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Should We Expect a Higher Consciousness

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4 minutes ago, VerbosityCat said:

 

But if there are major fundamental flaws in human perception in general which you alluded to in the post I was replying to, then we are trying to make empircal statements based on repeating the same flawed perception over and over. Like fish don't know they are in water sort of thing. I'm not saying that's the case. I'm just playing devil's advocate here. The point is, on a very big level we can't know what we can't know. If there are things that exist outside our ability to perceive them we can do all the experiments we want and we won't find those things. It won't make their nonexistence a fact. It will just make that the limits of human perception.

Precisely why, in my opinion, agnosticism is more honest than atheism.  No.  We can't know what we can't know.  In truth, we can't even know what we know.  We can only be reasonably certain that the majority of us are all perceiving things the same.  Does the sun rise every morning in the east?  Possibly.  I don't really know; but I do know that the majority of people on this planet perceive the sun to rise every morning in the east, same as I do.  This is as close as we can get to "knowledge" and precisely why science doesn't "prove" anything.  It only gives us the best possible explanation based on the evidence and data.  Once these perceptions have been tested and supported by enough evidence, we accept them as theories, like the Theory of Gravity.  Is it real, though?  Possibly.  I certainly perceive things to be attracted to the earth; and what goes up certainly seems to come down.  But, beyond my own consciousness, I can't be sure anything exists.  And even my own consciousness could simply be the stimulation of a collection of ganglions in a specimen jar somewhere.  So, my perception of gravity is the only thing about the Theory of Gravity I can, with confidence, say exists.  

 

There's no need to be leery of taking such a position, though.  In its most honest form, science itself is the exploration of "I don't know"; and science readily admits that it doesn't know.  This is simply the reality of the human condition.  There is a point at which biology and philosophy become inseparable and indistinguishable.  No reason to get excited about it, though.  You just have to accept that most of your life is perception; and most of your perception is wrong.  Everything else is just window dressing.

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13 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Precisely why, in my opinion, agnosticism is more honest than atheism.  No.  We can't know what we can't know.  In truth, we can't even know what we know.  We can only be reasonably certain that the majority of us are all perceiving things the same.  Does the sun rise every morning in the east?  Possibly.  I don't really know; but I do know that the majority of people on this planet perceive the sun to rise every morning in the east, same as I do.  This is as close as we can get to "knowledge" and precisely why science doesn't "prove" anything.  It only gives us the best possible explanation based on the evidence and data.  Once these perceptions have been tested and supported by enough evidence, we accept them as theories, like the Theory of Gravity.  Is it real, though?  Possibly.  I certainly perceive things to be attracted to the earth; and what goes up certainly seems to come down.  But, beyond my own consciousness, I can't be sure anything exists.  And even my own consciousness could simply be the stimulation of a collection of ganglions in a specimen jar somewhere.  So, my perception of gravity is the only thing about the Theory of Gravity I can, with confidence, say exists.  

 

There's no need to be leery of taking such a position, though.  In its most honest form, science itself is the exploration of "I don't know"; and science readily admits that it doesn't know.  This is simply the reality of the human condition.  There is a point at which biology and philosophy become inseparable and indistinguishable.  No reason to get excited about it, though.  You just have to accept that most of your life is perception; and most of your perception is wrong.  Everything else is just window dressing.

 

LOL right. And we have enough "working knowledge" to live practically in the world which is what really matters. :)

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7 minutes ago, VerbosityCat said:

 

LOL right. And we have enough "working knowledge" to live practically in the world which is what really matters. :)

At the end of the day, yes.

 

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13 hours ago, VerbosityCat said:

 

The point is, on a very big level we can't know what we can't know. If there are things that exist outside our ability to perceive them we can do all the experiments we want and we won't find those things. It won't make their nonexistence a fact. It will just make that the limits of human perception.

Yes, if we have a science background, how can we legitimately get to the point of atheism.  Have been attempting to make this point for years. 

