29
   

Missing in action: Where is the mind?

 
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 02:57 am
@stevecook172001,
I do understand where you're coming from and I have a few observations. These are not meant to persuade or convert. It is more like how this argument occurs to me. Hopefully it will be helpful.

When I talk about 'religion' I mean 'religion/spirituality.' They overlap, but are not the same.

First, the idea that 'religion consists of propositions for which there is no evidence and that must be accepted on blind faith.' It doesn't have to be like this. This attitude is very characteristic of the way Western religion developed, which placed supreme importance on 'salvation by faith alone' and the total helplessness of the individual to effect any change in his/her own condition. It is coupled with an insistence on an all-powerful and unknowable God who demands total obedience and from whom nothing can be expected. And we won't even know whether it is even true, until we die.

But there are many different kinds of ideas sheltering under the umbrella of 'religion'. That is only a particular one, but it is the predominant attitude. However, like the Protestantism it has rebelled against, atheism has a very fixed idea of exactly what religion means, and a very firm sense of who and what is being denied. So think of it as 'protestant atheism'. The fact that there has been an enormous proliferation of new religious and spiritual movements, which re-interpret the whole phenomenon in a completely new way, is as lost to the protestant atheists, as it is to the protestants - for similar reasons.

Second. It is an empirical fact that the majority - in fact you could probably prove the overwhelming majority - of human beings have spiritual or religious beliefs. In places like China, where they have been trying to stamp it out for generations, they have trouble controlling it. Now I think even from a scientific viewpoint, you are going to be hard pressed to show that human kind, lemming-like, is continuing to throw itself over a cliff of delusion. So, I say that religion must mean something. It must signify and meet a real human need, otherwise it would not ubiquitous throughout the world and throughout history. The idea that it is all just some kind of mental pathology and failure to adapt to reality is just plain ridiculous. Consider the role of the great religions in the formation of civilizations, civil codes, the education system, the medical system, art, science, architecture, music, in fact every aspect of human culture. To argue that all of this seminal cultural activity has been inspired by a delusion is, I believe, a delusion in itself. And really it is another form of fundamentalism, the mirror image of what it denies.

Obviously, times have changed, and religions are known for resisting change. That is one of the reasons fundamentalism has become so prominent. There are no doubt anachronistic, backwards-looking, authoritarian religious institutions. But still this does not obviate the deep human need which religion has always met. So the attempt to firewall it, suppress it, talk it out of existence, or completely deny its validity is doomed to fail. Better to actually come up with an alternative positive philosophy which can go some way to filling up the 'god-shaped hole' which the demise of the traditional faiths has left in so many hearts.

One final thing. The best aspects of religious practice are actually concerned with experience - the experience of compassion, the experience of at-one-ment, those kinds of elusive experiences of spiritual joy. And in these, there is no question of 'accepting dogmas on faith'. When this alchemy starts to do its work, there is simply no question of the reality of it. It is not a matter of clinging - the opposite, really. But on both sides of the culture wars, it is very easy to loose sight of that.

Anyway KJ will be no doubt handing out red cards at this point so I had better shut up, but I will leave you with this review.


Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 08:17 am
@jeeprs,
You know, I really enjoy your tenacity Jeeprs, it's quite refreshing. And oddly enough, though there are many thinkers I usually agree with, and those I usually don't, I've always seen your views as straddling that line (when compared with my own).

Nice post! A couple of contributions for a few of your thoughts here, if I may:

jeeprs wrote:
However, like the Protestantism it has rebelled against, atheism has a very fixed idea of exactly what religion means, and a very firm sense of who and what is being denied. So think of it as 'protestant atheism'. The fact that there has been an enormous proliferation of new religious and spiritual movements, which re-interpret the whole phenomenon in a completely new way, is as lost to the protestant atheists, as it is to the protestants - for similar reasons.

You've spoken about this before; as if atheism would not have arisen weren't it for some need to rebel. I suppose (by this point) I'm not likely to change your mind on it; but please consider: People not believing in a god or multiple gods has been taking place for as long as their associated god concepts themselves have themselves existed. They're neither restricted nor sprung from any one (or even predominantly one) religious movement. Take any religion and you'll find many amongst those believers, non-believers.


jeeprs wrote:
So, I say that religion must mean something. It must signify and meet a real human need, otherwise it would not ubiquitous throughout the world and throughout history.

