Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 14521 - 14540 of total 22989 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
MH2

climber
Apr 20, 2013 - 11:56am PT
Admonishment to inappropriate application of science from 400 years ago:


[



MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 20, 2013 - 12:27pm PT
Ed, you continue to surprise me. Cheers.

Base, I don't mean to refute science. I can't refute anything, and I can't prove anything.

I honestly appreciate what other people have to say about this "thing" or that "thing" (e.g., neurons, galaxies, electrons, fMRI readings, etc.). I appreciate people's logic, their carefulness, their systematic approaches, and their orientations to data.

However, my training in more soft sciences (sociology, psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, anthropology, philosophy of science) suggests to me that any strict definitiveness of "things" is highly questionable. Tom's post above provides wonderful examples of why we could be reasonably skeptical that things exist AS WE THINK they do (all the more so for things like thoughts, concepts, minds, identities that we believe we are internally aware of, MH2).

One of my first posts here on this thread claimed "things" were socially constructed. But that does not mean there is no reality. There must be a reality because of the cogito ergo sum. I'm only suggesting that there are reasons to think IT is not exactly what we think IT is. If IT is not as we think IT is, then that might call for an unbelievably different paradigm than the one we've been using for the last 2 thousand years. (I mean is it possible to get outside of one's paradigm?)

(Anyone ever read Edwin Abbott's 1880 novel, "Flatland?")

Hence, I am skeptical. I am skeptical of anything I don't have direct experience of. Direct experience is my sure starting place. All I have right now and ever is the direct experience of my consciousness, and I find it's pretty darned confounding when I am aware of it without social constructions.

Why, I'm not even sure I'm "me."
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Apr 20, 2013 - 12:55pm PT
Theramin Trees..

Reviewed a couple of the earlier videos. Thought they were more then just quick videos to dismiss.

Part One:



Part Two:
MH2

climber
Apr 20, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
Why, I'm not even sure I'm "me."

This is where we help each other, Mike. What would you have to go on in defining yourself if all there was was you? Our interactions with the world around us tell us who we are.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 20, 2013 - 01:40pm PT
The reason why a distinct threshold between objective and subjective will never be found is that there isn't one. It's seamless, contained in the one, like heads and tails on a penny

Yes. We have trouble recognizing the intermediate or combined state because of the curse of the Law of the Excluded Middle (LEM). Physicists have already learned to deal with this and also overcome the other impediment: Cause & Effect.

Most mathematical arguments adhere to LEM, considering valid those indirect proofs that if not-A is false then A is true. Constructivists, however, try to avoid such arguments and give direct, constructive proofs.

What is the metaphor from eastern religions about the warrior and his adversary constituting a unified whole? One cannot exist without the other. However, that poses the ongoing question of whether the universe can exist without us. I rather think it can.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 20, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
Mr. Gill,

Carl Sagan, in his baloney detection kit, mentions the excluded middle as a part of a "False Dichotomy."

A good example would go...you are either with the commies or you are with us."

Of course there is a spectrum of belief in that statement.

All too often people use the excluded middle in arguments, usually political ones. You can call it a false dichotomy if you recognize it and want to sound fancy.
MH2

climber
Apr 20, 2013 - 02:34pm PT
Is it possible to get outside of one's paradigm?

It may be possible. It may be possible to travel through whole worlds of different paradigms.

Flatland was a math world. The Planiverse by A.K. Dewdney considers 2-dimensional physics.




And has intelligent biological life.

Yendred




The protagonist is curious about a culture on his world which may have knowledge beyond physics and biology. He goes to meet Drabk.




After Yendred has met Drabk he enters a shrine and starts his journey.




Yendred decides to continue his journey but must leave behind his friends.



Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 20, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
the subjective is also just an approximation which makes the whole thing an even more an interesting puzzle..

Also worth mentioning is the bedrock issue for all esoteric practices - that all things and all forms are impermanent. The seeming constants in reality are mostly about behaviors rather than things. One can hardly call gravity or the speed of light a thing. Same with raw awareness, surly another undefinable, ungraspable potentiality existing only in concert with things, ergo the seamless middle ground.

Cool stuff.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 20, 2013 - 07:33pm PT
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/04/05/how-long-could-you-last-in-the-worlds-quietest-room-the-record-is-only-45-minutes/

‘In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.’

