What is "Mind?"

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paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Nov 10, 2017 - 01:43pm PT
c) In cosmological terms the achievements of life are insignificant - one can easily suspect the wondrous achievements of billions of advanced cultures have been rendered so much dust and they are in fact meaningless to you as you know nothing of them.


Really? And why are they meaningless? Because they're not of an eternal nature. It's you not me that hangs on to the validation of eternity which is plain nonsense.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 10, 2017 - 01:44pm PT
There is something going on here and to explain such a phenomenon away as simply a product of fear lacks all insight and understanding of the issue.

Fear is the only thing going on here other than a hope something ultimate can protect us from the patently unjust vagaries of life.

It's you not me that hangs on to the validation of eternity.

Eternal is what it is, I associate no value of any kind with it beyond acknowledging its reality from our human perspective. And what would longevity have to do with meaning? Does meaning exist without a consciousness to appreciate it? Do you somehow recognize the meaning and significance of the cultural achievements of the society of a planet obliterated by a supernova three billion years ago? Does anybody?
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Nov 10, 2017 - 02:26pm PT
Eternal is what it is, I associate no value of any kind with it beyond acknowledging its reality from our human perspective. And what would longevity have to do with meaning? Does meaning exist without a consciousness to appreciate it? Do you somehow recognize the meaning and significance of the cultural achievements of the society of a planet obliterated by a supernova three billion years ago? Does anybody?

Your whole validation of meaning is predicated on an eternal nature: for you the reason life has no meaning is because it all ends. This is a vestige of Christianity which is predicated and validated on the notion of the eternal. Here's a scoop you don't need eternity to find meaning, the end doesn't mean jack. It's the moment here and now that is eternal in and of itself.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 10, 2017 - 02:39pm PT
You are entirely mistaken, a moment or an eternity, duration and ending are irrelevant to meaning. Someone being around to create, find or appreciate meaning is - no someone; no meaning.

We do, however, agree meaning is here and now in the moment, but nothing is more ephemeral than a moment, person, species or planet come and gone.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Nov 10, 2017 - 03:05pm PT
1.Do you somehow recognize the meaning and significance of the cultural achievements of the society of a planet obliterated by a supernova three billion years ago? Does anybody?

2. You are entirely mistaken, duration and ending are entirely irrelevant to meaning. Someone being around to create, find or appreciate meaning is - no someone; no meaning.

Do you see the contradiction i n these two statements?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 10, 2017 - 03:07pm PT
None whatsoever; they are entirely consistent.
WBraun

climber
Nov 10, 2017 - 04:03pm PT

bwahahahaha ....
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 10, 2017 - 04:58pm PT

There is growing evidence that paul roehl and healyje have outsourced their ST posts.


https://www.wired.com/2016/03/google-inbox-auto-answers-emails/
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Nov 10, 2017 - 04:58pm PT
You can suspect anything you want but nevertheless the implication of a continuum of intelligence is a supreme intelligence


You have successfully reconciled with the Divine.
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Brooklyn, NY
Nov 10, 2017 - 06:56pm PT
healyje
You are entirely mistaken, a moment or an eternity, duration and ending are irrelevant to meaning.

My toaster said something similar to me a few weeks ago!

I asked my toaster if it really believed that a human concept of mortality and a human's relationship to mortality was irrelevant to meaning? It seems that no matter how you slice it a moment, eternity, duration, and ending are going to impact, influence, and determine meaning.



Marcel Duchamp's epitaph: "D'ailleurs, c'est toujours les autres qui meurent" ("Besides, it's always the others who die").
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Brooklyn, NY
Nov 10, 2017 - 07:00pm PT
yanqui,
What was gravity before Newton defined it? Perhaps it didn't exist?

Of course gravity had no existence prior to Newton. Newton invented it. It's a theory.


drF

Trad climber
usa
Nov 10, 2017 - 07:09pm PT
There is growing evidence that paul roehl and healyje have outsourced their ST posts.

hJoe at the very least....

Solid observation
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Nov 10, 2017 - 07:21pm PT
we are but a product of accidents within the structure of evolutionary processes

What's most interesting to me is reason based hypothesis (as opposed to mythology) that suggest there is more to it than that.

Evolution has been at work on billions of planets for billions of years. Was it an accident that there is highly intelligent life or was it inevitability?

There are many examples of evolutionary convergence in which different organisms arrive at the same function through different evolutionary pathways. Perhaps on many planets there is a niche for highly intelligent life.

