Ny Times Article on the soul- interesting

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums

User avatar
boogeyman
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:38 am

Post by boogeyman » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:56 am

I have my own simple and logical reasoning why we are non-material soul/consciousness

Maybe a good analogy is, if you were building a machine with cosciousness or self awareness. How would you build such a machine that it would really be coscious as we are, and not just programmed reactions. Is it just computer chips reacting to other computer chips. A sort of feedback loop between chips. But this is not consciousness as the chips them selves are preprogrammed to do what they do. Theres no awareness as we experience it, simply reaction. What is missing is the EXPERIENCER/WATCHER.

Similary in humans when sense perception happens. If you hear a sound it is delivered from your ear to your brain as a bio electrical signal and some part of your brain "lights up" with activity and that is percieved as sound. This is what science tells us and most ppl are contempt with this answer. But again, what experiences the brain activity? Other brain cells? A bunch of "switches" go on in the head that are connected to a buch of other swithes that go off/on, Why should this create an experince/consciousness?
This is basically how my pc works.
Switches go on and off in the head, but what EXPERIENCES this activity?

I often wonder, how do the materialistic(totally identified with form) scientists get their heads around this simple reasoning :?

eseward
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:27 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Post by eseward » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:36 pm

boogeyman wrote:What is missing is the EXPERIENCER/WATCHER.
Exactly. :)

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6850
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:40 pm

An interesting article and a very nice response from boogeyman.
boogeyman wrote:I often wonder, how do the materialistic(totally identified with form) scientists get their heads around this simple reasoning :?
For the most part they don't. That is why so many are atheists. As scientists, most have adopted a Neo-Darwinian worldview of mechanistic chance. Life to them is an accident of random mutation and natural selection. Atheism however, is a religion like all others. It requires faith in things not directly seen. It just removes the personal God. The observer/experiencer cannot be so easily tested in a lab so it is not considered to be science. If it is not science, the thinking goes, it is not real.

Many microbiologists and mathematicians however, are upsetting the atheist’s mechanistic world view. The complexities or dna and cell structure and the mathematical probabilities of random mutation make designless evolution impossible

User avatar
boogeyman
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:38 am

Post by boogeyman » Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:26 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
Many microbiologists and mathematicians however, are upsetting the atheist’s mechanistic world view. The complexities or dna and cell structure and the mathematical probabilities of random mutation make designless evolution impossible
Yes, but this wont upset the hardcore materiaists, because they can always rely on infinite possibility. Theres always a chance that it could happend totally by random. You just need imagination to create a theory, but in the end what it boils down to is randomness/accident/luck.

I've spent quite a while debaiting with these neo-darwinians and I've learned alot. The more you argue the more you start to see how we were talking about the same things and you start to see the truth in the others view. The Universe and life exist because there is infinite possibilitys and we are here because of the intelligence of the universe. It's just a point of view...when you look into it deeply, you just end up in paradoxes.

User avatar
Narz
Posts: 371
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:16 am
Location: NY Metropolitan Area
Contact:

Post by Narz » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:38 pm

Webwanderer wrote: Atheism however, is a religion like all others. It requires faith in things not directly seen.
No it doesn't.
Webwanderer wrote:Many microbiologists and mathematicians however, are upsetting the atheist’s mechanistic world view. The complexities or dna and cell structure and the mathematical probabilities of random mutation make designless evolution impossible
I am an atheist. I don't believe that everything is random (in fact I don't believe that "random" even exists, for example no computer can generate a true random number).

While I don't believe in God, I do think "the soul" is a nice idea. Of course there is no way to prove it one way or the other. "The observer/watcher" may be a trick of the mind, just because it "feels" real doesn't mean it is. Perhaps someday we could program a computer to think it is a "watcher". Who knows, maybe when we shut it down, it's soul will carry on. :D

My point is, you only think you know, just like everyone else (atheists, bible thumpers, Eckhart). Feeling that you're right and the atheists are wrong, well, that's not going to get you anywhere.

Have you considered the idea that the physical world is all there is, we are mere mortal, fleshy, super smart (smart enough even to think we're thinking with something besides our brain) strikes such terror in people that we create spirituality as a coping mechanism?
“Seek simplicity but distrust it”

InfinityCurve - my YouTube Channel :)

User avatar
JD
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:35 pm

Post by JD » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:22 pm

Narz wrote: While I don't believe in God, I do think "the soul" is a nice idea. Of course there is no way to prove it one way or the other.
And the same applies to the existence of "God", which is why atheism is as much a matter of faith as deism or religion.

Agnosticism is the only position that doesn't require faith.

