What is the Soul?

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2010, 09:56:46 PM »
Berny, this is not a debate about troll's or ClockTower's M-M-M-Monster failings. It is a serious debate about the nature of the soul and/or ClockTower's lack of one.

First we need to prove that their is a soul.

Berny
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Agreed, given what we know today about how the brain functions, I questions the need for a soul.  We have been able to tie bodily functions, thoughts, memories and even personality traits to specific portions of the physical brain.  Given all that, what exactly does the soul do?
because without it we would just have a system. We would be just a system. and true systems have no need of consciousness. consciousness feelings work well at explaining why things happen. things don't like being at high energy levels therefor they roll down hill and such. a ball doesn't really want to roll down the hill it just does. neither consciousness or feeling is required or expected.

Our brain gives us consciousness, not our soul.

I'm not sure what GPE has to do with this, either.
what is inherently different between the brain and any other complex system? why is does our brain have consciousness compared to any other system. as seen from a purely atheistic view of the universe there is no purpose. systems that procreate are more common. nothing has a purpose. eyes have no purpose unless i set a goal to be able to survive. without those goals there is no purpose, without purpose there is no difference between different systems. there would be no reason one would be conscious and one would not be.
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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2010, 10:12:04 PM »
And so it begins lol.  ;D
I don't mind giving this discussion another go. In speaking with a friend on this subject last summer, I think I've found a couple different ways of communicating my perspective better, that you may or may not find interesting. But first things first...

what is inherently different between the brain and any other complex system? why is does our brain have consciousness compared to any other system.

Just because many systems are complex, doesn't mean they don't have different functions. Consciousness/awareness is a function that the brain is built for, and other systems aren't.

But if I recall, you proposed that consciousness could be defined as more than awareness, perception, and feelings? Is that accurate?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 10:21:34 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2010, 10:26:44 PM »
And so it begins lol.
I don't mind giving this discussion another go.

what is inherently different between the brain and any other complex system? why is does our brain have consciousness compared to any other system.

Just because many systems are complex, doesn't mean they don't have different functions. Consciousness/awareness is a function that the brain is built for, and other systems aren't.

But if I recall, you proposed that consciousness was more than awareness, perception, and feelings? Is that accurate?
A. close it was more that the system that we call a brain could still do exactly what it does now without those things. now I was not saying that it could not react to outside stimuli. if I push a domino it sets of a system of reactions. the brain is just a system that is part of another system that is good at replicating itself. the brain was not built for consciousness again if you are living in a completely atheistic universe. in a true atheistic universe nothing has purpose nothing has function. some things are just better at replicating so there are more of them. and the ones that aren't good at it disappear. no good designs no bad designs just a complex system. you can't define anything with a purpose since everything is purposeless. therefore there is no difference between a random system and a brain besides the brain is just more likely to create replicas of itself. ( I use replica loosely.)
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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2010, 10:41:13 PM »
And so it begins lol.
I don't mind giving this discussion another go.

what is inherently different between the brain and any other complex system? why is does our brain have consciousness compared to any other system.

Just because many systems are complex, doesn't mean they don't have different functions. Consciousness/awareness is a function that the brain is built for, and other systems aren't.

But if I recall, you proposed that consciousness was more than awareness, perception, and feelings? Is that accurate?
A. close it was more that the system that we call a brain could still do exactly what it does now without those things. now I was not saying that it could not react to outside stimuli. if I push a domino it sets of a system of reactions. the brain is just a system that is part of another system that is good at replicating itself. the brain was not built for consciousness again if you are living in a completely atheistic universe. in a true atheistic universe nothing has purpose nothing has function. some things are just better at replicating so there are more of them. and the ones that aren't good at it disappear. no good designs no bad designs just a complex system. you can't define anything with a purpose since everything is purposeless. therefore there is no difference between a random system and a brain besides the brain is just more likely to create replicas of itself. ( I use replica loosely.)
But this bolded section seems to indicate that you believe humans have a consciousness beyond awareness.  ???
Perhaps your end point is your action/reaction argument, and this is a necessary implication? (As to say that consciousness is not action/reaction)?

