Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Soul searching



The soul is that intangible essence of us that believers hope will survive death.  I wish I could say that the soul existed.  Sadly, I cannot. This is the first of two parts on the soul.
In this post, I look at the definition of the soul. Next time, I examine some of the science.
If one disentangles the arguments about eternal life one discovers there are two contradictory definitions of life after death in the Western tradition.  In one view the soul and the body are separated and in the other theory, they are kept together.  But these two mutually exclusive traditions are often melded together in a confusing mish mash.  How is it that two contradictory notions of life after death can exist?  Either the soul and the body are separated or are not?  Why is there no public debate about the clash of definitions?  I expect it is because either most people in their heart of hearts, notwithstanding their stated belief, don’t actually believe.  So they don’t want to interrogate the two forms of life after death.
The first form is the disembodied soul.  In this Hellenistic tradition, the soul is separated from the body and some existence is then supposed to eventuate presumably in Heaven.   
But what form of existence would there be for the disembodied soul?  Without eyes, ears, brain and mouth, the soul would be incapable of thought, sight, sound and the ability to communicate.  Souls would have an awful isolated existence of sensory deprivation.  Indeed, if they were the souls of miscreants, these souls would feel nothing of the searing punitive fires of Hell. 
The life of a disembodied soul would be one of sensory deprivation and endless tedium.  Such a disembodied existence, were it possible, would be awful, miserable anti human existence.  And needless to say, the nature of the soul clashes with available scientific evidence.  The soul, however defined, is part of the brain and so with death, comes the death of the brain and so the soul must die with the body and cannot live a distinct and disembodied state.
Michelangelo's version of the soul - the second form of a soul embedded in a resurrected body.

The second notion of life after death is restoration of the dead cadavers at some time such as the Coming of God.  This is known as resurrection.  In this form of eternity, the soul and the body remain together and both physically revive and are restored.  This notion is scientifically absurd given the poor status of the bodies after but a short time in the grave or the crematorium.  And what would happen should the atoms from one corpse be consumed and form part of a living person?  Who gets those atoms? If I shared the atoms that formed part of some historic personage, who would get those atoms on the day of resurrection and whose limbs would be mere stumps?  And I feel that most of us don’t really truly believe in resurrection.  If we did, mummification or embalming and vacuum packing would be widespread rather than cremation and rotting in the earth.  Ancient Egyptians planned for a resurrected afterlife by mummification because of the tenacity of their belief.  Modern humans have the capacity it would seem to say they believe and yet actions of cremation and burial indicate otherwise.
And the difficulty of all forms of afterlife is demonstrated in Eric Clapton’s plaintive cry to his dead baby child, “Would you know my name, if I saw you in heaven?”  He wrote this elegy after his young son fell to his death.  He is asking about the nature of the post mortal world.  What age would his son be?  Would he be a young boy child unable to recall his father?  Would the dead be ancient like Clapton will be when he dies?  Will we be an infant like his son – incapable of memory?  Will we be like many of us will be at death – with Alzheimer’s – also incapable of memory?  Clapton seems to be suggesting that there is no meaningful afterlife and the song appears to be a part of his healing as he comes to realise this.

The idea of the soul is alluring and uplifting.  The notion is found in both Western and Eastern traditions.  It gives us hope in the face of relentless, inexorable pursuit of death.  One would have to be a complete shit head to repudiate it.  I am sorry to be one of those that do.  What will I do next?  Proclaim that brain devouring zombies don’t exist?  I think that I am on safer, less contentious grounds with that one.

What do you think?

Are you a believer in the afterlife? 
Which of the two forms do you believe in – soul alone or soul and body combined?  How do you contend with the logic and evidence of the afterlife?

So now it is over to you guys.


286 comments:

  1. "What do you think?"

    Sits back and waits for the loonies to spout shit.

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    1. The $AU was up against the $US today by 2c

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    2. MalcolmS11:41 PM

      Didn't have to wait long.

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    3. Very funny Zed. I LOL. dick

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  2. Hello Dick,
    The issue of a soul is one I've thought about off and on throughout my life. As a little one I was told I had a baby brother up in heaven watching over me. (One of my brothers died 2 months before I was born. He was 11 months old.) My mother constantly said Marcus was too good for this world that's why God took him to heaven. This concerned me a bit because my child self wasn't sure if It wanted to go to this heaven place. Occasional bouts of naughtiness seemed the way to go, a plan I've continued to follow.

