Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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WBraun

climber
Jun 14, 2013 - 12:42am PT
By mere academic qualifications one can never understand the absolute truth.

Thus the academics will remain perpetually in their theories and mental speculations in relative understandings, bewildered and puffed up in their limited knowledge .....
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 14, 2013 - 01:17am PT
Thus spake Braunothustra. Lol
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 14, 2013 - 01:20am PT
I can't stand it...

look Largo, ask your car pool about superfluids, or superconductivity...

more than the sum of it's parts.

and it is material, it is physical, and quite accepted... don't beat up on MH2 with your schtick, you're very incorrect here.
--

Of course you can't stand it Ed because I'm not buying a fundamantalist physicalist stance, nor yet the idea that the brain - a physical "thing," creates sentience. And how many times do you have to say that I am "incorrect" and don't know what I'm talking about? I'm not even addressing the external/objective much of the time, rather, the internal/
experiential, which you also insist is a physical thing, or at any rate has a physical "basis." Fine. It makes perfect sense. From the outside.

And schitc? There are a lot of smart people who have sufficicnt experience to know that a staunch physicalist platform is not the end all, and that anyone who has even the slightest motivation to explore the internal can quickly find out how the discursive works by way of narrow and wide focus. Because the internal, non-discursive stuff is by your own admission, not your game, why not take up some of the technical discussion on discursive reasoning, focus, thought generation, awareness fusion and so forth which yu can probably get your head around. Hounding me about "being wrong" is hardly increasing your point or broadening your understanding by the sound of it.

What's more, you know perfectly well that my comments about more than than the physical parts had nothing to do with superfluid vacuums or any of the other stuff I've been bludgeoned with over the years from my riding partners per superfluids, or superconductivity. I no longer mention any of this suff here lest you nit pick it for what is wrong, instead of trying to see how it might make some sense in the interior world.

Tell me, Ed, do you believe there is anything in our experience that is in and of itself (NOT your underlying material fetish) not material?

Don't forget, I went to SOT, where Panphycism (Whitehead, etc.) was the main course. That's not quite what we are driving at here, only that the physical, as you describe it, is a brain forumlation specific to humans, and that when you remove the observer, you're left with the undiferntiate soup, NOT the movie of reality our brains conjusre for us. I am convinced that you don't understant this concept, which is NOT an attempt to say that the mind "creates" physical reality. That's not it.

JL
And MH2, what ARE you and what HAVE you actually said, or are saying?

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 14, 2013 - 01:22am PT
Hi, Ed:

I do understand how statements like, "This statement is false" present inconsistencies or contradictions. But that's how IT is. When the obstructions start to fade, then you can see for yourself that there is no coherence. The notion is easy. The universe fits into your consciousness, not the other way around. Recompiling personality is the tough part. Worry about the meaning, not the wording. If everything were logical, obvious, empirical, measurable, tightly interconnected, then there'd be nothing different to see than what you see now: a little consciousness in a great big universe. But it's just not like that. It can't be. Even if it were, no one could prove it. On the other hand, the most obvious and perfect theory is the other way around, and if one looks closely, it's the only thing that one will see for themselves. It's unavoidable. Scrape away all of the falsehood, and what will be left (finally) is the truth.

No one said this would adhere to the laws and principles of mental-rational conceptualization. Why should it?

Am I so dependent on the body and the senses that without these I cannot exist? But I had the persuasion that there was absolutely nothing in the world, that there was no sky and no earth, neither minds nor bodies; was I not, therefore, at the same time persuaded that I did not exist? Far from it; I assuredly existed, since I was persuaded. But there is I know not what belong, who is possessed at once the highest power and the deepest cunning, who is constantly employing all his ingenuity in deceiving me. Doubtless, then, I exist since I am deceived; and, let him deceive me as he may, he can never bring it about that I am nothing so long as I shall be conscious that I am something.(Rene Decartes)

The only thing anyone can know for sure is: "I am." Focus on that long enough and hard enough, and you will end up where I'm getting to.

Yes, it's insane and absurd. It's crazy. It's completely bonkers. Nonetheless, it is what must be true, and I am starting to see it for myself.

As Sherlock Holmes was made to say: ". . . when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."


