Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 21341 - 21360 of total 23476 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:32am PT
Just to stir the pot . . . this just in from Josh T:

"From the standpoint of introspection, of simply being alive, the existence of qualia (the subjective flow and articles of our experience) is indisputable. It has, however, proved impossible to accommodate qualia within a strictly physicalist account of the mind. Why, because qualia itself cannot be reducible to anything physically observable/measurable, so any attempted explanation of the world in solely physicalist terms would either leave qualia out, or would adopt, by default, the untenable position of conflating the objective with the subjective (i.e., qualia is what the brain ‘does,’ or a big bang is what nothing 'does.')

JL
MH2

climber
Mar 6, 2014 - 12:28pm PT
Pot to spoon:

You have been around that circle before.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Mar 6, 2014 - 01:53pm PT
Seems to me if you make too crisp a distinction between mind and body or thought and body you have an untenable dialectic that serves nobody's purpose especially the truth.
If the brain is stimulated chemically or electrically, thought is affected and like wise thought can affect the body. How can the two, mind and physical body, not be intrinsically and intimately tied to one another and in the truest sense be inseparable?

As to nothingness and the big bang. A first cause seems so important to mythologies in general. Why? Why is a beginning a vital part of any explanation with regard to the "stuff" that is the universe? A first cause whether it's a gackling goose or a big bang seems wholly irrelevant in the face of eternity. Perhaps "stuff" has always been and will always be and has no real source. That we are here seems a mystery largely because human expectation demands some sense of beginning and ending and perhaps that's just a fault of the mind.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Mar 6, 2014 - 02:24pm PT
qualia = map. A map of reality. Because THAT is what the brain does - map reality.

Remember the map is not the terrain. Its all in your head. Your map will never match my map, nor mine to yours and neither of ours will correctly represent reality. Though life dictates there is some minimum threshold of accuracy necessary.

So you focus on your brain's map making skills. Cool. Others too are focusing on that; physicalists, from the real world; working to understand HOW the brain models reality. And they're not using divining rods, either.

And it will be understood and in far less time than any but the most optimistic project.

DMT
MikeL

Trad climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Mar 6, 2014 - 03:45pm PT
Paul: . . . you have an untenable dialectic . . . .

Er, just one little point . . . . There are no dialectics. Dualism in any form is not possible. It is only possible in a conceptual reality. Dialectics, dualisms, polarities, opposites, good / bad, light / dark, etc. all point to a unity. What is light and dark together? What is good and bad together?

This is what happens when you let that mind get carried away with itself. It spins out all sorts of narratives and models of "how things have to be." It's wrong on both counts.

MH2: Pot to spoon: You have been around that circle before.

Circles are another sign of infinity . . . nothing but connectedness.

(Knife to fork: "check")
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Mar 6, 2014 - 04:11pm PT
Dark and light are not the same as each other they are complements to each other and in that very literal and practical sense they are opposites.

A simple proof of this is to stare at a blue dot for one minute and look at a white piece of paper and you will see an orange dot, orange being the opposite of blue. Unless you believe that color is purely an experience and unrelated to what's happening here on the ground.

Complements such as light and dark or blue and orange or good and evil are opposite and therefore stand in a dialectical opposition to one another.

And if you are correct in that analysis you validate the point that there is no separation possible between mind and body.

Post structuralism and Foucault and deconstruction and the whole notion of aporia has ruined contemporary discourse and hurled us back into the labyrinth of sophistry.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 6, 2014 - 04:26pm PT
Pot to spoon:

You have been around that circle before.
-


I think the reason I keep circling that wagon is that little of this has ever been resolved and it keeps coming up in my group of friends. Some of my friends have interesting takes on it, and in the many discussions we’ve had, the sticking point is often staunch reductionism.

Granted, given chaos theory and the randomness of simply being alive, we cannot perfectly predict where life will take us tomorrow or next year. But reductionism allows that if we had sufficient data, we could reverse engineer any occurrence to antecedent material causes believed to have given rise (or “created”) said occurrence.

But not so fast, one of my friends says, a female chemist working at JPL. If we’re going to talk about “creating” or sourcing things, we need to first acknowledge that supposedly, all this material was first sourced by nothing via the big bang. What’s more, she and many others are questioning that this was a one-time event, a genuine "beginning," after which material sourced everything.

If that ain’t enough, one of the group, a nuclear physicist at Caltech and a Vapassana instructor, is quick to remind that this material we keep mentioning is not precisely as solid as our sense organs would lead us to believe.

Long story short, the current discussing is all about questioning the assumptions we have in asking, "How?"

