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Thread: Philosophy, religion, science and turnings - Page 29







Post#701 at 08-29-2012 08:57 PM by Vandal-72 [at Idaho joined Jul 2012 #posts 1,101]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
The Cambridge researchers were not approaching the question I asked you, which was not about consciousness (I understand the confusion since our conversation overall was about consciousness, but this particular matter wasn't). Rather, it was about scientific methodology. I stated that all scientific definitions must be operational; you responded that they could be "theoretical" instead.
Yeah. Sorry about that. The conversation has been so drawn out that I drifted back to the original point.

My point is that in science all terms must be understood operationally, that is, in ways that lend themselves to observational or experimental testing (whether or not, as a practical matter, any such test could actually be performed given our current technology and circumstantial limitations). If no test can be performed as a practical matter, any discussion about the term will remain speculative, but if no test can even be conceived or described, then no scientific discussion can take place at all -- not even speculation.

When I ask you what test could be performed to determine whether a human being (other than oneself) is conscious, I don't mean to require that this test could be done as a practical matter. If it can't, but we can at least conceive of the test, then consciousness will become a scientific concept, even if it must remain a speculative one for the moment.

Regarding the Cambridge declaration, the key phrase is found in the first paragraph: "the neurobiological substrates of conscious
experience and related behaviors in human and non-human animals." It's possible to study those "neurobiological substrates," certainly, but in doing so we must assume -- without evidence -- that they actually are substrates, i.e. that they actually are the cause of consciousness.
How is that not then an operational definition for consciousness? Individuals in whom we can detect a specific pattern of substrates is defined as being conscious. Kind of like using an IQ score as an operational definition of intelligence.

There is also no evidence whatever justifying the phrase "related behaviors," as we have no way to tell objectively whether a given behavior is related to consciousness or not -- or even whether consciousness is present.
If we use the "specific substratesattern" as our definition of consciousness, might we not then look for particular behaviors displayed by conscious organisms vs. no conscious?

[qupte]Of course, any such behaviors can themselves be studied, as can any behaviors whatever.

The paper goes on to discuss "neural substrates of emotions," and here they are on more solid ground, since "emotions" can be defined operationally and objectively (in behavioral terms emotion is known as "affect" and that would have been a better term to use). What we call "emotion" is a subjectively-experienced feeling. We also observe in ourselves certain behaviors associated with emotions that we feel. We observe the same behaviors in others in circumstances in which we would feel certain things. We reasonably (in terms of common sense) assume that the person behaving the same way in the same circumstances is feeling the same thing that we would feel, or something close to it -- we assume (again reasonably in terms of common sense) that the other person is feeling anything. But we cannot prove this, ever. All we can show objectively is that stimuli give rise to neural responses which give rise to behaviors.[/quote]

And couldn't that be your definition of consciousness?

What's more, all of this work that these scientists are doing can be done and described without any reference to consciousness at all, and it would lose nothing in the way of objective, measurable, scientifically valid results.
Then perhaps consciousness,in common parlance, doesn't really exist?

The idea of consciousness adds nothing substantive to what they are doing here and in fact pollutes it with non-scientific elements -- and a non-scientific element corrupting science deserves the label "unscientific," which is a pejorative.
I prefer to take the word of the researchers that they are attempting strip away the "unscientific" elements to get at what can possibly be measured. Would you argue that what they are looking for is so different from what you mean by the term that they should come up with something else to call it?

Any idea we have about consciousness itself, as opposed to its neural and behavioral accompaniments, must always be non-scientific in character; it must be philosophical or mystical or religious. This isn't "throwing up our hands in despair." It's simply recognizing that that which can't be observed is outside the realm of science, a tool of thought ideally suited to determining factual truths about observable reality but useless for any other purpose.
Can intelligence be observed? Is the study of intelligence outside the realm of science? Why is it different from consciousness?

Once again, I'm mostly playing devil's advocate here. I can see what your points are, I'm just not sure that declaring consciousness to be completely unobservable is a wise choice given the long track record of science finding ways to observe past "unobservables".







Post#702 at 08-30-2012 09:32 AM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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Quote Originally Posted by Vandal-72 View Post
How is that not then an operational definition for consciousness? Individuals in whom we can detect a specific pattern of substrates is defined as being conscious. Kind of like using an IQ score as an operational definition of intelligence.
It's an operational definition of something, certainly, but consciousness? No. It fails the biological-automaton test. There is no reason as far as we can tell why all of these responses couldn't be performed by a nervous system completely lacking any subjective presence.

If we use the "specific substratesattern" as our definition of consciousness, might we not then look for particular behaviors displayed by conscious organisms vs. no conscious?
The if-then is logical, but the precedent "if" itself is illegitimate.

And couldn't that be your definition of consciousness?
It could, if you don't mind talking about something completely different and mis-applying the word.

Then perhaps consciousness,in common parlance, doesn't really exist?
From the perspective of science, that's correct, it does not. But we all know that it does. Again, this is something we literally cannot doubt. Which is rather my point: this is something that indubitably does exist (at least, you know your own consciousness exists -- you have no similar certainty about mine) but which cannot be observed, and is thus beyond the competence of science.

I prefer to take the word of the researchers that they are attempting strip away the "unscientific" elements to get at what can possibly be measured. Would you argue that what they are looking for is so different from what you mean by the term that they should come up with something else to call it?
Yes, exactly. To call it "consciousness" implies that they are studying what people ordinarily mean by the term: their own subjective experience, not the fact that affect occurs but that I feel, not that intelligent response happens but that I think. They are not studying that. They can't. They are studying important neural functions, and certainly focusing on what can possibly be measured is the right way to go; nonetheless, in doing this, it's important not to pretend you are measuring what can't be measured.

Can intelligence be observed?
Yes.

Is the study of intelligence outside the realm of science?
No.

Why is it different from consciousness?
Because it can be observed, while consciousness cannot.

Once again, I'm mostly playing devil's advocate here. I can see what your points are, I'm just not sure that declaring consciousness to be completely unobservable is a wise choice given the long track record of science finding ways to observe past "unobservables".
In all cases in the past, what was "unobservable" was so due only to technical limitations. Examples are planets around distant stars and individual atoms. Before we could observe these things, we could construct a thought-experiment showing how it might be possible to do so.

The problem with consciousness is that it is inherently subjective, unlike distant stars and atoms. A thought-experiment can't be constructed allowing us to even imagine observing it.
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

The Order Master (volume one of Refuge), a science fantasy. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZZWEAS
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Post#703 at 08-31-2012 12:13 AM by Vandal-72 [at Idaho joined Jul 2012 #posts 1,101]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post

Because it can be observed, while consciousness cannot.
How exactly is intelligence observed? I know certain behaviors can be observed and particular response patterns can be measured but that isn't observing intelligence.

Right now that seems to be the same thing scientists are seeing in the consciousness problem.







Post#704 at 08-31-2012 09:19 AM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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Quote Originally Posted by Vandal-72 View Post
How exactly is intelligence observed? I know certain behaviors can be observed and particular response patterns can be measured but that isn't observing intelligence.
Is intelligent behavior intelligence? I suppose there's a kind of common-sense view in which intelligence and consciousness are tied together (which IMO they shouldn't be).

We can verify that behavior is intelligent. We can't demonstrate that behavior is conscious.
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

The Order Master (volume one of Refuge), a science fantasy. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZZWEAS
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382903







Post#705 at 08-31-2012 09:36 AM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Vandal-72 View Post
How exactly is intelligence observed? I know certain behaviors can be observed and particular response patterns can be measured but that isn't observing intelligence.

Right now that seems to be the same thing scientists are seeing in the consciousness problem.
Brian is simply pointing out the fact that qualia are subjective, there is no way to objectively measure if my experience of "red" is the same as your experience of "red". I can assume because of the biological commonalities of all (non-colorblind) human beings that it would be identical or similar, but nobody can actually TEST it. We only know how colorblind people experience the world because there are a handful of people who are only colorblind in one eye.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#706 at 08-31-2012 01:58 PM by Vandal-72 [at Idaho joined Jul 2012 #posts 1,101]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
Is intelligent behavior intelligence? I suppose there's a kind of common-sense view in which intelligence and consciousness are tied together (which IMO they shouldn't be).

We can verify that behavior is intelligent. We can't demonstrate that behavior is conscious.
Yet? We can't demonstrate behavior is conscious yet?







Post#707 at 08-31-2012 02:04 PM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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Quote Originally Posted by Vandal-72 View Post
Yet? We can't demonstrate behavior is conscious yet?
I'm still waiting for a suggestion as to how we could, or even for an operational definition of consciousness that doesn't completely miss what people mean by the term.

I don't believe it's a "yet." This seems fundamental to me and something that can't be rectified. It's analogous to the inability to study the universe as a whole (inclusive of all time as well as all space). We can't do that because study requires observation, observation requires an observer separate from the observed, any potential observer is part of the universe, and so at best we can study the universe minus the observer, which is not the whole. This is a fundamental epistemic problem that can't be solved by any advances in technology, ever.

Similarly, we cannot study anything that is intrinsically subjective and so can only be experienced (from within), not observed (from without).
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

The Order Master (volume one of Refuge), a science fantasy. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZZWEAS
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382903







Post#708 at 09-06-2012 12:46 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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It has taken me and many other people, many years, to rediscover that we have a source of power inside ourselves; that we don't have to live our lives accomodating and placating others, but can express who we are, from our own will, our own energy centers. I am glad I am doing that; I hope others do it too. To do that, we had to break the myth of scientoids like the vandal troll, that our power doesn't exist; that in fact we don't even exist, and there is no life or consciousness; that everything can be explained by some other force outside of us and known only by empirical science, verified by others instead of by ourselves and our own experience (or, on the other hand, told to believe in by religion); a force that we have no power in, and no place in at all. We have all been crippled by this. It is important for human survival, and for our own success, that we reject the old paradigm represented here by the vandal troll, and continue to rediscover and develop our inner life; to affirm and not deny it with false notions of natural law that aren't even natural at all, but human misconceptions. My life has been about that rediscovery, and about helping others rediscover too. The universe does contain a maybe; you can call it indeterminism if you like. You can "Call Me Maybe." But whatever you call it, it is embedded in what we call Nature, and we don't need a superdaddy god beyond Nature to give it to us. Because that god is us; we are It. Each of us is a part of that creative source from which big bangs and little bangs come, right now. Don't believe the propaganda from the scientoids, or the authoritarian religious fanatics either. The vandal troll and folks like him represent both. Ignore them. Know the truth for yourself!

"It's in every one of us." "Yes we can!"
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#709 at 09-15-2012 05:04 PM by Ted '79 [at joined Jan 2008 #posts 322]
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Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
Oh, and your utter hatred of anything that looks like a "conceptual box" is in utter contradiction with you claiming to be Jungian Thinking type. Jungian T = concepts, mental models, and definitions.
Well, Eric has said he doesn't agree with Jungian typology -- only the MBTI test. He has said he agrees with the test's ability to say you're 0% T (or F or E or I or P or J), 100% T (etc.) or anywhere in between, rather than just "either T or F and that's it."

And, after all, the MBTI test doesn't agree all that well with Jungian or even Myers-Briggs type theory. What it agrees with are Big Five tests. MBTI "F" maps with Big Five "agreeableness." Plus, the Big Five model supports that "spectrum, not duality" idea that Eric agrees with.

So I've come to realize that when Eric says he's an INTP, he's not saying he's a Jungian T, he's saying that on a test of four of the "Big Five" factors, he scores low on "agreeableness."

Which is perfectly plausible to me. After all: He's pretty willing to argue in defense of his views, wouldn't you say?

But you're right: he *is*, really blatantly, NOT a *Jungian* Ti-dominant.

No complicated analysis of Eric is necessary to come up with that fact. Anyone with much understanding of (and agreement with) Jung's typology can tell that at a glance.

As my Jungian-T nature initially wanted to say: "I grew up with an INTP, I know INTPs, INTPs are friends of mine: Eric, you're no INTP."

But an introvert who's "open to experience" (=MBTI N), not very "conscientious" (=not very MBTI J) and not extremely "agreeable"? Sure.

Me, I'm a fan of socionics -- the Eastern European development of Jung's type theories. I don't have to pay much attention to Eric to quickly get the impression that socionics would call him an IEI (an "intuitive ethical introtim").

When I run into male IEIs who are Boomers or older, I'm often concerned for them. They seem to have grown up in a society that pressured boys and men to "be logical/scientific"; a society that perhaps focused too much on details and efficiency (Te) at the expense of principles and logical consistency (Ti, which is what IEIs are better at, and enjoy as long as they're not forced to overdo it). And this seems to put them in danger of making certain mistakes.

They often seem to have responded to this pressure to "be logical" by putting all their attention on principles and logical consistency...at the expense of noticing (and analyzing and managing) their effect on others. The latter is something they could be brilliant at if they could accept that it is OK for a male to focus on it.

When social pressure deters these guys from paying the attention their instincts tell them to pay to the effects their theories are having on people...that's when they're in danger of getting "lost in a dream world." I know that sounds harsh, but I'm only saying it out of concern. My father is a Silent generation IEI; I'm used to this situation. I don't like to see an IEI setting himself up to be called a "space cadet" when he could be so much happier if he'd just be his own natural self.

(Oh, and to anyone who did *not* think that sounded harsh? I know -- it only sounds harsh to IEIs. But it does sound awfully harsh to them. They really, really hate being told they can get "lost in a dream world." Every socionics type has something that part of them knows is a danger, but they hate that it is, so they'd rather not face it; this is IEI's.)

Eric:

Since I spoke my opinion of your personality, I felt the need to make up for it by taking your test.

With a lot of the statements, I might have agreed if only the wording had been slightly different, but as it was, I hesitated to agree. I also found I resisted agreeing with a lot of statements that I had in my life only ever seen being used to hurt people; I think this is a generational reaction to certain statements. There were many statements where a minor objection to the wording combined with a history of seeing the statement being used solely to hurt others resulted in a "disagree" when I otherwise wouldn't have. That said: 20R, 38M.

BTW: On several different Big Five tests, and also on the actual MBTI, I score as introverted, "open-to-experience," "disagreeable" and "slightly more conscientious than not." In socionics, I'm an LII.

Socionics would say LIIs can't help admiring IEIs and wanting to help them, but that IEIs will ignore LIIs' attempts to help them, finding it intrusive and annoying. ("Relations of Benefit" with the IEI as the "benefactor.")

...oh well.







Post#710 at 09-15-2012 07:57 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Ted '79 View Post
Well, Eric has said he doesn't agree with Jungian typology -- only the MBTI test. He has said he agrees with the test's ability to say you're 0% T (or F or E or I or P or J), 100% T (etc.) or anywhere in between, rather than just "either T or F and that's it."
No, Jungian psychology has a lot to offer, and I like it. I don't agree with MBTI 100%, but I do with quite a bit of it. Don't know what you mean.
And, after all, the MBTI test doesn't agree all that well with Jungian or even Myers-Briggs type theory. What it agrees with are Big Five tests. MBTI "F" maps with Big Five "agreeableness." Plus, the Big Five model supports that "spectrum, not duality" idea that Eric agrees with.
No, I've taken the questionnaire and various copies of it many times, and I am INTP, although my T/F score is almost equal.
I don't agree with the Big Five tests, and don't think it corresponds much to anything that I'm interested in.
So I've come to realize that when Eric says he's an INTP, he's not saying he's a Jungian T, he's saying that on a test of four of the "Big Five" factors, he scores low on "agreeableness."

Which is perfectly plausible to me. After all: He's pretty willing to argue in defense of his views, wouldn't you say?

But you're right: he *is*, really blatantly, NOT a *Jungian* Ti-dominant.

No complicated analysis of Eric is necessary to come up with that fact. Anyone with much understanding of (and agreement with) Jung's typology can tell that at a glance.

As my Jungian-T nature initially wanted to say: "I grew up with an INTP, I know INTPs, INTPs are friends of mine: Eric, you're no INTP."

But an introvert who's "open to experience" (=MBTI N), not very "conscientious" (=not very MBTI J) and not extremely "agreeable"? Sure.
Yeah, thanks senator; but I am INTP though! Not that I wouldn't mind being an INFP. What seems to be the case, is that others cannot judge what type people are. It is what the person does on the MBTI test that determines this. You can't say what type other people are, especially from interacting with them on a computer. I know others who are more than willing to see me as a "T". It just depends on their relationship with me. If you are a strong T, than I am certainly "F" by comparison to you. Being 20R indicates that you are probably a strong T, since there is some (but not total) correspondence between the questionnaire and MBTI.

Since I don't agree with the idea of "dominant functions" in MBTI, then it's OK if you say I am not T dominant; however, it is a fact that T has dominated my life, so what can I say? Also, I can't control you or others if you decide you can judge and type me.

Eric:

Since I spoke my opinion of your personality, I felt the need to make up for it by taking your test.

With a lot of the statements, I might have agreed if only the wording had been slightly different, but as it was, I hesitated to agree. I also found I resisted agreeing with a lot of statements that I had in my life only ever seen being used to hurt people; I think this is a generational reaction to certain statements. There were many statements where a minor objection to the wording combined with a history of seeing the statement being used solely to hurt others resulted in a "disagree" when I otherwise wouldn't have. That said: 20R, 38M.

BTW: On several different Big Five tests, and also on the actual MBTI, I score as introverted, "open-to-experience," "disagreeable" and "slightly more conscientious than not." In socionics, I'm an LII.

Socionics would say LIIs can't help admiring IEIs and wanting to help them, but that IEIs will ignore LIIs' attempts to help them, finding it intrusive and annoying. ("Relations of Benefit" with the IEI as the "benefactor.")

...oh well.
I guess for you that would be like INTJ?

Thanks for taking the test. For someone hesitant to agree with some of the questions, your score is still pretty decisive. The exact wording of the questions is pretty important, and something I have carefully considered.

Yet another materialist, though? Hmmmm it's getting lonely here, especially with these new posters like kinser and vandal who not only disagree with me, but are quite hostile to my point of view, and maybe to me as well (certainly in the case of vandal)....
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#711 at 09-16-2012 12:29 AM by Chas'88 [at In between Pennsylvania & Pennsyltucky joined Nov 2008 #posts 9,432]
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Perhaps what could be the best description of Eric's viewpoint (if I may be so bold) is this: Neo-Baroque. Which if you get down to it, is what peeling back the "Age of Enlightenment" would mean, a return to life prior to the Enlightenment.

