"I am a deeply religious man..... That which is impenetrable to us really exist. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion."
"Science and religion will meet and shake hands....When the scientific teacher asserts that all things are the manifestation of one force, does it not remind you of the God of whom you hear so much about. Do you not see whither science is tending?"
----Swami Vivekananda (Advaita philosophy)
From the above quotes, could we then ask: Is their unity in the Duality that is science and religion? Einstein seemed to think so, although his religiosity is not in any way manner or form related to belief in the Christian God or any other god for that matter. But it would seem from the above quote that he did believe in a supernatural force that was responsible for the creation of the universe.
Advaita philosophy, although denying the unity in the duality of body and soul, still advances the idea that God and science are not mutually exclusive. Einstein and Advaita philosophy agree on one point -- that there is no life after death....a subject that has recently garnered a lot of attention from all quarters, and not surprisingly from empiricists. Empirical data is slowly gathering that could potentially put Einstein and Advaita philosophy on the short end of the stick on this debate.
To me, "duality" indicates at least some similarity, some partial unity, and religion and science have none at all.
But the underlying assumptions of religion - a god, life after death, etc. - could absolutely be a part of science one day. Although modern religion denies any connection with reality in our universe, it is no more than an assumption and may be found to be completely false one day. Science may find a soul that exists after death, another universe with gods that made this one, etc. It might even find Hell in the form of an inverted cone with different layers of punishment!
Really, science is going to do all that? Amazing. But then again, knowing you and your ideological bent I will not be too surprised if while typing those sentences in your post, you are doing your tongue-in-cheek routine.
Efforts to change what I said, or grossly exaggerate it, will get you nothing.
Nowhere did I say science WILL find gods - personally I seriously doubt they will as there are no gods to find. But they might, if gods exist, and that's exactly what I said.
Your last paragraph is a straightforward attempt at hedging your bet, encapsulated in the statement: "there is no God to find, but if God exist..." . I believe there is a God but I personally don't think science will find any material or physical evidence of His spiritual existence.
Neither will science find a place called "hell". If you do not know it yet "hell" is not a place but a state of mind, just like heaven is a state of mind. The mind as I have already opined in other forums is non-physical. You and other physicalists insist that the mind is solely the result of the mechanistically/chemically attuned function of the brain. But no matter how much empiricists prove that theory, they have not found any evidence to support it.
Your idea of what dualism is does not jive with the accepted and classical definition of the term. You might want to research it further to be elucidated.
Of course I hedge the bet, although the language was sloppy as I don't know if there are gods or not - the "seriously doubt" didn't extend as it was intended to.
But it's interesting that you say that hell is only a state of mind, when you haven't a clue as to whether it is true or not. Aren't you doing exactly what you are berating me for? And then again with the statement that the mind is non-physical, while at the same time pretending that the reams of evidence supporting a physical mind aren't there? After all, I put the mind as physical because of those reams of data while you put it as supernatural because...I guess I don't know why you have decided that. Maybe because you want eternal life and an immaterial mind is the only way to get it?
I stand corrected on dualism: religion and science are most definitely opposed and contrasting, and that is the definition. Of course astrology is too, and so was alchemy, flat earth and the centrist assumption of the sun orbiting the earth.
A very imaginative empiricist recently proposed re-examining and perhaps extending the thought experiment involving brain transplant scenario that was discussed by empiricists way back in the late 60's and early 70's.
Quoting: "Let us return to the thought experiment (by Wiggins and Parfit) , flesh it out a little, and consider an extension to it. Imagine that, after years of successful brain transplants and of thorough research into the physiology of the brain, medical science is ready to try an actual split-brain transplant ie a brain is divided and each hemisphere placed in its new body; the shocking result is not two surviving persons, but one person and the other ,a vegetable on a life-support machine. The second hemisphere to be transplanted always produces a new person (the survivor), while the first always produces a vegetable. Extensive investigation reveals no significant physical difference between the two hemispheres, and no physical difference between the two parts of the operation. The experiment is tried and tried again-- and the result is always the same: one person, one vegetable. What's the explanation? How could a double (physical) success result in such a (mental) mixed bag? There is one and clear obvious answer: each person has one indivisible mind, whose connections with that person's brain are intimate and strong. We can divide the brain, but not the mind, which therefore attaches itself to just one hemisphere."
"Such an experiment becomes, then, (allowing for the problems indicated by the simplifying assumptions) an empirical test of dualism."
I'm unsure of what you're trying to say here. Are you proposing that one half the brain is the mind? That an imagined experiment, that never happened, shows the mind is different than the brain?
Or is this an example of dualism? One that never happened, but if it did would be dualism? I'd have to disagree here, as the experiment plainly shows that one half the brain is the mind, rather than the whole thing as previously thought.
It is entirely reasonable to assume that medical science would one day be able to offer brain transplantation as an accepted treatment modality for whatever doctors decide it is indicate for.
When that day arrives (maybe decades or centuries from now), one can then also reasonably assume that an experimentally indicated split brain transplant could also be done to specifically answer the question of brain-mind duality and in the process potentially help patients who might benefit from such a procedure.
The above quoted empiricist further stated: "The split brain transplant is based on several reasonable assumptions: (1) a brain can be transplanted from one human being to another, the 'owner' of the brain surviving the operation; (2) given the possibility of survival with only one brain hemisphere, and given the first assumption, it seems reasonable to assume that a semi-encephalic patient (call her Renee) could survive if her remaining hemisphere were transplanted. Given all of this, there seems to be no obstacle to Renee's survival if her brain were extracted and only one hemisphere transplanted, the other being destroyed. So then there is surely no obstacle to such a patient surviving the split-brain transplant, in which the two hemispheres are transplanted into different skulls."
Apologies, but I'm still confused. Even if I stipulate the "reasonable" assumptions (I don't), and the resulting two bodies each with half a brain, I'm still confused about why you even talk about it. What it has to do with the topic of either duality or the location of the mind.
