9
   

Trick of the Language?

 
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 03:52 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Now the trick of the language rather is that supposedly we are information producing machines (relative classifiers) and not "reality" computing machines, but, as "reality" itself, as a conceptual ultimate place older and working frame for things and stuff, is itself the result of a computational relative process, and thus gathers as perspective from which the necessary bi-product is information, one might feel inclined to legitimately wonder what other "Reality" then our reality could we possibly refer to in our Metaphysical and Ontological search for the source ?

UNITY AS A (final) RESULT, IS NOT EQUAL, TO THE NEED FOR UNITY...
(all we have and all we can refer to is the need for unity)
Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 04:21 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:
UNITY AS A (final) RESULT, IS NOT EQUAL, TO THE NEED FOR UNITY...
(all we have and all we can refer to is the need for unity)


The apparently unfortunate human condition of being a computing machine without the possibility for a final result is reason enough to reconsider how we aim at the world with such final coinage as reality, as it is no more a matter of interest on the falsity or truthfulness of such classification which resonates as a valid goal for the wording...with "reality" for coinage we probably aim more in our will to power to dominate and conquer our immediate spheres of proximity then we could possibly ever wishfully refer to a resting final result...life and process abhors death !
Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 04:42 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
No wonder we keep attempting to classify "God" in our image as "life" and "process" instead of a final result...no wonder we can't part with ideas as volition, free will, or minds...specially a mind of minds...if for no other purpose the idea of God keeps being very much alive while causation and responsibility are themselves believed as valid terming. That being the most wonderful irony in Science giving away its youth as a method of knowledge.
0 Replies
 
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 08:48 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
...one might feel inclined to legitimately wonder what other "Reality" then our reality could we possibly refer to in our Metaphysical and Ontological search for the source ?

I can't quite tell if you are conflating finding the source with understanding "reality" in absolute fidelity, or whether you mean something else.
Obviously I agree total fidelity in understanding a system can not be reached within a system. (Not enough information carrying capacity.)
I see a the goal not in a "faithful" representation, but in essential representation. Within the limits of our (minds) capacity to hold representation of "reality", of which we are a part, strive for understanding of principle and pattern.
There is an element of art in this, the goal of representation.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 09:21 am
@MattDavis,
Quote:
Well the most obvious answer is look at the effects of massive brain trauma on an organism.


Look at the effects of any trauma on an organism. The loss of an arm, or the use of one's legs can have a profound effect on a person's mind even though the brain isn't affected by the physical changes.

I am not saying that there is no connection between brain and mind. I am just saying that the picture most of us have, with the brain similar to a computer, and the mind it's software, may be completely off.
We know that the brain governs bodily functions, and in all fairness, that is all we see evidence of in the brainscans; bodily functions. I do not know of any conclusive or even indicative results that tell us that the mind is within the brain.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 09:27 am
@medium-density,
Quote:
Meanwhile can you think of an alternative physical system that even begins to approach the complexity of the brain, such that it could possibly run the software of consciousness?


Yes. The entire universe, of which any brain is merely a small part.

The thing is, and I mean this in a very literal way, that our idea that the world is physical, in which mind evolved from the physical universe, is most likely wrong. New science indicates that the universe is inherently conscious, and that physical reality is merely a phenomenon that is manifested because there is awareness. Sounds backwards to you, probably, but to me it makes much more sense, and a lot of previously unresolved paradoxes surrounding mind and matter simply melt away.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 09:52 am
@Lola,
Quote:
Yes we do. What else would it be?


You are excluding the possibility that there are things that haven't even occurred to us yet.

Quote:
Now if you're talking a mystical something.......well, where would that be located?


When you look at a picture on your computer screen, where is that located? Is it inside the hard drive? If you could open it up you would only see mostly metal and plastic.
Is it in the file that is named <picture>.jpg in your picture folder? That's just a bunch of 0's and 1's strung together in a code, which is translated to a series of colored pixels by the appropriate program.
So where does the picture finally form? In your mind. Not in your brain. There it is just a process of chemical and electrical signals. It is only meaningful as a thing in the mind.

Now, if the picture is only in your mind, and your mind is in your brain, why did you need the computer to look at the picture?
The picture does not have location, and neither does the mind. The very idea of location in itself is a construct of mind. In fact, everything is.

It is hard to accept for most people who are raised on the western cultural belief system, but the belief that you cannot have mind without brain is backwards. You cannot have brain without mind.

It even makes sense from an evolutionary viewpoint. If there was no information that needed processing, why would a brain evolve? It may help to think in terms of information, not things.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 10:36 am
@Cyracuz,
Excellent post!!!
0 Replies
 
medium-density
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 10:49 am
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
The thing is, and I mean this in a very literal way, that our idea that the world is physical, in which mind evolved from the physical universe, is most likely wrong.


This does seem overconfident.

