Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jul 30, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
Well.... growing up with a Lutheran minister for a father, witnessing the Franco-Prussian war up close and awful, and finally, his chronic inability to get laid all come to mind....
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 09:53pm PT
with a Lutheran minister for a father

Cintune:
The greatest product of the Lutheran Church in America:
Almost near perfection.




WBraun

climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
The gross materialists and atheists are all stuck in the lower chakras.

No wonder they're so bewildered and can never see God.

They operate down there in the 2 lower chakras.

Their mind and consciousness are fixed down there too.

It can't be done down there ......
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:36pm PT
Perhaps you could let us know what you mean by "ordinary consciousness,"

I'll let the author of the above cited article summarize ordinary consciousness :


Ward, if you're going to make vague and sweeping pronouncements - to the effect that you actually believe that non-discursive exercises may endanger our ability to stay alive in a pinch or crisis - then you are expected to explain how you came to those conclusions, in thne most tangible way you possibly can. Sluffing the task of to someone else who never got into these kinds of particulars, to say nothing of the fantastic claims you make, does not earn a sober consideration.

My sense of this is that you have no idea whatsoever how "ordinary consciousnes" actually occurs in your own experience, in terms of the basic components of focus, thought generation and direction, instinctual responses, attention, and so forth.

In fact the article cited and in my own experience, the exact opposite occurs in the real world - that is, if you always have the mind clenched in thought, it will eventually fatigue and will shut itself down. Given that the brain can be looked at, in many ways, as a kind of cognitive muscle, you are basically suggesting that the best way to exercise the brain is not through managible repetitions, but rather it's best to never put the barbell down and to keep pumping out sets till we die - lest we die from lack or preparedness.

Of course no muscle and no brain can ever actually respond to this recipe for total breakdown. Startinig with recess when we were young, to the few minutes of relaxation most of us take throughout the day to refresh and reboot ourselves, we all intuitively know that pressing on with no break is a sure way to burn ourselves out. The harder you think, or exercise, the more crucial becomes our need to rest. No down time is a good way to bring yourself down in a heap.

Enough said.

JL
WBraun

climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:39pm PT
In the 2 lower chakras they are so agitated down there they can never sit still long enough to see anything.

Thus they fall into the perpetual ocean of nescience and remain there .......
WBraun

climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:44pm PT
Thus in the 2 lower chakras they are so agitated they remain anchored in their gross physical vehicles.

They never even realize there are subtle vehicles that can be used to travel in .....
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:09pm PT



Jul 30, 2013 - 07:44pm PT
Thus in the 2 lower chakras they are so agitated they remain anchored in their gross physical vehicles.



Yeah but admit it ...we have better bowel movements, because of all that agitation.
You're just jealous.

BTW all you higher chalkra types can avoid the curse of your enlightened greatness by simply dissolving 2 teaspoons of Vitamin C powder in a glass of water, with a half teaspoon of baking soda, drink when the fizzing stops about 1/2 hour before breakfast . Be near a toilet for the next hour.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:25pm PT
I have a hard time sitting still.

That means I get another trip round the wheel? Gotta admit, this one's been a TRIP!

DMT
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:52pm PT
Of course no muscle and no brain can ever actually respond to this recipe for total breakdown. Startinig with recess when we were young, to the few minutes of relaxation most of us take throughout the day to refresh and reboot ourselves, we all intuitively know that pressing on with no break is a sure way to burn ourselves out. The harder you think, or exercise, the more crucial becomes our need to rest. No down time is a good way to bring yourself down in a heap.

The natural brain has ways of compensating for overactivity of the sort you are suggesting.
Nocturnal dreams are a way of discharging and disengaging excess activity; as are a few of the methods you have suggested, including a belt or two of Pinot Noir.
These nostrums are legion.
It is the price we pay for being such a successful, high -strung species- - thus far.

Remember , without the stress captioned in your description above there would be no muscular growth at all.
Muscle grows in response to stress. Part of that response is rest.
But you can rest all day long and muscle won't grow, without the precedent exercise or challenge.
A balance is required . You gotta keep punchin'
And resting.