And this is a very disorientating experience. Mr Orfield explained that it’s so disconcerting that sitting down is a must.

He said: ‘How you orient yourself is through sounds you hear when you walk. In the anechnoic chamber, you don't have any cues. You take away the perceptual cues that allow you to balance and manoeuvre. If you're in there for half an hour, you have to be in a chair.’
MH2

climber
Apr 20, 2013 - 07:57pm PT
Being on a pointy isolated mountain summit is close to being in an anechoic chamber, sound-wise.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 20, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
So here is an example of an excluded middle.

Thoughts are not real. There is nothing that we can point to empirically that would justify believing that a thought exists scientifically or empirically.

Thoughts are not unreal, either. We have them, they have us, or we are observant of them almost each and every moment of most of our lives. Thoughts are indeed manifestations that are undeniable on any individual's level.

The excluded middle--to wit:

Thoughts are not existent or non-existent.
Thoughts are not existent and non-existent.
Thoughts are neither not existent nor not non-existent.


The great mystics argued that every "thing" is like that.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 20, 2013 - 09:40pm PT
What would you have to go on in defining yourself if all there was was you? Our interactions with the world around us tell us who we are.


In daily behaviors, there is no need to define yourself or anything else. In practice, when you need the salt, the milk out of the refrigerator, or your wife to yell to when you can't figure out where the leftovers are, you don't need to define anything. It all just "happens" seamlessly and effortlessly. You don't need to know who you are because you already know That you are, and that's all you really need to know. The rest is a distraction, an amusement, a divertimento.
MH2

climber
Apr 20, 2013 - 09:55pm PT
You don't need to know who you are because you already know That you are, and that's all you really need to know.


In advanced Alzheimer's, this is true. Elsewhere, the issue of who you are comes up occasionally, though usually not around the household. Your ability to give a coherent description of who you are may be important to a policeman or a doctor.
MH2

climber
Apr 20, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
From the note linked to by Ed:



A variety of previous research has provided “lots of hints that there’s some sort of association between intelligence and entropy maximization,” says Alex Wissner-Gross of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


The inverted pendulum example immediately makes one think of Werner.
WBraun

climber
Apr 20, 2013 - 10:07pm PT
Who are you really ...... ?

Don't tell me what you think you are .......
WBraun

climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 08:36am PT
Some times what we learn in school makes us blind ......
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 21, 2013 - 09:08am PT
Your ability to give a coherent description of who you are may be important to a policeman or a doctor.

Give them name, rank, and serial number. You can describe your feelings and perceptions if you need to but . . . . what, you need to provide some kind of existential description?

Your mind is over-working this thing.
MH2

climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 09:29am PT
Give them name, rank, and serial number.

Ha, ha. That would do. Usually, behavior depends on context. Unless you are some kind of absolutist. Or robot?
WBraun

climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 10:10am PT
how does that differ from our robot above?

Robot is limited.

Human being is unlimited .........
MH2

climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 10:44am PT
MikeL,

It may be that I think too much. I view myself as having an active imagination.

When you say:

we could be reasonably skeptical that things exist AS WE THINK they do (all the more so for things like thoughts, concepts, minds, identities that we believe we are internally aware of

Why, I'm not even sure I'm "me."


I wonder what it would be like if you were lifted out of the life you are in now and put down in a yurt in Mongolia 800 years ago, or today for that. Would daily life still be seamless and easy? Would you still be you? Would you change? Similar things have happened to people and they learn from and adapt to the radically new environment and language. Learning and memory come to the forefront when the world around us changes.

Without concepts, minds, identities, and memory, we would be different, whatever YOU THINK those things are. Consider Ed's curiosity about personhood/consciousness in the absence of memory.

We have plenty of examples, and I have seen many through work, of people who have lost most or all of their ability to exhibit memory in the usual ways. However, if you hand them a spoon they may use it to eat with. If you start a song they may join in. They may still be able to walk or catch a ball tossed toward them.

It may be hard to tell whether an old person simply lacks motivation or truly cannot do a thing they used to do. There is often memory loss and less ability to form new memories in old age. I can't think of any example of a person who never had a working memory from birth on, but it seems that there could be such people, in care of family or institutions.
Messages 14521 - 14540 of total 22989 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews