Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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May 4, 2013 - 11:19pm 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 4, 2013 - 11:31pm 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?

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.


Mckinleyville, Ca
May 5, 2013 - 06:46am PT
wherever big bangs come from is probably where consciousness comes from, the same mountain with no summit

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 5, 2013 - 08:35am 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.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 5, 2013 - 10:04am 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.


Somewhere out there
May 5, 2013 - 10:26am PT
Despite all that you know… There is no being born again...


Social climber
An Oil Field
May 5, 2013 - 01:39pm 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.

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 5, 2013 - 01:42pm 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.

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 5, 2013 - 01:54pm PT

Define "map" and define "territory."

Pretty please?

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 5, 2013 - 02:23pm PT

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.

May 5, 2013 - 02:40pm 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.

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.

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



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.

May 5, 2013 - 03:05pm PT
I can see there is no reason to bail in a sinking ship.

The physicalist says that religion is a belief that cannot be proven via physical means. By this, I assume he or she means by the five senses. That which cannot be shown by the five senses must be simply a belief. (I think the physicalist should replace the word "proven," with "supported.")

A spiritualist asks what counts as evidence. No one answers, I suppose, because they know there is so much more they claim they "know" that is not supported by their own five senses.

No one can unequivocally prove that anything exists beyond their own existence ("I am"). Some call out that is solipsism, as though solipsism were illegitimate, but they do so only because they have nothing in turn to offer. Since no one cannot prove that anything exists beyond their own existence, then all claims of knowledge (beyond "I am") are simply beliefs.

A belief is a belief.

All beliefs are false. No matter what their form, they are simply models, frameworks, theories, and suppositions. The only difference among beliefs is the purported justifications for holding them (empiricism, religion, myth, instinct, intuition, yada yada). These are forms of philosophies, and they are themselves beliefs. You have experience, but what is that?

To Ed and Base: to demand that one defines a concept of another who claims that all concepts are false is a petitio principii, isn't it?

One need not define anything in order to experience it. Most usually experience precedes attempts to define anything. As I've said above, since anything is a bracketed instantiation of reality, no definition is definitive or complete. That makes all of them false.

May 5, 2013 - 03:23pm PT
All beliefs are false.

And YOU really believe that .........

The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
May 5, 2013 - 03:25pm PT
As I've said above, since anything is a bracketed instantiation of reality, no definition is definitive or complete. That makes all of them false.

Uh, no... that makes them limited. It's not a black and white thing; shades of gray exist.

May 5, 2013 - 06:43pm PT
All beliefs are false?

Including my belief that MikeL exists?

Or did I/we invent him?
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 5, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
The physicalist says that religion is a belief that cannot be proven via physical means. By this, I assume he or she means by the five senses.

No, not just the five senses, there are a million other ways to test something to see if it is real OR NOT!

May 5, 2013 - 08:14pm PT
Especially said by a man with no sense ..... ^^^^^

May 5, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
It IS the argument I'm making, Ed. I can't help it. I don't say there is nothing. I don't say you or the universe doesn't exist. I'm only saying that I can't know that they exist. (Is this such a nuanced or complicated point of view to you and the rest of this bunch?) I said long ago I only want it one way. I only want the truth. Whether you are a man of the Almighty, a true blue scientist, or a real philosopher (may they rest in peace), the truth is all that you should ever want--but I could be wrong. I hear distraction is just fine.

Lies are lies. Hate them. Kill them. Destroy them. Get real.

Yeah, Werner, I really do believe that all beliefs are false. (Say what you will. )

The problem that I see repeated over and over again here is people saying what exists as though there could not be any doubt. It's arrogant, it's hegemonic, it's naive. It closes off an infinite number of possibilities, and it's the kind of thinking that gives this world a bad name.

As long as you're using language in a referential way--that is, to refer to experience--then fine. Say what exists. You can say whatever you want. But when you say that a thing IS an X, Y, and Z definitionally (like you've been demanding of Largo), then that makes you a bit insane in my book. I mean, . . . you're kidding, right?

Ed, you must know that one cannot prove anything in science (falsificationist), that you must rely upon either reason or empirical data to support anything, and that you must rely upon parsimonious modeling. Fine, that's what science does. I'm not here to deny any of that. I do it myself.

On the other hand, I've been here saying that one shouldn't go around saying what things ARE unequivocally. It can't be done, and anyone who's had good training in the business of science should damned well know it.

All these problems can be corrected easily by simply saying that you're making claims, that what IS is what *appears* to be, or that from your point of view you see. . . yada yada yada. Get it?

You guys laugh and come up with all sorts of unkind jokes about this, but you know in your hearts that you don't know much at all with real certainty.

If you don't, then the joke's on you.

May 5, 2013 - 10:33pm PT
I really do believe that all beliefs are false.

How does that work?

Your belief is that all beliefs are false.

So then YOU are false.

But you are not. You are a person and have individuality.

And that individuality and personality is true.

Even the gross materialists do not fall into that trap.

Only the the mayavadi impersonalists fall into the trap of merging onto the impersonal which is suicide.

But everywhere is individuality, personality and variegatedness which never ever ceases .......

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 6, 2013 - 12:56am PT
Werner brings up an interesting point I have long contemplated and that is how much of what we find on the spiritual path is what we expect to find? If you think the end result is nothingness, then probably that will be what you find. If you think the end result is union of two separate entities, probably that is what you'll find. More challenging are the Buddhists who find a personal relationship with a deity (Amida or Guru Rinpoche for example) and the Christians and Hindus who found an impersonal aspect of God after union with the personal one.

As for truth, I have to agree with Ed. Maybe because I interview people for my research and I never get the same exact story from two individuals (not to mention the number of people convicted by eye witnesses who were later freed by the science of DNA), I have less regard for finding the truth. And then there's the varying stories I've been dealing with the past few days about the big Sherpa-Western fight on Everest and the ensuing discussion of who is telling the truth. The reality is all of them probably are or at least think they are.

All a social scientist can do is try to record everyone's viewpoint and explain why they might hold that viewpoint given their life experience.

Great discussion the past few screens by the way.
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