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Philosophy, Science, and the Unexplained


marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC

I've done that repeatedly in the consciousness thread. You likely haven't been present there on most of those occasions. Re becoming 'schooled in what everyone else has to say', it's hardly everyone; it's four or five major thinkers. Even an autodidact, such as you seem to be, has to read the texts that develop a field you wish to understand.



I know you've attempted to grok phenomenology, but your comprehension of it is, I think, still insufficient for you to be capable of understanding its implications concerning the nature of what we call 'reality' as a codependent arising of embodied consciousness and the natural world. Anyway, I'm getting tired of your preaching at me. Think I'll abandon this ship. Be well.
Bwahahahaha!

Don’t you go changing, Constance. Party on.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I've done that repeatedly in the consciousness thread. You likely haven't been present there on most of those occasions. Re becoming 'schooled in what everyone else has to say', it's hardly everyone; it's four or five major thinkers. Even an autodidact, such as you seem to be, has to read the texts that develop a field you wish to understand.
I haven't said you don't present your own thinking at all. There are times when you really shine. I just think you should do more of that.
I know you've attempted to grok phenomenology, but your comprehension of it is, I think, still insufficient for you to be capable of understanding its implications concerning the nature of what we call 'reality' as a codependent arising of embodied consciousness and the natural world. Anyway, I'm getting tired of your preaching at me. Think I'll abandon this ship. Be well.
It's likely that you underestimate my level of comprehension when it comes to conceptualization. My weakness is in remembering what I would consider to be the trivial information relevant to the subject ( names and dates and quotes and such ). This tends to make it seem like I don't grasp the concepts, when from my perspective it seems to me that often it's the people who are good at simply regurgitating the texts that don't get it.

Essentially, a bot could do most of the same stuff I see you frequently do ( notice I didn't say always ). All it would need to do is identify a set of keywords, run a search, and post a matching paper. That takes no comprehension skills whatsoever. There are also times when I've suspected that you're covering for your own lack of comprehension by questioning the comprehension of others. If that's not the case, then you would engage me in direct discussion about the subject matter using your own words and only resort to source material when necessary.

Another aspect of comprehension that it seems you tend to miss is that there is more than one way to interpret phenomenology. I've pointed that out to you numerous times with references to sources, including your favorite Mr. Ponty. So before you make assumptions about who is right or who is wrong or what level of comprehension others have, you might want to make sure you're both on the same wavelength. That is, looking at the same subject matter in the same context. So now maybe instead of debating who knows more or is better at getting the ideas, how about we just engage in some friendly discussion?

I suggest we return to this post and start there: Philosophy, Science, and the Unexplained
 
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Constance

Paranormal Adept
Fair enough. I think you're trying to solve this problem by playing with words and other people's papers, instead of trying to solve the problem itself. Basically, the ambiguity fallacy: Using double meanings or ambiguities of language to mislead or misrepresent the truth.

Example: When the judge asked the defendant why he hadn't paid his parking fines, he said that he shouldn't have to pay them because the sign said 'Fine for parking here' and so he naturally presumed that it would be fine to park there.

I know what ambiguity is, Marduk. You've charged me in several posts with using "double meanings or ambiguities of language to mislead or misrepresent the truth." I asked you several times, in response, to specify examples where I'd done so. The general example of ambiguity in language you offer above doesn't respond to my request for evidence to support your claims about what I've written in this thread.

So what I think you are saying is: we developed as a species accruing experiences with nature, figured out ways to organize those into patterns, and our relationship to it. We did that before we became conscious, after that we became conscious.

Is that what you're saying?
Not even close.
 

Han

piscator ψ
What about the tower of babel?

I am certainly no Bible scholar, so I might have a slightly garbled version of the story:

Basically back in the days before talking man was able to communicate better, so much so that they could cooperate to a much higher degree, and they decided to make a tower to reconnoiter heaven, or maybe feed the ducks? honestly I don't know the alleged reason they decided to try and do it, but God was not impressed, so he knocked down the tower and punished us by making us speak in different tongues (languages).

Can you imagine what would happen if you could actually teach the world to sing in perfect harmony? Soldiers have to break step when crossing a bridge remember! :D

I don't judge the story on its 'veracity' or 'provenance' what I take from it is that it does seem like 'language' is a double edged sword, both a blessing and a curse at the same time.