    My catholic education taught me that our souls rise up to heaven when we die. I can remember asking one of the nuns during religious instruction if my brother would still be a baby and how would he know me? I was told to sit down and stop disrupting the class. Basically I was taught from a very young age if I asked questions I'd get into trouble, so I learnt to follow my own instincts. My instincts told me, again from a very young age, I didn't believe this religious stuff, it didn't make sense to me. And if it was true, why was it wrong to ask questions?

    During the years of my physical abuse my lack of belief solidified. How could a loving God permit this. And how could someone who professed to be a 'good Catholic' inflict such pain on her children?

    I sometimes use the word soul, but for me it refers to our being, essence, these finite things that make up who we are. The best of ourselves and the worst of ourselves. I have no truck with the religious version of 'a soul'.

    After the death of my son, and then my husband, I experienced this sense that their essence lives on in me. Not in any religious way but in how they touched my life. By loving me unconditionally, they taught me how to love unconditionally. I had never experienced unconditional love as a child. I was changed by their life and love, the things they both taught me, the closeness we shared, the troubles we endured, the fun we had. I was irrevocably changed by their death. I sometimes refer to them as an absent presence in my life.

    I will never be the person I once was, but while I live they live on in my memory, in the person I am now, in the poems I write. Some poems are letters to them, letters I know they will never read, but I am comforted by the writing of them. And when I post these letter poems on my blog, they live for a moment in the minds of those who read my words.

    No I don't believe in an afterlife or any religious version of a soul. Life as I knew it with my son and husband died with them.

    The following is a 'letter poem' I wrote a few weeks ago.

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    1. Dear Tricia, Thanks for the beautiful homage to your two lost loves. The issue of post mortal presence depends on perspective. If one cannot believe in the soul, then it is perfectly reasonable belief to hold that good people affect those in their circle. I believe that. I believe too that the posterity we leave after our death is limited to a small circle of people. In 200 years time, no one in this century or the last will be preserved in the annals of posterity except perhaps Hitler, Stalin and Mao as examples of the mid century disastrous experiment with totalitarianism. The rest of humanity will be forgotten. Sorry, maybe Pol Pot will be remembered because a couple of films were made about his totalitarian ways.
      The discussion about the soul does balance our transience with longings for permanence. I do believe in a limited permanence (excuse the oxymoron). My posterity will last after my death until my grandchildren die. Then I too will be finally dead. It is not trite to say that our loved ones live on in us, in our memories and in our behaviour. That is my version of the post mortal. As you and I both believe, there is sadly no soul. Thanks again. Dick

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    2. MalcolmS9:38 PM

      "there is sadly no soul"

      There is a mortal soul Dick.

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  3. My Son

    As the anniversary of your death approaches
    I’m longing for your dad
    It’s not that I don’t long for you
    Your absence
    Is an ache beyond words
    It’s living your absence alone
    That peels the bark
    From the tree of my life

    Every anniversary
    Dad and I would journey to
    Squeaky Beach
    During our years in Brisbane
    We’d fly home in time for our
    Pilgrimage to The Prom

    I’m angry with my limitations
    This failing body that refuses to obey
    I want to lie prostrate
    On the squeaky sand
    Keen to the ocean
    Be helped up and held
    By the only person
    Who truly understood

    To share the stories
    No one else knows
    Drink your favourite French champagne
    From tacky plastic flutes
    Watch dad climb the rock
    He’d stood on
    As he waited for ebb tide
    To scatter your ashes
    Hold him when he returns
    From his personal grief ritual

    Darling boy I accept your right
    To choose death
    I ache for the suffering
    That brought you to that choice
    And I miss you
    Oh how I miss you

    Sometimes it’s hard
    Being the last tree standing
    As the gale force winds of life blow
    I bend and sway
    But for whatever reason
    I don’t break
    Surrounded by people
    Who love and nurture me
    Yet alone in my longing

    You used to laugh and call me
    A tree hugging hippy
    I’m now a gnarled old gum
    Longing to be hugged
    By my boy and his dad

    Tricia 8/2013

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    1. Dear Last Tree Standing,
      Is this your best yet? It is a tragic account which is also full of the joy of a life well and truly lived. Thank you. I just hope that people have the time to read it. It speaks of the highs and appalling lows of living and the irresistible tragedy of death.
      The Dickster

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  4. MalcolmS7:30 PM

    Classic!! That's your best post yet Dick!

