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  1. what is a god

    Straw man? Are you sure? I am wondering if you think that toasters are related to "God", or if you missed the point entirely and do not realize that only his first post was on topic. iNow wields a lot of power in this forum, so if he wants to take a thread off topic, he can and no one will check him. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely -- only integrity can stop this corruption. Gee
  2. what is a god

    Strange; He was also a brilliant man. Are you trying to imply that he was an idiot in other fields and could not recognize nonsense? I can't believe I have to defend him. Or perhaps it is because academic Philosophy has failed miserably. One of our greatest American philosophers was Benjamin Franklin, and that boy never even made through high school. I am not even sure if he got past sixth grade. His teacher did not think much of him -- he educated himself. Teachers did not like Edison either and called him a dreamer. So academic education can help, but it is not the end-all answer to education. Well it may be obvious to you, a non-philosopher, but it is not obvious to me. Why don't we wait and see if he can make any arguments against my points without sidestepping them or ignoring them or trying to turn them to Science. He should know how to make an argument as academic Philosophy teaches a lot about arguing. There is a lot that is misleading and assumed in this thread. You know, as well as I, that the idea that life eats life is only one indicator of life; it is not the full definition of life. Just like the idea that DNA causes life. Viruses consume life and have DNA, but they are not considered life. This is not such a simple subject. A human can survive on completely synthetic food? For how long? Please provide evidence of this. If the Gaia hypothesis is correct or even partly correct, then your argument is not valid. If the theories that state the Universe is alive are correct, then your argument is not valid. This is not such a simple little subject as some of you propose. Gee
  3. what is a god

    iNow; Well, I am happy that you are flattered, but in all honesty I must explain that it was Eise, who brought up your name. I was just responding. Actually you have made seven posts in this thread. The first post was on topic. One post was about a toaster, which is a stretch of the imagination to think that toasters have anything to do with "God". One post was to whine about a down vote you received. Four posts were about me, so I am the one who is flattered. Although I am certain that you are enamored of the "power" of your words, I find that research and evidence have some worth. Being able to read also helps. Gee
  4. what is a god

