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Asmodeus
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15 Jul 2010, 7:50 am

NobelCynic wrote:
Asmodeus wrote:
I am not a dualist because for the most part it explains nothing. If dualism is the case, and can explain something, I need to know what it is, how it works.

Isn't that the whole point of this thread? What is this thing we call Asmodeus, is it purely physical or is there something else? It's a heavy question; from the Book of Thomas the Contender:
Quote:
For he who has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved knowledge about the depth of the all.

Which is turn means: Self awareness is is critical to operate effectively. Self realisation, etc. This says it's good to know yourself, it doesn't explain what it is.
NobelCynic wrote:
I get the impression that you would like to agree with Excalvius, that you are purely physical, so perhaps the next question to ask yourself is why.

Please elaborate. Are you speaking of intent of existence or why I believe I am only physical?



Meow101
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15 Jul 2010, 7:57 am

If "we" (our consciousnesses) are more than our physical brains, then why do "we" disappear when our EEG activity is totally suppressed by general anesthesia?

~Kate


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NobelCynic
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15 Jul 2010, 8:02 am

Asmodeus wrote:
NobelCynic wrote:
I get the impression that you would like to agree with Excalvius, that you are purely physical, so perhaps the next question to ask yourself is why.

Please elaborate. Are you speaking of intent of existence or why I believe I am only physical?

Why do you want to believe you are only physical? And please note, I said it was a question to ask yourself, no need to answer me.


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b9
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15 Jul 2010, 9:29 am

Exclavius wrote:
No need to reply b9?

*shakes his head a bit* yeah, there IS need to reply.


shakes who's head?

Exclavius wrote:
Consciousness can only be described in that way if consciousness is "special"
There is nothing in this universe to make one believe that ANYTHING is special, especially humans.

i did not say consciousness is special. i do not ascribe consciousness to humans with exclusion to any other thing. i did not even infer that consciousness requires any life to live in the universe for it to be.
consciousness existed before i came into it. i think consciousness must have existed before any life came into it.
and it is funny that you say nothing is "special" ...."especially" humans. that is contradictory. if humans are not special, then they can not have the adverb "especially" (in a special way) attributed to them. anyway i am not disagreeing with you, i am just thinking your sentence was amusing. maybe it was intentional.

Exclavius wrote:
Reading it, there was no doubt that you were religious. and that was confirmed in the second last paragraph.

i am not religious. the bit about the "mind of god" is a figure of speech really. it is what i used to sign off from my speculative journey through the dimensions due to the fact that my mind is incapable of seeing further into what i know must be, but is beyond the ceiling of my intellect.

i once thought a poem that goes:

as the center of entirety,
extends toward rooms end,
it maximizes improbability,
and fends it's truths into a bend.
subtends it does them gently,
back into it's core again.
it's a route that all must follow,
and when it comes together...
AMEN!!

the "amen" is not religious, but a way of describing the big crunch that instantaneously becomes the next big bang.
my mind can not follow through that event for it is obliterative of thought, and so "amen" is a word that is my sign off point.

i am not religious.


Exclavius wrote:
If you assume a god, as that is a contradiction... anything follows, so what you said could be true, if there is a god. But if there is a god, then ANYTHING can be true, and reality can not be described, just as you said consciousness cannot be described. It is only when viewing the universe and it's component properties without assuming a god, than any description of anything can be made.

i can not understand what you are precisely saying. it is not well worded for my own flavor of comprehension.

Exclavius wrote:
My theory stated above, is just, as you said yours was... MY thoughts and ideas on it. But, unlike yours, I do not hide behind some semantics that allow me to avoid defining, describing, and understanding what it is.

i do not hide from being unable to define the rest (10+). i just can not do it, and so i handed the mic to "god".

Exclavius wrote:
I think the major flaw in what you were trying to say comes from one line you said "and all thoughts removed from my head, then i still am conscious"
No... you are NOT. You are dead or vegetative.

i can be conscious without having any thought. i am conscious OF my thoughts.
my thoughts are not equal to my consciousness.
i SEE what i think, and that sight is not "contained" in what i think. it is universally primal, and beyond what i think.
i "see" trees but i am not the trees i see. i see my thoughts, but i am not the thoughts i see.

consciousness is best described as "I", and any further words detract from the definition and spoil the simplicity of it's reality.



Exclavius
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15 Jul 2010, 6:11 pm

Shaking of the head? Just in puzzlement... trying to figure out where you're coming from.

So, basically you're a dualist, and there is a "self" or "me" that is not physically local to our space time.

And, that is why I said that you said that consciousness is special... another word would be supernatural, because you're stating that it is, or is affected by something, "outside" of space-time. That is what I mean by special. It lies outside the laws that govern space time.

regarding the semantic oxymoron, :lol: got me there, but yeah, it was just semantic.

Religious perhaps wasn't the greatest word to use. I will admit I tend to fall back on that word for a general grouping of terms. In this case, perhaps what I meant was "either religious, theist, spiritualist, or a believer that something "other" can have an effect upon the universe" Take the term to it's broadest imaginable definition... that's what I meant. Being a dualist, would definitely fall within what I was trying to describe. A belief that there is anything other than the physical, would.

what i was saying in the paragraph starting with "If you assume a god,...." is that upon assuming a god, you've implicitly assumed that anything is possible. Once you assume that, you can logically come to any conclusion you wish to.