Sport is a very good example of the way different people see the same 'events' differently (depending on who they support etc).
And in that scenario you have a rigid predetermined frame work of laws of the game (rule book) yet the outcome and interpretation are not: unless it is WWF wrestling, but then again I think that is perfect example for now.....

Is it a sport or a procession/ritual?
They do amazingly skilled Gymnastic routines, and gymnastics is a sport, but the winner is predecided (scripted) and it does not rely on the protagonists truly 'vying' rather they cooperate in a 'routine'.

The thing is that some people actually think it is 'real'........
Myself include once upon a time ;)

Why am I talking about wrestling in a philosophy thread??????????

Well I am trying to point out that maybe we need to have the mindset of the wrestlers rather than the fans. i.e accept that we are in a contest for want of a better word.

Whether or not there is an 'organiser/s' of the entertainment or if it is ourselves is for a theology thread I suppose.

also re words:

They change drastically over time, and at a much faster rate than people do.

Finally maybe part of the problem here is agreeing (i.e a mutual understanding or agreement) of the rules of/at play, but like I implied I think life is a 'game' and don't have the reading or expertise to help focus/refine the discussion.

:rolleyes:
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
What about the tower of babel?

I am certainly no Bible scholar, so I might have a slightly garbled version of the story:

Basically back in the days before talking man was able to communicate better, so much so that they could cooperate to a much higher degree, and they decided to make a tower to reconnoiter heaven, or maybe feed the ducks? honestly I don't know the alleged reason they decided to try and do it, but God was not impressed, so he knocked down the tower and punished us by making us speak in different tongues (languages).

Can you imagine what would happen if you could actually teach the world to sing in perfect harmony? Soldiers have to break step when crossing a bridge remember! :D

I don't judge the story on its 'veracity' or 'provenance' what I take from it is that it does seem like 'language' is a double edged sword, both a blessing and a curse at the same time.

Sport is a very good example of the way different people see the same 'events' differently (depending on who they support etc).
And in that scenario you have a rigid predetermined frame work of laws of the game (rule book) yet the outcome and interpretation are not: unless it is WWF wrestling, but then again I think that is perfect example for now.....

Is it a sport or a procession/ritual?
They do amazingly skilled Gymnastic routines, and gymnastics is a sport, but the winner is predecided (scripted) and it does not rely on the protagonists truly 'vying' rather they cooperate in a 'routine'.

The thing is that some people actually think it is 'real'........
Myself include once upon a time ;)

Why am I talking about wrestling in a philosophy thread??????????

Well I am trying to point out that maybe we need to have the mindset of the wrestlers rather than the fans. i.e accept that we are in a contest for want of a better word.

Whether or not there is an 'organiser/s' of the entertainment or if it is ourselves is for a theology thread I suppose.

also re words:

They change drastically over time, and at a much faster rate than people do.

Finally maybe part of the problem here is agreeing (i.e a mutual understanding or agreement) of the rules of/at play, but like I implied I think life is a 'game' and don't have the reading or expertise to help focus/refine the discussion.

:rolleyes:
Thanks for the post. It's nice to see others step in and offer something constructive to try to resolve a problem. Here's something we might reflect on that is relevant to this thread and consciousness. Consciousness, or even comprehension as we tend to think of it, doesn't appear to be necessary in order to do things like identify keywords and retrieve relevant material based on matches. This can make it seem on a superficial level that a being is operating from a state of consciousness or comprehension, when it might be the case that no such thing is happening with them at all.

Indeed, a highly advanced system of that sort might be able to perform all sorts of tasks that we would typically associate with intelligence, without having a clue what relevance it has. Therefore, it could be the case that the aliens themselves are operating in that manner, and while they are assumed to be highly advanced because of their technology, only possess what @Constance has alluded to as a proto-consciousness. In other words they don't have the same rich experience of the world as we do, and it is that aspect of humanity that they are attempting to get a grip on with all their weird experiments. They seem designed to evoke experiences more than knowledge.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Consciousness or Environment - Which Came First?

