17
   

Where is the self? How can dualism stand if it's just a fiction?

 
 
Berty McJock
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 01:58 pm
fundamentally, the perception of Self needs only to be perceived by just one entity, for it to exist...the Self itself.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 02:02 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Are they all right or all wrong?
Quote:
So what does "self-aware" really mean?


Sorry Cis, but are you asking what I think another participant means by "self-aware"
0 Replies
 
Berty McJock
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 02:11 pm
@Berty McJock,
i want to re-word part of a previous post.

eyes can be blind,
a blind eye is still an eye
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 02:13 pm
@igm,
Quote:
Quote:
Re: Frank Apisa (Post 5250127)
Frank Apisa wrote:

Fact is, it is almost certain that igm is GUESSING that there is no self. I was just wondering why your question did not take that into account.

Why is/might this be disinformation? I've 'never' said that there is no self. I asked for someone to prove to me that there is one... nothing more.


Do you mean that unless you actually "said" you are guessing there "is no self"...that means that "you do not guess that there is no self?"

Let me ask you point blank:

Are you telling us that you do NOT guess that there is NO SELF?

Quote:
I find you disruptive Frank... why is that?


I certainly do not mean to be disruptive, igm. I try to deal with each issue in a reasonable, logical, and (reasonably) courteous way. When I post, I inject the notion of "We really do not know for sure, right?"...and that notion causes many, many people to become uncomfortable...particularly people who claim to be searching scientifically and logically for the truth...but who in actuality seem more interested in bolstering a "guess" default position.

I suspect my questions make you uncomfortable, igm, because they make you reflect on the possibility that much of what you have accepted as dogma...still need lots more investigation...and MAY even be unanswerable.

I hope you can get past that, because I enjoy discussing these things with you.
IRFRANK
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 02:46 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
Are they all right or all wrong?


What you are talking about there are humans perceptions and pronouncements. There are any number of them and they can certainly be contrary. That doesn't have anything to do reality. A belief in god by anyone person does not make that a part of their existence. This just think that it does. That's their perception, not objective.



0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 04:51 pm
@Frank Apisa,
igm wrote:

The Buddha says there is no self 'until' someone shows it to him. He is neutral until then and he finds if he stays neutral he is happier than when he sides with the notion of subject/object dualism. So he knows nothing. He remains in that state until someone shows him that there is a self.

So (Frank) he doesn't take your position in saying that you can't know there isn't a self. He (and I) just waits with an ‘open mind’ for someone to prove it and that position he says brings him happiness.

I'll repeat to you Frank... for a fourth time... that my position is the one above which is not the position you ascribe to me, namely, Frank that you are saying I guess there is ‘no self’. I in fact as you can see am 'open minded' about there being a self but I want proof before I adopt it.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 05:03 pm
@igm,
Well, I have then to assume, since you are open-minded on the issue...that you are not willing to assume there is no self--unless someone establishes that no-self is the REALITY.

Which means all of this talk is going nowhere...if you truly are open-minded about it.

The Buddha...and you...are playing a game. You will define anything you perceive to be "self"...as no truly self.

Look instead for "proof" that there is no self.

That is even harder to come by...for someone with an open-mind.

I'll bet waiting around for "proof" of "there is no self" will also bring you happiness.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 05:50 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

The Buddha...and you...are playing a game. You will define anything you perceive to be "self"...as no truly self.

Frank, apart from this part of your quote, which doesn't follow, from my assertion, I do believe you're finally seeing what my asserted position of 'open-mindedness' really is.

Do you believe there is a 'Frank' that has 'some' autonomy over his body and actions and where are you located in your body/mind? Also, that you are singular (there's only one Frank Aspisa i.e. the one who's posting on A2k) and you continue over time in this life from birth to death?
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 06:05 pm
I came across an interesting definition of self written by the novelist, A. S. Byatt:
“A man is the history of his breaths and thoughts, acts, atoms and wounds, love indifference and dislike, also of his race and nation, the soil that fed him and his forbears, the stones and sands of his familiar places, long-silenced battles and struggles of conscience, of the smiles of girls and the slow utterance of old women, of accidents and the gradual action of inexorable law, of all this and something else, too, a single flame which in every way obeys the laws that pertain to Fire itself, and yet is lit and put out from one moment to the next, and can never be relumed in the whole waste of time to come.”
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 06:45 pm
@igm,
igm wrote:

Berty McJock wrote:

so how can the Self exist if it's not self aware?
the oxymoron creates a paradox.

