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Posts posted by JillSwift

  1. But it's an aesthetic reason to avoid chasing shadows. If someone really wants to chase shadows, science provides the means to investigate what the actual effects of a shadow can and can't be.



    In order to call something denial, you have to know that it is true. You are implying truth by claiming denial. That's putting the cart before the horse. Or maybe I should say you're claiming denial of a shadow where there's no proof of light to begin with.
    One only has to believe to deny, no need to actually know. Frankly, the behavior can be triggered without even belief, just a fear that it might be true.



    I know that materialism postulates that subjectivity is an emergent property of the physical body, but what basis do you have for claiming this as an objective fact that goes beyond the axioms of the paradigm? Really, I'm not denying the plausibility of your claim - just questioning the ultimate scientific veracity of it b/c I don't think there's any positive proof available to make any conclusions about the relationship between body materiality and subjectivity.
    You mean the repeatable experiments of modifying the brain (structurally or chemically) that then modifies the personality, observable via behavior? Evidence as basis for a conclusion?
  2. I understand the logic of Occam's Razor but ultimately it is an aesthetic of thought and not a physical law. Nothing about nature dictates that things will have any less complexity than they do in practice. DNA code, for example, doesn't consolidate itself by editing down to the shortest possible code sequence any more than computer programmers do.
    Good thing I never claimed that.

    Thought it's not an aesthetic - it's a useful tool. Keeps one from chasing shadows.



    Denial of death is a funny accusation. After all, materialism has worked very hard to assert the primacy of material objects over subjectivity. So obviously that philosophy has an interest in insisting that the body and the entity are coterminous, that subjectivity/consciousness are nothing more than superstructures of the material body, etc. That can't be ruled out, but I also think it's not good argumentation to begin with an a priori assumption that the body is everything and then accuse any belief that regards consciousness as exceeding the material body as denial of its own death. The fact is that it's simply impossible to observe the death of consciousness because it is impossible to observe the life of consciousness except from one's own perspective as a conscious being. Body death IS observable, which provides positive certainty that is tempting to apply to subjectivity/consciousness as well.

    I'm talking about the observed and demonstrable behavior of the majority of human beings - where the nexus of the instinct to preserve one's self with the ability to predict the inevitability of death induces a state of denial.



    I don't really understand what you mean by actions of personality vs. meat. How can "the meat act" without that simultaneously being an action of the personality? The part that makes me skeptical of consciousness transcending the body is I just can't figure out a plausible physical form that could travel around outside of a body, e.g. patterns of static electricity. There would have to be some way for consciousness to leave the body and propagate itself externally until it could find a fetus of suitable developmental age to implant into.

    Not versus, the personality is the meat. Or, more accurately, the personality is an emergent property of the meat.
  3. PS. oh, by the way, what are Axons? according to one of your commenters he is contesting you on Axons in grey matter being non-existant, and to be truthful I do not see any sources for axons in grey matter either.


    Wikipedia article on the Axon


    this reminds me... why are we all debating about biology in the earth science section?
    Eh. Report it and a mod will likely move it. They're pretty good about dat.
  4. Ugh, I got a Kindle for my birthday and it is awesome. But now I found a free game on it, so I'll never read another page :P


    Fortunately, I'm immune to that effect.


    Until someone manages to get Minecraft* running on a kindle. Then I'm doomed. Doooooooooomed!








    *Or Diamond Mines, really. Or Angry Birds. Or... oh crap.

  5. What about these stories you hear of people having near death experiences and looking at themselves from outside their body? Obviously that could be a type of dreaming that occurs in a state of trauma as the brain attempts to subconsciously distance itself from pain. However, what if indeed consciousness is something that seeks out bodies because of the special functionality that comes with having sensory input combined with motor-control over appendages for manipulating material objects? Granted, you would expect that if this was possible, there would be some empirical trace of consciousness when it transcends a body, but then how can we know exactly what to look for either? Certainly it's easier to dismiss the possibility as implausible, but what happens when you start speculating about possible channels, however implausible? E.g. you could ask how a temporarily dead person could see their bodies during an OBE if they didn't have eyes to look through, but what if consciousness can project visual images to go with sounds heard or other energy it can somehow receive? When you are dreaming, for example, your sub-conscious can create visual images to go along with sounds/voices you hear while asleep.


    This is the thing about trying to understand reality. We have imaginations, very powerful imaginations. We can posit an impressive array of explanations for any given phenomenon.


    How we can start to tell which explanations might be true requires parsimony, aka "Occam's Razor". If we don't need an entity to explain a phenomenon, we should leave it out. This doesn't mean that such entities have been debunked or dis-proven, simply set aside as unnecessary.


    This should leave us with only that which we have some evidence for, albeit sometimes with with un-evidenced entities that can be falsified.


    As for the subject itself, I am leery of accepting anecdotes as even suggestions of evidence because of the subject matter - that of the instinct driven avoidance of death, in this case by positing one can transcend it and live again. There is simply far too much room for denial, projection and disassociation (as well as straight up lies and deception) for anecdotes to be considered.


    All we have left, then, is the evidence we can re-observe and the experiments reproducible. Change the meat, change the personality. Watch the personality act, see the meat act. Affect the meat, affect the personality. The self seems to be the meat. Thus, no evidence for reincarnation.

  6. BS. Your timing of this thread is full of innuendo.


    "1. An indirect or subtle, usually derogatory implication in expression; an insinuation"


    What's being insinuated? I'm not seeing it.

  7. (And, if you're an atheist, do you feel the need to have your own Bible?)

    Nope. Since one of the many things atheists self-identify as is "freethinker" (including moi), a "bible" seems a bad idea. I assume he's being a bit tongue-in-cheek with the title, though, but it still rubs me the wrong way.


    I do intend to buy and read it, however. I'm madly curious as to what A. C. Grayling thinks counts as important "good stuff", plus he rather makes good reads IMO anyway. =^_^=

  8. Mitt Romney Haunted By Past Of Trying To Help Uninsured Sick People


    BELMONT, MA—Though Mitt Romney is considered to be a frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the national spotlight has forced him to repeatedly confront a major skeleton in his political closet: that as governor of Massachusetts he once tried to help poor, uninsured sick people.


    Romney, who signed the state's 2006 health care reform act, has said he "deeply regrets" giving people in poor physical and mental health the opportunity to seek medical attention, admitting that helping very sick people get better remains a dark cloud hovering over his political career, and his biggest obstacle to becoming president of the United States of America.




    Oh my gaWD I love The Onion. :D

  9. Good memory. That thread was from @2008 on the posts I checked. I wonder if size somehow makes a difference. It has always baffled me that zeppelins like the Hindenburg appear to have had heavy steel frames and a heavy payload. I suppose that's my subjective impression though, so I should go google it. Thanks for posting the link to the old thread.



  10. Lighter than air ships have been made to float using light gasses such as hydrogen and helium. Hot air balloons reduce the density of air by heating it. I wonder if it would be possible to make an air ship float by emptying the air out of it instead of replacing that air with light gas.


    This rings a bell. I think it's been tried before...


    As I recall, a "vacuum balloon" would be significantly more efficient (in the 7-10% range or so) than a helium or hydrogen balloon, except for the weight penalty incurred by the need for a rigid envelope.


    Oh, right here on these forums:


  11. I wish the op hadn't used the phrase 'rock the boat'.


    I would never advise anyone to ever rock a boat.


    But I get sick of the bigotry exhibited toward anyone who dares question any part of the scientific establishment.


    Such people are invariably labeled 'crackpots' or 'mystics' (i.e. religious nuts)

    No, they are NOT "inevitably" labled crackpots or mystics. It's when they have no evidence at all of their assertions that such labels are applied.


    It's purest bigotry - in the form of guilt by association and group identification with individual behaviors - to claim otherwise.

  12. i may be biased

    but as christian,,, I don't believe in homosexuality

    I think it is completely out of choice, just as other sins and i don't blame them

    we are all sinners

    if thats how you are naturally acting i understand cause

    just like the ppl are naturally greedy (or whether the environment made us that way) it just happens naturally to us


    For me as chrisitian, i think we should fight it off, (there have been cases where gay goes back to straight)

    I mean its bad for health and you are suffering from ethical and moral issues, society is generally against it too

    i am not saying gay people should chicken out

    but more like "hey i was once gay, but i knew its not right so i decided to follow what is morally right"

    again, i am being way biased here and i apologize for that


    in conclusions

    gay could happen naturally or by choice, but we know its not "right" and we shouldn't be encouraging people to become gays

    But of course more like people to understand homosexuality and help them

    This is not a religion forum. Nor is it a discussion of ethics or morals.

  13. I don't know what's unclear about the language I used.
    Linguistically, no problem. Conceptually, I'm not sure I get how science could even be used that way.



    I agree. Conflict is good as it stimulates opening for discussion.
    Well, contrast over conflict. =^_^=
  14. Well, I don't see how science should become a boundary-defining discourse for what questions people should ask. If anything, I think it should add rigor to any and all contemplation of questions that its knowledge could pertain to. If nothing else, it should go beyond correlation with regard to what constitutes subjectivity. Saying that what goes on in your computer's OS is happening in the RAM may be true, but it doesn't provide a complete understanding of how the OS works and what possibilities there are for uploading and downloading it into other storage media, for example.


    I never made the claim that "science should become a boundary-defining discourse for what questions people should ask". (I'm not even certain what that means.)


    But, when no reasoning is given for an assertion, not a lot can be discussed. As in this case, all I know is Yoseph believes in reincarnation. I don't know why, so I can't really comment on it in any meaningful way.


    Since he asked, I offered my take on death as it involves the mind. I find this a useful thing to do as a matter of contrast between our points of view in hopes it will help Yoseph give us some reasoning to discuss.

  15. By all empirically-based plausibility, you're right. The thing I don't understand is why people find it more interesting to always re-iterate the implausibility of death-transcendent subjectivity than to explore potential avenues for it. Unless you expect that one day people are going to give up speculating that there is a potential for subjectivity to transcend the body, it makes sense to try to at least impart some amount of scientific rigor into the theorizing of possible channels. At least that way there is the chance of falsifiability and testable hypotheses instead of conjecture with insistent bickering devoid of most forms of rigor.


    The first sentence of my previous post explains to a T why there's no discussion of any "potential avenues" for duality.

  16. Now my thinking is that when you die, you could wait an inumerable amount of years / universe births etc. until at some point your conciousness will be recreated in one form or another. So to me it seems that reincarnation is inevitable, because during the time you stop thinking, you will experience nothing until at some point you start to think again... However unlikely it may be that it happens.


    I'm sure what happens after death is discuessed here a lot, but I'd like to know what you guys thought?


    You never mention why you think this is so.


    So far, all the evidence more than strongly suggests that "self"/mind/consciousness is a property of matter - specifically the brain and its interaction with its sub-systems and the world around it - and as such consciousness simply ceases to be then the brain is wrecked in the same way 75mph ceases to be when the car is wrecked. (Why do I keep using that metaphor? People say they find it depressing. :unsure: )

  17. JillSwift , you say ,


    In science, a theory is something that explains facts. Thus, a theory can not be a theory unless there is evidence to explain.


    A theory does not explain facts . A fact explains theories . A theory can be a theory with no evidence to support it . I can have a theory that my cup of tea will stay warm forever and it doesn't matter if i have evidence on one side or the other . My theory is that my cup of tea will stay warm forever . The fact is that it won't . Some supporting evidence might include Newton's law of cooling to show my theory that my cup of tea will stay warm forever is wrong .


    A Tripolation ,


    As for the subject of guessing , I don't have confidence in computers . They are an accident waiting to happen .

    I'm sorry again, but you can't just change definitions to fit your needs.




    –noun, plural -ries.

    1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.