To repeat his narrative:" So according to the split-brain transplant scenario, a brain is divided, and each hemisphere placed in its respective new body; the shocking result is not two surviving persons, but one person and a vegetable on a life-support machine. The second hemisphere to be transplanted always produces a new person(the survivor), while the first always produces a vegetable. Extensive investigation reveals no significant physical difference between the two hemispheres, and no physical difference between the two parts of the operation. The experiment is tried again and again-- and the result is always the same: one person and one vegetable. What's the explanation? How could a double(physical) success result in such a (mental) mixed bag?. There is one clear and obvious answer: each person has one indivisible mind, whose connections with that person's brain are intimate and strong. We can divide the brain, but not the mind, which therefore attaches itself to just one hemisphere. Such an experiment becomes, then, (allowing for the problems indicated by the simplifying assumptions) an empirical test of dualism."
So exactly why did you not agree with the assumptions and conclusions of the test?
Because it is a hypothetical test with a hypothetical result that is driving the conclusion. Until the test is completed, and the hypothesis become known fact, the conclusion is worthless as anything but a mental exercise.
Perhaps the test will show two functioning people. Perhaps neither will function. The third option is that only one will function - until it is known that this option is the one that happens no conclusion at all can be drawn.
And even if it IS the third option, we still don't know that the mind is outside that half of the brain. Is it always the left half that produces a person? The half that corresponds to the "handedness" of the original? Does it switch back and forth randomly? Do artists end up the same, with scientists all being the other half? Answer those (with fact, not hypothesis) and a conclusion might be found. Or not - additional, different, tests might be indicated before concluding a location for the mind.
What you term "mental exercise" is akin to what Einstein did (he termed it thought experiments) before he formulated the relativity theory and that elegant equation E=mc2. So to call it "just" a mental exercise would be anathema to all the empiricists who have formulated theoretical concepts that then led to significant empirically proven conclusions. From thought experiments/concepts to valid conclusions seems a reasonable way about looking for nuggets of truths.
Absolutely! Something I've repeated over and over in these forums: the imagination, along with free flowing thought unencumbered by restraints of reality, gives rise to more discoveries than anything else.
So how do we go about finding this "mind" thing? You hypothetical experiment suggests it is there - the next step is to PROVE it is. Einstein's E=MC^2 was eventually proven true - suggestions for proving your thought experiment is as true as E=MC^2?
There is another tack to take, too. We know from experiments and accidents much about the brain.
If we take out the frontal lobe there is no reasoning possible.
If we take out sections, memory can be lost, or communication ability (not the ability to work the mouth and tongue, but ability to understand communication).
Not sure, but seem to remember a report on an amnesiac (physical brain damage) that lost artistic ability (music? painting? not sure now).
If we damage parts of the brain tissue, muscular control is lost - is it due to lack of nerves to the muscle or lack of ability to send signals at all?
EMF introduced into the temple region results in a feeling of being watched. Not a visual thing - just a feeling (sometimes interpreted as God being present).
If these things are all part of the brain, what's left for the mind? What does IT have? No memory, no cogitation, no communication - what is the mind doing that isn't absolutely controlled by the brain? The mind must be a physical characteristic of brain tissue, chemicals and their reactions, electron flow through nerves, etc. - the experiments already done make that plain. No hypothetical experiment - actual, recorded instances of experimental or accidental brain damage.
If the mind is as you say a physical construct of the brain, then have you seen it, touched it, tasted it, smelled it or heard it?
No, of course not. But a brain surgeon has.
I'm thinking of the mind as a total construct of the brain: the nerves, the chemicals and their activity, the electron flow and, perhaps most important, the pattern of nerves and interconnections. That "pattern", in a way, takes it out of the realm of a purely physical thing but still leaves it firmly entrenched inside the skull.
It is not totally incorrect to say that the "mind" is but a construct of our imagination: an attempt to label something far too complex and not understood to truly grasp even what it is we're talking about. But the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that it is NOT something floating in another dimension or something. Anything - anything - we do to the brain does something to the mind, and if we subtract something - again, anything at all - from the brain the mind no long has it. Thinking, feeling, memory, emotions - whatever you name, if we take it from the brain by mechanical, physical action then the mind doesn't have it any more. Similarly, if we add to the brain - hallucinations, feelings via EMF, whatever - then the mind is instantly affected and has the same thing.
Given that, it seems that we can completely empty the mind, leaving it as a big zero, by taking from the brain. If that is so, then the mind MUST be the brain and not some other unknown thing in another dimension.
Addendum to the above post:
What the author is saying is that the split-brain transplant experiment as currently conceptualized is a futuristic scenario that was dutifully derived from the thought experiments of Wiggins and Parfit. Specifically in his thought experiment, Parfit concluded that "My brain is divided, and each half is housed in a new body. Both resulting people have my character and apparent memories of my life". A conclusion that the author disagree with based on the fact that brain function is not a constant over the life of an individual, and since we know that the two hemispheres are neither symmetrical in function nor identical in content, there is no reason to expect that the transplanted hemispheres will constitute transplanted identities of the person from whence the two brain hemispheres came from. His disagreement centered on Wiggins and Parfit's shared assumption that each of the new body-and-half-brain combinations will be persons. They both saw the only question as concerning which, if either, of those persons the brain donor should survive as: both, one, or neither.
If we assume, as both Wiggins and Parfit assumed, that a logically possible result of the experiment is two people, we are ruling out a certain dualist conception of the mind. BUT if the mind is a distinct, indivisible entity, then it is logically impossible that the brain donor survive as two people. So even if the result of the split-brain transplant is two people, only one of them can be the brain donor.
I might take exception to thinking that either of the (one or two) survivors is actually the donor person. The reasoning is that memory is not stored in just half the brain, so neither person can have the memories of the donor and thus cannot BE the donor. Certainly neither will have the entirety of the thinking, reasoning part of the brain, and neither is likely at all (I believe) to have the emotional make-up.
Neither will have the body of the donor, and like it or not that body, with it's vast array of sensory inputs and chemical factories, greatly influences who and what we are (can you imagine being transplanted into the body of the opposite sex?). When the testosterone fueled competitiveness and aggression of a male is replaced with the cooperative and nurturing tendencies of a female, how could we ever be considered the same person? Certainly I, at 66 years old am not the same person I was at 25 - a combination of changing memories, physical characteristics and abilities, different hormone levels etc. all guarantee that.
So either the mind has instantly changed (because of changes in the brain) or a new mind is instantly created and installed. Of the two, I'd have to choose the changed mind...strongly indicating that the mind IS the brain.
The factuality of the immaterial mind is what drives the concept that there is life after death. Death only means the termination of all bodily functions, but the mind moves back to where it originated from. If one considers the mind as the energy that animates life...then that energy can not be destroyed ----.it goes back to the eternal source of energy....creative and sentient.
do we see a light at the end of the tunnel re your understanding of how science is even now slowly proving God exists? I feel my job is done here.
Only inasmuch as science keeps getting better at explaining things that were previously thought to be supernatural. Or the possibility that human beings might become sufficiently advanced as to be able to do things that were once deemed only possible by god. How many times in the future will scientists be accused of "playing god" before theists realize that if we can do all the things god was supposed to have done, then we have replaced god?
Try googling hemispherectomies.
http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy … -the-brain
Fascinating! Most fascinating. I do note, however, that there are differing data being offered - wikipedia says no untoward effects are found. A troubling one (for our purposes, not those of patient that will undergo anything to stop seizures) is http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/guide/fun … omy?page=2
where it is indicated that in a "functional hemispherectomy)" the surgeon "removes portions of the affected hemisphere, often taking all of the temporal lobe but leaving the frontal and parietal lobes." This is not what we were discussing at all. The article also lists, as a side effect, that "Difficulty speaking, remembering, or finding words." can happen. In addition, it says that very nearly all the patients are very young children (4 years seems to be rather old for this procedure) that can rebuild the brain functions lost.
Another article, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23623848, studied adult cases and says "Impaired movement function was present in 9 (36%) adults' upper limbs and 5 (20%) patients' lower limbs.", "Impaired speech was seen in 7 patients with left hemispherectomies" and although full IQ, verbal IQ and performance IQ improved compared with pretreatment scores (because of a lack of severe and almost constant seizures?) "significant difference was found in change of verbal IQ between patients with right hemispherectomies and those with left hemispherectomies."
So what have we got? Taking out a part of one hemisphere leaves a person with at least most of a small memory bank, but affects motor skills, communication and word based problem solving. Particularly the last one is right/left based. And it is very seldom done on any but very young children as only they can reclaim lost brain function when the brain grows and develops.
I'd say the scales tips here to brain being mind, but not by a huge amount. Not as open and shut as such things as brain damage from stroke, accident or lack of oxygen, for example, though those will mostly affect older people that cannot "reprogram" a brain that is no longer growing and developing.
Question: would you say the mind is limited to those people with a little more maturity? Perhaps 6 or 8 years and older? Until then it is just the brain controlling it all?
I haven't commented on the exact implications of hemispherectomies.
The accounts I've read say the person's identity remains intact even with close to half the brain gone. This contrasts to Alzheimers where only small parts of the brain shrinks (including with rare cases of the younger patients).
The point is there are huge anomalies about the brain.
For example, a tiny blood clot that can be seen under a microscope can kill a person but a bullet or metal spike through the brain in others often doesn't kill and the victim often goes on to have a normal life.
Stephen Hawkin's brain is up to scratch but his entire body is incapacitated and without tech only appears to be a hopeless vegetable.
Other poor souls have been seen as totally retarded vegetables until computer tech has allowed them to communicate they are actually intelligent and fully conscious but can't communicate by speech or actions (even worse cases than Helen Keller).
The Hindus and now scientific theorists are saying that the universe doesn't in fact properly exist without sentience (see holographic universe). These theories are also related to our old friend M Theory. These new math based theories depict human consciousness in an entirely different way.
Lastly highly qualified researchers claim that consciousness still remains a mystery.
Be careful - you are putting the ability to control our physical body as a part of mind, and it is not. Or at least, it isn't the most important part - that remains the cogitative ability, perhaps coupled with sensory abilities. Hawking, for instance, cannot consciously control his body, but the mind remains quite active. So did Helen Keller's and so did those souls that could not communicate without tech. A partially disabled mind (if motor control is considered a part of it) does not mean the entire thing is shot.
Hindu thinkers and scientific theorists - I think you have a tendency to confuse science and knowledge with philosophy, with an example being Godel. While his math was impeccable, he diverted into philosophy as well, where answers are created, not found, and can not be considered knowledge at all. Just as with M theory showing a god, the "theories" being proposed on consciousness and the part intelligence plays in the universe have nothing to support them outside of faulty premises - the primary one being that if we don't know an answer it is reasonable to decide "goddunnit".
But can we divert a little? Into the question of what the mind is - in terms of function as well as contents, what is the mind?
Personally, I think of the mind as what makes us, us. Our memories. Our feelings. Our reasoning, both ability and use of it. Our instincts. Our experiences, which forms both memories and hard wired responses. Our interpretation of what our senses tell us. A difficult definition to come up with - can you give your own?
I am assuming in your view the mind and the brain are identical. This makes speculation about "what is mind" and the interaction between brain injury and mind highly relevant. Hawkings brain can't communicate with his body hence his mind can't communicate properly with his body etc.
In my view sentience and mind are different and I agree with the current advanced studies that say this area is largely still a mystery.
