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Nanoose
09-28-2009, 09:41 PM
On a number of other threads, some of us have discussed whether the mind exists separately from the brain, or if there even is a mind, i.e. are we merely material beings, which would mean the mind is synonymous with the brain, or are the mind and brain separate, possibly indicating we are more than the material.

Today, at work, I heard of the attached UN presentations (called the Mind-Body Symposium), where the idea is presented that the mind is separate from the brain, and cannot be reduced to matter and chemistry (e.g. research has shown the mind can change brain chemistry). The speakers are neuroscientists working in this area.

Here are a number of the UN presentations. Most of the clips are between 3-4 minutes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6iWazXDTps&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuKjL1fg0zk&feature=related

The mind can change brain chemistry:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycnIO4o9vbE&feature=related

Quantum mechanics and mind-brain function:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCdeiwmQgUk&feature=related

Neurological function and Near Death Experiences:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kUyFeSizr0&feature=related

Death, Mind and Consciousness (with no brain activity)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK7_T9CpvGw&feature=related

A number of other clips from this UN symposium can be linked from these.

Veeeeerrrrry interesting. ;)

Thoughts?

Nanoose
09-28-2009, 09:44 PM
Also interesting - How God Changes Your Brain:Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist

http://www.nourfoundation.com/cms/front_content.php?idcatart=511

And links to "Technology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Being..."
http://www.nourfoundation.com/cms/front_content.php

Tom Montgomery
09-28-2009, 09:46 PM
Hi Deb. I agree... a very interesting subject.

Tomorrow....

2MeterTroll
09-28-2009, 09:52 PM
more religious stuff. please put it in the title of the thread so it can be avoided.

I dont care what you believe and i wont discuss with you what i believe and i dont want to hear it.

thanks any way.

Bob Triggs
09-28-2009, 09:52 PM
Quantum Physics people talk about this as well. The film "What The Bleep Do We Know" whent into this in greater detail, especially the subsequent interviews.

Spiritual students throughout history have pointed the way to an experience of life and self beyond the body... So the mind is an aspect of Self and the brain is an organ of the body. Many great traditions point to our reality as being beyond physicality.

ishmael
09-28-2009, 10:05 PM
No question here. I've been having OOBEs since before I was old enough to write.

I don't know what it means, but it is clear and unmistakable. It's not fantasy, or wish fulfillment, and I didn't invite it, yet it's clearly real.

A fruitful area of further investigation.

P.S. I do think, from what I've read, that there are types of people, and some types are more liable to experience it.

Nanoose
09-28-2009, 10:18 PM
more religious stuff. ...

I dont care what you believe ...


Thanks, Troll. A couple of observations:

1. lots of threads don't interest me; I just move on. No comment is necessary. Really.

2. this isn't about religion; it is about neuroscience....about what we are learning and discovering regarding the mind and the brain. Evidently, you are happy to poke your head in the sand and live in the dark. Some of us enjoy learning and are receptive to what we can learn about the world around us, and if we have evidences that certain things may be true, we like to be informed.

Have a good one! :)

Kaa
09-28-2009, 10:27 PM
...the idea is presented that the mind is separate from the brain, and cannot be reduced to matter and chemistry (e.g. research has shown the mind can change brain chemistry).

I am somewhat confused. Of course the mind can change brain chemistry, that's a trivial conclusion. But how do you go from this observation to claiming that mind is more than a brain process?

For example, I can write a simple computer program that will change itself as it runs. Does that mean my program is spiritual..?

Kaa

2MeterTroll
09-28-2009, 10:27 PM
Nanoose i do beg to differ since i did listen to the vids.

I simply dont care what your religion is it has no bearing on what i think of you as a person. if i want to take your belief systems into account then many people i would simply write off.

this is my last post to this thread. have fun

Nanoose
09-28-2009, 10:28 PM
Troll! You came back!! I thought you said you had no interest!? I knew you couldn't stay away.....;)

ishmael
09-28-2009, 11:27 PM
All I can say, and then I'm headed to bed. It's not brain chemistry. Brain chemistry may be involved, but I was clearly out of my body. A body outside a body. No mistaking it.

Argue about what it means till the cows come home and I wish you all a good night.

Popeye
09-29-2009, 07:20 AM
I am somewhat confused.

moi aussi:rolleyes:

Popeye
09-29-2009, 07:25 AM
I can write a simple computer program that will change itself as it runs. Does that mean my program is spiritual..?

yes , so long as this particular piece of coding also insists i make marinara sauce from the roma tomatoes i grew this summer

BrianY
09-29-2009, 10:40 AM
It's an interesting subject. One question that the "mind is separate from the body" camp never seems to explain is how this can be true. What I mean is they never answer the question of what "vessel" or "form" the mind takes that allows its independent existence. (I fear I'm not expressing this very well...)

For example, we're often told that the mind is "energy" and there the ususal blather about how energy cannot be created or destroyed...but there's the problem of what allows the mind energy to exist in a coherent form if there is no physical "container". Why doesn't the mind energy just dissipate? If the mind is not in the brain, where is it and how is it kept coherent and organized?

Keith Wilson
09-29-2009, 10:55 AM
Well, I think one reason Deb brought it up, and the reason the discussion often has a religious aspect, is that many religions are convinced of human beings' existence without a physical body, the most familiar example being the Christian idea of something called a "soul" that has eternal life after death. The obvious response is that we don't generally encounter any kind of mind without a functioning brain, and when people die, they sure look like they no loger exist. Hence the search for empirical evidence of a "spirit", or a "soul" - some kind of human existence in this world without the body. While we don't understand very much about human consciousness, I think we can say reliably that any evidence of consciousness without a working brain is slim and tentative at best.

OTOH, I'm not sure that this has any bearing on the existence of a soul and life after death. If such things exist, nothing requires them to leave any traces we can observe by ordinary empirical methods. Of course, that leaves the question "How can we know about them reliably?", but that's another subject altogether.

Chris Coose
09-29-2009, 11:12 AM
Next week I'm headed for a 2 day Mind-Life Institute symposium in DC.
http://www.educatingworldcitizens.org/

The Dalai Lama has been hosting this annual workshop for 19 years where they bring international neuroscientists, long time eastern and western meditators of various religions and other spiritual playgrounds and discuss the investigation of neuroplasticity by way of contemplation/meditation practice.

They talk about "cultivating a healthy mind, brain and heart. Imagine that!

All's I know is that by sitting in meditation practice for the past 20 years has caused me to have less bad brain.

pefjr
09-29-2009, 11:14 AM
this isn't about religion; it is about neuroscience....about what we are learning and discovering regarding the mind and the brain. Some of us enjoy learning and are receptive to what we can learn about the world around us, and if we have evidences that certain things may be true, we like to be informed.

Really?? coulda fooled me.

Uncle Duke
09-29-2009, 11:42 AM
Some of us enjoy learning and are receptive to what we can learn about the world around usJust gotta say, as a staunch evolutionalist/materialist, that of all the people here who take religion seriously Deb/Nanoose is absolutely the most sincere and open-minded and polite.
My experience has been exactly as quoted above - no questions about it. The fact that some inquiries may overlap with other issues (as possible in this case) does not mean that the quote, above, is untrue.
Just sayin'...

downthecreek
09-29-2009, 11:44 AM
Also interesting - How God Changes Your Brain:Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist


I have no doubt that the brain can be changed depending on how we use it and that mood, expectation and disposition can be changed according to the way in which we focus our thinking. Spiritual development is real. This is one reason why I believe that prayer and other spiritual exercises are powerful (although the power is not manifested in some magic working at a distance to alter the natural course of events) and that religious belief may well be good for the physical health of the believer.

It is also well known that musical study can alter the structure of the brain. So can training to be a London black taxi driver (its called "the knowledge" and they all have to have it) And owning a pet does seem also to be good for the owner's health........

The bit I have difficulty with is the assumption that the power and the benefits necessarily come from God. That's quite a big leap.

Keith Wilson
09-29-2009, 11:45 AM
Just gotta say, as a staunch evolutionalist/materialist, that of all the people here who take religion seriously Deb/Nanoose is absolutely the most sincere and open-minded and polite. My experience has been exactly as stated above - no questions about it. The fact that some inquiries may overlap with other issues (as possible in this case) does not mean that the quote, above, is untrue.
I agree completely (although I wouldn't consider myself a materialist as such). The nature of human consicouness is most certainly worthy of investigation; what could be more so?

downthecreek
09-29-2009, 11:45 AM
Just sayin'...

Rightly saying :)

Popeye
09-29-2009, 11:49 AM
Really?? coulda fooled me.

yep

Chris Coose
09-29-2009, 11:51 AM
Downthecrick,

My experience suggests the magicians have used tricks over the centuries to make money.

Spiritual development doesn't come without a dedication to activity.

Uncle Duke
09-29-2009, 11:55 AM
The nature of human consicouness is most certainly worthy of investigation; what could be more so?
I can't find the link offhand, but I recall that some number a group of scientists/visionaries/thinkers were asked to list the hardest unresolved problems and estimate when they might get solved.
Almost universally they all agreed that understanding consciousness might fall into the category of "never solved". Which does not, of course, mean that it is not worth talking about.

Example: can we remove "human" in the quote above? Do we really think that only humans possess consciousness? I'm pretty sure that cats do, but what about ants?

Keith Wilson
09-29-2009, 11:59 AM
. . . but what about ants? Individually, or the colony as a whole? And what exactly do you mean by "consiousness", anyway?

http://hotcrumbsoflove.com/blog1/wp-content/uploads/can%20of%20worms.jpg

:D

Chris Coose
09-29-2009, 11:59 AM
I get CEU's.

Popeye
09-29-2009, 12:07 PM
..the search for empirical evidence of a "spirit", or a "soul" - some kind of human existence in this world without the body.

on what basis do you feel this 'search' might succeed , looking for empirical evidence of something .. not necessarily physical ?:confused:

oops , never mind ..


nothing requires them (souls) to leave any traces we can observe by ordinary empirical methods. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

(whacks self on head with stiff board)

Uncle Duke
09-29-2009, 12:13 PM
Individually, or the colony as a whole?
Individually, I'd think. (Mostly just to keep it simple - the discussion of a "hive mind" is... uhm.... scary?) We all know that groups function very differently than individuals - "mob mentality", for example.