    Oh to be able to reconcile the contradictory notion of eternal souls :)

    But wait.... help is near.... I think I hear the distant drum of Ralph's little fingers strumming the keyboard.... yes.... here it comes!

    Hallelujah!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLk4vdY28Q

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  5. Dont diss the soul

    It's a great concept

    In fact I have several.
    For instance
    One for work
    one for leisure
    And one to impress "the ladies"

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  6. Hi dick,

    When you say that you think people don’t actually believe in the soul (or afterlife, not sure quite what you were saying they don’t believe in), I don’t think that is quite true. I think people do believe in it they just don’t want to examine it too closely. They want the comfort of thinking “Death isn’t the end. I will still be around in some form. I will be able to meet up with my dead relatives and friends and the bad people will be punished”. But they are afraid that if they examine it too closely they will no longer be able to continue to believe in the comforting lie. Any child can pick out problems with the story but people don’t want to acknowledge the problems or they might have to face up to the reality.

    Apart from the problems that you have mentioned with the soul, there is also the issue of how the soul interacts with the body. If the soul is an undetectable, non-physical presence (as most people who believe in it think that it is) then if it causes the physical body into action then there must be a breakdown in the laws of nature somewhere. Namely, the physical body must be moved without a physical cause. Despite advances in neuro-technology this has not been detected.

    If it is then claimed that the physical causes of other physical actions are somehow consistent with the soul (while the soul presumably works on some ‘higher’ level), then all they are saying is that the soul is a superfluous explanation and hence there is no evidence for its existence.

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    1. MalcolmS3:14 AM

      boof: "If the soul is an undetectable, non-physical presence (as most people who believe in it think that it is) then if it causes the physical body into action then there must be a breakdown in the laws of nature somewhere"

      So, are you claiming that the soul[consciousness] doesn't exist?

      Or, that it exists but is unnatural[supernatural]?

      Or, that it exists naturally but doesn't interact with the body?

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    2. I am saying that the only actions that we have detected have a natural cause. Therefore, either the soul (or consciousness if that is how you want to define the soul) is just the experience of neurons firing (like wetness is the experience of water molecules on the skin, or colour is the experience of different wavelengths of light hitting the retina) and hence is a purely natural phenomenon; or it is a non-natural phenomenon that has no detectable interaction with the body and hence we have no evidence for its existence.

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    3. soul[consciousness]

      Consciousness and soul are two different phenomena twiddles.
      Unless you don't want them to be, in which case they aren't.

      Hooray for "mental concrete". (Which doesn't exist. Unless you want it to, in which case it does)

      Can you see the difference between soul and consciousness? (Which obviously exists. Unless you cant see it, in which case it doesn't)

      lol

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    4. You're right Boof. There is a difference between not believing something and not examining a belief to closely. You are correct to say belief in the soul fits more into the unexamined belief category. Thanks for that. It has changed my mind and will change my presentation on this issue.
      What is the status of a comfort giving UNexamined belief?
      The second question is also provocative. If the soul is supernatural, of course our natural scientific tools will be irrelevant. Good point. It just therefor depends on which body of knowledge has more credibility - science or faith. That is an individual's call. Thanks again. Dick

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  7. Don't forget the atheist immortality myth, which is called 'uploading'

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    1. I think you're referring to a Doctor Who episode where the Doctor uploads River Song to the library's database...

      Atheists don't generally believe in myths - we're hardly likely to start inventing new ones - we leave that bollocks for religion; purgatory is a shining example.

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    2. Didn't see that episode Kate and I am not referring to Dr Who.

      Try this one on for size:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2344398/Google-futurist-claims-uploading-entire-MINDS-computers-2045-bodies-replaced-machines-90-years.html

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    3. How does one atheist bloke making a claim about what might happen in the future equate to "the atheist immortality myth"? What has his atheism got to do it?