    2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

    3. Mathematics: a body of principles, theorems, or the like, belonging to one subject: number theory.

    4. the branch of a science or art that deals with its principles or methods, as distinguished from its practice: music theory.

    5. a particular conception or view of something to be done or of the method of doing it; a system of rules or principles.

    6. contemplation or speculation.

    7. guess or conjecture.


    As you can see, it has many definitions. In science, the first definition is the one used.

  18. Belief in chemistry , physics and math requires faith and a lot of what is physics , chemistry and math has no evidence , it is theory . Does this make them religions ? Does this make belief in ghost's and spirits a science ?


    Sorry, but you're using the wrong definition of "theory".


    In science, a theory is something that explains facts. Thus, a theory can not be a theory unless there is evidence to explain.


    No faith is required for science, as it can all be tested.

  19. Umm...the internet.


    I thought a while ago we were all producing too much babies.


    Here's a good video about it:




    But there's also lots of other stuff like people speculating that Singapore will have only about half of its current total human population in 20 years time.


    It all sounds very serious but it's the first I've heard of all this. Is this a big problem?

    I smell agenda in that video.


    Plus, no evidence is given, only utterly vague references to "studies". I can't find any that suggest the conclusions they're claiming.


    Finally, if this decline were so, why is it not showing up on the official population estimates?

  20. mooeypoo -- I believe the comment was made in jest.



    Er, um. Look! Behind you!!


    Sorry, couldn't help but jump back in.



    I assume you could also say:

    The only way to take the "indirect evidence" as evidence against god is to make as a priori the decision that there is no god. That's to make a conclusion then find evidence to support it. This necessarily means to exclude evidence that isn't supportive. It's not logical in the least.


    But I don't think either side is taking the 'indirect evidence' as evidence. They are just trying to figure out what is going on with the information they have. Both the theist and atheist are in the same boat.


    Huh. I didn't know you could be an atheist and an agnostic at the same time.

    And do you mean to say that "The actual answer to "Does god exist?" is "I don't actually know..." if you are agnostic? Because I think if you are an atheist the answer is 'no'.

    Also, I'm speaking in general terms. When I say 'atheist' or 'theist', etc. I do not mean to imply all or under all circumstances.



    Don't leave out the rest of the possibilities:

    -- c. X can affect our world in some way but chooses not to

    -- d. X can affect our world but only did so once (creation)

    -- e. X can affect our world and does so but we do not recognize it as an act of X

    -- f. ...



    So long as it's claimed that god is not testable, then even if god does not exist it is irrelevant.


    But again, I'm not arguing whether or not God exists. My position is simply that no matter where you stand, you have no empirical evidence to support your belief. And if you have no empirical evidence to support your position, I feel it is a bit arrogant to criticize someone else's position just because they arrived there with no empirical evidence.


    "Atheist" is about belief. Do I believe god exists? No.

    "Gnosis" is about knowledge. Do I know god does not exist, no.


    Thus I am an agnostic atheist.


    "Agnostic" is not some middle position between theist and atheist. You can and do have agnostic theists and agnostic atheists, the are in fact the majority of both belief and non-belief.


    The other possibilities are mere extensions of the primary two. I t boils down to: If it affects us, we can test it, if it does not it's irrelevant. Why it does or does not have effect isn't important. Save for "We don't recognize it as X", which is an odd one. If we can explain the effect with a natural cause... then it must not be X. If we can not explain the effect with a natural cause, then perhaps we need to postulate X. How can we otherwise not recognize X?


    I'm hoping you now understand that It's not a black-n-white thing. Atheists generally don't hold that "God does not exist", rather they hold the null hypothesis. As in: "I don't believe in fairies, since there is no evidence they exist." as opposed to "Fairies do not exist, because that would contradict <some other demonstrable fact>."


    I can criticize a belief in god because I see there's no reason to believe. I can not criticize a belief in god because I "know it's wrong" as I don't know that it is, I just know it's not evidenced.






    <ot type="spottedafreind">Hi Mooeypoo! =^_^= *hugs*</ot>

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