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15 minutes ago, end3 said:

Yes, if we have a science background, how can we legitimately get to the point of atheism.  Have been attempting to make this point for years. 

 

Atheism is a legitimate position. It's just not my position.

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I'm still wondering what defines "higher" when it comes to consciousness. I still also wonder why one might think there is such a thing and why it would be better.

 

All I am able to gather from these discussions that if we choose to believe in things beyond reasonable scrutiny, things we can't test, then we clearly must have a higher consciousness. Is that about it?

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5 minutes ago, florduh said:

I'm still wondering what defines "higher" when it comes to consciousness. I still also wonder why one might think there is such a thing and why it would be better.

 

All I am able to gather from these discussions that if we choose to believe in things beyond reasonable scrutiny, things we can't test, then we clearly must have a higher consciousness. Is that about it?

 

Smoke a doobie, sir. All answers will be revealed. :)

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3 minutes ago, midniterider said:

 

Smoke a doobie, sir. All answers will be revealed. :)

I can do that, but I was hoping to find the answers other people had, if any.

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58 minutes ago, end3 said:

Yes, if we have a science background, how can we legitimately get to the point of atheism.  Have been attempting to make this point for years. 

Atheists are as sure that there is no god as you are that there is one; and with the same amount of evidence, or lack thereof.  If you believe theirs to be an illegitimate position, what does that say about your own?

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8 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Atheists are as sure that there is no god as you are that there is one; and with the same amount of evidence, or lack thereof.  If you believe theirs to be an illegitimate position, what does that say about your own?

I disagree a little with this. Theists generally are totally convinced that their god exists. Atheists generally have simply found no convincing evidence for the gods that have been proposed. The result is that they simply can't work up a belief in something so fantastic that lacks even mundane evidence. We don't believe in your god, his god or any other proposed supernatural deity in the same way and to the same degree we don't believe in Santa Claus or enchanted forests populated by fairies. We have a great degree of certainty about such things but not absolute certainty. The probability of such spooky things being real is virtually nil, but if this is a simulated reality, if we are an alien experiment, if Xenu set up this whole thing........ all bets are off. 😜

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54 minutes ago, florduh said:

I can do that, but I was hoping to find the answers other people had, if any.

 

When I hear "higher consciousness" I think in terms of a sort of "superconsciousness" that everything is a part of and interconnected with in some sense. It's a speculative idea but some people, including myself, find it useful. If you don't find it useful that's fine too.

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42 minutes ago, florduh said:

I disagree a little with this. Theists generally are totally convinced that their god exists. Atheists generally have simply found no convincing evidence for the gods that have been proposed. The result is that they simply can't work up a belief in something so fantastic that lacks even mundane evidence. We don't believe in your god, his god or any other proposed supernatural deity in the same way and to the same degree we don't believe in Santa Claus or enchanted forests populated by fairies. We have a great degree of certainty about such things but not absolute certainty. The probability of such spooky things being real is virtually nil, but if this is a simulated reality, if we are an alien experiment, if Xenu set up this whole thing........ all bets are off. 😜

 

If it was Xenu after all we're going to all feel so stupid. It'll be like Scooby-Doo. "It was Farmer Dan the whole time!"

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39 minutes ago, VerbosityCat said:

 

When I hear "higher consciousness" I think in terms of a sort of "superconsciousness" that everything is a part of and interconnected with in some sense. It's a speculative idea but some people, including myself, find it useful. If you don't find it useful that's fine too.

I don't necessarily think connected consciousnesses are "higher." They are just connected normal consciousnesses. At least you offered a reasonable definition, so thanks.

 

That said, it seems evident to me that everything is connected to everything else in that, for the simplest example, butterflies cannot exist independently of flowers and vice versa. Further, there are no defined objects at all without the space existing between them. There is no sound without ears and no color without eyes to perceive and define such; there would be only vibrations. WOO!!!