~Chas'88
"There have always been people who say: "The war will be over someday." I say there's no guarantee the war will ever be over. Naturally a brief intermission is conceivable. Maybe the war needs a breather, a war can even break its neck, so to speak. But the kings and emperors, not to mention the pope, will always come to its help in adversity. ON the whole, I'd say this war has very little to worry about, it'll live to a ripe old age."







Post#712 at 09-16-2012 12:38 AM by Gianthogweed [at joined Apr 2012 #posts 590]
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I scored:

I - 81%
N - 30%
T - 30%
P - 55%

I guess it's true of me most of the time. There's definitely an artistic side to me though that sometimes dominates my personality, so if I retake the test I might be an ISFP.
'79 Xer, INTP







Post#713 at 09-16-2012 12:43 AM by Vandal-72 [at Idaho joined Jul 2012 #posts 1,101]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
I'm still waiting for a suggestion as to how we could, or even for an operational definition of consciousness that doesn't completely miss what people mean by the term.
Maybe, what people mean by the term is not definitive enough to be tested for?

I don't believe it's a "yet." This seems fundamental to me and something that can't be rectified.
And yet, many neuro-scientists and cognitive psychologists disagree with you about the "yet" part.

It's analogous to the inability to study the universe as a whole (inclusive of all time as well as all space). We can't do that because study requires observation, observation requires an observer separate from the observed, any potential observer is part of the universe, and so at best we can study the universe minus the observer, which is not the whole. This is a fundamental epistemic problem that can't be solved by any advances in technology, ever.
What it sounds like is philosophy majors being clever with words regardless of what science actually does. You are now going to waste time trying to define the word "whole". Why exactly does observation require an observer separate from the observed? Is it because other philosophers have been "clever" with those words as well?

Similarly, we cannot study anything that is intrinsically subjective and so can only be experienced (from within), not observed (from without).
Define "within", without going circular in your logic.







Post#714 at 09-16-2012 12:47 AM by Vandal-72 [at Idaho joined Jul 2012 #posts 1,101]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
It has taken me and many other people, many years, to rediscover that we have a source of power inside ourselves; that we don't have to live our lives accomodating and placating others, but can express who we are, from our own will, our own energy centers. I am glad I am doing that; I hope others do it too. To do that, we had to break the myth of scientoids like the vandal troll, that our power doesn't exist; that in fact we don't even exist, and there is no life or consciousness; that everything can be explained by some other force outside of us and known only by empirical science, verified by others instead of by ourselves and our own experience (or, on the other hand, told to believe in by religion); a force that we have no power in, and no place in at all. We have all been crippled by this. It is important for human survival, and for our own success, that we reject the old paradigm represented here by the vandal troll, and continue to rediscover and develop our inner life; to affirm and not deny it with false notions of natural law that aren't even natural at all, but human misconceptions. My life has been about that rediscovery, and about helping others rediscover too. The universe does contain a maybe; you can call it indeterminism if you like. You can "Call Me Maybe." But whatever you call it, it is embedded in what we call Nature, and we don't need a superdaddy god beyond Nature to give it to us. Because that god is us; we are It. Each of us is a part of that creative source from which big bangs and little bangs come, right now. Don't believe the propaganda from the scientoids, or the authoritarian religious fanatics either. The vandal troll and folks like him represent both. Ignore them. Know the truth for yourself!

"It's in every one of us." "Yes we can!"
For putting me on your ignore list, you do seem to care an awful lot about what I say.

BTW: New Age gobbledygook about internal"power" is nowhere near as interesting as how human bodies actually work.
Last edited by Vandal-72; 09-16-2012 at 12:51 AM.







Post#715 at 09-16-2012 01:35 AM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Chas'88 View Post
Perhaps what could be the best description of Eric's viewpoint (if I may be so bold) is this: Neo-Baroque. Which if you get down to it, is what peeling back the "Age of Enlightenment" would mean, a return to life prior to the Enlightenment.

~Chas'88
And as a rational Enlightenment kind of person it is really getting on my nerves. Remember that the Baroque Age was also the age of the 30 Years War and the Counter-Reformation. The Enlightenment emerged out of disgust of the backwardness of religion and the emergence of science as distinct from philosophy.

