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Consciousness


LNC
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I'll answer you before I read AMs reply and get confused.

 

I was being sarcastic. All being begins with matter and/or energy. I am not being strictly reductionist here, but rather saying that all matter is ultimately made of atoms and their related particles and forces (including photons).

 

No matter? No being.

 

No Being? No matter.

 

Oh, you caught me in one of my serious moments. :grin: Right. All this strict reductionism vs. holism talk doesn't seem to really stick with me. I think the disagreement is just talking past each other. It must be because the subject is so difficult to grasp and explain in words. Reductionism will always be a part of the explanation, even if great minds figure out how the organization of matter meshes with consciousness.

And, ahem..., the "organization of matter" is a reductionist concept.

 

Otherwise, we're just talking about black boxes.

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All being begins with matter and/or energy. I am not being strictly reductionist here

:lmao:

 

That's sounds like saying, "I am not protesting!!" That is the definition of reductionism. "Everything begins with matter".

 

but rather saying that all matter is ultimately made of atoms and their related particles and forces (including photons).

 

No matter? No being.

 

No Being? No matter.

Define "Being". Matter? Physical existence? Or more? I'll vote for more.

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What is this internal world really? Let's place it on the table like we'd ask a Christian to do with God, or a soul, or an angel...

Let's not, because the tools of examination are about looking at objective reality, not subjective reality.

 

I have always said the surest way to kill God is to place him on the table for examination. I've said that for many years. And why? Because it is plain ignorance that equates symbolic representations of that internal space as literal, factual, empirical data to be tested, probed, and scrutinized for material legitimacy. Wrong tools. Wrong language. Wrong worldspace.

 

But if you have to have a bone, examine culture.

 

What is it made out of?

Thought. Emotion. Ideals. Dreams. Hopes. Faith. Vision. Desire. Aspiration. Love. Respect. Disgust. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

 

All those messy intangible, touchy feeling, subjective, things that make us human. The stuff that doesn't offer hard, cold, unmistakable, fact, proof, evidence, Truth, Authority for Objective reality, etc. The human side of things.... :)

 

Maybe it is not made of anything, maybe its some sort of amorphous nothing that nevertheless contains all the information needed to make matter do all the stuff it does.

Kind of like saying the material world isn't real, that it's all an illusion. Sophism upside down. Like that...

 

When something is actually unfolded, say a human, what does one find? More stuff that's what one finds -- chemicals, electrons... and interactions. Where is the human?

Nowhere. There is no human, fellow robot.

 

Except for complexity, a human is very like a brick wall. Take away enough bricks and there is no wall left, and more importantly to this discussion there is no wallishness left. There is no interior where the mystery of wallishness dwells, nor is there any interior where the mystery of humanness dwells. The interior is the world of stuff -- that is what is in there.

Well... we are in complete disagreement. I'm not a Solipsist, spiritually or materially for that matter.

 

But you could easily prove me wrong. Just put some of this interior fabric on the table. :wicked:

You won't see it if you expect it to be something you can approach like you would studying the composition of a rock. You'll end up here, where you are. Concluding being human isn't real.

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But you could easily prove me wrong. Just put some of this interior fabric on the table. :wicked:

You won't see it if you expect it to be something you can approach like you would studying the composition of a rock. You'll end up here.

I think the chef can tell the difference between a tree and a rock, and between a monkey and a tree. Telling the difference is part of understanding.

 

Organization of matter.

 

It's intangible? If emotions are the mental states that result from brain chemistry, does that mean they aren't emotions? If we attach electrodes to certain parts of the brain and stimulate it with electricity producing certain emotional states, does that mean they aren't emotions? If we inject drugs that stimulate parts of the brain chemically and induce certain emotional states, does that mean they aren't emotions?

 

Emotions are the result of chemical processes acting on an already conscious brain.

 

So let's get back to consciousness.

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But you could easily prove me wrong. Just put some of this interior fabric on the table. :wicked:

You won't see it if you expect it to be something you can approach like you would studying the composition of a rock. You'll end up here.

I think the chef can tell the difference between a tree and a rock, and between a monkey and a tree. Telling the difference is part of understanding.