    Eise; We meet again. So you think that Feynman knew what he was talking about? Then why did he have such contempt for Philosophy? After I realized how brilliant he was,, I wondered about that until I read an article that explained that Feynman took a Philosophy class while at University and walked away thinking that it was the biggest bunch of nonsense that he had ever heard. Likewise -- we are all anonymous here. It is clear that you know a great deal about Science, but I have not seen evidence that you understand Philosophy. In my thread about truth, right, and wrong, I made a referral to your post in the thread that was a split from Sam Harris's thread. Your post in that thread had a down vote on it, which I did not give you, but I reversed because I do not believe in the down vote system. But to be perfectly honest, you earned that down vote because you side-stepped or did not answer any philosophical question that I asked you. You wanted to talk about Science, which is something that you know. I normally do not try to expose your ignorance of Philosophy because many here seem to think you a philosopher, but you are pushing me. Nonsense. If what you stated above were true, then how did the first philosophers become philosophers? Also consider that universities all over the country are removing Philosophy from their curriculum because they are starting to realize that what they are teaching is not working. Most are teaching a history of Philosophy going over the great philosophers' works and what has already been accomplished, along with a hefty dose of how to argue. Some don't even require a Logic or Critical Thinking class in order to get a degree. I tried a Philosophy class once and walked away thinking that it was the biggest bunch on nonsense that I had ever heard. The whole class was based on the Monism v Dualism debate, which I had already realized is nonsense, as it is not about consciousness; it is about power. Then you are wrong. In order to have ideological thinking, one has to have an ideal. In the study of consciousness, many believe that it is "God", or the brain, or the planet, or the Universe, or even illusion -- that is ideological thinking. Although I have considered each of these ideas, I am not ready to state that any are the answer because we still do not know WTF consciousness actually is or how it works. I follow whatever evidence that I can find, and I don't care if it is in a place that is popular or accepted, I just follow the evidence. No. If studying consciousness made one a philosopher, then the universities would be successful in their endeavors. It doesn't work that way. If you and iNow want me to be less snooty, then you might want to consider that this thread is called, "what is a god", not "What do we think of Gees". Apparently I am more interesting to discuss than "God", but it is not fair to the OP or the other members, who may want to discuss the topic. Maybe we could start a new topic in the Lounge and the Moderators could split off all the What About Gees posts. But that would be a lot of work for the Moderators just because a few members can not control themselves. Well you can right click your mouse and get a simplified definition of the word, consciousness, which is pretty accurate. If you want more, you can go to the SEP (the free on-line Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) and read pages and pages of definition, or you can go with my simplified definition that consciousness is simply communication. I should probably elaborate before someone compares my answer to a radio. How that simple communication takes place and why it takes place and where it takes place and the parameters of consciousness are some of the questions that are so far unanswerable. I am aware of the theories of consciousness that state it is the Universe and of Panpsychism and of the Gaia hypothesis, so an argument can always be made that something is conscious. For this reason I focus the discussion that I am having about consciousness, because to do otherwise is insane and accomplishes nothing. In the post that Bender originally answered, I SPECIFICALLY stated that I was reserving these observations/ideas of consciousness to life forms -- that was the focus. Now, if Bender can not read, what is Bender doing in a forum? If Bender does not know what life forms are, then Bender should go to Biology to learn. If Bender simply does not care about what I stated and just wants to argue about consciousness, then what is Bender doing in this thread about "God", or are we supposed to believe that inanimate things worship a god? So no, I do not understand Bender's nonsense and suspect that he intended to take the subject off topic and to explain his ideas of AI and consciousness. No one can study everything. That is a silly observation. There are dozens of arguments against every view, which is why there is no comprehensive theory of consciousness. As I stated before universities teach wanna be philosophers how to argue, and sometimes teach them how to think. You seem to think that my thoughts were born the day before I joined this forum and I have not discussed them before. (chuckle) If you have a specific argument against one of my views, please do start a thread in the General Philosophy section stating your argument and be prepared to have evidence/logic supporting your argument. Psychology is a branch of the Discipline of Science. In this case the "we" is Religion. And what might that "something" be? Is it a secret? Or are you going to tell me? What I understand is that you routinely use the same words and don't seem to understand the idea in different words; like when you say "thinking about thinking" and I say "study of knowledge", you can not see the similarity. This makes me wonder if you understand the concept or if you are just parroting what you have been taught. This is interesting. Why is life not a closed system? Would an ecosystem be a closed system? What is a closed system? I know almost nothing about Science. Yes. If you read his Wiki page ten years ago, it was very interesting. Five years ago it was less so. Now they call him a crack-pot. Disappointing, but not really surprising as his ideas were not popular with Science and seriously disagreed with Christianity. Not long after he died, his ideas and worth started to lose momentum. They may even have taken down the site at the University because of peer pressure, but the evidence he gathered is still out there somewhere, so I will just have to find it. I know some was published. Everything is a misuse of the word "instinct". (chuckle) I worked a long thread in another Science forum years ago where we got seriously into the word, instinct, and a bigger mess I have never seen except possibly in the word, consciousness. I worked with a neurologist, an animal behaviorist, an archeologist, and a few other professionals and came away with the conclusion that it would take a brain like Einstein's that had been trained in consciousness, psychology, chemistry, animal behavior, and probably more, to straighten out that mess. This is the reason why I always refer to "survival instincts" as that seems to be the only area of "instincts" that has any validity. The rest of it is all a mishmash of nonsense. This is not true. All life is sentient -- that means it feels. Now we can satisfy our emotional needs by pretending it is otherwise and stating that all life "senses" or "perceives" or whatever, but this means that it feels. We can go the other way and say that some bacteria "knows" what it wants to absorb and what it wants to avoid, but that is going a bit too far because how could it possibly know anything without eyes, smell, ears, a brain, etc.? It senses and reacts without any decision as to what it should do, so it feels. This is the way that all survival instincts work, automatically without the necessity to think about it. A complex nervous system and brain are required to know that you are feeling or experiencing emotion. This is what philosophers used to call being aware that you are aware. A flower will turn to the sun, but does it know that this is the sun? Does it know that it needs the sun to survive? No. It just turns to the sun because it feels good and it wants that feeling. You mean like consciousness? Where everything only exists in our ideas? (chuckle) If you are going to push straight materialism, doesn't that mean that I get to go to the illusion theories? No Religion is not Science, on the other hand Science is not Religion. We have been through this before. Did you not understand or do you not believe me? A thousand years ago Religion thought it was the beginning and end of knowledge. Philosophy was acceptable if it supported Religion. Science was irrelevant because it studied things that were of no consequence, or it was dangerous. The result was the Dark Ages. Now Science is beginning to think it is the beginning and end of knowledge. Philosophy is acceptable if it supports Science. Religion is irrelevant because it studies things that are of no consequence, or it is dangerous. The result is the destruction of families, children raising themselves and shooting up schools, suicide, drug abuse, alcoholism, etc., or a breakdown in the social structure. To try to resolve this problem, we voted in Trump because everyone needs to feel safe and has a "daddy's lap" complex where we think his strength will make us safe. If you can not understand that we are physical, mental, and spiritual beings, and that these attributes need to be balanced -- or they will balance themselves -- then how can you call yourself a philosopher? What do you think evidence is? It is support. It is not proof. It is not a hypothesis. It is not a theory. It is just support that leads a person in a direction that can at some point possibly end in a hypothesis or theory. The problem with most of the theories of consciousness is that people did not gather enough evidence before deciding on their theories. I refuse to do that. Gee PS dimreepr: If you are still reading, you know this post is too long. It is not Eise's fault for writing a long post. It is, of course, my fault.
  5. what is a god

