AuthorTopic: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom  (Read 18395 times)

Offline Ka

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #75 on: January 30, 2017, 04:32:44 PM »
These questions are being asked as if materialism is true. I hope my answers indicate how differently idealists think about things in general. Also, in your third question you are ignoring what I have said two or three times now about the nature of scientific evidence and the limits of science.


1. If consciousness is all around us, and we live in it rather than it inhabits us as  my notion, why cant mechanical systems obtain consciousness if we dont know the mechanisms of how we obtain it?

Short answer: We don't obtain consciousness. Rather, consciousness creates a body, to experience physical reality.

Longer answer: A machine operates according to strict spatiotemporal rules. How, then, could it be aware of time passing? It goes from one state to the next. To be aware of change (which is another way of saying "aware of time passing") it must somehow unify a sequence of states into one "gestalt" (that is, "an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts"). A common mistake people make is to think of "now" as a point in time. Actually, it lasts several tenths of a second. (Try it: watch a bird flying past, and -- if you think consciousness is nothing but brain states -- note that to know that the bird is moving you have somehow unified several thousand sequential brain states into one "gestalt". How could the brain do that? To appeal to some meta-state is to get yourself into an infinite regress.) In other words, to be aware of time passing we must in some sense be operating outside of time. How do we design a machine to be outside of time? One possible answer would be to appeal to some sort of quantum machine. But this amounts to saying that quantum reality is fundamentally non-spatiotemporal which, if one thinks it through, means so is everything. Which, by the way, is what mystics have been saying for millennia. Perhaps we should pay attention to them.

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2. If it takes an organic brain to achieve consciousness, at what level does it obtain it? simple life forms, complex, vertebrates? What about trees and plants?

If consciousness is fundamental, then it doesn't make sense to ask "when does a body obtain it". Consciousness creates bodies, from plants to human bodies, as well as the mineral background in which to operate. (Note: they are not just created and then exist on their own. Rather, consciousness (human and non-human) is constantly sustaining them in existence. Another big topic.)


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3. There should be physical manifestations of consciousness if it is as you describe. Measurable with experiment. Otherwise how does it manifest itself? Other than saying it is so, how can we prove it? This is where it gets religious in nature to me. It is because it says it is.

Everything we sense is a physical manifestation of consciousness. Indeed, that's what the senses are: the manifesting of physical reality.

It is no more "it is because it says it is" (or provable) than is materialism. It is a hypothesis. It is a better hypothesis than materialism, because it can explain all of our experience, while materialism doesn't even have an explanation for experience itself.

Offline RE

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #76 on: January 30, 2017, 04:47:43 PM »
If materialism is true then one's mind is nothing but the electro-chemical activity of the brain, which is deterministic. Hence, when you think you make a choice, what is "really" going on is that the brain is one in state rather than another. But which state it is in was determined by deterministic laws from its previous state, which in turn....back, one presumes, to the Big Bang. One could appeal to quantum indeterminacy, but then (as physicists will point out) you run up against the Law of Large Numbers. True, an electron might jump way one way rather than another, but once you get to big things like neurons, things are effectively just as deterministic as in classical physics.

It's not deterministic, because the system is chaotic and there are an infinite number of possible states.  In and of itself, materialism doesn't negate the possibility of free will.

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When I say "one can't live" believing one has no will, I mean that one would be in a constant state of severe cognitive dissonance. You couldn't logically blame or praise anyone for anything. Your belief in materialism is itself utterly determined, as is your opponent's belief.

With an infinite number of possible states you most certainly could blame or praise someone, depending on the state your brain is in.

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Well, I would call you a dualist in that you think matter and energy are a different category of reality than is consciousness. And so, if you wanted to defend it philosophically, you are faced with the problem of how your will makes the brain send the signals to your fingers to type what you choose to say.

As to whether consciousness can create matter, God is conscious, and since there isn't anything else out of which matter could be created than God's consciousness, then matter must be created by consciousness. Now if you add a bunch of theological theory and strain it through an idealist vocabulary, one can get to the point of saying that what we consider material things and events are thoughts of God. Energy, under this theory, is the will of God being applied to think these thoughts.

I never said God is consciousness, that's your theory.  I said God created consciousness, along with creating Matter & Energy.  In order to be able to create all those things, God has to be above them and beyond them in some inexplicable way.  The only thing we know for sure is all these things exist, because we perceive them with our senses.  You have to accept what your senses tell you, that's the only way you interact with the world.