 

Organization of matter.

 

It's intangible? If emotions are the mental states that result from brain chemistry, does that mean they aren't emotions? If we attach electrodes to certain parts of the brain and stimulate it with electricity producing certain emotional states, does that mean they aren't emotions? If we inject drugs that stimulate parts of the brain chemically and induce certain emotional states, does that mean they aren't emotions?

 

Emotions are the result of chemical processes acting on an already conscious brain.

 

So let's get back to consciousness.

But he is saying they are not *real* in essence. They are not *reality*. I say they most definitely are. And that they are not 100 percent determined by the machine. It is not one or the other, but both. We are both in the real, exterior world of flesh, and chemicals, etc. And, in the interior world of thoughts, and hopes, and dreams, etc. Each side directly affecting each other. It is not the machine only creating that interior space, and have full power and control over what it defines, and as such defines *real reality*. That I reject.

 

It is the whole person, both the "spirit" (for an all inclusive word of internal reality of being), and the external physical machine that interacts, not only as the whole individual, both with other whole individuals, who interact and influence our whole individual. That reductionism that guts the human being, such as what Chef advocates, I reject. I equate it with Solipsism.

 

Does this tie to consciousness? You bet it does.

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But you could easily prove me wrong. Just put some of this interior fabric on the table. :wicked:

You won't see it if you expect it to be something you can approach like you would studying the composition of a rock. You'll end up here.

I think the chef can tell the difference between a tree and a rock, and between a monkey and a tree. Telling the difference is part of understanding.

 

Organization of matter.

 

It's intangible? If emotions are the mental states that result from brain chemistry, does that mean they aren't emotions? If we attach electrodes to certain parts of the brain and stimulate it with electricity producing certain emotional states, does that mean they aren't emotions? If we inject drugs that stimulate parts of the brain chemically and induce certain emotional states, does that mean they aren't emotions?

 

Emotions are the result of chemical processes acting on an already conscious brain.

 

So let's get back to consciousness.

But he is saying they are not *real* in essence. They are not *reality*. I say they most definitely are. And that they are not 100 percent determined by the machine. It is not one or the other, but both. We are both in the real, exterior world of flesh, and chemicals, etc. And, in the interior world of thoughts, and hopes, and dreams, etc. Each side directly affecting each other. It is not the machine only creating that interior space, and have full power and control over what it defines, and as such defines *real reality*. That I reject.

 

It is the whole person, both the "spirit" (for an all inclusive word of internal reality of being), and the external physical machine that interacts, not only as the whole individual, both with other whole individuals, who interact and influence our whole individual. That reductionism that guts the human being, such as what Chef advocates, I reject. I equate it with Sophism.

 

Does this tie to consciousness? You bet it does.

I assume you are familiar with split brain experiments, so I won't describe them, but the essence of the experiments is that a divided brain is two conscious beings. Two "interior worlds."

 

I have already described emotional states induced by physical stimuli, and whether the stimuli are the usual ones or something "unnatural" the emotional state is the same.

 

How many divisions can one make and still have a conscious brain? What parts of the brain are necessary for an emotional state (or, for that matter, a conscious state)?

 

Pardon me while I give my archipallium a shot of courage while my limbic system mourns your lack of interest in the anatomic and physiologic details of human thought and my neocortex tries to find a way to persuade you that there is a continuum between the tiniest of substances and the grandest of thoughts.

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Pardon me while I give my archipallium a shot of courage while my limbic system mourns your lack of interest in the anatomic and physiologic details of human thought and my neocortex tries to find a way to persuade you that there is a continuum between the tiniest of substances and the grandest of thoughts.

And none of this describes the essence of Being, let alone becoming.

 

BTW, I am familiar with the physical ties to personality, and emotion, states of wakefulness, etc. I know full well from personal experience how brain trauma can 'remove' the person, or can change their personality into something else. I don't deny this, and I find it fascinating, and frightening in many regards, to see someone who was an intelligent medical school graduate, a personable and warm person, become an infant in a man's body playing touch-hands on the best of his days. My argument is not centered around these things, personality, emotions, cognitive processes, etc. That human laying in that bed was in fact a conscious being with brain damage. A tape worm is also a conscious being. But it has no brain at all.