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  8. But doesn't even uploaded material die when you zap the hard disk or cease paying the server fees???

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    1. I can state for sure that Godzilla could completely trample the data centre where I work and nothing would be lost except maybe a couple of transactions.

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    2. Robin: I can state for sure that Godzilla could completely trample the data centre where I work and nothing would be lost except maybe a couple of transactions.

      What if Godzilla took the data centre back to his cave? Would the data be lost then?

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    3. "What if Godzilla took the data centre back to his cave? Would the data be lost then?"

      No, but I'm not going in there to get it.

      Delete
  9. Dick Gross wrote: "The second notion of life after death is restoration of the dead cadavers at some time such as the Coming of God. This is known as resurrection"

    I am not sure which tradition you are referring to, but if you mean the Christian tradition then you have simply got it wrong.

    According to Christianity there is a new and incorruptible body after the resurrection. It is not a human body, for example when Jesus is asked about widow conflicts after death he says that we will be neither man nor woman.

    There is no logical or even scientific impossibility here. As I have pointed out before there are a significant number of atheists who believe that resurrection in a new and incorruptible body will be scientifically feasible in the near future.

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    1. Robin: According to Christianity there is a new and incorruptible body after the resurrection. It is not a human body ... There is no logical or even scientific impossibility here. ... there are a significant number of atheists who believe that resurrection in a new and incorruptible body will be scientifically feasible ...

      What’s your point? It can’t be that atheists are just as dumb as Christians because a ‘significant number of atheists’ does not represent atheists in general. It can’t be that we should take the resurrection of dead humans into living non-humans seriously because ‘a significant number of atheists’ believing in it is not sufficient reason for the general population to follow suit.

      If all you’re trying to say is that anything’s possible then why not just do so?

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    2. RalphH 10/106:02 PM

      “According to Christianity there is a new and incorruptible body after the resurrection. It is not a human body" (Robin3:33 PM)

      I think what you mean Robin is that it's not a physical body (everything physical is "corruptible"). It still has to be a "human" body - but a spiritual one. ("It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." - 1Cr 15:44)

      "...for example when Jesus is asked about widow conflicts after death he says that we will be neither man nor woman.”

      It took me a while to figure this out. You’re talking about the story at Matthew 22:23-30 (and other gospels.) I think it’s important to point out that Jesus did not say that “we will be neither man nor woman”, he said we’d be “ like angels of God in heaven”.

      There is no indication that angels are “neither man nor woman”. It does say that “they neither marry nor are given in marriage” but this merely means that they do not go through the process of becoming married in heaven, not that there is no marriage in heaven.

      My understanding is that ALL in heaven are married but the process of becoming married (finding their soulmate/establishing their compatibility) takes place in this world even though they may never have met prior to meeting in the afterlife. 



      IMO, (not the ‘traditional’ Christian idea) an angel is not a single person but a duality of two individual completely compatible, complementary beings (man + woman) combined and interwoven (by their own free-choice and consent) into one entity i.e. being of like mind in an eternal marriage.


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    3. Ralph: My understanding is that ALL in heaven are married ...

      Cuckoooooo!

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    4. RalphH 10/107:52 PM

      
“Cuckoooooo!” (Terry6:09 PM)

      So, you disagree with me Terry. I’m not surprised. It’s a pretty radical idea (even for many Christians) and most people like to stay in their comfort zone.

      You do after all identify as an atheist so I imagine wouldn’t be including any idea of heaven and it’s inhabitants in your thinking. For me, it’s part and parcel of how and why we’re here and how the universe, indeed the whole of existence, works.

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    5. MalcolmS7:55 PM

      RalphH: "IMO, (not the ‘traditional’ Christian idea) an angel is not a single person but a duality of two individual completely compatible, complementary beings (man + woman) combined and interwoven (by their own free-choice and consent) into one entity i.e. being of like mind in an eternal marriage"

      Cuckoooooo!

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    6. "According to Christianity there is a new and incorruptible body after the resurrection."

      Robin I think he meant Lazarus like, and Jesus before the ascension, or are they incorruptible bodies as well?