User avatar
Narz
Posts: 371
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:16 am
Location: NY Metropolitan Area
Contact:

Post by Narz » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:29 pm

JD wrote:
Narz wrote: While I don't believe in God, I do think "the soul" is a nice idea. Of course there is no way to prove it one way or the other.
And the same applies to the existence of "God", which is why atheism is as much a matter of faith as deism or religion.

Agnosticism is the only position that doesn't require faith.
Fair enough. I'd call myself a weak atheist which is basically the same as a strong agnostic (in that they make no definitive claims that God does not exist but are skeptical rather than neutral).
“Seek simplicity but distrust it”

InfinityCurve - my YouTube Channel :)

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6850
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:41 pm

Narz wrote:
Webwanderer wrote:
Atheism however, is a religion like all others. It requires faith in things not directly seen.
No it doesn't.
JD already addressed it, but just to be clear, atheism is the belief that there is no God. As this is even less provable by emperical evidence than proving there is a God, it boils down to faith in a concept of reality, a belief. Add to that that atheists gather and meet to practice that faith in organized group settings, it becomes no less religious that Christians or Jews.
Narz wrote:My point is, you only think you know, just like everyone else (atheists, bible thumpers, Eckhart). Feeling that you're right and the atheists are wrong, well, that's not going to get you anywhere.
Did I say atheists were "wrong" and I was "right"? For that matter did I say I know any particular truth?

My intent is merely to respond to boogeyman's post and his question on how materialists tend to deal with a type of information that is contrary to a certain world view.

Ives
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Tuscany, Italy

Post by Ives » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:42 pm

Notice how every advanced / enlightened human being reports back the same truth: there is a divine dimension to this life and the portal to this Truth resides inside each one of us.

Mysticism (the direct personal experience of the Divine) does not require faith.

User avatar
Narz
Posts: 371
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:16 am
Location: NY Metropolitan Area
Contact:

Post by Narz » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:17 pm

Saying God cannot be proven to exist is not that same as saying God definitely doesn't exist.

If I told you there were gremlins in your ears and you told me you thought otherwise should I beride you for lack of proof?
Ives wrote: Mysticism (the direct personal experience of the Divine) does not require faith.
Nothing worth anything requires faith. Faith is a lie. When you know you know, when you have faith you wish.

"To believe is to know you believe, and to know you believe is not to believe." Jean-Paul Sartre
“Seek simplicity but distrust it”

InfinityCurve - my YouTube Channel :)

User avatar
Seancho
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:44 am
Contact:

Post by Seancho » Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:08 am

Chalk this disagreement up to the nature of language I say.

Language forces us to conceive of God as a 'thing' - a noun. an object in space or a measurable force that is either 'is' there or 'is not.' A designer, a creator...'is' there one, or isnt there?

Its a pretty pointless metaphysical discussion. Materialists are describing the observable world, and they point out (reasonably, it seems to me) that they can observe no creator-force-thing 'out there.' Religionists on the other hand describe an inner awareness of some kind and (also reasonable, I think) point to our own consciousness and reason as an indication of a creative ordering principle at work.

So whats the problem? Its only when you try to talk about it, and use that pesky word 'is' that there is trouble. The 'is' hypnotizes us into confusing our verbal mental maps with reality. God is! God isnt! We 'are' here on purpose, no, it 'is' an accident. Everybody is forced to take up a mental position. Thats when people start to act crazy and teach ID in science class, or demand scientific proof that god exists.

Heres a funny way to look at it: Which is more miraculous (or absurd if you like),

an omnipotent divine being of unknown origin creating a universe out of nothing for an unknown reason and deciding to put humans in it (who promptly invent cruise missles and napalm to better serve him)?

or...

a 'dumb' universe that exists for no reason at all, of unknown origin, following orderly but impersonal rules, which created themselves, in which self-aware humans suddenly step out of a pile of randomly colliding particles, take a look around and set about constructing an internet so they can start arguing about religion and watch Paris Hilton videos?

For me its pretty astounding either way. But which 'is' the truth? Neither! Both! Wont either story work equally well as long as we dont get caught in is/isnt language?

Maybe God and randomness are two words for the same 'thing.' Said another way, maybe we live in a universe in which randomness itself can be thought of as creatively intelligent.

User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4592
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Post by kiki » Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:52 pm

Welcome to the board, Seancho, and thanks for an interesting post.

kiki

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6850
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:30 pm

Welcome to our forum Seancho. I enjoyed your post but there are a couple of items worth further review.
Seancho wrote:Heres a funny way to look at it: Which is more miraculous (or absurd if you like),

an omnipotent divine being of unknown origin creating a universe out of nothing for an unknown reason and deciding to put humans in it (who promptly invent cruise missles and napalm to better serve him)?
Indeed the universe may be created out of nothing or "no thing", for before there was "thingness" there was that which cannot be defined by the things, such as words, that the divine being made manifest. While the created may reflect the will of the creator, it says little about the nature of the creator.