 

Everything you say is consistent with the perception that essence of being is 100% dependent and determined by the physical. I don't see any way to see that other than flip-side solipsism: only the material world is real.

 

Reductionism is a valuable tool to understanding the physical world. But to reduce all of life to the physical world is not a scientific conclusion. It is as comparable to evaluating reality as taking mythological symbols expressing that inner, spiritually driven thought and concluding the material world to equal those. It is replacing mythological symbols for scientific ones to evaluate the whole of being and reality. It is in fact, science as myth, symbols of a faith.

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Evolution discovered a certain measure of self awareness was useful for survival in this species. I say a certain measure because we are not completely self aware even when the feeling of awareness seems complete. Since I can't directly grok what my brain is doing to produce "I am" it seems that this "I am" is something in addition to or other than a brain state. "I am" is an illusion something like a hologram that looks like a graspable object, but is not actually available to the hand that reaches for it. Like a hologram needs a projector a self needs a brain. All you have to do to disprove this is produce a self that doesn't have some sort of apparatus associated with it. This shouldn't be any more difficult then producing a hologram without a projector.

Our brains are kind of scary, they do things without us knowing. Apparently your brain can unconsciously decide on a course of action and begin preparations for carrying out that action before the conscious mind makes the decision to execute that action. In a way the conscious mind is rationalizing something that the unconscious mind has already decided upon. We only think that we're in charge of our bodies.

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Evolution discovered a certain measure of self awareness was useful for survival in this species. I say a certain measure because we are not completely self aware even when the feeling of awareness seems complete. Since I can't directly grok what my brain is doing to produce "I am" it seems that this "I am" is something in addition to or other than a brain state. "I am" is an illusion something like a hologram that looks like a graspable object, but is not actually available to the hand that reaches for it. Like a hologram needs a projector a self needs a brain. All you have to do to disprove this is produce a self that doesn't have some sort of apparatus associated with it. This shouldn't be any more difficult then producing a hologram without a projector.

Our brains are kind of scary, they do things without us knowing. Apparently your brain can unconsciously decide on a course of action and begin preparations for carrying out that action before the conscious mind makes the decision to execute that action. In a way the conscious mind is rationalizing something that the unconscious mind has already decided upon. We only think that we're in charge of our bodies.

Very perceptive, and very well said.

 

And scary.

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A monk, asking for instruction, said to Bodhidharma: "I have no peace of mind. Please pacify my mind."

"Bring your mind here before me," replied Bodhidharma, "and I will pacify it!"

"But when I seek my own mind," said the monk, "I cannot find it."

"There!" snapped Bodhidharma, "I have pacified your mind!"

 

When I seek my own "I", I cannot find it.

 

Without giving it much thought people classify self as an object of some sort: Here am I in the same manner as here is a stone. When some thought is given to it "I" is a bit more illusive than that. If asked who you are the answer is a story or a description -- or better a descriptive story. If I asked you to hand your "I" to me so that I can examine it for what ever reason, you could not do it.

 

When I examine my own "I" I find that usually, that is for a rather large period of the day, I am not here. That is most of the time I do not reference my self. For example in typing this most of what is in consciousness is not "I". Most of what is in consciousness is this thought and how to get it on the screen so that it makes some sense. I only seem to get "I" out when I need it for self reference as in I'll go to the store or, I don't feel good.

 

On one hand the "I" is an abstraction, a symbol that stands for something else: a story, a set of tastes, a bundle of hope, a thing that is thirsty, a set of fears, some sort of talent, a pile of failings, a certain degree of wttiness, some other degree of absentmindedness, and so on and so forth. On the other hand the "I" is an object denoting a certain set of trillions of cells acting in concert to be a human. But "I" doesn't seem to be a thing in and of itself.

