Saturday, October 9, 2010

276: The Ghost in the Meat Machine 2

Maybe this is a good moment to check what we have achieved till now.

The first issue is that my starting point is a absolute materialism. This means that only matter matters ^_^
Of course we could start a serious debate on what "matter" is, but for the sake of our present discourse we could loosely define it as that what obeys the laws of nature, the laws of physics.

What I don't do now is to discuss the question whether or not absolute materialism is a tenable ontology. For now I just assume that it is and that there are good arguments for. But again a complete different discussion from what we are focused on now.

A second issue is that we regard the human being and thus his brain too as the result of tens of thousands of years of evolution. In this evolution of the brain, its development took its own course, which has resulted in the brain as it is now.

A third issue is that we therefore conclude that the brain is the mind. That means that the activity of the brain generates that what we call our mind.

A fourth issue is that we know that, as cognitive development psychology shows us, the mind goes through several cognitive stages. WIth regard of our present subject, the most interesting stage is around the age of 2 to 4, when animistic thinking emerges.

Animistic thinking, or animism, is the mental act to ascribe human traits like intentions, thoughts and feelings to non human things. We see that happen in all kinds of variations.

A fifth issue is that we have neurobiological proof that the brain is already wired to interact with and interpret the world around from the moment that we are born. Thus patting Immanual Kant on the shoulder.

A six issue is that we have learnt, that our interaction with reality is driven by three belief-systems: science, religion and supernatural beliefs.

Science I define as knowledge claims that can be tested on true or false. Supernatural beliefs are characterized by the fact that they defy the laws of nature and often can not be tested on true or false.

If we hold something to be a supernatural belief and a test shows that it yet is true, then the supernatural belief shows to be a natural belief, that is, it is knowledge.

The seventh and last issue is that we experience the mind as something different from the body. The body is material and the mind is not, as Descartes thought.

"We treat the mind and the body as separate because that is what we experience. I am controlling my body, but I am more than just my body. We sense that we exist independently of our bodies.", says Bruce Hood.

Yet in brain research the Canadian brain surgeon Wilder Penfield pioneered operations on awake patients for treatment of epilepsy. I leave the details out, but by stimulating parts of the surface of the brian people experienced tastes, moving limbs, relived past experiences. Direct stimulation proved that mental life is a product of the physical brain.

Our brain gives us the illusion that we live in our body. When you cut your finger you feel pain in your finger, but in fact there is nothing in your finger….your brain tells you where to look for physical damage. The pain is in the brain.

When you take an aspirin because your back hurts, the chemicals of the aspirin go to your brain and block some neural transmitters. They never go to your back to ease the pain.

Children of 6 or 7 believe that you don't need a brain to have a mind. And I think a lot of adults still believe this too. The mind is a thing of its own with its own life.

This leads to the supersense belief that we will continue to exist after our death. It leads to the belief that the evil mind of the criminal is still there in the house where he killed so many young girls

I will leave it to that for the moment. Things get pretty complicated now. We'll leave these complications for the philosophical chapters which still have to come in this project and the next lecture.

The Discussion

[13:21] herman Bergson: thank you :-)
[13:21] herman Bergson: If you have any question or remark..plz feel free
[13:21] AristotleVon Doobie: Issue #6 would indicate that supernaturalness evaportes if it can be proven and moves to then scientific realm
[13:22] herman Bergson: yes Aristotle...
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: very good aristotle
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: ah ok
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:22] herman Bergson: If we can prove that the mind has telekinetic becomes a matter of scientific research to find out how it works
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: then its not supernatural anymore
[13:23] Alaya Kumaki: is telekinetic include telepathy?
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: then its fact
[13:23] Alarice Beaumont: yes.. no longer supernatural
[13:23] herman Bergson: There is research on such matters but nothing conclusive
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: lots of experiments going on about that yes
[13:23] AristotleVon Doobie: so then, was the supersense merely curiosity about life?
[13:23] herman Bergson: No Alarice...
[13:23] Alarice Beaumont: no?
[13:24] herman Bergson: It is our survival tool to make sense of what doesn't make sense to us..
[13:24] Alarice Beaumont: but if proven.. it became "normal"
[13:24] herman Bergson: sorry Alarice..should have said Yes .:-)
[13:24] AristotleVon Doobie: I believe remove the fear of not knowing
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes Aristotle..
[13:24] herman Bergson: What happens when you die for instance...
[13:25] AristotleVon Doobie: or diminish it at least
[13:25] herman Bergson: a serious question for many of us
[13:25] Alarice Beaumont: yes... better not think about it Herman
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: all of us into some
[13:25] Alarice Beaumont: questin ..if one has a soul
[13:26] AristotleVon Doobie: and there are those who would offer scientific proof of its extistance....'seeing the light'
[13:26] herman Bergson: Well Alarice ..the answer is simple...when you die you are dead..that is all..nothing happens thereafter :-)
[13:26] herman Bergson: the brain has stopped creating the mind
[13:27] AristotleVon Doobie: of course the answer is simple if that is in fact the case
[13:27] Jozen Ocello: that's a scientific view, isn't it, Herman?
[13:27] AristotleVon Doobie: but we do not know
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yes Jozen, it is all we know about reality so far...
[13:27] AristotleVon Doobie: I would call it the use of the supersense to state it
[13:28] herman Bergson: To state what Aristotle?
[13:28] AristotleVon Doobie: this is how you feel Herman
[13:28] AristotleVon Doobie: about nothing after death
[13:28] Alarice Beaumont: well..people who died clinically speaking and then woke up... say different ,-)
[13:28] herman Bergson: No....I wouldn't say so...
[13:28] AristotleVon Doobie: but can you prove your claim?
[13:29] AristotleVon Doobie: true or false?
[13:29] herman Bergson: We know that the brain generates the when the brian stops the person is gone..dead...
[13:29] AristotleVon Doobie: makes sense, but where does the mind go?
[13:29] Alarice Beaumont: vanishes Ari.....
[13:29] AristotleVon Doobie: and are we the body, the brain or the mind?
[13:29] herman Bergson: nowhere...light a light bulb...light on ...light off...where did the light go???
[13:30] herman Bergson: question makes no sense
[13:30] AristotleVon Doobie: yes, as a supposition
[13:30] herman Bergson: When you say..where did the mind go , you stick to cartesian dualism..
[13:31] Alarice Beaumont: we only occupy our body... it's the mantle we use during our lifetime to move in the world
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: no, I say that I do not know, and have not seen proof eitherway
[13:31] herman Bergson: As I said in the former lecture..we are intuitively inclined to think in terms of dualism
[13:31] Alaya Kumaki: where, is only pointing, into the unknown
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: LOL of course I thence in at least three components of me
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: think
[13:32] herman Bergson: That is a paradox can we know the unknown, for if we do the unknown is known :-)
[13:32] AristotleVon Doobie: yes!
[13:32] Alaya Kumaki: yes its a riddle
[13:32] herman Bergson: smiles
[13:32] herman Bergson: yes...
[13:32] AristotleVon Doobie: form supernatural to scientific in a flash
[13:33] herman Bergson: So...what method or means do we have to search for an afterlife...
[13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: not much
[13:33] AristotleVon Doobie: none
[13:33] AristotleVon Doobie: conjecture is all
[13:33] herman Bergson: No and even more....
[13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: except to those with faith
[13:33] Alarice Beaumont: not really much
[13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: who are sure
[13:33] herman Bergson: this idea of an afterlife is based on our supersense beliefs
[13:34] Alarice Beaumont: only speculations
[13:34] AristotleVon Doobie: indeed
[13:34] herman Bergson: yes indeed
[13:34] Alarice Beaumont: yes i agre
[13:34] herman Bergson: What is more interesting is why people love the idea of an afterlife...
[13:34] herman Bergson: I just today discussed it with my wife...:-)
[13:34] Qwark Allen: afterlife(S)
[13:35] Qwark Allen: plural
[13:35] herman Bergson: a human life is just a flash of light in eternity...
[13:35] hope63 Shepherd: HERMAN-- ITS NOT THAT THEY LOVE THAT IDEA
[13:35] Alarice Beaumont: perhaps it is in us that we want a piece of us to survive
[13:35] Alarice Beaumont: not just go away... the fear of just vanishing
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: The brain tho is required in order for the mind to manifest itself, the body to communicate with the world
[13:35] herman Bergson: and when you die you are condemned to exist for ever one way otr th eother in an afterlife...such an absurd idea!
[13:36] Qwark Allen: Lavoisier have a law, that says nothing is lost, everything just transformes
[13:36] AristotleVon Doobie: immortality LOL, maybe that is why Vampirism is so popular
[13:36] herman Bergson: Oh yes Alarice..the motivations are clear
[13:36] Alarice Beaumont: welll... works with the terrorists .... they think they get 7 virgins
[13:36] Qwark Allen: why should the mind energy get lost, and not transform?
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: 72
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: not seven
[13:36] Alarice Beaumont: in afterlife.. that's what they kill for
[13:36] herman Bergson: Did you ever read Nobody is immortal by Simone de Beauvoir...???
[13:36] Alarice Beaumont: looool
[13:37] Alarice Beaumont: yes... which they can never handle ^^
[13:37] Jozen Ocello: wow 72!
[13:37] Alarice Beaumont: they just don't get it loool
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: yes Qwark, why?
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: Why is the big question isn't it?
[13:37] Qwark Allen: that is my question
[13:37] Jozen Ocello: no, Herman, seems like an interesting book to get hold of though
[13:37] Qwark Allen: yep
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: someone just needs to find the answer
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:37] Alarice Beaumont: some people think the energy will be left in this world
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: some time maybe
[13:38] Qwark Allen: there is no evidence that that isn`t correct
[13:38] herman Bergson: Qwark...perfect idea...
[13:38] herman Bergson: But!
[13:38] herman Bergson: The energy of the brain is electricity...
[13:38] Qwark Allen: yes
[13:38] herman Bergson: so when the electricity stops...what is left then?
[13:38] Qwark Allen: and nothing get lost, so, must be transformed in something else
[13:39] herman Bergson: that is not a law of physics Qwark, but a supersense law..
[13:39] Qwark Allen: or we just didn`t understood well, what is electricity 100%
[13:39] Qwark Allen: like we don`t understand for example, gravity
[13:40] herman Bergson: ok...but where is the research that shows that electricity is more than the movements of electrons?
[13:40] AristotleVon Doobie: I am with you Herman, but there is the lack of the total understanding of the connection to the mind
[13:40] Qwark Allen: that is why we spent 6 billions euros on LHC
[13:40] herman Bergson: Oh sure..absolutely...
[13:40] Qwark Allen: to understand better nature
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:41] herman Bergson: Yes Qwark..we know still so little of all
[13:41] Qwark Allen: that is my point
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: the mind may work on gas instead of electricity
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: I wait for it to start now if they only get the access done on the injectors
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: oh good heavens
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: takes forever
[13:41] Qwark Allen: we can`t discard the idea, just cause doesn't fit in the science we have today
[13:41] herman Bergson: But we have to deal with the present situation and our present knowledge and thus deal with reality
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: hmm yes
[13:41] Qwark Allen: the science we have today, it`s it self, obsolete
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: gas as in some ethereal method
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: its tricky for sure
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: that is true or we are back to just believing on faith
[13:42] Jozen Ocello: how best to deal with this reality then?
[13:42] Qwark Allen: from the beginning of 20th century
[13:42] herman Bergson: No Qwark, but ideas that can not be tested and yet impose a power and control on our existence are dangerous
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: yes
[13:42] Qwark Allen: test gravity
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: I agree Herman
[13:42] Qwark Allen: we know that it is there
[13:42] herman Bergson: Oh they do...
[13:42] Qwark Allen: just not understand it
[13:43] Qwark Allen: no they don`t
[13:43] herman Bergson: no..neither do they understand the cosmos...
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: they become intangible tools to control
[13:43] Qwark Allen: if you understand it, you should apply your self to a nobel
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: they just discovered lately that the higher you are there is a miniscule difference in time
[13:43] herman Bergson: the big bang theory is nice but makes little sense as such
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: the higher age faster
[13:43] Qwark Allen: see, i`m not talking about big bang
[13:43] Qwark Allen: i`m a non believer in that theory
[13:44] herman Bergson: I know..but the microcosmos is the same thing..
[13:44] Qwark Allen: gravity is about macro cosmos
[13:44] Qwark Allen: eheh
[13:44] herman Bergson: therefore I discussion on the question what matter is...:-)
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: theories....are the really supersense if they can not be proven?
[13:44] Qwark Allen: we were talking about the life after death
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: im not so sure about it either even if thats what the LHC tries to recreate but as i said before how can an explosion that created all stuff around us happen out of nothing
[13:44] herman Bergson: There is a lot we don't know..that is ok
[13:45] herman Bergson: but we know that the brain generates the mind...that is for sure
[13:45] herman Bergson: By altering the brain you alter the mind...
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: or maybe you just cloud the connection
[13:45] herman Bergson: When the brain is destroyed by Alzheimer for instance...the body stays but the person is gone
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: maybe the mind is untouchable in every aspect
[13:46] Gemma Cleanslate: well the person's memory is gone
[13:46] Qwark Allen: you are seeing only the part, when brain is destroyed
[13:46] Gemma Cleanslate: they can still interact normally in the present
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: loss of memory is a storage problem
[13:46] Qwark Allen: what about when it`s enhanced?
[13:46] Alarice Beaumont: but gemma .. with the memory .. the person is gone
[13:46] herman Bergson: Oh yes Gemmma I agree....
[13:46] Gemma Cleanslate: oh i don't think that
[13:46] Alarice Beaumont: I must agree with herman
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: if they hear and answer you they are still there
[13:47] herman Bergson: We'll get to the philosophical issue of personal identity certainly
[13:47] Qwark Allen: the are people that have a "vision" that none of us here can explain
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:47] Qwark Allen: yet the exist
[13:47] Qwark Allen: they*
[13:47] Alarice Beaumont: well... they exist.. but it's not a "life"
[13:47] herman Bergson: Yes Qwark....
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: yes i agree
[13:47] Qwark Allen: i meet already some of these
[13:47] Qwark Allen: in my life
[13:47] Qwark Allen: sorry bout that
[13:47] Alarice Beaumont: me too is quite awful :-(
[13:48] Alarice Beaumont: if you know the person... and are seeing what happens
[13:48] Qwark Allen: i`m talking of people that see more then our eyes can see
[13:48] Alarice Beaumont: the third eye?
[13:48] Qwark Allen: something like that
[13:48] Qwark Allen: not really a 3d eye
[13:48] Qwark Allen: but a "intuition"
[13:48] herman Bergson: Neurobiological research has shown that by stimulating the brain ingivenareas you can have all kinds of visions
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:49] Qwark Allen: you got to separate that from the squizo ones
[13:49] herman Bergson: By stimulating the brain people have seen Jesus , departed family..etc
[13:49] Qwark Allen: not illusions, we are talking about
[13:49] Qwark Allen: or psicotic
[13:50] herman Bergson: Well Qwark, I would say that all these visions and insights are generated by the supersense
[13:51] herman Bergson: They are inaccessible for outsiders
[13:51] Gemma Cleanslate: that is true
[13:51] Qwark Allen: i wish you meet someone like this sometime
[13:51] Gemma Cleanslate: probably has
[13:51] herman Bergson: When someone claims to have seen the Holy can do nothing with that claim
[13:52] Gemma Cleanslate: that is true too
[13:52] Qwark Allen: i was a materialist until my 30ies
[13:52] Alarice Beaumont: yes..
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: other that shake my head and back away
[13:52] herman Bergson: too Qwark and I still am ^_^
[13:52] Qwark Allen: i`m not
[13:52] herman Bergson: ok...
[13:53] herman Bergson: I agree with you that I love to believe there is more....
[13:53] Qwark Allen: i`ve my self had experiences in this life that proved me, that , materialist is not 100% right way to explain nature
[13:53] Alarice Beaumont: Qwark... i think there is no absolute truth... it's something of everthing
[13:53] Qwark Allen: indeed
[13:54] herman Bergson: That is the main characteristic of statements based on supersense....
[13:54] Qwark Allen: it is my point of view
[13:54] herman Bergson: they all relate to personal experiences
[13:54] herman Bergson: so they never can be intersubjective
[13:54] Gemma Cleanslate: that is so true
[13:54] Qwark Allen: i should start take the medication again
[13:54] Qwark Allen: ehehh
[13:54] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:54] Alarice Beaumont: well... i don't think there are terrorists who really can talk about the 72 virgins ,-)
[13:55] Alarice Beaumont: so no experience there ^^
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:55] herman Bergson: one came back to introduce the 72 girls to us
[13:55] Alarice Beaumont: ,-)
[13:55] Qwark Allen: when we try to generalize this kind of questions, always get in wrong field
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: have to go
[13:56] Alarice Beaumont: yes... it is quite difficult to nail it down
[13:56] herman Bergson: Then it is time to dismiss the class Qwark...^_^
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: tuesday I hope I will be on time
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: ok cu Gemma
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: maybe not
[13:56] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[13:56] Qwark Allen: ok
[13:56] herman Bergson: Thank you all for the great discussion again
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: Bye, Bye ㋡
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: interesting for sure ㋡
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: as usual
[13:56] Qwark Allen: at least i told yours my opinion about
[13:56] Qwark Allen: ;-)
[13:56] Qwark Allen: was interesting like always
[13:56] herman Bergson: Just know that hundreds of people around the world love us and read the blog of the class ^_^
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: yes very :-)
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: Thank you , Professor
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:57] herman Bergson: Like Hope did all the time :-)
[13:57] Qwark Allen: ah nice
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: can you see how often it is clicked?
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: yo have some valid considerations Qwark
[13:57] herman Bergson: Look at the map on the wall here Alarice...
[13:58] Qwark Allen: it was what i`ve been thinking this last years
[13:58] herman Bergson: Every red dot is a person visiting our blog
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: aa ok
[13:58] Qwark Allen: see you tuesday
[13:58] herman Bergson: from Alaska to New Zealand
[13:58] Qwark Allen: got to go to
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: wow, cool
[13:58] Qwark Allen: party in 5 minutes
[13:58] Qwark Allen: :-)
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: late on Q-man
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: aaa nice
[13:58] Alarice Beaumont: wow.... incredible!
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: Im on ㋡
[13:58] Qwark Allen: kk
[13:58] herman Bergson: Have fun Qwark!
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: time to scare up my neighbors
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:58] Alarice Beaumont: fantastic!
[13:59] Alarice Beaumont: hahahah
[13:59] herman Bergson: the blog has about 10 followers for instance..another class soto speak
[14:00] Alarice Beaumont: think it's great :-)
[14:00] Alarice Beaumont: good acknowledgement of your work :-)
[14:00] herman Bergson: Yes it is certainly motivating to go on ^_^
[14:00] herman Bergson: Like this class is too
[14:01] AristotleVon Doobie: it is good to see the interest

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