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    7. RalphH 10/1012:42 AM

      “Cuckoooooo!” (MalcolmS7:55 PM)

      Amazing Malcolm, you added exactly the same number of ‘o’s as Terry did. I’m not surprised that you would think me or what I write 'cuckoo'. You’re not very open to new ideas.

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    8. MalcolmS1:20 AM

      "You’re not very open to new ideas"

      Yep... just the same old true ones :)

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    9. "My understanding is that ALL in heaven are married'

      Ralph you need to learn the difference between an understanding of something and wishful thinking.

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    10. "My understanding is that ALL in heaven are married but the process of becoming married (finding their soulmate/establishing their compatibility) takes place in this world even though they may never have met prior to meeting in the afterlife."

      So now I won't go to heaven because I'm not married, or I will go to heaven but I have to get married when I'm there? That's really ruined my day - I love being single and now I will spend eternity being lumped with some bloke? Jesus Ralph, this is why we call bullshit to your special brand of nonsense. Where does the bible dribble this delicious drivel?

      I'm guessing there's no gay marriages in heaven either?

      "It’s a pretty radical idea..." No, it's just more made-up bullshit that keeps safe you in your tiny weeny comfort zone.

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  10. Dick Gross wrote: "Will we be an infant like his son – incapable of memory? Will we be like many of us will be at death – with Alzheimer’s – also incapable of memory?"

    Again, from a purely technical perspective, these are no difficulties at all. When I restore a corrupt database I know to restore it to a certain point.

    For the restored infant then there is no reason why that infant cannot be allowed to develop to a certain point in a resurrected body.

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    1. MalcolmS9:58 PM

      "For the restored infant then there is no reason why that infant cannot be allowed to develop to a certain point in a resurrected body"

      Except, of course, that the assertion is entirely arbitrary and there is not a shred of evidence for it.

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    2. "For the restored infant then there is no reason why that infant cannot be allowed to develop to a certain point in a resurrected body."

      How do you know?

      Delete
  11. boof wrote: "If the soul is an undetectable, non-physical presence (as most people who believe in it think that it is) then if it causes the physical body into action then there must be a breakdown in the laws of nature somewhere. Namely, the physical body must be moved without a physical cause."

    Yes, and naturally if our conscious experience is purely descriptive of what the physical brain does then there must be no breakdown of physical causes.

    That is to say that every aspect of human (and animal) behaviour must be able to be accounted for purely in terms of the actions of the physical elements in our brains.

    If so then there must be some algorithm which can model those elements and produce the same behaviour in a computer model - do you agree?

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    1. MalcolmS10:03 PM

      "every aspect of human... behaviour must be able to be accounted for purely in terms of the actions of the physical elements in our brains

      Free will?

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    2. How does whether I agree or not affect my point? You seem to be saying that because we can't currently reproduce human consciousness as a computer program it must be more than a physical process. I don't see how that follows at all.

      I have heard the uploading argument and am unconvinced by it. But then I also don't know enough about biology or computing to make an informed judgement. You seem to be under the misapprehension that this is something that atheists generally believe. While you might find some who do (mostly in computer science as far as I am aware), it is hardly a widepread belief.

      As far as I am aware, biologists generally don't accept it.
      http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/07/14/and-everyone-gets-a-robot-pony/

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    3. " I don't see how that follows at all."

      It doesn't, Robin is special pleading, and probably making a category error.

      "As far as I am aware, biologists generally don't accept it."

      Biologists know squat about computing.

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    4. boof wrote: "How does whether I agree or not affect my point? You seem to be saying that because we can't currently reproduce human consciousness as a computer program it must be more than a physical process. I don't see how that follows at all."

      It doesn't.. That is why I didn't say it. You said it. I simply asked if you agreed with a particular proposition.

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    5. The point is, boof, that given a completely reverse engineered brain and sufficient computing power, there is no reason why, if Materialism is true, we cannot produce a computer model of a human that produces the externally observable behaviour of a human.

      If you think that this might not be possible even in principle I would like to know why you think that.

      If you think that it should be possible I would be interested in knowing if you thought that the computer model would be actually conscious. That is to say, do you think that it is, in principle, possible that the experiences you are having now could have been produced by such a computer model?

      And, no, the point I am making does not even depend on even one atheist believing in Computationalism.

