Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 20901 - 20920 of total 22369 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 27, 2014 - 10:37am PT
^^ who asked ya
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 27, 2014 - 10:58am PT
She DOES NOT.... Possess special knowledge or powers. Does NOT
-

I agree with this but my understanding of special powers is someone who has knowledge having never done the work to attain it. Like someone who has an encylopedic knowledge of biology having never studied the subject, or someone who knows all about the subjective adventures having never put in the years of practice. You reap what you sow per knowledge, and there's no short cuts so far as I have seen.

Towards a definition of sentience is next up.

JL
WBraun

climber
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:00am PT
Who is this "She" you guys are talking about????
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:07am PT
JL - I see you deal yourself special dispensation, for having done all your work.

Sorry but despite your internal toil I still reject the preach.

Not that my opinion supercedes your own for example.

DMT
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:24am PT
I'm not sure how the two slit experiment provides evidence of a soul, but here's what science via wiki has to say about it (the experiment):

"According to the relational interpretation of quantum mechanics, first proposed by Carlo Rovelli,[52] observations such as those in the double-slit experiment result specifically from the interaction between the observer (measuring device) and the object being observed (physically interacted with), not any absolute property possessed by the object. In the case of an electron, if it is initially "observed" at a particular slit, then the observer–particle (photon–electron) interaction includes information about the electron's position. This partially constrains the particle's eventual location at the screen. If it is "observed" (measured with a photon) not at a particular slit but rather at the screen, then there is no "which path" information as part of the interaction, so the electron's "observed" position on the screen is determined strictly by its probability function. This makes the resulting pattern on the screen the same as if each individual electron had passed through both slits."

But then - That's not the real gist of Tom's article. "Hedging your bet" is:

"The hope of another life" wrote Will Durant "gives us courage to meet our own death, and to bear with the death of our loved ones; we are twice armed if we fight with faith."

And we are thrice armed if we fight with science."

The Beegees had it right - "Ah Ah Ah Ah Stayin' Alive! Stayin' Alive!
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:37am PT
These 'soulful' conversations all have the same arc. The science guys stick to what science has evidence for. We reject the pseudoscience, magic, and religion - all of which are as easily debunked (not to be supported by any reproducible evidence), as I've just done here.

We are then called closed minded and whatever list of monikers the magicians have applied here for simply sticking with what we have actual evidence for.

Look, we're all scared of death.

Well, man or woman up.

If you want Valhalla, we already live there.

And don't be selfish - you've got to move your dead carcass on down the road so the next generation can further screw things up.
WBraun

climber
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:43am PT
We reject the pseudoscience, magic, and religion - all of which are as easily debunked (not to be supported by any reproducible evidence), as I've just done here.


The "Science of the Soul" is completely repeatable by observation and experiment.

Modern science is still in the dark cave of knowledge where the the "light" is very very dim ......
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:50am PT
From a poetry slam a few years back:

"God is a Great Big Fuzzy Kitty Way Up In The Sky"



"Kitty loves you."

From Baron Saturday to the Baby Jebus, in this off-the-rack universe, the world of the I-magic-nation continues to produce new, tailor made solutions for what troubles us.

Hence it's popularity.

Me? I prefer the cosmic inflation thread et al. Just the science, ma'am - it's fantastic enough for this closed mind.
MikeL

Trad climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Mar 27, 2014 - 12:40pm PT
Sully: He was an actor who by definition is an artist. He was also an artist In that he functioned within a court to write poetry for the nobleman he had a crush on.

All actors are artists? Keanu Reeves?

(Relying on definitions is liable to lead you into problems.)
MikeL

Trad climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Mar 27, 2014 - 12:42pm PT
"Reproducible evidence" seems to be the gold standard for knowledge, but not for understanding.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 27, 2014 - 01:06pm PT

All actors are artists? Keanu Reeves?

HaHaHaHaHa,, careful though someone might get mad if ur joking
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Mar 27, 2014 - 01:20pm PT
Tvash ; Master of glib! You make a grand science based statement and then cap it with Glib. These strong statements with glib frosting is hard for me to relate to.

How do you think these statements would come off at the quaker meetings of silence? Go and try it out and then report back how it went.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Mar 27, 2014 - 01:28pm PT
I haven't been to such a meeting of silence, but I would guess that the 'silence' part would preclude the making of any statements, no?