It isn't just me saying there are strong similarities with new scientific/ mathematical concepts to ancient philosophy. The new theories relating to quantum physics are closer to philosophy than scientists would like simply because they can't be tested. M theory in particular. In astrophysics the same trend is seen with theories becoming more philosophical such as holographic flat universes dependent on advanced sentience/mind to "make it real ". These ideas very closely resemble ancient religious ideas from Eastern and Indian thought.
I wish science had used a different term than "theory", or two differing terms. What the non-scientist calls a theory is, to a scientist, a hypothesis that requires verification to become "theory". And some of quantum mechanics has become theory rather than hypothesis because it has been verified. Even some string theory has been verified. And some, as you say, borders on philosophy; it is not known to be true or not.
So we work together, each struggling to understand the other's viewpoint. I see your "mind" view somewhat as a computer. The brain is the hardware, while the mind is either software or the person at the keyboard. Either one runs the hardware, telling it what to do.
But the mind, then, doesn't seem to do much at all. If we take out the factors known to be integral to the brain there isn't anything left to be mind. Memory resides in the brain, just as it does in the hard drive. Even short term memory is there in RAM. Cogitation is a brain function - it is the CPU gathering information from memory and processing it. The brain is the IO board, receiving input and creating output signals, controlling the mechanics like limbs, heartbeat and speech. Input signals from senses equate to those from a keyboard or other device and become instructions. Chemicals are a part of this, are part of the controlling instructions (Adrenaline production, hardwired into the mother board and giving the fight or flight reflex, for example). And the pattern of neural connections is very much a part of the software. And of course the electron flow is equivalent between brain and computer.
And at that point I'm back to an empty mind - it has no content and no function. It does nothing and is nothing. It's a conduit, a (very) temporary repository for brain signals passing through but does not actually do anything with them. The brain controls all it's own functions, being "programmed" by a combination of sensory inputs, chemical controls, memory and, likely, the built in automatic responses like fight or flight. Nothing for the mind to do, no input from it, no programming...nothing. All that we are, all that we do, all that we feel, is contained in the brain.
But that isn't, I'm positive, how you view the mind. So what does it do? What function, what instructions to the brain, etc.?
No I see mind as more mysterious.
There is sentience, awareness, consciousness, mind, subconsciousness, super consciousness, enlightenment, non mind meditative states, partial sentience, numerous dream states, brief precognition states of mind etc etc. Looking at animals and insects we can see sentience and a certain amount of consciousness. Mind is a part of the picture.
So once again it is the way the "mind" crosses into mysterious spiritual states that we reach the same cross road of understanding.
I agree with the pinnacle of research that these subjects remain largely a mystery.
The computer aspect of the brain is just one aspect of a very large unexplained area.
These new math proofs have become a new philosophy that amazingly meets up with ancient Eastern philosophy.
Which of those, then, cannot be affected by changing the brain? Certainly sentience and awareness can. Not sure of dream states, and precognition has never been shown to actually happen (I disbelieve in precognition because it requires a fixed time line with no free will). Others, like enlightenment and super consciousness are so poorly defined as to not even be worth considering.
I still object to the term "math proofs" as they prove nothing. New philosophical ideas (whether actually new or re-worked old ones) are proof of nothing, but are only hypothesis and questions that still require answers. Godel's "proof" is a prime example: prove his axioms correct and you will have proven god, but until then it remains nothing but an exercise in logic without any known connection to reality.
The New Maths Proofs are light years ahead of science as it was only a generation ago.
Maths is the purest most quantifiable logic we have that can now be subject to rigorous testing by supercomputers. If Godel's logic did not stand up to rigorous math testing then we could say in all honesty his reasoning is faulty, however as it does stand the test we can only say DIShonestly that his reasoning is faulty. This is clear and unequivocal.
As for mind states once again we need to look at the pinnacle of modern science which is now telling us by pure logical math that sentience is intimately connected to the perception of reality itself (Holographic Universe theory).
Disembodied mind may not exist but apparently according to science disembodied sentience does (see current M Theory) where this alien sentience has been described as, you guessed it, God.
As the New Math evidence mounts the New Atheism begins to crumble under it's own criteria of logic. What only a year ago seemed unlikely is now being proved and tested by pure logical math (Boolean algebra?)
There seems to be a misunderstand on what M theory, Godel or the "New Math" actually is. I believe you understand the concept of GIGO, but somehow it is lost when logic and philosophy is used to prove a god. The conclusion is no better than the axioms, always. Math can be used to test hypothesis, but it requires known facts to begin with, not another hypothesis. When that is done (as Godel did) the result is simply a third hypothesis, not knowledge, not reality.
It's clear you are a much greater genius than Godel or the inventors of string theory and Holographic Universe theorists. This would give you the stature of an Einstein. Either that or you are simply refusing to accept these new scientific theories as real possibilities simply because they relate to God and God consciousness.
If someone claims to be willing to look at evidence for God but doesn't do so can only be the H word and the D word. These are not insults but logical conclusions based on continuing relentless obsfucating of atheists afraid to face what their own science is telling them.
Perhaps I am more genius than Godel. It's doubtful, though.
But you most certainly have a basic misunderstand of what proof, or even evidence, is. You apparently don't understand the limitations of logic or math. Evidence of a god doesn't consist of people saying he might exist: that has been done for millennia and will continue to be done indefinitely as god, under the current definitions, cannot be proven to be nonexistent.
I'm not particularly interested in a claim that there might be a god out there that created our universe and everything in it: I accept that possibility. I'm looking for evidence that one does exist, not just that it might.
Are you? Or have you turned, in your mind, the "might" from Godel and the others into "does"? Are you anxious to convert your belief into knowledge, or willing to remain forever ignorant of the truth and accepting that a god is there because you want it to be? You seem to be grasping hard at anything you can find that shows one is possible (and calling it "proof" of your god), but if so do you care about the invisible pink unicorn that "might" live under my bed? I assure you that I can write a perfectly logical, irrefutable syllogism using absolutely correct logical statements that "proves" the unicorn exists...if the postulates are taken as truth.
"If someone claims to be willing to look at evidence for God but doesn't do so can only be the H word and the D word. These are not insults but logical conclusions based on continuing relentless obsfucating of atheists afraid to face what their own science is telling them."
No, they are based on the assumption that the Christian god is there and as indicated in Christian dogma. Just as with Godel, the logic is correct but the premise has yet to be proven true. Atheist obfuscation has nothing to do with the logic OR the conclusion. If you disbelieve this, write a sequence of logical statements, beginning with axioms or postulates that are known true and ending with the conclusion that the H and D words are the result (Hell and Damned?).
I am merely trying to communicate with science based atheists on their own level: science and math. I personally take ALL science and math with a grain of salt. My personal experiences with God/soul/higher consciousness are enough for me, but to see modern science coming to the aid of the argument is astounding.
It is the philosophy that I'm interested in and how it is now interacting with ancient religious beliefs and writings.
I can sense a more healthy tone in your responses re keeping an open mind regarding the new math proofs of God's existence.
Your quest for proof is a quest for proof that will satisfy you personally. Well join the club because that has been going on for thousands of years. Buddha went on that quest for example.
"I am merely trying to communicate with science based atheists on their own level: science and math."
I understand that, but while you use scientific terminology such as "math", "science" and "prove", the underlying philosophy, methodology and even the meaning of the terms, in the scientific world, are being left behind and ignored. You aren't actually communicating on the level of science, but instead are attempting to do so on the level of philosophy while pretending it is science.
Science does not invent hypothetical experiments and then say that they prove anything at all. It does not make postulates and proclaim them as truth or knowledge. It does not conduct thought experiments and use those thoughts for anything but the beginning of the path to knowledge: a path that requires much work, experimentation and observation before knowledge is even within sight. While it has become common to use faux "science" in supernatural arguments, it remains and will always remain philosophy and belief rather than knowledge.
That is not to say that philosophy and belief are worthless, for they have contributed nearly as much as science has if not more. That they are on different "levels" does not indicate any relative "height" of those levels: all levels have value to the human race. But it does say that truth and knowledge are not the purview of those other levels, not their goal or destination. That remains firmly in the realm of science - one has only to look at the flat earth or earth centrism beliefs and consider how and why those beliefs arose to understand this. Truth was not the goal there, but rather an attempt to force belief to match and agree with other beliefs.
"Your quest for proof is a quest for proof that will satisfy you personally. Well join the club because that has been going on for thousands of years. Buddha went on that quest for example."
And there is no problem with being satisfied with a belief...as long as it remains acknowledged as belief and not truth or reality. Problems only occur when belief is spread, when it is demanded or even suggested that it is knowledge and truth need not or should not be examined or searched for because it might destroy that belief. This again, can bee seen in what happened to Galileo or Darwin - it can be seen in the requirements to teach children ID or other unproven religious beliefs.
You missed one : "I personally take ALL science and math with a grain of salt."
I know the difference between a Theorem and actual proof. I've not said M theory proves God exists only that there are "maths proofs" which is a totally different expression. Maths proofs are just maths proofs. Of course these days math has advanced beyond our wildest dreams. New theorems by respected scientists should be taken on board and not dismissed as garbage.
LOL - You say there are "math proofs" and immediately submit Godel and M theory. What is a reader supposed to expect - that those submissions have nothing to do with the preceding comments? They will obviously assume that Godel and M theory are the "proofs" you refer to! And promptly complain when neither one is anything of the kind!
One should absolutely take scientific discoveries with a grain of salt...or a pound of it. The media often blows it into something it never was (witness the "god particle" that was a total invention of media) or it can be mistake or even fraud by the scientist making the announcement. It's also why peer review is so necessary - something not done in other fields like philosophy or even metaphysics where opinion is the only thing offered, without any effort to provide repeatable observations or tests.
But there is nothing particularly new in the math of M theory. Math has used multiple dimensions in attempts to describe reality for hundreds of years, and the only thing new in M theory (mathematically) is the addition of one or more dimensions to the mathematical descriptions of what was happening. It in no way proves, or attempts to prove, a god; just a description of what we see happening around us.
For the hundredth time a "maths proof " is not actual final proof. I'm merely giving religious maths proofs the same equality as other maths proofs but you're not. Surely I can't be clearer than that.
Then you are denying the legitimacy of any "maths proofs" (logical deduction) for you have presented nothing of any proof at all. Logic, and even numeric manipulation, can produce proof of things if done correctly and true axioms/premises are used, but there is nothing at all in your "proofs" that come to that standard.
You know - you have to know - that Godels "proofs" were debunked long ago. You know, or should know, that there is zero math of multidimensional string theory that even addresses a god, let alone proving one. Yet you continue to call these things proof of a god! The only thing you've done is to try and give religious philosophy the same standing as math and science by using the same terminology. And the only thing you've actually accomplished is to degrade the quality of your own claims as it is a ploy that anyone can see through.
I keep saying "maths proofs" are not final proof per se. I keep saying that I put religious maths proofs on a par with any other maths proof. Somehow you can't accept a maths proof if it deals with religion.
Godel's God maths proof has been confirmed not debunked.
Dr Kaku can't stop talking about God and string theory. All this is established.
Except that the "math proofs" you supply aren't proof of anything at all. They aren't evidence, they are nothing but opinions of scientists.
"Most criticism of Gödel's proof is aimed at its axioms: As with any proof in any logical system, if the axioms the proof depends on are doubted, then the conclusions can be doubted. This is particularly applicable to Gödel's proof, because it rests on five axioms that are all questionable. The proof does not say that the conclusion has to be correct, but rather that if you accept the axioms, then the conclusion is correct.
Many philosophers have questioned the axioms. The first layer of attack is simply that there are no arguments presented that give reasons why the axioms are true. A second layer is that these particular axioms lead to unwelcome conclusions. This line of thought was argued by Sobel, showing that if the axioms are accepted, they lead to a modal collapse where every statement that is true is necessarily true."
