Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 7, 2013 - 07:31am PT
re: life coaching

So you're thinking about life coaching, better watch this Penn and Teller first...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfqn73pUvZw

.....

It's not all whack though. For instance, Croce...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQbokAE7DSA

Then again, you could certainly count his death at 30 "whack." :(

.....

You all do know how to watch utube videos ad free. Right? Essential when you watch utube music vids, esp strings of them. If not, find a plugin and download it, they work great.
MH2

climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 08:41am PT
The Bubonic Plague would have ran its course, as does everything Ward, irrespective of human interventions. Just what is it that you think you or Man controls?


I control whether or not I put milk in my coffee. So there. Man is mightier than milk.




Your decisions? Recent research indicates that cognitive activity milliseconds prior to a conscious act of making a decision. (Oops, was that free will that just fell out of your hands?)


All that means is that your brain does not work the way it appears to the so-called conscious part of it. Until you can predict what the person is going to do (edit: or find that you cannot) you have not made any progress on the philosophical issue of determinism versus free will.


Some people are interested in why things happen while others are not. How the brain works is a fascinating field of inquiry. A parent faced with a sick child is unlikely to be uninterested in caring for the child. In the long run both will die. Being aware of that has little to do with what we have for breakfast or what we do with the rest of our day.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 09:41am PT
I gotta work a lot today on a deadline but here's a taste of my mind wandering . . . .


...look Largo, I get that you can't explain it, that it is beyond explanation, that we are "trapped" in our subjective experience and see everything through that, and that there is a process we can practice to move beyond the "evaluating" mind to the "experiencing" mind...

...but there is nothing in what you are saying that suggests that all of that isn't physical, that it isn't the result of brain function et al.


I would only note that this evaluation that "everything is physical" is strictly from the outside. What you are basicall saying is that thre is nothing to say that Mind, and all things attached to it, are NO MORE than the sum of our biological parts which you believe "produce" Mind via biological/electrochemical blowback of some mysterious sort. What's more, you're actually asking, in a round about way, for physical proof that Mind exists as somethign above and beyond the physical, and on top of that, if I can't provide that much, than at least I could provide some rational and knowable (discursive) EXPLANATION for Mind that we could all understand lest the whole thing is bollocks and shuck and jive and hot air.

But you see, Ed, all of this is an attempt to make demands on the experiential that nobody can make good on because as much as we would like it to be the case, discursive and evaluating belong to objects and things, and Mind is neither. If it was, you could point to the brain and say, that's where raw awareness is "made," and that there, those very neurons, ARE raw awareness. We all know this is simply not so, that there really is a difference between the smell of a flower and a pork pie hat.

Look at Mike's statement that mind is ungraspable but knowable. That's spot on in my experience.

Another interesting question is: Who here consideres mind to be no more than a sum of it's biological parts, and if so, then what, exactly IS Mind? (Obviously, faux answers such as: It's a biological function" need not apply).

JL

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 7, 2013 - 10:11am PT
Another interesting question is: Who here consideres mind to be no more than a sum of it's biological parts, and if so, then what, exactly IS Mind? (Obviously, faux answers such as: It's a biological function" need not apply).

Yes, well, way to stack the deck right there.

What I see is an implicit downgrading in the "no more" than the sum of its parts proposition. This ain't no beginner's Lego set, friend. Trillions and trillions of exponential synapse firings every millisecond, only a tiny fraction of which are involved in the consciousness circuits. The result of four billion years of organic changes and adaptations. Forget about infinity, four billion should be enough to vainly try to visualize, and trillions of electrical impulses are entirely capable of doing what consciousness does. Doesn't make it any less awesome or precious than anything supernaturalism can unfalsifiably posit. Of course there's more to learn, which is exactly what makes it more fascinating than any know-it-all-already, final-word spiritual "answer." To some of us, anyway. YMMV.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23667-atheists-turn-to-science-during-times-of-stress.html
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 10:36am PT
Forget about infinity, four billion should be enough to vainly try to visualize, and trillions of electrical impulses are entirely capable of doing what consciousness does.
-


So you're positing the popular bio-machine position. You are well aware that there is a million dollar prize out there for anyone who can explain HOW this is accomplished in a peer review magazine.

What you're really talking about is objective functioning (memory, stimulus responses, etc.), now consciousness itself.

But you didn't answer the qustion: Is consciousness more than it's biological parts? No deck stacking at all. It's a very simple question.

JL
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 7, 2013 - 11:10am PT
Dr. Phil says... If you can't name it, you can't claim it.

 largology: study of largo
 largolysis: analysis or interpretation of largo
 largocentrism or largomania: speaks for itself
 largosophy, largosophical: wisdom of largo
 largosophism: hmm...
 largostrophics: the musings, rhetoric or tropes of largo
 largophrenia: the mind (or consciousness) of largo
 largomagic: tbd

These coinages (neonyms) would seem, at some time or other, to have a place on this thread.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 7, 2013 - 11:26am PT
As a linguistic construct, consciousness is more than its biological parts.

So are photosynthesis and metamorphism in their respective domains.

Otherwise, i.e. objectively, no, it's not. Why would it be?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 11:57am PT
As a linguistic construct, consciousness is more than its biological parts.


You ducked the question again - which is a strange thing, since I'm the one here who is usually flamed and accused of ducking the hard questions.

Of course I'm not talkking about a "linguistic construction." What does that even mean, in tangible terms? Is your own life and your own subjective experience - the very stuff of consciousness - sufficiently framed by the words, "linguistic construct?" Of course not.

Even a cursory investigation betrays to us that consciousness itself - and your very experience which provides you the notion of consciousness - is not a symbolic (linguistic) representation of something else, i.e., "red" refers to that rose over there and "9" refers to the number of players on the field for the Dodgers. If consciousness is a "linguistic construct" ergo a symbolic representation of something else, what, exactly, is that something else?

You've backed yourself into a corner here, Cintune, which is inevitable whenever you try and insist that consciousness and matter are selfsame "things." 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.

JL

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 7, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
You ducked the question again - which is a strange thing, since I'm the one here who is usually flamed and accused of ducking the hard questions.

When in Rome...

Of course I'm not talkking about a "linguistic construction." What does that even mean, in tangible terms? Is your own life and your own subjective experience - the very stuff of consciousness - sufficiently framed by the words, "linguistic construct?" Of course not.

Sufficiently? Yes. Actually, of necessity.

Even a cursory investigation betrays to us that consciousness itself - and your very experience which provides you the notion of consciousness - is not a symbolic (linguistic) representation of something else, i.e., "red" refers to that rose over there and "9" refers to the number of players on the field for the Dodgers. If consciousness is a "linguistic construct" ergo a symbolic representation of something else, what, exactly, is that something else?

Objective reality. This could be a eureka moment for you, right here.

You've backed yourself into a corner here, Cintune, which is inevitable whenever you try and insist that consciousness and matter are selfsame "things."

Energy, you're forgetting energy. Is energy more than the sum of matter's parts?

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.

MH2

climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:21pm PT
But you didn't answer the qustion: Is consciousness more than it's biological parts? No deck stacking at all. It's a very simple question.


How can that question be answered before we have had a good look at the parts and their interactions? There are a lot of questions still to answer about what goes on between the sensory and motor sides of the nervous system. Maybe consciousness will turn out to be more than its biological parts, but we don't yet know enough to say. The biological/physical approach is far from exhausted but the philosophical approach, to consciousness at least, is not a horse I would put money on.

MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:47pm 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.)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:51pm 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."

JL
WBraun

climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 03:52pm 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 ....
MH2

climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 06:23pm 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?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 06:28pm 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?

JL
WBraun

climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 06:41pm 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 .....
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 06:49pm 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.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 7, 2013 - 06:54pm 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.)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 7, 2013 - 07:04pm 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.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 7, 2013 - 07:13pm PT
Nice. Very crafty work, gotta hand it to you.
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