Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2013 - 09:22pm PT
Nothing exists outside of consciousness. If it does, how could one possibly know for sure?

We all know that Everything we see and experience exists, because of as a collective, we can acknowledge it exists as a consensus.

I doesn't matter what humans can experience through their senses, sure there is more than we can ever see or experience something, but we CAN KNOW that something exists, through repeatable scientific observations...

Like this cactus
Credit: Dr. F.


It exists, not just in my senses, or just MikeL.'s computer screen. We can take a survey of others that could experience it, and we can conclude that IT DOES Exist.
We can say that what MikeL. claims, is wrong
It does exist Outside of consciousness, along with everything else we experience as a collective, like TV, books, the internet.... it's all real
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2013 - 09:30pm PT
Appropo to this thread is another one that Ed has started, called the climber as visionary. It is an interesting combination of science and art.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=112350&tn=0#msg2131165
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2013 - 09:42pm PT
Credit: Dr. F.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 4, 2013 - 10:11pm PT
Nope, you're still missing it - and this is subtle, and I can tell by your presentational style that you'd bet the farm that you're take on this is inviolate, so it might be hard to see past your blind spot.

Au contraire mon frere, I am highly resilient in seeing either through or around any detected blind spot I might have on this , or any other subject. But this is not about me, or my presentational style.

I have thought about this matter across several facets and I am convinced that human consciousness is a master sargeant to the four star general of the physical world. This does not necessarily mean that I put purely corporeal reality on some sort of pedestal. Or even that it guides my entire philosophical and intellectual life.

The very demonstrable fact that humans have inhabited this mortal coil , this vail of tears ,for only a few hundred thousand years, tells me that we are recent visitors to a long established reality, not the producers of it. We cannot declare to the cosmos: " Who's your daddy?" A better question for us might be : "are you my daddy?"

Religionists, perhaps have answered the daddy question, but the rest of us , unsatisfied ,continue to look. We might discover consciousness, subjective experience, philosophy, or even science as the answer to the question, but we are never quite sure. This is why we argue and contend with one another. If we get a whiff of over-certainty or unabashed confidence over these matters, in our polemical compatriots, then we are annoyed on some level. Polemics based upon a sort of exalted and reverential uncertainty is the coin of our realm.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2013 - 10:20pm PT
We might discover consciousness, subjective experience, philosophy, or even science as the answer to the question, but we are never quite sure. This is why we argue and contend with one another. If we get a whiff of over-certainty or unabashed confidence over these matters, in our polemical compatriots, then we are annoyed on some level. Polemics based upon a sort of exalted and reverential uncertainty is the coin of our realm.

So well put. And didn't this used to be called humility, one of the touted virtues of most religious and philsophical systems, not to mention scientific inquiry?
MH2

climber
May 4, 2013 - 11:23pm PT
And didn't this used to be called humility, one of the touted virtues of most religious and philsophical systems, not to mention scientific inquiry.


Scientists are more often than not humble. It comes with the territory.
rSin

climber
calif
May 5, 2013 - 12:17am PT
and just when we need them to be lobbiests...
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 5, 2013 - 01:16am PT
Any test, empirical or otherwise, can only be known, conceived, documented, and demonstrated by way of our own consciousness. No experiment, no matter how empirical, can possibly exist outside of the consciousness that conceived of it.

If so, who exactly would be conducting said experiment, where, how, and what agency would tally the results? That's not to say human consciousness "creates" physical reality, only our Hilbert space version of the things we call objective reality. The underlying undifferentiated soup is truly there. But if it's both wave/energy and stuff, the absolute thingness of it is debatable, it would seem.

-
He wrote: I have thought about this matter across several facets and I am convinced that human consciousness is a master sargeant to the four star general of the physical world.

--

In other words, simple physicalism, whereby consciousness is generated by matter, somehow. That will never be demonstrated - you can be certain of it. Objective functioning can be traced to bio antecedents, but not so consciousness itself. If you say the subjective and the objective are the same, and that raises all kinds of impossibilities.

What you're stumbling over is the belief that consciousness is local, situated only in humans. That is, subjectivity and experience is a kind of
brain artifact, whereby the "daddy" is in fact the meat brain itself, meaning that the four star general (matter) sources the subjective (also known as the "transmission model"). I wager that until you have direct corrective experiences to the contrary you will grip this belief with fundamentalist vigor.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 5, 2013 - 02:03am PT
That will never be demonstrated - you can be certain of it

It is demonstrated daily by the death of individuals. Once the person ceases physical life consciousness disappears. If consciousness were not located in the biological entity, this would not be true.

I am not suggesting here that consciousness may not persevere. But not in the physical world as we presently understand it.