For instance, when we ask, “How did nothing give rise to something?” or “How did inanimate matter give rise to life?” or “How did tissue become conscious?” or “How was gravity created?” -- in just asking these questions we usually assume that the antecedent thing in the causal chain somehow, in and of itself, sourced or mechanically gave rise to (a true "beginning") the person, place or thing.

What I’ve been hearing recently is the notion that this is an old school, Newtonian take on the square (the 4-step) of reality: nothing created matter, matter created life, life created consciousness.

What about the off chance that there is no beginning, or even "creation" from whole cloth. Rather there just might be inherent, unborn/uncreated phenomenon (nothing, matter, life, consciousness, and perhaps gravity itself) that are simply part of the fabric of reality, and that all are in play all the time, forever.

Of course this is a great simplification of an ongoing adventure of ideas, fun to ponder at lunch.

JL
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Mar 6, 2014 - 05:57pm PT
What about the off chance that there is no beginning, or even "creation" from whole cloth. Rather there just might be inherent, unborn, uncreated phenomenon (nothing, matter, life, consciousness, and perhaps gravity itself) that are simply part of the fabric of reality, and that all are in play all the time, forever (JL)

If cause and effect (sequencing) appears to possibly fail at the quantum level, it could also possibly fail at the cosmological level. There may be no beginning and no end, and all may exist in a single block of time in which we distinguish past and present as some sort of abstract "slice."

There's also the theory of the mathematical universe which I find entertaining if not convincing!

;>)
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 6, 2014 - 08:35pm PT
Best friend joined the army in '87, we went to see Full Metal Jacket the day before he went to boot camp.
MikeL

Trad climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:49pm PT
Paul:

As a head is the other side of a coin to a tail, day is the other side to a night, dark to light, and every other polarity, dialectic, even blue or orange. All objects are man-made. All objects are conceptual at their core . . . at least.

And you are right, . . . there is no separation between mind and body.

These understandings were around long ago, millennia before French Theory. French theorists simply gave yet another voice to them, and presented a scathing response to a rationalism that had gotten too far out of control. There are things that the mind cannot conceive. Dark AND light together is one of them. All opposites are.

Contemporary discourse is just talking about things that have been made-up.

Discourse is entertaining, as Jgill says.


(Descartes was wrong. He distinguished and elevated thinking over consciousness. Elevate no thing.)
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Mar 7, 2014 - 12:27am PT
To believe all objects are man made is to believe that "man is the measure of all things." Ask Socrates what he thought of that idea... pure Protagoras, pure sophistry and nothing less. Scathing response? French Philosophy disdains reason for the sake of moral license and self aggrandizement and nothing less. Paul de Mann was a fascist, so was Heidegger. Unfortunately the sleep of reason produces monsters.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 7, 2014 - 12:54am PT
To believe all objects are man made is to believe that "man is the measure of all things."


Paul, I think you're misunderstanding what Mike is saying here.

What is your sense about how our sense organs and brain organize reality? Do you believe that our minds merely mirror to awareness fixed objects "out there," or does consciousness also contribute in the objectification process?

Do you believe reason is the measure of all things? Where does reason leave off?

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 7, 2014 - 01:09am PT
All objects are man-made. All objects are conceptual at their core . . . at least.

This is the same self-delusional rubbish handily disposed of in a rash of recent posts . No one learns anything around here.
MH2

climber
Mar 7, 2014 - 01:11am PT
though I have neglected to learn about the toads of the world, I do know a thing or two about the magnificent complexity of the human brain. I had a good teacher. Years ago I attended a two-day course at the Blotzmann Institute, where I learned, among other things, that if you immerse your head in a bucket of warm soapy water and do the Culpeper Manoueuvres until at the point of drowning, most of your brain problems will be solved. It certainly works for me.

Frank Key
The Hooting Yard
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 7, 2014 - 02:21pm PT
All objects are man-made. All objects are conceptual at their core . . . at least.

This is the same self-delusional rubbish handily disposed of in a rash of recent posts . No one learns anything around here.
--

Ward, I wonder if you getting the point here, which is something that runs deeper than what our sense organs tell us about the objects that are "out there." For instance, if you were to try and describe any object, you would mostly fall back on describing an object's qualities that are particular only to a human with their particular sense organs. Meaning that what's blue to me might be yellow to the Venutian and green to the fruit fly. Meaning the quality of "blue" is not inherent to the object but to the observer. "Blue" can universally refer to light waves in a certain frequency, but light waves are not color, nor are they what light waves "do."

So if you were to remove the qualities that we humans transpose onto reality, what then is an object and how might you define it in the present tense, as an object existing right now?

JL

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Mar 7, 2014 - 02:27pm PT
So if you were to remove the qualities that we humans transpose onto reality, what then is an object and how might you define it in the present tense, as an object existing right now?


Ooooo I know! I know!

If you change the map (emove the qualities that we humans transpose onto reality) the terrain (reality) DOES NOT CHANGE!

Amazing, innit?

The map is not the terrain.

Its very simple.

DMT
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Mar 7, 2014 - 03:13pm PT
So if you were to remove the qualities that we humans transpose onto reality, what then is an object and how might you define it in the present tense, as an object existing right now? (JL)

To "define" requires using terms understood by whomever you are addressing. Since you ask that this be done by removing all such terms the question is somewhat paradoxical and is an example of using language inappropriately. Hence the question itself is fatally flawed. There is no answer since the question is absurd. This must be a kind of koan, right?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Mar 7, 2014 - 03:40pm PT
And no conceptualization allowed in your answer, either, largo!

DMT
MH2

climber
Mar 7, 2014 - 03:57pm PT
who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey
leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards
of Atlantic City Hall
MikeL

Trad climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Mar 7, 2014 - 06:25pm PT
Paul: To believe all objects are man made is to believe that "man is the measure of all things." Ask Socrates what he thought of that idea... pure Protagoras, pure sophistry and nothing less. Scathing response? French Philosophy disdains reason for the sake of moral license and self aggrandizement and nothing less. Paul de Mann was a fascist, so was Heidegger. Unfortunately the sleep of reason produces monsters.

Sure. That can be your view if you want it to. I'll demur.

"Man the measure of all things" once again brings up issues about measurement. I'm not much for metrics ultimately. Those are man-made. (So is Man.)

Those who argue for unmitigated reason say that all things wilt under Man's gaze. This argument has been made repeatedly by many here still on this thread. By their accounts and proclamations, there is no mystery anywhere but temporarily; nor will there be anything that cannot be forced to Man's will. Man can or will know everything.

If that doesn't constitute the measure of all things, then I don't know what does. Man must be or will be a god; or maybe reason is the holy grail. Now that we have it, all things will be figured out. (Think that's working well these days?)

What Socrates, Protagoras, Mann, or Heidegger said about one thing or another might matter if you want to bring up their specific arguments--that is, if you feel that logic / rationalism will help you find the truth. But you don't bring their specific arguments up. It might be useful and pithier if you did. Instead, you spit out ad hominems. Heidegger could have been Hitler himself, and it would mean nothing about whether he had a good argument.

After about 2000 years, no discursive efforts have found any final resting place to call home. There appear to be no final answers that the mind can grasp. If anything, reason has generated more theories, models, and frameworks that Carter has liver pills. No theory has found the truth. But still die-hard rationalists try, convinced that now science will succeed where rationality could not. But science is rationality in different clothing.

French theory hardly disdains reason purely and completely, Paul. I think that's a poor reading. (But who can read Derrida?) French Theory exposed the limits of rationality by showing its inconsistencies and absurdities within the very writings of its leaders.

Just what is, after all, your complaint with taking well-respected data (someone's writing), running it through a rigorous analysis (e.g., deconstruction), and then coming to a reasonable conclusion? I thought that description would not only be good philosophy but good science as well.

If you understand what Derrida did, you might begin to wonder at the efficacy of rationality. You might begin to give rationality a little less weight and start looking in other places for answers.

You say that sophistry is claiming that one cannot (or has not) found the truth through methods and values that are now in vogue. That, to me, seems a bit too rich. I think you want to argue historically, both you and Sully. You've read philosophy closely and can say what certain philosophers have said, but what of you? What do you want to say? "I want to say what they said." What have your own observations and considerations brought you to? With great humility, that's about all I'm doing here; nothing more. I'm talking from this position of what I see, what I think, what I feel, and what I have sensed.

So, I might want to argue right here right now with what you and I both have full access to: life, living, creativity, heart, consciousness, mind. What can we say, claim, reason about those? It shouldn't be all that challenging to be able to look at what's right in front of you and say what you know and don't know about what's right in front of you all the time. Hell, it might even be a moral achievement. But you'd call it sophistry or solipsism (which everyone knows MUST be wrong). Me, I'd call it being candid.

Academically, there's a hell of a lot of work done in psychology, sociology, cognitive science, anthropology, brain and behavioral sciences, even decision sciences, that continue to suggest that what Ward and DMT ABSOLUTELY KNOW doesn't quite exist. Not in any substantive way ultimately. Things exist to the extent to which we all confer and agree with one another.

But, then again . . . we can't be sure.
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