Assuming we can safely define consciousness as our real-time experience of living, and given that evolution is more fact than theory, we can safely extrapolate that consciousness has evolved in a manner favourable for our survival. We see evidence of this with temperature. We experience it as a range of sensations that alert us to environmental conditions that are favorable or unfavorable for survival. Similar scenarios can be illustrated for all other types of sensory experience. What does this say about consciousness at its most fundamental level? Most obviously it means that our consciousness evolved out of its environment. Therefore our environment must have come first.

This doesn't sit well with those who like to think of consciousness as some mystical all pervasive something. Grant it, there may be some entity that is responsible for the creation of our universe, but that still wouldn't explain how that entity or its universe came into existence. That train of thought is an infinite regression that provides no solution. However what we can deduce from the situation, is that consciousness is both fundamental and emergent.

In other words consciousness is analogous to magnetism, which is a phenomenon that emerges from an EM field ( a fundamental force of nature ). All it takes is the right combination of materials organized the right way. Consciousness also emerges from the right combination of materials organized in the right way. We humans are proof of this. Humans give birth to more new consciousnesses every day. We are in essence self perpetuating consciousness generating machines, and all we do to accomplish this is organize the right combination of materials the right way and presto, out pops another one. It's not that mysterious.

Lastly, is matter absolutely necessary for the emergence of consciousness? Perhaps not, but we have no reliable evidence that is can exist independently of it, and even if some consciousness could evolve to the point where it can exist independent of the material world, that doesn't mean it exists independent of the physical world. For example, all forms of energy are still physical phenomena whether they're of solid form or not, and therefore they're subject to the laws of the physical universe in which they reside.

The bottom line: There's no magical way that consciousness can come into being before its own environment. This should be self evident through logic alone. The most extreme possibility we could hope for is that consciousness can somehow come into existence at the same time as its own universe and exist on the grandest scale of that universe. But even that doesn't necessitate that each individual part of that universe is conscious any more than each part of an automobile is the automobile as a whole. The question is: At what stage of assembly are there enough parts to call the collection of parts an automobile? Whatever the case, the factory always seems to come first.
 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Michael Persinger Dies at age 73.

Michael A. Persinger (June 26, 1945 – August 2018) was a professor of psychology at Laurentian University, a position he had held since 1971. His most well-known hypotheses include the temporal lobes as the central correlate for mystical experiences, subtle changes in geomagnetic activity as mediators of parapsychological phenomena, the tectonic strain within the Earth’s crust as the source of luminous phenomena attributed to unidentified aerial objects, and the importance of specific quantifications for energy (10−20 Joules), photon flux density (picoWatt per meter squared), and small shifts in magnetic field intensities (picoTesla to nanoTesla range) for integrating cellular activity as well as human thought with universal phenomena ... Michael Persinger - Wikipedia
 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I just ran across yet another premise of AI researchers who missed the obvious when making his assumption about what consciousness is. In the preface to his book The Tides of Mind author David Gelernter says, "Concretely, building the right software and downloading on the right digital computer will yield a computer with a conscious mind that is just as capable as a human mind."

Unfortunately the above assumption lacks specificity as to what is meant by "right software" and "right digital computer" as well as misses the fact that the processing going on in human brains may not be limited to the signal paths created by switching alone, but may involve byproducts such as feedback loops through EM fields or some other as of yet unidentified means that results in consciousness.

It may be the case that consciousness requires not only a processor with adequate switching and programming, but for the switches to be made of the same materials in the same sort of configuration as a human brain. So while AI is certainly possible. A conscious AI is another beast altogether, and we still don't know enough to be sure an AI is actually conscious. We may never be sure.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Progress Update