While I agree that objective meaning and absolute purpose would not exist, it doesn't mean all purpose doesn't exist. I doubt you will find too many atheists or nihilists that don't believe that human laws, language, and even kitchen appliances don't have purposes. But, I'm not sure where you were going with that ...unless you are proposing that human consciousness has absolute purpose.
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2010, 10:57:40 PM »
And so it begins lol.
I don't mind giving this discussion another go.

what is inherently different between the brain and any other complex system? why is does our brain have consciousness compared to any other system.

Just because many systems are complex, doesn't mean they don't have different functions. Consciousness/awareness is a function that the brain is built for, and other systems aren't.

But if I recall, you proposed that consciousness was more than awareness, perception, and feelings? Is that accurate?
A. close it was more that the system that we call a brain could still do exactly what it does now without those things. now I was not saying that it could not react to outside stimuli. if I push a domino it sets of a system of reactions. the brain is just a system that is part of another system that is good at replicating itself. the brain was not built for consciousness again if you are living in a completely atheistic universe. in a true atheistic universe nothing has purpose nothing has function. some things are just better at replicating so there are more of them. and the ones that aren't good at it disappear. no good designs no bad designs just a complex system. you can't define anything with a purpose since everything is purposeless. therefore there is no difference between a random system and a brain besides the brain is just more likely to create replicas of itself. ( I use replica loosely.)
But this bolded section seems to indicate that you believe humans have a consciousness beyond awareness.  ???
Perhaps your end point is your action/reaction argument, and this is a necessary implication? (As to say that consciousness is not action/reaction)?

While I agree that objective meaning and absolute purpose would not exist, it doesn't mean all purpose doesn't exist. I doubt you will find too many atheists or nihilists that don't believe that human laws, language, and even kitchen appliances don't have purposes. But, I'm not sure where you were going with that ...unless you are proposing that human consciousness has absolute purpose.
No I am not arguing that the human mind has absolute purpose. I am saying that since there is no purpose(at least none from an atheistic view of the universe) there would be no reason to expect any system to actually be conscious. there would be no inherent differences between that system and say a bath of chemicals. at least nothing that should give it a new property of consciousness. then we get to the question of how many pieces does you system need before it is consious? if i took one cell away from you brain you would still be conscious. how about two? three? either there is an arbitrary point where consciousness begins or every piece of matter has a microscopic amount. it just needs to be put in the correct pattern.
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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2010, 11:42:03 PM »
No I am not arguing that the human mind has absolute purpose. I am saying that since there is no purpose(at least none from an atheistic view of the universe) there would be no reason to expect any system to actually be conscious.
Atheism is only applicable to eliminating god's imposed purposes. Purpose can exist from an atheist point of view. It's only divine/absolute purpose that can't exist.

If this is the same argument about why mechanisms of development make consciousnesses necessary, why invoke atheism? Using atheism as a condition to declare purposelessness only implies that there would be purpose from a theistic perspective. I don't see how any of that is relevant.

...Anyways, if we are both indeed alleging the scenario that god is nonexistent and absolute purpose doesn't exist, then with one minor assumption * I can reduce your question to "what evolutionary* purpose does consciousness serve?"

Unless we start redefining consciousness to include intangible/undefinable/immeasurable/unknowable factors, and we leave the definition as broad as "awareness", wouldn't this mean you don't see a reason why beings would need to be aware of themselves and/or their environments in order to better their rates of survival?  ???

Quote
there would be no inherent differences between that system and say a bath of chemicals. at least nothing that should give it a new property of consciousness. then we get to the question of how many pieces does you system need before it is consious? if i took one cell away from you brain you would still be conscious. how about two? three? either there is an arbitrary point where consciousness begins or [every component contributes a microscopic amount. it just needs to be put in the correct pattern.]
Bingo. Consciousness is a continuum. Ever wake up slowly?  :)
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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2010, 12:06:46 AM »
there would be no reason to expect any system to actually [become] conscious. there would be no inherent differences between that system and say a bath of chemicals.

Also, it seems as if you are approaching this from a reversed position by saying something we already know, isn't predictable from a point of view that excludes knowledge of it. We already know humans are conscious, but you are arguing that 'from a point of view of not knowing about consciousness, you wouldn't expect consciousness to exist.' Right?

However, I don't see how that affects or attempts to understand any mechanisms that form consciousness nor its nature. It's kinda like saying, if we only understood atoms, how could we predict molecules, or molecule chains that form simple biological machines? Cell organelles inevitably function in a certain and specific way due to their atomic and molecular assembly. ...We already know organic molecules form and we discovered that they use the same natural forces and rules inherent to atoms, but most emergent properties aren't intuitive when you exclusively look at the simpler levels of operation.

Same could be said in emergent mathematics.
The same logic that makes basic addition work, also will create emergent properties of multiplication. (and multiplication to exponentiation). It may not occur to someone who learns only of addition to even think of exponentiation, but it doesn't make the extensions less valid or less likely because there is no intuitive connection from that forced perspective.

Just something to consider.  :)
And I apologize for the wall of text. I shortened it as much as I could without losing content.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 12:10:39 AM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
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Vindictus

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2010, 12:20:56 AM »
Our brain is the only object aware of its own existence.

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2010, 06:22:02 AM »
Agreed, given what we know today about how the brain functions, I questions the need for a soul.  We have been able to tie bodily functions, thoughts, memories and even personality traits to specific portions of the physical brain.  Given all that, what exactly does the soul do?


I think many would argue that the concept of 'the soul' is more than the sum of its parts. As Beno said earlier, just because something is not scientifically quantifiable, doesn't mean it does not exist. It would be like saying (potentially dodgy metaphor coming up) that there's no such thing as a gust of wind, just lots of tiny air particles moving in roughly the same direction.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 08:18:14 AM by Lord Wilmore »
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Benocrates

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2010, 07:47:17 AM »
Our brain is the only object aware of its own existence.

I've always kind of debated this claim. I suppose I believe that humans are the only beings with self-reflective consciousness, but it seems to me that it's not a simple 'have it or don't have it' proposition. It appears that there is some kind of gradient with plants at the bottom, insects above it, etc., with an increasing level of self-reflection.

And to address the debate Singularity was getting on, I just wanted to remind everyone that purpose is not dependant on theism. The human soul/free will/consciousness serves the purposes of man who, because of it, is an animal possessing rational speech, and because of that, is a political animal. The purpose of man, our telos, is to fulfil our political and rational potential, searching for justice and something greater than ourselves.
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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2010, 07:55:04 AM »
It would be interesting to see the first reference for people burning in hell. I'm not sure (but would happily be corrected), that the Bible mentions hell in this context.
A quick google search returned this "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
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Benocrates

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2010, 07:59:02 AM »
A lot of that hell nonsense, and shit like angels, was made up by popes and such in the middle ages. Total nonsense.
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Vindictus

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2010, 04:48:59 PM »
A lot of that hell nonsense, and shit like angels, was made up by popes and such in the middle ages. Total nonsense.

Actually, a belief in a Hell, Angels, Devils etc has existed since time immemorial. Most people mistakenly think Christianity created these beliefs.

That doesn't make it any more true, though.

Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #43 on: October 24, 2010, 04:17:26 AM »
I completely disagree that only scientifically testable things are real.

can you give an example of a thing that is real but not scientifically testable?

?

Thork

Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2010, 04:35:31 AM »
I completely disagree that only scientifically testable things are real.

can you give an example of a thing that is real but not scientifically testable?
A dream?
The edge of the universe?
The finite number of sand grains upon earth's surface right now?

?

17 November

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #45 on: October 24, 2010, 11:53:12 AM »
Man is twofold:  soul and body. 

The soul is the superior part of man, the body the inferior.  The body is tangible and visible, but the soul is comparatively intangible and invisible.
I said comparatively but not absolutley which is a very subtle distinction.  Only God is truly intangible.  Both Christian and pre-Christian philosophers acknowledge that the soul has three aspects which is why it is true that man is made in the image of God who Himself is a Trinity.

THREE ASPECTS OF THE SOUL ACCORDING TO ANCIENT PHILOSOPHERS

1) intellective (reason)
2) appetitive
3) irascible

ESSENCE AND ENERGY

God consists of His Essence and His Energies.  Likewise, a man's soul consists of its essence and its energy. 

The essence of the soul resides in the vicinity of the physical bodily heart (but is distinct from it).

The energy of a man's soul is called the nous.  The nous transcends the body.  A physical eye is an instrument.  It is the nous that actually sees through the eye.  The same applies to the sense of hearing, touch, and all of the senses, ad the body generally. 

The natural dwelling place of the nous is also the heart.  Sin disperses the nous, but repentance regathers it to the heart and towards its natural state of union with its Creator.

