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Messages - Ka

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31
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.

32
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.

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Since there are many more "materialists" than "idealists" out there, more people find nothing worth doubting in that philosophy.  That doesn't mean they are right, it just means you'll have a tough time of convincing any of them you are right.

True, but it does me good, in that it makes me sharpen up my own philosophical position. However, I also think that the more materialists examine their position, the more they will see that it has to end up in the absurdity called "eliminative materialism" that I mentioned.


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Far as Free Will is concerned, first off you have to specify why you believe materialism denies free will, and then second why nobody can live as if they had no will.

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.

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.

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Personally on a philosophical level, I don't find this distinction between materialism and idealism to be very edifying.  I can't even figure out how my own philosophy fits into this dichotomy.  It doesn't seem to be materialist, idealist or dualist.  I definitely think consciousness exists outside the physical limitations of the brain, but I don't think consciousness creates matter and energy.  They're all just different aspects of the totality we experience as "reality" while walking around in a meat suit.  Whatever created all of that reality would be what is generally referred to as "God".

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.

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Geopolitics / Re: Trump Travel Ban
« on: January 30, 2017, 12:51:32 PM »

However, I have to comment on this complete and utter stupidity in the first week of Trumpty-Dumpty's reign as POTUS.

This was so poorly orchestrated it is beyond belief!  :o  Even Modi's demonetization in India was better planned!  The whole Immigration Dept is in sheer chaos and nobody knows if they should follow the POTUS order, or the rescinding order of some Federal Judge? ???  The fucking MSM is simply going WILD with this, and meanwhile hundreds if not thousands of people are in some kind of Limbo Land.  Even if they have a Green Card, if they happen to be overseas visiting somebody, they can't get back in the door.

However, bad and stupid as it is, just imagine the NIGHTMARE of trying to deport all the illegal Mexicans and other SA folks floating around out there in the FSoA!  These numbers are in the MILLIONS, not hundreds or thousands.  It's just nuts, and I am beginning to become convinced that in fact The Donald is quite insane.  He doesn't seem to have a CLUE about planning, and shooting from the hip every day on Twitter just keeps piling on his problems. He's not making ANY friends, ANYWHERE, not even in his own party!  Overseas, he is a complete pariah, with the exception of Vlad the Impaler who still seems to like him, but frankly I do not give that relationship a long lasting timeline.

Personality-wise, this won't cause The Donald to back down, rather he will DOUBLE-DOWN instead and become still more confrontational.  If he has the Koch Brothers against him, he is in some Deep Doo-Doo.

I am having trouble seeing The Donald staying above ground level for a full term at this point.  And I am not referencing his Underground Bunker with the Ford Models either.

Apparently there is the "Trump as clever negotiator" theory which some like Scott Adams seems to be suggesting. That is, at the start you give an outrageously high bid so that you end up closer to what you want. Trouble is, that doesn't work in politics. First, you get slammed for being outrageous, and then when you lower your bid you will get slammed for "caving in", and what you get slammed for is what gets remembered. It also doesn't work in geopolitics, where your initial outrageous bid could start a war, and the backing down is seen as weakness.

35
What it "IS" can't be proved in any logical sense of the word.  To make up for the space in between what can be scientifically "proved" and what a philosophical argument is, you insert your BELIEFS.  You can then argue for why your belief is right and another one is wrong, but you can never prove it to someone who holds a different set of beliefs.

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.

36
On AI: I see no evidence in your argument that AI cant become conscious.

There is no scientific evidence either way, which is why it is a philosophical question, not a scientific one. I gave a philosophical argument for why consciousness transcends space and time, and so no strictly spatiotemporal mechanism could produce it. For you to maintain that AI can produce consciousness you need to give a philosophical argument for how that can happen. Otherwise, you are just saying "I believe".

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I believe consciousness is real, I just don't think it is supernatural.

In spite of all the anecdotal evidence that it is?

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Where is the evidence for the statement; "Only a non-spatiotemporal machine could produce consciousness."

See above.

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If the brain is a spatiotemporal machine then where does consciousness come from?

As an idealist (see below), I hold that consciousness does not come from anywhere. It is fundamental. Brains, along with the rest of physical reality come from consciousness.

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If it outside the physical realm, show me the evidence.

I have already addressed this. Science can only work with physical evidence, so to insist that only scientific evidence counts is to beg the question. On the other hand, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence for non-physical existence, if you are willing to look for it, such as Monroe's book.


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Might well be a black swan moment if the singularity occurs,so we cant dismiss it without some reasoning.

I have been giving reasons for dismissing it, and why the singularity idea is so much hooey. So far I haven't seen any reasons for why it shouldn't be dismissed.

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What is your definition of consciousness and do animals have consciousness?

As an idealist I hold that there is nothing but consciousness, that nothing "has" consciousness, rather, we all are consciousness. As it is fundamental, it cannot be defined. Rather, everything else must be defined (and explained) in terms of consciousness.

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I am a little light on in this department. I am interested in your explanation now RE has pumped up your credentials!

I'm an amateur, but I have read a lot in philosophy and theology. What I hope to get across is that the positions we take on AI, on religion, etc., are based on our metaphysical presuppositions. You presuppose materialism, while I presuppose idealism. Most people presuppose dualism. The question is: how deeply have you examined your presupposition? Most people don't examine theirs at all. Here's the basic situation:

Materialism holds that the appearance of mentality is reducible to non-mentality.
Idealism holds that the appearance of non-mentality is reducible to mentality.
Dualism holds that mentality and non-mentality are both real, and neither is reducible to the other.

There is no scientific evidence that can discern which of these three is likely to be true. There is anecdotal evidence that indicates that materialism is false (though it doesn't discern between dualism and idealism).

The materialist has the intractable problem of how to reduce mentality to non-mentality.
The dualist has the intractable problem of how mentality and non-mentality interact.
The idealist has the tractable problem of how to explain the appearance of non-mentality.

By "intractable" I mean that after centuries no one has any idea of how to even guess at a solution. I consider the idealist's problem as tractable because there are ways to explain the appearance of non-mentality. The most common one is to note that there is the appearance of non-mentality in dreams, so waking consciousness could be a shared dream, which to be shared must follow strict rules, which we call the laws of classical physics. And there are other ways to think about it. If you read my "Is God a Doomer" piece, you will see reasons to think that the appearance of non-mentality came about through the evolution of consciousness. Anyway, all this is why I am an idealist. Why are you a materialist?

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Christianity and Buddhism?
Nope and nope.

Read the christian holly books. Full of death to blasphemers, adulterers, sodomites and many others. Promotes persecution of the same. Beating disobedient wives. Slavery, rape and forced marriage. After death there is eternal punishment and torment which gives those living reason to torment those they think are going to hell while still alive.
Plenty of people who call themselves Christians, including some clergy don't believe this stuff, problem is their religious doctrine is pretty unambiguous in their need to adhere to it. Thank goodness for religious disobedience!

None of this is Christian doctrine. "Doctrine" means "what the Church teaches". And while there are extremist sects that might teach white supremacy or such, no mainstream denomination teaches any of this. (You did see my note on Leviticus, right? For that matter, no Reform, Conservative, or Orthodox Jewish denomination teaches this). For example, what the Church teaches is that no one can know the eternal destiny of anyone, so if someone says "you are going to hell" they are violating Christian doctrine. There is also the problem of the difference between what is taught and what many of the laity believe. Many Christians' notions about God are such that the doctrine considers idolatrous. Hence the quote from Chesterton: "It is not that Christianity has been tried and failed, it is that Christianity is hard, and has not yet been tried".

Similarly with the doctrine of karma. If you think of it as a system of reward and punishment, you have got it all wrong.


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Religion makes good people do bad things.

The Christian doctrine of Original Sin explains this. Treating it metaphorically, I agree with it, though I prefer the Vedanta doctrine of Maya as an explanation. But this is another big topic.


37
What does ROFLMAOPIMP stand for?

Rolling On Floor Laughing My Ass Off Pissing In My Pants.

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Consciousness.
If we ever produce a machine that has consciousness, what ever your interpretation of that word means, then the whole mystery will be solved. Yes I think it will happen. Yes I think it is caused by brain activity. I could be wrong. I see no evidence to the contrary at the moment.

Only a non-spatiotemporal machine could produce consciousness. Consider the basic pieces of a spatiotemporal machine, whatever they may be, say transistors. Wire two of them together. There can be no awareness from them greater than that occurring in one transistor. This is because every event is separated in space and/or time from every other event. There is nothing there to grasp two events as a whole, one in one transistor and the other in the other. Now add a third transistor to the network. Again, one is limited to the awareness of one transistor, for the same reason. And so on, no matter how many transistors one adds. Now machines may be made of something other than transistors, but the argument will be the same. Or say one can pass more than a bit over a wire, or the pieces have multiple connections. That would mean that the piece receiving this information must be more complicated than a transistor, and so the problem shows up again within the piece.

Note that the same argument applies to the brain, if it is considered to operate strictly spatiotemporally.

Over two hundred years ago, Pierre Cabanis famously said “The brain secretes thought as the liver secretes bile.” Since then there has been no better theory of how the brain produces thoughts. It has gotten to the point that philosophers who wish to remain materialists are becoming 'mysterians', who say we will never know how consciousness emerges, like Colin McGinn, or 'eliminative materialists', like Dennett, the Churchlands, and Rosenberg, who simply deny that consciousness is real. Talk about reason being corrupted by dogma, there you have it.

For evidence of non-brain-based consciousness I recommend Robert A Monroe's Journeys Out of the Body.

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Religions.
Name me one religion that does not have a doctrine that harms other or encourages the harm of others and I will modify my thoughts. Individuals who do not follow their religious doctrines are to be praised indeed. If we followed the doctrines of the 3 Abrahamic religions in particular to the letter of the law we would all be killing each other for thought crimes, adultery and arguing with your parents among a dozen other reasons. (I pick on them as they are the most familiar to me). I am an Atheist. I am pretty high up on all their hit lists simply because I exist.... Met me, get to know me, disliking me and then wanting to kill me I have no problem with. Telling me I deserve to die and burn for all eternity simply because i don't think like you I have a problem with.

Christianity. Buddhism.
No Christian doctrine in itself harms others. (You are aware, I hope, that orthodox Christian doctrine considers all those Leviticus things, other than the 10 Commandments, to no longer hold.) People will, however, bring other motives into their actions, and twist doctrine to justify the harm they do to others. The same can be said for democracy, marxism, etc. If we followed Christian doctrine to the letter of the law, we would obey the commandment "Thou shalt not kill", and the Golden Rule, and we would forgive, not punish, sinners. Buddhism's five precepts are "Don't kill", "Don't steal", "Don't engage in harmful speech (e.g., lying, gossip), "Don't engage in irresponsible sex", and "Don't take mind-befuddling substances". Now if those were followed to the letter, I see no harm resulting.

On the Hell doctrine. There are still many Christians who believe in it, but they are getting fewer. Those who do, if they are at all theologically aware, will say that Hell is chosen by the individual, in that they would prefer to live without God's Love than with it -- they worship something other than God, e.g., money, or power over others. Even the Catholic Church now accepts the notion if "anonymous Christian", that is, someone who does not believe in Jesus as God and Savior, can still get into Heaven as long as they are not bound to evil, like the money-worshippers.

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 If angels and unicorns exist supposedly they cry and pass wind (Damn unicorn methane is causing global warming!). Hence we should be able to find these excretions and emissions as proof of existence.

You suppose wrongly. Angels, if they exist, are non-physical, meaning they have no physical bodies, and so would not leave physical evidence.

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I will try and keep religion out of my posts, but it always seems to come up when science, denial, thought experiments and nihilism are themes in a conversation. Yes I do have a huge beef with religion. It is one my 4 horsemen. It kills people. It keeps people ignorant. it is all that is bad with humanity concentrated for ease of use. Organised religions hide behind the few good deeds they do to cover up their true evil nature.  Most religions say they have the answers and you have to suspend observations to fit their models, not the other way around. In short: Good people do good deeps: Look out for their fellow man. Bad people do bad deeds: Harm their fellow man. Religion gets otherwise good people to do bad deeds: Homophobia, hate crimes, sexism, bigotry, suicide bombing, persecutions, banish people from communities, and generally permit atrocities because their god says it is right.. There! Out of my system. No more religion.

Yet there are billions of highly religious people who do not kill or throw bombs and consider those who do, whether in the name of religion or not, to be committing grave sins. Which means that you have some other reason for despising religion than all the bad things done in the name of religion, since these people also despise those bad things.

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Ghosts. Hmm. I cant prove they exist or don't exist. I will believe in them when there is scientific proofs.

Ghosts, if they exist, like angels and like God, are not physical entities, but science can only study physical entities. In other words, science is your hammer, and if it doesn't look like a nail you are treating it as non-existent. Meanwhile there is a mountain of evidence for non-physical reality. However, like LD's, it is all anecdotal. This allows the materialist to ignore it, treating it all as lies or delusions. But that treatment comes from a particular metaphysical position (materialism), which science cannot prove or disprove.

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The invisible and the non-existent look just the same.

Thoughts are invisible, yet exist.

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My brain works on electrical and chemical reactions.

Yes, but that doesn't mean your mind does.

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It can be fooled. I have read how Sharmen take magic mushrooms and  all have the same hallucination, hence they believe they all are speaking to similar ghosts or beings not of this plane, as how else would they have a shared experience? They could be. Alternatively, if the same chemicals are put in similar brains, it should produce similar results, hence the similar experiences.  Occams razor.

Here's a question for you. Those who think consciousness emerges from the brain's electro-chemical activity do not, after centuries, have a hint of a clue as to how that can happen. Those who think consciousness in humans correlates with brain activity, but is not caused by brain activity, have various ideas as to how that can happen, and have evidence, albeit anecdotal, of non-physically based consciousness. So which is the better bet?