And yet I don't regard non-discursive experience as qualifying as 'rest 'in this context.
Per the description proffered by its advocates, it sounds more like something quite outside of the normal concourse of the naturally -bound , organic activity we have been discussing thus far.


jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:53pm PT
This leads to another question: does the practice of "no-thing" as Largo has described it have any effect on, let's say, a scientist who exercises both imaginative - even artistic - thought as well as pure logic to make discoveries in his/her area?

I'm not talking about the hypnogogic state in which ideas seem to foment, but the distinctive Zen-like practice of emptying the mind. JL tells us this leads to some sort of awareness of one's consciousness, but does it also facilitate "discursive" projects while in one's normal everyday mode?
MH2

climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:56pm PT
"Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits."

Either Satchell Paige or A. A. Milne
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 31, 2013 - 12:45am PT
And yet I don't regard non-discursive experience as qualifying as 'rest 'in this context.


Just so we are clear here, Ward, can you simply and clearly describe what "non-discursive experiences" you are refering to, your experiences with same, and how you came to your conclusions that these experiences of yours with the non-discursive do not qualify as 'rest.' This is the equal of "showing your work," which we all were asked to do in math classes. Without such a discussion, however brief, we might accidentally conclude that you were simply guessing at the subject, and tossing out empty pronouncements based on nothing empirical whatsoever. So I for one are interested from what well, exactly, are you drawing your opinions.

Again, I would invite you to describe in your own words the process of "thinking" as it occurs in your consciousness. Nothng fancy or arduous. But the basics as you observe the process happening within your own subjective bubble.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 31, 2013 - 01:13am PT
can you simply and clearly describe what "non-discursive experiences"

I'll go along with your description . After all you are the resident guru in this respect. Your definition of the non-discursive -whatever it is - can retroactively fully apply to my own.
When I say "non-discursive " I mean a more or less a rough distillation of that same identical definition that Largo and a few others have proffered on this thread over the last 50yrs or so.

I am engaged in a fully objective discussion of ideas, not necessarily a declaration of comparative first hand subjective experiences . I can freely discuss the insanity of nuclear war without having lived through a mushroom cloud.

Lets shift the focus off of me personally ,and the qualifications of my definitions , and other purposeful distractions, and focus instead on the substance of a few ideas I have introduced .

Lets agree that we share the same general, proceedural definitions, elaborated ad nauseum on this thread, and try to proceed forward, shall we ?
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 31, 2013 - 01:49am PT
and focus instead on the substance of a few ideas I have introduce

Sorry I musta missed those, could you reiterate
jstan

climber
Jul 31, 2013 - 07:30am PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjbWr3ODbAo

TED talk on consciousness

by a

PHILOSOPHER

excellent

Could not sleep because my brain must have been working on Building Permits. After browsing ST, I can usually sleep.

Edit:

ML:
Dennett told us what consciousness isn't. It is not the self apparent thing we feel it is.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jul 31, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
Mr. Dennett needs an aerobic workout routine. His speech and breathing are labored. I worry about his health.

I listened and waited to hear his argument. Just what did he say? When and where did he say what consciousness is? What I heard him say was that consciousness is operations of the brain. I'd be very pleased if he could show that (beyond fiat) with some better evidence. (But then again, he's a philosopher, not a scientist.) To do so he needs to somehow translate objective into the subjective.

I think Dennett learned something from his friend in magic: I think he got us looking at physical (objective) data and then talked about it as subjective data.

I don't think any of us experience consciousness as something physical (unless you're pushing your fingers into your brain).

--


Up thread quite a ways I included several posts in which I linked the nature, pace, and rhythm of ordinary mental activity to the mandates of biological survival in a harsh and uncompromising world of tooth and claw. I emphasized the utter immediate futility and ineffectiveness of navel gazing as a means to either procure food , appraise the ever-changing landscape ,or as a defense against bloodthirsty predators.

Ward:

"Navel gazing" would include reflections on self, would it not? I would include observations about or of my instincts, emotions, stories, and mental-rational conceptualizations, wouldn't you agree? In those periods, I reflect that some of those experiences are useful or not useful, empty, or absurd. Don't you occasionally do the same? I can even see how those very effects / artifacts / objects are constructed by me (as Mr. Dennett attempted to show).

Would you think that any of those realizations or capabilities could confer greater abilities to survive or prosper?

