Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Jun 7, 2013 - 04:47pm PT
Dr. Phil says... If you can't name it, you can't claim it.

Move over, Einstein, Plato, Copernicus, Newton, Darwin, Freud. You now have real competition.

BTW, Dr. Phil got this from Peter Drucker, Intel, and Deming: "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it."

I wonder how the future gets created?

The answer is that it doesn't. The future, like the past and the present, happens all by itself. You think you're creating things? You're controlling things? You're in charge? You effect change?

The problem of measurement and labeling is that they only work when dealing with the past and the present. They're pretty useless for dealing with the future. Why? Because the future never turns out as you think it will. Nothing is predictable. Not in any fine-grained sense.

I asked a guy in the mess hall at the retreat I'm at this morning what would happen over the next 5 minutes. He said, "I'll go up and get a cup of coffee." The next person said the same thing, and they both went to do just that. Along the way, they ran into each other near the coffee pot and nearly spilled their coffee.

You can rely that what you get in your mind about what's going to happen in the very near future won't turn out that way. Not quite. Someone or something keeps throwing sand in to the wheels of your fortune.

But you can force your interpretations to see what you want to see. You can avoid the fine grained detail, you can take a crow bar and a jar of vaseline and force a label on to something that doesn't quite apply (you name it), or you can simply mis-remember what you thought was going to happen. Beliefs are more important to people than truth. Again, it's an example of being inauthentic.

Commercialism and organizing are culprits in giving rise to these problems. Our wont to manage, control, achieve ends, be winners, has created many systems by which to effect those ends--often revolving around measures. I understand it, I teach it, and I help others use it. But please remember, numbers in an of themselves are useless and meaningless. You must always ask the questions or make the connections about what the numbers mean. That's where the rubber meets the road. The rest is manipulation, conceptualization, and labeling. And hey, those things are fine as long as you know that's what you're doing.

In the final weeks of my course, I tell my students that all the things (concepts, models, frameworks, etc.) I taught them over the quarter do not exist--not really. The kids that seem to do well after leaving college take that pronouncement in stride. For the most part, the accountants don't. (You know, "creative accounting" can get one 5 to 10 years in the big house.)

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 04:51pm PT
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.

So their you have it, after much double-talking, non-answering and silly quips from Cintune. He is basically saying that consciousnes is "what the the evolved meat brains does." Would such a definition wash in a scientific investigation? Of course not - of that we all are sure. We would never say that "fusion is what the sun does." And leave it at that for the simple reason that we haven't said anymore that what Cintune just said, which is nothing at all.

The fact is there are certain things in both the objective and subjective worlds that are paradoxes and cannot be remotly answered. But the physical camp will never admit it. For Cintune and other fundamentalist physicalists, "objective reality" is material, stuff, matter. And most likely, he would hold that energy is itself the blow back of matter. The problem here is that when you approach consciousness as being no more than the sum of its material parts - and this is an old argument - then consciousnes perforce must be identical with the parts, as it is no more and no less. And since the parts are themselves physical, than subjctivlty iself MUST be a physical manifistation in and of itself. It follows that the subjective IS objective. No difference. They are, by Cintunes own definition, no more and no less, which is any language equals as selfsame.
And that's where this argument totally breaks down in any real terms.

That would mean, as we have pointed out many time, that the subjective experience of lybacking Wheat Thin is qualitatively and quantitatively the VERY same as any physical thing, from a cat's eye marbel to a horseshoe. And verilly, that is a howler by any definition because even a child knows that his subjective experience is a differnt thing than a pine cone. Arguments that "it only feels that way," betray the feelings and other articles of consciousness that are not themselves merely physical "things," regardless of what or how you believe they are "created."

You'll have to do better than "consciousness is what the meat brain does" to curry serious regards to these questions. Note that nobody is saying there is no physical footprint to consciousness, but that is a very different matter than to insist that qualia and the stuff of experience is not a subjective experience, but rather soley an objective thing, and that the subjective is exactly the objective. In a broader sense they are, but not in the illusory way Cintune is driving at here.

An intersting thing here is that when we try and objectify concsiousness there is always an energetic footprint associated with mental activity - elecrtrochemical, or even just straight electricity as measured by an EEG, etc. Who amongst us is going to stand up and say the brain "created" this energy, while the laws say that "energy cannot be created nor destroyed."