---------------------------------------------------------

As to the creation of the soul, the official position of the modern papacy is that God sovereignly creates a soul at the moment of conception, but I do not believe that this is the ancient consensus of the Fathers of the Church.  According to Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, both bodies and souls are inherited from parents.  This is true, and it is a mistake to therefore assume that God is not involved in this.  The Energy of God (which is God) transcends the whole process and is just as much involved in the creation of the body as of the soul.  God uses parents as instruments for the creation of soul and body.  As an example, Jesus Christ did not only inherit a Human Body from His mother Mary.  He also inherited a Human Soul and a Human Will.  Everything that is united with God is perfected.  He did not become a Man only in order to save men's bodies but rather their whole being: both body and soul.  Therefore, He had to acquire both a Human Body and Soul in order to save our souls and bodies.  Both our souls and bodies are inherited from our parents.  We do not exist at all before our conception, but God creates us through our parents.  Only God is Beginningless or Uncreated.

(That does not mean that we are predetermined robots because we are each given a free will to make choices.)

---------------------------------------------------------

The exit of the soul from the body constitutes death.

The underheaven contains many hordes of demons arranged militarily by divisions.  There are different kinds of demons just as there are different kinds of sins.  Each division of demons corresponds to a specific kind of sin.  These temp us throughout our lives and retain records of our obedience to their suggestions.  Shortly after death, these demonic divisions accuse the soul of all its earthly sins while on its assent to heaven in order to prevent it from entering and bear it to hades beneath the earth.  These accusations can be countered by good deeds done in one's life and the intecessory prayers of Christians and especially by one's confession and repentance.  These things are part of the armor of God of which Saint Paul says will be necessary in the evil day (Ephesians 6:13).  The Church Fathers call these demonic divisions the "toll houses."  As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.  (Hebrews 9:27)  This judgment determines where one's soul will remain until the end of the world.

---------------------------------------------------------

souls are non-transferable

Correct.

Each person has one soul, and souls are not transferable. 

Metempsychosis is the false doctrine of the transmigration of souls from one body to another.  This demonic doctrine is directly related such heresies as the pre-existence of souls and reincarnation.  Belief in metempsychosis entered into the belief systems of many jews through the kabbalah, and into greek philosophy through Pythagoras, and caused the apostasy of many Christians through the writings of Origen.  Ancient Egypt did not adhereto this error since they used graves for their dead instead of cremation such as the hindus who believe in reincarnation, but the doctrine of metempsychosis is not even the most ancient belief in India.  Ananda Coomaraswamy, the greatest hindu scholar of modern times said that reincarnation doctrine is a modern invention which came along relatively late and was not originally part of ancient hindu doctrines.

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Benocrates

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #46 on: October 24, 2010, 12:10:05 PM »
I completely disagree that only scientifically testable things are real.

can you give an example of a thing that is real but not scientifically testable?
A dream?
The edge of the universe?
The finite number of sand grains upon earth's surface right now?


Justice, Art, Love
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Get the fuck over it.

Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #47 on: October 24, 2010, 12:12:20 PM »
Oh my, define real first.

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #48 on: October 24, 2010, 12:12:48 PM »
I completely disagree that only scientifically testable things are real.

can you give an example of a thing that is real but not scientifically testable?
A dream?
The edge of the universe?
The finite number of sand grains upon earth's surface right now?


Justice, Art, Love
I can argue none of those are real.
I saw a slight haze in the hotel bathroom this morning after I took a shower, have I discovered a new planet?

Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #49 on: October 24, 2010, 12:15:23 PM »
No I am not arguing that the human mind has absolute purpose. I am saying that since there is no purpose(at least none from an atheistic view of the universe) there would be no reason to expect any system to actually be conscious.
Atheism is only applicable to eliminating god's imposed purposes. Purpose can exist from an atheist point of view. It's only divine/absolute purpose that can't exist.

If this is the same argument about why mechanisms of development make consciousnesses necessary, why invoke atheism? Using atheism as a condition to declare purposelessness only implies that there would be purpose from a theistic perspective. I don't see how any of that is relevant.

...Anyways, if we are both indeed alleging the scenario that god is nonexistent and absolute purpose doesn't exist, then with one minor assumption * I can reduce your question to "what evolutionary* purpose does consciousness serve?"