The president of our board is a Quaker, and we get along famously.

I also worked a fair bit with the AFSC during the pre-Iraq anti war movement and have given a number of civil liberties talks to same. Good folks, it seems.

Statistically insufficient data sample I realize, but that's all I've got in the 'experience with Quaker' department.

I do admire the Quakers for a number of reasons - notably, they were the first group to petition our colonial government to end slavery.

If you find something glib and react accordingly, that's your call, of course. One man's glib is another's straight shooter. I can't control your emotional reactions or the personal attacks you choose to post to indulge them, nor would I want to.

If you have any specific critiques of my claims or statements, counterpoints, etc. they are always welcome.

I don't get many of those here.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Mar 27, 2014 - 02:14pm PT
Tvash here is a good explanation of the quaker "meeting of silence" apparently there is some speaking. http://capecodquakers.org/silencespeech.html

Thanks for the non-glib reply.

Tvash

climber
Seattle
Mar 27, 2014 - 03:03pm PT
I live to serve.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 27, 2014 - 03:10pm PT
Defining sentience

Here is my first foray towards a group effort to try and define sentience. I suspect we will have to take this step by step, reviewing and refining various terms as people share their own insights and empirical observations and we arrive at a consensus. By sticking strictly with the technical, first person aspects of sentience we can possibly avoid – or strive to avoid – the traps of defending this or that camp or belief or orientation. This first part is not terribly interesting but once we get into how discursive thinking works, and doesn't work, it gets exciting in a hurry. Like most everything these days, once we plunge into the thing at depth, the material has tons of surprises.

The technical aspects of sentience are really no more debatable then evolution or the fact that the earth is round. I suspect that the hardest part of this process will be to stick with the subject rather than getting diverted into arguments about meaning, etc.

One of the hallmarks of sentience is awareness, so why not start there. Because awareness is a relative terms, for the purpose of this conversation, we will limit our exploration to human awareness. It is to be expected that the M2s of this thread will insist that their consciousness operates nothing whatsoever like what is being described, but in fact the universal aspects of sentience are of course the same across all races and creeds and so forth.

In the most general terms, “awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. More broadly, it is the state or quality of being aware of something.”

That is, we have a felt sense and real-time cognizance of being present in time and space. We are aware of “qualia,” which is not only the content of awareness (people, places, things and phenomenon), but also the direct, first person subjective experience of said people, places, things and phenomenon. If you have a problem with the world qualia, junk it and just go with content, the stuff you are aware of.

So, we have real time awareness, and we have stuff we are aware of. So far so good.

Next, we can look at all experience as arising within a field of awareness. “Field” here is used in the spirit of “Hilbert Space,” that is, one might argue that there is no actual awareness “field” or terrain or topography, but the metaphor of a space or dimension in which or experiences arises allows us to talk about it in tangible, easy to understand terms, and provides a workable model for us to employ. If you have better, more workable model than “field,” sound off.

Our awareness field is limited by two basic factors: A) The physical limits of our sense organs for the data “out there,” external to our skin boundary; and B) in terms of the material within our subjective bubble (barring pathology), the limits of our awareness is determined by where we place our attention, or to what our attention is unconsciously drawn and focused upon at a given time. Again, awareness is non selective. It is always wide open. Focus is the narrowing function by which we narrow the intensity of our awareness onto a discrete thing(s), and whatever intensity or quotient is left over is given over to peripherals.

Per A, I can only see so far, so my visual field is limited to the boundaries of my sight. Same with hearing, touching, smelling and so forth. Again, there are no doubt things presently going on in New York but because I am in Venice, Ca, and can only see so far, my field of awareness does not extend beyond a few blocks. So it is only within that limited field that I can receive a real-time sensual data stream to which I am aware.

Per B, while we tend to think of the internal field of awareness as being limited only by the size of our imagination, in real time, WHAT we are aware of is limited to where we place our attention. Because awareness is always a relative thing, having our attention on a thought or feeling or memory does not mean we are not vaguely aware of a sore foot or the radio blaring in the background. But the fact our attention will generally focus on one thing, largely at the exclusion of other things in the periphery of our field of awareness, brings up two more facts about awareness.