Jun 7, 2013 - 06:52pm PT
Cintune hasn't any clue period of what consciousness is to begin with.

He only knows what cartoons and stupid Youtube junk he finds to confirm his simplistic no knowledge that he presents as though he knows something.

He's a useless shallow know nothing row boater in the ocean of nescience ....

Jun 7, 2013 - 09:23pm PT
And since the parts are themselves physical, than subjctivlty iself MUST be a physical manifistation in and of itself. It follows that the subjective IS objective.

When you put your hand in water, is the sensation of temperature subjective or objective?

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 09:28pm PT
Ed asks, "What is not physical?"

Is your subjective experience of a thought a physical thing, qualatatively selsame as a snowcone, say, or a piton? Note that I am NOT asking if conscious experience has an energetic component, I am asking what you physicalist never tackle head on: In your subjective experience ITSELF a physical thing? If so, bottle it and show it to us. NOT the bio processes you believe created the enery of consciousness, the blowback being subjective stuff, but rather the very experience itself.

We could also ask: What is not subjective? In other words, what can your consciousness think about, posit, or point to that has no subjective or experiential element whatsoever. Quite naturally you'd have to eliminate yourself to accomplish this, and we never can. The idea that there was an objective thing called the past when consciousness did not exist is itself discursive content or qualia in your mind. In very real sense, when we insist that there was "a time" when we were not here, we will always, perforce, refer to something that does not exist.

And here we have Fruity going on and on about his mechanical world and never tackling the age old problem of having both an entirely determined world and also a program for living, which itself assumes some modicum of choice. You cannot have choice and staunch determinim. These are mutually exclusive, nixing the need for any program for living since the future is mechanically determined anyhow.

Of course like a lot of the bullshit coming out of the determinist camp, it is merely talk totally and entirely disregared by the way we actually live our lives, and the rules and regulations we have set up accordingly. As the old saw goes: A determinist stole a car and when the judge asked him why, he said a strictly mechanical world determined he would steal that car, and the judge said that a strictly mechaical judge already decided that he'd be spending the next year in the graybar motel.

Ain't it grand?


Jun 7, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
Conscious beings do not do war.

Yes they do.

You do not fully understand consciousness.

Ahimsa and himsa are both necessary.

And stop stalking Ed please .....

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 09:49pm PT
When you put your hand in water, is the sensation of temperature subjective or objective?

You cannot have an purely objective experience, and a sensation IS an experience. Objects cannot have an experience. Objects are things that our discursive minds reify that lay outside our skin boudary. I can point to a person, who is an object in my mind, but that person cannot have an experience as said object, burt only as a subject for the simple and irrefutable reason that only subjects, as subjects, have experience.

I think the reason materialsts lose their way on this is because they are prone to belive that a so-called objecive experience is an experience that will produce the same physical evidence regardless of external influences. What they actually mean by this is that their subjective experience will be influenced by seemingly static values or physical forces.

For instance, ten people who experience skydiving will experience gravity in exactly the same way. Here were see the trouble with all so-called objective experiences. Even such "objective" experiences must be experienced and described subjectively by humans.

The skydivers each trusted in technology enough to leap from an aircraft and fall towards earth. They each trusted in technology with their lives. The results of the pull of gravity is objective and will be the same regardless of the person falling. And so this contributes to the false believe that the experience itself was objective, while it only was influenced by seemingly statice "objective" external forces, and was not, itself, an object.

Objective descriptions of experiences, and objective experiences themselves are impossible for humans. The Mars rovers might have objective experiences in some abstract way. But for us humans - we might encounter the same physical ‘objects’ or qualities - gravity, flavors, colors, and "cold" water - but experience, by nature and definition, is subjective.

I can't make it much clearer than that.


Jun 7, 2013 - 09:54pm PT
What is not physical?

Art, mind, soul, love, awareness, culture, values, beliefs, leadership, words, labels, meaning, . . . and many others.

Without the subjective there could be no objective. What "objects" could there be, and what observers could there be?

(Sorry, but I have to run to a satsang.)