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    6. ”It doesn't.. That is why I didn't say it. You said it. I simply asked if you agreed with a particular proposition. ”

      Given the time difference between Australia and Sweden and me having other things to do in my life, I usually can only respond once a day at most to the blog. Therefore, I haven't the time to be lead up the garden path by questions that only reveal their point a week or so later. Instead I prefer to short circuit the process and try to get directly to the point. If my questioner's point isn't clear I might jump to the wrong conclusion about their point.

      I am not saying that is what you are doing here but I have seen that tactic employed regularly enough on this blog that I would rather people just said what their point was straight away.

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    7. If we could completely reproduce an analogue of the human neural network in a robot then I don't see why we shouldn't think that such a robot would have consciousness, for any reasonable definition of ”consciousness” that isn't specifically designed to exclude such robots.

      I imagine if we ever were able to approach such technology we might want to avoid some issues with human consciousness such as various cognitive biases and certain negative emotions. Also the robot is unlikely to have the same drive to reproduce. Given that, I don't think that such a robot could be thought of to have ”human consciousness” (depending on how you want to define such a concept) but, nonetheless, I would imagine that the robot could be thought of as having consciousness.

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    8. OK, boof - you appear to have avoided my question because you think I am trying to lead you into a trap. Fair enough.

      But if you are not going to answer my question, I don't see what the point of the above two paragraphs are.

      I asked my question in a specific way to avoid the customary quibbles about a definition - "...do you think that it is, in principle, possible that the experiences you are having now could have been produced by such a computer model?"

      Don't answer if you don't want to but don't dance around the answer.

      Delete
    9. I have answered your question.

      Yes the robot would have consciousness if it had a direct analogue to the human brain.

      If you claim it wouldn't have consciousness then what is it missing?

      Delete
    10. MalcolmS11:53 PM

      boof: "Yes the robot would have consciousness if it had a direct analogue to the human brain. If you claim it wouldn't have consciousness then what is it missing?"

      Now that's a leap of faith!

      What's missing? - *life* is the biggy boof :)

      Delete
  12. RalphH 10/104:23 PM

    “Are you a believer in the afterlife?” (Posted by Dick Gross at 3:02 PM)

    Hi Dick, (this will come as no surprise) the answer is definitely, “Yes”. However it does require some clarification. “After” suggests something that did not exist previously. I believe in an ‘inner‘ life - that is occurring within our minds right now as we go about our ‘outer’ life - moving the body from place to place and doing things.

    Our minds grow, develop and acquire a form just as our bodies do. There is a parallelism between the body and the mind. When we observe something with our physical eyes we say, “I see.” even though we may comprehend little about it except it’s external form. If and/or when we discover it’s use/function/purpose we again say, “I see.” but mean something very different.

    The external part of our minds deals with worldly stuff i.e. the basically knee-jerk stuff of day to day functioning in the world but there is an inner part to our minds where our deepest loves and principles reside. These constitute the ‘real’ or essential person.

    The physical body is merely an interface with the external physical world. In time the body and outer life deteriorates and dies but the inner life continues in it’s own sphere. The removal of the physical body results in full consciousness on the inner level where before there had only been a vague awareness.

    “Which of the two forms do you believe in – soul alone or soul and body combined?”

    I don’t believe in either of these two models. The soul (which is the inner core of one’s being/existence) cannot exist alone i.e. without a body (a covering that enables it to interact with the  outer world). In the physical world this requires a physical body and in the mental world it requires a spiritual body (the inner level of the mind is the spirit). When the physical body dies the spiritual body which had been there all along continues to function as the covering of the soul that allows it to continue existing in the spiritual/minds world. The physical body has done it’s dash (so to speak), been eaten by worms and recycled but the real person lives on.

    “How do you contend with the logic and evidence of the afterlife?”

    I think I’ve done the logic. The point about evidence is that one is dealing with a higher/inner plane of existence that is not reachable using the scientific method. There is heaps of anecdotal evidence which can only initially be understood by believing that there is an inner/after life. One does not have to leave reason behind but with things beyond the grasp of science the adage, ‘believing is seeing’ comes into it’s own.

