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Everything posted by Gees

  1. dimreepr; It is easier to read what I write, if you read what I actually write, rather than what you think, or assume, I mean. Since most of my writing is about consciousness, and people have a lot of preconceived notions of what that is, it is important to actually read what I actually write. Philosophy is the study of reality. Did you know that? A "self-proclaimed" philosopher? People have been calling me a philosopher all of my life; family, friends, teachers, employers, co-workers, strangers, even my doctor. I started announcing that I was a philosopher in the first Science forum I posted in because some people there thought I was a scientist. I am not a scientist and would never let that impression stand as it would be fraudulent and an insult to real scientists. Have you ever heard the expression, "opinions are like assholes, everybody has one"? Well, actually we have a lot more than one, so how do we decide which opinion has value and which does not? Us, philosophy types, like to write something we call a philosophical argument. This is where we list our reasoning, logic, evidence, and experiences that caused us to form the opinion. You can read this "argument" and maybe you will be swayed to consider my opinion, or maybe you will be able to see a flaw in my logic, reasoning, or find my evidence invalid, or maybe you will point out that my experience is too singular or unique to base any truth upon. Either way, there is an opportunity to learn something, and Philosophy is all about learning. Gee
  2. FreeWill; I am not going to debate objectivity and subjectivity with you as these concepts have been worked out and accepted by minds better than ours for hundreds or thousands of years, but I think I see your point. If AI can gather information through sensors and hold that information internally, and also process that information, it appears that it is aware of that information and therefore sentient. Yes? Is that what you are saying? I don't agree that this makes AI sentient because sentience is more than gathering and processing information, but I will have to work out what I think is missing and what I would accept as evidence of sentience in AI. So give me a week or so to come up with some thoughts on this. Gee
  3. FreeWill; Sentience is the ability to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively -- according to Wiki. Subjectivity is an inner perspective and experience of information. Objectivity is an outward perspective and experience of information. Subjectivity and objectivity are opposites. You can look this up if you don't believe me. So when you say, "objective sentience", what you are really saying is something like, "I was in the front yard all morning making beds and cleaning bedrooms." This makes no sense as beds and bedrooms are not IN the front yard. An oxymoron is when you put opposing words together that make no sense, or are impossible. I never stated that AI sentience was prohibited or unachievable. I said it didn't seem likely and I didn't like the idea. Feedback is important to me, so if you have more questions, I will be happy to address them. You already helped me once when you showed me that my use of the word "digital" was confusing people, so I studied until I found "discrete data", which I hope conveys my meaning better. Thank you for your time. Gee Strange; Lots of "concepts" are interesting; some are potentially real and others are just imagination. Are you criticizing me for asking for evidence? Isn't this a Science center? Have you read the title of this thread? Maybe I worked too long in law; lawyers are notorious for making up their own meanings and words -- as are philosophers -- think Vitalism. No, it is not a power drink or a vitamin. Would it help if I explained that ten plus years ago, when I had my last major attack of MS, I lost some cognitive skills, at least half of my vocabulary, and the ability to read? It took two years to learn to read again, then I spent the next five years walking around with a dictionary or thesaurus, because I could not think of, or find, words that I know damned well I know. Luckily, things that I already understood remained in my understanding, and only new technologies that I had never studied became difficult to learn. I had never experienced difficulty learning anything that I wanted to -- prior to that attack. Because I did not lose my understanding of things, it is easy to see that your insistence, that I am not a real philosopher, is in fact a personal attack. Do you understand that it is a personal attack? Actually I was trying to clarify our understanding of consciousness with this analogy. I am certain that you are aware of the illusion theories in consciousness that imply that everything we know is just illusion as it is not direct experience. Illusion theories are referring to the mirror. Most people believe that their consciousness is the rational conscious aspect of mind where we think our thoughts and plan our days. These people are also referring to the mirror. So anyone, who thinks that consciousness is thought, is actually supporting the illusion theories, as thought is not direct experience. It is knowledge of, or a reflection of, direct experience. We do have direct experience, but it works through the unconscious aspect of mind, which in turn is interpreted into, or reflected into, the conscious aspect of mind. In the unconscious, we feel, perceive, and sense things directly, which is why all life can feel, sense, or perceive, because it is conscious. The unconscious is actually our consciousness. Self also sources through the unconscious, which is only one reason why it is such a confusing subject. So this is the reason that I don't support the illusion theories, as I think they are based on a false premise, that consciousness is thought. I suspect that AI sentience is also based on that same premise, that consciousness is thought. There are people who believe that if there is enough thought moving fast enough, that it will become analogue and consciousness will "emerge". This theory is, I believe, based on "complexity" and the idea that the unconscious aspect of mind sources from the conscious aspect of mind. Maybe it can work that way, but I haven't seen it, so I am not buying it. Why does it have to be in the brain? For myself, I don't see a big difference between chemicals floating around in the brain and chemicals floating around in an ecosystem. Fine. Consciousness is the application software. The unconscious is the operating system. What empowers the system? I think we are back to electricity. Do you remember Watergate? The reporters, who broke the story said that they "followed the money" to learn the truth. Why did they follow the money? Because money is power, it is causal and traceable. When I study consciousness, I am looking for the power and have traced it to the unconscious, which I am studying now. I don't know why you would assume that my intention is otherwise. I have often stated that consciousness is essentially communication. After watching a video where Feynman tried to explain magnets, I brought up that idea in a thread. The silly twits in the thread thought that I was comparing myself to Feynman and got angry. I was not. What I was doing is noting the commonalities of the problem of understanding consciousness and the problem of understanding magnets, as I see similarities. Feynman explained that electricity was and was not the source of magnets, then went on to state that we would have to be a student in his class to understand that. That was the first time, and probably the only time, that I wished I had turned to Science so that I could have been a student in his class. An understanding of bonding and physics will be necessary to actually understand consciousness. imo Gee
  4. FreeWill; Have you ever heard of an oxymoron? I believe that "objective sentience" is an oxymoron. Gee