 

I think the basic and essential question here is does what we call consciousness emanate from brain activity alone or does it exist externally only being focused and experienced by our brains. There is no definitive answer as far as I know, but all evidence seems to point to consciousness being a product of brain activity. Of course it's possible that consciousness exists independently of the flesh and the brain can tap into it, but again I must invoke Xenu.

 

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1 hour ago, florduh said:

I don't necessarily think connected consciousnesses are "higher." They are just connected normal consciousnesses. At least you offered a reasonable definition, so thanks.

 

That said, it seems evident to me that everything is connected to everything else in that, for the simplest example, butterflies cannot exist independently of flowers and vice versa. Further, there are no defined objects at all without the space existing between them. There is no sound without ears and no color without eyes to perceive and define such; there would be only vibrations. WOO!!!

 

I think the basic and essential question here is does what we call consciousness emanate from brain activity alone or does it exist externally only being focused and experienced by our brains. There is no definitive answer as far as I know, but all evidence seems to point to consciousness being a product of brain activity. Of course it's possible that consciousness exists independently of the flesh and the brain can tap into it, but again I must invoke Xenu.

 

 

I think "higher" may be a problem term because we're rating consciousness on a scale of our own personal values (which many times don't agree with each other. Not you and me personally, I just mean people in general.) I think the term higher gets used in thinking of the sum total. Maybe "Bigger" is a better term, but maybe it isn't. At the end of the day I think people who have a more spiritual view of the world and those who don't probably are just talking past each other because there is a sort of "poetic" way that people who lean toward any form of spirituality think about things and all the language used is by necessity going to be poetic in nature rather than exact and literal.

 

I think one of the problems comes in when you get fundamentalist types (of all religions) who want to take this poetic language too literally. They aren't content to let the mystery be the mystery. They have to have a concrete and literal way to understand it. Then they impose that concrete literal interpretation of what is really poetry onto others and...death and badness happens.

 

Re: the issue of consciousness. It's my view that it exists independently.And I don't think there is ever going to be a satisfactory answer to this. We are too influenced by our own lens of the world to step outside it. I could list off a bunch of reasons why I personally believe consciousness is nonlocal, but it won't mean anything to you. It will be hearsay or anecdata or whatever. There is always an "out" for anyone to not accept anything. And that applies to spiritual people as well. No matter what scientific data you present that is very convincing to you, it won't be convincing to them. The different brain wiring seems to create a way of perceiving that can't be breached.

 

But just because I think consciousness is nonlocal doesn't mean I think I'm definitely "right". I'm not dogmatic about it, it's just what I think.

 

Also, if this discussion continues and its a day or two before I reply (may not be but may be) don't think I'm avoiding or bowing out of the discussion. I'm just trying to get things done in meatspace and not spend too much time on the internet.

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3 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Atheists are as sure that there is no god as you are that there is one; and with the same amount of evidence, or lack thereof.  If you believe theirs to be an illegitimate position, what does that say about your own?

Mine is by faith.  Theirs typically is science/knowledge base.  I gathered per your conversation w VCat that Atheism isn’t a valid scientific position 

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27 minutes ago, end3 said:

Mine is by faith.  Theirs typically is science/knowledge base.  I gathered per your conversation w VCat that Atheism isn’t a valid scientific position 

No.  You're reading into it what you want to.  I don't think it's as honest as being comfortable with not knowing; but that doesn't mean atheists haven't done their homework.

 

And faith is nothing to be proud of.  You're just pretending to know what you wish were true.  Wish though I might; i can't make believe god into existence.  Lucky you, if the blinders never fall off.

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

No.  You're reading into it what you want to.  I don't think it's as honest as being comfortable with not knowing; but that doesn't mean atheists haven't done their homework.

 

And faith is nothing to be proud of.  You're just pretending to know what you wish were true.  Wish though I might; i can't make believe god into existence.  Lucky you, if the blinders never fall off.