    Agreed. And what is food? Water and other life. Life feeds on life. Gee
  6. what is a god

    Bender; No we are not discussing consciousness. I would like to, but first it seems that I must get past the denials. Why don't you go to the Philosophy forum, type in the title, Monism v Dualism, and write a thread that questions WTF consciousness actually is? If you figure it out, then we can discuss consciousness. Well if you can get a toaster to be conscious and maybe worship a toaster "God" (keeping in context with this thread), then I could probably link Freud to the Higgs boson. Why not? There seems to be no requirement to make sense in this thread. Should we notify Neurology, Psychiatry, and Psychology that the unconscious is a myth? All of the above need an electrical source in order to function. What empowers life? Life does not go around with battery packs, so what empowers it? As far as we know, the empowerment is consciousness. Technically, if you could make AI conscious, it would no longer need a power source. Gee Prometheus; Well,, thank you for being honest. You might want to get to know me a little better before you are honest again. Gee
  7. what is a god

    MigL; Just as Biology studies life forms, Science is the Discipline that studies all matter, forces, and causal reality. But Science does not study spirituality. Religion is the Discipline that studies spirituality. These are facts. So if you are looking for evidence of heaven, hell, or reincarnation, you go to Religion. Psychology can also give information, but in the case of reincarnation, there is also information from Dr. Ian Stevenson, who studied reincarnation for many years. You can look him up in Wiki, but the last time I checked Wiki had one of Dr. Stevenson's admittedly less than convincing examples, but someone deleted his more impressive evidence. If you go to the bottom of the page in Wiki, there should be a link to the University of Virginia, or maybe it is Duke University, where there is more information. Gee Koti; Consciousness is everything you know, everything you feel, all of your memories and past experiences, everyone you love, even your sense of self -- that makes it kind of special. Did you ever see the Matrix? The plug that was put into the back of a person's head could be called consciousness. Or maybe it was the pill -- the red one or the blue one. The endless debates are not really about consciousness. They represent a 1,000 year old struggle regarding Monism v Dualism, which is really a political power struggle regarding "Who's the Boss" -- "God" or man. You have a lot to say about something that you clearly don't understand. This statement has a lot of truth in it, but it is not really about "God". It is about Religion. Gee PS Sorry about the double post. MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is not being nice today and my fingers are not terribly obedient. I will report the post and see if it can be deleted.
  8. what is a god

    Bender; Well, we know that hormones (chemicals) cause emotion and that emotion causes the production of hormones (chemicals). So is emotion part of consciousness? Yes. Emotion is the mover and shaker that is the motivator in life, which would be why we named it e-motion. Emotion works through the unconscious aspect of mind, so we don't actually know it, we experience it. You have to study a little psychology in order to understand the unconscious aspect of mind, but if you do, you will find that emotion rules there and emotion has to be interpreted to be known. "God" ideas come from the unconscious aspect of mind. This is a really simple straight forward idea. Since you do not really study consciousness, maybe I can present this in a way you can understand. Think of the chemicals, hormones, as magnets and think of consciousness, emotion, as the force that is between the magnet and a piece of iron. This is priceless. Some of the greatest minds in human history from well before the time of Plato to after the time of Einstein have grappled with the idea of consciousness. But you and Koti find that it is not very interesting or special. Obviously you must be right. Gee Migl; Sure. If it has anything to do with life and consciousness, I have either investigated it or I want to. I think that all Religions have some explanation for life after death, whether it is heaven or hell, or reincarnation. Absolutely. When Biology confirms that an AI toaster is a life form, then I will consider it. I did not come to a Science forum to speculate. I need some kind of evidence or fact. Gee
  9. what is a god

    CharonY; Thank you for the information. This is why I came to a Science forum -- to get facts. Years ago, I read a story about a boy who drowned in a river and was "dead" for at least 15 to 20 minutes before being found and resuscitated. The emergency team worked on him and brought him back, but it was not expected that he would make a full recovery. Many others do not recover, or have brain damage, under the same or similar circumstances even when they were not "out" as long. But this boy did fully recover, which was a puzzle. Some called it a miracle, but most attributed the freezing temperature of the mountain river to the preservation of his body/brain, and others thought that the motion of the river water also contributed. The truth is that some people can die of shock when the body seems to be fully functional and can not be brought back, others are brought back when the body is not fully functional, so the idea that bodily death and conscious death happen together seems to be not quite as cut and dried as thought. There are too many exceptions, which makes me wonder what causes those exceptions. In reviewing Dr. Ian Stevenson's work on reincarnation, I noted that he found an average of 15 months between incarnations. Although bonding, emotion, was always a player in reincarnation, I have not yet found his research material that might tell me about the disposition of the bodies, and how that may or may not influence the 15 month average. Although I do not doubt that many of the cases he studied were actual reincarnations, I doubt that all people reincarnate with the wholeness of mind/spirit that is indicated in his studies. If all of us reincarnated, and we knew it, then there would be no doubt about reincarnation. I think what I stated was that the cessation of cell division "forecasts" death, but thank you for the additional information. I can't really say that I like the "large snack" idea, but it was funny. Then you would be surprised. There are many theories of consciousness that have the whole world, all matter, and even the entire Universe as being conscious, but that is too much for me to absorb. I try to limit my studies to life forms. Are cells alive? Yes. How do we know? Well, for one thing, they can die. They also work at their continuance. How do we know they work at their continuance? Because they show evidence of survival instincts. How do survival instincts work? All survival instincts work through feeling or emotion. Are feeling and emotion part of consciousness? Yes. All life is conscious to some degree -- consciousness, is what empowers it. Think of it like magnets. The magnet on my refrigerator can not pick up a car. It actually can't do much of anything but stick like tape. But the magnet across town in the salvage yard can pick up a car. So does this mean that my refrigerator magnet is not really a magnet -- just tape? No. It means that the magnet across town (representing humans) is a whole lot more powerful than my magnet on my refrigerator (representing bacteria). Does this explanation help at all? Gee I was not concerned about you down voting me. Do I have a perspective that I would like to share? Yes. Would I like to beat people over the head with this perspective? No. Do I want to be beaten over the head with uninformed denials? No. Gee You think a toaster is a life form? When Bender made his first post about the "toaster", he was responding to my statement where I specifically stated that I was talking about life forms. I laughed because I thought he was making a joke. When he reposted, I knew he wanted me to respond, so I did. You can put all the gadgets you want on a toaster, but that will not make it a life form. I used humor to try to show him that a toaster is not a life form. If he were joking, or just not following the thread, my humor might have worked. But Bender is one of those people who is so enamored with the idea that Religion is wrong, that he will deny Science (Biology) in order to prove that Science is right. It is an impossible and ridiculous position, but the evidence that this is the case is all over Page 4 of this thread. Holier than thou? Religious communities? I don't know who you are talking about, but it sure as hell isn't me. Gee
  10. what is a god

    CharonY; I am aware of the case of Henriette Lacks, not from a medical standpoint, but from a legal one. Although many people have benefitted from Henrietta's cells, she and her family did not. I believe there was a lawsuit, but don't think it was successful, and am not even sure if her medical expenses were paid. What I want to know is how long our cells continue to produce after death without some kind of artificial support. I would expect nothing else from a Science person. The medical definition of 'consciousness' is different from the philosophical definition. Yes. I have heard this argument before. In another forum a member was going on and on about the need for complexity in AI in order to make it conscious. I tired of his explanations and finally asked, "Just how complex does AI have to get before it can equal the consciousness of a blade of grass?" All life has a specific characteristic that causes it to work at it's own continuance -- we call this consciousness. It is unique in that it does not only ignore entropy, it seems to reverse it. Well this is the Philosophy forum, and metaphysics is part of Philosophy. Gee Moontanman; No I shouldn't. I hate it when I find that I have made an assumption, because it can cause mistakes. On the other hand, if I just receive down votes and disagreements, it is evidence that no one is really in the discussion except me. A little positive feedback and support helps. My understanding of consciousness and "God" concepts came to me through a lot of different types of investigations over several decades. If you are truly interested in what I think I have learned, then I will try to explain it. Give me a day or two to organize my thoughts. Yes, dimreepr, it will no doubt be lengthy. Gee
  11. what is a god

    Ten oz; Apparently I don't have three down votes, so I can respond; although, I am rethinking my position on that matter. You asked some difficult questions. I can give you simple answers, but unless you understand how I arrived at my conclusions, you will have no reason to believe my answers. The problem is that explaining it will be lengthy, and that seems to tick people off. So what do you want? Simple answers or elaboration? Gee
  12. what is a god

    CharonY; It is a pleasure to talk to someone, who is well trained and knows what they are talking about. This is what comes from watching too much television; all of those infomercials about "aging skin" led me to believe that the entire body worked that way. So are you saying that different types of cells work differently from others and can be on a different time schedule? I am not requesting a specific breakdown, just a general idea. Is it also true that hormones regulate a lot of the starting and stopping or slowing of cell growth? Following is your response to the above: This is interesting. Are you talking about clinical death where the body is still working and being supported by life support systems? Or are you saying that if we were not embalmed, as in the old days, the cells would continue for some time? Are we talking hours, days, weeks, longer? If we had something like cancer, could the cancer growth continue after we are dead and our bodies stopped producing? Weird thought. Can I assume that you have no argument with the rest of what I wrote in the above two quoted paragraphs and find it generally true? Thank you for your consideration. Gee Koti; If you think that is difficult, you should try to lead a discussion in the Religion forum on the topic "What is a 'God'", relate that topic to consciousness and then end up talking about toasters. You might try to convince someone that toasters have some relationship with consciousness, but I don't see how you can relate toasters to "God" or Religion. Also remember that we were discussing bacteria. For single-cell bacteria, cell reproduction is procreation. Gee
  13. what is a god

    Koti; This is not true. They may be incapable of reproducing another person, but they are very capable of reproducing more cells. We regularly and routinely reproduce the cells in our bodies. We call it growth until we reach our maturity, then we call it maintaining our bodies. When cell growth stops or slows, as in old age, it forecasts death. When we stop reproducing cells, we die and lose consciousness. Gee Bender; Fine. I am not going to argue Biology with you. Gee Ten oz; Well, that was the third down vote, so I am out of here. I intended to respond to your questions because I think you sincerely want answers, so if you are still interested send me a PM. Gee
  14. what is a god

    Agreed. Now all we have to do is decide what that information is, and whether or not it is valuable to Science. Gee
  15. what is a god

    Bender; So you hold a position similar to Dr. Frankenstein's, that the source of life is electricity. Interesting. Could you show me how to install a sensor, timer, and circuits in my toaster? It occurs to me that if I do it right, I could possibly have little baby toasters scooting around my counter in a few months, and if they grow fast enough, I can give them away as Christmas presents. This would save me a lot of aggravation and shopping. Of course, if they multiply too quickly (like rabbits) I would have to find a way to limit that. Maybe I could just shorten the cords on some of them so they can't reach the electrical outlets. Brilliant. Thanks for the laugh. I needed it. Gee