  5. FreeWill; This response is very late and too long, but then I am very slow, and you asked a lot of questions. Because my understanding of consciousness is a little different, I ask that you read through the entire post before formulating a response. So you were just exercising your rights? I understand that you may need to verify what I state, but please note that I have MS, and tire easily -- I am also not proficient at providing links -- so if you are interested, please look up the information I reference, then ask for a link if necessary. As far as gaining my understanding, and that is what I call it, my Understanding, I learned from Philosophy, Psychology, specifically Jung, Freud, and Blanco, Environmental studies, Ecology, History, Biology, various Religions, etc., then rolled that information together comparing commonalities and analyzing the results for about 50 years. That is how I did it, and I'm not done. There are a lot of well-educated people in this forum. I also have textbooks, but mine reference law, and I am afraid that neither yours nor mine will answer many questions on consciousness. Yours will likely work against you, because every person that I have talked to, who has trained in the medical field, can not separate the idea of consciousness from the idea of the brain in their thinking. Years ago, I realized that ALL survival instincts work through feeling and/or emotion. This information compared well with Freud's interpretation of the "drives" in the Id aspect of mind. Since all survival instincts work through hormones internally and pheromones externally, we finally have a solid physical connection between mind (the Id) and all multicellular life. Therefore a (brainless) blade of grass is conscious (sentient) of the need to maintain itself and continue its specie. On the other hand, without the homeostasis (the self balancing) that hormones provide, we would all die. Ecosystems also self balance and pheromones and chemistry play an important roll in balancing life in ecosystems. The pertinent words here being "self" balancing -- life maintains and promotes itself. Which means that we have to know what "sentience" actually is. Sentience is a lower level of consciousness as established in Philosophy and Biology. Both consciousness and sentience require subjective experience in order to BE sentience/consciousness, and subjective experience requires a "self" in order to be subjective. All I have done is to show that survival instincts are evidence of a "self" that must be protected -- must survive -- and that all life possesses this "self"/ subjectivity. It is also clear that this is reactionary and works through chemistry and the unconscious aspect of mind. Thinking and/or a brain is not required. It is all related. You just have to stop thinking about the brain and start thinking about life and consciousness. You may not like my interpretations, but I resent the accusation that the information is "inaccurate". I work hard to be accurate and often verify the information before posting. Do you realize that if AI is actually sentient, that it would be a kind of new specie? That it will have a subjective "self" that it will try to protect? This is where the Sci-fi movies become the horror flicks when AI starts to see humans as unnecessary and redundant. This is what sentience signifies -- self maintaining and self promoting. But if we stop chopping up the forests, in a few centuries they will rebuild themselves and pheromones will play an important role in that work. There have been many studies on this; Nature rebuilding after floods, volcanoes, earthquakes, etc., and even bacteria that has learned to neutralize areas that were destroyed by toxic waste. Regarding the homeostasis between "Humanity and Nature". Consider that if we continue to be pests and destroy the forests, what will happen? The Greenhouse effect? Global warming? Changes in climate causing droughts and floods, oceans rising, food shortages, eventually leading to pestilence and disease? When it is all over, thousands of years from now, there will be less pesky humans and the rain forests will rebuild in some form. Like homeostasis within a body; life WILL balance and promote itself. Yes. The feeling that makes you react is automatic and analogue; however, you become consciously aware of it after you experience it and digitalize that information into knowledge. Once you have the information, then you can even anticipate it and often control it -- because you have a brain and can learn. Consider that if someone throws something at your head, you will probably duck -- that is self protection (survival instincts) but if you are a ball player used to catching a ball, you may well react by catching what was thrown -- that is reflexive learned instincts. Either way, you react to protect yourself. Of course, though it is not always easy. Consider that the ability to commit suicide is evidence that we can overwrite our survival instincts if we choose. But people surviving horrors that they would prefer to not live through, is evidence that dying is not always an option. I am not making an argument for or against free will. I have learned that it is best to think of the differences between the conscious and unconscious as influences, rather than controls. These two aspects of mind routinely feed information back and forth. And yet, there is well-documented history of rape following war. Fighting men kill and raise their testosterone levels. When the fighting is over they tend to grab the first person they can find and shove themselves into that person creating life -- also caused by an abundance of testosterone. This is only one example of how homeostasis works within a specie. Killing does not cause rape, but seems to encourage it. The above is not true. Hunger can be a defense against stealing food if it borders on starvation. Most US Courts will accept a plea of self defense, even when you kill, if it was necessary to protect your actual self, your spouse, your children, or your home. These are covered under survival instincts. Courts will generally not accept a plea of self defense if you kill to protect your friend, your parents, your siblings, etc., which are not covered under survival instincts. No. I have difficulty accepting AI sentience because I have not seen evidence of "self" in AI. Hormones are just evidence of survival instincts and "self" in life, nothing more. What do you actually know about the conscious and unconscious aspects of mind? Not the brain, but mind. Well, I certainly agree with this. Of course we will learn more, but will we ever learn everything? No. You are talking about binary; when I say digital, I may be thinking about "discrete data" (information). I have tried a half dozen different ways to explain this over the last weeks and have finally settled on a mirror analogy. When you look in a mirror, what you see is yourself, what is behind you, and around you, but are you in the mirror? No. This is what the brain does for us, it gives us a reflection and information about ourselves, our experiences in memory, the causal world that surrounds us, and it does it in digital or data form (thoughts). This reflection is what we call our consciousness, or the rational aspect of mind, and it is produced and processed by the brain. But does the mirror reflect everything mental? No. Although it can give us clues, it does not directly reflect emotion, nor does it reflect feelings (moods) which is why they are so hard to explain or verbalize. It can reflect awareness allowing us to be self-aware, but it is not truly the "self" so it does not actually experience awareness -- it only reflects what we are aware of. All of these things are analogue and do not reflect in the digital or data form as presented by the brain. These things make up what we call the unconscious aspect of mind, because they are not known consciously -- because they can not be reflected. This also means that they do not require a brain in order to be real. So when we say that a blade of grass is not conscious, what we are really saying is that it does not possess a brain, or mirror, so it has no knowledge of it's consciousness. But it does possess the knowledge necessary to maintain itself, probably through DNA, and it does possess feeling as evidenced by survival instincts, so it does possess consciousness in some form (sentience). It can die and lose consciousness. I made it, although I can not be the only person, and you would not find a reference in a neurology book as neurology does not study mind, it studies the brain and CNS. A good understanding of analytic Psychology might help. I have not yet found any legitimate source that disputes my Understanding, and have found a great deal that supports it. I am not sure how to explain this in a way that you will understand, as I have been over it repeatedly. Let's reverse this so we don't go any further off the topic. AI is basically a computer that processes information. Right? So what empowers the processing? What makes the activity or motion? Some form of electricity. Well the conscious rational aspect of mind works like the computer. What empowers the processing, activity, or motion? The unconscious aspect of mind, awareness, feeling, and emotion is what empowers it. The unconscious is to a body/brain what electricity is to AI. So I think we are looking in the wrong place for consciousness (sentience). The "self", the ability to self promote, and homeostasis, all source from the unconscious aspect of mind as evidenced by survival instincts. Evolution also seems to indicate that the unconscious came before the conscious, so I don't see AI as being conscious. Of course, I could be wrong. But I have also seen no evidence of sentience. As I stated in my first post in this thread: I don't expect it, but neither can I say it is impossible. Are we certain that we want AI to be conscious? Hawking was not convinced that it was such a good idea, and I find that I agree with him. When he says "full artificial intelligence", what he is saying is that it would have a "self" that would cause motivation, ambition, will, and self promotion. It would have emotion, feeling, and awareness, which means that it would have an unconscious aspect of mind. This means that it could theoretically be capable of having psychotic episodes, becoming schizophrenic, or insane. Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants? Gee Dimreepr says a lot of things, but does not like to read. If he did, then he would not have to state two or three more times what I stated in my first post in this thread regarding AI sentience: I don't expect it, but neither can I state that it is impossible.