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 10:04pm PT
we've been through your "deterministic" schtick many times before, you've got it mostly wrong...
Nope. These are old philosophoical arguments, and you are arguing from the creaky and antique "programing" model. That is, we arrive hard wired to respond to the environment (this is the long-abandoned stimulus-response log line of old school behaviorism), such hard-wiring being a set of impulses that evolved over time and which operate on a pre-verbal and automatic, involuntary kind of way. When we encounter a world or set of circumstances for which we have no involuntary or automatic responses, our organism must "wing it," so to sepak because the reality before us is beyhnd the pay grade of our programing, so to speak. Staunch determinism would have to demonstrate conclusively that our "winging it" is also determined, less, by definition, said determinism can only be considered partial, as proscribed by our evolutionary endowments.

These are really old arguments, Ed. You ow it to yourelf to read up on this stuff before sounding off. Even an old definition of determinism (Determinism is a metaphysical philosophical position stating that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen) says that regardless of what we encounter in the world, new or old, "nothing else could happen" other than what we do.

At a deeper level, what you are up against is randomness versus consciousness. And randomness can never accomplish what consciousnss can wihtout borrowing "infinity" which is a cheat.

Mike says: What "objects" could there be, and what observers could there be?

In a word: None at all. Every scholboy knows as much.


The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 7, 2013 - 10:13pm PT
Nice. Very crafty work, gotta hand it to you.

Jun 7, 2013 - 10:14pm PT
Love doesn't do war.

Yes it does.

You do not fully understand LOVE either ......
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 7, 2013 - 10:27pm PT
Could these mental (religious) practices be just a way to activate the physical brain to release more dopamine, or other psychoactive molecules?
This Kundalini, it sounds more like a manic mental state, activated by normal brain pathways.

Jun 7, 2013 - 10:32pm PT
You cannot have an purely objective experience, and a sensation IS an experience.

but experience, by nature and definition, is subjective.

In the case of temperature sensation we can tell you the physical basis of your experience: how the local temperature affects channels in nerve membranes, how ionic current through those channels affects impulse traffic in the axon, where the axon carries the information, and perhaps the part of the brain that goes "aaaaah" or "eeeeek" depending on the temperature and other factors.

When you inadvertently touch a hot pan or stove the message goes straight to your spine and right back out to the muscles as needed to get your hand or whatever it was out of harm's way. Maybe a half second later your exalted consciousness is made aware of its mistake.

The point is, when we look at parts of the system, we can explain the subjective in physical terms. As we look at more parts in better detail, we may be able to explain more.

The wonderful thing is that there is a viewpoint from which it all makes sense. Your body and brain are chiefly concerned with keeping you alive to reproductive age. After that, both fade, their part in the play over.

Temperature sensation is labile. When you put your hand in warm or cold water, the intensity of the sensation fades in a few minutes, as long as the water is not painfully warm or cold. This transient occurs at the level of the receptor and can be seen in recordings from the axon which connects to the receptor. Your brain is less concerned with what the temperature is, objectively, than with what will happen if enough of your skin stays in contact with that water. The brain is making a prediction, or the receptor itself is making the prediction, about how fast your body temperature will change if you do nothing further. You can moderate your body temperature somewhat by sweating or shivering but looking ahead and taking appropriate action ahead of danger is safer and may be more efficient energetically.

View the brain as an organ that has important jobs to do related to your survival and reproduction. It has entertainment value, too, but this business of whether it is a subjective energy field or an objective machine does not seem much of an issue to me.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jun 7, 2013 - 11:14pm PT
love does do war.

If it doesn't you have no right to exclaim the sacrifice of your loved ones for an ideal on your behalf.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 8, 2013 - 12:34am PT

In the case of temperature sensation we can tell you the physical basis of your experience

What you keep missing is the fact that what you have described is the physical footprint you associate with a sensation. The objective physical processes that the organism does to generate a sensation. The subjective experience of that sensation is not the same thing as the physical process that you believe "creats" the sensation. In a word, being sentient of that sensation, experiencing the sensation, is not the very same thing at the underlying process any more than a trumpet, which provides the physical basis for a rendition of Taps (plus the body that blows), is th same thing as taps.

What you are actually doing is tryig to separate out what you believe are the physical components of a sensation and at the same time, ignoring the subject in which a sensation comes to exist. A physical process is not a sensation. A sensation requires a subject. What you have described is strictly a physical process.