... like this one! Excellent insight and quite undeniably true (probably from multiple standpoints). Yes, it most certainly has such a wide-ranging appeal that it stands to reason that it springs from basic human needs - not absolute, but certainly widespread.


jeeprs wrote:
The idea that it is all just some kind of mental pathology and failure to adapt to reality is just plain ridiculous.

I'd agree that to say it's ONLY for this is ridiculous. But can you foresee a set of human needs, desires or an emptiness that might be part of the appeal? It makes sense to me that such would be true - certainly not for all, but to say it isn't a factor would also be ridiculous.


jeeprs wrote:
Consider the role of the great religions in the formation of civilizations, civil codes, the education system, the medical system, art, science, architecture, music, in fact every aspect of human culture,

To say that such goodness has been a direct (or was enabled) by religion is just as unfounded as saying that all the badness - during the same historical timeframe - would not have otherwise happened. Careful, that knife cuts two ways. Personally, I don't buy either; that religiosity has been simultaneously associated with or a motivation for good works as well as great evil is the only logical conclusion.


jeeprs wrote:
One final thing. The best aspects of religious practice are actually concerned with experience - the experience of compassion, the experience of at-one-ment, those kinds of elusive experiences of spiritual joy.

Here, here - well said. Let's acknowledge the good with the bad, the fulfilling as well as the draining; Nothing so pervasive, so influential and widespread operates in a moral vacuum - religiosity (and even spirituality) are ubiquotous aspects which have (and will continue) to play their different roles of good and bad, moral and immoral conduct in this world.

jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 03:53 pm
@Khethil,
I am never going to deny the evil that has been done in the name of God. Indeed that is one of the main reasons I believe Buddhism is superior. But I will always oppose the blanket condemnation of religions- the alternatives I see are materialism, nihilism and relativism, which are ubiquitous in today's society. A mature Christian faith is superior to any of those philosophies, in my view.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 04:06 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:

I am never going to deny the evil that has been done in the name of God. Indeed that is one of the main reasons I believe Buddhism is superior. But I will always oppose the blanket condemnation of religions- the alternatives I see are materialism, nihilism and relativism, which are ubiquitous in today's society. A mature Christian faith is superior to any of those philosophies, in my view.


I wonder why they are the only alternatives you see.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 04:31 pm
@Zetherin,
Well come up with some alternatives! I have an open mind. I am not committed to religion per se but a real philosophy has to articulate the relation of the human to 'the all' and make some sense out of our inevitable death. As it happens, most of the philosophies that attempt to tackle this are religious in origin. But I have an open mind - I have studied and am interested in all kinds of philosophy.
stevecook172001
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 05:44 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:

Well come up with some alternatives! I have an open mind. I am not committed to religion per se but a real philosophy has to articulate the relation of the human to 'the all' and make some sense out of our inevitable death. As it happens, most of the philosophies that attempt to tackle this are religious in origin. But I have an open mind - I have studied and am interested in all kinds of philosophy.

Why does death have to make "sense" in the terms you define? Or is it just a case of that (otherwise rather useful) pesky human need to impose a first-cause doing its thing again?

Your comments here are precisely what I was trying to get at in my previous post Jeepers. Sometimes the answers just aren't available.

That doesn't mean that making sh*t up is a justifiable short-cut to them.
jeeprs
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 05:57 pm
@stevecook172001,
Quote:

That doesn't mean that making sh*t up is a justifiable short-cut to them.


So it is your judgement that the history of world spiritual philosophy is essentially making sh*t up?

Does this include also the spiritual elements in Ancient Greek philosophy? Taoism? Buddhism? Or is it just the Bible? Is it that the Bible is made up sh*t, and the other ones are still OK? Where exactly will you draw the line? And how will you avoid ending up with nihilism?

Incidentally, Kethil, I wanted to address that question about my theory of Protestant atheism. Of course you can be atheist for any reason, or no reason at all, simply because you are not in the least spiritually aware or interested in any of those kinds of ideas. But the reason I say Western atheism is protestant in particular, is that philosophically, it is actually very similar to Protestantism. There is still the idea of the one saving truth, but now it is Science, rather than Religion. There is still an implicit belief in an absolute, but now it is Nature rather than God. Why do you think many of the contributors here get so antsy when the idea of 'the mind-independent reality' is questioned? Because I think that modern Western philosophy has substituted Nature for God. 'Cosmos is all there is', said Sagan. KaseiJin has the same view - there is no god (small g) but nature, and science is to nature as religion is to science. After all, that is where it came from: scientific materialism is simply one of the more recent forms of the Grand Tradition of Western philosophy (although if truth be known, QM has already demolished it.)