Sure there were MANY happy "accidents" (for us anyway) that led to homo sapiens being the highly intelligent species on Earth, but that doesn't mean something else couldn't have been the intelligent life here. Maybe if the chicxulub meteor didn't hit there would be an intelligent dinosaur species here instead. All it would take is a few population bottlenecks where the individuals that made it through had high intelligence.

So mind may be common in the universe, and perhaps there is a universal aspect of intelligence and awareness we don't understand yet.

P.S. meaning is a sticky topic to contemplate, too subjective; I think purpose is an easier one to tackle.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 11, 2017 - 06:29am PT
Evolution has been at work on billions of planets for billions of years. Was it an accident that there is highly intelligent life or was it inevitability?

check the link in this post:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2660470&msg=2748443#msg2748443
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Nov 11, 2017 - 07:38am PT
Of course gravity had no existence prior to Newton. Newton invented it. It's a theory.

Do you think objects plummeted to the earth any differently when "gravity" didn't exist?
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 11, 2017 - 08:56am PT
We might get an answer to that by going back to the notebooks of Galileo Gallilei when he looked at how long it took balls of different size and mass to roll down inclined planes. We could go back to Simon Stevin or Lucretius, too. We better avoid Aristotle because when someone invented the word 'gravity' it may have caused his observations to go wonky.

Time works in mysterious ways.
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Brooklyn, NY
Nov 11, 2017 - 10:19am PT

Of course gravity had no existence prior to Newton. Newton invented it. It's a theory.

yanqui wrote:
Do you think objects plummeted to the earth any differently when "gravity" didn't exist?


