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ON A RESONANCE THEORY OF THOUGHT AND SPIRITUALITY
Karl Jaspers Forum ^ | August 21, 2001 | Varadaraja V. Raman

Posted on 08/02/2003 4:43:59 PM PDT by betty boop

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To: js1138
I think there is some misunderstanding about what the word physical means to science.

Well, matter has rest mass, energy doesn't.

Now to your previous statement.

If the hypothetical message can be decrypted, then it exists.

Then you have admitted that something that is not embodied "exists". It is of no consequence whether or not the key "exists" since any message intended for decryption can be decrypted.

It is also relevant that you consider "material" things contingent upon knowledge.

101 posted on 08/04/2003 7:33:34 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
The title of the thread has the word "spriituality" in it. I take it that implies something beyond what science can study. I have seen no evidence whatsoever that science cannot study consciousness or the physical basis of consciousness. It is a difficult problem, and one that might be solved in our lifetime, but it science has encountered no roadblocks so far.

I use the term physical to mean that which is the object of the physical sciences, and that includes matter, energy, spacetime, chemistry, biochemistry, and even the behavior of living things.

The assumption that science would come to a halt at some point because it had explained everything possible to explain about the physical world has been persistent. I would say that anyone attempting to talk about consciousness without studying neuroscience is just wasting time.

102 posted on 08/04/2003 7:48:32 AM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138; Consort; Alamo-Girl; Phaedrus
Anything that can be studied is pretty much by definition physical. Anything that is beyond study and experiment is pretty much in the realm of faith.

I have strong doubts about this, js1138. If one studies the laws of nature, is one studying something "physical?" What about mathematical reasoning -- is doing math "physical?" Or are these things exercises of faith?

103 posted on 08/04/2003 7:49:19 AM PDT by betty boop (We can have either human dignity or unfettered liberty, but not both. -- Dean Clancy)
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To: betty boop
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/lakoff/lakoff_p1.html
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/lakoff/lakoff_p2.html
104 posted on 08/04/2003 7:49:43 AM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
The title of the thread has the word "spriituality" in it. I take it that implies something beyond what science can study. I have seen no evidence whatsoever that science cannot study consciousness or the physical basis of consciousness.

Science stops at explaining the quantum eraser. At that point it just says, well that is the way it is.

105 posted on 08/04/2003 7:57:25 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: js1138; Alamo-Girl; Phaedrus; djf; JimVT
According to Lakoff, metaphor appears to be a neural mechanism that allows us to adapt the neural systems used in sensory-motor activity to create forms of abstract reason. "If this is correct, as it seems to be," he says, "our sensory-motor systems thus limit the abstract reasoning that we can perform. Anything we can think or understand is shaped by, made possible by, and limited by our bodies, brains, and our embodied interactions in the world. This is what we have to theorize with."

This seems extraordinarily reductive to me, js1138. I can think about all kinds of things, even things with which I have no apparent "embodied interactions" at all.

106 posted on 08/04/2003 8:10:40 AM PDT by betty boop (We can have either human dignity or unfettered liberty, but not both. -- Dean Clancy)
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To: betty boop
What about mathematical reasoning -- is doing math "physical?"

That's a subject of debate. We probably have a better record of the history of math than any other kind if history, but aside from counting, math is pretty self-referential. It is true because we manipulate the axioms and operators to make it true. Rather the ultimate tautology.

That's my opinion. I admit to being over my head here, so I'm going to bail out of the discussion at this point.

Check out my links, and if you get the opportunity, check out some of the work being done in cognitive neuroscience. I don't see how you can write a book about consciousness without studying what science has learned about it.

107 posted on 08/04/2003 8:12:41 AM PDT by js1138
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To: betty boop
I can think about all kinds of things, even things with which I have no apparent "embodied interactions" at all.

Examples?

108 posted on 08/04/2003 8:14:21 AM PDT by js1138
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To: djf
Am going to buy Nasr's book! Thanks for the recommendation, djf.
109 posted on 08/04/2003 9:36:53 AM PDT by betty boop (We can have either human dignity or unfettered liberty, but not both. -- Dean Clancy)
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl
bb, I'm back from being almost always away from computers... for days. It was great. For some more to round out this subject matter, you may enjoy searching on:

"Rupert Sheldrake" AND resonance

There is some interesting stuff out there that gets much closer to science than the spiraling recursions that theoretics often tends to become. Also, keep cornelis' judgment in mind -- keep philosphical discipline engaged. ;-)
110 posted on 08/04/2003 9:54:55 AM PDT by unspun ("Do everything in love." | No I don't look anything like her but I do like to hear "Unspun w/ AnnaZ")
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To: js1138; AndrewC; Alamo-Girl; Consort; Phaedrus; djf; JimVT
I have seen no evidence whatsoever that science cannot study consciousness or the physical basis of consciousness. It is a difficult problem, and one that might be solved in our lifetime, but it science has encountered no roadblocks so far.

But materialist science has encountered a "road block" in the study of "consciousness or the physical basis of consciousess." Indeed, it put that roadblock there itself: It takes the physical basis as the "whole show." Let me give an example:

Let's say we hook up a brain to an EEG machine, and then have our subject listen to Beethoven's 9th. For materialist science, the readout on the EEG tape is the only thing "real" about that conscious experience; for the tape records transitions of our subject's particular brain states (neuronal firings, electrochemical responses) on hearing the symphony.

But has the EEG in any way, shape, or form captured the conscious experience of the subject, listening to the symphony? Does it capture the "feeling," the emotion the symphony inspires in him at all?

Consciousness is about the feeling/emotional experience of our subject. This cannot be found on the tape at all, which can only trace the patterns of neuronal firings in the brain, not how the symphony was actually experienced by our subject.

Science won't get very far with consciousness until it recognizes that subjective experience, consciousness, thought, is not reducible to matter or is in any way identical with it. The point is consciousness is of a different order than matter: It is fundamentally immaterial -- and yet universal all the same.

111 posted on 08/04/2003 10:00:25 AM PDT by betty boop (We can have either human dignity or unfettered liberty, but not both. -- Dean Clancy)
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To: betty boop
Science won't get very far with consciousness until it recognizes that subjective experience, consciousness, thought, is not reducible to matter or is in any way identical with it. The point is consciousness is of a different order than matter: It is fundamentally immaterial -- and yet universal all the same.

Nice summary, bb.

112 posted on 08/04/2003 10:16:23 AM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: betty boop
Science won't get very far with consciousness until it recognizes that subjective experience, consciousness, thought, is not reducible to matter or is in any way identical with it. The point is consciousness is of a different order than matter: It is fundamentally immaterial -- and yet universal all the same.




It's a nice thought, and I would even agree with it, personally. But, prove it scientifically... You can't, yet anyway.

Until you can, it cannot be studied "scientifically".
113 posted on 08/04/2003 11:38:48 AM PDT by Aric2000 (If the history of science shows us anything, it is that we get nowhere by labeling our ignorance god)
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To: djf
It may be that thought, consciousness exist in higher dimensions that would be impervious to current forms of measurement and detection.
114 posted on 08/04/2003 11:45:15 AM PDT by Semper Paratus
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To: betty boop
For materialist science, the readout on the EEG tape is the only thing "real" about that conscious experience...

That is simply untrue. It may be the only thing available to that particular investigator at that particular time, but science builds mosaics over time out of bits and pieces of data. the roadblock you assert simply does not exist.

It is precisely the questions you ask that motivate the scientist, but the scientist exercises self-discipline in speculating about the big picture.

115 posted on 08/04/2003 11:46:17 AM PDT by js1138
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To: betty boop
Science won't get very far with consciousness until it recognizes that subjective experience, consciousness, thought, is not reducible to matter or is in any way identical with it.

I think you are mistaking the thing for talking about the thing. Nothing is entirely "reducible". The question is whether it is understandable.

You get away with statements like this because the problem of understanding brains is extremely hard, and the work is in its infancy.

There are extremely interesting things being discovered. For example it is possible using MRI, to tell whether someone learned a language before age six or after age twelve. This may seem trivial, but who would have guessed the age of language learning makes an observable difference in brain structure?

116 posted on 08/04/2003 11:54:00 AM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
Make that a "learned a second lnguage".
117 posted on 08/04/2003 12:01:20 PM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138; betty boop
The question is whether it is understandable.

It sounds as if you are lapsing into word games again. Betty is saying she doubts that science will (understand) explain consciousness. You assert that it will. It is for you to establish that and not just make up potentialities.

I have given you evidence that science has reached a point at which it has run out of explaining power. At that point science states, well that is the way it is. Yet the event occurs.

118 posted on 08/04/2003 12:13:45 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
If you are speaking of QM, I doubt if science has run out of explaining power. It's just over a century since Maxwell asserted that the end of physics was in sight; just a couple of loose ends to tidy up. Those loose ends turned out to be QM and relativity. There are new loose ends to tidy up, and no one has run out of things to investigate.

If you are speaking of consciousness, we are just beginning.
119 posted on 08/04/2003 12:22:38 PM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
If you are speaking of QM, I doubt if science has run out of explaining power.

Doubt all you want, it cannot explain the quantum eraser. It can only demonstrate it. Can you explain to me what causality is?

120 posted on 08/04/2003 12:32:39 PM PDT by AndrewC
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