If a person dies tomorrow you cannot demonstrate that his/her consciousness resides somewhere. Therefore consciousness has ceased with the death of the biological being therefore there is a fundamentally synonomous connection between biological functioning and consciousness.
I am saying here that biological functioning generates consciousness as far as we know at this time.
I hope I am wrong ,as a matter of fact. I think that it would be mighty cool to discover that an individuals unique consciousness goes on beyond the untimely demise of their biologic functioning.
However at this time I a-gonna have to go with the "consciousness is generated by the brain"
whether its meat or fish or vegetable.

. I wager that until you have direct corrective experiences to the contrary you will grip this belief

I hope you are right .
But you have not demonstrated any logical premise or demonstrable empiricism that would point irrefutably to this.
Why?
Why is the validity of subjective experience and objective logic mutually exclusive?
Why must a deterministic jihad be launched against objective reasoning in order to establish the validity of the subjective experience?( and vice versa, for that matter)
This is radical subjectivism at its most inflexible and dogmatic.
A type of philosophical bunker mentality.

I will give you this much:
You are consistent , devoted, unwavering, and insistent.
WBraun

climber
May 5, 2013 - 02:19am PT
However at this time I a-gonna have to go with the "consciousness is generated by the brain"

No it's generated by the individual soul.

The soul is not material. (anti-material)

The soul remains after leaving the material body.

When the soul leaves the material body that is so called death because the individual, (the life force), has left.

The brain is never the source of consciousness.

Consciousness pervades the entire material body because of the souls presence.

Every single individual living entity is an individual soul.

1000 carrots are 1000 different individual souls.

No two carrots are the same.

Each one is slightly different, but all are still carrots.

Simultaneously oneness and difference.

Life comes from life. Not that matter produces life.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 5, 2013 - 02:31am PT
Life comes from life. Not that matter produces life.

Then ,
Why does it appear that life is generated by physical matter?
Is that because the universe seeks to mask the truth?

Why does the physical universe misrepresent reality?
Why would it just appear that life resides in DNA?

Finally,
Does carrot cake have a soul.?
I invented a dessert in which the top half of a slice of carrot cake is removed. Grand Marnier is then sprinkled over the bottom half. The top half is then replaced. Dip the bites by spoon into coffee.Enjoy.
I call it. " Carrot Cake Marnier" and it has soul.

rrider

climber
Mckinleyville, Ca
May 5, 2013 - 09:46am PT
wherever big bangs come from is probably where consciousness comes from, the same mountain with no summit
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 5, 2013 - 11:35am PT
We are born conscious just as a calf is conscious when it is born. Why all of this fancy jazz for some strange soul warehouse?

Every reasonably aware animal, such as the two dogs at my feet, are aware and conscious.

Then it vanishes as we die. That is a very tough nut to swallow. The idea that we aren't mortal, just as a mouse is mortal, is silly.

This is a very simple and valid view of the universe. For those who can't deal with it, fine. The world still turns, filled with life.

Anthropomorphism is what you guys are doing. Carving humans out of the spectrum of life and anointing us with souls.

My dog has a soul if consciousness is all that we are demanding.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 5, 2013 - 01:04pm PT
It is demonstrated daily by the death of individuals. Once the person ceases physical life consciousness disappears. If consciousness were not located in the biological entity, this would not be true.
-

You came in late and must have missed this topic that was already covered in the Second Law of Mind: that when the brain is killed off, the individual instance of consciousness goes with it.

The First Law is that the Map is NOT the territory.

The first law is used to demonstrate that the meat brain "creats" consciousness, but it also falsely assumes that all consciousness is local, or "instance specific," meaning it spontaneously arises - and only spontaneously arises in individual brains. This also assumes another false assumptions - that all consciousness in born or created - in this case, by the brain, as opposed to consciousness being a fundamental aspect of reality that finds personal/experiential play in matter.

Where Ed gets hung up, IMO, is in clinging to the belief that all aspects of reality were created by either physical antecedents (physicalism), by nothing at all (Big Ass Bang), and in his illusion that empericism can exists separate from consciousness, as a kind of stand-alone objective thing. We would kindly have Ed demonstrate same. It's a curious thing to accuse me of being frustrated, since I'm not the one attempting to show that the subjective and objective are exactly the same things - and I have an open wager to anyone willing to take my bet that this will NEVER be demonstrated - though we'll have to settle for our lifetime for the results.