I notice in all of the scientific arguments about 'why religion exists' - there is one in today's paper - the effort is always to rationalise it in terms of how it helps us to survive. So in the secular philosophy of science, I contend that the idea of 'survival' has now been put in the place formerly occupied by 'salvation'. A perfect expression of this idea is Dawkin's 'Selfish Gene'. The Selfish Gene is what is really driving the whole show; we are merely its puppets, the temporary forms which it adopts in order to pursue its own agenda which is (roll of drums) survival. In Dawkin's scheme, evolutionary development of the Genome has become his equivalent of the Divine Plan. It it pursued with an equally evangelical valour, don't you think? And where do you think he learned to think like that? What would a Richard Dawkins have been, in 1650, do you think? I think it very likely he would have been a high-ranking officer in the religious institution of the day.
stevecook172001
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 06:39 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:

So it is your judgement that the history of world spiritual philosophy is essentially making sh*t up?


Yes

That doesn't however, mean that some of that sh*t is not moving, not beautiful and not reliable. Sometimes, of course, it has turned out to be ugly, viscious and unreliable

In all cases it has not been valid.

Quote:
Does this include also the spiritual elements in Ancient Greek philosophy? Taoism? Buddhism? Or is it just the Bible? Is it that the Bible is made up sh*t, and the other ones are still OK? Where exactly will you draw the line? And how will you avoid ending up with nihilism?


It includes all of them

If by nihilism you mean a position which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value, then yes, I am bound to agree. However, this does not mean that we cannot ascribe our own subjective meaning to it. Now, before you shout from the rooftops that this is no different to religion, the difference between the meaning ascribed by an atheist and one ascribed by a person of religion is that the former is dreaming and knows it, but still chooses to dream, whereas the latter is dreaming and does not know it (or cannot face knowing it).

Quote:
Incidentally, Kethil, I wanted to address that question about my theory of Protestant atheism. Of course you can be atheist for any reason, or no reason at all, simply because you are not in the least spiritually aware or interested in any of those kinds of ideas. But the reason I say Western atheism is protestant in particular, is that philosophically, it is actually very similar to Protestantism. There is still the idea of the one saving truth, but now it is Science, rather than Religion. There is still an implicit belief in an absolute, but now it is Nature rather than God. Why do you think many of the contributors here get so antsy when the idea of 'the mind-independent reality' is questioned? Because I think that modern Western philosophy has substituted Nature for God. 'Cosmos is all there is', said Sagan. KaseiJin has the same view - there is no god (small g) but nature, and science is to nature as religion is to science. After all, that is where it came from: scientific materialism is simply one of the more recent forms of the Grand Tradition of Western philosophy (although if truth be known, QM has already demolished it.)


If by western philosophy substituting "Nature" for "God", then yes, I would sincerely hope so because, of course, the synonym for "nature" is the "material world".

Why, jeepers, do you reject the almost indescribably majestic explanation of your existence evidenced by the material universe you find yourself in? A universe so full of beauty and wonder it's enough to make one fall to one's knees and weep at it. But instead, prefer the crude, cabaret of religious "explanations" of your existence?

Quote:
I notice in all of the scientific arguments about 'why religion exists' - there is one in today's paper - the effort is always to rationalise it in terms of how it helps us to survive. So in the secular philosophy of science, I contend that the idea of 'survival' has now been put in the place formerly occupied by 'salvation'. A perfect expression of this idea is Dawkin's 'Selfish Gene'. The Selfish Gene is what is really driving the whole show; we are merely its puppets, the temporary forms which it adopts in order to pursue its own agenda which is (roll of drums) survival. In Dawkin's scheme, evolutionary development of the Genome has become his equivalent of the Divine Plan. It it pursued with an equally evangelical valour, don't you think? And where do you think he learned to think like that? What would a Richard Dawkins have been, in 1650, do you think? I think it very likely he would have been a high-ranking officer in the religious institution of the day.


Whilst Dawkins would certainly argue that the selfish gene is what is driving the whole show for all life other than humans (In empirical terms, this is now more or less unarguable) he most certainly reserves humans as being exceptional to this rule. We are (as far as we know) the very first form of life that have within our remit the capacity to ignore the dictates of our genes. You haven't read Dawkins in depth. If you had, you would know that he explicitly makes the above point repeatedly.

