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  1. #81
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Science is applied ration in the pursuit of the understanding of how the universe or specific parts of it function.
    Damn. I was almost about to tear apart your argument. You spoil my fun.

    Science is model building. It's the pursuit of models that can help us to understand.

  2. #82
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    I guess both sides, atheists and religious folks are looking for the off-chance for converting the agnostic individuals. Perhaps the more noise you make, the more likely people will take notice.
    Wow, it's like Election 2008 all over again (where agnostic = independents).
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #83
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    From my perspective, the two here are the one and the same. Once we define death, then the evidence you have is much more compelling. If a person is truly unable to sense anything (dead or otherwise), and are able to tell you what they could not of sensed, then there is something very exciting there.
    Thank you -- I think this is the point I was dancing around but never stated so succinctly as you just did.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #84
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I find the whole idea of computers interesting, in reference to Eric B's comments about the development of a self-conscious entity.

    Computer tech has radically leaped ahead in the last 50 years... all operating on a principle that is essentially just an extremely long, extremely insane flipping of gate bits (1's and 0's). Even the DNA strand is an incredibly long list of just 4 compounds (basically), with the pairs already predefined, arranged in various orders. And that seemingly simple setup generates all the complexity we see in the world.

    We cannot create "sentinent" beings at this point, but definitely we can generate things that operate on complex levels and we just don't know whether we'll ever be able to create things that are as "self-conscious" as humans seem to be.

    (Although I'm still not sure how "self-conscious" we truly are -- I mean, philosophers cannot even agree on whether humans have free will or whether every behavior is determined based on the multitude of data from the past moment.)
    I guess I just see conscious entities as a different class than the physical stuff made of DNA, or computer data. One consists of "things" (whether flesh, or instructions made of binary digits for a processor to display information, which is what a computer basically consists of. We can turn one of the questions raised in the 34 points back on them. If we are just chemicals, then would mixing or otherwise manipulating those chemicals (which hypothetically could become possible with increased scientific knowledge, as is the point being made), then mix our consciousness with that of another person? We would be half us and half someone else, living two lives at once? Or if we mixed them with even more people? No one seems to entertain any such ideas as that.

    To question self-consciousness with the whole "free-will" issue (which also rages within the Church in Calvinist vs Arminian circles) would seem to go along with the notion that life is all some sort of unreal dream. But even if that were true, then where/from what is the perception of the dream coming from?
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  5. #85
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    I guess I just see conscious entities as a different class than the physical stuff made of DNA, or computer data. One consists of "things" (whether flesh, or instructions made of binary digits for a processor to display information, which is what a computer basically consists of. We can turn one of the questions raised in the 34 points back on them. If we are just chemicals, then would mixing or otherwise manipulating those chemicals (which hypothetically could become possible with increased scientific knowledge, as is the point being made), then mix our consciousness with that of another person? We would be half us and half someone else, living two lives at once? Or if we mixed them with even more people? No one seems to entertain any such ideas as that.

    To question self-consciousness with the whole "free-will" issue (which also rages within the Church in Calvinist vs Arminian circles) would seem to go along with the notion that life is all some sort of unreal dream. But even if that were true, then where/from what is the perception of the dream coming from?
    Can consciousness exist without the brain (the physical tissue that comprises the brain)?

    It's well known that the brain is composed of billions (100 billion or so) interconnected neurons--a large portion of them (23 billion or so) in the outer neocortex layers which are just 2mm thick. That is where higher coginitive function goes on (God's neighbourhood).

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    Can consciousness exist without the brain (the physical tissue that comprises the brain)?
    Not as far as anyone who actually knows how it works knows. I love my sentences.

  7. #87
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Science is applied ration in the pursuit of the understanding of how the universe or specific parts of it function.
    This definition includes both Philosophy and Astrology as part of science. Is that your intention?
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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  8. #88
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    Can consciousness exist without the brain (the physical tissue that comprises the brain)?

    It's well known that the brain is composed of billions (100 billion or so) interconnected neurons--a large portion of them (23 billion or so) in the outer neocortex layers which are just 2mm thick. That is where higher coginitive function goes on (God's neighbourhood).
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    Not as far as anyone who actually knows how it works knows. I love my sentences.
    All that really means is that in this realm, we are dependent on our physical brains to receive input from the physical world, and run our physical bodies (i.e. involuntarily). It also receives commands to either think, or to move our bodies. What is giving it these commands? If it gets back into that "well, there might not really be free will or consciousness" suggestion, then we are back to the last question posed, about life being imaginary.
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  9. #89
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    This definition includes both Philosophy and Astrology as part of science. Is that your intention?
    First you fell back on the old "separate providences" argument. When I countered that, you moved on to questioning the role of ration in the scientific endeavor. When I countered that, you moved on to questioning my definition of science.

    Parry, parry, parry, never taking a stance.

    Now you resort to splitting semantic hairs. (A tactic I can't help but note that ENTPs seemingly universally share a fondness for.)

    I'm satisfied with my definition. Those who will take it will take it, those who will leave it will leave it.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

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  10. #90
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    What's interesting is that the atheists are completely right.

    But what is more interesting it that the suspension of disbelief is completely beyond right and wrong.

    So the atheists can never prove that belief is wrong.

    And believers can never prove their belief is right.

    Atheists and believers are like husband and wife - they fight like cat and dog, but can't do without each other.

    They are mutually inhibitory, but each turns the other on.

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