There's no evidence that you can create matter and energy out of consciousness, although matter and energy seem to act as a vessel for consciousness in the human brain.  Other animals with brains also appear to be conscious, since they do things like hunt, take care of their young, etc.  Plants don't show much sign of being conscious, although they do react to the environment.

The main question you can't answer with anything but your own belief is whether consciousness exists in the absence of matter & energy, and to me it makes more sense if it does.  I can't see why consciousness would simply pop into what was previously just organic matter, unless it exists in the ether until it finds a host brain to pop into.

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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #77 on: January 30, 2017, 04:53:07 PM »
These questions are being asked as if materialism is true. I hope my answers indicate how differently idealists think about things in general. Also, in your third question you are ignoring what I have said two or three times now about the nature of scientific evidence and the limits of science.


1. If consciousness is all around us, and we live in it rather than it inhabits us as  my notion, why cant mechanical systems obtain consciousness if we dont know the mechanisms of how we obtain it?

Short answer: We don't obtain consciousness. Rather, consciousness creates a body, to experience physical reality.

Longer answer: A machine operates according to strict spatiotemporal rules. How, then, could it be aware of time passing? It goes from one state to the next. To be aware of change (which is another way of saying "aware of time passing") it must somehow unify a sequence of states into one "gestalt" (that is, "an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts"). A common mistake people make is to think of "now" as a point in time. Actually, it lasts several tenths of a second. (Try it: watch a bird flying past, and -- if you think consciousness is nothing but brain states -- note that to know that the bird is moving you have somehow unified several thousand sequential brain states into one "gestalt". How could the brain do that? To appeal to some meta-state is to get yourself into an infinite regress.) In other words, to be aware of time passing we must in some sense be operating outside of time. How do we design a machine to be outside of time? One possible answer would be to appeal to some sort of quantum machine. But this amounts to saying that quantum reality is fundamentally non-spatiotemporal which, if one thinks it through, means so is everything. Which, by the way, is what mystics have been saying for millennia. Perhaps we should pay attention to them.

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2. If it takes an organic brain to achieve consciousness, at what level does it obtain it? simple life forms, complex, vertebrates? What about trees and plants?

If consciousness is fundamental, then it doesn't make sense to ask "when does a body obtain it". Consciousness creates bodies, from plants to human bodies, as well as the mineral background in which to operate. (Note: they are not just created and then exist on their own. Rather, consciousness (human and non-human) is constantly sustaining them in existence. Another big topic.)


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3. There should be physical manifestations of consciousness if it is as you describe. Measurable with experiment. Otherwise how does it manifest itself? Other than saying it is so, how can we prove it? This is where it gets religious in nature to me. It is because it says it is.

Everything we sense is a physical manifestation of consciousness. Indeed, that's what the senses are: the manifesting of physical reality.

It is no more "it is because it says it is" (or provable) than is materialism. It is a hypothesis. It is a better hypothesis than materialism, because it can explain all of our experience, while materialism doesn't even have an explanation for experience itself.

I'm pretty sure I agree with everything you wrote here Ka :icon_sunny:

This right here:

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But this amounts to saying that quantum reality is fundamentally non-spatiotemporal which, if one thinks it through, means so is everything. Which, by the way, is what mystics have been saying for millennia. Perhaps we should pay attention to them.

Is awesome! 

I love how you can use logic and reason to arrive at the fact that consciousness creates the body.  God is consciousness.  We are God...at least we are using a Godlike program.  Maybe because God wants to understand consciousness? 

This is why I love the worldview set forth in The Matrix .  You just have to substitute the machine for God and you have an exact replica of what our reality is. Well, not exact, but as close as I've seen for a movie.  God created the Matrix in which we live.  I think God created other levels of existence which can be experienced by the human mind.  The human mind being God's mind, at least at the highest level of some type of reporting ego.  I suppose God's mind would be the Akashic record.  Namely, God's mind is everything that has existed and everything that ever will exist, and all of that in the present moment. 

Offline Ka

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #78 on: January 30, 2017, 05:08:42 PM »
Bravo Sir :eusa_clap:

You just upped my spiritual game...thanks :emthup:

What say you to this:

Reality has just always existed as the alpha and omega.  Reality is God. What we experience with our senses being reality.  With the caveat that we have more senses then are commonly used.  Like whatever sense you would ascribe to an Oneironaut...which is what I am.  In amateur one, but in training.  I've been dabbling with it since I was 18.  Currently I am not dabbling.  I have a dream journal that I regularly hand write dreams into. 

Currently my unconscious dream mind is my study.  I know that sounds egotistical, but I also know that Ka understands that it is not.  One cannot help anybody if one's mind is not one's own...

You're more than welcome. While sticking within the bounds of philosophy I have to acknowledge that I can't prove anything, that it is just "commitment to a hypothesis". But in the long run it will be oneironauts and folks sitting on zafus that provide the proof.

Offline JRM

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #79 on: January 30, 2017, 05:19:12 PM »

True enough, but I would call it "commitment to a hypothesis", rather than a belief. I use the word 'belief' for that which it doesn't occur to me to doubt, like that if I let go of a rock it will fall to the ground. I don't know that idealism is true, but since it seems to me so much more plausible than the alternatives, I commit to it, in the sense of assuming it is true, and see where it leads. Some interesting places, as it turns out. A commitment to materialism, on the other hand, doesn't seem to lead anywhere. For one thing, it denies freedom of will, and nobody can live as if they had no will.

If we're ranking plausibility by degrees, I'll side against both materialism and idealism, and with holism.  However, this sort of holism is not much like holism as it would be described by reductionist materialists or reductionist idealists.  I think we're babes in the conceptual woods here -- all of us humans.  We tend to think that one or the other, matter or mind (or consciousness...) is more fundamental or real.  I doubt that either is more real, or that reductionism applies.  The idea that matter is, at base, "dead" and lacking in awareness altogether has never been demonstrated -- and perhaps never could be.  Surely we don't know now to demonstrate that hypothesis now!  We simply presume this because it was a basic assumption of early Modern science, and for no other reason whatsoever (other than there has been little reason to presume otherwise). 

Some kin of panpsychism may be true -- but there must be a thousand versions of panpsychism.

Matter CLEARLY has its own being and properties and isn't the mere plaything of mind/s.  What we may wonder at if the same statement is true when the operative terms are reversed.  To wonder at that is to begin to wonder about fundamental assumptions made by the creators of early modern science.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline luciddreams

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #80 on: January 30, 2017, 05:50:18 PM »

Matter CLEARLY has its own being and properties and isn't the mere plaything of mind/s.  What we may wonder at if the same statement is true when the operative terms are reversed.  To wonder at that is to begin to wonder about fundamental assumptions made by the creators of early modern science.

How could you know that matter is not the plaything of mind/s?

When I'm dreaming, and aware that I'm dreaming, there are very few rules that must be followed in that state.  Meanwhile, the difference between my waking reality, and my dreaming reality, are minimal.  For instance, all of our muscles less the eyes and diaphragm are paralyzed.  However, what we process when conscious of the dream state, is being processed with the same mental hardware we use in waking life.  The only difference truly is that one of the realities is being generated inside of the mind entirely while the other is generated with external stimuli from the reality of the world "out there."  The world that we all share in meat suits (which I believe my body is my temple...I just see the humor in "meat suit".) 

To our experience of reality, between the dream state, and the waking state, there is literally no difference to the awareness. 

The dream world is just as "real" as the waking world as filtered through our senses.  It's just in the dream world we can go to other worlds where there are more senses to be utilized.  This is the realm of the real time double and the astral plane, and apparently if you keep going, the last stop is the Akashic Record where the mind of God is catalogued...so to speak. 

Recognizing that "speaking" or communicating about God is already not God...or the enlightenment of Buddha...Nirvana...Heaven...what have you. 

Offline JRM

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #81 on: January 30, 2017, 06:47:12 PM »

Matter CLEARLY has its own being and properties and isn't the mere plaything of mind/s.  What we may wonder at if the same statement is true when the operative terms are reversed.  To wonder at that is to begin to wonder about fundamental assumptions made by the creators of early modern science.

How could you know that matter is not the plaything of mind/s?

When I'm dreaming, and aware that I'm dreaming, there are very few rules that must be followed in that state.  Meanwhile, the difference between my waking reality, and my dreaming reality, are minimal.  For instance, all of our muscles less the eyes and diaphragm are paralyzed.  However, what we process when conscious of the dream state, is being processed with the same mental hardware we use in waking life.  The only difference truly is that one of the realities is being generated inside of the mind entirely while the other is generated with external stimuli from the reality of the world "out there."  The world that we all share in meat suits (which I believe my body is my temple...I just see the humor in "meat suit".) 

To our experience of reality, between the dream state, and the waking state, there is literally no difference to the awareness. 

The dream world is just as "real" as the waking world as filtered through our senses.  It's just in the dream world we can go to other worlds where there are more senses to be utilized.  This is the realm of the real time double and the astral plane, and apparently if you keep going, the last stop is the Akashic Record where the mind of God is catalogued...so to speak. 

Recognizing that "speaking" or communicating about God is already not God...or the enlightenment of Buddha...Nirvana...Heaven...what have you.

I can fly, without aid of wings, in my lucid dreams.  I can't do so upon waking.  Nor can you.  Nuff said.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline RE

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #82 on: January 30, 2017, 06:53:43 PM »
If we're ranking plausibility by degrees, I'll side against both materialism and idealism, and with holism.

Holism is just another another word for God, since God is what links all things together, Matter, Energy & Consciousness.  God is the whole, the totality of existence as we can perceive it.

As Homo Saps, we have a pretty limited view of what the whole actually is, and even determining what the parts are that make up the whole is pretty tough.  Then if you add the concept that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts, you add another layer of complexity to figuring out the nature of the Whole, or God, however you wish to phrase that concept.

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Offline RE

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #83 on: January 30, 2017, 10:03:59 PM »
But in the long run it will be oneironauts and folks sitting on zafus that provide the proof.

Now those were two new words for me.  :icon_sunny:

I'm not convinced either of these classes of Homo Saps will ever provide any proof, just more argument and philosophy.

Besides that, how long is the "Long Run", and how much time do they have to come up with this Proof? ???  :icon_scratch:  Clock is counting down on a MAX of 300M years left to resolve these questions!  Given the progress to date, I think the Oneironauts will run out of time before they come up with the Final Proof.

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Offline Ka

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #84 on: January 31, 2017, 12:42:05 AM »
If we're ranking plausibility by degrees, I'll side against both materialism and idealism, and with holism.  However, this sort of holism is not much like holism as it would be described by reductionist materialists or reductionist idealists.

The word I use rather than 'holism' is 'nondualism', which has a longer history and doesn't sound as woo-wooey. Idealism can be nondualist or it can hide a subtle dualism. I'm for the former, but that argument takes a hell of a lot more carefully chosen vocabulary than I can attempt here (actually, I have tried -- that's the Coleridge stuff).

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  I think we're babes in the conceptual woods here -- all of us humans.

Hence one studies philosophy, which is precisely the discipline for working on our conceptual limitations.


 
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We tend to think that one or the other, matter or mind (or consciousness...) is more fundamental or real.  I doubt that either is more real, or that reductionism applies.

Then what is fundamental? Something (or some non-thing) has to be. Keep in mind that when saying "mentality is fundamental" one is not referring to human minds, which are derivative.

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The idea that matter is, at base, "dead" and lacking in awareness altogether has never been demonstrated -- and perhaps never could be.  Surely we don't know now to demonstrate that hypothesis now!  We simply presume this because it was a basic assumption of early Modern science, and for no other reason whatsoever (other than there has been little reason to presume otherwise). 

Worse than that. At the start (in the 17th century) scientists did not deny what they called "occult properties" in nature, but decided to concentrate on the non-occult, that is, measurable properties. Nothing wrong with that. It was only later that the bad guys claimed that the measurable was all that exists. The reason I harp on the evolution of consciousness (the Barfield stuff) is that the evidence indicates that in former times those "occult properties" were not hidden. They became occult, which is what allowed natural science to develop.

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Some kin of panpsychism may be true -- but there must be a thousand versions of panpsychism.

The trouble with panpsychism is that it usually is expressed as the formula "everything has consciousness". That implies that everything also has a nonconscious aspect, which makes it dualist. If, instead, one say everything is consciousness, one is idealist.

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Matter CLEARLY has its own being and properties and isn't the mere plaything of mind/s.

What is clear to me is that assuming there is something outside experience is unwarranted, unnecessary, and unscientific. If one assumes there is stuff that is outside any or all experience one is faced with the intractable problem of how minds and that stuff interact.