Darwinism needs to be brought up to date from the 19th century--or at least be considered a bit more broadly. Most people think survival of the fittest is completely physical (i.e., mutations, genes, randomness, etc.). A more complete view of human prosperity / reproduction should include the very organization of societies, values, and belief systems that people come to believe and implement. These days, social capabilities should confer greater survival propensities of a specie than just its physical capabilities. Social capabilities could well come from a more enlightened view of reality than simply the abilities to procure food, appraise landscapes, and erect defenses against bloodthirsty predators. I suggest that more enlightened views come from navel gazing--by looking candidly at who and what we are.

I think your description is suitably descriptive of ancient eras. Not so much today. Today, many people think that being smart is what leads to prosperity and survival. Today I'd say that being more reflective and wise is what will probably lead to prosperity and survival in that those capabilities will see the emptiness of materialist means of conquest over the earth and each other. But more importantly (at least for me), I see those capabilities as a means of conquest of myself.
MH2

climber
Jul 31, 2013 - 01:41pm PT
Just what did he say?


My take was that he was only trying to get people to wonder whether they know as much about consciousness as they may think they do.

He showed us that things can happen right in front of us that we are not aware of.

He did say that whatever we do is somehow accomplished by a trillion or so cells not significantly more complicated than bacteria, but he did not get into the details.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 31, 2013 - 02:05pm PT
He did say that whatever we do is somehow accomplished by a trillion or so cells not significantly more complicated than bacteria, but he did not get into the details.


Not more complicated on the biological level, but there is nothing beyond the biological that we associate to bacteria, whereas a physicalist will ascribe consciousness and subjectivity itself to those uncomplicated neurons.

More on Dennett after I can get my notes together later.

And Fruity, you're on a very slippery slop arguing consciousness work with Mike, you having done none of the work - it is easy to see why. But per you example of jamming a finger in your eye - this is a subtle matter seemingly lost on you. What you are driving at is content, the qualia that passes through consciousness and to which we are aware. Your argument seems to be that a physical finger in my eye can cause a purly physical piece of content, like a light. No one here is arguing that point. I can drink a purly physical quart of gin and also get a physical effect.

The point is, do you recognize the diference between content and conswciousness itself, what we are conscious of, and the experience of being conscious. They are two sides of the same coin, it is true, but only a mentally challenged person would insist that heads are also tails, and no casino in the world will pay out on that sucker's bet.

I can appreciat you and others attempting to simplify consciousness to something we can easily get hold of with our evaluating minds. Strangely, how evaluations occur in the first place, when viewed from the inside, would clear the fog from your eyes on this subject if you'd only take the time to find out for yourself, but for most on this thread, these matters are merely retorical, stuff to guess about and yak on. Efforts to understand being limited to discursive forays. Too bad. But as Dennett said himself, you cannot convince folks that they are not experts on conscious already, though invitations to explain what they mean go unanswered, or get shuffled off like Ward does.

JL
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Jul 31, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#313754

As beautiful as the Earth is from the mountains, deserts and oceans, with all the vegetation, wildlife, and peoples, set in the starry heavens of planets and suns, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit whom sustain all things are infinitely more amazing and worthy of our gratitude!

MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jul 31, 2013 - 08:44pm PT
Other than I AM, there's appears to be nothing more any of us can say about consciousness. There appears to be no consciousness experts, and there appears to be no conscious entity in existence or imagination that can know more than I AM. No Gods, no higher-plane sentient beings, no greater deities, no advanced aliens from outer space. It's doubtful that there can be any greater authority on consciousness than a conscious being.

No one knows more about your consciousness than you. You don't need to go to school to learn about it, church, or to another conscious being. You're it; it's you. As one person has said, "If you understand that consciousness is what consciousness is conscious of, then you know all there is to know." (Ha-ha.) Adios, dios.

Seeing reality (in any manner, at any level, in any situation) is an inside deal. No one can do anything for you, and there's nothing that you can DO one way or the other, either. The on-off button is stuck full on. No matter where you go, there you are, and there everything else is, too. All that you're aware of, ever, is your consciousness.

The rest are just beliefs.

So, . . . to seeing consciousness . . . . well, you look, you notice, you observe without elaboration. You relax. Easy does it. Sounds remarkably simple, but for most (to include me), it's remarkably difficult to do without all those incessant elaborations.

Might as well get hit in the head with a 2x4.
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