 

From a physical point of view it seems obvious that "I" is a recursive reference of a set of cells doing certain processes. The self reference is designed to accomplish an number of tasks related to the whole of the cell collective, but one thing it is not designed for is to know directly what it is made of. On a very much more complicated level the "I" is designed to "know" things like a thermostat "knows" the temperature. That is it is not necessary for the thermostat to know what it is made of or how it knows that the temperature is what it is supposed to be in order to know that the temperature is what is suppose to be.

 

A collective of cells can know things without knowing how it knows. One of the things that a collective of cells can know is itself. This knowledge of self is as a collective whole and not as individual parts. This knowledge of "I" is a zoomed out version of what is really going one like viewing a photo on a screen. You can zoom in on the photo and see that it is a collection of pixels arranged in a certain pattern or you can view it as the whole scene. The self is roughly analogous to this except that there is no zoom function built into it. I cannot see exactly what I am -- like my eye cannot see itself. That is I am not designed with the capacity to see what my "I" is.

 

But I can use a mirror so that my eye can see it's reflection. That is I can use a tool to circumvent a design limitation. Like this humans are beginning to develop a tool, cognitive science to circumvent the design limitations and zoom in on what is going on in there.

 

Interesting take. I think your model suffers from a few weaknesses.

 

1. You don't explain how this system can operate such that a bunch of disassociated cells can create this collective "I". What is the mechanism for that to happen both evolutionarily and presently? The brain cannot effectively serve that role as it too is a set of disassociated (meaning that there is nothing transcendent that brings them together as the "I") cells.

2. To know means to have justified true belief, which leaves you needing to explain how you achieve knowledge given your model. Again, I don't see that you have grounds to achieve knowledge. You can acquire information, however, I see no basis for that information becoming knowledge. The thermostat is a good example. It receives information (temperature input) and changes its state (from on to off or vice versa); however, it never believes anything about its input or its state. It is just a mechanism. Neither does a computer ever believe anything about the information it receives or the information that it spits out. It simply works according to its programming and does not reflect on its state. The question is how that "leap" is made from being a mechanism to being a self-reflecting entity. Can you explain?

3. Your mirror illustration is interesting, but it has shortcomings as well. First, you only see the reflection of your eye, you still never see your eye. Second, just because you can see your eye with a mirror, it does not necessarily follow that cognitive science will be able to explain consciousness or the mind. That also doesn't mean that it won't, but it is not necessarily follow that we will one day zoom in on these answers through science.

 

LNC

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1. You don't explain how this system can operate such that a bunch of disassociated cells can create this collective "I". What is the mechanism for that to happen both evolutionarily and presently? The brain cannot effectively serve that role as it too is a set of disassociated (meaning that there is nothing transcendent that brings them together as the "I") cells.

Not directed to me, but I'll respond. The brain becomes conscious because it is complex enough to both acquire and integrate large amounts of information. Disassociated cells cannot become conscious, but network enough cells and they have the capacity to.

 

2. To know means to have justified true belief, which leaves you needing to explain how you achieve knowledge given your model. Again, I don't see that you have grounds to achieve knowledge. You can acquire information, however, I see no basis for that information becoming knowledge. The thermostat is a good example. It receives information (temperature input) and changes its state (from on to off or vice versa); however, it never believes anything about its input or its state. It is just a mechanism. Neither does a computer ever believe anything about the information it receives or the information that it spits out. It simply works according to its programming and does not reflect on its state. The question is how that "leap" is made from being a mechanism to being a self-reflecting entity. Can you explain?

Our brains are much more complicated than a thermostat. I would disagree that organisms made a leap from unconscious to fully conscious. Bacteria, protists, tapeworms, starfish--these things are not conscious. But is a fish conscious? Maybe a little? How about a snake? How about a bird? African gray parrots have language abilities similar to human toddlers, are very social animals, and appear to experience emotions in a similar way to human toddlers! I would argue that many parrots have a good deal of consciousness, although not able to reason at the same level as humans. How about dogs and cats? These animals too give a good impression of possessing some level of consciousness. How about chimpanzees? In many ways chimpanzees are very like humans. We can run the same experiments with human babies and with chimpanzees and frequently get similar results that show that chimpanzees and human babies think similarly in many ways. Consciousness is not a on-off toggle, it's a gradient runnning from organisms that are not conscious to those that have slight consciousness, then greater consciousness, and animals that are almost human-like in their emotional and reasoning abilities. If a chimpanzee is not conscious, I can point to many humans whose brains have been damaged through accident or developmental mishaps, and you would have to deny that they are conscious as well.