And Ed, you have been lampooning and trying to stonewall all of what we've said - from pissing on so-called "masters" to calling all subjective disciplines age-old "revealed wisdom" to serving up half-baked philosophical renditions (or determinism, for example) and have repeated insisted that quantifying objective reality is the only real game in town, all others being the silly games of those lacking the brain power to do the heavy lifting. By your own admission you have done none of the subkjective work whatsoever and yet you insist you have some prividleged understanding of it believing as you do that the subjective is merely the bastard stepson of the grandpappy, the physical. In short you have learned nothing from anyone but quantifiers on this list and have not budgd one inch from a staunch physicalist position because we have come up with no physical evidence or discursive paradigm that will convince you otherwise. As though something as unique and slippery as consciousness can be so easily framed. There is nothing remotely the equal or which has any likeness to subjective experience in the universe. And yet when we go into the realm so many of you keep backpeddling back into objective functioning insisting that the supposed physical basis of something is the exact equal of something else. This is insane, really, because if nothing else, it tries to totally dismiss the only reality that you ever live as a human being - and that is your subjective experience. This is not so much insane, as it is sad, because you are missing such a great and fantastic pice of the puzle, which at the same time refusing to move out of your comfort zone for fear of seeing an expanded view of reality as you now understand it. At the bottom, what we are really up against here is scientism. I've said that all along. That is a safe view of the world because it believes that only the physically tangible and measureable is real, but it forcs you into absurd positons like insisting that an objective physical process IS a subjecive experience. As thought this were a distinction so subtle that it could be lost on otherwise intelligent men and women. To anyone who has any experience in subjective adventures, these arguments are absurd. But as I have said, the only people callng me full of sh#t are those who have never gone there. That part, and perhaps only that part, is not in dispute.


Jun 8, 2013 - 12:41am PT
Something happened here?

First you said Largo is full of sh!t and linked a pdf to Godel.

Using Godel ... that's dangerous ground for the materialists .......

Jun 8, 2013 - 01:06am PT
The point is, when we look at parts of the system, we can explain the subjective in physical terms.

Not so fast, MH2. In a technical, scientific sense, someone has to come up with a transduction system whereby the perceptual system of sensations gets translated into linguistic and knowledge representation systems. I'm aware of almost no one who's made that attempt. Jesse Prinz is one, and Barsalou is the other.

Barsalou, L.W. 1999 “Perceptual Symbol Systems.” Brain and Behavioral Science, 22(4): 577-660.

Barsalou, L.W., and K. Wiemer-Hastings 2005 “Situating abstract concepts.” In D. Pecher and R. A. Zwaan (eds.), Grounding cognition: the role of perception and action in memory, language, and thinking: 129-163. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Prinz, J.J. 2002 Furnishing the Mind: concepts and their perceptual basis. Boston: MIT Press.

The interesting thing (at least to me), is that both have turned the traditional model of cognition on its head. Instead of the mind / brain being the instigator of cognition, it is the senses that instigate them and provide their foundations. So, without direct experience in domains, no concept could have a perceptual grounding. That is, they could not adequately point to or represent referents in the mind or in the world.

In other words, "Experience Rules, dude!" (just kidding.)

Hey, Ed. Largo's full of sh*t based upon the presentation of one unpublished paper? Really? Wow, you guys at Livermore run loose and free, huh?

EDIT: Ed's posting was withdrawn.

Jun 8, 2013 - 01:08am PT
Well then Ed agreed with Largo which I thought was ground breaking.

But then he withdrew that too?

Something up?


Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 8, 2013 - 01:44am PT
I was looking to reply to a thread Ed posted before I got busy the last 24 hours and it is gone. In fact he has deleted all his posts back to May 12 ??? What in the world did you guys say to him while I was gone ???

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 8, 2013 - 01:55am PT
YES! The last couple of pages have been PURE gold!

And DRF, how do I save this shite?
And if you do delete them, I will K I (double hockey sticks) you!

Largo, my hats off to ya! you are a Great mathematician of words. But i don't think you've summed up anything for Ed to learn. Or even JStan..

In other words, "Experience Rules, dude!" (just kidding.)

I totally agree with this dude. After all I did say over 6 months ago; That our previous experiences are our only true Truths. IME.

Keep it up fellers!
Edit: and fellerets!
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