There is no wonder in ignorance and superstition. I am awed by the night sky and pics from the Hubble Telescope. I am awed by those dinosaurs found in China with preserved feathers. I am awed by every new discovery pertaining to human evolution. I am awed by the fact that the chunk of Minnesota iron ore on my dresser was formed 2 billion years ago when the atmosphere and seas were becoming oxygenated for the first time and all the dissolved iron got rusted out on the seafloor. I am awed by the 400 million year old fossil coral also on my dresser, which was once part of a vast coral reef that covered much of the Midwest. I am awed that the birds I see outside my window are theropod dinosaurs. I am awed by the living fossil in my neighbor's yard, a Ginkgo tree.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#716 at 09-16-2012 02:34 AM by Chas'88 [at In between Pennsylvania & Pennsyltucky joined Nov 2008 #posts 9,432]
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Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
And as a rational Enlightenment kind of person it is really getting on my nerves. Remember that the Baroque Age was also the age of the 30 Years War and the Counter-Reformation. The Enlightenment emerged out of disgust of the backwardness of religion and the emergence of science as distinct from philosophy.

There is no wonder in ignorance and superstition. I am awed by the night sky and pics from the Hubble Telescope. I am awed by those dinosaurs found in China with preserved feathers. I am awed by every new discovery pertaining to human evolution. I am awed by the fact that the chunk of Minnesota iron ore on my dresser was formed 2 billion years ago when the atmosphere and seas were becoming oxygenated for the first time and all the dissolved iron got rusted out on the seafloor. I am awed by the 400 million year old fossil coral also on my dresser, which was once part of a vast coral reef that covered much of the Midwest. I am awed that the birds I see outside my window are theropod dinosaurs. I am awed by the living fossil in my neighbor's yard, a Ginkgo tree.
Nothing is keeping the Baroque mind from being in awe of those things. The only difference comes from where they believe its origin is from.

For example, the Baroque mind gave us a lot of things, most specifically: Isaac Newton. (<--Seriously Odin, watch this documentary) It's just they had the opinion that God was the one responsible. And even the Enlightenment thinkers thought that God was responsible, just that it was a "clockwork universe" and God had stepped aside after making it.

~Chas'88
"There have always been people who say: "The war will be over someday." I say there's no guarantee the war will ever be over. Naturally a brief intermission is conceivable. Maybe the war needs a breather, a war can even break its neck, so to speak. But the kings and emperors, not to mention the pope, will always come to its help in adversity. ON the whole, I'd say this war has very little to worry about, it'll live to a ripe old age."







Post#717 at 09-16-2012 03:53 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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I understand that the cause-and-effect approach to understanding and dealing with the world, that there is a "rational explanation" for things, though it may not be true, is a valuable way of looking at things. It enables us to answer questions about the origin of problems, and to plan solutions to obstacles. It is the basis of engineering and planning. At the same time, those who abide in the R/M quadrant of the philosophy wheel, need to appreciate the value of the other 3 quadrants, just as I appreciate the value of the rationalist quadrant that is opposite to mine. If you don't do that, you risk cutting yourself off from the other side of your brain/mind, (the right side specifically in "your" case, rational-materialists); and you lose touch with the deeper aspects of your being besides the physical. I hope I can make that point in my book, that all the quadrants and directions are valuable. To be too dogmatic and pronounce the other quadrants as "superstition," as many of our materialists here do, is to lose valuable parts of yourself, and lose access to parts of the universe too. Such an extremist philosophy is in fact quite dangerous to human and planetary health and sanity.

Science and its method of investigation is dedicated to what can be verified, beyond what may be our personal prejudices, preconceptions, fantasies and desires. That is valuable. At the same time, with its severe, systematic and logical approach, it restricts us from the side of us that expresses creativity, feelings, wonder and imagination; the realm of arts and spirituality. So, do you want to lose either of these kinds of faculties? I can't very well be a loyal part of the "blue" political team if I disown the value of facts. That is dangerous too! Nor can I be a true boomer prophet if I deny the value and higher truths of spirituality, the arts and imagination, which is where my heart is.

The "awe" Odin claims, is not really awe at all, to the extent that he claims it can all be explained away by science. There is indeed the wonder of discovery in science of things not known before. That wonder is crushed the moment you think you have found the answers and locked them up in a dogmatic materialism philosophy. It is this philosophy that I criticize, not science itself. Nor has anyone here successfully claimed that I don't understand science; they merely abandoned the discussion, or resorted to mere insults and disrespect.

Modern science is considered by many new agers to be perfectly compatible with their views. Indeterminacy and uncertainty do not prove them, perhaps, but they make room for them. If mechanical causation is inadequate to explain indeterminacy and uncertainty, then the universe contains a maybe, and freedom and spontaneity exist. The ultimate "cause" is simply the presence, which spiritualists call the soul or the divine. There is every opportunity for it to expand within the evolution of life and its complexity. This conscious life remains beyond the purview of rationalist science, but is no less real for that, because it is our experience. There is no need to postulate a source of explanation for it beyond nature, because what materialists call "supernatural" is simply a part of the universe as it really is. Without it indeed there is no wonder or awe, and indeed no-one wondering and in awe.