EDIT: I forgot to say to Rectorsquid: re-read everything you said and see if you would or could say it for your experiences in a dream. What about prediction, rules, and explanation then?
MH2

climber
Jun 14, 2013 - 01:41am PT
And MH2, what ARE you and what HAVE you actually said, or are saying?


I am a butterfly dreaming I am a human.

I am a human who spends most of the day chasing after butterflies.

I circle a different star than you do.


Never mind what I say. Here is a pointer to how I see the conversation, here.





from

http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/288/1/pooh.pdf

The Brain of Pooh, an essay on the limits of mind, by Robert L. Sinsheimer






This is hard to do since this ground has been gone over before and you get further with a self-avoiding walk.


But I am a bear of small brain.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 14, 2013 - 02:27am PT
I read the article recommended by Ed on panpsychism and think the final sentences are worth quoting.

Panpsychism is an abstract metaphysical doctrine which as such has no direct bearing on any scientific work; there is no empirical test that could decisively confirm or refute panpsychism. One might complain about this remoteness, as Thomas Nagel does with the remark that panpsychism has “the faintly sickening odor of something put together in the metaphysical laboratory” (1986, p. 49). Nonetheless, metaphysical views form an indispensable background to all science. They integrate our world views and allow us to situate our scientific endeavors within a larger vista and can suggest fruitful new lines of empirical enquiry (as the example of Fechner's psycho-physics illustrates). In particular, panpsychism accords with an approach that rejects physicalist reductionism at the same time as enjoining the search for neural correlates of consciousness, and it sees, or wants to see, a fundamental unity in the world which emergentism denies. Thus it is not a doctrine at odds with current empirical research.

It has always been and remains impossible to resist metaphysical speculation about the fundamental nature of the world. As long has there been science, science has informed this speculation and in return metaphysics has both helped to tell us what the point of science is and paved the way for new science. Panpsychism remains an active player in this endless speculative interchange.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jun 14, 2013 - 11:41am PT
But that, by definition (sorry) is the end of the discussion.

thank God it's over
MH2

climber
Jun 14, 2013 - 11:43am PT
Thank you, Jan.

People who say that science reduces the world to physics do not understand science or physics. The natural world is at least as strange as any spiritual, meditative, or supernatural experience I've seen reported on this thread. My view is that it is a lot stranger, actually, and far more interesting as a field of exploration.

Science gets help from reason and logic, but also from intuition and our aesthetic sensibility. When something new and fundamental is discovered, those who make the discovery often experience joy and connection to the physical reality outside the self. An analogy: a blind person who knows nothing of Stonehenge walks here and there among the stones and at some point goes, "Aha! These are laid out within a circle."

Very few people will ever experience the full impact of making a scientific discovery. Examples would be Archimedes' eureka moment, Newton and every other thought he had, Kekulé and the benzene ring, Dyson and QED, Feynman and weak decay.

Scientific discovery is not equally accessible to everyone. A powerful mind, hard work, and fortunate circumstances are needed. It is quite possible that meditative experience and spiritual knowledge are also not equally accessible to everyone, no matter how hard they try.

For most of us, it goes more like this:





http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/288/1/pooh.pdf
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 14, 2013 - 11:59am PT
Ed:

how do you make sense out of . . .


I would like to make you aware of an equivocation here. To make sense means to *construct* understanding, or to literally *make sense,* as in, *to construct sensations.* Neither is direct, unassisted, unadulterated observation or seeing. In other words, to make sense is to make things up. This is what the mind does, and it does so soooo naturally and I'd say even unconsciously. It doesn't make any difference if it does so mentally rationally, mythologically, instinctually, or emotionally. We cannot help but create our universe. We do this through consciousness. Hence, consciousness is our universe.