As for your suggestion that the someone like Dawkins is the scientific equivalant of the medieval inquisitor, this is just arrant nonsense. Dawkins, like all the very best scientists, advocates that you should question everything. Which is why he (rightly) dispairs at the prospect of the rise of a new dark age of unreason.

I agree with him

jeeprs
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:11 pm
@stevecook172001,
Because there are questions that we all face that are quite out of scope for science. They are existential questions, questions of meaning and value. The universe is majestic, but according to Weinberg 'the more it is comprehensible, the more it seems pointless'. Science does not deal with issues of whether any of it means anything. You might find it majestic, but plenty of people find it a sh*t sandwich, and science has nothing to say to them.

You are idolizing science, making a god out of nature, within a universe that science itself thinks is the result of purely material forces, and into which we have emerged as a consequence of chance and necessity. I have read Dawkins in depth. He acknowledges that the very best attributes of human intelligence must always be explainable in terms of Darwinian theory and that there is no reason to believe that adaptive necessity is the least interested in truth, in any kind of philosophical sense. There is no no room for transcendent truths or spiritual values in his view of the world. Any purposes which we choose to pursue must be solely of our own making in a Universe which explicity devoid of any.

The leading cause of death for young males in Australia is suicide. I think this is sadly symptomatic of a culture that has a crisis of meaning. No, I don't mean that we should all return to churchianity. But I refuse to believe that science will address the crisis of meaning that Western culture is facing. It is not a scientific issue, but a cultural one.

So it it clear, Steve, that we shall never agree, but I do thank you for taking the time to explain your viewpoint.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 11:58 pm
Incidentally I already regret becoming emotionally escalated in this thread. It is very important to be able to discuss these ideas without becoming emotionally escalated, and very significant that this is so difficult.
Khethil
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 02:07 pm
@jeeprs,
Hey Jeeprs,

By the way, I think you've done a fine job at this discussion (re: Your comment about becoming emotionally charged). I wouldn't sweat it, we're just talkin here.


jeeprs wrote:
Incidentally, Kethil, I wanted to address that question about my theory of Protestant atheism. Of course you can be atheist for any reason, or no reason at all, simply because you are not in the least spiritually aware or interested in any of those kinds of ideas. But the reason I say Western atheism is protestant in particular, is that philosophically, it is actually very similar to Protestantism. There is still the idea of the one saving truth, but now it is Science, rather than Religion. There is still an implicit belief in an absolute, but now it is Nature rather than God. Why do you think many of the contributors here get so antsy when the idea of 'the mind-independent reality' is questioned? Because I think that modern Western philosophy has substituted Nature for God. 'Cosmos is all there is', said Sagan. KaseiJin has the same view - there is no god (small g) but nature, and science is to nature as religion is to science. After all, that is where it came from: scientific materialism is simply one of the more recent forms of the Grand Tradition of Western philosophy (although if truth be known, QM has already demolished it.)


I see what you're saying and believe I'm following you; but I don't think I'd agree with much. As I'm guessing you'd agree, what we all believe is happening out there when talking about "this has become <that>" and "folks do this because they believe <that>" is that we're expressing only that which we've seen. I've not seen a lot of this, but I'm sure there's some truth to it.

Thanks again
0 Replies
 
stevecook172001
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 03:33 pm
@jeeprs,
Jeepers, thanks for your most recent reply. You have made a significant effort here to try and accomodate what is essentially a philisophical gulf between our starting asumptions. For that, at a purely human level, you have my personal respect.

I have been quite deliberately provocative on this thread and, although I am unapologetic of my position, I am somewhat regretful of the vociferousness of my expression of it.

Anyway, thanks for a stimulating (if slightly heated) discussion.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 07:37 pm
@stevecook172001,
If you have a starting assumption you cannot ever arrive at anything but more assumptions.
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 09:29 pm
@fresco,
So with our working definition, given on a post of mine on page four, we'll find one main thread which runs through all the senses of the noun mind. (I first (or again) urge all to verify that definition range carefully) That theme is, quite specifically, cognition--both acknowledged or not.