Pretty thoroughly debunked. Pretty plain that his "proof" is based on axioms that he did not and cannot show to be true. Of course I showed you the same thing long ago, but it doesn't give the desired result (proof of god) so it is ignored.
Hooray for Dr Kaku! That he talks about god, that he believes in a god is established: now how about he prove his version of god instead of just saying it is there?
But I cannot disagree that these types of things are as reasonable as any other religious "proof". They just aren't "maths proofs" in any sense of the word.
Patients who have undergone hemi-spherectomies (ie resection of one cerebral hemisphere, and leaving behind the corpus callosum, midbrain) for various medical conditions for which the procedure was indicated and therefore performed did retain their memories, and did did not have any disabling loss of cognition, personality and intelligence. Aren't all of these-- memories, cognition, personality, intellect---your definition of what the mind is, as mentioned in your post?
If according to your formulation, the brain is the mind and vice versa, why didn't these patients lose any of those parameters of the mind that you mentioned. Well you might say , he still has half a brain, but then again, shouldn't have these patients also lose half of their memories, cognitive abilities, personality traits, and intellectual capacities?
You are neglecting to consider that some patients DID lose some of what makes them, them. And that not half the brain is removed - only portions of the half. And that older patients are either not indicated for the surgery or, if it is performed anyway, that they lost far more than very young patients.
All of which indicates again the physicality of the brain - younger patients can re-grow the connections necessary while older ones can't. How do we know a 4 month old hasn't had their personality changed? Or their cognitive abilities or memory? Memory is not contained in a specific location, but in many along with the pattern of interconnections. Same with the rest of it.
Of course patients will loss some but most if not all of those are related to loss of physical functions and abilities. When it comes to hemi-spherectomies, doctors have very strict criteria or guidelines in terms of what patients to select and what their medical conditions are that could be appropriate for the procedure.
It is true that kid's brain are more "plastic" than adult's, thus hemispherectomies are considered more frequently in children, whose expected longer life spans are also a significant consideration in the decision making process.
The fact is, patients do not lose half the totality of their mind even if they have lost half of their brains.
No. They don't lose the totality, or even half, their mind. The question is "why", though, without automatically producing the desired answer that the mind is not the brain. I've offered several possibilities, but you seem unwilling to consider them, sticking to an answer that can never be proven to be true.
And there is another problem as well: if the mind is discorporeal, where is the connection to the brain that allows the use of that "computer"? In the half removed? Or are there millions (billions?, trillions?) of connections?
Can you clarify what those "other options" are that you referred to in the above post.
There is absolutely no reason in the world to think that the brain is just like a computer ( even though most of its functions are physically and chemically mechanistic), the simple reason being that its supremely integrative anatomy and physiology allows it to be the conduit for the energy that then elevates its merely physical/chemical attributes to the purely mental/transcendental. The transition from the material to the immaterial is what is truly mystifying, and scientific empiricism we hope could unlock that mystery.
Well, it's only mystifying if you require that the energy not be electricity and that it is transcendental. "Mystifying" and "transcendental" kind of hand in hand as there can never be any knowledge to be had.
But if we don't fall into the trap of applying definitions or answers without actually knowing anything it's pretty simple, although carrying it out is beyond anything we can do...as of yet - it will happen with silicon rather than carbon. Or with Carbon - I recently read of Carbon nanotubes that may be used one day to replace transistors.
Don't hold your breath... the process of de-mystifying may yet come but not in your or my lifetime. Meanwhile try to keep an open brain....oops I meant to say open mind... that's the best you can do at this juncture.
As someone told me once: " An open mind keeps you attuned to life's endless possibilities."
Or it won't. Nearly all of the definitions of the transcendental I've come across includes the same as god does: that they cannot be detected by any means.
Of course, a definition does not mean existence, and the functions performed by what are considered transcendental things, events, etc. may very well be detectable. There may be a disembodied "mind" out there for every individual, but ignorance of how the brain operates, the nuts and bolts of the thing, is insufficient reason to think that such a mind actually exists. That "mystifying" (acknowledgement of ignorance) just isn't enough reason to make up an answer...unless we're going to actively pursue showing it to be factual.
Galileo had an open mind, but the closed ones insisting on a god took care of him, but good. I trust you understand the connection here.
The religionists during Galileo's time were so enamored of their supposed God given authority, that they forgot that "mammon" also have something to say about life and its endless perplexities and complexities. Their interpretation of those perplexities and complexities could only be described as myopic, thus their actions in dealing with anyone who might have other explanations for those P&C were also myopic. You know of course that historical interpretation was very kind to Galileo, not the religionists.
The first sentence in your post: " or it won't" implies that no matter how we study the brain, it won't lead to the conclusion that it is separate from the mind. Then your last sentence is hedging again towards the other side of the argument ie that we should continue to study brain function, so we will know. So which side are you in?
The intent was to point out that the "religionists" of the time had closed minds. They already knew all the answers, without ever checking them for veracity or truth, and anything different was not to be allowed. I understand why the priests of Galileo's time were that way, but am somewhat at a loss as to why you seem to be. It seems, from my viewpoint, that I've tried to be fair minded and look for an answer, but all I've gotten is "The mind is immaterial" with nothing more added but the partial hemisphere removal, and to make that really meaningful we'd have to have better information on the surgery, results and most importantly the mind itself. It's why I asked what your definition was, from a functional standpoint rather than physical (you didn't answer).
No, I meant that it might not be "de-mistifyed". That we may never find an answer because the mind is undetectable and cannot be found at all in our universe. Only when it is found and studied exhaustively will it no longer be a mystery: if that cannot be done it will always be mysterious.
We keep studying the brain because it might be the mind. If it is, then understanding the nuts and bolts of the brain automatically produces understanding of the mind. Not the psychology of it, mind you - just the operation and existence.