Jan:

Ed's choice of a label (panpsychism) is a pointer to experience, but it is not the experience. Both are equal (both are phenomena) yet the understanding of the two would not seem to be the same. One presents an obscuration (a label), while the other could be a pointer to a direct apprehension (an experience). Both are empty, but the label is not the same experience to which it points. Just because you know the name does not mean you know the experience. (Moreover, the label is exceedingly broad and includes a swath of different philosophies and ideas. But this is how concepts and labels work. Without grounded experience, one has no opportunity to know just what they're talking about--other than their own thoughts.)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 14, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
Ed, It wasn't till you used he word "schtick" did I finally understand what was bothering me about your approach to this discussion. It also is tied up to your common refrain, "What isn't physical?" Also, even though you would never confuse a topo map for the real climb, and you too know that the map is not the territory ITSELF, as a physcalist of the fundamntalist type (absolute faith in quantifying, and only quantifying as the viable mode of truth seeking, all others being "soft" versions of same), you can not get your head around the idea of non-physical reality, because to you, reality IS physical. What's more, the question, is the sum more than it's parts, is in this usage an exercise not to be able to point to some other physical function created by physical underpinnings. It is aimed at something else, but that's another issue.

The reason we have this go arond is pretty simple, really. Jan, Mike and I and perhaps a few others, to varrying degrees, know from years and decades of practice that discursive reasoning has limitations. It is certainly the way to go with the objective world, but it runs aground in the subjective because it cannot get around the whole, or the unbounded, which is the point of going there anyway.

What a physicalist will do with the subjective is simply say that as blowback of the physical brain ENTIRELY, the subjective is actually just a function of the physical, ergo there is no stopping us from quantifying the subjective by way of the objective. In other words, the way to really understand the subjective, which is itself an objective thing in and of itself, is to objectify it from the outside. Because this is the only way to derive numbers, and since quantifyihng is the only provable way to know anything for sure, for "certain," seeking to understand the subjective by way of objective processes is not only the best mode of inquiry, it is the ONLY mode that can possibly yield numbers, i.e, truth.

And so those of us who have decided to try anothr tact, and to actually venture inside the house, as opposed to trying to study it from the outside, will work - accortding to the physicalist - wtih the distinct disadvantage of having neither instrumentation or numbers to quantify what we believe we are encountering. Therefor according to Ed and the physicalits belief and point of view, what we are actually doing with these far-fangled internal excursions is science, is a discursive exercise, they believe, but lacking any of the tools and discipline and wherewital. In other words, we are simply winging it. And what we "discover," for the lack of quantifiable data, is stuff that I just make up, or imagine, or "believe," illusions drummed up by physical causes for which we render poetic interpretations and adn then trot out a "schtick" that seeks to make a mockery out of legitimate scientific inquiry.

This makes perfect sense to the discursive mind, and even though Ed clamims he knows how the discursive works, he is entirely mistaken - that's a plain and easily verifiable fact.

I think the only way to wind out of this quagmire is to conduct an informal and very proscribed set of thought experiments about how the discursive works, discovering in the process it's limititations.

Who's game? I've been through this one 1,000 times.

JL



MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 14, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
so in understanding our constructions, which are logical, we begin to understand what we construct.

Well, yes, but I wouldn't say that our constructions are logical. Many of them seem to be not only illogical but also insidiously unavailable to our consciousness (e.g., instinct). I'll go back to Jung and Freud: we project what we think, feel, believe (which come from archetypes, symbols, etc.), and then we "read" our projections as reality. And around and around it goes; it's a vicious circle. A self discovers itself through the process: that is, consciousness becomes aware of itself. But it's all consciousness, Ed. It can't be anything but that.

Of course, this is only a simple articulation. It must be wrong. I'm lying. Every time I say that there is some thing or some object, I'm telling a falsehood--and most of the time I know it. But that's part of talking, thinking, teaching, and conversing. We're just talking. But now and then, something that you say or something that I say has a magical effect on the other, and some light bulb will turn on. There's no explanation for it.

Words (labels) and language can't function as signifiers of reality. Language is a matter of usage. Meaning is only conveyed by a result of associations triggered by a sequence of words, but language doesn't tell anything except about itself (see, Saussure, Boas). Derrida said that all reading (any text, speech) is more or less a matter of misinterpretation. When we rely upon the denotation (dictionary definition) of words, we think we know something, but all we know are the words and concepts. If anything matters, it's what they point to. That's where experience comes in.

You are saying there is one true universe out there, we just can't know it.

No, I'm afraid I'm not. I'm saying (gulp!) that I don't think there is a universe out anywhere, and I'm saying that I think we can know that. (Yeah, that's insane. It is a total paradigm shift. I'm pretty sure I'm out here alone with this view on this thread.)

I like your idea about "adventures," Ed. It's all good, you know? I mean you can't not be adventuring. That's consciousness.