 

Don't you think you're conflating weak and strong atheism? Atheism is merely the lack of belief in god. Agnosticism deals in knowledge. Atheism deals in belief. They are two separate metrics.

 

I don't see how the absence of belief in something is any less honest than "I don't know." I mean are you supposed to have a belief in something while you're waiting to find out? There is NO space between belief and lacking belief. There isn't a third option. Sorry I'm being so autistic about this, but it bugs me because atheism and agnosticism are not two points on a continuum.

 

If you're talking of "strong atheists" who say "there is no god" and are making a positive statement for which they lack actual proof, then yes, I would agree that agnosticism, the simple admission that you don't know is more honest than pretending like you do know. But from my experience, atheists who simply lack belief aren't pretending to know anything. And they aren't saying they know.

 

Though I will admit I get annoyed with atheists who try to be "both kinds" of atheist based on what is most convenient for any particular discussion. Like if you get all up in my face and make definitive statements about there being no god, and then turn around fifteen minutes later when it suits you to say "I simply lack belief in god", then I'm going to call bullshit because you have to pick one of those positions. You can't swing back and forth between them when it works best for you in a conversation. It's the same kind of slippery crap Christians do when they change their argument based on what they think will help them look most right.

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1 hour ago, VerbosityCat said:

Agnosticism deals in knowledge. Atheism deals in belief.

An agnostic claims he doesn't know or can't know if any of the god claims are true since they provide no evidence, so the result is that they do not believe in gods as there is no compelling reason to entertain the notion. Agnostics are not called theists, or even weak theists, because they do not hold a god belief since they deem it an unknowable. In practice that is atheism without balls. Even though agnostics do not hold any god belief, the term isn't as scary as that of atheist.

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1 hour ago, florduh said:

An agnostic claims he doesn't know or can't know if any of the god claims are true since they provide no evidence, so the result is that they do not believe in gods as there is no compelling reason to entertain the notion. Agnostics are not called theists, or even weak theists, because they do not hold a god belief since they deem it an unknowable. In practice that is atheism without balls. Even though agnostics do not hold any god belief, the term isn't as scary as that of atheist.

 

Yes we agree on all these points. I wasn't saying agnostics were theists though technically one could be an agnostic theist "I don't know but I think xyz..." Agnosticism is whether or not you can know. Theism or atheism is what you believe. I contend that belief and knowledge are two different things. But I'm happy to agree to disagree on that point.  And I agree that agnostic isn't as "scary" a label as atheist to many. At the same time, if I was going to choose one of those labels I'd go full bore with atheist because agnostic just invites god botherers to bother you with their god because they see agnostic as meaning "undecided". That's why I'm saying knowledge and belief are two different realms and agnostic is not a third position on the same continuum with theism and atheism. To put it on the same continuum makes agnostics look like they are undecided when they ARE decided. they are decided that they don't know and can't know.

 

And actually, I didn't say "can't know". I mean I understand that's what agnostics are. I don't know why I only said don't know and didn't include can't know. You'd think as verbose and pedantic as I am I would have found room to mention that, too. But this issue with the language and the not mentioning "can't know" is part of why everybody thinks agnostics are "undecided" and ripe for conversion.

 

Also, I could be labeled agnostic since I don't "know" nor do I think human beings CAN know. I think whatever the truth of it all is is beyond human comprehension. But I still have spiritual theories/ideas/practices.

 

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And I realize that I contradicted myself in that post. I don't really "see myself as an agnostic". I'm saying from a purely technical perspective. It seems that most people who label themselves agnostic lack spiritual beliefs altogether and so if I were in that category I would go full on with atheist. I don't personally find agnostic a useful label but technically I could use it just going by the definition. Also, I find Christians don't generally even know what to do with me because I have my own thing that is way better (IMO) than their thing. So they aren't offering anything super awesome and they can't argue in the general against atheism way they do.

