require some nuance and focus. At the base of these conversations, we're trying to find what is authentic. That's another word for Truth.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Jun 7, 2013 - 10:21am PT
What next?
A trip report from the luminiferous aether perhaps
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Jun 7, 2013 - 10:21am PT
Just like in science, God also has His moral laws!...

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Romans 14:10 ,For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

...without God we are nothing!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 7, 2013 - 10:31am PT
re: life coaching

So you're thinking about life coaching, better watch this Penn and Teller first...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfqn73pUvZw

.....

It's not all whack though. For instance, Croce...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQbokAE7DSA

Then again, you could certainly count his death at 30 "whack." :(

.....

You all do know how to watch utube videos ad free. Right? Essential when you watch utube music vids, esp strings of them. If not, find a plugin and download it, they work great.
MH2

climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 11:41am PT
The Bubonic Plague would have ran its course, as does everything Ward, irrespective of human interventions. Just what is it that you think you or Man controls?


I control whether or not I put milk in my coffee. So there. Man is mightier than milk.




Your decisions? Recent research indicates that cognitive activity milliseconds prior to a conscious act of making a decision. (Oops, was that free will that just fell out of your hands?)


All that means is that your brain does not work the way it appears to the so-called conscious part of it. Until you can predict what the person is going to do (edit: or find that you cannot) you have not made any progress on the philosophical issue of determinism versus free will.


Some people are interested in why things happen while others are not. How the brain works is a fascinating field of inquiry. A parent faced with a sick child is unlikely to be uninterested in caring for the child. In the long run both will die. Being aware of that has little to do with what we have for breakfast or what we do with the rest of our day.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 12:41pm PT
I gotta work a lot today on a deadline but here's a taste of my mind wandering . . . .


...look Largo, I get that you can't explain it, that it is beyond explanation, that we are "trapped" in our subjective experience and see everything through that, and that there is a process we can practice to move beyond the "evaluating" mind to the "experiencing" mind...

...but there is nothing in what you are saying that suggests that all of that isn't physical, that it isn't the result of brain function et al.


I would only note that this evaluation that "everything is physical" is strictly from the outside. What you are basicall saying is that thre is nothing to say that Mind, and all things attached to it, are NO MORE than the sum of our biological parts which you believe "produce" Mind via biological/electrochemical blowback of some mysterious sort. What's more, you're actually asking, in a round about way, for physical proof that Mind exists as somethign above and beyond the physical, and on top of that, if I can't provide that much, than at least I could provide some rational and knowable (discursive) EXPLANATION for Mind that we could all understand lest the whole thing is bollocks and shuck and jive and hot air.

But you see, Ed, all of this is an attempt to make demands on the experiential that nobody can make good on because as much as we would like it to be the case, discursive and evaluating belong to objects and things, and Mind is neither. If it was, you could point to the brain and say, that's where raw awareness is "made," and that there, those very neurons, ARE raw awareness. We all know this is simply not so, that there really is a difference between the smell of a flower and a pork pie hat.

Look at Mike's statement that mind is ungraspable but knowable. That's spot on in my experience.

Another interesting question is: Who here consideres mind to be no more than a sum of it's biological parts, and if so, then what, exactly IS Mind? (Obviously, faux answers such as: It's a biological function" need not apply).

JL

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
Another interesting question is: Who here consideres mind to be no more than a sum of it's biological parts, and if so, then what, exactly IS Mind? (Obviously, faux answers such as: It's a biological function" need not apply).

Yes, well, way to stack the deck right there.

What I see is an implicit downgrading in the "no more" than the sum of its parts proposition. This ain't no beginner's Lego set, friend. Trillions and trillions of exponential synapse firings every millisecond, only a tiny fraction of which are involved in the consciousness circuits. The result of four billion years of organic changes and adaptations. Forget about infinity, four billion should be enough to vainly try to visualize, and trillions of electrical impulses are entirely capable of doing what consciousness does. Doesn't make it any less awesome or precious than anything supernaturalism can unfalsifiably posit. Of course there's more to learn, which is exactly what makes it more fascinating than any know-it-all-already, final-word spiritual "answer." To some of us, anyway. YMMV.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23667-atheists-turn-to-science-during-times-of-stress.html
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:36pm PT
Forget about infinity, four billion should be enough to vainly try to visualize, and trillions of electrical impulses are entirely capable of doing what consciousness does.
-


So you're positing the popular bio-machine position. You are well aware that there is a million dollar prize out there for anyone who can explain HOW this is accomplished in a peer review magazine.