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 14, 2013 - 03:39pm PT
What is the post-modern criticism of Mongolian gazelle language?

That Mongollian gazelles don't exist except as a convenient production of existential consciousness.
If there is evidence that such gazelles existed, or for that matter Mongolia itself ,
long before human consciousness, as in the fossil record, this of course means that human consciousness has metaphysically journeyed back into pre-human time to prefabricate these gazelles. Either that or the evidence for gazelles before the advent of human consciousness has been superimposed upon the universe by contemporary zoologists or by paleontologists who have manufactured their existence out of the whole cloth of their own conscious minds- somewhat like a conspiracy of sorts -an epistemological conspiracy of gazelle production.

Here is an early attempt at the de novo metaphysical configuration of the first gazelle.
Although clearly crude ,it must be remembered that just moments before its invention by human awareness the gazelle was an indeterminate, undifferentiated quantum soup.
Note the existence of only 3 distinct legs.
Kudos to Dr. Hans Holbein of Madison , Wisconsin for the existential dreaming up of a 4th leg.

Credit: Ward Trotter

MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 14, 2013 - 05:19pm PT
What is the post-modern criticism of Mongolian gazelle language?

I dunno, Ed. I guess I'd say that the PRL presents an explanation, a story, which could be useful, predictive, and interesting. It could even provoke insights about reality. But if anyone believes that any of the objects Are Objects with graspable existence, I'd say they are mistaken. But I could not be sure of it, because I can't speak for other people's consciousness. I can only observe my own consciousness. In my consciousness, none of those things have existence; indeed, none of them even have experience for me. If I put myself into the genre of conversation, I might be able to follow along with it, maybe even make a contribution, who knows? But, in the end, it's just a series of words to me without experiential referents, or graspable existence.

(I imagine that probably none of that is satisfying to you.)

(I appreciate postmodern criticism, but I no longer read in that vein.)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 14, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
just moments before its invention by human awareness the gazelle was an indeterminate, undifferentiated quantum soup.


Not so fast there Trotter old boy. No one is saying human awareness invented anything. Look at it this way, if you have the sac: Given that our human senses and brain organize external physical things into forms in which we can get hold of them, what part of the gazell do you believe would remaing the same if you had five sentient but radially different types of conscious beings, with five radically different sets of sense organs and five different brains that organized the outter world in different ways. Are you saying that the gazell as we humans see it would remain the very same, and that the four other life forms would "see" their own version of the human drawn animal?

What do you make of the Mike's notion that there is no independent gazelle or any thing, that all of reality is interdependent - meaning in the real world, which is only the present world, we cannot divide the objective and subjective at all.

And Ed, I am not saying that you can conjure up some physical thing that is different from or more than the underlying parts. What I am syhing is that the "discursive mind," which in by no means the whole mind, has limitations when interpreting reality, and if you only use the discursive part of our minds, there will be much that is lost on both a physicalist and a wuwu mustic. That has nothing to do with our biasis per how to work with reality, but rather how the discursive mind actually works, the PROCESS by which any us come to know anything. If we look at the process carefully, it will be made clean. Are you open to such an experiment? My sense of this go-around is that the problems arise from a lack of information or data, and so long as you are lacking same, there is no way to reach you on these points. What I propose is a very simply and pretty fast process, and it will remove all doubt as to the general truth of it all.

JL
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 14, 2013 - 05:46pm PT
I like Pooh!
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 14, 2013 - 06:01pm PT
No one is saying human awareness invented anything. Look

That's exactly what you have been and Mikel have been suggesting.
In the same post , to wit:

What do you make of the Mike's notion that there is no independent gazelle or any thing,

Are you saying that the gazell as we humans see it would remain the very same, and that the four other life forms would "see" their own version of the human drawn animal?

Yes I am saying that the gazelle we humans see would substantially be the gazelle that aliens from beta reticulli would see, albeit with some variations, that is, perhaps the aliens have developed natural infrared vision much like the technology we have invented. In that case they might see the heat the gazelle emanates in addition to all the other wavelengths.( like that TV commercial where the gazelles spot the Lion , Carl, using infrared binoculars)
The external gazelle would remain the same identical gazelle, whomever perceived it. The mere act of rudimentary perception neither creates nor destroys the objective gazelle, nor changes the gazelle in any way. The gazelle still wakes up tomorrow hungry or horny, whether a scientist , an alien, or a zen dude perceives him.

we cannot divide the objective and subjective at all.