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18 minutes ago, VerbosityCat said:

everybody thinks agnostics are "undecided"

Exactly. 

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4 hours ago, VerbosityCat said:

 

Don't you think you're conflating weak and strong atheism? Atheism is merely the lack of belief in god. Agnosticism deals in knowledge. Atheism deals in belief. They are two separate metrics.

 

I don't see how the absence of belief in something is any less honest than "I don't know." I mean are you supposed to have a belief in something while you're waiting to find out? There is NO space between belief and lacking belief. There isn't a third option. Sorry I'm being so autistic about this, but it bugs me because atheism and agnosticism are not two points on a continuum.

 

If you're talking of "strong atheists" who say "there is no god" and are making a positive statement for which they lack actual proof, then yes, I would agree that agnosticism, the simple admission that you don't know is more honest than pretending like you do know. But from my experience, atheists who simply lack belief aren't pretending to know anything. And they aren't saying they know.

 

Though I will admit I get annoyed with atheists who try to be "both kinds" of atheist based on what is most convenient for any particular discussion. Like if you get all up in my face and make definitive statements about there being no god, and then turn around fifteen minutes later when it suits you to say "I simply lack belief in god", then I'm going to call bullshit because you have to pick one of those positions. You can't swing back and forth between them when it works best for you in a conversation. It's the same kind of slippery crap Christians do when they change their argument based on what they think will help them look most right.

I'm liking you more all the time...  Without me understanding the nuances of agnostic vs. atheist.....most people here, imo, don't believe because the science doesn't support.  Only when pressed do the have the bravery/gonads to say "we don't know" vs. "yeah, there is no god".  Prof's statement a few posts back is about as forthcoming as I have heard him ever. 

 

Edit:  They know there is no god.....which is very frustrating for me because most hold science as their shield of armor....when admittedly science is an ongoing "we don't know".  Not sure how they mix the two, but they damn sure do. 

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9 hours ago, VerbosityCat said:

 

When I hear "higher consciousness" I think in terms of a sort of "superconsciousness" that everything is a part of and interconnected with in some sense. It's a speculative idea but some people, including myself, find it useful. If you don't find it useful that's fine too.

Well let's look.  Was driving down a Texas farm to market road....that cuts though pastures and connects people to town.  Then I was thinking about how things that bring us together have progressed more towards bringing us together more efficiently and more quickly.  From horses, vehicles, planes, from telephone, radio, TV,  to overnight shipping and almost instantaneous communication.  In other words, we WANT to be ONE, but we are still plagued with the inability to become one.  We still have differences and perspectives that hinder.  We can see the differences and inabilities every day in politics.....those who wish a global love vs. those who are still holding back because it's not working as easily as they would like.  ....old cultures, different cultures, etc. 

 

The point being....everything points to Oneness imo, yet we can't seem to make it happen.....even though we would all like it TO happen......Heaven.

 

Our actions, our need for affirmation, point towards.  We could argue that money drives these things, but we would be doing them regardless.

 

You heathens know I'm right...

 

Edit: Just noticed there used to be two towers, now one.  It's all over the place.

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I suppose for people who need to obsessively over-define terms in a futile attempt at enhanced clarification, it might seem that I am conflating some sub-category of agnosticism for some other sub-classification of atheist.  Personally, I prefer a more simplistic approach.  I don't know, so I am an agnostic.  I don't care, so I am an apatheist.  I don't believe, so I am an atheist.  Sometimes i can be "militant" about it; other times i can lack gonads.  I'm comfortable with that, because such dichotmies are part of the human condition, especially for those of us who think independently.  Beyond that, others can use whatever terms they want to define me, if they feel that doing so will validate their own beliefs, or lack thereof.

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8 hours ago, end3 said:

The point being....everything points to Oneness imo, yet we can't seem to make it happen

Why can't there be oneness without everyone being identical? The human body is one but there is a hand, a foot, an eye, etc. so the one consists of many aspects each with a different function.

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