And what exactly do you mean by "consiousness", anyway?
Gee, I was really hoping that you'd put out a straw man for us to beat up!
My straw man = (1) requires the physical/chemical body, but is not physical or chemical itself and (2) requires a self analytic capability.
What else should be on the list?

downthecreek
09-29-2009, 12:16 PM
Spiritual development doesn't come without a dedication to activity.

Agreed :)

htom
09-29-2009, 12:19 PM
I think that ultimately this resolves into the "do you have a soul" question; that the mind can change the brain (and that the brain influences the mind) is these days almost given. The question is why the mind-brain makes the choices it does; on one extreme, it's random quantum effects, on the other extreme, it's the soul, and agnostics like me say "both".

I was taken by the idea that we're all trapped in the "Web of Spider" (W. Michael Gear), doomed to free will, to experience what we can, and to report to Him about our experiences and why we made the choices we did.

Popeye
09-29-2009, 12:23 PM
saying the human spirit ain't so , alters it how much ?

Keith Wilson
09-29-2009, 12:26 PM
What's a "spirit"?

Popeye
09-29-2009, 12:29 PM
been there , done that

the 'spirit' is an existence .. not human

more..

animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms

a supernatural being or essence

the immaterial intelligent or sentient part of a person

Uncle Duke
09-29-2009, 12:32 PM
What's a "spirit"? http://s2.thisnext.com/media/230x230/Red-Breast-Irish-Whiskey-12_DF376DE7.jpg
:D Free-choice involved with this type...

Glen Longino
09-29-2009, 12:35 PM
been there , done that

the 'spirit' is an existence .. not human

Your existence may be "not human".
Mine Is human, oh cryptic one!:rolleyes:

Popeye
09-29-2009, 12:38 PM
no glen , your experience(s) is/are human
your entire existence is something else

Glen Longino
09-29-2009, 12:55 PM
no glen , your experience(s) is/are human
your entire existence is something else

I don't think so.
What makes you think so?

Kaa
09-29-2009, 12:57 PM
What makes you think so?

A bad can of spinach? :D

Kaa

Popeye
09-29-2009, 01:02 PM
What makes you think so?rational thought , et toi ?

oxygen is real too glen , doesn't matter one iota how you quantify it , deny it even exists , if it pleases you

are you still breathing ?

pefjr
09-29-2009, 01:18 PM
Yes Nanoose, there is a definite problem with the mind-brain here.

Peerie Maa
09-29-2009, 01:21 PM
I to believe that what we think about the inputs that we receive does alter the brains chemistry. After all the brain uses chemistry to manage the body as well as the electrical signals to the muscles.

I further believe that the weird experiences that people experience are due to the brain functioning in unusual conditions, low oxygen, sleep paralysis, trance state, etc. Our brains are so complicated that they can function in less than ideal circumstances, whereas a simpler PC's CPU would crash. The brain then tries (when returned to normal operating conditions) to make some sense of all of the garbled inputs that it has collected, and generates the weird experiences alluded to in post #1's links.

Glen Longino
09-29-2009, 01:22 PM
rational thought , et toi ?

oxygen is real too glen , doesn't matter one iota how you quantify it , deny it even exists , if it pleases you

are you still breathing ?

So, since there is oxygen that I can't see, there must also be a soul I can't see?
What's rational about that?

pefjr
09-29-2009, 01:26 PM
I to believe that what we think about the inputs that we receive does alter the brains chemistry. After all the brain uses chemistry to manage the body as well as the electrical signals to the muscles.

I further believe that the weird experiences that people experience are due to the brain functioning in unusual conditions, low oxygen, sleep paralysis, trance state, etc. Our brains are so complicated that they can function in less than ideal circumstances, whereas a simpler PC's CPU would crash. The brain then tries (when returned to normal operating conditions) to make some sense of all of the garbled inputs that it has collected, and generates the weird experiences alluded to in post #1's links.

The "trickster" .

I have to give Nanoose and A+ for trying. She keeps looking for science to confirm her beliefs.

Popeye
09-29-2009, 01:28 PM
since there is oxygen that I can't see, there must also be a soul I can't see?
What's rational about that?

it's not

and it looks to me like those thoughts are distinctly your own

see my point ?

Glen Longino
09-29-2009, 01:32 PM
it's not

and it looks to me like those thoughts are distinctly your own

see my point ?

Of course not!:)

Popeye
09-29-2009, 01:35 PM
then , by all means , give up now

or , you could join keith in his quest , he seeks the immaterial

but he isn't having much luck

Keith Wilson
09-29-2009, 01:55 PM
. . . but he isn't having much luck And you ain't helping much, my dear spinachophage.

Chris Coose
09-29-2009, 01:56 PM
"Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers"
by Robert Sopolsky

is a great read on brain function. It is not a for dummys book and it isn't necessarily written for the neuroscientist either.

johnw
09-29-2009, 02:04 PM
In 1949, British philosopher Gilbert Ryle coined the term 'the ghost in the machine' to describe the sort of Cartesian dualism that assumes the brain and mind are separate. He rejected that, preferring to see things in an entirely materialistic way. There's actually another way to think of this, which sees the brain as the hardware, experience as the software and the mind as the resulting functioning whole.

I wrote something about my opinions on this a while back, if anyone is interested.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19407908/thoughts-on-structuralism-and-the-death-of-ghosts

Popeye
09-30-2009, 07:41 AM
http://www.scribd.com/ (http://www.scribd.com/doc/19407908/thoughts-on-structuralism-and-the-death-of-ghosts)


some great recipes on that site , thanks

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 08:01 AM
This mind-brain "problem..." is it a uniquely human problem? Or is it also a problem with regard to self-aware primates? How about canines?

Popeye
09-30-2009, 08:12 AM
i would guess my dog is a sentient being , he probably perceives many things which i do not , 'ghosts' included

LeeG
09-30-2009, 08:17 AM
On a number of other threads, some of us have discussed whether the mind exists separately from the brain, or if there even is a mind, i.e. are we merely material beings, which would mean the mind is synonymous with the brain, or are the mind and brain separate, possibly indicating we are more than the material.



Deb, my impression is that you start from a description of human existence that starts with a sharp delineation between the body "mere matter" and and the mind (self, soul, me-me-me) so that being human can skip through the end of life reality we see with all living things where they are born, live and die.

What is wrong with being "merely" material and within our material existence there are things we simply cannot know? Within our material existence we can believe all kinds of things. Within our blessed material existance there is a beginning, middle and end.

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 08:22 AM
Is that an answer of "yes," "no," or "maybe?"

By your use of "sentient" I would guess a hog is also a sentient being. What does sentience have to do with the "mind-brain problem?"

LeeG
09-30-2009, 08:27 AM
In 1949, British philosopher Gilbert Ryle coined the term 'the ghost in the machine' to describe the sort of Cartesian dualism that assumes the brain and mind are separate. He rejected that, preferring to see things in an entirely materialistic way. There's actually another way to think of this, which sees the brain as the hardware, experience as the software and the mind as the resulting functioning whole.

I wrote something about my opinions on this a while back, if anyone is interested.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19407908/thoughts-on-structuralism-and-the-death-of-ghosts


exactly, talking about the mind as being "more than mere matter" is like saying a birds ability to fly must be something more than it's physiology. The idea of "more than.." reflects a definition attempting to resolve it's own contradictions.

LeeG
09-30-2009, 08:29 AM
Is that an answer of "yes," "no," or "maybe?"

By your use of "sentient" I would guess a hog is also a sentient being. What does sentience have to do with the "mind-brain problem?"

And how do you find out if the hog has a "mind-brain problem"?

Popeye
09-30-2009, 08:30 AM
pretty darn clumsy tom , i still assume we having a genuine discussion , no attempt on your part to lead the unwary masses to pointy sharp sticks at the bottom of an open pit ..

Popeye
09-30-2009, 08:34 AM
talking about the mind as being "more than mere matter" is like saying a birds ability to fly must be something more than it's physiology. .

and , so it is ..:rolleyes:

Popeye
09-30-2009, 08:35 AM
johnw thinks people are not eternal

Popeye
09-30-2009, 08:39 AM
What is wrong with being "merely" material ..

ever wonder whats going on outside .. ?

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 08:47 AM
pretty darn clumsy tom , i still assume we having a genuine discussion , no attempt on your part to lead the unwary masses to pointy sharp sticks at the bottom of an open pit ..

I'm wondering if chimpanzees, which are self-aware primates capable of learning language to communicate with humans and full of recognizable emotions, share the mind-brain problem with human beings. Or is it a problem unique to human beings?

LeeG
09-30-2009, 08:48 AM
and , so it is ..:rolleyes:

oh,,there's the air

LeeG
09-30-2009, 08:52 AM
ever wonder whats going on outside .. ?

outside of what?

Popeye
09-30-2009, 09:05 AM
outside of what?

the material world

Popeye
09-30-2009, 09:06 AM
oh,,there's the air

keep going .. you missed a spot

LeeG
09-30-2009, 09:07 AM
the material world

what is outside is inside

Popeye
09-30-2009, 09:08 AM
what is outside is inside

a narrow assumption

most likely wrong

LeeG
09-30-2009, 09:10 AM
keep going .. you missed a spot

out , out damn spot!

LeeG
09-30-2009, 09:12 AM
a narrow assumption

most likely wrong

You are using outside in what unit of measure? Inches, centimeters or outside the creation in your mind?



What is the boundary delineating outside from inside made of?

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 09:31 AM
ever wonder whats going on outside .. ?

outside of what?

the material world Sure. What methods can we use to find out? When someone makes a claim about what exists outside the material world, how can we tell if they're right or just imagining stuff? What about Kaa's immaterial pink pony?

LeeG
09-30-2009, 09:37 AM
that's what I'm getting at. This "outside" exists inside someones head. I'd rather look at the person, rock, whatever and think that IT contains it's mysteries and not my description of it.

LeeG
09-30-2009, 09:43 AM
johnw thinks people are not eternal

protons have a half-life of 6.6x10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 yrs. and the universe is around 15,000,000,000 yrs.

Eternal sounds like a very long time.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 09:51 AM
People sure don't look like they're eternal, as much as we'd like to be. From all appeances, we die after a while and cease to exist. Is there any good evidence to make us think otherwise?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
09-30-2009, 09:58 AM
.... What about Kaa's immaterial pink pony?

Was that not "invisible" rather than "immaterial"?

Kaaaaa?

LeeG
09-30-2009, 09:59 AM
from what I've seen of pets, relatives and others through hospice we're just like any other animal. We wind down, sputter, die and decay. The person "within" dissapears bit by bit and is gone. I don't see why a 54yr old Lee should be living in a 8yr old Lee or a 78yr old Lee sliding off the raft as the parts unwind and stop.