What you're really talking about is objective functioning (memory, stimulus responses, etc.), now consciousness itself.

But you didn't answer the qustion: Is consciousness more than it's biological parts? No deck stacking at all. It's a very simple question.

JL
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 7, 2013 - 02:10pm PT
Dr. Phil says... If you can't name it, you can't claim it.

 largology: study of largo
 largolysis: analysis or interpretation of largo
 largocentrism or largomania: speaks for itself
 largosophy, largosophical: wisdom of largo
 largosophism: hmm...
 largostrophics: the musings, rhetoric or tropes of largo
 largophrenia: the mind (or consciousness) of largo
 largomagic: tbd

These coinages (neonyms) would seem, at some time or other, to have a place on this thread.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 7, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
As a linguistic construct, consciousness is more than its biological parts.

So are photosynthesis and metamorphism in their respective domains.

Otherwise, i.e. objectively, no, it's not. Why would it be?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 02:57pm PT
As a linguistic construct, consciousness is more than its biological parts.


You ducked the question again - which is a strange thing, since I'm the one here who is usually flamed and accused of ducking the hard questions.

Of course I'm not talkking about a "linguistic construction." What does that even mean, in tangible terms? Is your own life and your own subjective experience - the very stuff of consciousness - sufficiently framed by the words, "linguistic construct?" Of course not.

Even a cursory investigation betrays to us that consciousness itself - and your very experience which provides you the notion of consciousness - is not a symbolic (linguistic) representation of something else, i.e., "red" refers to that rose over there and "9" refers to the number of players on the field for the Dodgers. If consciousness is a "linguistic construct" ergo a symbolic representation of something else, what, exactly, is that something else?

You've backed yourself into a corner here, Cintune, which is inevitable whenever you try and insist that consciousness and matter are selfsame "things." But we are certainly willing to hear how you might try and talk your way out of it so long as you don't revert to howlers such as, "consciousness is what the meat brain does." That's a little like saying, gravity is what falling rocks do.

JL

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 7, 2013 - 03:35pm PT
You ducked the question again - which is a strange thing, since I'm the one here who is usually flamed and accused of ducking the hard questions.

When in Rome...

Of course I'm not talkking about a "linguistic construction." What does that even mean, in tangible terms? Is your own life and your own subjective experience - the very stuff of consciousness - sufficiently framed by the words, "linguistic construct?" Of course not.

Sufficiently? Yes. Actually, of necessity.

Even a cursory investigation betrays to us that consciousness itself - and your very experience which provides you the notion of consciousness - is not a symbolic (linguistic) representation of something else, i.e., "red" refers to that rose over there and "9" refers to the number of players on the field for the Dodgers. If consciousness is a "linguistic construct" ergo a symbolic representation of something else, what, exactly, is that something else?

Objective reality. This could be a eureka moment for you, right here.

You've backed yourself into a corner here, Cintune, which is inevitable whenever you try and insist that consciousness and matter are selfsame "things."

Energy, you're forgetting energy. Is energy more than the sum of matter's parts?

But we are certainly willing to hear how you might try and talk your way out of it so long as you don't revert to howlers such as, "consciousness is what the meat brain does." That's a little like saying, gravity is what falling rocks do.

And yet it is. Howl away.

MH2

climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 04:21pm PT
But you didn't answer the qustion: Is consciousness more than it's biological parts? No deck stacking at all. It's a very simple question.


How can that question be answered before we have had a good look at the parts and their interactions? There are a lot of questions still to answer about what goes on between the sensory and motor sides of the nervous system. Maybe consciousness will turn out to be more than its biological parts, but we don't yet know enough to say. The biological/physical approach is far from exhausted but the philosophical approach, to consciousness at least, is not a horse I would put money on.

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