Quote:
New science indicates that the universe is inherently conscious, and that physical reality is merely a phenomenon that is manifested because there is awareness.


What new sciences indicates this? To state that the universe is inherently conscious seems too vast a statement to be scientifically verifiable. And to a materialist like me it seems totally unwarranted, even nonsensical. What do you mean by "the universe"? Clearly there are things inside our universe which are not conscious... what is your reason for saying that the whole is conscious?

Quote:
Sounds backwards to you, probably, but to me it makes much more sense, and a lot of previously unresolved paradoxes surrounding mind and matter simply melt away.


Can you detail some of the paradoxes which are resolved by this bizarre idea?

Quote:
You are excluding the possibility that there are things that haven't even occurred to us yet.


Sorry to lean over to the dialogue you and Lola are having, but the halls of the unimagined are difficult to bring in to discussions of the possible, y'know, by their nature. What use is it really to say that the mind could be located or formulated in some manner which is beyond our current understanding? Many of the deepest mysterious are perhaps obstructed by this limitation, but it would do us no good to mull this over at inordinate length; we must concern ourselves with the knowable; the tractable -in all humility and openness to new ideas, of course.

Quote:
It is hard to accept for most people who are raised on the western cultural belief system, but the belief that you cannot have mind without brain is backwards. You cannot have brain without mind.


I think this is perhaps the crucial element in relativist/constructivist thought (insofar as I understand and engage with it) which is mistaken. It must be both: You cannot have brain without mind, but neither can you have mind without brain. The fact that the mind constructs things does not preclude the existence of unconstructed reality- it only limits the ways in which we can appreciate that reality. Someone else quoted Shakespeare earlier in this discussion, and funnily enough I think he makes this point for me: "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" -no matter how language treats the rose, humans will generally enjoy its aroma, and all animals with vulnerable epidermis will not enjoy its thorn.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 11:14 am
@medium-density,
Quote:
Quote:
New science indicates that the universe is inherently conscious, and that physical reality is merely a phenomenon that is manifested because there is awareness.

What new sciences indicates this? To state that the universe is inherently conscious seems too vast a statement to be scientifically verifiable.
Indeed Med, so much of our speculation philosem, verging on differences in the idea of reality arising from arbitrary decisions about reality

I made it up: philosophy/semantics

To me anyhow She is real, however far to the right of the dualistic line dividing the scale of abstraction. It, All, The Whole Shebang, is Her body whereas all the activity therein is Her thinking. To this extent it's conscious

Forgive pun
0 Replies
 
MattDavis
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 11:28 am
@medium-density,
http://www.rifters.com/real/articles/NatureNeuroScience_Soon_et_al.pdf
Quote:
Taken together, two specific regions in the frontal and parietal cortex
of the human brain had considerable information that predicted the
outcome of a motor decision the subject had not yet consciously made.

I read through the study, thanks for the reference. Very Happy

I would like to first re-emphasize the difference between influence and control. The data do show a correlation (predictive power) between regions of metabolic activity and behavioral outcomes. Regions of metabolic activity (from which we can infer neurologic processes), however, are not perfectly predictive. There is not a "causal chain". Not a string of neural dominos falling leading to an outcome. Right or left frontopolar cortex to a 'region of parietal cortex stretching from the precuneus into posterior cingulate cortex' on down along a "chain" leading to motor neurons.

But... for the sake of discussion lets even grant that it is a causal chain and see where that leads us....

The study is comparing 'conscious awareness of a decision' to the earliest measurable predictors of a decision. Even if those predictors are perfectly predictive, that does not account for the decision reached.
This is what I was getting at by Harris' work. He conflates awareness with self.
If you think that you are your awareness, then yes. There is some evidence that your decisions are made by someone else (some preconscious person). This is an issue of not knowing "who" you are, rather than not knowing "what" you are.
As a point of methodology, we are examining subjects who are asked to make an arbitrary decision. This is not the type of decision one usually cares about in knowing whether or not someone has a "free will".
When one discovers that one can preconsciously walk and chew gum while reading a book, does this send anyone into an existential crisis?
Who is doing the walking? Who is doing the chewing? Who is doing the reading?
I think that what studies such as this demonstrate is that there are some very real reasons to think of conscious activity as an interplay of multiple "agents".
Choose your identity, are you the agent who does the observing of awareness, the agent who walks, the agent who scans random input looking for "meaning", or are to an amalgamation of multiple agents.
The evidence is that each of these agents is not even precisely distinct. (Overlapping nested hierarchies with multiple influences and self-referencing loops.)
So the question before Sam Harris et al. is what is your self-referencing label referring to?
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 11:29 am
@medium-density,
Quote:
This does seem overconfident.


Not if you don't ignore the contradictions that arise when trying to explain how consciousness could evolve from an unconscious universe.

Quote:
What new sciences indicates this?