Eternal is what happens after we're gone. It's an idea with no one to think it. Not something I'd bet on.

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 10:00 AM
I'd like those who claim there is a "mind-brain problem" propose the proper method of studying the "problem." Or is study of the problem simply humanly impossible?

LeeG
09-30-2009, 10:04 AM
I'd like those who claim there is a "mind-brain problem" propose the proper method of studying the "problem." Or is study of the problem simply humanly impossible?

Get two people concerned with the problem and have them sit facing each other.


then go sailing.

TomF
09-30-2009, 10:20 AM
...1) There are those who consider the anecdotal testimony of events which might lead one to believe that there is a schism between the mind and the brain, as strong evidence to support the idea...

(snip)

I think it's fairly clear that there's a strong correlation between those who align with #1 above, and their religious proclivities. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you.... .True, in that any religion I'm aware of has always posited a soul. It would be odd to find a self-described religious person who didn't think a soul existed, even if the evidence is only anecdotal.


But there can be a couple of answers to the obvious "which came first" question:

Do you start by holding a religious view, and support anecdotal mind/body split stuff because it reinforces your view?
Do you find the anecdotal stuff compelling in itself, which in turn leads you to think differently about how various groups of people have followed the thought processes?
If I had an OBE, for instance, even if I'd been a strict evidence-based matter-comes-first kinda guy before, that personal anecdote would lead me to re-think a few things.

pefjr
09-30-2009, 10:59 AM
If I had an OBE, for instance, even if I'd been a strict evidence-based matter-comes-first kinda guy before, that personal anecdote would lead me to re-think a few things.

That is because you are not a strict evidence-based matter-comes- first kinda guy.:)

Popeye
09-30-2009, 11:13 AM
What is the boundary delineating outside from inside made of?

some boundaries are physical , some boundaries are theoretical , mathematical concepts and abstract ideas

let me know if inside and outside is still a puzzle for you , i can start a thread


You are using outside in what unit of measure?

'outside' is not a parametric problem

Popeye
09-30-2009, 11:16 AM
When someone makes a claim about what exists outside the material world, how can we tell if they're right or just imagining stuff?

by learning how to use the evidence we have

Popeye
09-30-2009, 11:19 AM
This "outside" exists inside someones head.

as does space-time , dark matter , black holes and a huge chunk of mathematics

you are saying we have it all wrong ?

Popeye
09-30-2009, 11:23 AM
From all appeances, we die after a while and cease to exist.

true only if you assume the human experience is existence

which is a philosophical point of view , based on materialism or some such nonsense

LeeG
09-30-2009, 11:24 AM
Popeye, talking about theoretical boundaries is fun. Regarding mind/matter boundaries I believe that is something that exists as a theory when a person is alive and can articulate them, when they die those boundaries no longer exist. That existance doesn't define the nature of it's non-existance other than "none".

Popeye
09-30-2009, 11:29 AM
I'd like those who claim there is a "mind-brain problem" propose the proper method of studying the "problem."

one proper method is to delve into the theological , but i'm going to leave that one up to the experts

another obvious method is to not attempt to study the 'particle' itself , but instead look at the 'particles' effect

Popeye
09-30-2009, 11:31 AM
I believe that is something that exists as a theory when a person is alive and can articulate them, when they die those boundaries no longer exist.

your offering is a personal philosophy leeg , nothing more

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 11:32 AM
your offering is a personal philosophy leeg , nothing more

And what is your offering if not a personal philosophy.
Everybody's got one.

pefjr
09-30-2009, 11:35 AM
some boundaries are physical , some boundaries are theoretical , mathematical concepts and abstract ideas
careful you don't trip on all those boundaries you have created . The "trickster" is at work. :D

Popeye
09-30-2009, 11:36 AM
what is your offering if not a personal philosophy..umm .. 'religious' / philosophical overtones in my posts ..:confused:

where ?

Popeye
09-30-2009, 11:37 AM
The "trickster" is at work.

go atheists go , go atheists go

rah rah rah

yaaaay atheists

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 11:39 AM
true only if you assume the human experience is existence
I don't. It may not be. However, as far as I can tell, it's the only existence we human beings know about. Again, when someone makes a claim about what exists outside the human experience, how can we tell if they're right or just making up stuff? What about Kaa's invisible pink pony?

Kaa
09-30-2009, 11:43 AM
What about Kaa's invisible pink pony?

Whaddaya mean, "invisible"? It was a perfectly good pink pony, of wholesome pink color, and with sparkles and ribbons, too. And then that pony-thief Popeye stole it to try to get into the fairy ring, but was kicked out and since then has been selling fake imitation ponies to yokels from Texas!

Kaa

Popeye
09-30-2009, 11:50 AM
..as far as I can tell, it's the only existence we human beings know about. projection bias

stop it

Popeye
09-30-2009, 11:53 AM
Again, when someone makes a claim about what exists outside the human experience, how can we tell if they're right or just making up stuff?


again , you already asked this question , again , i already answered this question in post number 84

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 11:55 AM
as does space-time , dark matter , black holes.... [exist inside someone's head]
So how do you account for the fact that GPS devices must be calibrated for the effect of spacetime? How do you account for the fact that we can detect and locate black holes in spacetime?

you are saying we have it all wrong ?
"We?" I think you've got it wrong.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 11:57 AM
projection biasNo it's not.
stop it No.

I sure would like it if you'd at least make an attempt at answering my question, oh eater of spinach. Here it is again: When someone makes a claim about what exists outside the human experience, how can we tell if they're right or just making things up ?

Here's a little story about pink stuff.
The Electric Monk
From Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0671746723) by Douglas Adams

High on a rocky promontory sat an Electric Monk on a bored horse. From under its rough woven cowl the Monk gazed unblinkingly down into another valley, with which it was having a problem.

The day was hot, the sun stood in an empty hazy sky and beat down upon the gray rocks and the scrubby, parched grass. Nothing moved, not even the Monk. The horse's tail moved a little, swishing slightly to try and move a little air, but that was all. Otherwise, nothing moved.

The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.

Unfortunately this Electric Monk had developed a fault, and had started to believe all kinds of things, more or less at random. It was even beginning to believe things they'd have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City. It had never heard of Salt Lake City, of course. Nor had it ever heard of a quingigillion, which was roughly the number of miles between this valley and the Great Salt Lake of Utah.

The problem with the valley was this. The Monk currently believed that the valley and everything in the valley and around it, including the Monk itself and the Monk's horse, was a uniform shade of pale pink. This made for a certain difficulty in distinguishing any one thing from any other thing, and therefore made doing anything or going anywhere impossible, or at least difficult and dangerous. Hence the immobility of the Monk and the boredom of the horse, which had had to put up with a lot of silly things in its time but was secretly of the opinion that this was one of the silliest.

How long did the Monk believe these things?

Well, as far as the Monk was concerned, forever. The faith which moves mountains, or at least believes them against all the available evidence to be pink, was a solid and abiding faith, a great rock against which the world could hurl whatever it would, yet it would not be shaken. In practice, the horse knew, twenty-four hours was usually about its lot.

So what of this horse, then, that actually held opinions, and was sceptical about things? Unusual behaviour for a horse, wasn't it? An unusual horse perhaps?

No. Although it was certainly a handsome and well-built example of its species, it was none the less a perfectly ordinary horse, such as convergent evolution has produced in many of the places that life is to be found. They have always understood a great deal more than they let on. It is difficult to be sat on all day, every day, by some other creature, without forming an opinion on them.

On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to sit all day, every day, on top of another creature and not have the slightest thought about them whatsoever.

When the early models of these Monks were built, it was felt to be important that they be instantly recognisable as artificial objects. There must be no danger of their looking at all like real people. You wouldn't want your video recorder lounging around on the sofa all day while it was watching TV. You wouldn't want it picking its nose, drinking beer and sending out for pizzas.

So the Monks were built with an eye for originality of design and also for practical horse-riding ability. This was important. People, and indeed things, looked more sincere on a horse. So two legs were held to be both more suitable and cheaper than the more normal primes of seventeen, nineteen or twenty-three; the skin the Monks were given was pinkish-looking instead of purple, soft and smooth instead of crenellated. They were also restricted to just one mouth and nose, but were given instead an additional eye, making for a grand total of two. A strange looking creature indeed. But truly excellent at believing the most preposterous things.

This Monk had first gone wrong when it was simply given too much to believe in one day. It was, by mistake, cross-connected to a video recorder that was watching eleven TV channels simultaneously, and this caused it to blow a bank of illogic circuits. The video recorder only had to watch them, of course. It didn't have to believe them as well. This is why instruction manuals are so important.

So after a hectic week of believing that war was peace, that good was bad, that the moon was made of blue cheese, and that God needed a lot of money sent to a certain box number, the Monk started to believe that thirty-five percent of all tables were hermaphrodites, and then broke down. The man from the Monk shop said that it needed a whole new motherboard, but then pointed out that the new improved Monk Plus models were twice as powerful, had an entirely new multi-tasking Negative Capability feature that allowed them to hold up to sixteen entirely different and contradictory ideas in memory simultaneously without generating any irritating system errors, were twice as fast and at least three times as glib, and you could have a whole new one for less than the cost of replacing the motherboard of the old model.

That was it. Done.

The faulty Monk was turned out into the desert where it could believe what it liked, including the idea that it had been hard done by. It was allowed to keep its horse, since horses were so cheap to make.

For a number of days and nights, which it variously believed to be three, forty-three, and five hundred and ninety-eight thousand seven hundred and three, it roamed the desert, putting its simple Electric trust in rocks, birds, clouds, and a form of non-existent elephant-asparagus, until at last it fetched up here, on this high rock, overlooking a valley that was not, despite the deep fervour of the Monk's belief, pink. Not even a little bit.

Time passed.

Popeye
09-30-2009, 12:04 PM
funny how a jury of keiths peers can line him up with 25 years of hard labor .. based on very little really , except testimonial evidence

or should i say 'anecdote' ?:rolleyes::D

time to start coloring inside the lines

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 12:09 PM
The jury bases their decision on ordinary human experince, empirical evidence, as best they can.

When people make a claims about what exists outside human experience, how can we tell if they're right or just making things up ?