Additionally, for example, we could add a few more entries such as those rendered by Webster's New World Dictionary, 4th Ed. (1999):

Quote:
1. Memory; recollection or remembrance
2. what one thinks, opinion
3. a) that which thinks, perceives; feels; wills; seat or subject of consciousness b) the thinking and perceiving part of consciousness; intellect or intelligence c)attention; notice d) all of an individual's conscious experiences e) the conscious and unconscious together as a unit; psyche


We could carefully look over the three pages (459~461) of entries on mind given in the Oxford English Dictionary, VOL VI, and see that acknowledged cognition is clearly involved with all senses (due the age of the edition [1933], we don't find the now understood unacknowledged portion). Thus we have cognition, in the process/flux of conscious activity by brain(1), as THE key determinant for mind.

While the OP rhetorically asks where the mind is (2), it also attempts delimits the search area by making the claim that the mind is not limited to physical circumstances; and thus asks where it might be. This claim is false by nature of the definition, and the practical fact of nature to which it is directed.

Due the more secure understanding that memory is distributed in various areas of the brain (especially the cortical sheet), we will find the binding problem being discussed from time to time. The Binding problem is the concern of how items of memory, being distributed in various bits across a wide area, can be acknowledged cognitively as a single whole. While that is something that will take much further looking into, and may never, really, be determined, it is very impractical to thereby conclude that memory is not something which exactly happens in brain.(3) This will then be one material point towards understanding how it is that in all practical matters, the mind is brain; and I'll come back at this point.



fresco wrote:
The specific significance of the question (of the OP) is that it raises the issue of the "locality of consciousness", which reductionists might argue is "in the brain". However, "non-locality" findings in physics together with holistic theorists such as Bohm have significantly changed the philosophical background to the question.


What will have to be kept in mind, regardless of any philosophical disposition, is that if the tenets of a particular claim, or assertion, cannot be demonstrated to have value in practical reality, they have no right to pressed in such absolute nuance. Locality of consciousness is very fixed within the realm of entities which demonstrate the state of having consciousness. Additionally, the QM proposition has nothing giving the place some might wish it to have; the evidence simply does not add up, and so it can be more correctly set aside.(4)




1. The word conscious is used in the noun form with the sense of active brain tissue and thus covers the processes involved with active both under the threshold of the state of having consciousness, and that above that general threshold.

2. I'd like to point out the distinguishing difference between the notion of 'mind' .vs. 'the mind.' In phrasing the question as 'where is mind,' one could feasibly see the question as being an inquiry towards the result of mind seen in final products--literature, music, art, city planning, politics, etc. In phrasing the question as 'where is the mind,' the definite article will specify the term in the sense of a discrete and unified entity.

3. Here, I purposely use the non-countable form 'brain' as opposed to 'the brain,' to keep a paradigmatic distinction between the unit whole, and the stuff of the unit whole.

4. John, E. R. (2001) A Field Theory of Consciousness. Consc and Cogn Vol 10, issue 2 (June); pp 184~213;
Segalowitz, Sidney J. (2009) A quantum physics account of consciousness: Much less than meets the eye. Brain and Cogn Vol 17, issue 2 (Nov); p 53;
Smith, C.U.M. (2009) The 'hard problem' and the quantum physicists. Part 2: Modern times. ibid; pp 54~63;
Koch, Christof (2004) The Quest for Consciousness-A Neurobiological Approach, p 336 (Roberts and Company Publishers)
Fido
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 11:21 pm
@KaseiJin,
You know, if more gobedlygook was found in a single location other than your thread a museum of gobedlygook could be opened on the spot.... If it were possible to define one mind, you would have defined one mind... The mind as a quasi concept is as elusive and women as a quasi concept... People take the rules of logic people have formulated to illustate the behavior of nature and turn that light on the mind... What do you see??? Because I see that until one can understand the whole being, and every being your definition of mind will forever be flawed... What does nervous tissue know when it turns its focus upon itself??? Can it ever for a moment be an unbiased judge of self or others???
The reductionists who say the mind is nothing but: have not even troubled to prove the phenomenon they are attempting to explain away... I do not think the effort is sublime, but ridiculous... If the object of philosophy is simplification, then the moral reality called mind is not better explained by event ever more complex...It looks on the surface as reductionism, but it does not explain a single mind trying explain all minds... We know the nervous system relies upon the normal firing of many thousands of neurons whose very complexity is enough to explain the mind and the spiritual conception of all reality... What does it add to the discussion to invoke processes even more complex, which in their own way invoke other processes even more complex???
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 01:24 am
@Fido,
Well to give credit where it is due, KJ has provided a lot of documentation and references to support his argument, which is more than a lot of people do. He has also been diligent in pursuing a particular line of argument and trying to maintain it.