We can't? Doesn't this fly in the face of your various subjectivist contentions all along?

I mean, you have all along insisted on a rigid distinction betwixt the objective and subjective.
Preoccupation with the objective you have characterized as a " cult of mind" whereas by contrast the subjective is the gateway to JuJu -hood. LOL

If the two are essentially seamless then you guys shouldn't worry that empiricists go around over-measuring everything. Perhaps their evaluating minds will have them emerge into the subjective realm via a back door -- in the same way it is theorized that a thing might emerge into another parallel universe through a wormhole, or some such.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 14, 2013 - 06:56pm PT

perhaps the aliens have developed natural infrared vision much like the technology we have invented.

Perhaps the aliens could "see" what the Gazelle was thinking. Or what was on the Gazelles conscious.
WHOULD they see any difference between one Gazelle or another?

And perhaps "they" had the same technology to "see" into humans. Then what would they "see"??
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 14, 2013 - 07:32pm PT
Very few people will ever experience the full impact of making a scientific discovery. Examples would be Archimedes' eureka moment, Newton and every other thought he had, Kekulé and the benzene ring, Dyson and QED, Feynman and weak decay.

I think each person makes a "scientific discovery" each day.., but, their not motivated to write a term paper on it.

As for those "Big Name Discoverer's", what provokes them to prosue a "point"?
The pursuit of Truth? I think not! Maybe Ego?

Doesn't combining the names of Newton or Einstein to the "discovery" of gravity inflict to the layman that they invented it? When gravity was actually there all along? They just found it,
and "termed" it.

Same thing with "first accents". The term implies that the "first accenionist" created that climb?
If I would have shown up In the Valley in 54' with a crane, and I seiged The
Nose, before Harding(God rest his soul). Would I be remarkable?
I don't think anyone "CLIMBED" The Nose until Lynn did in 95'.
WhAts more prominent? What's more scientific? What's more


Edit; I like Piglet too.
WBraun

climber
Jun 14, 2013 - 07:37pm PT
They just found it, and "termed" it.

Science doesn't find anything ever.

It's all revealed when the "Time" needs it to be revealed.

The foolish so called scientists think they discover everything thru their methods alone.

It's all revealed according to time and circumstances when needed only .......


Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 14, 2013 - 07:41pm PT
First, Trotter Old Boy, distinguishing between objective and subjective does not ultimately mean there is a true duality between the two. Heads and tails are featured on many coins, on the same coins, but in no case are heads actually tails. The yin/yang is represented inside one circle, but you don't get to go to the circle till you grapple with what is inside.

That's the point of harping on separating out the subjctive and objective. They both form one reality, but quantifiers like to consider the objective as a stand alone thing, and noting is stand alone. Nothng has independent existence. The fact that my discursive mind can objectify something, and measure it, and test it, and can yank one tree out of the forest to analyze does in no wise mean there are trees that live all alone somewhere, separate from not only the forst but from life and perception and reality itself. This is how the discursive mind tricks all of us, but you will never come to "know" anything outside of your own perceiving of it, so our true efforts of removing the observer from reality are always doomed to fail, by design.

Not the next part, which is still throwing you and which I think you are ascribing to the wild imagining of a "Zen dude," who is on a kind of acid trip with "objective reality," which according to your discursive mind and your sense aperati, tells you that a rose is the very same rose by any name.

You said: The mere act of rudimentary perception neither creates nor destroys the objective gazelle, nor changes the gazelle in any way.

Do you have any idea what rudimentary perception actually is? Do you know how the process works in concert with awareness. My sense of it is, if you'r eever going to understand this, you're going to have to back up from th Gazelle or the hammerhead and first get an idea what is involved in even having a rudimenntgary perception. Otherwise you're going to look at your mind as a mirror or a reliable replicator not of what you brain is organiaing for you to grasp with your sense data and discursive mind, but of an imagined and brain-created form you like to call "objective reality."

This is where you get to leave off with the speculation and dig into the solid stuff of direct empiricle investigation. This is where the arguments fall back and you can see for yourself.

JL
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