Popeye
09-30-2009, 12:10 PM
how do you account for the fact that GPS devices must be calibrated for the effect of spacetime? How do you account for the fact that we can detect and locate black holes in spacetime? um .. tom , space-time and black holes were not discovered , they are theorized to exist and their effects have been shown

while you are at it , grab me a chunk of dark matter and show it to me:rolleyes:

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 12:11 PM
one proper method is to delve into the theological....
Just as I thought. OK, now we must choose which theology of the various religions of the world to use to study the problem. How do we choose?

FWIW, I don't think this is the direction Deb intended to take.

another obvious method is to not attempt to study the 'particle' itself , but instead look at the 'particles' effect

OK. So tell us how you would go about doing that with regard to the "mind-body problem."

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 12:13 PM
What's with this comment
The "trickster" .

I have to give Nanoose and A+ for trying. She keeps looking for science to confirm her beliefs.

after quoting my post?

Popeye
09-30-2009, 12:13 PM
When people make a claims about what exists outside human experience, how can we tell if they're right or just making things up ?

what would a rational thinking jury say ?


The jury bases their decision on ordinary human experince, empirical evidence, as best they can.

duh

Popeye
09-30-2009, 12:18 PM
we must choose which theology of the various religions of the world to use to study the problem.

why ?

Popeye
09-30-2009, 12:19 PM
So tell us how you would go about doing that with regard to the "mind-body problem." collect evidence / data and analyze it

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 12:27 PM
umm .. 'religious' / philosophical overtones in my posts ..:confused:

where ?

Most of your posts.
Check out #93
Your bias is thinly veiled!:rolleyes:

LeeG
09-30-2009, 12:29 PM
go atheists go , go atheists go

rah rah rah

yaaaay atheists

In the spirit of civility could you please explain about the eternal nature of the mind? I assume from your brief comments that is something you believe.

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 12:30 PM
collect evidence / data and analyze it

You're joking! You would collect evidence? What constitutes "evidence" for you? Is it in any way akin to SammyF's beloved "proof?"

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 12:30 PM
what would a rational thinking jury say ?



duh

Based on the evidence, a rational jury would have to say the mind is a function of the living brain.
No evidence to the contrary.

LeeG
09-30-2009, 12:33 PM
the material world

back to this comment. Where is this "outside"?

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 12:33 PM
um .. tom , space-time and black holes were not discovered , they are theorized to exist and their effects have been shown

while you are at it , grab me a chunk of dark matter and show it to me:rolleyes:

OK... I'll play along. Name something that causes an effect but does not exist.

Popeye
09-30-2009, 12:34 PM
#93
Your bias is thinly veiled!

glen , stand up out of your chair sloooowly next time you try to get up

Kaa
09-30-2009, 12:36 PM
OK... I'll play along. Name something that causes an effect but does not exist.

That which causes radioactive decay? :-)

Kaa

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 12:37 PM
glen , stand up out of your chair sloooowly next time you try to get up

Pop, go empty your bowel...you've got a Spinach Backup bordering on Overload!:eek:

TomF
09-30-2009, 12:38 PM
Whaddaya mean, "invisible"? It was a perfectly good pink pony, of wholesome pink color, and with sparkles and ribbons, too...You realize, of course, this is an oxymoron. As anyone who's had daughters in the last 20 years can vouch, there is no pink pony that's a "wholesome" colour.

The only pink ponies that exist are a vile, almost irridescent bubblegum colour, and smell of week-old cotton candy. They slouch and breed in the (still pink) shadows of certain aisles of Toys R Us, where their menace is increased by fluorescent bulbs completely devoid of the blue end of the light spectrum.

Thank God that Dirk Gently's monk couldn't find pink in its valley, however fervently it believed. Pink isn't a colour, it's a kudzu vine.

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 12:41 PM
That which causes radioactive decay? :-)

Kaa
Ah ha! It appears to be simultaneously random and inevitable.

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 12:48 PM
What about Kaa's immaterial pink pony?


Was that not "invisible" rather than "immaterial"?

Kaaaaa?

Neither
http://i408.photobucket.com/albums/pp164/peerie_maa/DSC01050.jpg?t=1254332624

Popeye
09-30-2009, 12:50 PM
could you please explain about the eternal nature of the mind?

to argue against your own existence , has absolutely no basis in fact:rolleyes:

the eternal nature of the mind is a logical consequence of your own existence

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 12:54 PM
to argue against your own existence , has absolutely no basis in fact:rolleyes:

the eternal nature of the mind is a logical consequence of your own existence

There is nothing logical about claiming "eternal" for an existence that stops after four score years and ten.

Popeye
09-30-2009, 12:57 PM
Name something that causes an effect but does not exist. dark matter ..

where is gravity .. point to it

if a photon's rest mass is zero , why does it have inertia ?

Popeye
09-30-2009, 12:58 PM
There is nothing logical about claiming "eternal" for an existence that stops after four score years and ten.

johnw thinks people are not eternal

Popeye
09-30-2009, 01:02 PM
What constitutes "evidence" for you? average people , independent from one another, with nothing to gain , under like conditions , recalling shared experiences with marked similarities

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 01:05 PM
"the eternal nature of the mind is a logical consequence of your own existence"

Absolutely Not logical!
Not in a million years.

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 01:06 PM
Ahhh... which brings us back to UFO's, demons, Bigfoot, ghosts, crop circles, etc. Well, whatever floats yer boat.

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 01:08 PM
johnw thinks people are not eternal

So do hundreds of millions of other people, myself included! So what?

Popeye
09-30-2009, 01:11 PM
So do hundreds of millions of other people, myself included! So what?

most likely true

LeeG
09-30-2009, 01:13 PM
to argue against your own existence , has absolutely no basis in fact:rolleyes:

the eternal nature of the mind is a logical consequence of your own existence

Could you please walk me through the logical steps that lead you to believe your mind is eternal?

LeeG
09-30-2009, 01:16 PM
average people , independent from one another, with nothing to gain , under like conditions , recalling shared experiences with marked similarities

Sounds like people have similar experiences, and this means the mind is eternal?

Popeye
09-30-2009, 01:16 PM
Absolutely Not logical!
Not in a million years.

no ?

so your logic is mind=grey matter

.. you had better check the very first post again and refute it

Popeye
09-30-2009, 01:19 PM
Sounds like people have similar experiences, and this means the mind is eternal?

no leeg , this means we have something to go on

as opposed to nothing to go on , except arbitrary philosophical conjecture like glen is supplying

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 01:22 PM
no ?

so your logic is mind=grey matter

.. you had better check the very first post again and refute it

It has already been refuted to my satisfaction.

Popeye
09-30-2009, 01:25 PM
Could you please walk me through the logical steps that lead you to ..... (determine) the mind is eternal?

step 1 , leeg is a sentient being

step 2 , leeg gets old and croaks

step 3 , leeg's human experiences cease

step 4 , leeg's existence is self evident

Popeye
09-30-2009, 01:26 PM
It has already been refuted to my satisfaction. seems easy enough to do

as for those poor bastard neuroscientists being mislead , oh well

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 01:28 PM
"arbitrary philosophical conjecture"

You mean as opposed to arbitrary super-natural forces and imaginary gods and Eternal Minds?

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 01:29 PM
seems easy enough to do

as for those poor bastard neuroscientists being mislead , oh well

It's not the first time they've been mislead, or rather, mislead themselves.

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 01:32 PM
Not quite right, this is better

step 1 , leeg is a sentient being

step 2 , leeg gets old and croaks

step 3 , leeg's human experiences cease

step 4 , leeg's existence WAS self evident

Popeye
09-30-2009, 01:35 PM
ho boy , it's void time ...

down the rabbit hole we go

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 01:38 PM
ho boy , it's void time ...

down the rabbit hole we go

News Flash!!!!
You've been in the rabbit hole for some time now!:rolleyes:

Popeye
09-30-2009, 01:42 PM
first , gather up sufficient conclusions
next , write your evidence

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 01:50 PM
first , gather up sufficient conclusions
next , write your evidence

Go for it!;)

Popeye
09-30-2009, 01:58 PM
rabbit hole number two:

those bible thumping nerdo-scientists , they whack

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 02:04 PM
step 1 , leeg is a sentient being
step 2 , leeg gets old and croaks
step 3 , leeg's human experiences cease
step 4 , leeg's existence is self evident Leeg's continued existence? Self-evident to whom?

It's all pink, I tell you; PINK!

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 02:06 PM
rabbit hole number two:

those bible thumping nerdo-scientists , they whack

I didn't say that, you said that!
Remember back when the "neuroscientists" of not so long ago were convinced of the wonders of lobotomies?

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 02:08 PM
Wow, I'd just love to see a rational defense of THAT idea!

Why heck, Norman, it's Pure Logic. Popeye Logic!:)

LeeG
09-30-2009, 02:08 PM
step 1 , leeg is a sentient being

step 2 , leeg gets old and croaks

step 3 , leeg's human experiences cease

step 4 , leeg's existence is self evident

I still don't see how that leads to the human mind being eternal.
Last week I was reading letters from my parents to my grandparents in 1950. Right now my dad is losing his short term and long term memory. His grasp on reality is slipping in big chunks. What happened yesterday or 60yrs ago is no longer in his grasp. What is eternal about his mind and it's capacity to function as a self aware entity?

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 02:11 PM
Leeg's continued existence? Self-evident to whom?

It's all pink, I tell you; PINK!

Maybe Leeg reincarnates and continues the cycle over and over until he gets it right. Shirley MacClaine and millions of others claim it is what has happened (or "is happening") to them. That is an awful lot of what Popeye calls "evidence."

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 02:20 PM
Maybe LeeG will come back as Kaa's long lost Pink Pony?

LeeG
09-30-2009, 02:22 PM
my $.02 is that when someone kicks the bucket they're eternally gone and the mind of those behind have only their stories to tell, which bounce around in the place where ideas like "eternal" and "pink" reside.

LeeG
09-30-2009, 02:22 PM
Maybe LeeG will come back as Kaa's long lost Pink Pony?

I'll settle for the life of one of my dogs.

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 02:26 PM
I'll settle for the life of one of my dogs.

Same here!

pefjr
09-30-2009, 02:26 PM
Is man's mind-brain the most developed of the animals?

and could you say the mind-brain is life-dependent(not eternal) until the chain of evolution and all life ceases to exist?