If I criticize and reject dogmatic materialism, it is because it does not serve me in my quest. Spiritualism is what serves it. So just because materialism claims credit for the tools of civilization, and denies the problems it also causes, does not mean I have to be a materialist. Materialism by itself is not true. That is the salient point. What's more, the laws of quantum mechanics, and the life of imagination (as Einstein declared), are even more important to material progress itself than the tenets of rationalist materialism.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#718 at 09-16-2012 04:03 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Chas'88 View Post
Perhaps what could be the best description of Eric's viewpoint (if I may be so bold) is this: Neo-Baroque. Which if you get down to it, is what peeling back the "Age of Enlightenment" would mean, a return to life prior to the Enlightenment.

~Chas'88
You could say that for fun. But don't be so bold. But for one thing, you'd have to go pre-baroque too (as someone said), since Newton and company were baroque. Even Bach was in part a rationalist. On the other hand, many post-enlightenment folks forget that the creators of modern science were in fact hermetic and platonic; they saw a higher order in nature which they were seeking to demonstrate, and believed in and practiced alchemy and astrology. Plus, as I made clear, a life prior to the Enlightenment would reject the tolerance and democracy that the Enlightenment also brought, which I support, as well as rejection of some kinds of traditional religion, a rejection that I support too. So as usual, the usual critique against me here is totally off-base, and amounts to little more than casual insults by folks who don't understand what I am saying. Given your philosophy score, I wouldn't think you would be one of those, Chas. You are just going along with the crowd.
Last edited by Eric the Green; 09-16-2012 at 04:06 AM.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#719 at 09-16-2012 04:04 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Gianthogweed View Post
I scored:

I - 81%
N - 30%
T - 30%
P - 55%

I guess it's true of me most of the time. There's definitely an artistic side to me though that sometimes dominates my personality, so if I retake the test I might be an ISFP.
But what is your score on the philosophy wheel?

http://philosopherswheel.com/questionnaire.htm
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#720 at 09-16-2012 05:19 AM by Gianthogweed [at joined Apr 2012 #posts 590]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
But what is your score on the philosophy wheel?

http://philosopherswheel.com/questionnaire.htm

Interesting? Did you make this yourself? I don't have access to a printer right now, but when I have time I'll print it out.
'79 Xer, INTP







Post#721 at 09-16-2012 06:05 AM by Chas'88 [at In between Pennsylvania & Pennsyltucky joined Nov 2008 #posts 9,432]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
You could say that for fun. But don't be so bold. But for one thing, you'd have to go pre-baroque too (as someone said), since Newton and company were baroque. Even Bach was in part a rationalist. On the other hand, many post-enlightenment folks forget that the creators of modern science were in fact hermetic and platonic; they saw a higher order in nature which they were seeking to demonstrate, and believed in and practiced alchemy and astrology. Plus, as I made clear, a life prior to the Enlightenment would reject the tolerance and democracy that the Enlightenment also brought, which I support, as well as rejection of some kinds of traditional religion, a rejection that I support too. So as usual, the usual critique against me here is totally off-base, and amounts to little more than casual insults by folks who don't understand what I am saying. Given your philosophy score, I wouldn't think you would be one of those, Chas. You are just going along with the crowd.
The most efficient weapon is the double-ended dagger. However to use such a weapon requires one must be prepared to be injured in the dealing of such a weapon.

Interpret as you so chose.

The key to unlocking what I'm trying to actually say isn't in what is said but left unsaid. View the documentary linked--Newton indeed was Baroque and of his time being a deeply religious man and alchemist--he did not separate the two from his view of the universe. It was later scholars (most notably the ones who were his friends on his deathbed) who censored and cleaned him up in order to prop up the clockwork Universe his papers described (if you took God out of the equation--which they did). What does that say about the parties involved? Which is the more genuine and which the imposter? So is being Neo-Baroque a good or bad thing? That depends upon one's perspective of course. The ideas that came out of pursuing some of the most ancient thoughts created some of the most brilliant ideas yet to date. And yet we should be ready to admit that the ancients themselves weren't a bunch of geniuses...

Neo-Baroque, Eric, is chique. Just ask everyone's Caribbean friends who talk like Pirates, who sail at world's end. For after all, what is the primary conflict of that film but the last outliers of the Baroque vs. the all imposing Enlightenment?

In other news, and speaking of Neo-Baroque... this opera is proving to be a popular piece which takes Baroque music, Shakespeare, and mixes a lot of things together to create an entirely new piece of Baroque-esque opera: The Enchanted Island. At the link one can watch the entire three hours in its entirety. One can say it is a truly American piece as it has all the ingredients for a perfect Baroque Opera "all mixed up"--like Chop Suey is the perfect American version of Chinese food.