Well spotted... that is a relevant question, I'd say! Are you asking Matt? Is it referring to Matt’s recent post?

If it is in relation (to my proposed model),

Self (capital S) does require self-reference.
I don't know what you are meaning by "self-aware".
If you mean awareness of the system by the system, in the sense that the system has a representation of itself;
Then yes a system is "self-aware" (if it is a conscious one).

If you mean that the system has a representation of itself that would be 100% accurate as observed from outside the system;
Then no. The system is not "self-aware" (regardless of if it is conscious or not).
[This is a consequence of the modeling problem. A 100% accurate representation of a system requires a system larger than the one represented. To know the Self (capital S) 100% accurately you must be a system larger than yourself]
Berty McJock
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 06:50 pm
@MattDavis,
Quote:
Self (capital S) does require self-reference.
I don't know what you are meaning by "self-aware".
If you mean awareness of the system by the system, in the sense that the system has a representation of itself;
Then yes a system is "self-aware" (if it is a conscious one).


that one is what i meant. aware/conscious of itself as aware/conscious.

possibly even just aware/conscious that it may be aware/conscious.
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 06:54 pm
@igm,
igm wrote:

MattDavis wrote:

I make the ASSUMPTION that consciousness requires self-reference.

I'm still reflecting... but do you believe this 'might' be the weakness in your argument?

Perhaps,
but I think that the assumption is justified in what we observe of systems that we label with the term "conscious".
Would you feel comfortable labeling someone as being conscious if they were unable to think about that 'someone'.
My assumption is in what we are choosing to call 'conscious behaviors'.
For my model I made the assumption that at minimum they must be self-referential, in accordance to how most people would use the term "conscious".
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 07:08 pm
@Berty McJock,
So yes.
A conscious system has a representation of of itself.
This representation is not and cannot be 100% accurate in all details.
One thing that the representation must always be accurate in, however, is what the subject of the representation is (the representation must remain self-referential).
A system that has such no such representation is non-conscious.
IRFRANK
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 07:08 pm
@MattDavis,
Quote:
would you feel comfortable labeling someone as conscious if they were unable to think about that someone.


What if you include animals? Are dolphins or pigs aware of their consciousness ? Do they possess a self? Is man different in this regard? Different religions have very different views on this.
Berty McJock
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 07:15 pm
@MattDavis,
yeah that's pretty much it as i see it.

why couldnt i have just said that Razz

*edit: i think i'm with igm in questioning that it needs to reference itself. that implies checking its status. should it need to check? it is conscious, and it feels it instinctively, surely.

*another edit: completely ignore that last edit, i was over analysing, and temporarily decided to ignore the definition of "refer".
Berty McJock
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 07:26 pm
@Berty McJock,
i don't think it has to actively self-reference though. it's intrinsic to being conscious, and happens on a sub-conscious (for want of a better word) level, like breathing, you don't think about it, you just get on with it. i mean you can think about it, but you don't need to, and in general you don't.

this is where i think aware is a better word...it's aware of itself, without the need to refer to anything.

MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 07:34 pm
@IRFRANK,
IRFRANK wrote:

Quote:
would you feel comfortable labeling someone as conscious if they were unable to think about that someone.


What if you include animals? Are dolphins or pigs aware of their consciousness ? Do they possess a self? Is man different in this regard? Different religions have very different views on this.

I think that my minimal definition of consciousness includes many animals.
Including both of the ones you mentioned.
Quote:
Are dolphins or pigs aware of their consciousness ?

You are now asking a separate question of having a not just a self-referential representation, but also of a representations of that class of representations. I don't have enough information or evidence to decide this of dolphins or pigs. I suspect that dolphins probably do have such representations.
Quote:
Different religions have very different views on this.