LeeG
09-30-2009, 02:28 PM
I'd like to know if our sun is sentient

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 02:38 PM
Is man's mind-brain the most developed of the animals?
Who knows

You Bastard is the sole remaining camel in the Royal stables of Djelibeybi (lit. Child of the Djel). He also happens to be the greatest mathematician on the disc.?:p


and could you say the mind-brain is life-dependent(not eternal) until the chain of evolution and all life ceases to exist?
Are you suggesting that mind is like a meme, and has an existence independent of the mechanisms that transmit it, hence reincarnation?
Or that something else will come along if all life goes extinct?

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 02:44 PM
A meme has an existence independent of the mechanisms that transmit it? How in the world?

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 02:49 PM
A meme has an existence independent of the mechanisms that transmit it? How in the world?


A meme (pronounced /ˈmiːm/, rhyming with "cream"[1]) is a postulated unit or element of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, and is transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena.Wiki
Did I say something wrong?:o

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 02:53 PM
How can a meme have a existence independent of the mechanisms that transmit it? (I'd include physical mechanisms - books, recordings, sound waves, etc as part of that.)

Kaa
09-30-2009, 02:57 PM
How can a meme have a existence independent of the mechanisms that transmit it?

We're back to the question of whether, say, the number pi "has an existence".

Is anyone surprised? :-)

Kaa

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 03:00 PM
How can a meme have a existence independent of the mechanisms that transmit it? (I'd include physical mechanisms - books, recordings, sound waves, etc as part of that.)

I was thinking in the sense that a meme will move from vehicle to vehicle through time, and still exist for centuries after the first of those vehicles have gone to dust.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 03:09 PM
OK; right. I would say that an idea (a meme is a kind of idea) can be encoded in various ways. For example, a song can be recorded by different artists on various media, written down as sheet music, or remembered in human brains - but it has no independent existence apart from the ways it's encoded. You can't show me a naked meme; it always has some physical manifestation.

Minds, as something at a brain does, might be a case of a very very complicated process which it might be possible to copy into different mechanisms. We don't know how to do it, of course, or even if it's possible to do, although the idea has been used in lots of science-fiction stories.

pefjr
09-30-2009, 03:10 PM
Who knows
?:p


Are you suggesting that mind is like a meme, and has an existence independent of the mechanisms that transmit it, hence reincarnation?
Or that something else will come along if all life goes extinct?
not exactly, not reincarnation, just evolutionary genetics.

ishmael
09-30-2009, 03:36 PM
This question can't be settled by argument at our current state of development. I kinda doubt it ever will be, though there is some interesting anecdotal stuff floating about.

My current opinion is that there is...words fail me...a "vibrational state" that is parallel with the material. In that state is our soul, and the soul of everything material.

Don't ask me to prove it.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 03:39 PM
This question can't be settled by argument at our current state of development.This is the single most rational sentence on this thread.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 04:23 PM
my $.02 is that when someone kicks the bucket they're eternally gone and the mind of those behind have only their stories to tell, which bounce around in the place where ideas like "eternal" and "pink" reside.

But the work of neuroscientists mentioned in the initial links indicates otherwise.

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 04:31 PM
But the work of neuroscientists mentioned in the initial links indicates otherwise.

Did they? I thought that they had got no further than roughing out some questions.
One discussion of evidence (learned from working with actors, darrling) was about the brains ability to modify the mind, but that was not about two separate entities.

LeeG
09-30-2009, 04:33 PM
But the work of neuroscientists mentioned in the initial links indicates otherwise.

indicates what?

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 04:37 PM
could you say the mind-brain is life-dependent(not eternal) until the chain of evolution and all life ceases to exist?

Still not quite with you.


could you say the mind-brain is life-dependent(not eternal)
Yes understand that and agree with you.

until the chain of evolution and all life ceases to exist?

but if everything ceases how can the mind linked to a brain in a life dependant relationship change into something independent of the genetic mechanism that is the vehicle for both evolution and continuing existence of a vehicle for the mind?

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 04:45 PM
What is wrong with being "merely" material and within our material existence there are things we simply cannot know? Within our material existence we can believe all kinds of things. Within our blessed material existance there is a beginning, middle and end.

I'm not sure it's a question of "wrong", but what is. The UN clips seem to indicate neuroscientists have evidence that we are "more" than "merely" material.

The immaterial clearly exists as it is causally effective on the material. Therefore, materialism (the view that only the material exists) fails. From there follow a number of questions. But the initial point is that materialism is inadequate to explain all that is, and mind-brain research indicate the mind exists separately from the brain, and that we are not "merely" material.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 04:48 PM
People sure don't look like they're eternal, as much as we'd like to be. From all appeances, we die after a while and cease to exist. Is there any good evidence to make us think otherwise?

See some of the clips in post #1.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 04:51 PM
from what I've seen of pets, relatives and others through hospice we're just like any other animal. We wind down, sputter, die and decay. The person "within" dissapears bit by bit and is gone. I don't see why a 54yr old Lee should be living in a 8yr old Lee or a 78yr old Lee sliding off the raft as the parts unwind and stop.

Eternal is what happens after we're gone. It's an idea with no one to think it. Not something I'd bet on.

But the work cited in post #1 indicates otherwise.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 04:52 PM
I'd like those who claim there is a "mind-brain problem" propose the proper method of studying the "problem." Or is study of the problem simply humanly impossible?

People are studying it - see post #1.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
09-30-2009, 04:53 PM
I'm not sure it's a question of "wrong", but what is. The UN clips seem to indicate neuroscientists have evidence that we are "more" than "merely" material.

The immaterial clearly exists as it is causally effective on the material. Therefore, materialism (the view that only the material exists) fails. From there follow a number of questions. But the initial point is that materialism is inadequate to explain all that is, and mind-brain research indicate the mind exists separately from the brain, and that we are not "merely" material.

Sadly this reads as "nonsense" - The immaterial clearly exists as it is causally effective on the material - dearie me - have you never studied plasticity in neural development?

If the poor folks in the first few clips worked real hard for a long time it might make it from "nonsense" to "drivel" - we will wait and see.

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 04:57 PM
I'm not sure it's a question of "wrong", but what is. The UN clips seem to indicate neuroscientists have evidence that we are "more" than "merely" material.

I still did not see that. Those neuroscientists had questions and were discussing possible areas for research, but no evidence was submitted that could allow conclusions to be drawn. Can you cite published papers that establish those conclusions?


The immaterial clearly exists as it is causally effective on the material. Therefore, materialism (the view that only the material exists) fails. From there follow a number of questions. But the initial point is that materialism is inadequate to explain all that is, and mind-brain research indicate the mind exists separately from the brain, and that we are not "merely" material.
The only cause and effect cited was those of the actors, which is not an earth shattering insight. The brain caused chemicals to be released, adrenaline, dopamine and so on, so that is nothing new, but the observation may be useful in developing the treatment of abnormal conditions.

pefjr
09-30-2009, 05:00 PM
Nick

and could you say the mind-brain is life-dependent(not eternal) until the chain of evolution and all life ceases to exist? pefjr

life-dependent: biological life- from scum to man

Mind-brain is not eternal, but could you say it is life-dependent from the first life to the present stage of evolution, man(assuming man has the most developed brain) and will continue via evolutionary genetics until life ceases to exist? Is there some genetic element of the brain carried forward generation to next generation?

johnw
09-30-2009, 05:03 PM
How can a meme have a existence independent of the mechanisms that transmit it? (I'd include physical mechanisms - books, recordings, sound waves, etc as part of that.)
A meme requires something to contain the information. That's why advanced neolithic civilizations arose several times, then disappeared again; there were not sufficient minds present to contain the memes involved.

If the 'ghost in the machine' is an assemblage of memes, the death of one brain doesn't mean the death of those memes. To the extent that a particular person's mind has influenced and taught others, the 'ghost' of that mind continues to exist in the structure of thought that person has influenced.

It's not a very spooky ghost story, nor a terribly satisfying form of soul survival, but can you claim that ideas are entirely material? Understanding thought entirely in the material terms of neurology is a bit like trying to understand Shakespeare's writing by studying caligraphy and typefaces. It is a study of how thought is transmitted, which is very different from a study of thought.

I think religion is right in thinking there is more to a person than the material body, and right in thinking something survives beyond a person's death, I just disagree about the nature of what that is and how it survives. I think religious truth is allegorical and poetic rather than precise and scientific.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 05:07 PM
...when someone makes a claim about what exists outside the human experience, how can we tell if they're right or just making up stuff? What about Kaa's invisible pink pony?

I think we need evidence...something to corroborate the claim. e.g. Joseph Smith's claims lack evidence and corroboration; therefore, we are right to doubt his claims. The claim that the Holocaust never occured speaks contrary to the evidence.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 05:08 PM
Whaddaya mean, "invisible"? It was a perfectly good pink pony, of wholesome pink color, and with sparkles and ribbons, too. And then that pony-thief Popeye stole it to try to get into the fairy ring, but was kicked out and since then has been selling fake imitation ponies to yokels from Texas!

Kaa

As it is Kaa's pink pony, it appears to be a hallucination.

pefjr
09-30-2009, 05:11 PM
I think we need evidence...something to corroborate the claim. e.g. Joseph Smith's claims lack evidence and corroboration; therefore, we are right to doubt his claims. The claim that the Holocaust never occured speaks contrary to the evidence.Interesting you see the problem of the Mormon's claim, but don't see the Christians and the Story of Jesus.

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 05:11 PM
As it is Kaa's pink pony, it appears to be a hallucination.

See post #119:D

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 05:12 PM
I think religion is right in thinking there is more to a person than the material body, and right in thinking something survives beyond a person's death, I just disagree about the nature of what that is and how it survives. I think religious truth is allegorical and poetic rather than precise and scientific. Very good! That's worth thinking about.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 05:13 PM
The jury bases their decision on ordinary human experince, empirical evidence, as best they can.

When people make a claims about what exists outside human experience, how can we tell if they're right or just making things up ?

I think we weigh available evidence, and then make an inference to the best explanation. What answer best accounts for all we know regarding X. Little in the universe is proven. We operate on this basis all the time.

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 05:13 PM
I think we need evidence...something to corroborate the claim. e.g. Joseph Smith's claims lack evidence and corroboration; therefore, we are right to doubt his claims. The claim that the Holocaust never occured speaks contrary to the evidence.

Smiths claims were attested to by twelve men honest and true, is that not corroboration more valid than stories remembered and written down decades after the event?


In addition to Smith's account regarding the plates, eleven others signed affidavits that they saw and handled the golden plates for themselves. Their written testimonies are known as the Testimony of Three Witnesses[15] and the Testimony of Eight Witnesses.[16] These affidavits are published as part of the introductory pages to the Book of Mormon. from Wiki

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 05:18 PM
Based on the evidence, a rational jury would have to say the mind is a function of the living brain.
No evidence to the contrary.

The clips in post #1 by those working in this field wouldn't support your conclusion, i.e. the evidence indicates otherwise.

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 05:21 PM
The clips in post #1 by those working in this field wouldn't support your conclusion, i.e. the evidence indicates otherwise.

Deb,
Are you ignoring my posts?

pefjr
09-30-2009, 05:23 PM
The clips in post #1 by those working in this field wouldn't support your conclusion, i.e. the evidence indicates otherwise.Nanoose, your "evidence" does not stand up when scrutinized.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 05:24 PM
Actually no, Deb, they wouldn't. They indicate there's much we don't understand, but we knew that already, and they talk about interesting directions for further investigation. They are not evidence that mind is something that exists separately from a functioning brain.
I think we weigh available evidence, and then make an inference to the best explanation. What answer best accounts for all we know regarding X. Little in the universe is proven. We operate on this basis all the time. Sure, and very often the best answer is "we don't know". One of the most pernicious habits of the human mind is imagining we know something when we don't.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
09-30-2009, 05:26 PM
The clips in post #1 by those working in this field wouldn't support your conclusion, i.e. the evidence indicates otherwise.

I do hope you are not expecting anyone else who has watched those clips to draw the same conclusion.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 05:27 PM
Sadly this reads as "nonsense" - The immaterial clearly exists as it is causally effective on the material -

You lost me.
How is that nonsense?

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 05:28 PM
I'd like those who claim there is a "mind-brain problem" propose the proper method of studying the "problem." Or is study of the problem simply humanly impossible

People are studying it - see post #1.
OK. I'll take the video links you posted one by one.

The 1st link: Do you really want science to address spirituality and religion? I'm afraid you'd be setting yourself up for disappointment.

As for what should pass as evidence, see posts #124, #126 and #149.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 05:31 PM
How is that nonsense? What we think affects the chemical and electrical structure of the brain. So? We knew that thoughts have effects. This is demonstrated every time I move. This does not mean that "the immaterial clearly exists." A far more parsimonious explanation is that thoughts are electrochemical patterns within our brains.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
09-30-2009, 05:32 PM
Taking just the first phrase.

The immaterial clearly exists

What, exactly, is this "immaterial" - where does it "exist"? - how is this "clear"?

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 06:08 PM
Video link #2:

"To this date we are sort of outside the scope of science. It's not so much that science denies them [consciousness, emotions, feelings, etc.], denies their reality, but science doesn't have the proper tools, the proper concepts, to even assess, to begin to assess the reality, or even the non-reality, of these phenomena...."

"We are trying to assess the reality of certain types of experiences in terms that confers some degree of autonomy, some degree of independence, from the neuronal basis."

Good luck.

See posts #78, #88, #103, #107, #110, #124, #126 & #149.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 06:17 PM
What we think affects the chemical and electrical structure of the brain. So? We knew that thoughts have effects. This is demonstrated every time I move. This does not mean that "the immaterial clearly exists." A far more parsimonious explanation is that thoughts are electrochemical patterns within our brains.

"What we think AFFECTS..."

Sure...but that does not mean they are one and the same; in fact, it indicates they are not.

Until you can show me a pound of "thought" to prove otherwise, it is immaterial. And as you point out, the immaterial is causally effective on the material - whether in my choosing (ah - another immaterial thing causally effective on the material) to raise my arm, or build a 747. The thought is not the same as the action, or the 747 - the immaterial is causally effective on the material.

Now, materialists would posit, in fact, everything is determined in a closed system of cause and effect; i.e. free will does not exist....in which case we don't choose to raise our arm. But I don't think anyone here would deny free will exists; and that is another immaterial thing.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 06:20 PM
Taking just the first phrase.

The immaterial clearly exists

What, exactly, is this "immaterial" - where does it "exist"? - how is this "clear"?

Your thoughts, will, memories, ideas....all immaterial things. No one has yet put a pound of any of them on the table for examination. Can't. They're immaterial.

And they clearly exist, as they are causally effective on the material (the physical). e.g. your thinking about a rum and coke becomes causally effective as you pour the drink.....and then...well, you know the rest. ;)

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 06:22 PM
Deb,
Are you ignoring my posts?

Never!....I'm just arriving late to the party. Forgive me while I try to catch up....
There may be some cross-posting as I work my way through the thread....

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 06:22 PM
I think that your argument that the mind is an immaterial thing separate from the brain is analogous to claiming that the music is an immaterial thing separate from the disk of vinyl with those spiral grooves.

It could be a sterile argument lost because words can mean subtly different things to different people.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 06:24 PM
One discussion of evidence (learned from working with actors, darrling) was about the brains ability to modify the mind, but that was not about two separate entities.

I thought it was about the mind's ability to impact the brain - to rewire it?

Peerie Maa
09-30-2009, 06:24 PM
Never!....I'm just arriving late to the party. Forgive me while I try to catch up....
There may be some cross-posting as I work my way through the thread....

Unfortunately its now past my bed time. Damned time zones y'know.:(

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 06:32 PM
Video link # 3:

Jeffrey Schwarz, M.D. cites actor Leonardo DeCaprio as an example of the mind affecting brain chemistry. Schwarz claims that, as a result of becoming immersed in the character of obsessive-compulsive sufferer Howard Hughes, Leonardo DeCaprio suffered himself from obsessive-compulsive symptoms for three months after filming of The Aviator ended.

Wrong. As a matter of fact, DeCaprio himself actually suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and has discussed this in numerous interviews. It has nothing whatsoever to do with his portrayal of Howard Hughes in The Aviator.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 06:38 PM
..One of the most pernicious habits of the human mind is imagining we know something when we don't.

Right behind saying we don't know because one doesn't like the answer. ;)

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 06:41 PM
The 1st link: Do you really want science to address spirituality and religion? I'm afraid you'd be setting yourself up for disappointment.

.

By definition, science is powerless to address spirituality and religion. But much of what science discovers about the world can inform spirituality and religion. Physical evidences can substantiate (and invalidate) spiritual/religious claims.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 06:43 PM
I think that your argument that the mind is an immaterial thing separate from the brain is analogous to claiming that the music is an immaterial thing separate from the disk of vinyl with those spiral grooves.

It could be a sterile argument lost because words can mean subtly different things to different people.

Yes, but that is the joy of a good discussion - arriving at a better understanding, and appreciation, of someone else's POV.

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 06:50 PM
Video #4 is simply embarrassing:


"They [presumably he is referring to particle physists] have a wave function that represents the brain."

Wrong. The wave function does not represent the brain. Quantum theory has nothing to do with brain function. The speaker stutters, hems and haws throughout his remarks. I presume that is because he is making up stuff as he goes along. What he says is gobbledegook.

My opinion of the UN is dropping like a stone.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 06:59 PM
Your thoughts, will, memories, ideas....all immaterial things. No one has yet put a pound of any of them on the table for examination. Can't. They're immaterial.With all respect, this is silly.

Consider a simple example. What's "plaid"? Can you put a pound of plaid on the table for examination? Can you show me one? I can show you examples, but that's only objects that reflect different frequencies of light arranged in a particular pattern. I copied the url for the image of the Duncan of Sketraw (whatever that is) tartan - no plaid there. I pasted a string of characters into the computer, where it was converted into electrical impulses in the computer's circuitry. No plaid in sight. That was converted into radio waves which went to the router - still no plaid. It then was converted into another digital signal, went out over the phone lines, and to a server, or string of servers somewhere, where it was further changed into different patterns of electrical impulses - but no plaid. You typed various codes into your computer or clicked the mouse which caused other complicated electrical patterns, and your screen is now emitting light in a regular pattern - but is it plaid? The cells in your retinas absorb the light, covert it into electrochemical impulses in your brain and you see green and blue and yellow and white and red patches in a certain relationship - but where's the plaid? It's all just carefully arranged matter and energy, no plaid anywhere.

http://www.clan-duncan.co.uk/images/tartan/duncan-sketraw-tartan.gif

We can imagine that "plaid" is immaterial , some mystical essence independent of the various steps it goes through to get from me to you, and that it somehow exists separately from all the electrons and light rays and neurons and other things that are involved - or, much more simply, we can say that the same information can be encoded in various ways: in the computer, in the radio waves, in the hone lines, in beams of light, or in our brains. "Plaid" is a pattern, a way to arrange matter and energy, and has absolutely no independent existence outside the ways it is encoded.

I submit that mind is a very, very complex ever-changing pattern.

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 07:02 PM
Video #5:

Bruce Grayson argues in support of the acceptance of anecdotal evidence of NDE. OK.

Bruce Grayson claims instances of dementia sufferers and the mentally-ill achieving "mental clarity" as they are dying. He further claims that "we have no materialistic explanation" for such phenomena, but claims that the assumption of a mind-brain disconnect DOES explain this alleged phenomena.

Color me unimpressed and unconvinced.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 07:07 PM
Right behind saying we don't know because one doesn't like the answer. Much of this, I'm going to get irritated. If I'm doing that, show me where.

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 07:30 PM
Video #6:

The speaker asserts that cardiac arrest is synonymous with death. He claims that the reports of NDE by people who have been revived is evidence of consciousness in the absence of brain function.

Color me unconvinced. Show me definitive studies of people who suffered brain stem death (that's what Docs are checking for when they shine a light in the eyes), have been revived, and consequently related near-death experiences. How many have there been? NONE?

Tom Montgomery
09-30-2009, 07:35 PM
So... what do I think of the video links in post #1? I think they are stuff and nonsense. Very disappointing.

johnw
09-30-2009, 08:04 PM
With all respect, this is silly.

Consider a simple example. What's "plaid"? Can you put a pound of plaid on the table for examination? Can you show me one? I can show you examples, but that's only objects that reflect different frequencies of light arranged in a particular pattern. I copied the url for the image of the Duncan of Sketraw (whatever that is) tartan - no plaid there. I pasted a string of characters into the computer, where it was converted into electrical impulses in the computer's circuitry. No plaid in sight. That was converted into radio waves which went to the router - still no plaid. It then was converted into another digital signal, went out over the phone lines, and to a server, or string of servers somewhere, where it was further changed into different patterns of electrical impulses - but no plaid. You typed various codes into your computer or clicked the mouse which caused other complicated electrical patterns, and your screen is now emitting light in a regular pattern - but is it plaid? The cells in your retinas absorb the light, covert it into electrochemical impulses in your brain and you see green and blue and yellow and white and red patches in a certain relationship - but where's the plaid? It's all just carefully arranged matter and energy, no plaid anywhere.

http://www.clan-duncan.co.uk/images/tartan/duncan-sketraw-tartan.gif

We can imagine that "plaid" is immaterial , some mystical essence independent of the various steps it goes through to get from me to you, and that it somehow exists separately from all the electrons and light rays and neurons and other things that are involved - or, much more simply, we can say that the same information can be encoded in various ways: in the computer, in the radio waves, in the hone lines, in beams of light, or in our brains. "Plaid" is a pattern, a way to arrange matter and energy, and has absolutely no independent existence outside the ways it is encoded.

I submit that mind is a very, very complex ever-changing pattern.

What next? Plato's cave? Quite a few mathematicians are Platonists. Do the ideal forms of numbers have an existence beyond the ways of encoding them?

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 08:07 PM
What next? Plato's cave? Quite a few mathematicians are Platonists. Do the ideal forms of numbers have an existence beyond the ways of encoding them?

Nope! Not to be dogmatic about it.;)

pefjr
09-30-2009, 08:15 PM
A 5 page Nanoose wild goose chase to find God. But it did stimulate a few kilos( not pounds) of thought.

Good try, Nanny

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 08:23 PM
A 5 page Nanoose wild goose chase to find God. But it did stimulate a few kilos( not pounds) of thought.

Good try, Nanny

You may be misunderstanding Deb.
You see, she already Knows there is A God.
She already Knows there is a Super-Natural Realm beyond the material world.
She's only trying to give us scientific evidence that her beliefs are scientific facts.
Of course, her scientific evidence is not evidence at all, as Tom said.
But as Deb says, the subject is worthy of discussion.
It's better than discussing which caliber rifle is the best deer killer, IMO.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 08:26 PM
Keith - I think the plaid analogy is lacking.

First, plaid is a material "thing" that actually exists; we can put a "pound of plaid" on the table. Plaid is a pattern created when weaving fabric by combining threads of various colors according to an established pattern. Plaid patterns have material existence. Thoughts/will/memories do not have material existence. They have a material effect/impact, but that does not make them one and the same. The affect of the thought is not synonymous with the thought. If it were, every thought would have to have an action, but we have thoughts all the time that do not result in any action - any material effect. And a thought is not the same thing as the sentence used to express it. "Es regnet" and "it is raining" are very different sentences, but they both express the same thought. The thought expressed by the sentence is invisible and in the mind of the speaker.

Let x and y stand for any entity whatsoever. If x is identical to y, then whatever is true of x is true of y and vice versa. Moreover, if x is identical to y, then, necessarily, x is identical to y; it is not possible for x not to be y. Mental states (mind) are not identical to anything physical (brain).

Now, that is not the same as mental and physical causal interaction and functional dependence. If something happens to the brain, memory loss occurs; if a person persists in anxious thoughts, brain chemistry changes. But none of this says anything at all about what mental states themselves are. Something is what it is in virtue of its intrinsic constituents - its properties, potentialities and parts - and not in virtue of what caused it or what must be present for it to function.

Mental states (mind) are not synonymous with brain states; x is not identical to y. Mental states are characterized by their intrinsic, subjective, inner, private texture made present to us by first-person introspection. There are at least 5 different mental states: sensation, thought, belief, desire and volition.

In general, mental states have these features, none of which is a physical feature of anything: an intrinsic, raw conscious feel (a "what it is like" aspect e.g. of a pain); intentionality; they are of or about things; they are inner, private and known by first-person, direct introspection (any way you have of knowing about a physical entity is available to everyone else); they are constituted by self-presenting properties (we're aware of the physical world by our mental states, but can be aware of our mental states directly); some sensations are vague, but no physical state is vague; mental states can have the property of familiarity, but familiarity is not a physical property of something physical.

Since mental states have features physical states do not, they are not identical.

(Ref: JPMoreland and Scott Rae, "Body and Soul", 158-160)

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 08:30 PM
Do the ideal forms of numbers have an existence beyond the ways of encoding them?

Yes. Do they exist objectively and absolutely, as things we 'discover' about the universe? If humanity was wiped off the earth, would 2+2=4 still be true? If every example of 'red' was burned, would red still exist? I say yes, it would. Some things simply exist.....maths, colors, morals (natural law), laws of physics....whether we exist or not. Some things have objective existence.

LeeG
09-30-2009, 08:32 PM
I'm watching Top Chef on TV. I hope I don't get banned for saying that.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 08:36 PM
Along the same lines, what makes "me" me? If all that exists is the material (no mind, just brain; no immaterial, just material), then as I change materially, I am no longer me! Every cell in our body is replaced every 7 years. So, am I a different person than I was 7 years ago? Am I a different person than the 1 year old in that picture on the wall? I guess I'm married to someone 'not Dave', as we married 27 years ago. None of us would sustain that view, but given materialism/naturalism, that is what you have.

pefjr
09-30-2009, 08:38 PM
You may be misunderstanding Deb.
You see, she already Knows there is A God.
She already Knows there is a Super-Natural Realm beyond the material world.
She's only trying to give us scientific evidence that her beliefs are scientific facts.
Of course, her scientific evidence is not evidence at all, as Tom said.
But as Deb says, the subject is worthy of discussion.
It's better than discussing which caliber rifle is the best deer killer, IMO.So, Nanny and Popeye are really providing a WBF service? Keeping the gun threads down. Never thought of it like that. Course that thought was not separate from my brain and weighed up at .00023 of a pennyweight. :D

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 08:42 PM
Yes. Do they exist objectively and absolutely, as things we 'discover' about the universe? If humanity was wiped off the earth, would 2+2=4 still be true? If every example of 'red' was burned, would red still exist? I say yes, it would. Some things simply exist.....maths, colors, morals....whether we exist or not. Some things have objective existence.

None of those things have objective existence without the interpretation of our brains. 2+2=4 has no meaning without our observance.

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 08:45 PM
I'm watching Top Chef on TV. I hope I don't get banned for saying that.

You're living on the edge, Lee!:)

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 09:17 PM
None of those things have objective existence without the interpretation of our brains. 2+2=4 has no meaning without our observance.

Interesting. So for you, Glen, 2+2=4 is only true if humans exist to interpret it? If we were annihilated, 2+2 would not equal 4?

PatCox
09-30-2009, 09:28 PM
Here is a simple proposition: Maybe the fallacy is in thinking that anything beyond comprehension, by which I mean beyond logical understanding by the human mind, must be "supernatural." Maybe its just something natural and explainable, but only explainable by rules we are unable, as imperfect organisms with limited abilities, to understand, and perceivable only by senses we don't possess.

I don't see any logical reason why a thinking machine should be able to understand the why it thinks. To me, that seems to be asking of it something bigger than itself. So, just because we cannot understand how our brains produce our consciousness, that does not mean that oour consciousness is somehow supernatural, or that it must be the work of something supernatural. It just means we are too dumb to understand it, because of inherent limitations in our consciousness and understanding itself.

PatCox
09-30-2009, 09:33 PM
Nanoose, you are saying that some things have a non-objective existence. 5, and "red" are not things, they have no objective existence. There can be 5 of something, but there is no 5. There are red things, but there is no red. There are good things and good occurences, but there is no "good."

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 09:40 PM
Thoughts/will/memories do not have material existence. Of course they do. Let us take a very simple thought: "I'm hungry." I think it; neurons fire in my brain, and the thought is encoded in the firing of neurons. We don't understand the code, but if the neurons stop firing - presto, no thought. I write it down - it then is encoded in words, which are then encoded in patterns of graphite on paper. Alternately I can type "I'm hungry" on the computer, and it's encoded in electronic impulses in the computer's circuitry. I can say "I'm hungry," and the pattern in my brain is re-encoded in complex motions of my mouth and throat, which produce a pattern of sound waves, a little wrinkling of the air, which produces a pattern of motions in the ear, which produces electrical impulses in someone else's brain. There are many ways to encode information, and to translate the same idea from one code to another. I could say "Tengo hambre" or "J'ai faim" or "Onaka ga suita" - other ways to encode the information. I could broadcast it over radio, over fiber optic cables, over TV, by semaphore - all different codes.

But without the matter and energy, nothing is there; one cannot have a naked idea that is not encoded in the physical world. Ideas are encoded as patterns of matter and energy - whether "plaid" or "I'm hungry" - and have no separate existence.

PatCox
09-30-2009, 09:41 PM
Tom, I agree completely, about near death and supposed back from the dead experiences. A human body is alive in two ways, in the functioning of the body as a whole, and in the life of the individual cells that make up the body.

Clinical "death" only means that the body as a whole has ceased functioning. But many of the individual cells are still alive for some time.

The brain cells of these clinically "dead" people did not die, if they did, they would not have revived. They just regained the ability to function as an whole body. But the brain cells were not dead.

They may have experienced the subjective sensations of the shutting down of the body, they may have experienced the sensations, the conscious perception, of the shutting down of the brain as it lost oxygen and was flooded with who knows what hormones and chemicals released by the various organs which play a role in emotion and sensation. But the brain was not dead, the person was not dead, the person was perceiving sensations associated with the physical and chemical processes which occur as the body as a whole functioning organism stops functioning as such. Thats all.

PatCox
09-30-2009, 09:46 PM
Keith, that means "5" only "exists" in the mind of someone thinking "5". I think thats wrong too. You are saying that the chemical and physical attributes of a brain thinking "5" is "5". Thats not true. There is a "5", but that "5" has no objective existence.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 09:48 PM
If all that exists is the material (no mind, just brain; no immaterial, just material)This is the logical fallacy of begging the question, assuming what one is trying to demonstrate. You start by assuming assume that mind is immaterial, and if the immarterial doesn't exist you have no mind, only a brain. But if mind is something the brain does . . .


then as I change materially, I am no longer me! That's certainly true. It only takes a very subtle change in brain chemistry, and "you" changes radically. Have you ever known anyone with Alzheimer's? Severe depression? Who took LSD or other heavy-duty drugs? Had a stroke or other brain damage? If the patterns are disrupted, you change. The extreme case is death - the brain stops working and the "you" ceases completely, as far as anyone can tell.

