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Old 07-25-2013, 06:25 PM   #31 (permalink)
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And I thought you were a lost cause.
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:38 PM   #32 (permalink)
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And I thought you were a lost cause.
Just poking fun.

The idea is interesting, it just needs to have interesting things filling all the plot holes.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:12 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Lord Larehip,

I found this article today and I thought it was pretty interesting in regard to psychopathy.
You might find it interesting as well.

Brain research shows psychopathic criminals do not lack empathy, but fail to use it automatically
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:22 AM   #34 (permalink)
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This makes absolutely no sense from a neurological standpoint.
Memories and consciousness is a function of our brains. When the brain ceases to function, that person's consciousness does as well. It doesn't mean that the brain was not functioning before it stopped. It just means it stopped.
Using this logic, I could say that energy is created from the object when the object is created and when that object is destroyed, energy is also destroyed. Is that true? No. Energy is always conserved meaning it cannot be created or destroyed. There is no reason to assume the same would not be true of consciousness.

Science has a split personality that way. It holds a materialist view in that matter is the fundamental building block of the universe and that consciousness arises from it (i.e. consciousness is epiphenomenal). I disagree, I say that consciousness is the fundamental building block of the universe and that matter is epiphenomenal (the idealist view although there are a variety of idealist philosophies that do not agree). Yet quantum mechanics, the very basis of modern physics has already yielded a number of scientifically verified findings that disputes if not disproves the materialist view.

One of the most startling is the discovery that particles are really waves and that it is, in fact, consciousness that collapses this wave function to a localized area in space-time--what we perceive as a particle. Without consciousness, this reality would not exist but in potentia. Everything you see around you only exists because a consciousness observes it--yours. Moreover, the wave function of each and every object is in a constant state of expanding and collapsing. It is never just one or the other. We are simultaneously waves and particles at the same time even these are total opposites. How? We don't know. We can't even perceive both at once. It is a wave when we aren't looking and a a particle when we are.

In short, consciousness creates the universe and not just one time 15 billion years ago but every instant. Every instant--too short to be measured (reverse eternity, if you will)--your consciousness builds your universe around you completely from scratch, anihilates it in the same instant and then builds it again.

But each time is the first time. If you could put a counter on it to log how many times your consciousness rebuilds the universe, it would only register "1" every time you looked at it. It too is being rebuilt every instant.

Physicists have found this is true of atoms also. Why are atoms so identical, they wondered? They discovered that electron orbits are discontinuous. The electron orbit is recreated every instant. It has no past and no future. It has only the present, the very instant and then it's gone. The orbits are standing waves that cannot be affected by anything. Since we are made up of atoms, this is also our true nature but we don't realize it.

This life that you are living over and over again, it is doing the same thing. Each time it cycles is the first time. Which is why it's identical each time. If it was actually a different cycle, different things would happen.

It's a hard concept to grasp but basically when something is eternal then it cannot end and must either go on forever or repeat infinitely. Our existence goes on forever but our individual lives repeat infinitely and if the universe goes up like a nuclear bomb, then our existence will go into infinite repeat. And this may have already happened. We can never know. All we can say is that the effects of eternity are always acting upon us.
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:24 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Lord Larehip,

I found this article today and I thought it was pretty interesting in regard to psychopathy.
You might find it interesting as well.

Brain research shows psychopathic criminals do not lack empathy, but fail to use it automatically
If psychopaths are to some degree like the rest of us, then we are to some degree psychopaths. The difference is one of degree, according to this study. I think that's probably true.
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:44 PM   #36 (permalink)
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An acquaintance of mine argued over this some weeks ago. He's new agey kind of guy and has this violet light Christian love thing in his head. He was quite startled to find the following in a book called "The Source of Music--Music and Mantra for Self-Realisation" by Sri Chinmoy. So I went out and found a copy. From the chapter "God the Supreme Musician":

Music is God's Dream. God is dreaming at every moment through music. His Dream is called the cosmic Reality, the universal Reality. From the highest point of view, music is not mere words; it is not a concept, not an idea. Music is Reality in its highest form. God is playing the supreme Music in and through us, His chosen instruments.

So there it is again--We are just bit-players in in the dream of a transcendent consciousness or "god" if you will. We are just notes, each lifetime a repeating theme, the totality of lives a symphony of existence that is looking for a coda.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:22 AM   #37 (permalink)
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And yet, it DOES matter, doesn't it? Many religious people think that if you don't believe in their god, their religion, that you WILL do those things. Of course, they must be brain-dead because most of the people that currently exist or have ever existed were not members of their religion and they did not go around killing and hurting people just because they wanted to. The truth is, they didn't want to. But the question is WHY? The answer doesn't really suffice: "Because it's wrong!" But why would someone with no religious convictions at all believe it is wrong? "Because society frowns on it!" But that's not the reason you don't do that stuff. You don't do it because YOU don't believe it's right--period. F-uck society. YOU don't believe in behaving that way. But the truth is, you really don't know why.
As I wrote earlier, science already has a brilliant answer to why most humans have a conscience. You should get into some evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology and evolutionary psychology. These are related subjects that I'm sure would answer so many questions in your life.

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I posit that the reason some of us have a conscience and some don't MAY be because those who do not have a conscience feel deep down that there is anything to regret after death. Those who do have a conscience, on the other hand, cannot escape the belief that SOMEHOW there WILL be a payback. Maybe it's not some bearded, wizened old man in a robe up in the clouds surrounded by angels that passes judgment. But somehow, some way, we must pay for what we do. Even if you're an atheist.
Does this explain animal behaviour as well, then? F.ex are dogs only nice to people because they subconsciously worry about their karma? Is a vampire bat that shares blood with its starving neighbour doing so out of fear of what might happen in the next life?

Also, shouldn't it automatically follow that people who f.ex smoke are on average less moral? After all, they know that there are bad consequences for smoking, both consciously and unconsciously, yet they still do it. You'd think they would also be less moral, even if they subconsciously know they would pay for it in the next life.

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By examining the various philosophies and religions of the world, I found that the doctrines of karma and reincarnation to be the most palatable explanations. So began a long search for a philosophical argument to support it. After many years, I think I have one that is air-tight. It doesn't explain everything or even much of anything but it does lay out a case for reincarnation and that's enough for right now.
So in other words, you went into this with complete bias and your air-tight explanation isn't air-tight.


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We could have evolved any type of moral code or none at all and the results wouldn't be appreciably different in terms of survival. Psychopaths have survived quite admirably.
This is a statement which is not true. Evolution behaves predictably and so does not produce "any kind of moral code". Generally speaking, for a moral code to evolve, it has to make sense as a strategy to maximize the fitness of the individual who holds that moral code. Humans, being a social species, have generally evolved moral codes that promote cooperation which is an important reason why we are such moral beings. You can maximize your own fitness by cooperating with others. But it also follows that we have evolved exploitative behaviour.

When you have a population where the general behaviour can be described as "I scratch your back, you scratch mine", that cooperation may raise everyone's fitness and so it may be in everyone's selfish interest to be in on it. Behaviours (and morals) evolve that help us cooperate because it is a good fitness strategy. But it can be an even better strategy to be a parasite in that system by getting your back scratched, but not scratching anyone else back. After all, you would get the positives of being in a cooperative environment, but not the negatives - the cost of having to help the others. So, ironically, a cooperative environment in itself may reward more selfish strategies that exploit that willingness to cooperate. The more cooperation there is, the more rewarding it would be to exploit that. But if everyone was selfish and didn't cooperate, everyone would have lower fitness for it. The few who then learned to cooperate would do better than the selfish ones and so, ironically, a completely selfish environment could also promote cooperation by making cooperation a comparatively more successful strategy.

So basically, both the exploitation strategy and the cooperation strategy are kept in the population and there is a ratio of exploiters/cooperators were being one is as good as being the other, ex. 90% cooperators and 10% exploiters. If you move away from this ratio in the direction of a higher percentage of cooperators, being an exploiter becomes more rewarding. If you move towards more exploiters, being a cooperator becomes relatively more rewarding. Natural selection helps keep the ratio somewhat stable over time and, generally speaking, this ratio is when the majority cooperate and a minority exploit. You might think exploitation would be so good a strategy that the suggested 10% seems too small - and indeed it can be. However, it is also in the interest of every cooperator to increase the ratio of cooperators by making it more rewarding to cooperate and less rewarding to exploit. (The reverse isn't quite true; someone who exploits generally won't benefit from there being more exploiters). Defense strategies against exploitation evolves. The ability to judge whether or not an individual would reciprocate kindness on your part is an excellent counter strategy. So are laws - moral/social codes or otherwise - that further promotes cooperation and demotes exploitation. This moves the ratio in favour of the cooperators.

So humans are great at cooperating and generally make it so that it is rewarding to cooperate and not so rewarding to exploit, but that doesn't mean that humanity doesn't possess exploitative strategies to take advantage of our knack for cooperation. After all, such strategies would have evolved and we are very complicated animals. A capacity for exploiting others may arise in someone by various means. For example, someone who generally cooperates may become an exploiter if that individual's environment changes. The capacity for being an exploiter, or when that capacity should trigger, may also be coded for genetically and perhaps a lack of the "right" stimulation could lead to a general lack in the capacity to cooperate, for example resulting from a reduced ability to read others emotions, again leading to quicker resort to exploitative behaviours.

So how moral you are comes from a mixed bag. A lot of it comes from genes (in a sense, all of it), some come from environment; both what you've learned and as a reaction to the environment you find yourself in and some of it may be explained by your general health. For example, your general ability like memory, happiness and so on will affect how moral you are. In the most extreme example, a person who is relatively moral may become less moral with the right (or wrong) damage to the brain.

Bottom line is, morality is part of human nature (we know why) and you don't need a fear of karma and the next life to explain it.

I realize I've written quite a bit now, even if it is a drop compared to the ocean about all that can be said or written on the subject. Perhaps some of it is difficult to understand depending on your knowledge of evolution. Feel free to ask if anything is unclear.

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The scientific finding that we don't have any idea why we do what we do and believe what we believe and must make up narratives to explain is about as cynical as it gets. But it has been proven.
Science studies humans as well as other things. Of course there is a scientific explanation to this. You just have to look it up.

The scientific finding that we don't have any idea is a "scientific" finding you've made up.
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Last edited by tore; 07-29-2013 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:03 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Using this logic, I could say that energy is created from the object when the object is created and when that object is destroyed, energy is also destroyed. Is that true? No. Energy is always conserved meaning it cannot be created or destroyed. There is no reason to assume the same would not be true of consciousness.
Yes, there is, because all evidence points to consciousness as being the consequence of interactions taking place in a brain. Without an organ, or possibly something else, to facilitate such interactions, no consciousness can arise.

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Science has a split personality that way. It holds a materialist view in that matter is the fundamental building block of the universe and that consciousness arises from it (i.e. consciousness is epiphenomenal). I disagree, I say that consciousness is the fundamental building block of the universe and that matter is epiphenomenal (the idealist view although there are a variety of idealist philosophies that do not agree).
That is a pretty wild assumption to make, I think.

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Yet quantum mechanics, the very basis of modern physics has already yielded a number of scientifically verified findings that disputes if not disproves the materialist view.

One of the most startling is the discovery that particles are really waves and that it is, in fact, consciousness that collapses this wave function to a localized area in space-time--what we perceive as a particle. Without consciousness, this reality would not exist but in potentia.
This is how far I got into your post before I met another statement and assumption. How do you know wave function collapses only happen as a result of consciousness?

I have heard that it is actually possible to know that they do take place in the absence of an observer, but exactly why I can't remember. I may look it up. Quantum physics are very difficult and I'm sure most quantum physicists will agree. As a result, one should be careful when using it as a basis to construct one's world view. This is difficult pioneer science. Are you sure you understand it all correctly? As Richard Feynman said, "if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics".

From the general principle of occam's razor, one should accept that the universe is not generated from our consciousness alone. The alternative raises too many difficult questions. For instance, if everything is generated by our consciousness, why then this illusion of cause and consequence going way back to a time when seemingly there was no consciousness? Why do we dream up evolution? Why don't we know everything about the universe? How was the universe created? Why does the universe, or we as we create it, trick ourselves, for example by leaving dinosaur fossils for us to find?

Furthermore, following your line of thinking, it seems that pursuit of knowledge about material things seem futile. Yet for all we know, cause and consequence do seem to affect us in predictable ways. Dinosaurs seem to have lived, f.ex you can have a sensation of looking at a fossil or touching an old bone. And if the world does exist independently of consciousness, we will have improved our situation by learning more which is true.

What do you gain from believing it is all generated by your consciousness? Almost nothing. It seems a hopelessly futile and solipsist idea to me. What do you gain from believing the world would exist even if you were not in it? A universe you could possibly hope to understand.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:14 PM   #39 (permalink)
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So in other words, you went into this with complete bias and your air-tight explanation isn't air-tight.
Logically, it's air-tight. But it doesn't prove a thing. If it did, I would be the greatest thinker in the whole of human history.

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This is how far I got into your post before I met another statement and assumption. How do you know wave function collapses only happen as a result of consciousness?
Maybe you're thinking of quantum decoherence which gives the appearance of wave function collapse as an explanation of its observance. Wave collapse is not fundamental here and there may be equivalent processes to explain it. But it brings its own set of bizarre theories such as hidden variables and the multiverse (parallel universes). I can make use of those as well.

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What do you gain from believing it is all generated by your consciousness? Almost nothing.
Almost nothing is pretty damn good! I'll take it! Idealism gives you free will, materialism can't even decide if there is free will or not but strongly leans towards not. Idealism gives a glimpse beyond death and before birth, materialism holds that there is nothing before birth or after death. Idealism explains morality as causation of consciousness (because we have free will), materialism holds that morality is nothing more than evolutionary programming linked to survival.

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Yes, there is, because all evidence points to consciousness as being the consequence of interactions taking place in a brain. Without an organ, or possibly something else, to facilitate such interactions, no consciousness can arise.
Doesn't prove that consciousness is epiphenomenal. Doesn't prove anything.

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Does this explain animal behaviour as well, then? F.ex are dogs only nice to people because they subconsciously worry about their karma? Is a vampire bat that shares blood with its starving neighbour doing so out of fear of what might happen in the next life?
I don't know. I'm not an expert on what goes in an another animal's head. I know what goes on in mine and, to some extent, yours and THAT is what I work with. I don't know what a dog believes or if a dog has beliefs. I wouldn't waste my time philosophizing over it.

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From the general principle of occam's razor, one should accept that the universe is not generated from our consciousness alone.
Occam's razor isn't going to be of much help in an area where every theory is as complex as the next.

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The alternative raises too many difficult questions. For instance, if everything is generated by our consciousness, why then this illusion of cause and consequence going way back to a time when seemingly there was no consciousness?
Because there never was such a time. If I say consciousness is fundamental to the universe, it means you can't go back to when there was no consciousness. Your having a major misconception here and that makes me wonder if you understand at all what I am getting at.

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Why do we dream up evolution?
We don't. Who said we did?

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Why don't we know everything about the universe?
If the universe is fundamentally matter and you are also fundamentally matter then why don't you know? Pointless questions.

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How was the universe created?
Watch the Science Channel. I think they present all the prevailing theories.

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Why does the universe, or we as we create it, trick ourselves, for example by leaving dinosaur fossils for us to find?
It doesn't work like that. Yes, you do not understand idealism at all. Do an internet search and educate yourself on this subject and we'll talk again. Right now it's useless. You can't argue against someone's position if you have no idea what their position is.
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:52 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Logically, it's air-tight. But it doesn't prove a thing. If it did, I would be the greatest thinker in the whole of human history.
Nothing can be proven. Well, almost nothing. You yourself cited Descartes some posts back.

Because it is impossible to prove f.ex that the pencil you hold in your hand really is a pencil (and not f.ex just the illusion of a pencil), we don't actually build up a scientific understanding of the universe by going around and proving things. We may statistically prove something, but that's not the same thing.

Instead, our understanding of the universe is built up by collecting evidence. The pencil looks like a pencil. We can analyze the materials like wood and graphite or how you are able to write with it and the intent by which it was made. The answers to all this should provide evidence that what you are holding is a pencil, but at some point, you're just going to have to believe in that evidence - or not.

So we build our understanding of the universe piece by piece, by adding more evidence onto the evidence we've gathered so far. This is why principles like Occam's Razor is important. When furthering our knowledge of the universe, we have to make assumptions about it. But every time we make an assumption, there is a chance that assumption is wrong. So to reduce the risk of making wrong assumptions, we generally pick the explanations who build upon the amount of evidence we already have and which require us to make less new assumptions about the universe - because every new assumption runs the risk of being wrong.

That is what logical thinking is. What you have constructed is something entirely different. Instead of building on evidence, which f.ex points to the mechanics of the quantum world giving rise to a macro material world which behaves relatively predictably and which would exist even if there is no consciousness in it, you've made a hypothesis that flies in the face of evidence and which needs a wealth of new assumptions about the universe in order to be valid. You run a great risk of deceiving yourself by failing to take the pencil at face value. In other words, I don't think your argument is very logical at all because logic to me also implies critical thinking and I think you've failed to apply that. You already stated that your research has been done not to uncover truth, but specifically to support the idea of reincarnation. Seek and you shall find, whatever it is you find.

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Maybe you're thinking of quantum decoherence which gives the appearance of wave function collapse as an explanation of its observance. Wave collapse is not fundamental here and there may be equivalent processes to explain it. But it brings its own set of bizarre theories such as hidden variables and the multiverse (parallel universes). I can make use of those as well.
Your use of quantum theory is stereotypical. I'm not sure if you have any idea how many hogwash ideas people try to validate by applying "quantum" to it, even on this forum. Quantum theory's scientific history and its difficulty to understand which makes it both brainy and relatively incomprehensible to most and that makes it a favorite go-to explanation for almost anything conceivable. If you say that you understand quantum theory, then I will say you are bluffing. None of us really understand what happens when things are so small that an atom seems the size of a solar system just like noone truly knows what takes place in the center of a massive black hole. These are fringe sciences which are complicated and our understanding of them is still incomplete. To base your world view on assumptions you've made from your attempt to understand them .. Seems like folly to me. Especially when your interpretation counters evidence. But then again, you set out to find arguments to support reincarnation and not necessarily the truth.

In my time in academia, I've met quite a few physicists, but none of them have expressed your world view. They've seemed willing to accept that however mysterious things may seem at the quantum level, they give rise to a world with predictable rules that we can attempt to understand.

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Doesn't prove that consciousness is epiphenomenal. Doesn't prove anything.
As touched upon earlier, if you strive to be at all scientific in this, you should follow the evidence.

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I don't know. I'm not an expert on what goes in an another animal's head. I know what goes on in mine and, to some extent, yours and THAT is what I work with. I don't know what a dog believes or if a dog has beliefs. I wouldn't waste my time philosophizing over it.
What goes on in the head of a dog or a vampire bat is something great thinkers have studied for a long time and parts of the puzzle which makes up our understanding of the universe. The consistent validity of that knowledge adds credibility to the general scientific understanding of our universe, a credibility that your version of it does not have. There are many such sources of credibility that your version of the universe has no claim to. That you think of various facets of the universe as entirely dismissable (waste of time) is telling.

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If the universe is fundamentally matter and you are also fundamentally matter then why don't you know? Pointless questions.
I don't think so. Now it seems you don't understand, but I can roughly explain why it makes sense to me.

If the universe contains matter and some of that matter orders, over time, into me, then you could say I am a consequence of the universe. My consciousness exists at the duration in time when my physical body makes it possible, but not before or after. Why should I know everything? I simply couldn't. Your own posts seem to say so.

But if my consciousness is what shapes the universe, then that makes me the creator of the universe. The universe only exists during the time that I do and is dependent on my very existance. So if I create the universe I exist in along with everything in it, then why is it stupid to ask why I created dinosaurs? Or if the universe is a consequence of a collective consciousness, why is it stupid to ask why we created dinosaurs?

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It doesn't work like that. Yes, you do not understand idealism at all. Do an internet search and educate yourself on this subject and we'll talk again. Right now it's useless. You can't argue against someone's position if you have no idea what their position is.
You know, a good theory holds up in the light of scrutiny. Certainly if it's air-tight, right?
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