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    1. Ralph: The point about evidence is that one is dealing with a higher/inner plane of existence that is not reachable using the scientific method. There is heaps of anecdotal evidence which can only initially be understood by believing that there is an inner/after life. One does not have to leave reason behind but with things beyond the grasp of science the adage, ‘believing is seeing’ comes into its own.

      When people ask me why I’m so vehemently opposed to religion, I tell them it’s because religion encourages people to think in the way you’ve just described. It is not alright to believe in things that are beyond the grasp of our understanding. If we have learnt anything about ourselves it is that we are loaded with biases and ridiculously easy to fool. The last thing we should be doing is to trust our inner selves to do the right thing.

      The irony is that your way of thinking is a perfect example of why we shouldn’t trust our inner selves, and you can’t see it.

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    2. RalphH 10/107:33 PM

      “When people ask me why I’m so vehemently opposed to religion, I tell them it’s because religion encourages people to think in the way you’ve just described. It is not alright to believe in things that are beyond the grasp of our understanding.” (Terry5:43 PM)

      Please explain then Terry, how our understanding of the natural world/science has ever progressed because that’s what we do every time we propose a new hypothesis.

      “If we have learnt anything about ourselves it is that we are loaded with biases and ridiculously easy to fool.”

      It’s not hard to agree with that.

      “The last thing we should be doing is to trust our inner selves to do the right thing.”

      Please explain what you mean by “inner selves”. Are you suggesting that there is something that we should trust? And what is it?

“The irony is that your way of thinking is a perfect example of why we shouldn’t trust our inner selves, and you can’t see it.”

      You appear to have missed the part where I said we need to include reason (or rational thinking). I’m not suggesting blind, close-minded belief. There are some things that reason excludes from even being considered or tentatively believed as an hypothesis. There are others that fail a rational explanation when the hypothesis is tested and there are others whose plausibility (though not proven in the scientific sense) are enhanced by trialling.

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS8:44 PM

      RalphH: "Please explain then Terry, how our understanding of the natural world/science has ever progressed because that’s what we do every time we propose a new hypothesis"

      That's what happens in contemporary science Ralph - which is why the previous great discoveries of the 'scientific revolution' era have ceased. *Arbitrary* hypothesis leads to a cognitive dead end.

      That was not the case with the likes of greats such as Galileo, Darwin and Newton. 'Hypothesis' in those days had to be associated with *some* evidence and nothing to contradict it. As soon as a contradiction was encountered it had to be corrected/explained or the hypothesis rejected. Arbitrary hypothesis has no place in science. It is also one reason why most of your religious utterances can be rejected out of hand.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS8:46 PM

      Terry: "The last thing we should be doing is to trust our inner selves to do the right thing"

      No, what you should do is scientifically discover the correct way your mind should function. That is the field of epistemology which studies how to attain objectivity. One such example is to conform to the laws of logic. There are others. Only then can you know that your "inner self" is giving you correct information.

      Delete
    5. Mal: Science of epistemology, Galileo, Newton, modern science is clueless, and all that.

      I came across this old dog on the beach of Sunday. He had a bone in his mouth. I couldn’t toss that bone often enough to tire that old dog. I’m sure that if I’d carried on he’d still be fetching that bone.

      Delete
    6. MalcolmS10:07 PM

      "I’m sure.."

      Certain?? No, you are not :)

      Delete
    7. Mal: Certain?? No, you are not :)

      Nah, I’ve changed my mind. A sceptic no more. Thanks to you, I’ve come to realise there are certain things in this life you can be sure about. If I press a particular button, like Pavlov’s friend, you will respond in a predictable way.

      Delete
    8. "I think I’ve done the logic."

      Of course you do Ralph, to the deluded irrational beliefs are logical.

      "There is heaps of anecdotal evidence which can only initially be understood by believing that there is an inner/after life. "

      The plural of anecdotal is not data. Anecdotal evidence from other believers disagree with your beliefs.

      Delete
  13. Dick Gross wrote: "Either the soul and the body are separated or are not? Why is there no public debate about the clash of definitions? "

    You would have to be a little more clear about the Hellenistic definition to which you refer before I could answer that one.

    The simple answer is that there is no clash of definition. Disembodied would mean that the soul and the physical body are not the same thing.