The idea becomes more and more sensible the more we learn about quantum physics, and the behavior and nature of sub atomic phenomena.

Quote:
To state that the universe is inherently conscious seems too vast a statement to be scientifically verifiable.


It probably is, at least for now. But then again, no one has ever been able to verify the assumption that mind evolved physically in a mindless universe. It is the going assumption, but there is absolutely no scientific backing for it. Only religious and cultural backing. Arrogance and self importance makes us western citizens think like that.

Quote:
Can you detail some of the paradoxes which are resolved by this bizarre idea?


Like I said above, the paradox that mind can evolve from something mindless. That life can evolve from something lifeless.

Quote:
we must concern ourselves with the knowable; the tractable -in all humility and openness to new ideas, of course.


That consciousness exists is knowable. From there is is a matter of belief. Did it come from unconscious substances, or did consciousness manifest as unconscious substances? We have no answer either way. It's a matter of belief.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 11:33 am
@medium-density,
Reading my reply, I realize it doesn't really satisfy me. I should have waited until I can take my time. For now it's the best I got. Smile
0 Replies
 
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 11:36 am
@Cyracuz,
I think you were on a better track when you postulated information as axiomatic, rather than mind.
This (information theory) has correlates both in subjective and objective methodologies of examining existence.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 11:59 am
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
But then again, no one has ever been able to verify the assumption that mind evolved physically in a mindless universe.
Well put Cyr. Clearly (to my own Intuition anyhow) the entire panoply without the humanoid would constitute a hopeless, random, senseless bouncing of particles off one another, culminating in sepoctillions of rapidly cooling objects and particles mutually accelerating away from one another forever

The mechanism whereby we occupy such a special place in It All, however, is a total mystery
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 12:05 pm
@dalehileman,
I believe your intuition is incorrect on this account.
Emergent phenomena are increasingly understood as well as the related behaviors of self-organizing systems.
The alternatives are not "random" vs. "determined".
That is a false dichotomy.
Lola
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 12:29 pm
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
Now, if the picture is only in your mind, and your mind is in your brain, why did you need the computer to look at the picture?
The picture does not have location, and neither does the mind. The very idea of location in itself is a construct of mind. In fact, everything is.


I think of mind as the way we experience the workings of the brain. It is not located anywhere in the body other than the brain. What you're saying makes no sense to me. It's like saying that a car could be powered by the brakes or the clutch. This analogy is limited obviously because a car can't experience what it's like to drive, it takes a human to do that. Still, it works as far as it goes. If you think of our experience as something outside of ourselves or produced by some organ within our bodies other than the brain, then I don't know what you're talking about.

Or we could use your analogy of my computer. The picture is on my monitor and it wouldn't be there without the computer's language. The way the computer translates it's language into one I can understand is the process by which I experience the messages coming from others in far reaching lands inaccessible to me other than through the computer. But the computer's work would be useless if my brain were not functioning so that I could experience the message with all it's complex meanings.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 01:02 pm
@dalehileman,
Quote:
The mechanism whereby we occupy such a special place in It All, however, is a total mystery


Yes. It is a mystery here in the western culture. But the mechanism is called ego. And this ego blinds us often, keeping us from seeing that we are the judges and the jury. We have invented all the mechanisms that describe what we experience, and with ego unseen in the driver seat, it is not surprising that this mysterious mechanism would have everything pointing at itself as the most important part of everything. After all, loving itself is what it is made to do..
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 01:19 pm
@medium-density,
These discussion do have the tendency to explode.
I will attempt to keep my answers to you as closely tied to "free will" as possible while retaining enough concepts to make the question meaningful as it applies to my understanding of reality.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 01:44 pm
@MattDavis,
Quote:
I believe your intuition is incorrect on this account.
Forgive me Matt but in what way

Quote:
Emergent phenomena are increasingly understood as well as the related behaviors of self-organizing systems.
I'm sure Matt that you're absolutely right about that. Which phenomena, however, are you supposing that I consider not well understood

If you have reference to, "The mechanism whereby we occupy such a special place in It All, however, is a total mystery" then you might have misunderstood. I'm not questioning how we got here but why we're so special

In other words if our emergence, the single most complex organism therein, is so important to the evolution of the Universe, then being such powerless creatures, how could we have contributed

You can of course assert that it's not, but your implication is that there's nothing about the Whole Megillah suggesting a "plan." I understand your position of course and naturally you're fully entitled to it but Intuition strongly objects to such meaninglessness

Quote:
The alternatives are not "random" vs. "determined". That is a false dichotomy.
Yes, no, sorry Matt, but you misunderstand, I'm not peddling determinism. My alternatives are one in which life occupies a special place v one in which it doesn't, neither of which has to be deterministic

I realize that my issue can't be"scientifically" mulled over since Intuition has to take over where Science and Reason trail off

It's why we have a2k
 

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