From the above post, you seem to imply that I am similarly closed minded, like the religionists during Galileo's time. You must know of course how it feels to be barking at the wrong tree since you do it all the time in these forum.
Now what about the mind that I have not defined for you? I subscribe, as you do, to the generally agreed definition of the mind as the reason why we have subjective feelings and awareness, as well as intentionality towards our environment. It is what makes us perceive stimuli and respond to it accordingly. It is what makes us conscious; it's what makes us think and feel subjectively.
The issue of whether the above attributes are solely the responsibility of a physical entity( brain) has been debated ad infinitum and ad nauseam, so I don't think we could settle that issue here. But the reason why I opened up the discussion of hemispherectomy is to advance the idea that the mind is not the effect of a causative physical agent (brain) because as has been reported by neurosurgeons despite dividing the brain in half, it does not result in a corresponding division of the attributes of the mind. In other words, even if you only have half a brain, you still could have a full mind.
Believe me, please, when I say I mean no offense. But I DO feel that your mind is closed: that you demand a disembodied mind and will accept nothing else. I'm not sure why, outside of a predilection towards philosophy and away from scientific endeavors and methodology, but it is what I see.
Part of our trouble communicating is an insistence on terminology and statements that don't make sense.
"It is what makes us perceive stimuli and respond to it accordingly."
Except that the perception of stimuli, by any of our 5 senses, is pretty well understood. Why know why the ear works, and how. Same for vision, smell, etc. The mind plays zero part in perceiving stimuli; it is completely, 100% the function of the brain. Even some of the responses are hardwired into our brain, such as the "fight or flight" response, such as contracting the iris, such as jerking away from pain or the doctors hammer on our knee. While these are likely a function of brain, even that organ may be bypassed in some reaction type responses.
But the mind does create responses as dictated by thought. Except, of course, when the brain can't - when the necessary portions of the brain responsible for thought, memory or even emotion are either disabled or changed (physical damage, chemical imbalance, LSD, etc.) You will never convince me that a disembodied mind that cannot react with anything physical in our universe except it's local brain tissue is directly affected by LSD.
All of the things you attribute to a mind can be, and are, affected by manipulation of brain tissue. The brain IS the mind, then.
The hemispherectomy puzzles me. We KNOW that brain damage does damage that this surgery is reported to not causing. Paralysis. Mood changes, or personality itself (ever deal with a stroke victim?). Memory loss, sometimes returning and sometimes not. Seems to me there are only two possibilities: the surgery does not actually remove half the brain tissue, leaving enough to retain function, and small, very young children both repair the damage and the things we want to know about cannot be measured in such youth. As I say, it is very confusing and does match up with what has been observed for centuries when brain tissue is disturbed.
The brain only receives the various stimuli coming from our 5 physical senses, but it does not perceive them. Reception is definitely NOT perception. Perception not only involves cognitive evaluation of what those stimuli are but also interpreting them consciously and more importantly cogently. It is the mind that does the perception, not the brain.
You seem to have forgotten that before science came to the fore, it was philosophy that advanced our knowledge of the physical world. And I am assuming that it is philosophy who will lead us to the understanding of the non-physical realm.
What we have here is a basic disagreement. You do not believe that a transcendental world exist... I do. And for you to ask for physical evidence of that transcendental world is to say the least non-sensical. Now you may think that that belief of mine is delusional or hallucinatory, but then again it might not. Now am I acting irrationally because of that belief? Absolutely not.
We are in agreement as to receipt of sensory inputs. I would use the word "interpret" rather than "perceive", but that's all. The mind takes those electrical signals entering the brain and interprets them into what it thinks they are through the use of memory and cogitation.
And what did philosophy find? That the earth was center of the universe? That it was flat? That man cannot fly? The lead can become gold? That where Saturn was at the time of your birth determines what you will be? It was out of philosophy that science eventually grew, but philosophy actually discovered very little and that little came closer to following the precepts of science than it did philosophy.
"You do not believe that a transcendental world exist... I do"
Some truth here - I find a transcendental world to have a low probability of existence. On the other hand you find it to have not a high, but 100% probability. There is no question, no "maybe" or "perhaps", but rather a complete, absolute belief that it is there.
And it is THAT which I disagree with. An absolute belief in something you can't show exists, can't find, can't define, can't do anything with. And yes, I find that to be somewhat irrational, particularly when it is acted on or presented as factual as it is based on neither reason, logic or even observation.
based on or in accordance with reason or logic:
"I'm sure there's a perfectly rational explanation"
I do not find a made up answer that satisfies desire without regard to reality to be "rational" or "logical" in the vast majority of cases. Not unless the goal is personal satisfaction or pleasant feelings, anyway. It is neither rational nor logical to go from "I don't know" to "I will therefore decree that this is the answer".
As an example, in the matter of brain/mind - there isn't a single function or attribute that either of us assign to mind that cannot be changed, modified or stopped by manipulation of brain tissue. That leaves the mind as a big ball of nothing - if it exists it has no function, takes no action and has no effect on anything at all. How do we go from that to believing it is there? I don't get it.
Of course the brain is important in the process of cognition, in the sense that if the signals are being received, faintly, erratically or not at all (for whatever reason, medically or otherwise) then the perception definitely is negatively affected. Perception depends on the clarity of the signals the brain is receiving. If there is something wrong with the reception, then it naturally follows that the perception and interpretation would also be skewed.
Now going back to the topic of hemispherectomies. Medical data of patients who have undergone the procedure supports the conclusion that if you remove one hemisphere (whether it be the dominant one, or the other) it does not result in "hemi-mindectomy". ie the mind could not be divided in the same way that the brain could.
note: The word hemi-mindectomy is a self-created lingo and does not exist in Webster's or Wikipedia so don't try looking for it.
Perception depends on the clarity of the signals...and on memory, cogitation and even imagination as well. Example: I was riding with my son when he saw a lion in the empty field we were passing. It startled him enough to jerk the wheel for an instant before recognizing it as a horse. The tail appeared as a male lion's mane in that first glance - his memory of lions perceived what he saw as a lion. His cogitation immediately took over and gave the proper perception. This kind of thing happens to all of us.
And if we manipulate the brain (memory loss from a blow, cogitation loss from a lobotomy, perhaps) then perception is flawed...from brain problems. So what is the mind doing if the brain is carrying out those functions?
And medical data says that a lobotomy destroys not only cogitation but consciousness as well. Any form of self consciousness is destroyed. Damage can kill memory. Neither is then in the mind, but in the brain. That the surgery (that I think both of us are misunderstanding and assuming is far more than it is) contradicts that is a problem, but not one to make the mind immaterial as we know that brain damage interferes or destroys every attribute we give to the mind. It DOES mean that we don't understand enough about brain operation, but not that the mind is in another dimension or something.
For a person who claims to be doing a maths course there is no excuse to mix up "maths proof" with "proved" as they have two different meanings.
OK I'll do some homework for you.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In mathematics, a proof is a deductive argument for a mathematical statement. In the argument, other previously established statements, such as theorems, can be used. In principle, a proof can be traced back to self-evident or assumed statements, known as axioms, along with accepted rules of inference. Axioms may be treated as conditions that must be met before the statement applies. Proofs are examples of deductive reasoning and are distinguished from inductive or empirical arguments; a proof must demonstrate that a statement is always true (occasionally by listing all possible cases and showing that it holds in each), rather than enumerate many confirmatory cases. An unproved proposition that is believed to be true is known as a conjecture.
Proofs employ logic but usually include some amount of natural language which usually admits some ambiguity. In fact, the vast majority of proofs in written mathematics can be considered as applications of rigorous informal logic. Purely formal proofs, written in symbolic language instead of natural language, are considered in proof theory. The distinction between formal and informal proofs has led to much examination of current and historical mathematical practice, quasi-empiricism in mathematics, and so-called folk mathematics (in both senses of that term). The philosophy of mathematics is concerned with the role of language and logic in proofs, and mathematics as a language".
Now I can't find the statement you're replying to. That's OK, though, as I think I did make some statement as to the fact that math can't prove anything. It was a sloppy statement and, as you correctly point out, untrue. Allow me to expand the meaning a little more as to what I was trying to say.
First, I view logic and math as two different fields of study: WIKI is rather lumping them together as one. That's OK, too, as logic is very often used in math, but it does take us a little further away from "pure" math, which concerns itself only with numbers and manipulation of numbers. Even the WIKI link says that; it is titled "Mathematical proof", not "logical proof" or even "proof". It deals with logic in the world of number manipulation and everything in the long article continues that discussion.
Now logic can be used (often in conjunction with math) to prove a statement. An example might to be predict the time it takes for a cannon ball dropped from the Tower of Pisa to reach the ground: math can correctly predict the outcome...when combined with previous observations and proven theories. It can manipulate the numbers provided in those theories to produce a correct answer and that answer can be verified by experimentation as a check that the math or logic was correct.
Logic, however, is more versatile and can be used to find new truths in addition to expanding old ones. Logic has it's own problems and limitations though, just as math alone does.
"In the argument, other previously established statements, such as theorems, can be used."
"...a proof has to meet communal statements of rigor; an argument considered vague or incomplete may be rejected."
These two statements (both from the same article in WIKI) are of extreme importance. That "other previously established statements" is not being met. You've chosen to present your arguments as scientific, and must therefore meet the rigorous standards of science, but are failing to do so in favor of using opinions and unproven hypothesis both as axioms and in the proof itself. Godel's work, with it's utter failure in it's axioms, is completely unacceptable in the science world. You appear to be going from the math of M theory to a god without ever having the theory go there at all...because a few big names present pure, unadulterated opinions that a god exists. Not because the math leads to a god, not because of any proof anyone at all has presented, but because they've formed an opinion. That isn't proof, and it isn't science. The rigor necessary just is not there.
I'm presenting ideas in a HP forum as philosophy. I'm referring to maths and science indirectly in the same way a journalist or even a scientist might when they are drawing philosophical conclusions from such things as "maths proofs".
M Theory, entanglement, holographic universe ideas, Godel etc are beginning to paint a very solid picture of the "God of Einstein". This is the very real philosophical implication of more and more bizarre maths proofs.
I'm sorry, but you most definitely are NOT presenting maths and science in the same way a scientist might, or even a journalist.
While a scientist might depart from his science training and speak of his personal philosophy, it most certainly does not represent how a scientist would ever present "maths proofs".
You are attempting to follow others that use scientific lingo as scientific evidence or proof of philosophical ideas without also using the methodology and requirements. It doesn't work, and claiming that scientific concepts apply to philosophical arguments doesn't either.
I refer you to Gödel again: he came up with more than one theorem that directly challenged the prevailing atheist philosophy that science briefly took. His Incompleteness Theorem for example proves (to even Hawking) that philosophically speaking science can never answer all questions.
Gödel was always challenging atheist assumptions implicit in their approach which he saw as affecting the actual truth.
Do you accept any of Gödel's work or is it all garbage to you?
Philosophically speaking. As in "I don't know anything about how much we can learn, but will declare there are things that are impossible to know.". It's a nice philosophy, but without connection to reality as philosophy cannot know anything of the sort.
The connection to reality is scientific research and hard math.
I take it you therefore don't think all of Gödel's math is just garbage?
The axioms themselves are supported by his math which is faultless. It is a symbiosis. There is no fault in the axioms unless we take an atheists emotive view. Both the axioms and math are flawless. We can't simply support every illogical thing with complex proveable maths. It doesn't work that way.
Atheists are in denial about the perfect axioms. Godel's "perfect" means perfect not unicorn or perfect unicorn etc. It's quite easy to understand once you remove the atheist emotive bias or "rationalization".
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