  6. FreeWill; Do you have problems accessing Wiki on your own? It is clear from your response that you have not had the opportunity to read the page that I recommended, as hormones do a great deal more. I normally do not provide links because many people, who ask for them, don't even read them. Sometimes I think they just want to see if I can provide them; calling my bluff, as it were. Other people do not read them, they just scan them looking for anything to dispute, whether it is relevant or not. But since you asked, this is the link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormone Remember that what we are looking for is evidence of survival instincts (self preservation) in life forms which indicates a subjective "self" that must be protected. This "self" is not dependent upon a brain as it is equally established in plants as it is in animals -- or all multicellular life. Bacteria (single cell) has some chemical(s) that do the same thing, but have a different name. It is also worth noting that pheromones do much of the same work outside of the body and between bodies, whether it be animal to animal, plant to animal, or plant to plant, creating a kind of homeostasis in ecosystems. Following is the specific list (main points underlined) that I recommended you read in my last post: Please note that all of the above works unconsciously and that the underlined points all work through feeling or emotion, which causes the activity associated with the survival instinct. This indicates a high probability that "self" or subjectivity is a product of the unconscious analogue aspect of mind -- not of the digital conscious mind. There is a great deal in Psychology that confirms this, and there is the understanding that "self" or subjectivity is very difficult to comprehend. My personal thought is that it is difficult because it is analogue. The above evidence and reasoning is why I have a great deal of difficulty accepting that AI, a representation of the digital aspect of mind could possibly possess a subjective understanding of "self". It appears to me that AI would have to have an unconscious aspect of mind. Yes, sand and water have much in common. They are equally good at scrubbing a pan, and the desert often looks like it has waves that mimic the ocean -- but they are not the same and have very different properties when it comes to life. You have missed the point entirely. Let us try the understanding with time instead. We break down time into hours, minutes, and seconds, which are digital. We can even break it down further into fractions of seconds. We can break it down more and more until it appears to be completely digitalized, but it is not because we can always expand it and break it down further. Time is analogue so no matter how many times we break it down, there will always be more between the cracks of what we have digitalized. The unconscious aspect of mind is much like that and analogue, so there is no way possible to completely digitalize it, no way to acquire all of the information, no way to completely know it. It is where imagination and spontaneous knowledge sources from, like in the reference that I gave to Prometheus about "fluid and crystallized intelligence". If you read that link, you will find that the "fluid" intelligence seems to be pulled out of thin air, or from the analogue unconscious aspect of mind, whereas the "crystallized" intelligence is pulled from training, experience, and known knowledge, or from the digital conscious aspect of mind. None of this is negated by stating that the conscious aspect of mind is digital. As long as the thought is within the mind where we can learn, grow, forget, etc., it will be digital (finite) but not necessarily static. To make it static, you would have to remove it from awareness, the mind/brain, and put it into a recording such as a book, memoir, CD, etc. Gee
  7. Prometheus; Hi. You have mentioned the brain in two of the following quotes and neurology in the other. If you truly want to understand what I am talking about, the first thing to do is understand that I am not talking about the brain. I study consciousness and mind, the brain being only ancillary to that study. Yes, I know that most people think that the brain and mind are the same thing, but there is little evidence to support that idea. Most of the evidence that we have associates the brain with the rational conscious aspect of mind, the Ego. The Ego is very small when comparted to the massive unconscious aspect of mind, the Superego, and we still don't know what the parameters of mind actually are. Some theories suggest that it is the entire Universe. I haven't gone that far, but you can be assured that I am not just talking about the brain. If the "salient feature" is as you state, then there is a real probability that surveillance equipment is conscious, and a possibility that my garage door opener is conscious. You would suggest that they have subjective experience, are conscious, and therefore have some sort of mind. Do you really believe that? And then what happens when you feel pain. Do you think, "Well, that is not pleasant." and continue to burn? Or do you get away from the flame to protect yourself then apply first aid? This is self preservation -- survival instincts. Even a plant will grow its roots toward water and turn its leaves and grow toward the sun to maintain itself. Trees that live along a river have been known to grow their roots into the soil to hold on to life when erosion tries to take them down, they will even grow extra branches over the solid earth to try to preserve their balance -- their life. First understand that I am not talking about the brain or "cognitive processes", I am talking about the components of consciousness. How the brain processes them is a whole different question. Do you remember that link you provided when we last talked that proved that the brain is analogue? You were trying to disprove my assertion that the brain is digital. The problem is that I would never state anything so wrong-headed. What I stated is that the brain digitalizes consciousness; it takes analogue consciousness and turns it into thought -- digital consciousness. It would have to be able to process both in order to do that. Now you can dispute that idea, but in doing so, what you are saying is that thought does not come from the brain. Or maybe you are saying that the tree mentioned above actually thinks about preserving itself. Thoughts are digital, knowledge is essentially thought that is true, memory is generally stored thought or knowledge. If you want examples of entirely digital stored thought/knowledge (memory) then just take away awareness -- a book without a reader, or DNA outside of a body. If it would help you to understand me better, you could look up "fluid and crystalized intelligence" in Wiki. It is not the same work that I do because it is focused on intelligence, but it is comparable. Fluid intelligence has much in common with what I call analogue consciousness, and crystalized intelligence is comparable to what I call digital consciousness. Gee
  8. FreeWill: I have no doubt that survival instincts are genetically predetermined. They work through chemistry,, mostly hormones and pheromones. If you go to Wiki and look up hormones, about half way down the page there is a listing of different things that hormones control in bodies. You will find that survival instincts are contained within that list. All multicell species have hormones and pheromones. Survival instincts, whether we are talking about the need to sleep, eat, protect our young, feel lusty, be afraid of a big bear, or any other survival instinct, they are all activated by or through some kind of feeling/emotion. This isn't terribly surprising since hormones affect emotion and emotion affects hormones -- it is circular. Yes. Thoughts are digital. Imagine a bucket of sand (digital) and a bucket of water (analogue). It might take a while, but you can actually count the pieces of sand; you can not count the pieces of water. Thoughts are individual like the sand. Maybe this will help to explain the difference. Have you heard that memory is not reliable? Actually it is pretty reliable, but emotional memory is not. This is because emotion is analogue, fluid, so it can actually change your memory to something that never happened, or exaggerate your memory, or even erase your memory. This has been well documented and is one of the primary reasons for debriefing. It is important to record the memory of an emotional situation as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours, before your emotions have time to change the memory. This is harder to explain, and I probably won't be able to do it fully, but will give you some examples. The unconscious aspect of mind is ruled by emotion -- not rational thought. This is where prejudice comes from, when we make a biased decision and don't realize why we did it. This is also what Psychology studies, when we have behaviors that do not match up with the circumstance that produced them. This is also where instincts, intuition, imagination, dreams, and a lot of other feelings and thoughts originate, and these are not things that we planned or thought out. The conscious mind is something that we direct, the unconscious is not. The unconscious is where we are always playing catch up. Another point is that emotion is often difficult to verbalize and to put into thought. We often express emotion through art, music, dance, or poetry because it is easier to communicate it that way because it is analogue. Because daffodils don't have a brain. Thought comes from the brain. Do not confuse awareness with thought, as they are two very different things. There is no testing that I know of that claims a daffodil is self aware. Actually I know of no testing that any specie without a brain is self aware. I did not determine these levels and suspect that Philosophy and Biology had a hand in that determination. Gee