 

Here's a good paper on consciousness that can be read open access by anyone.

 

Edit: The implication of this is that if we build a complex enough computer with sufficient integration of its components, it will be able to achieve sentience. And then Skynet will destroy the human race. :o

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Thanks for the link, Petrel. Don't worry, the Govenator will subdue Skynet!

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Let's not, because the tools of examination are about looking at objective reality, not subjective reality.

 

I have always said the surest way to kill God is to place him on the table for examination. I've said that for many years. And why? Because it is plain ignorance that equates symbolic representations of that internal space as literal, factual, empirical data to be tested, probed, and scrutinized for material legitimacy. Wrong tools. Wrong language. Wrong worldspace.

 

:twitch: Wrong world space????? I only know of one world space. Wrong language??? Sorry I only know English.

 

Subjective reality requires a subject, and the subject requires -- is contingent on -- matter. Subjective reality is not the foundation for objective reality. Objective reality is the foundation of subjective reality i.e. with out matter and it's interactions you don't have "Thought. Emotion. Ideals. Dreams. Hopes. Faith. Vision. Desire. Aspiration. Love. Respect. Disgust. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc."

 

If this other(right)world exists you only need to get it out for us to see. Let's see "Thought. Emotion. Ideals. Dreams..." apart from matter. I understand your reluctance to put this "right world, on the table because then it will disappear just like a god would. It will be harder to pretend that the universe has some warm fuzzies for us.

 

Now I like warm fuzzies as much as the next guy, but if you want them you'd better look to some of your fellow humans, because the universe just plain doesn't give a shit -- and most humans don't give a shit about you either.

 

I'm not trying to be negative about the universe here. The universe is not trying to be mean. The universe has no intentions at all. Most of it is not organized in a fashion that projects intentions.

 

But if you have to have a bone, examine culture.

 

Culture is also contingent on matter. Culture needs humans (or some sort of animal). Humans don't exist apart from matter. Therefore culture does not exist apart from matter. No dancers, no dancing. No singers, no singing. Subjective you cannot enjoy Bach with it's physical ears and brain. The truth of the matter is no brain, no Bach. This arrangement cannot be reversed i.e. it cannot be said no Bach, no brain.

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Why is it that materialists insist on being dualistic in their thoughts just as the theists are?

 

They will argue with the theist all day about the immaterial not existing at all because it can't be seen in matter and the theist will yell back, "Yes it does exist on its own!" You are arguing about the same damn thing not noticing that it takes both to have anything (IMO of course). Jesus...what does matter exist in to begin with? There is more than one coin to flip around...

 

This is where the problem in understanding what people like myself and AM are trying to get across comes in.

 

"My words are very easy to know, and very easy to practice;

but there is no one in the world who is able to know and able to practice them." Tao Te Ching

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Let's not, because the tools of examination are about looking at objective reality, not subjective reality.

 

I have always said the surest way to kill God is to place him on the table for examination. I've said that for many years. And why? Because it is plain ignorance that equates symbolic representations of that internal space as literal, factual, empirical data to be tested, probed, and scrutinized for material legitimacy. Wrong tools. Wrong language. Wrong worldspace.

 

:twitch: Wrong world space????? I only know of one world space. Wrong language??? Sorry I only know English.

And English only points to, speaks about, imagines...scratch that as that's not objective, one thing: objective, physical reality. Right? You must only know all the Anglo words (eat, give, want, take...) and none of the Romance languages. :HaHa:

 

Subjective reality requires a subject, and the subject requires -- is contingent on -- matter.

And without batting an eye I respond saying that our reality as humans, how we live in this world full of cars, and plays, and cities, and governments, etc, would singularly not exist at all, we would not be and think and feel as we are without... the subject making the object. What, did that skyscraper grow from the earth without imagination?

 

Oh, I get it, its a chicken and the egg argument. "I was here first! I'm the best. I'm real, you're just along for the ride," says Mr. Matter to Sir Subjective. OK, fine, "let's see what you'd be without me", responds the subjective world. :)

 

Subjective reality is not the foundation for objective reality.

Of course not. Not ALL of it, but most definitely it influences, alters and creates it. Can anyone say the Atomic Bomb? Where did that come from? Matter alone?

 

Objective reality is the foundation of subjective reality i.e. with out matter and it's interactions you don't have "Thought. Emotion. Ideals. Dreams. Hopes. Faith. Vision. Desire. Aspiration. Love. Respect. Disgust. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc."

And without all those things you don't have what is known as Being Human. But that's not all... it's not just humans, but pretty much all of life that moves from the subjective to the objective. And the experience of that of course will vary upon many capacities. I would never venture to project the tape worm 'thinks and feels' as a human, or little scruffy who pees the carpet to be 'angry' like a human child. But it all does come from processes going from inside the 'mind'.

 

So... if we are to argue that the objective world owns the subjective world, then can we rightly say that matter created that skyscraper in its own image? That matter is God? That Reality, is but a Process, with a capital P?

 

If this other(right)world exists you only need to get it out for us to see. Let's see "Thought. Emotion. Ideals. Dreams..." apart from matter.

You mean "see" without matter? Hmmmm. What is that fallacy of logic called? Begging the question?

 

Let's turn that around, lets see you explain a damn thing about matter with the internal world of "Thought". Don't use words... those are products of the inside (I challenge you to find the word "worm" under a rock somewhere....)

 

I understand your reluctance to put this "right world, on the table because then it will disappear just like a god would. It will be harder to pretend that the universe has some warm fuzzies for us.

I see your reluctance to approach it as something not physical, because it opens up a can of worms that you don't feel equipped to process without the illusion of security of turning to hard science. Hermeneutics is a messy, sloppy, scary and unsure affair, and could open the door to a snake-oil salesman. You could get sucked back into religion. (Since you image my reasons are fear... sauce for the Gander).

 

Culture is also contingent on matter. Culture needs humans (or some sort of animal). Humans don't exist apart from matter. Therefore culture does not exist apart from matter. No dancers, no dancing. No singers, no singing. Subjective you cannot enjoy Bach with it's physical ears and brain. The truth of the matter is no brain, no Bach. This arrangement cannot be reversed i.e. it cannot be said no Bach, no brain.

Again, and the world as it has evolved, as we have evolved, as we are destroying our envionment, could not have become what it is without the subjective experience of not only humans, but every animal, and possibly every bit of matter as well. I don't know how many ways I can say it's BOTH. Not one taking ownership of the other. BOTH. All the way down, and all the way up.

 

Couple of links:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Social_Construction_of_Reality#Society_as_Subjective_Reality

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolic_interactionism

 

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/112222417/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

 

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/34/2e/9f.pdf

 

(I like the last one as he talks about how are life spans are being increased by all that subjective junk).

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Interesting take. I think your model suffers from a few weaknesses.

 

1. You don't explain how this system can operate such that a bunch of disassociated cells can create this collective "I". What is the mechanism for that to happen both evolutionarily and presently? The brain cannot effectively serve that role as it too is a set of disassociated (meaning that there is nothing transcendent that brings them together as the "I") cells.

 

The cells are not disassociated. I dare say that disassociated cells would not project an "I". The brain is a set of associated cells. I'm not knowledgeable enough to describe the mechanism in detail. To my knowledge, nobody has acquired this knowledge in total yet. But the science is all pointing in this direction. I haven't heard of any science that points to something transcendent. One possible exception is Rupert Sheldrake, but I think that he is widely regarded as a crackpot. But even he has a physical mechanism, a morphic field.

 

However even if there were something "transcendent" one would still be stuck with explaining the mechanism. How does that thing know it's "I". Pushing the problem to some other realm doesn't explain it.