Unless we start redefining consciousness to include intangible/undefinable/immeasurable/unknowable factors, and we leave the definition as broad as "awareness", wouldn't this mean you don't see a reason why beings would need to be aware of themselves and/or their environments in order to better their rates of survival?  ???

Quote
there would be no inherent differences between that system and say a bath of chemicals. at least nothing that should give it a new property of consciousness. then we get to the question of how many pieces does you system need before it is consious? if i took one cell away from you brain you would still be conscious. how about two? three? either there is an arbitrary point where consciousness begins or [every component contributes a microscopic amount. it just needs to be put in the correct pattern.]
Bingo. Consciousness is a continuum. Ever wake up slowly?  :)
sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this. I have not had access to a PC for a while :P. I think that your view that something needs to be conscious in order to react in a way that would better its chance of survival. we have computer systems that learn as they go on. hell I have computer games that develop new tactics as the fight me. that doesn't mean I have any reason to expect my computer to be conscious. second if we go with the thought that atoms have a microscopic amount of consciousness(obviously just the term we have agreed to use to describe what we are arguing about) part if us would actually be around after our death. it actually reminds me of Buddhist beliefs... sorry little tangent.

there would be no reason to expect any system to actually [become] conscious. there would be no inherent differences between that system and say a bath of chemicals.

Also, it seems as if you are approaching this from a reversed position by saying something we already know, isn't predictable from a point of view that excludes knowledge of it. We already know humans are conscious, but you are arguing that 'from a point of view of not knowing about consciousness, you wouldn't expect consciousness to exist.' Right?

However, I don't see how that affects or attempts to understand any mechanisms that form consciousness nor its nature. It's kinda like saying, if we only understood atoms, how could we predict molecules, or molecule chains that form simple biological machines? Cell organelles inevitably function in a certain and specific way due to their atomic and molecular assembly. ...We already know organic molecules form and we discovered that they use the same natural forces and rules inherent to atoms, but most emergent properties aren't intuitive when you exclusively look at the simpler levels of operation.

Same could be said in emergent mathematics.
The same logic that makes basic addition work, also will create emergent properties of multiplication. (and multiplication to exponentiation). It may not occur to someone who learns only of addition to even think of exponentiation, but it doesn't make the extensions less valid or less likely because there is no intuitive connection from that forced perspective.

Just something to consider.  :)
And I apologize for the wall of text. I shortened it as much as I could without losing content.
you got it pretty much right on the nose. and I see your point. however lets go with your example of atoms. if we understood atoms completely we would at least know that they would like to have filled orbitals. we might not have an intuitive understanding of how it would do that but we would know that it would try. we probably wouldn't think of it forming complex systems like organelles and such. however I think in all those cases there is a fairly straight line of logic that would allow us to see where those properties come from that I do not think exist in the case of consciousness.
I will put more time into this after midterms are over :P sorry if this wasn't that coherent.
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Lord Wilmore

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #50 on: October 24, 2010, 12:54:58 PM »
I completely disagree that only scientifically testable things are real.

can you give an example of a thing that is real but not scientifically testable?
A dream?
The edge of the universe?
The finite number of sand grains upon earth's surface right now?


Justice, Art, Love
I can argue none of those are real.


You probably can, but then you'd end up conceding that almost nothing you do or care about is real. The argument can be made, but I think we'd all find its consequences not only unintuitive, but regard it as an irrelevant abstraction. The world we live in is the world we see and construct with our minds, and it is neither objective nor scientifically testable.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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Ichimaru Gin :]

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #51 on: October 24, 2010, 12:57:49 PM »
I saw a slight haze in the hotel bathroom this morning after I took a shower, have I discovered a new planet?

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Chris Spaghetti

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #52 on: October 24, 2010, 12:58:24 PM »
Quote from: Hogfather - terry pratchett
"All right," said Susan, "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need ... fantasies to make life bearable."
No. Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meet the rising ape.
"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers?"
Yes. As practice. You have to start out learning to believe the little lies.
"So we can believe the big ones?"
Yes. Justice. Duty. Mercy. That sort of thing.
"They're not the same at all!"
Really? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder and sieve it through the finest sieve and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet you act, like there was some sort of rightness in the universe by which it may be judged:
"Yes. But people have got to believe that or what's the point?"
My point exactly.