My apologies regarding taking what you said to mean that "consciousness is not describable" if you intended to say that you "cannot describe it" I can not fault the lack of an ability to describe, but I WILL fault a claim that anything is not understandable or describable.

It is not possible to shut the consciousness down completely though, without shutting down awareness (ie, complete and powerful anesthetics). The things you see ARE your consciousness, because your consciousness is your senses... it is your awareness. even in a sensory deprivation tank, you cannot clear your mind though... even if the thought is "nothing".... "nothing" is a thought (and a very useful and powerful concept in it's many forms, from the empty set to the number zero). If you were in fact able to do so, you would be the greatest Zen Master of all time.

Anyways, i'm just trying to point to things I see as holes in your theory. The biggest of which is the dualistic nature of the theory, which violates occam's razor and allows things to be "unanswerable"



Asmodeus
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16 Jul 2010, 6:52 am

NobelCynic wrote:
Asmodeus wrote:
NobelCynic wrote:
I get the impression that you would like to agree with Excalvius, that you are purely physical, so perhaps the next question to ask yourself is why.

Please elaborate. Are you speaking of intent of existence or why I believe I am only physical?

Why do you want to believe you are only physical? And please note, I said it was a question to ask yourself, no need to answer me.

Ok, but why should I not answer you? Do you believe you already know the answer for yourself?



Exclavius
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16 Jul 2010, 7:16 am

Asmodeus wrote:
NobelCynic wrote:
Asmodeus wrote:
NobelCynic wrote:
I get the impression that you would like to agree with Excalvius, that you are purely physical, so perhaps the next question to ask yourself is why.

Please elaborate. Are you speaking of intent of existence or why I believe I am only physical?

Why do you want to believe you are only physical? And please note, I said it was a question to ask yourself, no need to answer me.

Ok, but why should I not answer you? Do you believe you already know the answer for yourself?


He didn't say not to answer him, only that you didn't HAVE to answer him.

In fact, if you have an answer, i'd be interested to hear it. Though in some ways, I have a really hard time grasping the question.... I don't know if I would be able to answer it...
I don't think it has much to do with "wanting to believe it" it has more to do with the fact that evidence pushes me in that direction.

And "why one wants to believe something" sounds like a real odd question from someone self-labeled as a Cynic, and a Noble one at that.



NobelCynic
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16 Jul 2010, 9:23 am

Asmodeus wrote:
Ok, but why should I not answer you? Do you believe you already know the answer for yourself?

I can guess, but there would be no reason to exchange opinions on the question unless I wanted to argue about it.

Part of the reason why I have roughly one third your post count in three times your membership time here is that I do not like to argue. I will withdraw from a discussion as soon as it degrades into an argument and I was about to withdraw from this one anyway because that is what it was threatening to be. I didn't provide a link for my quote from this book because I'm sure you know to google the title if you wanted to put it in context and since you only responded to the first half of it anyway there would have been little point.

I have enough trouble trying to understand my own self without overloading my brain by trying to understand you. I will help you to understand yourself, if I can, but arguing with you about who and what you think you are is asking too much.


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b9
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16 Jul 2010, 9:36 am

Exclavius wrote:
Shaking of the head? Just in puzzlement... trying to figure out where you're coming from.

do not worry. i come from nowhere.
i am finished with this thread.



Exclavius
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16 Jul 2010, 4:43 pm

Did I insult b9? Didn't mean to, constructive criticism is all i was trying to do... I'm an aspie, of course I'm blunt... why does that bother me every time I do that?? Off topic anyways.... (might make a thread on that one, it's playing a factor in my current real life atm too)

As for the Asmodeus - NobleCynic debate... there is no argument, that I can see between you.. it's a discussion, both of you defending your ideas...
Oh wait... maybe one or both of you are doing the same thing as me and b9? :oops:



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16 Jul 2010, 11:16 pm

Exclavius wrote:
Did I insult b9? Didn't mean to, constructive criticism is all i was trying to do

no i was not offended.
all i was saying is that i rarely talk about philosophical things because the conversations get too deep and take up too much time and i do not like typing to the same thread too many times.

i could imagine the discussion going for many pages and after a while, everyone forgets they had the discussion anyway.
i have returned to sites that i left long ago, and i have searched for things i used to say, and i have been surprised to read posts where i had a 3 page discussion with someone, and i completely forgot that i ever had the conversation.

for me to further elaborate on what i was trying to say in this thread would take many chapters, and even then, i would not have scratched the surface of all that i think about it.

so i was not offended. all is ok.



techstepgenr8tion
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17 Jul 2010, 12:37 am

Really interesting conversation. I can't say a lot on the medical - mainly in that I haven't studied up on the brain enough to be able to go over all the ins and outs of different parts of it and its control over the sense of consciousness (if I could fit an extra three days in per week I might find the time but - my hands are full with a lot of other things as well - only so much of me to go around). I think the biggest marvel of it though is why we'd need it at all. It seems like we'd function perfectly fine as the eddies and whirlpools of chemical reaction that we are if we didn't have a sense of 'us' in here.