It seems that after the many posts here and on the mega Consciousness thread, that while we have become better informed about the subject matter in general, there remains no definitive conclusion as to the fundamental nature of existence, and how consciousness comes into being. I also suspect that it will probably remain a mystery to our civilization for millennia to come. In fact we may never know. That being the case, it's possible that alien civilizations far more evolved than we are don't know either, and that by studying us at a stage of development thousands of years behind them, they hope to find insights into their own lost history.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
That being the case, it's possible that alien civilizations far more evolved than we are don't know either, and that by studying us at a stage of development thousands of years behind them, they hope to find insights into their own lost history.
I agree that this is possible, and it concords with the suggestive reports of apparent efforts at cross-species breeding with humans in recent decades and the evident effort/intention to produce an evolutionary development of one or more hybrid species. This subject always reminds me of a reference I read about ten years ago to a 'sci-fi' novel written by an Argentinian in which one of the visiting aliens was persistently drawn to listen to music performed by a human pianist. At the same time that this alien was moved by the music, he or she was also repelled by the anguish he/she experienced in it. Wish I could track down that novel and read it.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
A couple of responses using Star Trek analogies: Commander data ( an android ) might be conscious ... Maybe he has feelings ( sort of ) too.


I agree that this is possible, and it concords with the suggestive reports of apparent efforts at cross-species breeding with humans in recent decades and the evident effort/intention to produce an evolutionary development of one or more hybrid species. This subject always reminds me of a reference I read about ten years ago to a 'sci-fi' novel written by an Argentinian in which one of the visiting aliens was persistently drawn to listen to music performed by a human pianist. At the same time that this alien was moved by the music, he or she was also repelled by the anguish he/she experienced in it. Wish I could track down that novel and read it.
In an episode of Star Trek Voyager the Doctor ( a hologram ) accidentally exposes an alien culture to music, a phenomenon they've never experienced before.


 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Strange Perceptual Experiences

This post isn't so much about the "paranormal" as it is about an unexplained type of experience that I have once in a while, and I'm wondering if anyone has had similar experiences or, know of a scientific explanation. At present, my theory is that the normal audio sensory route to consciousness is either being delayed, or just takes longer, than some other faster path or mechanism that sends a related signal through the route for quasi-lucid consciousness, resulting in a sort of precognitive awareness of the event.

Loosely speaking, people develop a sort of symbiotic relationship with their environment. The scientific study of this relationship is called Human Ecology. Humans live in a variety of environments, but most of people in modern civilization tend to make their home in some sort of structure. In my case I live in a house that was built in the 1960s. It's made of solid wood beams and supports, with hardwood for the floors and drywall plywood for sheathing. It's on a concrete foundation that has slowing been settling over the years. The temperature here in Calgary Canada also varies widely, resulting in contraction and expansion.

These factors cause occasional creaking and cracking sounds. What has happened several dozen times is that while waking up from a period of sleep, before opening my eyes, but aware of external sounds that are sometimes combined with those of a fading dream, the house will make one of its cracking sounds. The thing that's odd about them is that they are often preceded immediately ( about 400 - 500 milliseconds ) by another similar audio or audio-visual experience within my mind.

If I'm still lucid dreaming, the sound might be something falling and hitting the floor, or some other different but similarly sudden sound that's louder than the others. What I find rather amazing is that in the cases where it's been during a lucid dream, my mind has created an entire virtual scene as well as a sound and routed them both to consciousness, before the external audio signal of the actual external sound!

On a related note, one of the more aggravating ( and perhaps slightly humorous ) audio experiences I've had a few times, is dreaming that the doorbell rang, which has woken me up out of a deep sleep :eek:. If anyone reads this and has had some sort of similar experience, please chime in.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
(Question about the Gnostic Gospels? and Pre-Quantum Theories) (The Nature of Existence, the "Rainbow or Ball Lightening ...
The nature of existence? We've been a long ways down that path on the forum here and we're no closer than we were before. Or are we? Maybe because of the nature of the infinite, we can never be any farther away or closer to that particular answer. Interesting how the Mother Earth Gaia thing got mentioned in there too, because the music video I posted back in June is a lament for Mother Nature. I created her in the image of a beautiful Indian woman. Moses is somewhere in there too. The thing for me with that sort of imagery is that religious symbolism, metaphor, and the personification of Nature in general, adds texture to any story. There can also be as many interpretations as there are worldviews.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
(The Japanese Miracle)
(There are people that believe, most of the footage of Nuclear Exposure to people, in Japan, in the twin nuclear bombings is either completely fake, or not explainable by ordinary means, the kind of decay and so forth, is non-reproducible, under normal circumstances)
There are people who say the same thing about the Moon landing too. Is there any particular point you're trying to make in your posts? Or is it more a loose collection of random thoughts?
 

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