PatCox
09-30-2009, 09:52 PM
Keith, I think that the way physics understands "information" is a useful thing to explore here, I don't know it well, but I do know that in physics, any object or force inherently also consists of, has a property of, "information," and in physics, that information is connected to, and unknowable in the absence of, the thing or force itself.

But on the other hand, the fact that the information is unknowable, does not mean it does not exist. According to quantum theory, the location and velocity of an electron is unknowable, its information is truly impossible to ever see. But does that mean the electron does not exist?

Your discussion of people changing from depression or alzheimers is off the point, too, they are still the same person, they just have a different perception, subjective perception, of themselves and reality.

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 09:53 PM
Interesting. So for you, Glen, 2+2=4 is only true if humans exist to interpret it? If we were annihilated, 2+2 would not equal 4?

Right...2+2=4 is a human construct that helps us understand the Natural world.
Likewise, "red" is a human invention that helps us interpret and label our visible color spectrum. Without our brains, red is not red.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 09:53 PM
Keith, that means "5" only "exists" in the mind of someone thinking "5"No, that's not what I meant. "5" exists in every pentane molecule (5 carbons) every petagonal object, every written 5, evenr "5" ina computer's circuits, every collection of five things. But absent either matter or energy or some combination in which "5 is encoded, what's there? Nothing.

Pat, I think you have what I'm saying backwards. Certainly there are a lot of things we don't know about, although they still exist. There are probably some that are impossible for us to know about that still exist. But without matter and energy, to have properties or to encode information in orderly patterns, where is the information?

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 09:57 PM
... There are red things, but there is no red. ...

So if there are red things, but no red, how do we account for the fact that some things belong to the class of red things while others are excluded? What grounds the unity of red concrete particulars (e.g. red sofa, an apple, a fire engine, a brick) if there is no 'red'?

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 09:59 PM
What next? Plato's cave? Quite a few mathematicians are Platonists. Do the ideal forms of numbers have an existence beyond the ways of encoding them?Indeed, I am about as far from being a Platonist as it's possible to get.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 09:59 PM
Right...2+2=4 is a human construct that helps us understand the Natural world.
Likewise, "red" is a human invention that helps us interpret and label our visible color spectrum. Without our brains, red is not red.

So, did red not exist prior to humans appearing?

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 10:07 PM
Many languages do not have separate words for blue and green. Some divide up the spectrum differently than we English speakers do. Frequencies of light exist, but the electromagnetic spectrum is continuous; colors are a human invention - a perfectly good idea, but just an idea, which exists only as it is encoded in various media.

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 10:08 PM
So, did red not exist prior to humans appearing?

Hummingbirds and butterflies can see red, but they can't say "red".

PatCox
09-30-2009, 10:13 PM
Hey, we are all stuck in the limits of human understanding and perception. Here is what I think:

Some things 'exist" which have no physical, objective existence. 5 and red, for example. They exist whether someone exists to think them or not. But they do not have tangible existence. Our deepest ingrained logical circuits cannot understand "being" without tangible existence, so we get all discombobulated by these things.

Some things are beyond our understanding, but that does not mean that they are "magic" or supernatural, by which I mean, things that are beyond the natural laws of nature, they are just beyond our understanding of the natural laws of nature.

Are those two propositions so bad? All they are are admissions of limitations, acceptance of the fact that we are not frigging omniscient. All Knowing. Thats supposed to be a capacity God has, not us.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 10:15 PM
Mental states (mind) are not identical to anything physical (brain).We do NOT know this. In fact this statement is an enormous leap far beyond the frontiers of human knowledge. We do not know how the human brain works, certainly not well enough to say anything like this.

PatCox
09-30-2009, 10:16 PM
"Many languages do not have separate words for blue and green. Some divide up the spectrum differently than we English speakers do. Frequencies of light exist, but the electromagnetic spectrum is continuous; colors are a human invention - a perfectly good idea, but just an idea, which exists only as it is encoded in various media."

Keith, things exist whether we give them a label or not. The fact that we haven't given them a label just means we can't think about them. The attribute of reflecting what some percieve and label as "red" is an attribute that things have whether we name it red or don't have a name for it; the symbol is not the thing, the perception of the thing, the thought of the thing, is not the thing. "red" is an immaterial thing, it exists, but not as a material thing, though some material things have the attribute of it.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 10:22 PM
Unfortunately, we now get down to what we mean by "exists". Sure, different frequencies of light exist. Some of them we call " red" - but does "red" exist independently of either the red things or our thoughts about red? I don't think it does, but what does "exists" really mean?

Sometimes philosophy seems like a black hole.

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 10:28 PM
"Sometimes philosophy seems like a black hole."

I think that's just what it is. But black holes are important!

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 10:45 PM
Of course they do. Let us take a very simple thought: "I'm hungry." I think it; neurons fire in my brain, and the thought is encoded in the firing of neurons. We don't understand the code, but if the neurons stop firing - presto, no thought. I write it down - it then is encoded in words, which are then encoded in patterns of graphite on paper. Alternately I can type "I'm hungry" on the computer, and it's encoded in electronic impulses in the computer's circuitry. I can say "I'm hungry," and the pattern in my brain is re-encoded in complex motions of my mouth and throat, which produce a pattern of sound waves, a little wrinkling of the air, which produces a pattern of motions in the ear, which produces electrical impulses in someone else's brain. There are many ways to encode information, and to translate the same idea from one code to another. I could say "Tengo hambre" or "J'ai faim" or "Onaka ga suita" - other ways to encode the information. I could broadcast it over radio, over fiber optic cables, over TV, by semaphore - all different codes.

But without the matter and energy, nothing is there; one cannot have a naked idea that is not encoded in the physical world. Ideas are encoded as patterns of matter and energy - whether "plaid" or "I'm hungry" - and have no separate existence.

The encoding of the thought is not synonymous with the thought. Thought/awareness/memory with no brain activity is known to occur (see post #1).

PatCox
09-30-2009, 10:47 PM
Kieth, we cannot agree because the issue is beyond our logical system's tools, so we search for analogies which are within our system's tools, but there are no good analogies, we come up with different analogies, but we are not really discussing the truth of the concepts, we are arguing over the appropriateness of our analogies. We are not wired to think of things 'existing" without tangible existence, so you keep coming up with things like the frequency of the light we call red, or the brain chemicals and signals occurring when we think "red," but these things are not "red," they are just physical attributes associated with the perception of red. But still, I think, red, and 5, both exist, whether we think of them or not, 5 is a better example.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 10:48 PM
Many languages do not have separate words for blue and green. Some divide up the spectrum differently than we English speakers do. Frequencies of light exist, but the electromagnetic spectrum is continuous; colors are a human invention - a perfectly good idea, but just an idea, which exists only as it is encoded in various media.

Interesting. So, if colors are a human invention, are you saying color did not exist in the cosmos prior to humans?, i.e. it was a black and white universe?

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 10:52 PM
The encoding of the thought is not synonymous with the thought. I disagree. Show me a naked thought, not encoded in matter or energy, please. You cannot. We do not know of any such thing. Now, this may be because we simply cant perceive it - but in that case how do we know it exists? I think that the only reason we can possibly believe this is that we don't understand the workings of the human brain.
Thought/awareness/memory with no brain activity is known to occur No, I don't think so. The references in post #1 do not give any good evidence at all of anything like mental activity without at least a partially functioning brian.

PatCox
09-30-2009, 10:52 PM
I seem to be right between the empiricists and the platonists here. Or maybe I am a platonist and don't know it. Whatever, I guess where I differ from the platonists is in that I do not believe it is possible to "know" anything but the shadows on the wall, but that doesn't mean the ideals don't "exist." I am an agnostic on the existence of ideals, like 5, I don't believe that its possible to "know" and understand the nature of the "existence" of a platonic ideal, but I do beleive platonic ideals "exist."

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 10:56 PM
...Some things 'exist" which have no physical, objective existence. 5 and red, for example. They exist whether someone exists to think them or not. But they do not have tangible existence.

Now this may be an example of where our miscommunication/connection may be definition based.

In 227, and here, you say 5 and red have no objective existence. Yet here you follow that statement with, "They exist whether someone exists to think them or not." But that to me is the definition of objective existence; to exist whether known by anyone, understood by anyone, or whatever. They exist apart from us, from our existence. If humanity were wiped off the planet, to say 2+2 would still =4 is to make an objective statement. To say red exists even if every human were color blind to red is to say red objectively exists.

So, I think I'm confused about what you're saying, Pat.

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 10:57 PM
We do NOT know this. In fact this statement is an enormous leap far beyond the frontiers of human knowledge. We do not know how the human brain works, certainly not well enough to say anything like this.

See 215.

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 10:57 PM
Interesting. So, if colors are a human invention, are you saying color did not exist in the cosmos prior to humans?, i.e. it was a black and white universe?

The light spectrum exists in the material world with or without us.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 10:58 PM
are you saying color did not exist in the cosmos prior to humans?, i.e. it was a black and white universe?No, no - the frequencies of light exist. Things reflected light exactly as they do now. If you were there, it would look just the same. But there was no "red", for there was was nobody to say that the light of wavelengths from 600 to 680 nm belongs in one category, and below 600 nm it belongs in another.

FWIW, other species can see at frequencies we can't; many insects can see into the UV, for example. What "color" is that?

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 10:59 PM
Keith, things exist whether we give them a label or not. ... The attribute of reflecting what some percieve and label as "red" is an attribute that things have whether we name it red or don't have a name for it; the symbol is not the thing, the perception of the thing, the thought of the thing, is not the thing. "red" is an immaterial thing, it exists, but not as a material thing, though some material things have the attribute of it.

Yes! Thank you, very much.

Keith Wilson
09-30-2009, 11:02 PM
Bloody Platonists. ;):D

No doubt that the description of a thing is not the thing. We can describe things that do not exist - Kaa's pink pony, King Lear, or the Midgard Serpent, for example. But the description is always encoded in some form of matter or energy. You cannot show me a naked idea without some physical representation

Nanoose
09-30-2009, 11:05 PM
The light spectrum exists in the material world with or without us.

So, earlier you said colors don't exist without our existence, i.e. our interpretation of them.

Now I think you're saying colors did pre-exist us, which seems to contradict your earlier thought.

??

Glen Longino
09-30-2009, 11:08 PM
So, earlier you said colors don't exist without our existence, i.e. our interpretation of them.

Now I think you're saying colors did pre-exist us, which seems to contradict your earlier thought.

??

Colors and the light spectrum are different things. It takes us or a hummingbird to make "red" out of the light spectrum.