Exclavius, I think the only thing I have to argue with your notion of free will and memes, while fascinating, I have to still take the conclusion that there is absolute zero free will. The usual explanation - we can't control our input (ie. who made us, who's genes we have, the information we took in before we were strong enough to make our own informed decisions), the processing part of it is much the same. When I think of time as it stands, as we experience it, I think of it with a security camera sort of analogy - you can rewind the tape a million times, nothing different should happen. If someone goes into a casino, walks up to the craps table, and throws lucky sevens, you could rewind time as far back as them walking in the door, as far back as them celebrating their eighth birthday, same results - you could technically say that they were destined to get lucky sevens at that craps table on that throw since the big bang. To go backward or forward and alter history or even the future for that matter (ie. history yet to be viewed - now is nothing more than the current 'play' point) doesn't seem plausible unless there is something 'special' going on. I guess where I'm coming from - technically we shouldn't be able to choose what memes or ideas we let in either if we never even decided on our own integrity, gumption, etc. since if we're strong in that area or alternately weak in that area and to what kinds of maladaptive thoughts - we don't control any of it.

On the broaching of religion (to all in general I guess) - I hope I'm not going to cause too much hemming and hawing with this, I don't wish to side track the conversation, just that I see the term 'special' being used in lieu of 'supernatural'. Technically there is no such thing regardless of whether we're purely what we'd think of as traditional matter or whether we have what we'd think of as extra-dimensional matter sharing in the structure of what we are.



Asmodeus
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17 Jul 2010, 1:42 am

Exclavius wrote:
As for the Asmodeus - NobleCynic debate... there is no argument, that I can see between you.. it's a discussion, both of you defending your ideas...
Oh wait... maybe one or both of you are doing the same thing as me and b9? :oops:

You and b9 have brought up ideas. NobleCynic has asked questions and suggested giving Gnostic texts a look. I've just set the problem and played with the ideas given, I haven't got a solid position, which is why I made the thread.

If only there was a testable means of defining consciousness, what it is or is not.



Robdemanc
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17 Jul 2010, 6:40 am

I think consciousness is something we will never understand completely. Because if we did it would be a contradiction. The very act of understanding our consciousness will extend that consciousness, so we would then need to understand that we understand our consciousness.......and so on. (or something like that perhaps)



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17 Jul 2010, 7:39 am

Robdemanc wrote:
I think consciousness is something we will never understand completely. Because if we did it would be a contradiction. The very act of understanding our consciousness will extend that consciousness, so we would then need to understand that we understand our consciousness.......and so on. (or something like that perhaps)


I see where you're coming from... But I'm going to an analogy here to help explain a tidbit.

1. You know.
2. I know that you know
3. You know that I know that you know
4. I know that you know that I know that you know.
5. You know that I know that you know that I know that you know.

There is no redundancy in that line of reasoning until you hit #5.

So, what you're saying about consciousness expanding once it's it understood, and thus needing to be re-understood, that is COMPLETELY true. But it is not an infinite regress. It does end.

It is in fact this problems:
1. I understand (all humans, all primates, many other animals)
2. I understand that I understand (almost every human, likely no other animal)
3. I understand that I understand that I understand. (maybe a very few humans)
(4 would be the beginning of redundancy, imo, here)

And this is the entry point to where I see free will emerging.
Hitting that point where further understanding does not increases knowledge is the point where control begins.

Taking an old religious concept "To know someone's true name is to have control over them"
and actually, I think this topic could well be the origin of that statement, as I see a lot of reason to believe that most religions' god's as being symbolic of the then "unobtainable understanding of the inner self" even if it was considered then to be external... what they are describing is the "self" the ultimate in consciousness... the path free will... which was implied to be evil... (Adam & Eve, tree of knowledge, gaining free will from eating of it... etc etc.)

I can understand your problem with memetics, Asmodeus. It's hard to accept because there is no physical meme... per se. Though I do see it is a physical thing, that actually exists.

A computer analogy would be that Hardware is physical, and software isn't.
but the software once entered does become a series of 1's and 0's as an electrical charge.. so it is real and physical. Just as ideas/memes are in our brains. And that is why Dawkin's virus analogy to the meme is so apt.

The core of what i'm saying has another implication of free will that I haven't mentioned.
Free will is not, nor will it ever be, something that someone can be born with.
It is only something that they can achieve by deep inner thought and learning.

Dang, I gotta get ready for work, hopefully I'll post more on this tonight.



pgd
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17 Jul 2010, 1:54 pm

What is consciousness? Neurologically - Coma, sports concussions, brain injuries (invisible/almost invisible, mild, moderate, severe), absence (petit mal)/complex partial and so on, ADHD Inattentive, savants, Asperger, autism, movie titled Awakenings with Robin Williams, Cogito Ergo Sum (I imagine, therefor I am), awareness (as in wholesome words - happiness, health, love, money, prosperity, success, victory - per +Fer), the ability to breathe, etc.