As do different non-religious views.
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 09:38 pm
@Berty McJock,
Berty McJock wrote:

i don't think it has to actively self-reference though. it's intrinsic to being conscious, and happens on a sub-conscious (for want of a better word) level, like breathing, you don't think about it, you just get on with it. i mean you can think about it, but you don't need to, and in general you don't.

this is where i think aware is a better word...it's aware of itself, without the need to refer to anything.


Quote:
i don't think it has to actively self-reference though

I agree. Very Happy
The system does not have to be always utilizing a self-referential label. (actively thinking, thoughts that use it).
However, the label must persistently exist within the system (be accessible when thoughts that require such a label manifest).

Quote:
i mean you can think about it, but you don't need to, and in general you don't.

Here I think is a little confusion.
Thinking with a self-referential label is not the same as thinking about a self-referential label. It is also not the same as thinking about how it is that you have a self-referential label.

Thought 1: [I am hungry.] Needs self-referential label.

Thought 2: [I am thinking about my existence.] Needs self-referential label for system. Needs label that directs toward all labels which connect to the Self (a label for thought).

Quote:
this is where i think aware is a better word...it's aware of itself, without the need to refer to anything.

I think using the word "aware" makes it easier to confuse what I tried to demonstrate above.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  3  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 09:51 pm
I confess to not having read more than the first of the ten pages of responses, so if my comments are redundant, I apologize.

It seems to me that the tension between self and selflessness is a paradox that cannot be resolved...on this plane, whether by streetsweeper or Bodhisattva.

The ultimate goal of the self may be to lose itself in a state of selflessness (or it may not), but the goal can never be achieved without an intense focus on the self.

We are born and we exist as a separate entity. If there is any purpose in life, and an ultimate state of selflessness implies there is, then we can't ignore this fact.

So why should the ego strive for a state without ego, when however you wish to define the creative force that created us, did so as a creature of ego?

A return, upon enlightenment or death, to the Godhead would seem to imply a dissolution of self, but this is an inferrance born of the human self.

How we feel about these matters tends to depend upon our adherence to the claims of individual selves who claim or are said to have transcended self and speak for the Godhead: Christ, Buddha, Mohammed etc.

We all would like to think there is a clear path to the Godhead, despite how difficult it maybe to follow, and many of us would very much like to think that someone has followed this path and proven it leads to the ultimate.

Buddhists like to think that they are on the right path to a large extent because there is at least a recongition of paradox in their "faith" and they have obscured their reliance on certainty.

It's great to be a Buddhist in a debate forum because you always get to respond to critics with "You just don't understand."

Who understands the sound of one hand clapping? Really.

If you want to find a place where the mystic clashes with the rational, find a thread wherein Buddhist thought is discussed, and yet quite a few people who find great fault in the irrationality of religion, seem to give a free pass to Buddhism.

The answer, unfortunately, is that Buddhism is cool while Christianity, Judaeism and Islam are not.

Personally, I tend to think that Buddhism is a lot closer to the mark than any other organized religion (and don't for a moment think that Buddhism is not an organized religion), but not by so much when you examine the cores of the other religions, and ignore the practices of their human followers.

I would like to think that a state of enlightenment is possible although it may have been achieved by only a literal handful of humans, but I don't, for a moment, believe that the few enlightened considered themselves Buddhist, Christian or Muslim.

All that crap came from the unenlightened.





MattDavis
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2013 09:59 pm
@Berty McJock,
The distinction I am trying to make is applicable to the leap that many "Transcendental" teachers make.

Often they talk of "I am"-ness. The feeling of knowing you exist.

The leap is assuming that from "I"-ness, "I am"-ness naturally follows.

This is asserting that having a self-referential label (conscious systems as I have defined them) implies also having labels that are representations that make the concept of "am" meaningful.
To represent "I am" within a system requires much more than just a self-referential label. It requires representations for activities within the system about the system. It requires the system to not just think of itself, it has to think about itself, namely about it's own existence.
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
DOES NOTHING EXIST??? - Question by mark noble
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
Copyright © 2014 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.06 seconds on 04/24/2014 at 07:34:33