Quote:
What will have to be kept in mind, regardless of any philosophical disposition, is that if the tenets of a particular claim, or assertion, cannot be demonstrated to have value in practical reality.


That said, I will note that I don't think anything that Kasiejin presents amounts to a philosophical argument, as it is all based on the premise that whatever claims are to be made, must be supported by scientific evidence. Of course, it can't be scientifically proven that a philosophical argument for the non-material nature of consciousness can ever be effective. So I will bow out at this point, as it is scientifically certain that banging one's head against a brick wall is going to damage your mind, er, brain.
Fido
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 06:34 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:

Well to give credit where it is due, KJ has provided a lot of documentation and references to support his argument, which is more than a lot of people do. He has also been diligent in pursuing a particular line of argument and trying to maintain it.

Quote:
What will have to be kept in mind, regardless of any philosophical disposition, is that if the tenets of a particular claim, or assertion, cannot be demonstrated to have value in practical reality.


That said, I will note that I don't think anything that Kasiejin presents amounts to a philosophical argument, as it is all based on the premise that whatever claims are to be made, must be supported by scientific evidence. Of course, it can't be scientifically proven that a philosophical argument for the non-material nature of consciousness can ever be effective. So I will bow out at this point, as it is scientifically certain that banging one's head against a brick wall is going to damage your mind, er, brain.


We deal with a fundamental division of our world into the physical and the moral... Science is a product of the physical world and refers to that world... Philosophy as it has come to be practiced deals more and more with the spiritual/moral world... What is right, what is justice, what is virtue, or what is love are examples of qualities conceived of spiritually, much as we spiritually conceive of a rock, or a tree, or the moon, as all concept/ideas are, the spititual essence of the object... We begin with the same application of ability, our ability, to all of reason, and must divide those concept/ideas/forms of the physical world where reason and science can be brought to bear, from those where reason is useless because reason only applies to the physical world, and not the moral/spiritual world...

Clearly, Moral forms dominate our thoughts, and present us with our greatest challenges in life... We can manage the physical world if we do not let moral forms become an impassible morass... If you look at the subject under consideration, even if we all agree that we are conscious, and all have minds, that agreement only amounts to a social form, and does not make the mind/consciouness into a physical form... If we look at the history of philosophy in regard to science, as in: The Scientific Background to Modern Philosophy, (Michael Matthews ) we can see that every change of forms in regard to the physical world is actually a simplification of what was previously an extremely complex explanation... The Ptolemaic Universe failed on complexity, while Copernicus wrongly asserted a more simple explanation.... Gallileo showed with his simple, through highly creative experiments that physics simplifies the forces we live with rather than making them more complex... This is all the application of Occam's Razor to reality, and it has served physics well...

When physics/science is applied to moral forms it does not simplify what is inevitably a complex form based upon a complex nature, but only makes more of a mess of forms that by their nature are a mess...

Think: What is the mind, what is your mind, and what is it to have your mind in agreement with others??? As with all moral forms/ideas; we are dealing in the Mind with an infinite, and the application of science to it is an attempt to make a finite reality of which we can have knowledge -out of an infinite of which true knowledge is denied to us... If we say, for example that every decision, like a trip to the store is like a chess game going on it the mind, with all pieces moved in their correct order for the adventure to turn out as desired, then the whole mind as an infinite has many chess games going on at many levels of the brain at all times.... And I have just tried to show you with a physical form a model of a moral/infinite form...

I am not saying we cannot grasp some essential knowledge of the workings of the brain from science, and I encourage the same... I am saying that every human, and then humanity can only be understood in gross... What are the forces they are conscious of, because even if it is some other form like nationality, or religion, it is the forces one is conscious of that are weighed in decisions, and not every random firing of a neuron...

Science should simplify reality, and it has, but the reality of the mind is much more complex than science can possibly grasp, and I would offer, that lobotomies were in gross what anti depressents are in our modern day, and that is an effort to control what is little understood with just enough knowledge to make control possible... Such methods are like time travel in that they may change the course of history and make our destruction possible, and total... Why not consider that there is a good reason most unhappy people are unhappy, and that their unhappiness is not the problem, but the key to a solution??? Only when enough people are unhappy with the present will the present by changed into a better future full of promise.... There is a staggering number of children and adults in this country alone on anti depressents, and what does it prove??? We have applied science to the human mind only as much as it serves the purpose of the rich and the politically powerful to control the actions of the masses... It is not with a goal of any long term good for people or the moral reality in which those suffering people suffer would be adressed, as it cannot now be address because so many people are addicted to the drugs of control...
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  0  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 09:26 am
Nice response Fido; well enunciated and in-depth in thought.
KaseiJin
 
  0  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 09:37 am
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin wrote:

What we (edit: missing 'we' added) will have to be kept in mind, regardless of any philosophical disposition, is that if the tenets of a particular claim, or assertion, cannot be demonstrated to have value in practical reality, they have no right to pressed in such absolute nuance.


jeeprs wrote:
That said, I will note that I don't think anything that Kasiejin presents amounts to a philosophical argument, as it is all based on the premise that whatever claims are to be made, must be supported by scientific evidence.( color mine)


I used my own quote (corrected version) to assure the connectedness of it . . . since jeeprs had cut part of it out, rendering it somewhat incoherent. I think it far more than simply fair to suggest that 1) we pay attention to the facts of the reality we live in, and that 2) appeal to a certain traditional formulation of thought experimentation alone ( and please do notice this significance of 'alone' here) is not enough to override the results of being more realistic, pragmatic, and down to earth about the world we have come to find ourselves in.

What jeeprs has posited (highlighted in indio, above) is paradoxically both true and false at the same time. It is true that I am not presenting, in the strictest sense on one end of the spectrum, philosophical arguments. However, it is nevertheless true that I am actually applying a philosophical position--namely, pragmatism (and in which sense, on the other end of the spectrum, I am, indeed, presenting a philosophical argument).

However (and possibly even setting the above aside) there are the basics which we'll have to face up to. We can assert that it is known that the normal H. sapiens will have two retinas, lined with photoreceptors (rods and cones) which project towards the lens of the eye. These are interconnected by amacrine and horizontal cells which are which contact with the projection intermediate bipolar cells. The outer ganglion layer projects through the optic disk and forms the optic nerves that project to the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), and we don't even know it on our own (purely subjectively speaking [there's the blind spot we never see, you see]).

To assert that the above is not true by offering philosophical argumentation is nonsensical in nature. Likewise, to argue that it cannot be known just what these sensory nerves do, in the practical sense, is an exposure of ignorance. To offer philosophical reasonings on just how it is that this particular brain structure had come about, is open territory (to some degree)--we are dealing more into speculation in such an area of inquiry.

In this very same manner, we can surely understand that there would be no gain at all, in trying to present philosophical arguments towards the proposition that the planet earth were the center of the solar system. Neither would the knowledgeable populace offer much attention to those who might wish to assert that the H. sapiens is the only species of the homo genus. What is known to be true, is just that; and any unknown to be true items, or known to be untrue items, will all fit within their several places on that bell curve.

Therefore the point of error in the opposition's statement, is that element of what it means to do methodological reasoning (whether the adjective scientific is, or is not, added). What is not testable, of course, is not falsifiable, but what has been shown to be true, will always refute what is shown to be untrue by that very discovery of truth. Be it a theist-based-religious-belief-system derived claim (e.g. an immaterial memory), or a claim due to the tradition of philosophical pondering and exposition (e.g. solipsism), what is eventually more clearly demonstrated to be the case, in all practical and fair concerns, regarding the source of consciousness and mind, is the case.

In today's library of time-tested empirical knowledge (leaving the modifier scientific out of the picture, even), the person who claims to know that memory is immaterial, that visual, auditory, olfactory, and taste sensations are immaterial, that self-awareness and self-orientation are immaterial, that cognition is immaterial in nature, are under the absolute obligation to present evidence--beyond-a-doubt-cold-cash-on-the-barrel-head evidence--that our discoveries are false! This, I charge, cannot be done in any manner or way by traditional philosophical positions at all. Likewise and equally, the person who wishes to disseminate as truth the proposition that all these above elements had been present in the form of a 'will of nature,' or 'will of deity,' before even the bipedal tracks left in East Africa some 3 million years ago, is going to have to demonstrate for all to see, just how it can be determined that such is, actually, the truth of the world in which we live.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 11:06 am
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:

Nice response Fido; well enunciated and in-depth in thought.


Saturday must be my day to say thank you.... Thank you!
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
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 © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/15/2021 at 11:52:54