Offline Ka

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #85 on: January 31, 2017, 12:54:57 AM »
But in the long run it will be oneironauts and folks sitting on zafus that provide the proof.

Now those were two new words for me.  :icon_sunny:

I'm not convinced either of these classes of Homo Saps will ever provide any proof, just more argument and philosophy.

Besides that, how long is the "Long Run", and how much time do they have to come up with this Proof? ???  :icon_scratch:  Clock is counting down on a MAX of 300M years left to resolve these questions!  Given the progress to date, I think the Oneironauts will run out of time before they come up with the Final Proof.

RE

Well, what I meant is that these practices become more common, to the extent that society as a whole engages in them because they have been shown to be effective. And I think, based on the pace of the evolution of consciousness that it may not take more than a hundred or so years. A thousand at most.

Offline RE

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #86 on: January 31, 2017, 12:56:05 AM »
What is clear to me is that assuming there is something outside experience is unwarranted, unnecessary, and unscientific. If one assumes there is stuff that is outside any or all experience one is faced with the intractable problem of how minds and that stuff interact.

I thought you were in the camp that believes in paranormal experience, mystics and so forth?  That's all "unscientific" stuff.  Then we already agreed that philosophy is around to try to resolve questions that science cannot resolve.

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Offline Ka

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #87 on: January 31, 2017, 01:37:46 AM »
What is clear to me is that assuming there is something outside experience is unwarranted, unnecessary, and unscientific. If one assumes there is stuff that is outside any or all experience one is faced with the intractable problem of how minds and that stuff interact.

I thought you were in the camp that believes in paranormal experience, mystics and so forth?

I am.

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That's all "unscientific" stuff.  Then we already agreed that philosophy is around to try to resolve questions that science cannot resolve.

RE

Assuming stuff exists outside of experience is a metaphysical addition to science, hence unscientific. Many materialists and dualists seem to think science is based on that addition, so all I am saying is that it is not. Science -- good science -- is metaphysically neutral.

Paranormal/mystical experience, on the other hand, I call unscientific because it is anecdotal, hence not controllable in repeated experiments. While it can convince the person experiencing it, we just have to take their word for it. Which leaves philosophy for the rest of us. Actually, there are people who are scientifically examining paranormal activities, in the sense of gathering data and running statistics on them. The problem, though, is like all scientific results of that sort, in sociology, psychology, etc., one gets into major debates on how conclusive it is, questioning methodology, etc. So I tend to ignore it.

Offline RE

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #88 on: January 31, 2017, 01:50:57 AM »
What is clear to me is that assuming there is something outside experience is unwarranted, unnecessary, and unscientific. If one assumes there is stuff that is outside any or all experience one is faced with the intractable problem of how minds and that stuff interact.

I thought you were in the camp that believes in paranormal experience, mystics and so forth?

I am.

Quote
That's all "unscientific" stuff.  Then we already agreed that philosophy is around to try to resolve questions that science cannot resolve.

RE

Assuming stuff exists outside of experience is a metaphysical addition to science, hence unscientific. Many materialists and dualists seem to think science is based on that addition, so all I am saying is that it is not. Science -- good science -- is metaphysically neutral.

Paranormal/mystical experience, on the other hand, I call unscientific because it is anecdotal, hence not controllable in repeated experiments. While it can convince the person experiencing it, we just have to take their word for it. Which leaves philosophy for the rest of us. Actually, there are people who are scientifically examining paranormal activities, in the sense of gathering data and running statistics on them. The problem, though, is like all scientific results of that sort, in sociology, psychology, etc., one gets into major debates on how conclusive it is, questioning methodology, etc. So I tend to ignore it.

Yes, but besides being unscientific you also said it was unwarranted and unecessary.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #89 on: January 31, 2017, 05:12:15 AM »
But in the long run it will be oneironauts and folks sitting on zafus that provide the proof.

Now those were two new words for me.  :icon_sunny:

I'm not convinced either of these classes of Homo Saps will ever provide any proof, just more argument and philosophy.



Besides that, how long is the "Long Run", and how much time do they have to come up with this Proof? ???  :icon_scratch:  Clock is counting down on a MAX of 300M years left to resolve these questions!  Given the progress to date, I think the Oneironauts will run out of time before they come up with the Final Proof.

RE

What? No zafu? I have two. I'll loan you one.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 05:24:33 AM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

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