  9. Prometheus: I have been off line for a while now, but am actually going to respond in this thread. I read the entire thread and there is so much disinformation and misunderstanding about consciousness in it, that I felt I should at least try to shed some light. I have no idea if AI will become sentient. I don't expect it to, but can not be sure that it is impossible either. First I think it would be a good idea to define some terms. Sentience is a feeling, and feeling is experienced subjectively. People will state that you can put a sensor on some equipment and that makes it sentient -- it does not. Although the equipment may be able to sense things, that does not imply a subjective experience. The real question of whether or not AI is sentient is whether or not it can have subjective experience. Also it is important to not confuse sentient (feeling) with sapient (thought) -- they are not the same thing. AI is sapient, or can be. All life, ALL life, is sentient. It is one of the tests we use to determine life. I got that from a working neurologist, who was a moderator in another Science forum, and who also was working on AI projects. How do we know that all life is sentient? Because all life has survival instincts, and survival instincts all work through feeling/emotion. We are now calling survival instincts "self preservation" because someone thought it was a better explanation as life will do whatever it can, including adapting, to preserve not only it's individual self, but also to preserve it's specie. So now we are down to consciousness. Consciousness is information, yes, but it has different forms. Consciousness is not one simple pure thing. Most people associate it with thought, and that is true, but only a partial explanation. Consciousness is what we think, what we know, what we remember, what we are aware of, what we feel, and our emotions. There are six basic components to consciousness that together make up the various mental aspects that we experience. Of these components, three, thought, knowledge, and memory, are digital. They make up the rational conscious aspect of mind and require a brain in order to be known because the brain digitalizes consciousness into thoughts. The brain actually produces thought. AI is a representation of this digitalized, logical, rational aspect of mind. The other three components, awareness, feeling, and emotion, are analogue. They make up the unconscious aspect of mind and are not known, but are experienced. This is why the unconscious aspect of mind is un-conscious, because we can not know the information unless it is digitalized by the brain. When we have a fever, the body has been working on and aware of the problem for hours or even days before we know about it. When we have an instinctive reaction, we don't know about it and do not even try to control it until we experience it and the information is then digitalized into knowledge of that experience by the brain. A daffodil has knowledge of how to grow, maintain itself, and reproduce, probably in it's DNA, but it does not consciously know this. It reacts to the sun and to water by analogue feeling and awareness of a need, not with knowledge or thought -- because it does not have a brain. So where does subjective experience come into this? Well it appears to show up in the analogue aspects of consciousness because all life is sentient -- no brain required. So can a representation of a brain, digital thought, actually cause analogue experience? I don't see how. According to evolution, the exact opposite is how it originally worked, analogue to digital. Intrigued: You know, this is actually kind of true. We study other species and have found some primates and elephants that seem to be developing some kind of death rituals when one of their specie dies. It is an indication of their intelligence that they are beginning to understand a type of spirituality, which is actually an awareness of the unconscious. So if AI is already intelligent and develops an analogue unconscious, what would happen? wtf: I also have a problem with the emergence idea, but maybe I can give you a little information. When people talk about consciousness, they generally mean the rational conscious aspect of mind -- thought. Thought comes from the brain, so you could call it emergence because the brain produces digital consciousness (thought) out of analogue consciousness (experience). All life possesses analogue consciousness, feeling and awareness, so that is the actual source point. I suspect at this point in my studies that we are going to have to learn a great deal more about bonding before we can answer the questions of life and beginning consciousness. We are going to have to accept that the physical and the metaphysical join to create life. How bonding works is the immediate question. imo Gee
  10. Gees

    the soul

    I don 't think so. You can't blame this on me. It has nothing to do with monotheism and everything to do with English. Following is the paragraph in question: You started out with "computer simulation", jumped to "magic", "technology", "a powerful being", the "Matrix", then ended up with "I am now a butterfly", in just a few short sentences. When you write a paragraph, the first sentence is the introduction and the last sentence is the summation -- I had reason to ask for clarification. I think that you are putting too much emphasis on "God" in your view of monotheism. Technically, all souls come from "God" and then return to "God" (except for the rejects in Hell) so it is not really that much different. We are all connected in some way at some level. I think the biggest difference is that in monotheism, and especially Christianity, people expect to retain their corporeal forms, so this leads to all kinds of ideas of the "afterlife" and also identifies us and "God" as individual. I see your point that it would be difficult to see yourself as the "powerful being" if you expect all beings to have a corporeal form. This seems to be a significant difference. imo. When you talk about a "single point of all creation", you come precariously close to challenging evolution, so I won't comment on that, but the endless cycle of birth and death, creation and destruction, is something that I see as very likely. Here I agree with you. I suspect that monotheists get wound up because they see death as the end of the race -- no do-overs -- so they can't get it wrong. For a while now, I have been considering the idea that the theology of a society may be an indication that the majority of the people are either, linear in their thinking or holistic in their thinking. Linear thinkers would see a beginning and an end clearly and tend to be assertive regarding what they believe is progress. Holistic thinkers tend to see things as cycling and are sometimes suspicious of too much change. Experience is good and valuable -- I like it. But I am still a "pretend" philosopher, so I would never discard the theology, sophisticated or otherwise. Gee
  11. Well on my computer, the top of the page reads as follows: Philosophy Religion What does religion say about this? Maybe your computer is different? My thought is that it is the "typo" effect. (chuckle) Well, if you were a "pretend" philosopher like me, you would understand that most people do not actually like to think -- especially about things that are difficult to understand. I suspect it gives them a headache. Most people choose to either believe in their Religion or not, but they don't really want to understand the theology or history behind the story. If you really want people, who are knowledgeable, you will have to find a way to protect them from the emotional downvoting members, who are angry with Religion or angry with their parents -- as that is often the same thing (per Psychology). The Pretend Philosopher I want to thank whoever downvoted this post for going out of your way to prove my point. Thank you.
  12. Gees

    the soul

    "For a powerful being to play with"? Are you serious? You come across as a person, who has some respect for and insight into Religions, but I can not find a speck of theology or philosophy in that statement. It appears to be a story told to people, who will believe it because they don't know any better. If you can explain the theology behind that "story", then please do so, as it makes no sense to me. Consider that Zhuangzi questioning reality does not automatically translate to a "God" playing with people. That is one hell of a jump. I agree that there are many flavors of Hinduism, as there are in most older Religions, but there is theology and study behind the stories. One of the professors that I was corresponding with taught Physics, but also researched Religions. He wrote up a synopsis on eight or ten Religions giving the major points and differences, which was kind of interesting. With Hinduism, his explanation for Brahman was that this "God" created reality and humans so that he could KNOW himself. This actually makes some sense. If you study Religions, you know that they are a study of consciousness, but predominantly a study of emotion. Emotion is not known; it is experienced. Before you start to argue that point, consider how difficult it is to explain love, consider that we use art, music, dance, etc., to express emotion. This is because emotion is analogue, it is felt; after we experience it, then we can think about the experience and try to put our feelings into digital words to make it known to us. So Brahman, the universal soul (emotion) created reality and people in order for there to be senses to experience and brains to produce thought so that he could KNOW himself. As a theology, this can work as a reasonable explanation. So when we are born, we forget we are part of Him, but are still connected and feeding his need to know. (chuckle) Doesn't Buddhism accept reincarnation as a matter of course? Sounds like some serious tail chasing to me.
  13. We shouldn't be too hard on the newbies. He is probably one of those people who read -- you know the type. Anaccount123456 undoubtedly read the words, Philosophy and Religion, at the top of the page and didn't have the sense to realize that they were typos. The Pretend Philosopher
  14. Q1: ADJECTIVE actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed. "Julius Caesar was a real person" · [more]synonyms: actual · existent · nonfictional · nonfictitious · factual · historical · [more](of a substance or thing) not imitation or artificial; genuine. "the earring was presumably real gold" synonyms: genuine · authentic · bona fide · pukka · honest-to-goodness Q2: ADJECTIVE existing only in the imagination. "Chris had imaginary conversations with her" synonyms: unreal · nonexistent · fictional · fictitious · pretend · make-believe Q3: Something that is causal. Q4: Thought that is potential. Q5: I think that my definitions are more general, but no less accurate. You know, if you cover up the words, imagination vs reality, in the above captioned picture, what is left are two representations of the same person in different moods or states of mind. Emotions or moods are very real. The word "imagination" over one of the pictures, implies that that picture may represent a deception. Was that your intent?
  15. I have no idea of what you guys are talking about, but this I understand. A circular argument validates itself; for example, we know "God" exists because it would take a "God" to create existence. In this argument "God" is validated by the reality of existence. THAT is a circular argument. On the surface, math can look like a circular argument; for example, 3+4=7 seems to validate itself and can be proven because 7-4=3 and 7-3=4. But it is not a circular argument because math is just another language, and that language represents other things. So 3 red apples plus 4 green apples equals 7 apples, which will make a nice pie, but 3 pumpkins and 4 cups of flour will make a mess of 7 things -- even if the math is correct. If we don't follow all of the rules of math, or if we are wrong regarding the things that it represents, then we could conceivably create a circular argument and even prove it valid. I think I may have done that a few times back in high school. My thought is that if Swansont can see something and Studiot can see something, there might be something there to see, but it is way past my comprehension, so I am out of here.
  16. Actually, I have asked some stupid questions myself. Questions, stupid or otherwise, still need answers. Because it is tragic. From back in the day when fields were burned and crops destroyed in order to starve out the opponents, to today when chemical warfare, nuclear bombs, and left-over mines destroy our food sources, animals, people, and our homes, the aftermath is tragic. The people, who lose the war are devastated, and the warriors, who win the war are equally devastated. We send men off to war with parades, give them medals when they come home, then hope they will disappear because they are often broken in both body and/or spirit -- and they are dangerous. So why do we do it? The simple answer is self defense. We all agree that a person being attacked has the right to defend himself, and most law will extend that self defense to also include defense of a spouse, children, and home. Defense of siblings, parents, other relatives, friends, or even the workplace is not usually included in automatic self defense, so guilt or innocence must be decided by a judge/jury. But countries reserve the right to call it self defense when the country is in danger. So no matter what the reason for the war actually is, politicians will "beat the drums of war", which means that they try to convince the populace that it is in danger. It would be difficult to have a war if no one showed up to fight. Most Christians cite the Ten Commandments, Thou shall not kill, when considering this problem, but that is just a synopsis of the actual law. If you look in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, the Books of Law, you will find there is much more to consider, like the difference between murder, manslaughter, and accidental death, which is clearly delineated in those texts. Then you must consider that each of the Religions built on those original texts to create church doctrine. I believe it was Augustine of Hippo, who created most of the Christian church doctrine around 400 AD. He was a prolific writer. He justified fighting for "God", which in turn justified the Crusades, witch burning, etc., and it is my personal opinion that his writings helped to cause the Dark Ages. He did not care much for Aristotle's ideas, Science, or rational reason (IMO) and helped corrupt Plato's work into neoPlatoism -- after all, both Aristotle and Plato were pagans. The ironic part of this is that the Crusades actually served to bring Aristotle's and Plato's work back to us, because the "heathens" the Crusaders fought, were smart enough to recognize the value of it and preserved the work. Aquinas, who was 800 years or so after Augustine, reaped the benefits of time and Aristotle's and Plato's work. He rewrote much of the church's doctrine into something that I find more reasonable and helped usher in the Enlightenment. Although there is much more to this, you can review the war theory part of the information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war_theory Gee
  17. Gees

    the soul

    I like the analogy also, but don't think it was meant to be understood as any kind of simulation. Hinduism is an old and well considered Religion that has studied consciousness for many years. Because of this study, they have uncovered concepts that are difficult to comprehend and even more difficult to convey, so they use stories and "Gods" to explain these concepts. Brahman's universal soul is one of these and involves the problems of understanding "self" or the "soul". Most people think that we each have a "self" or "soul" and that this "soul" remains whole after we die like a spirit or ghost, or they think it simply disappears. This causes all kinds of questions to arise like, where did the "self/soul" come from? where does it go afterward? how are new ones created? how is reincarnation possible? etc. Then there is the problem of other life. We know that all life has survival instincts, which is self preservation, which means that all life is trying to protect and preserve its "self". Does that mean that all life might also have a "soul"? What happens when a specie becomes extinct? Or when a new specie is formed? Are there "souls" lined up for all species somewhere in heaven? Then there is the problem of species being connected like in Jung's Collective Consciousness, and the evidence that species are interconnected in ecosystems. The longer you think about it, the crazier it gets. This is what I have referred to as the "mind-numbing problem of self". There is evidence that we are each individual, and there is evidence that we are all connected, so which is it? The Hindu came up with a wonderful explanation; we are all part of the universal soul (self), but forget that when we are born. This explanation is not only easy to understand, it is also fairly accurate from what I know of consciousness. Gee
  18. Prometheus; This probably sounds very reasonable to you and it is, as far as it goes, but I don't think that you understood the scope of what I was saying. When I state that consciousness is a vast subject, I am not exaggerating, in fact it is really an understatement. Consciousness is not the result of the communication, it is the communication. This communication does not just go on between cells, it also goes on within cells and applies to single cell life. I am not talking about just our bodies, I am talking about all multicell life on the planet -- animals, plants, fish, birds, insects, etc. This communication does not just occur within bodies, it also goes on between bodies of the same specie, and probably more. Is there evidence of this? Yes. The activity of a cell tells us that it is alive, that it senses, perceives, or whatever you want to call it, and that it will do whatever it can to survive by filling it's nutritional needs and reproducing. This sensing or perceiving is an awareness that it has needs and what it needs, so that is communication within the cell -- consciousness. The communication between cells of all multicellular life forms is directed and regulated by hormones, which also regulate the systems of the body causing homeostasis. It is interesting to note that some hormones can click on and off different aspects of DNA. Hormones can get very busy. The communication between life forms of the same specie is directed and regulated by pheromones, which are the only things that I know of that contribute to the self balancing of ecosystems. There may be other things that contribute to this, but for now the only thing that I know is that pheromones contribute to the balancing of an ecosystem much like hormones do in a body -- a kind of homeostasis. Many people think of pheromones as only related to sex, but this is not true. Pheromones can help to satisfy any survival instinct need that the species has that is also regulated by their hormones, such as ants tracking a trail to food. So if you think about an acre of woods and all the life forms and species within that woods, including insects and blades of grass, then the communication going on in there would be comparable to the communication going on in a brain. All of it chemically related. Then if you consider that all survival instincts, regulated by hormones or pheromones, are activated by or work through feeling and/or emotion, then you have your connection between physical chemistry and emotion, survival instincts, and the unconscious reactive instinctive mind. We don't know what the parameters of mind are. Are our minds individual? The rational aspect of mind certainly seems to be individual. Is the unconscious mind individual or connected as a specie, which would explain bonding and seem to correlate with Jung's collective consciousness. Is all of the unconscious mind connected, so that all life is part of this connection? It could certainly explain the self balancing of ecosystems. We don't know. I read an article where the author stated that it is more likely that we are in consciousness, than it is that consciousness is in us. I can't agree with him, but I can't dispute it either, because the evidence seems to support his thoughts. You can not know how many times over the years that I have had to readjust my beliefs, not just religious beliefs, but beliefs in my perspective of reality and how it works. It has been a long soul-searching type of study, so I do not expect you to change your mind and take the above on my word alone. I will request that there be no more "scab picking philosophy". If you think I am wrong about something, then look it up. If you find that I am wrong, then show me your evidence. The brain is a player in this game, as the brain digitalizes the communication or consciousness into thought, the rational aspect of mind, which is what most people consider their consciousness. The problem with NDE's is that they show signs of being a product of the unconscious aspect of mind, rather than the conscious aspect. This is why I am fairly sure they are not imagination as imagination is a product of the conscious mind. NDE's seem to be a product of emotion -- the unconscious mind. This is what Endercreeper01 said, "It is certainly evidence to any reasonable person. There is no denying that many people have had these experiences and that they mean something." This is what Beecee said, "Please explain to me how another person's delusions, illusions, dreams, imaginations, experiences are evidence for anything other then delusions, illusions, dreams, imaginations and experiences? Please explain to me how any personal experience that maybe unexplained, is evident of anything supernatural." When Endercreeper01 responded, was it to the question of the underlined delusions, illusion, dreams, imaginations, and experiences or was the response an explanation to Beecee's second statement? Unless you asked or have special powers, you can't know. I looked throughout the thread and Endercreeper01 did not mention the supernatural at any other time. Let's be honest here, if Endercreeper01 actually thinks that it is supernatural, so what? Everyone has a right to their opinion. That just means there is one more superstitious person in this thread. There is no reason to waste a whole page arguing it. This is another example of "scab picking philosophy". He very clearly stated before and after that time that it was only one indicator, and the most commonly used one for practical purposes. CharonY confirmed this in her post that it is used for practical purposes. Although I understand your frustration, there is very little you can tell me about this. My mother was a nurse, who worked until her mid 80's; my grandmother was a nurse, who worked until her 70's; many of my aunts and great aunts were nurses, and I have heard all of the stories. Let me tell you a story. When I was about 14 years old, I was reading a magazine article about heart disease. My mother and grandmother were sitting at the table having tea when I approached them and told them that I had learned that a huge number of people died from heart attacks. They looked at me, looked at each other, then started to laugh, and laugh, and laugh. Every time they seemed to get under control, they would look at each other and start up again until they had tears in their eyes. Finally, one of them gasped out, "What happens when you die?", then the other one answered just like a punch line, "Your heart stops." then they laughed some more. Once they got under control, they explained that often the Death Certificate reads that the cause of death was the heart, but it is not always true. The problem is that even if the doctor suspects another cause of death, he can't put it down without evidence, but he can always write that the heart stopped, so that is what is recorded. This would have been about the mid 60's, and taught me to wonder about statistical evidence. One has to wonder if we are conquering heart disease, or if we just have better diagnostic equipment. It would be nice if everyone could be evaluated as to "brain death", but there is not enough equipment nor enough necessity to have it trucked all over the country, at great expense, when it is not always needed. I'm just glad that we are not burying people alive anymore. He differentiates between clinical death and actual death, so I do not see the problem. He is trying to describe a unique situation, which is near death, so he has to find measures of death and what causes that unique situation. Cut him some slack. This is not cherry picking. Cherry picking is where you chose the information that you want and ignore the rest. He did not ignore the rest and even gave percentages of people who don't experience this or who experience it differently, and even gave explanations as to why he thought some people would not experience it. I found the stories very interesting and thought they seemed valid if one considers that these experiences may come from the unconscious reactive instinctive aspect of mind,, rather from the rational conscious aspect of mind. What I think is that you are mired in the details to such a degree that you do not understand what he is talking about. You seem very angry also, so I think that your biases about an "afterlife" or the "supernatural" may be affecting your judgment. As I stated in my first post, I don't see how an afterlife is possible, and I long ago dismissed the idea of the supernatural, so I don't have any biases that prevent me from looking at this idea. I have also experienced some things and know people who have experienced some things that make me think something is going on here. You are a detail person, which is going to drive me crazy; I am a general idea person, which is going to drive you crazy, but it should make for some interesting conversation. Gee