An interesting reply by Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

After a while he says, "Do you believe in ghosts?"
"No," I say
"Why not?"
"Because they are un-sci-en-ti-fic."
The way I say this makes John smile. "They contain no matter," I continue, "and have no energy and therefore, according to the laws of science, do not exist except in people's minds."
The whiskey, the fatigue and the wind in the trees start mixing in my mind. "Of course," I add, "the laws of science contain no matter and have no energy either and therefore do not exist except in people's minds. It's best to be completely scientific about the whole thing and refuse to believe in either ghosts or the laws of science. That way you're safe. That doesn't leave you very much to believe in, but that's scientific too."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Chris says.
"I'm being kind of facetious."
Chris gets frustrated when I talk like this, but I don't think it hurts him.
"One of the kids at YMCA camp says he believes in ghosts."
"He was just spoofing you."
"No, he wasn't. He said that when people haven't been buried right, their ghosts come back to haunt people. He really believes in that."
"He was just spoofing you," I repeat.
"What's his name?" Sylvia says.
"Tom White Bear."
John and I exchange looks, suddenly recognizing the same thing.
"Ohhh, Indian!" he says.
I laugh. "I guess I'm going to have to take that back a little," I say. "I was thinking of European ghosts."
"What's the difference?"
John roars with laughter. "He's got you," he says.
I think a little and say, "Well, Indians sometimes have a different way of looking at things, which I'm not saying is completely wrong. Science isn't part of the Indian tradition."
"Tom White Bear said his mother and dad told him not to believe all that stuff. But he said his grandmother whispered it was true anyway, so he believes it."
He looks at me pleadingly. He really does want to know things sometimes. Being facetious is not being a very good father. "Sure," I say, reversing myself, "I believe in ghosts too."
Now John and Sylvia look at me peculiarly. I see I'm not going to get out of this one easily and brace myself for a long explanation.
"It's completely natural," I say, "to think of Europeans who believed in ghosts or Indians who believed in ghosts as ignorant. The scientific point of view has wiped out every other view to a point where they all seem primitive, so that if a person today talks about ghosts or spirits he is considered ignorant or maybe nutty. It's just all but completely impossible to imagine a world where ghosts can actually exist."
John nods affirmatively and I continue.
"My own opinion is that the intellect of modern man isn't that superior. IQs aren't that much different. Those Indians and medieval men were just as intelligent as we are, but the context in which they thought was completely different. Within that context of thought, ghosts and spirits are quite as real as atoms, particles, photons and quants are to a modern man. In that sense I believe in ghosts. Modern man has his ghosts and spirits too, you know."
"What?"
"Oh, the laws of physics and of logic -- the number system -- the principle of algebraic substitution. These are ghosts. We just believe in them so thoroughly they seem real.
"They seem real to me," John says.
"I don't get it," says Chris.
So I go on. "For example, it seems completely natural to presume that gravitation and the law of gravitation existed before Isaac Newton. It would sound nutty to think that until the seventeenth century there was no gravity."
"Of course."
"So when did this law start? Has it always existed?"
John is frowning, wondering what I am getting at.
"What I'm driving at," I say, "is the notion that before the beginning of the earth, before the sun and the stars were formed, before the primal generation of anything, the law of gravity existed."
"Sure."
"Sitting there, having no mass of its own, no energy of its own, not in anyone's mind because there wasn't anyone, not in space because there was no space either, not anywhere...this law of gravity still existed?"
Now John seems not so sure.
"If that law of gravity existed," I say, "I honestly don't know what a thing has to do to be nonexistent. It seems to me that law of gravity has passed every test of nonexistence there is. You cannot think of a single attribute of nonexistence that that law of gravity didn't have. Or a single scientific attribute of existence it did have. And yet it is still `common sense' to believe that it existed."
John says, "I guess I'd have to think about it."
"Well, I predict that if you think about it long enough you will find yourself going round and round and round and round until you finally reach only one possible, rational, intelligent conclusion. The law of gravity and gravity itself did not exist before Isaac Newton. No other conclusion makes sense.
"And what that means," I say before he can interrupt, "and what that means is that that law of gravity exists nowhere except in people's heads! It's a ghost! We are all of us very arrogant and conceited about running down other people's ghosts but just as ignorant and barbaric and superstitious about our own."
"Why does everybody believe in the law of gravity then?"
"Mass hypnosis. In a very orthodox form known as `education."'
"You mean the teacher is hypnotizing the kids into believing the law of gravity?"
"Sure."
"That's absurd."
"You've heard of the importance of eye contact in the classroom? Every educationist emphasizes it. No educationist explains it."
John shakes his head and pours me another drink. He puts his hand over his mouth and in a mock aside says to Sylvia, "You know, most of the time he seems like such a normal guy."
I counter, "That's the first normal thing I've said in weeks. The rest of the time I'm feigning twentieth-
century lunacy just like you are. So as not to draw attention to myself.
"But I'll repeat it for you," I say. "We believe the disembodied words of Sir Isaac Newton were sitting in the middle of nowhere billions of years before he was born and that magically he discovered these words. They were always there, even when they applied to nothing. Gradually the world came into being and then they applied to it. In fact, those words themselves were what formed the world. That, John, is ridiculous.
"The problem, the contradiction the scientists are stuck with, is that of mind. Mind has no matter or energy but they can't escape its predominance over everything they do. Logic exists in the mind. Numbers exist only in the mind. I don't get upset when scientists say that ghosts exist in the mind. It's that only that gets me. Science is only in your mind too, it's just that that doesn't make it bad. Or ghosts either."
They are just looking at me so I continue: "Laws of nature are human inventions, like ghosts. Laws of logic, of mathematics are also human inventions, like ghosts. The whole blessed thing is a human invention, including the idea that it isn't a human invention. The world has no existence whatsoever outside the human imagination. It's all a ghost, and in antiquity was so recognized as a ghost, the whole blessed world we live in. It's run by ghosts. We see what we see because these ghosts show it to us, ghosts of Moses and Christ and the Buddha, and Plato, and Descartes, and Rousseau and Jefferson and Lincoln, on and on and on. Isaac Newton is a very good ghost. One of the best. Your common sense is nothing more than the voices of thousands and thousands of these ghosts from the past. Ghosts and more ghosts. Ghosts trying to find their place among the living."
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 11, 2017 - 12:24pm PT
A bit of truth in the above.


"I'm being kind of facetious."
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 11, 2017 - 12:43pm PT



What is daydreaming?


http://www.cbc.ca/radio/popup/audio/listen.html?autoPlay=true&mediaIds=1093375043898
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Nov 11, 2017 - 08:52pm PT
MH2: When we talk about consciousness we are not talking about science.†

Oh. But the way we are talking and presenting counterpoints sounds like we are attempting to talk about science and mind, somewhat scientifically, analytically, logically, rationally. (I guess Iím confused.)

Itís lucidly clear to me that whatever thing Iím talking about or experiencing is simply consciousness at work. I donít mean that itís a result of consciousness. I mean it IS consciousness.

Itís the one thing that one knows without a doubt: ďI am.Ē The rest? Pfffttttttt.

. . . "we are but a product of accidents within the structure of evolutionary processes and no more than a temporary byproduct of that process . . . .

This, too, is what consciousness apparently looks like or how it can present itself. It can present itself as anything.

Do you think objects plummeted to the earth any differently when "gravity" didn't exist?

More theory. Theories, speculative explanations, models, abstractions, partialities, bracketing, etc.

How can any one thing exists on its own, by itself, analytically?

Gravity is just a label for something people donít fully understand.
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