Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 16541 - 16560 of total 23020 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 08:52pm 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 - 08:53pm 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 - 08:56pm 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 30, 2013 - 09:45pm 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 30, 2013 - 10:13pm 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 30, 2013 - 10:49pm 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 - 04:30am 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 - 09:40am 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 - 10:41am 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 - 11:05am 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 - 04:29pm 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 - 05:44pm 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.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Jul 31, 2013 - 07:12pm PT
Take a look at this then tell me you think there is a god that gives half a sh#t about this corner of the universe….



The man made god theory fails again

MH2

climber
Jul 31, 2013 - 07:21pm PT
All that you're aware of, ever, is your consciousness.


I get the feeling that, for some people, all their consciousness is aware of is themselves.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Jul 31, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
Take a look at this then tell me you think there is a god that gives half a sh#t about this corner of the universe….

God created you to give a...

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

...HOOT!
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Aug 1, 2013 - 08:13am PT
MH2:

Priceless! Good one!! Busted out laughing. Now I have coffee all over the place.
MH2

climber
Aug 1, 2013 - 09:10am PT
That's the spirit, MikeL. Just twisting a statement slightly can change the whole sense of it. For example, I saw part of your post as, "All you are ever aware of is YOUR consciousness." That seems do-able for an infant, and probably pretty well describes my own first year-and-a-half, until my younger sister showed up. Then my next younger sister and then my brother. I learned I wasn't the only consciousness and learned it well. I know this isn't what you meant, but...

I read that René Descartes had an older sister and brother, but Descartes was a genius and ordinary thinking is not to be expected from him.

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 1, 2013 - 09:11am PT
The Dennett thing was interesting to me because he presents the almost unheard of combination of physicalist/reductionistic approach while pursuing a top-down strategy. That is, working from the macro on down. The error here, IMO, is the idea that the "truth" is happening at some other level than where we are, that we are the determined and mechanical production - not in part but mostly if not entirley - of more "fundamental" and of course measurable physical stuff.

I really enjoyed Dennett's passage about how most everyone considers themselves an expert on consciousness and that trying to change their minds about this or that is basically impossible. Look at poor Ward on this thread, who has himself conned into believing that non-discursive excursions are in fact life-threatening, eroding our ability to act in a crisis. Try talking the fellow out of that whopper.

But like Mike said, listening to the Dennett's labored breathing, I think a physical is in order. I feared he might drop right there on stage.

JL
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Aug 1, 2013 - 10:12am PT
Look at poor Ward on this thread, who has himself conned into believing that non-discursive excursions are in fact life-threatening, eroding our ability to act in a crisis. Try talking the fellow out of that whopper.

This is only a part of the general question I raised before as to whether the practice of attaining Largo's "no-thingness" has any effect on one's normal everyday life. Does it sharpen your abilities in logical analysis? Does it dull these abilities? Does it improve artistic talents? Does it have any effect?

I've read of practitioners of Eastern religions reaching nirvana or samadhi or whatever one calls them, and then returning to their normal lives as better persons, with more compassion for their fellow voyagers.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Aug 1, 2013 - 01:07pm PT
...believing that non-discursive excursions are in fact life-threatening, eroding our ability to act in a crisis....

Probably depends whether the crisis happens to arise when one is out there in non-discursiveland or not.

I am observing myself being devoured by a tiger... Well, that's distracting....

But maybe not too far off in regard to the famous Vietnam protest scenes of Buddhist self-immolation. The ability to completely master one's reactions can delegitimize any immediate crisis.

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