 

 

 

2. To know means to have justified true belief, which leaves you needing to explain how you achieve knowledge given your model. Again, I don't see that you have grounds to achieve knowledge. You can acquire information, however, I see no basis for that information becoming knowledge. The thermostat is a good example. It receives information (temperature input) and changes its state (from on to off or vice versa); however, it never believes anything about its input or its state. It is just a mechanism. Neither does a computer ever believe anything about the information it receives or the information that it spits out. It simply works according to its programming and does not reflect on its state. The question is how that "leap" is made from being a mechanism to being a self-reflecting entity. Can you explain?

 

That's right the thermostat doesn't have sufficient redundancy to produce a recursive loop (a loop that refers to itself or its own state). Nevertheless it can detect the temperature and use the data to effect an action. Most of my brain circuits operate the same way i.e. they detect conditions and initiate actions without reporting to conscious or being conscious. Most of my stored data is not knowledge, that is most of it is not being examined or manipulated by consciousness at any one time. In point of fact my consciousness is unable to handle very much stored data or new incoming data at one time. It is very limited even though it feels vast.

 

In addition though my "I" feels like it is in charge, experience has shown me that it is not. My body will easily take "I" over in many circumstance. Even Paul noticed this: "...I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."

 

The brain has small portion of circuits that are of sufficient complexity to be aware of a rather vague notion of its state of being. These circuits are not of sufficient complexity to be aware of how they are achieving this awareness. If you want a more detailed explanation read Douglas Hofstatdter.

 

 

3. Your mirror illustration is interesting, but it has shortcomings as well. First, you only see the reflection of your eye, you still never see your eye. Second, just because you can see your eye with a mirror, it does not necessarily follow that cognitive science will be able to explain consciousness or the mind. That also doesn't mean that it won't, but it is not necessarily follow that we will one day zoom in on these answers through science.

 

All analogies have short comings.

 

If you will notice I said that what you see in a mirror is the reflection, my point being that the eye cannot see itself. I think that cognitive science will be able to explain consciousness, but that will not amount to grokking what it is. That is if and when I know the mechanism behind consciousness, my consciousness will still feel the same. It will still feel separate from the body, and it will still feel itself a unity.

 

My point about the mirror is also that a human can use a tool to find out things that it cannot sense directly. The idea of soul has not proven to be such a tool, maybe cognitive science will prove inadequate for the whole, but it has so far proven itself superior to 1000's of years of theologians and the "science" of theology in understanding what is going on.

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I don't know how many ways I can say it's BOTH. Not one taking ownership of the other. BOTH.

AM, they don't like our marble. They want to keep flipping around the coin with the theist.

 

:HaHa:

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I don't know how many ways I can say it's BOTH. Not one taking ownership of the other. BOTH.

AM, they don't like our marble. They want to keep flipping around the coin with the theist.

 

:HaHa:

Nice metaphor... "Heads! No tails! No it's not, it's heads. 'Tis not, it's tails. Heads! Tails! No, Heads! No, Tails!" (*Monty Python voice*)

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I don't know how many ways I can say it's BOTH. Not one taking ownership of the other. BOTH.

AM, they don't like our marble. They want to keep flipping around the coin with the theist.

 

:HaHa:

Nice metaphor... "Heads! No tails! No it's not, it's heads. 'Tis not, it's tails. Heads! Tails! No, Heads! No, Tails!" (*Monty Python voice*)

:lmao:

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Why is it that materialists insist on being dualistic in their thoughts just as the theists are?

 

They will argue with the theist all day about the immaterial not existing at all because it can't be seen in matter and the theist will yell back, "Yes it does exist on its own!" You are arguing about the same damn thing not noticing that it takes both to have anything (IMO of course). Jesus...what does matter exist in to begin with? There is more than one coin to flip around...

 

This is where the problem in understanding what people like myself and AM are trying to get across comes in.

 

"My words are very easy to know, and very easy to practice;

but there is no one in the world who is able to know and able to practice them." Tao Te Ching

 

I'm not having any problem. You want there to be something else then what is. I spent many years wanting Middle Earth to be real, but that didn't make it real. Even now I'd like this warm caring made specially for humans universe to be real. It just isn't that's all. Hell I would even quote Holy Texts if it would make every thing nice and cozy. Doesn't a good Zen believer believe that "I" am an illusion? Well it turns out to be true. "I" am an illusion projected by matter gathered in a certain arrangement, an illusion that perceives itself and fools itself into believing it is something other.