39
Economics / Re: The Infrastructure Collapse Thread
« on: January 28, 2017, 04:56:57 PM »

Those who wave their hands and say, "Oh, what you say doesn't matter because nobody cares..., yada yada, bla bla bla" are not saying anything at all about the facts of the matter, but are merely expressing their putrescent, unresolved grief (or, perhaps, malignant misanthropic disgust) in the form of  cynical dismissal. 

There are two classes of people who care. Doomers (other than uber-doomers) care because they know BAU cannot continue but would like something good to come out of the zero point. The other class of people who care are those whose power depends on selling cars, making weapons, etc. Unfortunately, it is this second class who controls the media, the politicians, and the military. So....

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A central concept in Integral Design is that the designer is not merely interested in creating more ecologically, ethically and aesthetically sound products, homes, comermunities, processes, institutions, etc., but is also interested in folding pathways to implementation of these designs into their design process itself.  No one can yet say "This can't work!" because it has been so little attempted.  It's so cutting edge that it barely exists even in the most incipient sense.  But it cannot be faulted for being so young!

I say "this can't work" because the second class of people have all the power needed to make it work, and they don't want it to. If you want to convince me that it can work, tell me how you intend to convince this class of people to attempt it.

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Science is a belief system.  By your measure science promotes fear and Nihilism.  You can't have it both ways.  You don't have any choice but to believe in something...unless you choose to believe in nothing (which is what Nihilism is) which itself is a belief...a belief in nothing meaning anything.  Nihilism is a logical paradox IMO.  One should have the intestinal fortitude to believe what one believes with integrity.  That means understanding that all belief is not provable. 


I agree with all the rest you say in this post except when you say that science is a belief system. Science is a method, not a belief system. Scientism, on the other hand, which says that only scientific knowledge is valid, is a belief system, and a pernicious one at that. (Also illogical, since science cannot demonstrate that scientism is true.)

41

To say humans will always exist as we are spiritual beings is a cop out too. How do you know?
A belief based on ideas and feeling, not facts is called faith. May be true, but I see no proof and as such am sceptical.

While I do not know that JDW is right, I have reasons to think it highly plausible that he is. For those reasons, see
http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php/topic,2402.0.html




42
The Diner Pantry / Re: SNAP Card Gourmet: Soup Ammendation
« on: January 25, 2017, 12:30:33 PM »
NEW Soup Ammendation Recipe!  :icon_sunny:

Ramen Noodle Soup packages come in at 25 cents (and less if you buy by the case).

Add a tablespoon of Miso Paste to the noodle soup, 1/4 of a firm tofu block and a chopped up hard boiled egg to the soup.

You have a whole day's nutrition for around $1!  :icon_sunny:

Bonus, you do not really need teeth for this delicious meal, so you do not need to see dentists!

RE

Why hard boil and chop the egg? Whip a raw egg and add it to the boiling soup.

43
Economics / Re: Getting a Handle on Wealth
« on: January 10, 2017, 10:19:53 PM »
I don't think I see the point of this. First, I can't see treating 'health' and 'wealth' synonymously. Suppose you were in solitary confinement, fed three bland but nutritious meals a day, and had an hour a day in the exercise yard, you would be healthy, but would you say you were wealthy?

Secondly, in usual talk, people call people "wealthy" if they have the money to buy the things that (they think) will make them happy, and "poor" if they can't. I take it you want people to stop thinking that way. Well, yes, but rather than go through complexity theory and talk of resiliency, wouldn't it be simpler to just point to the Sermon on the Mount, or the Eightfold Path?

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The Kitchen Sink / Re: left libertarianism
« on: January 07, 2017, 04:24:38 PM »
Ka, your prognostication is missing one important element.

Military Intelligence. Since when did the military (any country) ever do anything green?

They have never had to be green. I suggest that post-collapse things will be different. Assuming the military does take over (since if they don't we'll have social collapse) then they've got a PR problem, namely how to reconcile the populace to direct military rule. What I hope they would do is (correctly, as it happens) blame the corporatocracy for the mess, and they can add to the charges that of harming the environment. Assuming, again, that the military PTB are well aware of the end of cheap energy, they will need to put out a strong green message to get people to accept such things as the end of private vehicle ownership.

As for the intelligence of the military, I spent a couple of years back in the 70's working for a small department of the army, whose management was part civilian and part army officer. My impression is that the officers were sharper and more competent than the civilians. But that's just one anecdote.

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Geopolitics / Re: Plutocracy
« on: January 07, 2017, 04:06:36 PM »
The Bonus Army massacre (if you regard two dead as a massacre) was in summer of '32, under Hoover, not FDR. But I generally agree that FDR's social programs for the poor was to buy them off from overthrowing elite rule.

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