Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 07:06pm PT
I'm done with blu and largo. That said...

Jan wrote so matter-of-factly,
As Largo keeps reminding us, you can't objectify another person's subjective experience and as the science folks keep reminding us, you can't subjectify a measurement

This is incorrect.

Although I wouldn't use the language and brain experts don't use the language...

You can "objectify" a person's subjective experience many ways. Hit the subject with input (e.g., a flash picture of a celebrity or her grandmother), and this will excite a number of specific neurons corresponding to her subjective experience, in this case recognition. And these neurons can be identified by way of their turning on or spiking (thus objectified). Most are familar with mirror neurons. They are identifiable objects (thus "objectified") that correspond to 1st person subjective experience, empathy being the input.

You can "subjectify." One way is ESB (electrical stimulation of the brain). You can stimulate specific areas (cortical layer 5, e.g.) to get specific qualia (experiences). This is fact. Stimulate one area, you get flashes of light or hallucinations, stimulate another, you get smells, even very specific smells. Also brain areas can be cut, excised or somehow short-circuited or "put to sleep" to change experiences.

You can "subjectify" a "measurement." Shine a 700 A light in a girl's eye, she'll see red, change the measure or value to 550 A and she'll see blue. And there are countless other examples. Bite your finger softly, you'll get one 1st person experience; bite it harder, you'll get another.

So really, the sentence constructed by Jan in this way makes little or no sense, it's sloppy, or is incorrect.

So the brain dies. In this case, what are we talking about here? What is Jan talking about here? In the event of brain death, is she saying memories (experience) will continue, or drives or feeling of attraction or repulsion (like hunger or thirst or lust or homo or hetero sexual lust; also experiences) will continue? Or may? What could possibly be a medium for any of this? and would it make any sense at all?

What usefulness would homosexual or heterosexual drive be to an immaterial soul? Memories are clearly formed and recalled by brain mechanics. What usefulness or quality of life or meaning would any (extracorporeal) soul or consciousness stripped of thought, drive, memory have to any of us?

More Jan,
...a way of talking about personal spiritual experiences with out all the religious and tradition bound baggage.

So clearly it's all about religions of old and the baggage they bring with them. They make a mess of it, and only lack of clear thinking (think Blu regarding physics and evo) give these ideas currency.

Noteworthy is the point that Jan seems to get the value, logic, reasons of deferring to anthropologists, evolutionists, geneticists when it comes to a better understanding or a consensus model regarding the deep-time history of Man; but when it comes to same (i.e., better understanding or a consensus model for agreement, policy-making, etc.) regarding mind-brain relations Jan is (astonishingly) loathe, reluctant, disinclined to defer to the brain science people (neurologists, psychologists, neurobiologists), their reasoning, their expertise or to accept their findings.

Really it's clownish that a conversation like this is even being conducted by college graduates with science degrees.


re: the Hard Problem

Granted, there is the so-called Hard Problem of Consciousness familiar to anyone who's studied the subjects. It may be solved at some point in the future - who knows, perhaps as far away as 200 years. Or owing to our finite intelligence as anthropes perhaps it won't ever be solved. But most experts (those who actually study mind-brain relations) are pretty convinced the 80,000,000,000 neurons of the brain and their ten trillion connections across 500-plus different neuron cell types - all obedient to physics and chemistry and cellular mechanics - are exclusive to the "experience." No brain, no mind. Experience (mind) is what brain does as the body's control system in a dynamic natural environment.


Experience with EEGs and feedback via EEGs hardly makes for mind-brain expertise.

PSS Sorry for the edit, won't post from a smartphone in this way again, the cut and paste feature sucks.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 07:09pm PT
Ok Ok .... but you can't Wu Wu it.

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 24, 2014 - 07:10pm PT

Also remember, so long as you are operating from a narrow focused, discursive pov, you will get that perspective and you will be right - from that perspective. I've tried to show that other perspectives offer other data.

The way people talk you'de think you were trying to steal their puppy

Apr 24, 2014 - 07:21pm PT
You know, for fun I googled 'open system' and found a total of...wait for it...one definition. This single definition is applied to several fields, but there's only one.

Hardly the touchstone for any philosophical star voyage, really.

It is one that's a prerequisite for differentiating disparate fundamental processes, like the evolution of biology and proto-biology and the development of the pre-biological universe, however.

Fun fact: an open system has a boundary though which inputs and outputs pass. Your body is such an open system, but technically, it's a very baroque tube, bounded by skin and gut lining. The contents of your gut, therefore, are actually outside your body, technically speaking.

If anyone ever tells you you're full of sh#t, just sit back and smile.

You're not. You can't be.

PSP also PP

Trad climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 07:32pm PT
(Politics had an impact on survival but politics was a crapshoot. It remains a crapshoot to this day. That will change only after we have gained an understanding of the brain.)

By having a scientific understanding of how the brain works you are going to solve corrupt politics. Can I sell you a bridge?

This whole scientist measuring sentience (I am going to define sentience as our experience in the moment, but to be honest with you I don't know if that is what people mean when they talk about sentience)issue reminds me of the kinesologist's putting taped X's on all the joints of gymnasts and filming them in ultra slow motion so they can "really " understand the gymnast's movement. The kinesologist probably does "understand" the movement better than the gymnast but the gymnast has the experience. They have very little if nothing in common.

JL is talking about experiencing sentience not quantifying it. The big question is do you want to study climbing or do you want to climb; neither is superior to the other because they are completely different things.

Meditation is a good tool to experience sentience. It is ofen very difficult in the beginning especially if you are doing like a quantifier because we all (I know the royal we) have strong conditioned ideas about who we are and who everybody else is. Eventually the meditiation can help the conditioning to soften and the view will open.

We have figured out the mind in our laboratory so we are going to fix you politicians! That is really funny.

Boulder climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 07:40pm PT

Meditation and the Paranormal: Is the former a gateway to the latter?

PSP also PP

Trad climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 07:44pm PT
What is paranormal?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 07:46pm PT
Due to their assorted fears and fueled by lack of science expertise, it's pretty clear the woo jockies won't ever be convinced of the mind-brain system till mind can be built up from discrete neurons.

Just as blu won't be convinced evolution is real and true till a chimp can be morphed into a human in a giant test tube in front of him.
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 07:52pm PT
I don't think this is a clownish conversation. Without question and discussion where are we?

I would be amazed if a chimp could turn into a human. Humans and chimps share a common ancestor. Humans did not evolve from chimpanzees.


Trad climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 08:17pm PT
Tvash: You know, for fun I googled 'open system' and found a total of...wait for it...one definition.

You're not reading much are you? The devil is in the details. Please note that there are categories for different disciplines. There is more than one theory, and there is more than one set of conditions, and there is more than one domain or context, and there is more than one set of salient variables.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 08:18pm PT
Your Cimbing do not include any objective observation, as far as I can tell. Perhaps that is why you regularly become upset with science types. Your theory does not have any evidence. If it does, please list it in a simple paragraph.

Trad climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 08:18pm PT
Base: Your endeavors do not include any objective observation.

Geez, you don't read very well either, do you?

Apr 24, 2014 - 08:27pm PT
There is one definition of 'open system', and various instances of that basic definition to describe various systems. Inside boundary outside. Inputs, outputs.

Not hard - if you grok the concept of instantiation.

If not, thas coo. Not your field, perhaps.

Trad climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 08:29pm PT
Ward: Where does sentience reside?

GOOD question. Cognitive science has been working on that for decades, and they can't decide for sure. Is it in the brain, is it in the brain and body, is it in the body, or is it in the brain, body, and environment.

See: http://l3d.cs.colorado.edu/~ctg/classes/cogsci12/rdg/Wilson_Embodied_Cog.pdf


Google it.

HFCS: You can "objectify" a person's subjective experience many ways.

Sure you can. Good lord. The point is that you shouldn't. You have no basis for it, except that of a materialist, and by its very nature, subjectivity resists objective measurement. I can understand that you don't understand that.

You're the one who's sloppy.

All narratives mean to express something. But none of them (yea, even science) expresses everything. You may argue that there are "better" understandings than others, but that may be like saying that English is better than French.

Apr 24, 2014 - 08:32pm PT
And since we are mechanistic and determined, the thinking goes (JL)

And Mh2, mechanistic, determined beliefs are not the sole property of strawmen. Ask Fruity about determinism, and mechanistic perspectives. (JL)

I have not seen anyone on this thread except JL use this language, which seems to go back to an idea of a clockwork universe that Newton's laws of motion suggested. Not HFCS, not Tvash, not cintune, not BLUEBLOCR, not Jan, not jstan, not jgill, not Ward Trotter, etc., etc.

Only JL has resurrected mechanistic determinism, long after science let go of it, in an apparent ongoing attempt to associate discredited ideas with posters he disagrees with.

The argument that science views human beings as mechanisms whose behavior is determined by known rules is a straw man.

The mystery is that JL does not need to use such tactics. He is a great writer with interesting things to say about the human condition.

When he misrepresents other posters' views he weakens his own credibility.


Trad climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 08:34pm PT
Tvash: There is one definition of 'open system', and various instances of that basic definition to describe various systems. Inside boundary outside. Inputs, outputs.

Most concepts imported to another domain don't work properly. Again, the devil is in the details. That's much of what science is. I think I made that point above fully. It's the problem of incommensurability. The content of science is different in each and every field. If there were concepts that applied willy nilly to each and every domain, then we would not have departments where I work.

Science is at its core a language game.

Apr 24, 2014 - 08:37pm PT
Where does sentience reside?

Within the heart, it is the soul

Without the soul there is no sentience.

Without sentience there is only lifeless matter ......

Life comes from life.

Trad climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 08:39pm PT
Base: Sometimes this is the most difficult part of proving a theory.

I yield to this statement.

There is no reason to call foul. All I'm asking for is that people respect proper boundaries. If one doesn't know, then there is no wrong or shame in saying that one doesn't know. All the rest is open to conversation.

But, I for one, don't know. I don't know much at all. I don't think others do either. Most everything that people think they know, they know second hand or hearsay. So very few people here have ever conducted a research study from start to finish. If they did, and if they were honest, they'd admit that they REALLY don't know. But that's ok.

Gotta teach the grads.

Apr 24, 2014 - 08:40pm PT
I can attest to the phenomenon of enlightened masters projecting different energy(ies) that ordinary people and being able to turn them off and on at will. It feels like a physical phenomenon but there is no known scientific explanation. In fact, most scientists will say, if we didn't measure it, it didn't happen. (Jan)

If you felt it, you measured it. Numbers are not necessary.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Apr 24, 2014 - 08:44pm PT
Not HFCS, not Tvash...



I'm out of here.

Love to all! :)
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