First, we have limited control (almost none) over the flow of qualia, or what arises in our field or awareness, but we can consciously exercise some degree of choice over where we place our attention. That is, if we consciously make a point of it, we can consciously place our attention on that car or this girl or that sensation. There is research suggesting that where we place our attention is mechanistically ordained by unconscious processes, so we might better understand the concept of choosing where we place our attention by the fact that a third party can suggest we look at that cow or this book and we can do so regardless of our internal processes.

This brings to light one other aspect of awareness, appropriately labeled by the old Gestalt folks as figure and ground. While this can be seen as a visual/photography metaphor, it is nonetheless how our awareness and cognition actually work. That is, whatever we place our attention on – say the second basemen on a baseball diamond - that second basemen becomes the primary object of our attention (the figure), while the rest of the things in our field of awareness becomes the ground, or background. Put differently, there is always a sliding ratio between figure and ground, between forest and tress, so to speak. At times, the ratio favors a tree, while at other times, the ratio favors the forest, en total.

Again, the keener our concentration, or more accurately, the more steadfast our focus is on the figure, whatever it is, the higher the ratio of our awareness is tied the figure, and the lower the ratio is given over to the background. It is not unusual for someone fully absorbed in something - like working a math problem, playing a difficult piece of music, or climbing a hard and sketchy slab route, to be largely unaware of their surroundings.

More later.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 27, 2014 - 03:58pm PT
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Mar 27, 2014 - 04:42pm PT
It's interesting, that gray dot that turns green does so because that's the way the eye works: any hue pushes a neutral gray to that hue's opposite on the color wheel. You see this effect no matter where you live or what culture you come from or what race you are. It is a universal effect of color that all experience in the same way. In other words: it isn't a subjective experience. It is universal, repeatable and constant.

Artists from Jan van Eyck, to Monet, to Willam de Kooning have used this effect to create beauty in their work. Subjective appreciation often has its base in the hard cold reality of universal human perception.
You don't see that effect as a function of your opinion. You see it.

Within the structures we call morality the same opinion-less elements exist as what someone once called self-evident truths.



"first group to petition our colonial government to end slavery"

You have to wonder why, outside of some moral concern, anyone would think it's appropriate to end slavery? And if all morality is relative to the individual, the slave owner has every justification.



"If you have any specific critiques of my claims or statements, counterpoints, etc. they are always welcome.

I don't get many of those here."

hmmm... you could try reading other folk's posts.
MH2

climber
Mar 27, 2014 - 04:52pm PT
Interesting how the dots sometimes disappear. Did I miss a gorilla going across the field?


Sounds like a good start, JL.


The link PSP also PP provides describes well my experience with Quaker silent meetings. The group dynamic is very important to the individual experience and some groups are not as good as others.

Other than going to meeting with my parents, my main experience comes from 2 summers as a counsellor at Farm and Wilderness Camps in Vermont. The silent meetings took their tone in part from Ken Webb and Jack Sloanaker. Group therapy is a better way to put it than psychotherapy.

My faulty memory says that Jack Sloanaker spent the other 10 months of the year as a Harvard-trained psychiatrist. What I know for sure is that he often demonstrated a deep understanding of what made other people tick, why they had objection to some course of action, and after a little (or a lot!) of talking they happily agreed with Jack.

Our silent meetings were outdoors in good weather. Surrounded by trees, birds, and sunlight, we would calm down and feel secure in our small part of the whole. Even though each moment might be our personal last, the world could carry on without us. Both the non-human parts and the great variety of human communities. How you feel about a thing depends on the perspective you are looking from (thanks, Jan).

Jack Sloanaker also had a good quick sense of humor. You need that when you are trying to get 10 to 14 year olds to sit through silent meetings.




A rare gathering of F&W personnel in the winter.

They are going to cut ice from the lake and store it in sawdust for summer refrigeration.

Jack Sloanaker on far right, I think.







A good example of the communal work ethic at F&W.






They didn't have this when I was there. I bet the kids take to it better than to silent meetings.





I think I'm still mostly kid.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Mar 27, 2014 - 05:07pm PT
Nice start, John. I'll think about it.

Wonder what an "operator" on that field would be? Linear, perhaps, like QM - otherwise pretty hairy stuff.


;>)
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