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #53 on: October 24, 2010, 01:11:21 PM »



It may not be a pipe, but if all that exists is that which is scientifically testable, then it's also not a painting or even an image. Forget about justice, love or mercy, an objective view of reality doesn't even contain people. After all, how do you scientifically test whether or not someone is a person? If you remove human consciousness from the equation, all you have are some atoms in a particular space and time. It is the human consciousness which creates the idea of a person.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #54 on: October 24, 2010, 01:28:15 PM »
Without first defining what real means, all the above is meaningless.




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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #55 on: October 24, 2010, 01:36:40 PM »
sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this. I have not had access to a PC for a while :P. I think that your view that something needs to be conscious in order to react in a way that would better its chance of survival.
Yes. (If an organism is aware of food, it is more likely to eat it.) ;)

Quote
we have computer systems that learn as they go on. hell I have computer games that develop new tactics as the fight me. that doesn't mean I have any reason to expect my computer to be conscious.
Those computer programs have predefined capabilities. Their methods of "learning" is artificially structured with regard to certain input. It could be as simple as a while loop.
While player1 is within distance x of flammable barrels, shoot at flammable barrels.
This program exercises to comprehension or learning because it doesn't see the player or anything else as a concept. It is only comparing mathematical values at a low level and is unaware of larger and somewhat arbitrary concepts. It only can function because the programmer anticipated all of the limited responses, and defined a scenario for each case.

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second if we go with the thought that atoms have a microscopic amount of consciousness(obviously just the term we have agreed to use to describe what we are arguing about) part if us would actually be around after our death. it actually reminds me of Buddhist beliefs... sorry little tangent.
Hold up. I'm arguing that consciousness arises from a pattern of components, not components themselves. Less components means less consciousness, yes, but for a different reason. After all, would you consider a single atom of silicon to be "a small amount of motherboard"? The motherboards functionality fails when all the pieces are separated.

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you got it pretty much right on the nose. and I see your point. however lets go with your example of atoms. if we understood atoms completely we would at least know that they would like to have filled orbitals. we might not have an intuitive understanding of how it would do that but we would know that it would try. we probably wouldn't think of it forming complex systems like organelles and such. however I think in all those cases there is a fairly straight line of logic that would allow us to see where those properties come from that I do not think exist in the case of consciousness.
I will put more time into this after midterms are over :P sorry if this wasn't that coherent.
Why? What makes consciousness the exception?

Take your time, and good luck on your midterms.  :)
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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Ichimaru Gin :]

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #56 on: October 24, 2010, 01:42:35 PM »



It may not be a pipe, but if all that exists is that which is scientifically testable, then it's also not a painting or even an image.
It is mixed oils/paint. Components that are scientifically testable.
I saw a slight haze in the hotel bathroom this morning after I took a shower, have I discovered a new planet?

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #57 on: October 24, 2010, 03:44:02 PM »
I believe it can be reduced to the fact that concepts are human abstractions of reality, that ultimately allow us to function.
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #58 on: October 24, 2010, 04:49:41 PM »
I believe it can be reduced to the fact that concepts are human abstractions of reality, that ultimately allow us to function.

Perhaps, but what you have been considering is only the cognitive aspect of the soul.

THREE ASPECTS OF THE SOUL ACCORDING TO ANCIENT PHILOSOPHERS

1) intellective (reason)
2) appetitive
3) irascible

TRIPARTITE THEORY OF SOUL
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato%27s_tripartite_theory_of_soul

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: What is the Soul?
« Reply #59 on: October 24, 2010, 05:03:40 PM »



It may not be a pipe, but if all that exists is that which is scientifically testable, then it's also not a painting or even an image.
It is mixed oils/paint. Components that are scientifically testable.


What is paint? What is oil? Are they on the periodic table? When I see that, I don't see scientifically testable arrangements of sub-atomic particles, and I don't think anyone else here does either. We see, feel and experience abstract concepts that mean a lot more to us and have a far more relevant existence than sub-atomic particles.


We can never be impartial observers of an objective universe, no matter what Stephen Hawking (et al.) says. Even the catagories with which we subdivide matter are abitrary and non-existent. The universe is what it is, but the sub-structures and patterns we observe exist only in our minds. They too are abstractions, and are no more real than love, literature or lolcats. The periodic table and what it represents have no more actual an existence than the wonder I feel when I look at The Lady of Shalott by Waterhouse.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord