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Thread: Why do some people believe god(s) exist and some don't?

  1. #1 Why do some people believe god(s) exist and some don't? 
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    Some people will believe in something only if it can be explained scientifically, but some people believe that there are things that are outside scientific realm. What influence their thoughts?


    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
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    Well, God is misunderstood, and interpreted differently by everyone.
    To me, for instance, it is a word that means everything and nothing.
    While science explains,
    there are things that remain a mystery.
    Strange things happen....


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    I have a feeling these days that it's mostly attributed to their parents. Usually they learn religion when they are young and it carries on throughout life. It's kind of like a sort of evolution. Religious ideals evolve over time, now the evolution is heading more towards the non belief in a supernatural power.
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    Some people cherish mysteries whilst other people cherish solving them.
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    And some people cherish saying they are a load of codswollop.

    I'd say solving mysteries is the middle ground, the grey.

    Don't forget science exists because it is the best thing to explain our surroundings, and it fits in with our minds and is very viable. However, I'm sure a different set of numbers, or even letters, anything can explain our surroundings as well. Our minds are programmed with science because of numbers, thats all it bottles down to, numbers. Some people choose letters to explain things, mostly religious folk. Now if they could channel letters to makes sense of things, then maybe science (which uses numbers) would take them seriously, and then again they may not as both may do to each other. So you see its not the method, or numbers or letters that closes ideas up or opens them up, it is people. And we are all different. No, we are all unique
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    And some people cherish saying they are a load of codswollop.

    I'd say solving mysteries is the middle ground, the grey.

    Don't forget science exists because it is the best thing to explain our surroundings, and it fits in with our minds and is very viable. However, I'm sure a different set of numbers, or even letters, anything can explain our surroundings as well. Our minds are programmed with science because of numbers, thats all it bottles down to, numbers. Some people choose letters to explain things, mostly religious folk. Now if they could channel letters to makes sense of things, then maybe science (which uses numbers) would take them seriously, and then again they may not as both may do to each other. So you see its not the method, or numbers or letters that closes ideas up or opens them up, it is people. And we are all different. No, we are all unique
    And thus I stand by my statement

    Some people cherish mysteries whilst other people cherish solving them.
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  8. #7 Re: Why do some people believe god(s) exist and some don't? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Some people will believe in something only if it can be explained scientifically, but some people believe that there are things that are outside scientific realm. What influence their thoughts?
    reason to the former, and gullibility to the latter.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    what influences peoples thoughts on there relegion is there early life if your parents are athiests your mostlikely to be an athiest and if your parents are devout christians well your probobly going to be christian and look at me one of my parensts is christian and one doesent realy beleave and im an agnostic lol
    my grammer is not to be made fun of
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  10. #9 Re: Why do some people believe god(s) exist and some don't? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Some people will believe in something only if it can be explained scientifically, but some people believe that there are things that are outside scientific realm. What influence their thoughts?
    Their parents.

    The cycle of indoctrination.
    Religious Fundamentalist Club - Member #1.
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    425 wrote:
    science exists because it is the best thing to explain our surroundings, and it fits in with our minds and is very viable. However, I'm sure a different set of numbers, or even letters, anything can explain our surroundings as well.
    Could you please provide an example?

    Our minds are programmed with science because of numbers, thats all it bottles down to, numbers.
    1. I wonder who made the program, and why.
    2. If our minds are programmed with science and numbers there should be more atheists than theists.

    Pavlos wrote:
    reason to the former, and gullibility to the latter.
    I doubt it is that simple. Many devout theists do not seem to be gullible.

    So far the responses on this topic come from atheist/agnostic. I am interested to read what theist thinks about this.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Could you please provide an example?
    E = mc^2

    1. I wonder who made the program, and why.
    2. If our minds are programmed with science and numbers there should be more atheists than theists.
    True, but a lot of people live in the grey.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  13. #12 Re: Why do some people believe god(s) exist and some don't? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Some people will believe in something only if it can be explained scientifically, but some people believe that there are things that are outside scientific realm. What influence their thoughts?
    if by scientific you mean empirical (perceivable to the senses, primarily the sense of sight) then you have a question we need not be isolated to the religious forum.

    There are lengthy discourses that challenge empiricism in its quest for monopolizing knowledge. Usually they come under the banner of rationalism.

    In short, what is commonly vouched for the "scientific realm" is very often unable to offer a complete picture. To begin with it cannot establish what we are seeing with (ie consciousness) let alone everything that we experience (like other people's minds for instance - when you say "hello" to someone what "physical" part of their body are you addressing? Their lips? Their eyebrow? Their big toe?).

    No matter which way you look at it, it seems the question boils down to one of faith- namely whether one believes everything can be materially reduced or whether one does not.
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    punarmusiko wrote:
    if by scientific you mean empirical (perceivable to the senses, primarily the sense of sight)
    I mean it as defined in the dictionary.

    To begin with it cannot establish what we are seeing with (ie consciousness)
    Of course we are seeing with our eyes.
    For consciousness there are already a number of scientists working on it. Dennett wrote a book called 'consciousness explained' in 1991. You might want to get familiar with the topic. I understand the Obviously has some knowledge.
    when you say "hello" to someone what "physical" part of their body are you addressing? Their lips? Their eyebrow? Their big toe?
    The whole, integral part.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
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  15. #14 Re: Why do some people believe god(s) exist and some don't? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Some people will believe in something only if it can be explained scientifically, but some people believe that there are things that are outside scientific realm. What influence their thoughts?
    Their parents.

    The cycle of indoctrination.
    Its not indoctrination or a cult Q, stop calling peoples way of life that. If you were to say that not hiding behind your computer you'd be in a serious predicament in reference to your physical and mental health wouldn't you?

    And it isn't always from their parents, people can join religion as adults, its their choice Q and for goodness sake leave them to it, they leave you to your selfish mental attitude and your way of life, so do them likewise. Its just consideration Q.

    PS And don't bother putting in what you ususally say about choir boys and twisted preachers, I've heard you say it every time I argue this point. I'm only reminding you because you keep doing it and it offends people. I am warning you now Q, watch what you say.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    425 gives example of E=mc^2 as the example of another different set of numbers, or even letters, anything can explain our surroundings as well as science
    I am sure there is a miscommunication somewhere. The Einstein's equation is certainly in the realm of science. (And in this case he was not wrong :wink: )
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Pavlos wrote:
    reason to the former, and gullibility to the latter.
    I doubt it is that simple. Many devout theists do not seem to be gullible
    rotflmao, their Theist aren't they. Nothing more need be said.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    It is a circular argument, isn't it? They believe in God because they are gullible. They are gullible because they believe in God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    punarmusiko wrote:
    if by scientific you mean empirical (perceivable to the senses, primarily the sense of sight)
    I mean it as defined in the dictionary.
    dictionaries commonly hold several different definitions for the same word therefore establishing the context for one's language needs to be addressed



    To begin with it cannot establish what we are seeing with (ie consciousness)
    Of course we are seeing with our eyes.[/quote]
    dead people also have eyes
    of course they don't see much with them


    For consciousness there are already a number of scientists working on it. Dennett wrote a book called 'consciousness explained' in 1991. You might want to get familiar with the topic. I understand the Obviously has some knowledge.
    are his conclusions about consciousness subject to any peer reviewing or would a more apt title for the book be "Consciousness Explained by Dennet"?
    The very fact that there are scientists working on it seems to answer the question however ....


    when you say "hello" to someone what "physical" part of their body are you addressing? Their lips? Their eyebrow? Their big toe?
    The whole, integral part.
    so what integral part does a dead person lack ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    It is a circular argument, isn't it? They believe in God because they are gullible. They are gullible because they believe in God.
    how is it circular? they are gullible period.
    To believe anything without any evidence, I repeat any evidence bar the subjective.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    punarmusiko wrote:
    dead people also have eyes
    of course they don't see much with them
    My answer that we see with our eyes does not include dead people. Dead people are dead, like a rock. They do not see.

    The very fact that there are scientists working on it seems to answer the question however
    It answer to the question that consciousness is not beyond scientific scrutiny, even though it has not been completely unraveled yet.


    dictionaries commonly hold several different definitions for the same word therefore establishing the context for one's language needs to be addressed
    OK, then...
    scientific (adj.) of or pertaining to science or the sciences: scientific studies.
    science (n.) a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws

    so what integral part does a dead person lack
    His parts lack integration.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    punarmusiko wrote:
    dead people also have eyes
    of course they don't see much with them
    My answer that we see with our eyes does not include dead people. Dead people are dead, like a rock. They do not see.
    hence there is more to seeing than merely having moist balls in one's head

    The very fact that there are scientists working on it seems to answer the question however
    It answer to the question that consciousness is not beyond scientific scrutiny, even though it has not been completely unraveled yet.[/quote]
    science basically has three fields of scrutiny

    theory
    practice
    conclusions

    the further an issue makes its way down the ladder, the more it makes for better science (eg peer reviewing etc). To say that merely because something is within the realm of scientific theory that it is valid, doesn't even convince a scientist.


    dictionaries commonly hold several different definitions for the same word therefore establishing the context for one's language needs to be addressed
    OK, then...
    scientific (adj.) of or pertaining to science or the sciences: scientific studies.
    science (n.) a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws
    so the next question is how are these general laws (that you have in mind) established as valid and does it qualify as empiricism ....


    so what integral part does a dead person lack
    His parts lack integration.
    and the question is what is it exactly that an integrated person possesses that a non-integrated person does not ...... and whether this can be answered in a way that is not merely theoretical yet still fall within the language of what you deem as "scientifically valid" (aka "empiricism")
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  23. #22 Re: Why do some people believe god(s) exist and some don't? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Its not indoctrination or a cult Q, stop calling peoples way of life that. If you were to say that not hiding behind your computer you'd be in a serious predicament in reference to your physical and mental health wouldn't you?
    Is the indoctrinated cult member threatening me or just throwing a hissy fit?

    And it isn't always from their parents, people can join religion as adults, its their choice Q and for goodness sake leave them to it, they leave you to your selfish mental attitude and your way of life, so do them likewise. Its just consideration Q.
    Cults don't pay taxes. They attempt to control political power. Nuff' said.

    PS And don't bother putting in what you ususally say about choir boys and twisted preachers, I've heard you say it every time I argue this point. I'm only reminding you because you keep doing it and it offends people. I am warning you now Q, watch what you say.
    Bite me. Or is that what happened when you were a choir boy?

    Run along little boy, your mama's calling.
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    Punarmusiko

    First you asked what we are seeing with. I answer 'the eyes'.
    Now you say hence there is more to seeing than merely having moist balls in one's head. Actually if you had asked whether there is more to seeing than merely having moist balls in one's head, I would have answered Of Course.


    To say that merely because something is within the realm of scientific theory that it is valid, doesn't even convince a scientist.
    I don't say it is valid. I just say that the study of consciousness is within scientific realm. There are already many research articles about it. I believe that you can find them if you want to.


    so the next question is how are these general laws (that you have in mind) established as valid and does it qualify as empiricism ...
    Yes, I think they are established as valid (until new evidence points otherwise). I don't know about empiricism, please explain what you mean by empiricism.

    and the question is what is it exactly that an integrated person possesses that a non-integrated person does not
    brain acitivity, perhaps?
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
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  25. #24 This is your brain on God. 
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    This is a quote from an excellent new journal that I stumbled across (from a link on scienceblogs.org) in an overview of Neuroethics by Neil Levi.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/.../fulltext.html

    Human beings are pervasively subject to the confirmation bias, a systematic tendency to search for evidence that supports a hypothesis we are entertaining, rather than evidence that refutes it, and to interpret ambiguous evidence so that it supports our hypothesis [15]. The confirmation bias (along with a substantial dose of wishful thinking) helps to explain many people’s belief in supernatural events. Suppose your hypothesis is that dreams foretell the future. The confirmation bias makes it likely that you will pay attention to confirming evidence (that time you dreamt that your aunt was unwell, only to learn that around that time she had a bad fall) and disregard disconfirming evidence (all the times when you dreamt about good or bad things happening to people you know when no such event occurred). The confirmation bias works in conjunction with the availability heuristic, our tendency to base assessments of the probability of an event on the ease with which instances can be brought to mind [22]. Because confirming instances are more easily recalled, memory searches, carried out in good faith, lead us to conclude that our hypothesis is true.

    You may think that the tendency to believe in the supernatural is harmless and trivial. This may or may not be right (think of the occasional cases of parents preferring to have their seriously ill children treated by new-age healers rather than qualified physicians), but there is no doubt that the kind of biases at issue here do real world harm. One instance is the recent rash of claims involving ‘recovered memories’ of sexual assault. There is no evidence that any such recovered memories were true, but we do know that many of them were false. There is therefore no reason to regard such memories as reliable. Yet on the basis of this evidence, many people were imprisoned, and many more families ruptured irrevocably. Why was there this sudden rash of recovered memories? Part of the explanation lies in the techniques used by some therapists to elicit possible repressed memories. Since they believed that these memories were deeply repressed, they encouraged their patients to visualize events they could not recall, or to pretend that they happened. But these techniques are known to be effective in producing false memories, or in otherwise bringing people to mistake imaginings for reality [13]. Why did they do this? Confirmation bias helps to explain their behaviour—they noticed that patients sometimes appeared to improve when they used these techniques, and ignored alternative explanations of these improvements (was the mere fact that someone was listening to them helping their mental state? Might the passing of time by itself be playing a role?) and ignored cases in which the techniques failed to help [19]. Ignorance of our systematic biases and cognitive limitations—for instance, on the part of patients who take the vividness of a ‘memory’ as evidence of its veracity, of therapists who are unaware of the need to test hypotheses systematically, and courts who take sincere memory and eyewitness testimony as irrefutable evidence—can causes great harm.

    The example of repressed memory has two morals for us. First, it helps to suggests how the issues dealt with by neuroethics are practically important. Applying the knowledge gained from the sciences of the mind, in court rooms and in clinical practices, would lead to less harm and more good. Second, however, we should appreciate how disturbing is the evidence of the limitations of our rationality, the fallibility of our memory and the unreliability of our experience as a guide to reality. We think we are rational beings; we think that our memories are transcriptions of past events, we think that we have a good grasp of what the world immediately around us is like, but we may be wrong.
    "Confirmation bias," which sounds like something that happens to a Catholic girl when she's 16.

    In plain English: some people believe in God because they expect to believe in God, and thus they place emphasis on evidence confirming God's existence and disregard evidence refuting it.

    Just data cherry-picking.

    TK Kenyon
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    TK Kenyon

    Author of RABID: A Novel "What begins as a riff on Peyton Place smoothly metamorphoses into a philosophical battle between science and religion. …Kenyon creates four very subtle and intriguing central characters. A novel quite unlike most standard commercial fare, a genre-bending story--part thriller, part literary slapdown with dialogue as the weapon of choice that makes us laugh, wince, and reflect all at the same time. Kenyon is definitely a keeper.” --Booklist Starred Review.

    Author of CALLOUS: A Novel, May, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Punarmusiko

    First you asked what we are seeing with. I answer 'the eyes'.
    Now you say hence there is more to seeing than merely having moist balls in one's head. Actually if you had asked whether there is more to seeing than merely having moist balls in one's head, I would have answered Of Course.

    To say that merely because something is within the realm of scientific theory that it is valid, doesn't even convince a scientist.
    I don't say it is valid. I just say that the study of consciousness is within scientific realm. There are already many research articles about it. I believe that you can find them if you want to.
    original statements

    me - To begin with it cannot establish what we are seeing with (ie consciousness)

    you - Of course we are seeing with our eyes.
    For consciousness there are already a number of scientists working on it. Dennett wrote a book called 'consciousness explained' in 1991. You might want to get familiar with the topic. I understand the Obviously has some knowledge.


    So you agree that Dennett's work has no conclusions forthcoming (peer reviewed etc etc) and that the notion of consciousness being reduced to an atomic structure remains a notion?

    when you say

    Some people will believe in something only if it can be explained scientifically, but some people believe that there are things that are outside scientific realm. What influence their thoughts?


    is it simply an issue of semantics?
    In other words is it simply that some people have a "language" of science, just like all people have a "language" of some sort that they explain their world with?
    If a scientific explanation remains merely an explanation, how is it any different from belief?

    Take this statement - Consciousness is a result of chemicals
    what makes you believe that, since there is no practical example of consciousness being materially reduced?
    What influences your thoughts? (so that you can happily accept the post dated check of "oh but they are working on it!")
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    Punarmisko wrote:
    So you agree that Dennett's work has no conclusions forthcoming (peer reviewed etc etc) and that the notion of consciousness being reduced to an atomic structure remains a notion?
    I do not know whether there is a peer review. I have not suggested that consciousness is reduced to an atomic structure. (Similarly I don't suggest that Windows XP is just a bunch of 0's and 1's.) I just point out that the topic of consciousness has been approached in systemic/scientific way. So in my opinion it is not out of scientific realm.

    But my purpose it not to defend that anything can be addressed scientifically. I am convinced that theists can not be convinced that it can. I just wonder what are the main causes of difference in our paradigm.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Punarmisko wrote:
    So you agree that Dennett's work has no conclusions forthcoming (peer reviewed etc etc) and that the notion of consciousness being reduced to an atomic structure remains a notion?
    I do not know whether there is a peer review. I have not suggested that consciousness is reduced to an atomic structure. (Similarly I don't suggest that Windows XP is just a bunch of 0's and 1's.) I just point out that the topic of consciousness has been approached in systemic/scientific way. So in my opinion it is not out of scientific realm.
    first of all it has been peer reviewed that windows XP is just a bunch of numbers.

    secondly if you are going to argue that Dennet's work does have credibility, you are arguing that consciousness can be reduced to an atomic structure (ie consciousness arises naturally when a certain level of atomic complexity is reached)


    But my purpose it not to defend that anything can be addressed scientifically. I am convinced that theists can not be convinced that it can.
    hence my question whether your determining of "scientific" is simply just semantics
    If Dennet's views of science have not been proved (aka peer reviewed) by science (ok - let's be kind and call it Dennet's philosophy) why give it the credibility of science?
    Is it simply because he has some degree of professionalism in science?
    Would you deem his opinions on - say - the iraq invasion, scientific?

    At what point does personal opinion (or "philosophy) and "science" diverge?

    What does it mean to address something "scientifically", particularly if it is an issue beyond peer reviewing?

    I just wonder what are the main causes of difference in our paradigm.
    so far as I can gather the issue is semantics

    You say that theists cannot be convinced that everything can be reduced scientifically. (so far you have been resisting my prodding for a more water tight definition)

    I say empiricists cannot be convinced that everything is unable to be reduced to substances perceivable to their blunt senses.

    Either way, these are absolute statements and axiomatic and are accepted (or rejected) simply on faith (which would under-ride the empiricists position, since faith is not perceivable to the blunt senses)



    :wink:
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    Punarmusiko wrote:
    If Dennet's views of science have not been proved (aka peer reviewed) by science
    1. As I said, I don't know if his article has gone to peer review.
    2. There are many other articles related to consciousness. I don't know whether they are reviewed by peers either. But they all have approached the issues without making up any mysterious forces to explain the phenomenon. They don't take the option that this is spiritual/supernatural/unknowable. They may have said that this is hideously difficult, but.. one day we will crack it.
    3. I think even if there is peer review it will not satisfy you. You will start to ask for the qualification of the peers, and so on..
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    [quote="prasit"]Punarmusiko wrote:
    If Dennet's views of science have not been proved (aka peer reviewed) by science
    1. As I said, I don't know if his article has gone to peer review.
    I do
    It hasn't
    2. There are many other articles related to consciousness. I don't know whether they are reviewed by peers either. But they all have approached the issues without making up any mysterious forces to explain the phenomenon. They don't take the option that this is spiritual/supernatural/unknowable. They may have said that this is hideously difficult, but.. one day we will crack it.
    in the absence of peer reviewing, you have a statement of faith


    3. I think even if there is peer review it will not satisfy you. You will start to ask for the qualification of the peers, and so on..
    not really
    peer reviewing is what gives science its credibility
    It separates wild claims from actual science.

    You seem to be going back to issues (that you didn't answer) earlier

    Take this statement - Consciousness is a result of chemicals
    what makes you believe that, since there is no practical example of consciousness being materially reduced?
    What influences your thoughts? (so that you can happily accept the post dated check of "oh but they are working on it!")


    well?
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    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    You seem to be going back to issues (that you didn't answer) earlier

    Take this statement - Consciousness is a result of chemicals
    what makes you believe that, since there is no practical example of consciousness being materially reduced?
    What influences your thoughts? (so that you can happily accept the post dated check of "oh but they are working on it!")


    well?
    Dear Puna

    I'm not sure where you're going with this but just a point or two.

    1. "Consciousness is a result of chemicals" is, as it stands, a scientifically meaningful statement (Popperian standard). It simply means that it has been put forward as an hypothesis, and it can therefore be tested and disconfirmed. If any experiment ever shows that there is a non-chemical element to consciousness, then it will disconfirm this hypothesis. Simple. More importantly, the formulators of the hypothesis, if they wish it to be taken seriously, will demonstrate at the very least that chemicals seem to be implicated in consciousness (and make the claim they they are inextricably so). I'd suggest that all research with SSRIs etc has (in a peer-reviewed way) demonstrated that chemicals are implicated in consciousness. Since DNA is a chemical, again, the same. Since all our neurons are composed of chemicals and all observed activity in the brain is electro-chemical activity, again, the same. It is time someone with an opposing point of view showed that there is anything non-chemical that results in consciousness.

    2. By the same token, Dennett's ideas, being falsifiable, do not need a peer review to be scientifically meaningful.

    cheer

    shanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    You seem to be going back to issues (that you didn't answer) earlier

    Take this statement - Consciousness is a result of chemicals
    what makes you believe that, since there is no practical example of consciousness being materially reduced?
    What influences your thoughts? (so that you can happily accept the post dated check of "oh but they are working on it!")


    well?
    Dear Puna

    I'm not sure where you're going with this but just a point or two.

    1. "Consciousness is a result of chemicals" is, as it stands, a scientifically meaningful statement (Popperian standard). It simply means that it has been put forward as an hypothesis, and it can therefore be tested and disconfirmed.
    I'm afraid you are misinformed

    John C. Eccles and philosopher Karl R. Popper propose something like this in their book The Self and Its Brain. Recognizing the shortcomings of monistic theories, they formulate a version of interactionism between the mind and brain. Eccles states, “The experienced unity [of consciousness] comes, not from a neurophysiological synthesis, but from the proposed integrating character of the self-conscious mind .
    Popper gives several strong arguments for the nonphysical nature of the mind, pointing out that conscious awareness is real and directly experienced by the conscious self, yet inexplicable by our concepts of matter. He points to the difficulty in all attempts to attribute sophisticated behavior, such as elaborately purposeful action, to intermolecular forces, and explains how such behavior can easily be understood in relation to a mind endowed with purpose and desire.


    If any experiment ever shows that there is a non-chemical element to consciousness, then it will disconfirm this hypothesis.
    once again, to quote Popper

    At no stage are we able to prove that what we now know is true, and it is always possible that it will turn out to be false. Indeed, it is an elementary fact about the intellectual history of mankind that most of what has been known at one time or another has eventually turned out to be not the case. So it is a profound mistake to try to do what scientists and philosophers have almost always tried to do, namely prove the truth of a theory, or justify our belief in a theory, since this is to attempt the logically impossible.

    In other words the merit of science lies in falsification.
    In other words the statement "life arises from chemicals" has merit when life can be shown to arise from chemicals.
    As it stands, life is seen to arise from life (despite the ardent endeavors of scientists since Darwin gained social popularity) so the statement has no merit.

    Simple. More importantly, the formulators of the hypothesis, if they wish it to be taken seriously, will demonstrate at the very least that chemicals seem to be implicated in consciousness (and make the claim they they are inextricably so). I'd suggest that all research with SSRIs etc has (in a peer-reviewed way) demonstrated that chemicals are implicated in consciousness. Since DNA is a chemical, again, the same. Since all our neurons are composed of chemicals and all observed activity in the brain is electro-chemical activity, again, the same. It is time someone with an opposing point of view showed that there is anything non-chemical that results in consciousness.
    in short, there is a big difference life and the chemicals life utilizes - basically you are not bringing anything new to the picture since urea was synthesized
    2. By the same token, Dennett's ideas, being falsifiable, do not need a peer review to be scientifically meaningful.
    the only way for Dennet's claims to be falsifiable is if life can be synthesized from chemicals.
    Synthesizing the chemicals that life utilizes (like urea for example) does not foot the bill

    cheers

    shanks
    many thanks
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    How do we explain the consciousness of a computer? Where does the pictures come from? Even without a monitor, you will be able to steer yourself in the computers consciousness with a computer-mouse.

    But surely the computer isn't conscious? It doesn't make choices, it doesn't learn?

    Our brain has millions, or trillions of neurons, all of which contain data. The different parts of the brain interact, interpret and distributes information that we gain from our senses which is stored by our neurons. It is from the interaction of these "centers" in the brain by the data distributed that makes up the "stream of consciousness." If you explain consciousness and you're left with the observer, the "me", you haven't explained consciousness. Dennett makes good arguments for why dualism fails in its premise.

    Today, scientists can make "robotic" mice. They attach a chip in the mouses brain and are able, with a remote control, to decide if the mouse should go left, right or straight ahead. That alone tells us that or consciousness might not be what we want it to be, namely "special." Oh, sure it's "only a mouse", but surely it's conscious? It's all a matter of degree, and the human consciousness is most advance, but it's not "special" or "unexplainable." What makes up the "stream of consciousness" is simply interactions between cells and distribution of information through electrical impulses and so forth (let's not forget we have a memory and that data can be stored). "Oh, but the human consciousness is so complex, so advanced, you haven't convinced me of anything." Remember evolution? Where the genes that interact well with other genes gets favored and passes on? Natural selection favors genes that interacts well with other genes, and that is why such a complex thing like the human brain is perfectly conceivable. Through evolution, simplicity evolves to complexity.

    That's consciousness for you.

    For the record. I have just started reading Daniel Dennetts "Consciousness Explained", but I'm starting to get the idea. I've watched videos on youtube with Dennett explaining phenomenons in the brain, how it interprets data etc, and what I've explained above might be a little "shaky" and perhaps not completely accurate, but it gives a basic idea of how consciousness can be explained as a natural phenomenon within the grasps of science.

    I recommend watching Dennett explain some interesting things about consciousness. Here's a good video on youtube with Dennett on TED Talks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTepA-WV_oE[

    :wink:

    Sorry if this is way of topic...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    How do we explain the consciousness of a computer?
    how do you explain that a computer has consciousness?


    Where does the pictures come from? Even without a monitor, you will be able to steer yourself in the computers consciousness with a computer-mouse.

    But surely the computer isn't conscious? It doesn't make choices, it doesn't learn?
    with or without a monitor, what does a picture able to be "handled" by a computer amount to?

    Our brain has millions, or trillions of neurons, all of which contain data. The different parts of the brain interact, interpret and distributes information that we gain from our senses which is stored by our neurons. It is from the interaction of these "centers" in the brain by the data distributed that makes up the "stream of consciousness." If you explain consciousness and you're left with the observer, the "me", you haven't explained consciousness. Dennett makes good arguments for why dualism fails in its premise.
    if you explain consciousness without addressing the sense of "I" you are not talking about consciousness.
    That is why Dennet's book "Consciousness Explained" has popularly been lampooned as "Consciousness Avoided"
    Today, scientists can make "robotic" mice. They attach a chip in the mouses brain and are able, with a remote control, to decide if the mouse should go left, right or straight ahead.
    once again, big difference between life and the chemicals life utilizes - really you are not offering anything new, since applying a general anasthetic can also affect a mouse
    That alone tells us that or consciousness might not be what we want it to be, namely "special." Oh, sure it's "only a mouse", but surely it's conscious? It's all a matter of degree, and the human consciousness is most advance, but it's not "special" or "unexplainable."
    there is the suggestion that there are two aspects to consciousness
    one is the conceived self (which would include issues of deciding whether to go left or right for instance)
    the other is the self as context - or the very reality of having an "I"
    All AI can accomplish is some mechanistic parodies of the conceived self (or alternatively, alter the conceived self of something with a self as context - like say putting a microchip in a mouse brain).
    It can not produce anything with a self as context

    What makes up the "stream of consciousness" is simply interactions between cells and distribution of information through electrical impulses and so forth (let's not forget we have a memory and that data can be stored).
    You are simply talking about the conceived self
    "Oh, but the human consciousness is so complex, so advanced, you haven't convinced me of anything." Remember evolution? Where the genes that interact well with other genes gets favored and passes on? Natural selection favors genes that interacts well with other genes, and that is why such a complex thing like the human brain is perfectly conceivable. Through evolution, simplicity evolves to complexity.
    yes, the conceived self can be simple or complex, the self as context is practically identical for either a mouse or a human
    That's consciousness for you.
    or more correctly, the conceived self

    For the record. I have just started reading Daniel Dennetts "Consciousness Explained", but I'm starting to get the idea. I've watched videos on youtube with Dennett explaining phenomenons in the brain, how it interprets data etc, and what I've explained above might be a little "shaky" and perhaps not completely accurate, but it gives a basic idea of how consciousness can be explained as a natural phenomenon within the grasps of science.

    I recommend watching Dennett explain some interesting things about consciousness. Here's a good video on youtube with Dennett on TED Talks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTepA-WV_oE[



    Sorry if this is way of topic...
    thanks for your time
    [/quote]
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    Punarmusiko wrote:
    if you explain consciousness without addressing the sense of "I" you are not talking about consciousness.
    That is why Dennet's book "Consciousness Explained" has popularly been lampooned as "Consciousness Avoided"
    Dennett has thought deeply about the subject and proposes that consciousness is not what we think it is. Eg. Someone may think that there is a centrifugal force that throw things off the curve but in reality there is not one.

    Another author makes a remark that Dennett's idea is similar to the Buddhist's teaching: there is no I, me, myself, only the illusion of.

    For anybody who are interested about his book, follow is the review of the book that seems to summarize it well (and favorably)

    Dennett's major antagonist in this debate has been John Searle whose Chinese Room argument has been deployed again and again to deny the possibility which Dennett is here asserting, that consciousness is basically a natural phenomenon (Searle agrees, by the way that consciousness is natural, while arguing against a genuinely naturalistic description). Dennett spends a lot of time exploring side paths and building alternative models for understanding consciousness as he works to get his reader to jettison old notions about the mind as an entity uniquely set apart from the things it attends to, what he calls the "central meaner" or the audience in the Cartesian theater (alluding to Descarte's insight that our mental life is qualitatively different from the physical world we encounter). Dennet builds his case by exploring recent research on brains and human behavior as well as by sketching out an evolutionary picture about how consciousness may have come to be. But he does not get around to dealing with Searle's Chinese Room argument until the book's end and then it is almost as though it were an afterthought.

    It's the great strength of Dennett's book that, in fact, Searle's argument seems, by the time he comes to it, to be worth no more than that. Dennett rightly shows that Searle's argument fails because Searle insufficiently depicts the level of computer functionality required to generate and sustain a conscious mind. Where Searle, in his argument, notes that the simple mechanism of a look up table could not possibly constitute a program capable of creating mental life, Dennett rightly points out that this fails to address the problem since it is not a simple look up table that is at the heart of the claim of the AI people. If Searle's Chinese Room argument, constituted as Searle constitutes it, is inadequate for the purpose, this is yet to say nothing about the sort of system that would be required and is theoretically available. It is not a Chinese Room on the Searlean model that must be considered but, perhaps, using the same metaphor, a Chinese Building or a Chinese City. The capacity for sustaining consciousness would necessarily require a vast complex of systems and, as Dennett notes, it is this complex of systems itself, the full system, that would have to do the trick. Searle's argument says nothing about THAT model and so misses the point.

    Dennett patiently explains how the systems would need to overlay one another and how this accords with the evolutionary evidence in the biological world as well as with the model of programs on computers which he likens to virtual machines on a platform of real machines. He carefully lays out the the way computers developed, as serial machines and proposes that since the brain is not a serial machine but a parallel processor, there would probably be the need to use the new parallel computing technologies coming on line as the platform, with virtual serial machines (their programs) running on them.

    This is not a popular view in some quarters since the notion that we are merely machines is troubling to many. But Dennett does his best to defuse the notion while pointing out how the philosophical ideas of zombiehood and qualia really carry no water. He doesn't offer arguments so much as a debunking of these quaint notions with an eye toward opening us up toward the mechanistic model, dispelling our natural fear of embracing such a view. In the end he tells us there are no souls and no afterlife but that there's no reason this need scare us. And he gives us a basis for retaining a belief in a moral point of view despite this loss.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
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    punarmusiko seems to be avoiding the mechanics that make up consciousness as a whole with calling it the conceived self. Then tell me, when a person takes LSD and his/her personality changes(/or disappears, also called "ego death") as a symptom of the drug, is this just the "conceived self"? Surely the chemicals in the hallucinogenic changed the "I" and not the "conceived self"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    You seem to be going back to issues (that you didn't answer) earlier

    Take this statement - Consciousness is a result of chemicals
    what makes you believe that, since there is no practical example of consciousness being materially reduced?
    What influences your thoughts? (so that you can happily accept the post dated check of "oh but they are working on it!")


    well?
    Dear Puna

    I'm not sure where you're going with this but just a point or two.

    1. "Consciousness is a result of chemicals" is, as it stands, a scientifically meaningful statement (Popperian standard). It simply means that it has been put forward as an hypothesis, and it can therefore be tested and disconfirmed.
    I'm afraid you are misinformed

    John C. Eccles and philosopher Karl R. Popper propose something like this in their book The Self and Its Brain. Recognizing the shortcomings of monistic theories, they formulate a version of interactionism between the mind and brain. Eccles states, “The experienced unity [of consciousness] comes, not from a neurophysiological synthesis, but from the proposed integrating character of the self-conscious mind .
    Popper gives several strong arguments for the nonphysical nature of the mind, pointing out that conscious awareness is real and directly experienced by the conscious self, yet inexplicable by our concepts of matter. He points to the difficulty in all attempts to attribute sophisticated behavior, such as elaborately purposeful action, to intermolecular forces, and explains how such behavior can easily be understood in relation to a mind endowed with purpose and desire.
    Not at all. The Popperian standard of falsifiability I refer to has nothing to do with any theories Popper may have had regarding consciousness. I'm not misinformed, though you may perhaps be misinterpreting what I am saying.


    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    If any experiment ever shows that there is a non-chemical element to consciousness, then it will disconfirm this hypothesis.
    once again, to quote Popper

    At no stage are we able to prove that what we now know is true, and it is always possible that it will turn out to be false. Indeed, it is an elementary fact about the intellectual history of mankind that most of what has been known at one time or another has eventually turned out to be not the case. So it is a profound mistake to try to do what scientists and philosophers have almost always tried to do, namely prove the truth of a theory, or justify our belief in a theory, since this is to attempt the logically impossible.

    In other words the merit of science lies in falsification.
    In other words the statement "life arises from chemicals" has merit when life can be shown to arise from chemicals.
    As it stands, life is seen to arise from life (despite the ardent endeavors of scientists since Darwin gained social popularity) so the statement has no merit.
    I'm afraid this is non-logical.

    The merit of science lies in falsification.

    Good.

    What it implies is that the statement "life arises from chemicals" has merit (scientifically speaking) because it is theoretically possible that someone might demonstrate that it doesn't. As Popper points out, which appears to have become confused in your argument, it is the prospect of falsifiability that makes something scientific, because no matter how many confirmations you get, you cannot be sure you have the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Simple. More importantly, the formulators of the hypothesis, if they wish it to be taken seriously, will demonstrate at the very least that chemicals seem to be implicated in consciousness (and make the claim they they are inextricably so). I'd suggest that all research with SSRIs etc has (in a peer-reviewed way) demonstrated that chemicals are implicated in consciousness. Since DNA is a chemical, again, the same. Since all our neurons are composed of chemicals and all observed activity in the brain is electro-chemical activity, again, the same. It is time someone with an opposing point of view showed that there is anything non-chemical that results in consciousness.
    in short, there is a big difference life and the chemicals life utilizes - basically you are not bringing anything new to the picture since urea was synthesized
    The question was about whether or not consciousness is entirely resultant from chemicals. Your statment seems irrelevant in this context.


    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    2. By the same token, Dennett's ideas, being falsifiable, do not need a peer review to be scientifically meaningful.
    the only way for Dennet's claims to be falsifiable is if life can be synthesized from chemicals.
    Synthesizing the chemicals that life utilizes (like urea for example) does not foot the bill
    Dennett's claims can be falsifiable if it is possible, in principle, for someone to show us life (or rather consciousness) that is not derived from chemicals.

    I suspect you seem to be using a different, non-standard, understanding of falsifiability in your response here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Punarmusiko wrote:
    if you explain consciousness without addressing the sense of "I" you are not talking about consciousness.
    That is why Dennet's book "Consciousness Explained" has popularly been lampooned as "Consciousness Avoided"
    Dennett has thought deeply about the subject and proposes that consciousness is not what we think it is. Eg. Someone may think that there is a centrifugal force that throw things off the curve but in reality there is not one.
    Notice how your analogy about centrifugal force requires something evidential and not a mere "proposal"

    Sure you can say, "perhaps you are thinking about it incorrectly" to which the response is "perhaps you are too" - philosophy is full of such discourses. Science however, requires something else.

    That is why many persons like Dennet (Dawkins is another) are borrowing from the credibility of science simply fot the sake of establishing their philosophy.


    Another author makes a remark that Dennett's idea is similar to the Buddhist's teaching: there is no I, me, myself, only the illusion of.

    For anybody who are interested about his book, follow is the review of the book that seems to summarize it well (and favorably)

    Dennett's major antagonist in this debate has been John Searle whose Chinese Room argument has been deployed again and again to deny the possibility which Dennett is here asserting, that consciousness is basically a natural phenomenon (Searle agrees, by the way that consciousness is natural, while arguing against a genuinely naturalistic description). Dennett spends a lot of time exploring side paths and building alternative models for understanding consciousness as he works to get his reader to jettison old notions about the mind as an entity uniquely set apart from the things it attends to, what he calls the "central meaner" or the audience in the Cartesian theater (alluding to Descarte's insight that our mental life is qualitatively different from the physical world we encounter). Dennet builds his case by exploring recent research on brains and human behavior as well as by sketching out an evolutionary picture about how consciousness may have come to be. But he does not get around to dealing with Searle's Chinese Room argument until the book's end and then it is almost as though it were an afterthought.

    It's the great strength of Dennett's book that, in fact, Searle's argument seems, by the time he comes to it, to be worth no more than that. Dennett rightly shows that Searle's argument fails because Searle insufficiently depicts the level of computer functionality required to generate and sustain a conscious mind. Where Searle, in his argument, notes that the simple mechanism of a look up table could not possibly constitute a program capable of creating mental life, Dennett rightly points out that this fails to address the problem since it is not a simple look up table that is at the heart of the claim of the AI people. If Searle's Chinese Room argument, constituted as Searle constitutes it, is inadequate for the purpose, this is yet to say nothing about the sort of system that would be required and is theoretically available. It is not a Chinese Room on the Searlean model that must be considered but, perhaps, using the same metaphor, a Chinese Building or a Chinese City. The capacity for sustaining consciousness would necessarily require a vast complex of systems and, as Dennett notes, it is this complex of systems itself, the full system, that would have to do the trick. Searle's argument says nothing about THAT model and so misses the point.

    Dennett patiently explains how the systems would need to overlay one another and how this accords with the evolutionary evidence in the biological world as well as with the model of programs on computers which he likens to virtual machines on a platform of real machines. He carefully lays out the the way computers developed, as serial machines and proposes that since the brain is not a serial machine but a parallel processor, there would probably be the need to use the new parallel computing technologies coming on line as the platform, with virtual serial machines (their programs) running on them.

    This is not a popular view in some quarters since the notion that we are merely machines is troubling to many. But Dennett does his best to defuse the notion while pointing out how the philosophical ideas of zombiehood and qualia really carry no water. He doesn't offer arguments so much as a debunking of these quaint notions with an eye toward opening us up toward the mechanistic model, dispelling our natural fear of embracing such a view. In the end he tells us there are no souls and no afterlife but that there's no reason this need scare us. And he gives us a basis for retaining a belief in a moral point of view despite this loss.
    To get back to your OP

    Some people will believe in something only if it can be explained scientifically, but some people believe that there are things that are outside scientific realm. What influence their thoughts?


    what makes you believe in Dennet?

    Once again


    is it simply an issue of semantics?
    In other words is it simply that some people have a "language" of science, just like all people have a "language" of some sort that they explain their world with?
    If a scientific explanation remains merely an explanation, how is it any different from belief?


    All you seem to be saying is Dennet explains how the issue of consciousness can be looked at(ENTER - semantics) in a way you find appealing. This does not address whether his statements are true or false, which seemed to be your gripe in the OP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    You seem to be going back to issues (that you didn't answer) earlier

    Take this statement - Consciousness is a result of chemicals
    what makes you believe that, since there is no practical example of consciousness being materially reduced?
    What influences your thoughts? (so that you can happily accept the post dated check of "oh but they are working on it!")


    well?
    Dear Puna

    I'm not sure where you're going with this but just a point or two.

    1. "Consciousness is a result of chemicals" is, as it stands, a scientifically meaningful statement (Popperian standard). It simply means that it has been put forward as an hypothesis, and it can therefore be tested and disconfirmed.
    I'm afraid you are misinformed

    John C. Eccles and philosopher Karl R. Popper propose something like this in their book The Self and Its Brain. Recognizing the shortcomings of monistic theories, they formulate a version of interactionism between the mind and brain. Eccles states, “The experienced unity [of consciousness] comes, not from a neurophysiological synthesis, but from the proposed integrating character of the self-conscious mind .
    Popper gives several strong arguments for the nonphysical nature of the mind, pointing out that conscious awareness is real and directly experienced by the conscious self, yet inexplicable by our concepts of matter. He points to the difficulty in all attempts to attribute sophisticated behavior, such as elaborately purposeful action, to intermolecular forces, and explains how such behavior can easily be understood in relation to a mind endowed with purpose and desire.
    Not at all. The Popperian standard of falsifiability I refer to has nothing to do with any theories Popper may have had regarding consciousness. I'm not misinformed, though you may perhaps be misinterpreting what I am saying.
    I quoted Popper's thesis on consciousness and proceeded with the standard (or "why") next

    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    If any experiment ever shows that there is a non-chemical element to consciousness, then it will disconfirm this hypothesis.
    once again, to quote Popper

    At no stage are we able to prove that what we now know is true, and it is always possible that it will turn out to be false. Indeed, it is an elementary fact about the intellectual history of mankind that most of what has been known at one time or another has eventually turned out to be not the case. So it is a profound mistake to try to do what scientists and philosophers have almost always tried to do, namely prove the truth of a theory, or justify our belief in a theory, since this is to attempt the logically impossible.

    In other words the merit of science lies in falsification.
    In other words the statement "life arises from chemicals" has merit when life can be shown to arise from chemicals.
    As it stands, life is seen to arise from life (despite the ardent endeavors of scientists since Darwin gained social popularity) so the statement has no merit.
    I'm afraid this is non-logical.

    The merit of science lies in falsification.

    Good.

    What it implies is that the statement "life arises from chemicals" has merit (scientifically speaking) because it is theoretically possible that someone might demonstrate that it doesn't. As Popper points out, which appears to have become confused in your argument, it is the prospect of falsifiability that makes something scientific, because no matter how many confirmations you get, you cannot be sure you have the truth.
    so there is a thesis "life arises from chemicals" and it has not been seen/demonstrated even once, yet it remains the truth the light and the way?


    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Simple. More importantly, the formulators of the hypothesis, if they wish it to be taken seriously, will demonstrate at the very least that chemicals seem to be implicated in consciousness (and make the claim they they are inextricably so). I'd suggest that all research with SSRIs etc has (in a peer-reviewed way) demonstrated that chemicals are implicated in consciousness. Since DNA is a chemical, again, the same. Since all our neurons are composed of chemicals and all observed activity in the brain is electro-chemical activity, again, the same. It is time someone with an opposing point of view showed that there is anything non-chemical that results in consciousness.
    in short, there is a big difference life and the chemicals life utilizes - basically you are not bringing anything new to the picture since urea was synthesized
    The question was about whether or not consciousness is entirely resultant from chemicals. Your statment seems irrelevant in this context.
    Does a dead person have DNA?
    How about serotonin?
    What about urea?



    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    2. By the same token, Dennett's ideas, being falsifiable, do not need a peer review to be scientifically meaningful.
    the only way for Dennet's claims to be falsifiable is if life can be synthesized from chemicals.
    Synthesizing the chemicals that life utilizes (like urea for example) does not foot the bill

    Dennett's claims can be falsifiable if it is possible, in principle, for someone to show us life (or rather consciousness) that is not derived from chemicals.[/quote]
    I don't exactly know how many millions of living entities there are on this planet but how many of them are seen to arise simply from chemicals and how many are seen to arise from life?

    I suspect you seem to be using a different, non-standard, understanding of falsifiability in your response here.
    You have simply overlooked that Dennet is making a positive claim "life arises from chemicals" despite not a SINGLE example to show for it (either naturally or synthetically).

    Where does that sit on a standard of falsifiable claims?

    well?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    punarmusiko seems to be avoiding the mechanics that make up consciousness as a whole with calling it the conceived self.
    If you can't assemble those mechanics and make up consciousness, who is doing the avoiding?

    Then tell me, when a person takes LSD and his/her personality changes(/or disappears, also called "ego death") as a symptom of the drug, is this just the "conceived self"? Surely the chemicals in the hallucinogenic changed the "I" and not the "conceived self"?
    Conceived self means precisely that - one's sense of I changes
    Self as context means the state of being, or having an "I" in the first place

    The conceived self is merely a temporal expression of the self as context.
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    Thanks, Punarmusiko. Now I understand that you believe God exists because you believe there are something that cannot be explained by scientific means, such as the conciousness of 'self'. So you conclude that it is God's work.
    Anything else? What do you think is the reason why atheists don't believe so?
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Thanks, Punarmusiko. Now I understand that you believe God exists because you believe there are something that cannot be explained by scientific means, such as the conciousness of 'self'. So you conclude that it is God's work.
    Anything else? What do you think is the reason why atheists don't believe so?
    Actually I haven't offered anything why I accept god.

    I have however pointed out the claim that science (particularly "consciousness arises from chemicals") has the propensity to take on board ideologies that do not comply to empirical standards.

    I also suggested that there is no need to answer your OP question in a religious context, since it is impossible for anyone to avoid the issue of semantics and behave in a purely two dimensional empirical fashion.
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    punarmusiko wrote:
    I have however pointed out the claim that science (particularly "consciousness arises from chemicals") has the propensity to take on board ideologies that do not comply to empirical standards.
    You have only pointed out the study of consciousness has the propensity to take on board ideologies that do not comply to empirical standards, not science in general.

    I also suggested that there is no need to answer your OP question in a religious context, since it is impossible for anyone to avoid the issue of semantics and behave in a purely two dimensional empirical fashion.
    If not in religious context, then any context at all? I think the question is clear enough: why someone don't believe and why someone do?
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    punarmusiko wrote:
    I have however pointed out the claim that science (particularly "consciousness arises from chemicals") has the propensity to take on board ideologies that do not comply to empirical standards.
    You have only pointed out the study of consciousness has the propensity to take on board ideologies that do not comply to empirical standards, not science in general.
    the less empirical, the softer the science, until you come to the point of philosophy (eg Dennet) at which point it commonly appears that the authors have forgotten that the credible foundation of science is empiricism.

    I also suggested that there is no need to answer your OP question in a religious context, since it is impossible for anyone to avoid the issue of semantics and behave in a purely two dimensional empirical fashion.
    If not in religious context, then any context at all? I think the question is clear enough: why someone don't believe and why someone do?
    I still haven't fathomed why you believe some people don't have beliefs
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    I still haven't fathomed why you believe some people don't have beliefs
    punarmusiko, obviously prasit meant belief in a god.
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    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Actually I haven't offered anything why I accept god.
    Inquiring minds want to know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    If you can't assemble those mechanics and make up consciousness, who is doing the avoiding?
    Alas, I'm not a neuroscientist, but nor need I be to know that there are different parts in the brain...

    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Conceived self means precisely that - one's sense of I changes
    Self as context means the state of being, or having an "I" in the first place

    The conceived self is merely a temporal expression of the self as context.
    Let's see if I understand this... :P

    The "I" is the one experiencing or learning, right? The self-awareness is the "I"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    If you can't assemble those mechanics and make up consciousness, who is doing the avoiding?
    Alas, I'm not a neuroscientist, but nor need I be to know that there are different parts in the brain...
    yet if you say consciousness is simply a consequence arising from these parts, there are issues with your statement (even if you were a neuroscientist)

    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Conceived self means precisely that - one's sense of I changes
    Self as context means the state of being, or having an "I" in the first place

    The conceived self is merely a temporal expression of the self as context.
    Let's see if I understand this... :P

    The "I" is the one experiencing or learning, right? The self-awareness is the "I"?
    yes
    it's the nature of having awareness (or consciousness) regardless of what shape it is expressing itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Actually I haven't offered anything why I accept god.
    Inquiring minds want to know.
    intelligent answers require intelligent questions

    :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I still haven't fathomed why you believe some people don't have beliefs
    punarmusiko, obviously prasit meant belief in a god.
    to get back to the OP

    Some people will believe in something only if it can be explained scientifically, but some people believe that there are things that are outside scientific realm. What influence their thoughts?


    As seen by this discussion, there are some issues of belief even within scientific discourse, so the issue seems to be about semantics.

    aka - Some people will believe in something only if it adheres to the scientific (ie empirical) paradigm, but some believe that there are things outside of this paradigm. What influences their thoughts?

    If you have one group who believes a paradigm is fully capable of presenting the complete picture of reality and another group who believes it doesn't, what is the real difference?
    Its all about belief.

    (and as a clincher, belief can not be empirically reduced, so I guess its the first party that is at fault)
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    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Actually I haven't offered anything why I accept god.
    Inquiring minds want to know.
    intelligent answers require intelligent questions

    :wink:
    Intelligent minds will collect the data presented, synthesize it and come to the conclusion a question was posed.

    All you had to say was that you had no intention of answering.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Actually I haven't offered anything why I accept god.
    Inquiring minds want to know.
    intelligent answers require intelligent questions

    :wink:
    Intelligent minds will collect the data presented, synthesize it and come to the conclusion a question was posed.

    All you had to say was that you had no intention of answering.
    Um - so what's your question again?
    :wink:
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    You'll get into this kind of situation with Q, he kinda digs himself into it, that he makes the fact that he ask a question up-when he didn't.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko

    Um - so what's your question again?
    :wink:
    What... is the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    You'll get into this kind of situation with Q, he kinda digs himself into it, that he makes the fact that he ask a question up-when he didn't.
    Filling everyones head with your insanity, again?
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    After reading Hawkings A Brief History in Time I'm confused at what exactly he meant by the God terminology he used quite often. He goes into depth about if God is real or if He is false however he then goes on to speak about Him as if he is real. I'm curious as to whether he has the same idea of God as Einstein did. However I've recently read that Einstein became Jewish in his later years though the atheists keep stating that his God was vastly different to the biblical God. And to top it off the pope and the church made public statements against Einstein pertaining to his nonbelief in God.

    Personally I consider myself an Agnostic bordering on Atheist. I need to see something for it to be proven to me. After all science and the scientific method interests me and I have not seen one shred of proof that a biblical God exists. Actually I believe that a biblical God definately does not exist but I am not sure if another form of creature, which I'm fairly certain we would call God, made us into what we are today.
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    I agree that it is the way you are brought up although both my parents are Christian and I am not.
    A biophysicist talks physics to the biologists and biology to the physicists, but then he meets another biophysicist, they just discuss women.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko

    Um - so what's your question again?
    :wink:
    What... is the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow?
    Once again, intelligent answers require intelligent questions .....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyk
    I agree that it is the way you are brought up although both my parents are Christian and I am not.
    Are you single? Do you have children? Statistics suggest a trend according to which people return to the religion of their childhood when raising their own children. Just curious.

    I am the opposite example, by the way. Neither of my parents were Christian and nor are they Christian now, but I am a Christian. I do have children (3 boys) and I am strongly commited to encouraging them to think for themselves and make up their own mind, as my own parents did with me. My wife is another religion and probably less commited to that ideal, but my hope is that between her, myself and my mother who is not religious in any way (and a member of the household), my three sons will feel free enough to make up their own minds for themselves. I would NOT consider them choosing atheism to be a bad choice.



    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    After reading Hawkings A Brief History in Time I'm confused at what exactly he meant by the God terminology he used quite often. He goes into depth about if God is real or if He is false however he then goes on to speak about Him as if he is real. I'm curious as to whether he has the same idea of God as Einstein did. However I've recently read that Einstein became Jewish in his later years though the atheists keep stating that his God was vastly different to the biblical God. And to top it off the pope and the church made public statements against Einstein pertaining to his nonbelief in God.
    I also read Hawking's "Brief History of Time" and all I remember on the topic of God was his triumphant declaration that we don't need God anymore to explain anything. I never received the slightest impression from Hawking that we was theist in any way shape or form. Einstein seemed to have sent mixed signals, but based on what I have read of what He wrote I don't see how I could count Him as a theist. I would not at all be suprise, however, to see Hawking following in Einstein's footsteps on this, since He seems to have followed Einstein in many other opinions.
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    I am pretty sure that Hawking is atheist. I got the impression from his use of god in A Brief History of Time that it was mainly an illustrative tool.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    You need an intelligent person to not believe in God to make you feel more comfortable? It doesn't matter if he believes or not, its his life and leave him to it as you should anyone else. As long as he keeps working on the GUT, leave him be.

    And actually, if you look at the way Stephen speaks about religion, you'll see that he never has said he believes or he does not because he knows that can of worms is best left shut. Why do you care personally about his religion if he even has one?

    And he's a Stephen so he's at most an agnostic.
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    Why do you care personally about his religion if he even has one?
    Well chaotic, this thread is about why some people believe and others don't. Stephen Hawking is someone worth considering, the same as anyone else. Would you have this thread closed down?
    You need an intelligent person to not believe in God to make you feel more comfortable?
    No. There are very intelligent people on both sides of the fence, as well as some on it.
    It doesn't matter if he believes or not, its his life and leave him to it as you should anyone else.
    You are saying this as though he has the slightest idea that we are discussing him or as if we can have any influence on him. Neither is true and even if it were, we are free to discuss him as a representative of a certain personality type and that goes directly towards the premise of this thread.
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    You think in three dimensinonal ways. I don't talk about people KALSTER because it isn't nice. It gets around one way or another, you're smart, you should know that.

    If some people believe and others don't, Stephen Hawking is busy working on the GUT and I'd rather not have any rumours of people asking his religion get around. He's the most incredible mind on this planet known so far and he is teetering on the edge of the GUT. He's got better things to do with his time that discuss religion. But thats me as one Stephen assuming what another would do.

    You need an intelligent person to not believe in God to make you feel more comfortable?

    No. There are very intelligent people on both sides of the fence, as well as some on it.
    Your point?

    We are free to discuss him as a representative of a certain personality type and that goes directly towards the premise of this thread.
    Your talking about him as though he is a subject to a psychological experiment. What ever happened to consent? He's a human being not a bloody variable. He's done far more for humanity than any of you will ever do in a lifetime, how dare you use him as an example for your trivial discussion.
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    Do you really think he cares whether the world knows if he is atheist or not? Do you really think he cares whether we mere mortals discuss him here? Do you really think we can have any influence on his life whatsoever? Nobody is questioning his brilliance, nor do we pay him any disrespect in discussing him. And I don’t happen to think that this discussion is trivial. It is an investigation into human nature, which even Stephen Hawking is part of.
    I think you are really going overboard with this.
    No. There are very intelligent people on both sides of the fence, as well as some on it.
    Your point?
    I answered your question didn't I?
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    No you didn't answer anything, there was no point. There is no point to this discussion. A better one would be to find out why people like us in this modern day in age still behave like primates.

    I don't know if he cares or if he does not care whether the world knows him as atheist or not. Its none of my business, thats MY point.
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    Then why get involved here if you think it is not a valid discussion? The rest of us involved here think it is valid. Go start your thread about our primate behaviour. I am sure people will get into it (not sarcasm). Chill out man, you seem overly sensitive recently. :?
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