You see, if you tie consciousness to solely being an artifact of matter, then you have to accept that subjectivity is every bit as real as granite. Or else you'd have to demonstrate how and when (in the physical/causal chain believed to "created" mind) subjectivity suddenly became unreal, or something other than matter. If you cling to subjectivity BEING matter, or what "matter does," then you have to accord the same tangibility or corporality to the subjective as you do the objective or physical, since by your own definition they are selfsame. That would mean, as the thought experiment goes, that the most elaborate lie or imagining is in fact just as real and authentic as a limestone statue. If you say subjectivity is not real because it is not itself physical, you deny the only human reality you can ever know, since there is no possible knowing outside of subjectivity. If you say that consciousness is real but is not the same as matter, then you've violated the physicalist creed that reality IS matter.

And around and round you go.

Like I said, it's almost certain that the sticking point is people failing to understand infinite qualities, believing that consciousness had to be born, fathered, sired, birthed, by matter. It is the same impulse toward creationism found in the biblical creation myths, only masked by empiricism.

JL
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
May 5, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Despite all that you know… There is no being born again...




BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 5, 2013 - 04:39pm PT
In other words, simple physicalism, whereby consciousness is generated by matter, somehow. That will never be demonstrated - you can be certain of it.

Largo, this has been your immovable position since your very first post a couple of years ago. You don't even consider any alternative.

First, define consciousness. Carefully define it. Then we can discuss it. I used to have a pet snake that was certainly aware of its surroundings.

You must use an anesthetic to do surgery on a cat. Why? Why are humans different than other animals? How can you posit the idea that other species are conscious and aware? You can learn about consciousness by looking at the entire spectrum of life, from a bacteria to that tree shrew who outlived the dinosaurs, to an Octopus to a Dolphin, to a chimp, to a human. There is a spectrum of "consciousness."

Look around, man. This a no-brainer. Where was your consciousness when they gave you an anesthetic for your surgeries? Do you even ponder this?

You have to consider everything, and the answers are all around you in other forms of life. You could call this reductionism, but reductionism is a very clear way to define something or some idea. You are bullheaded as hell, and your hubris over this is getting pretty tired. Open your mind, man. Look around you. Don't just look inside. Look everywhere. Every nook and cranny.

You have an incredibly narrow view of the universe.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 5, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
Clintune said,

Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

Nope. Half of this thread is trapped inside of their own skins and refuse to look outwards, like it isn't cool or something. It is getting pretty tiring.

Ward said this:

This is radical subjectivism at its most inflexible and dogmatic.
A type of philosophical bunker mentality.

Very true.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 5, 2013 - 04:54pm PT
JL,

Define "map" and define "territory."

Pretty please?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 5, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
^^Cool^^

It doesn't count because it is measuring something, Ed. Remember that Neurons are just meat. Nothing more.

We have come full circle in this discussion. Map vs. Territory, meat brains, physicalism, scientism, blah blah. Hilbert Space is one that I like, because I have no idea what it really is, despite reading the wiki page.

It is interesting that most of the planet has a very big problem with mortality. Think about it for a few minutes. Consider it.
jstan

climber
May 5, 2013 - 05:40pm PT
Largo proposes a world view based on the existence of people.

If there were no people Largo would be unable to show that a universe either existed or did not exist when people were removed. So his premise cannot be tested. Just as we cannot test the existence of a god.

When it seems a premise cannot be tested one may productively work to find a test. By default we cannot do this here. It is logically prohibited, absent the existence of an inhuman observer, such as a god.

John is ever laboring, perhaps subliminally, to find some ground that has a non material basis and can somehow be slotted into a position reminiscent of a deity. But he can't admit it.

Those who believe the good people are about to be sucked up into heaven and the bad people consigned to hell, both entities lying outside of the material world, will agree with John we, ultimately, have no real need for a material world.

He works here on a minor twist to a very old world view.

Ed's use of thermodynamics, again, seems very productive. That topic allows us to make predictions regarding collective states even in the absence of detailed information. We often complain about our inability to predict the result of elections, probabilities of war, and future financial crises. All of these might well be described as phase transitions, without knowing why individual persons have the perceptions they do. We need a field, somewhat like statistical mechanics, but called human mechanics.

Edit:
That may be Ed. Unfortunately the term "ecology" now is burdened with adverse political baggage.

Naively I wonder if the collective excitations seen in human populations might be well modeled from studies of excitations seen in neuronal networks. Possibly the science behind studies of a single brain might transfer seamlessly to interactions between many brains. They do all respond to the same external stimuli, repetition being a major determinant.

edit:
Naively I wonder if the collective excitations seen in human populations might be well modeled from studies of excitations seen in neuronal networks.

TOO LATE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8sHMcCk0lU

Hawkins' talk on sparse representations. Toward the end he talks about Grok a product that can do what I naively thought might be possible. A device that can recognize and predict political events.
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