But keep in mind, balance in everything is essential, at least to me. Even in mixing everything together--if it isn't done in the right proportions--it all goes to pot. If balance is not maintained, the tower collapses and babel ensues. So at one time an attack of reason needs to be made on an out of control and chaotic world which is so illogically passionate it's come to insanity that it lays waste to everything. In others a burst of imagination is needed in a stale and over rational/intellectualized world that has retreated so far into abstract logic it's come to insanity and lays waste to everything. Guess which one we suffer more from today. Forgive me if the scales hit you as they shift. To put it astrologically for you: I am not a Libra so I don't know how to do it gently.

Personally, after doing more research, I've found that I tend to follow the ideas of Sentimentalism (to a certain degree) rather than outright Romanticism (or heaven help me Dark Romanticism!--Dark Romanticism was the true philosophy of the Nomad Generation that wasn't the Gilded by the way, anyone who can believe that this world is dark and tainted and outright evil is NOT an Idealist *cough*Poe*cough*). Sentimentalism is the kind of Romanticism that sees no problems coexisting with the Age of Reason, and only seeks to give a rather sentimental heart to an overly cold and hyper-analytical world that is otherwise out of balance with itself. You might call it pre-Romanticism or even diet-Romanticism, but I call it balance and harmony--which are things that bring about truth, which I value most of all. <-- A bringing together of contradictory truths (in proportion & balance) to create a new truth. Aka, the reason why I'm looking forward to the Late High/Early Awakening time period when these thoughts are traditionally held.

~Chas'88
Last edited by Chas'88; 09-16-2012 at 06:12 AM.
"There have always been people who say: "The war will be over someday." I say there's no guarantee the war will ever be over. Naturally a brief intermission is conceivable. Maybe the war needs a breather, a war can even break its neck, so to speak. But the kings and emperors, not to mention the pope, will always come to its help in adversity. ON the whole, I'd say this war has very little to worry about, it'll live to a ripe old age."







Post#722 at 09-16-2012 10:59 AM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Chas'88 View Post
Nothing is keeping the Baroque mind from being in awe of those things. The only difference comes from where they believe its origin is from.

For example, the Baroque mind gave us a lot of things, most specifically: Isaac Newton. (<--Seriously Odin, watch this documentary) It's just they had the opinion that God was the one responsible. And even the Enlightenment thinkers thought that God was responsible, just that it was a "clockwork universe" and God had stepped aside after making it.

~Chas'88
Oh, I know perfectly well Newton was a crank who was obsessed with religious nonsense. Hence Keynes calling him "The last of the magicians".
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#723 at 09-16-2012 11:06 AM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
The "awe" Odin claims, is not really awe at all, to the extent that he claims it can all be explained away by science. There is indeed the wonder of discovery in science of things not known before. That wonder is crushed the moment you think you have found the answers and locked them up in a dogmatic materialism philosophy.
Carl Sagan would disagree with your rather bigoted attitude.

"It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it."
Last edited by Odin; 09-16-2012 at 11:18 AM.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#724 at 09-16-2012 12:48 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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More things to point out. The all-too-human and limited methods of scientific rational empiricism are valuable and useful to verify facts, and provisional regularities can be discerned. That does not mean that anything outside their ability to verify is correctly labelled "superstition and ignorance" as Odin, Kinser, Copperfield and Vandal would have it. If you prefer to be dogmatic materialists and insist on this, and further insist that if I disagree, I am "bashing science" and all its achievements, then that is your position, and there's room for everyone all around the philosophy wheel, but that does not make you correct about me. You are just saying anything that doesn't fit your philosophy is superstition, which I find superstitious in turn.

Another thing I notice is how often in studying the natural world, especially the "biological," scientists have little in the way of materialist explanations of behavior. What they often do is just to identify species and their behavior, establishing the facts about these as best as possible. There is much that remains mysterious-- hardly support for the dogmatic Darwinist, mechanistic, materialist view of how life supposedly works (in other words, for the prevalent materialist view that life can be reduced to death).

By the way, this is the best place I've found to share the philosophy questionnaire, more than in my in-person circle of friends here in CA, because here I literally have gotten scores all around the wheel.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#725 at 09-16-2012 01:37 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
Another thing I notice is how often in studying the natural world, especially the "biological," scientists have little in the way of materialist explanations of behavior. What they often do is just to identify species and their behavior, establishing the facts about these as best as possible. There is much that remains mysterious-- hardly support for the dogmatic Darwinist, mechanistic, materialist view of how life supposedly works (in other words, for the prevalent materialist view that life can be reduced to death).
This is simply false and shows your own ignorance more than anything.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuropsychology
Last edited by Odin; 09-16-2012 at 01:41 PM.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism
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