You presume in your post that a divine being put humans in a universe to serve him. Such speculation, if assumed as true, will likely lead to a religion of servitude or a life of despondency and rejection. Both are conceptual assumptions that will factor into a sense of separate identity, but may bear no accurate connection to the actual relationship. What does a building know of its maker or for that matter of its intended purpose? What does a dream character know of the dream maker while living unaware in the dream?

Seancho wrote:or...

a 'dumb' universe that exists for no reason at all, of unknown origin, following orderly but impersonal rules, which created themselves, in which self-aware humans suddenly step out of a pile of randomly colliding particles, take a look around and set about constructing an internet so they can start arguing about religion and watch Paris Hilton videos?
This is the "magic" version of existence. Is it not far more credible to consider a purposeful design in the universe, set into motion by a yet not understood intelligence, than to believe in the magic of matter spontaneously and causelessly coming into existence without any precursive factors? There is nothing, and suddenly without cause, a big bang occurs, spewing out previously non-existent matter and energy in all directions.

This version seems to fly in the face of the laws of physics that demand mechanical origins for everything; and further, seems to be in need of a far greater blind faith than any conception of God I can think of.
Seancho wrote:Maybe God and randomness are two words for the same 'thing.' Said another way, maybe we live in a universe in which randomness itself can be thought of as creatively intelligent.
This appears to be a pretty big stretch, maybe even an attempt to reconcile two concepts that are polar opposites. On one hand randomness is mechanistic, and all factors within the mechanisms exist by chance specifically absent of an intelligent cause.

On the other, that while chance plays a factor, the system itself is intelligently designed so that content within the system evolves to ever more sophisticated expressions. Time, while being a factor, is wholly connected to the system itself and has an appearance of reality only within the activity of the system.

The trap in this type of either/or consideration is that it rules out life of a wholly different nature. Again I refer to the analogy of a dream. In the case of linkage to Omniscient Being, dreaming is only a reference for understanding within a conceptual mindset. Omniscience cannot be fully comprehended from the limited nature of conceptual understanding.

Considered in human terms the dream appears random, stimulated by events surrounding the dreamer. But in terms of an Original Cause of the whole of creation, the appearance of creation is more purposeful and more intimately experiential than a dream, even though the human mind may not fully comprehend the intent.

While an intelligent creator is still speculative in the minds eye, it seems even by rule of logic, to be a far more likely possibility than a magical explosion from a non existent realm, void of intelligence or causative factors of any kind.

Welcome again to the forum. It's a great place for healthy discussion.

User avatar
Seancho
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:44 am
Contact:

Post by Seancho » Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:24 pm

Hi Kiki and Webwanderer. Nice to meet you and thanks a lot for making this place happen. Im glad I found you guys, this is a great place you have here.

Now, as for the meaning of life, the universe and everything, the existence of the soul and God...

This discussion has been going on for centuries...have we figured it out yet? Do we know who we are and why we are here?

I'd say not. How could we silly humans ever figure this stuff out, flailing around in language, mental structures? Reason is great for getting stuff done, like figuring out the TV remote, but for actually knowing, cosmology and all that, it just doesnt work. The problem being, language can never tell us what anything actually 'is.' All we get with language are pictures. Words can no more approach the nature of reality than a knife can cut itself, or teeth can bite themselves.

We are so enamored of our minds that language hypnotizes us, like a dream. when we say the universe 'is' designed, weve just made a designer, and one that is something other than that universe designed. Then we say that you and I 'are' in this universe -- language has just separated us from the universe. And one from another. And from the designer! Kinda lonely, all of a sudden.

language does this -- the rational mind. Time and again we follow the rational mind down that road and run into all kinds of trouble. For instance, once we say there 'is' a designer, why not ask, who designed the designer? Saying that humanity came out of random nothing is no more absurd than saying that an intelligent designer came out of nothing.

Could it be that we are the designer of the designer? Heck, maybe WE are the designer of this whole strange and beautiful universe! We design it by thinking about it. If that were so, I wonder what would happen to the universe when we stop thinking (about) it?

Anyway, as I see it, 'is' creates the illusion that we actually know what is going on, when in fact we dont. To debate is/is not...of what use can that be? ultimately, we have no absolute facts, just opinions, theories, mental models based on our experience. How can we ever know who we are or why we are here with words? I suggest we give it up, or at least not take it too seriously. Have fun with the absurdity of it. Thats what I like.

If we substitute 'seems' for 'is', which seems more reasonable to me, disagreement about anything becomes impossible. The universe 'seems' designed to me. The universe 'appears' random to me. Now were talking! How can anyone disagree with how things 'seem' to another?

Post Reply