  19. Prometheus; You were a nurse. Right? How many years did you have to train in order to be a nurse? Then how many years did you have to work and gain experience before you were a good nurse? Do you honestly believe that you could write a post to me that would enable me to understand the job of nursing? If that were the case, people would not have to train for that job. I can not give you an understanding of consciousness in this post. People have trained and worked for entire lifetimes and still do not have a complete understanding. I don't know what you think I could teach you, but if your request was sincere, I would think that you would have asked about what you should study. I can tell you this: Stop thinking of consciousness as the brain -- consciousness is essentially communication. Back in the day, people assumed that consciousness meant the brain or language, because that was how we communicated. We now know that every cell in our bodies, every cell in every body, communicates as long as it is still alive. It communicates, not through language, but through chemistry. Once you understand that, then you would have to learn about mind, the divisions of mind, how the rational conscious mind works, and how the unconscious instinctive mind works, and how Jung's collective consciousness works. Then if you did some serious studying on the concept of "self" and the mind-numbing considerations of how that works with emotion and bonding, you would be in a position to maybe work on the idea of NDE's in some kind of intelligent fashion. This would be a lot better than superstitious notions of afterlife or the supernatural. I did review it again, and again,, and again. It is time for you to review it again from the top of that page, but this time look for specific things. Did Endercreeper01 actually type the word, supernatural? If not, then who did? How did the word seem to come from Endercreeper01? What you will find is that it is inferred that Endocreeper01 stated something about the supernatural. In law, this is what we call "leading the witness". This is where you put something into the question that infers or implies an idea or fact that causes a misrepresentation of the answer. This is the reason why you get an attorney to come with you when you answer questions, so that no one uses this trick on you. I worked in law too long to be fooled by this kind of nonsense. Following are the specific quotes that irritated me: "And then he's quite disingenuous about how he describes the time of death of a patient: often the cessation of a heart beat. The reality is usually half an hour after the nurse has bleeped some lazy doctor for the 3rd time, but now i'm ranting." and "So yes, it appears this doctor is using the thin veneer of medical science to spout rubbish." Not only are the above statements untrue, they are also a slur on the character of the doctor. Now if you stated that this doctor's license was revoked, that might be evidence. Or if you stated that multiple people have sued him for malpractice, that might be evidence. Or if you could show that he had been repeatedly dismissed from various positions, that might be evidence. You did not provide any evidence and only used insult, innuendo, and gossip to rebut his statements. Gossip is not evidence, and if you can't tell the difference, then you are not talking Science or Philosophy. I doubt that it was deliberate on your part. For myself, I am probably too damned demanding. In the study of consciousness, it is just too easy to mistake what is true, as it is a very elusive study fraught with biases, assumptions, speculations, and a huge history of misrepresentation, whether religious or otherwise. Because I have studied this for so long, I have developed a rather sinister view of anything that misrepresents truth. I apologize. I am sure she will survive it. If you look 5 or 6 years back in the forum history, you will find that some branches of Science were better represented in this forum years ago than they are now. I personally know of two scientists, who used to be members here, but are now moderators in other Science forums. There are probably more, and I do not want to lose any more scientists -- especially the really good ones. CharonY does not agree with my interpretation of consciousness, but she has too much professional integrity to try to manipulate the data in order to try to prove me wrong. I have a very high respect for a scientist with professional integrity. You are still talking about the brain. Gee Strange; This is a fine example of "scab picking philosophy" where you ask a question that has no real relevance to NDE's, then I try to answer the question, then you dispute that, and so on, and so on, until no one can remember the topic. Do you see how this works? Well, Strange, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe something else activates DNA, hormones, and pheromones. Please provide information on the other things that activate DNA, hormones, and pheromones. Gee Dimreepr; If you look at the second emoticon, it comes up as "unsure" when I hover my mouse over it. When someone says they are "unsure" of something, that often means that they would like more information. If I interpreted that incorrectly, I apologize. It was not my intent to be condescending, it was my intent to be clear in my explanation. Please remember that although the post was to you, many other people may read it, so I tried to make it clear to anyone, who might read it no matter their level of training or experience. Gee Strange; No. A belief in "God" is not supernatural. You could review the first post in my thread, Understanding the "God" Concept, for more information, but consider that what most people call the supernatural is actually just natural phenomenon mixed with the unconscious aspect of mind. Nothing to worry about. Gee
  20. Prometheus; I was half way through a very long post to you when I lost it. My apologies. Since the trees in the backyard decided to break into my sewer pipes, and tomorrow's election has some proposals that I would like to review again, I will not be able to respond to your post for a few days. Again, my apologies. Gee
  21. Beecee; In order to say that Endercreeper01 mentioned "the supernatural", Endercreeper01 would actually have to type the words "the supernatural" in a post in this thread. Facts are facts. That did not happen. I checked. You are the one who inferred it through your interpretation of Endercreeper01's comment. The fact that it was not disputed does not prove anything, as I often do not bother to dispute some rather idiotic things that other people state. To do so would take the thread way off topic, and wouldn't change anyone's mind anyway. The "supernatural" does not exist. There is no such thing; there is natural and there is man made, that is all. When people use the word, supernatural, they are just talking about something that is still unknown and not understood, but they are also attaching some kind of mystical quality to it. This means that they are superstitious. A person who uses the word, supernatural, is superstitious in my opinion. Gee
  22. Prometheus; No one has argued against this because there is nothing to argue. If you actually listened to the videos in the OP and you read the citation that you provided, you will find that they are mostly in agreement as to the facts. There might be some disagreement in the opinions, but it is only slight. Nothing has been "deconstructed". The only thing "wanting" is a better understanding of consciousness, which you clearly do not possess. While reviewing this thread, I noted that you and Strange both made arguments against the idea of an afterlife to Endercreeper01. The problem is that Endercreeper01 did not make any claims about an afterlife anywhere in this thread. I think it was Beecee, who argued with Endercreeper01 about the supernatural. Again, Endercreeper01 did not make any claims about the supernatural. I am not sure if I have ever seen so much armchair philosophy, as you seem to be making up false arguments, blaming them on others, then disputing them. And the "click it squad" just loves this, and even gave you and mistermack up votes for your false information regarding the time of death. I got down voted for trying to explain something that is very complex, and CharonY got ignored by the "click it squad" for giving valid information regarding death. If there was ever a good reason to rename the "click it squad" the "idiot squad", this is it. I am going to put an up vote on CharonY's post, so maybe we won't lose another scientist to a different forum where they are given respect. I also put an up vote on Endercreeper01's post to reverse the down vote, because there was nothing wrong with it. Gee
  23. Dimreepr; You get a +1 for questioning this instead of just assuming the answer. I am going to try to explain this in a way that anyone should be able to understand. Reductionism is where you reduce the idea of something to something else that is more understandable, like saying that consciousness is the "soul" or the "brain" or even "God", which is not a sufficient explanation. If you are correct, it is not a problem, but if you are not correct, it becomes a huge problem. Imagine that we took an automobile to a primitive place where no one had ever seen an automobile. While examining it, one person notes that the tires do not feel like the other parts of the auto. You explain that tires are rubber, so they are different. The people there associate "tire" with "rubber", or they reduce the idea of rubber to a tire. Later, I am trying to explain this really cool new material called elastic. I explain that it is made of rubber and you attach it to the waistband of your pants to keep them from falling down. The people there look at me like I am crazy because no one in their right mind would attach a tire to their pants and wear it around their waist. This is how Reductionism can fail. If I talked about the eraser on a pencil or a rubber tree or even the rubber soles of shoes, I am going to look like an idiot because the people there will visualize a tire, as that is all they know about rubber, so I will make no sense. Tires are only products of rubber; they are not rubber. The soul and the brain are products of consciousness. The soul is a product of consciousness through religious interpretation; the brain is a product of consciousness through the evolution of conscious life. Neither are consciousness. A thousand years ago when the Monism v Dualism debates started raging, many theories of consciousness erupted from these debates mostly centering around soul, the brain, or illusion. The problem is that when you reduce consciousness to either "soul" or "brain", you have to exclude other life from consciousness, or you have to prove that all life has a "soul" or all life has a "brain". As far as I know, neither daffodils nor crabgrass has a "soul" or a "brain". You can decide that other life is not conscious (which Science has been systematically proving wrong), or you have to go with the illusion ideas, which turn Science into a joke. If you look on page 2, Part 2, of my thread, Understanding the "God" Concept, you can read about what I think of that nonsense. In Philosophy, your premise, the original truth that you base your thoughts on must be valid. If it is not valid, then all your work (thoughts) will be corrupted and you will produce garbage instead of Philosophy. Think of it like a laboratory where you are trying to research biology. If your lab is not clean and sterile, then the other materials will corrupt your work and you will produce garbage instead of Science. Same principle. For my premises, I look to Science, because I trust Science. Science states that life has DNA. You can think of DNA like a computer chip, which contains memory and knowledge that tells a life form how to grow. All multicellular life has hormones, and all life that has hormones also has pheromones. Hormones guide and dictate survival instincts. All survival instincts work through or are activated by feeling/emotion. DNA, hormones, and pheromones when put in a vial do absolutely nothing, because they need to be in a life form in order to activate. They activate through awareness. So life has memory, knowledge, feeling/emotion, and awareness. That is consciousness. The only component of consciousness that all life does not seem to possess is thought. Science is pretty secure in the knowledge that thought is digitalized by a brain and thinking is processed by a brain, so a brain is required for actual thinking. In a thread like this, you can not reduce consciousness to the "brain" or the "soul". The brain dies well before all of the body loses consciousness. "God" does not drop in a soul for instantaneous life, and does not suck out the soul for instantaneous death. That is a religious belief, not Science. Gee
  24. Jfoldbar; This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially in a thread like this. At least you have done some studying on the subject. I had not seen Parnia's videos before so this was new material for me, although I have studied other things that are related. The biggest problem that I have with Dr. Parnia is that he is a medical doctor, and studies the body; he does not appear to be a Philosopher or Psychologist, so I am not sure what he understands about mind and consciousness. Medical doctors tend to view consciousness in levels that relate to the state of the brain, such as conscious, semi-conscious, unconscious, asleep, and varying levels of coma, etc. Psychology breaks mind into the rational self-directed conscious mind and the unconscious reactive instinctive mind. This is an important difference as this subject is more about mind than it is about the brain. NDE's are also more about mind than they are about the brain. We actually do not know how mind and brain connect. We know a lot, we know that they are clearly interrelated and connected in some way, but we do not yet understand that connection. I suspect that understanding the connection would help to explain this time variance that occurs in some NDE's. Well, I'm not too sure how relevant that six minutes is. If you watch the video again, you may note that he states it takes hours for all of the body to shut down. This is the same information that I got from our resident Biology expert, CharonY. So do we die when we stop breathing and our heart stops beating? Or do we die when the brain loses oxygen six minutes later, and the brain dies? Or do we die when the last organ and cell in our bodies gives up the ghost hours later and quits trying to survive? Or like you stated at the beginning of this post, we are nothing but chemistry, so do we die when the chemistry breaks down? We don't really know when death happens. What we do know is that chemistry (hormones) affects awareness within the body. We also know that chemistry (pheromones) affects awareness between bodies. And we know that the brain is swimming in a bath of chemistry. So IF chemistry is what connects brain to mind, then it is entirely possible that the Religions are correct in the sense that we might exist longer than we suspect -- but not indefinitely. It is interesting to note that Religions that believe in the afterlife tend to want to preserve the body -- to hold consciousness together? And Religions/Philosophies that tend to accept reincarnation don't necessarily want to preserve the body -- to free consciousness? For myself, I am starting to like the idea of cremation a lot. I haven't been good. (chuckle) Gee
  25. Gees


    Cladking; It's been a long time. I missed you. I am sorry that you had to deal with this, but it is common on many forums and supported by some administrators. I think they try to be fair here. The only real complaint I have is with the "click it squad" that I have been thinking of renaming the "idiot squad", but I am not sure if that is acceptable. (chuckle) And there are not enough philosophers here. You and I study different things, but I will look forward to reading your thoughts. I certainly won't object. Don't worry about Strange, as he seems to have some anger issues of late, but will probably work them out. I will object if you disappear again without giving me a way to contact you. Send me a PM and let me know how you have been. Gee
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