 

I'm not quite sure what you mean by dualism. I would agree with you that everything is one. But it is not one spiritual thing. It is one physical thing.

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I'm not having any problem. You want there to be something else then what is. I spent many years wanting Middle Earth to be real, but that didn't make it real. Even now I'd like this warm caring made specially for humans universe to be real. It just isn't that's all. Hell I would even quote Holy Texts if it would make every thing nice and cozy. Doesn't a good Zen believer believe that "I" am an illusion? Well it turns out to be true. "I" am an illusion projected by matter gathered in a certain arrangement, an illusion that perceives itself and fools itself into believing it is something other.

Chef, I don't want there to be anything other than what there may be. I don't force myself to imagine something...this is what makes sense to me. It really has more to do with this than nice and cozy. All it does for me is to instill a sense of awe of magnificence.

 

Yes, this "I" is an illusion projected by matter, yet it seems you may not be taking it in the way it is meant...maybe? It fools itself into believing that it is something other than all that is. Something that has some separate identity apart from the Tao. This is a spiritual understanding of the unity of reality. There is something much more real than this sense of "I". That is the message. It doesn't mean that since this "I" is an illusion, you are nothing but matter.

 

I'm not quite sure what you mean by dualism. I would agree with you that everything is one. But it is not one spiritual thing. It is one physical thing.

:) I'm smiling at your statement here. It does reflect your dualistic thinking (that is if your not pulling my leg). Physical is only one half of the whole as is spiritual. When both are combined into one is when it becomes non-dualistic. With this understanding, there is no difference between the spiritual and the physical. Yes, I know you don't like vagueness, but it is unavoidable in order to talk about it. That is why I posted the saying from the Tao Te Ching:

 

"My words are very easy to know, and very easy to practice;

but there is no one in the world who is able to know and able to practice them." Tao Te Ching

 

This is a paradox on the suface until we look at the bolded part in this: "there is no one in the world that is able to know..." In order to understand, one must move beyond the place where contradictions get in the way...the world and everything we use in order to explain it. The reason being is that we can only explain things symbolically. We must move beyond the symbols we use to explain reality and see it for what it is. What the symbols are pointing to. We can't continue to use symbols to explain what lies beyond the symbols. That has to be "known" intuitively.

 

:shrug:

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"I" am an illusion projected by matter gathered in a certain arrangement, an illusion that perceives itself and fools itself into believing it is something other.

And to those who doubt my calling this Reverse-Solipsism... :)

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"I" am an illusion projected by matter gathered in a certain arrangement, an illusion that perceives itself and fools itself into believing it is something other.

And to those who doubt my calling this Reverse-Solipsism... :)

Yes AM, but if an understanding of what matter may be could be understood, as we do, we could understand this in a different manner. I was going to go back and edit my post to expound on this some more then I saw your post. I'm just going to grab it and do it in this post.

 

This is what I said to Chef:

 

"Yes, this "I" is an illusion projected by matter, yet it seems you may not be taking it in the way it is meant...maybe? It fools itself into believing that it is something other than all that is. Something that has some separate identity apart from the Tao. This is a spiritual understanding of the unity of reality. There is something much more real than this sense of "I". That is the message. It doesn't mean that since this "I" is an illusion, you are nothing but matter."

 

I wanted to make this even clearer because, again, what I said appears to be a contradiction on a certain level. I said that we are an illusion projected by matter and the ending sentence says that it doesn't mean that you are nothing but matter. OMG, the limits of language! It's when we combine talking about matter dualistically and non-dualistically is when it seems to contradict. When I said yes it is an illusion projected by matter, this was speaking with the understanding of the unity of the physical and the spiritual. When I said the latter, it was meant as being nothing but matter only. :phew:

 

And I don't know if that would help anyone at all. I know you understand, but damn, it's frustrating isn't it?

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:blink: This thread would be much cooler if they'd legalize marijuana so I could read it while high.

:lmao:

 

That made me :lol: Petrel!

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