    If this is so then the soul can be transferred from one body to another. So in the Christian tradition that talks of resurrection in a new body the soul is necessarily disembodied.

    If we think of the soul as our conscious sense of self, emotions etc then this is necessarily disembodied under Materialism too.

    If these are merely descriptive of the operations of a machine then why cannot another machine do the same thing?

    If it can then the "soul" does not depend upon any particular physical substrate and is, by definition, disembodied.

    Really it is the notion of an embodied soul that is problematic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin: The simple answer is that there is no clash of definition.

      You then follow this statement up with (a) if we think of our soul as our conscious self, (b) if our conscious self is merely the operation of a machine, and (c) if the soul does not depend on any substrate.

      It’s easy to avoid clashes of definition if you’re the one doing all the defining.

      Delete
    2. As usual your point is most unclear.

      You appear to be suggesting that there is something wrong with what I said without saying exactly what.

      I would point out that only (a) is a definition, (b) and (c) are fragments of statements I made regarding that suggested defnition. (As I have suggested to you before, it would be helpful if you tried to find out what "if" means).

      And I should also point out that my whole point was that whether or not there was a clash of defnition would depend upon what definition was being used.

      And I pointed out that under one possible definition there was not clash.

      Finally I have to point out that it is hardly my doing if I am doing all the defining - I am not aware that I have prevented anyone else from suggesting a definition.

      Delete
    3. Robin: You appear to be suggesting that there is something wrong with what I said without saying exactly what.

      I’m sorry. Was I too subtle? I’m saying that if you’re going to tell someone he’s talking crap, it would help your case if you didn’t follow that up by talking crap yourself.

      Delete
    4. Robin: And I pointed out that under one possible definition there was not clash.

      Here’s what Dick said: Why is there no public debate about the clash of definitions? Here’s your response: The simple answer is that there is no clash of definitions. I don’t see the words ‘one possible definition’ there.

      As I said, if you tell someone he’s talking crap, don’t follow it up with crap yourself.

      Delete
    5. MalcolmS10:18 PM

      "Disembodied would mean that the soul and the physical body are not the same thing"

      No. It means that they are separate and not integrated.

      "Really it is the notion of an embodied soul that is problematic"

      No. An embodied soul[consciousness] is the only soul there is.

      Delete
    6. RalphH 10/1012:59 AM

      “*"Disembodied would mean that the soul and the physical body are not the same thing"* (Robin4:34 PM)

No. It means that they are separate and not integrated.” (MalcolmS10:18 PM)

      “Embodied” does not mean ‘integrated‘ Malcolm. Embodied means existing within a body. If it were integrated it would be a part of the body itself.

“No. An embodied soul[consciousness] is the only soul there is.”

      I can’t even imagine where you get this idea from Malcolm. Soul is a relative term. It can apply to things that do not have consciousness. As I think Stranger/Andrew has asked before , if someone is unconscious or asleep, has the soul gone walk-a-bout?

      Delete
    7. MalcolmS1:14 AM

      "Embodied means existing within a body"

      Yes Ralph that's correct: integrated :)

      ".. if someone is unconscious or asleep, has the soul gone walk-a-bout?"

      No Ralph, he's just unconscious or asleep :)

      Delete
    8. RalphH 10/106:54 AM

      

“Yes Ralph that's correct: integrated :)” (MalcolmS1:14 AM)

      I stand by what I said Malcolm. There is a distinction

      

“No Ralph, he's just unconscious or asleep :)”

      Not likely, seeing as the soul is ‘the essential part or fundamental nature of anything’. IOW it’s what makes A to be A. As the ‘essential, fundamental part/nature it is the soul, which first manifests as a potential, that designs and builds a containing structure for itself, i.e. the body.

      Consciousness (of the physical world) which occurs at the interface of soul and body, begins with the birth of the body. The mind, the seat of consciousness, is built up between the two. If the soul were consciousness what oversaw the building of the body?

      A well known quote that I agree with says, ‘You do not have a soul, you ARE a soul, you have a body (temporarily).’ It has been incorrectly attributed to C.S. Lewis but was actually written by a science fiction writer called Walter M. Miller, Jr.

      Delete
    9. MalcolmS8:13 AM

      Ralph, I am sure I don't know what you are talking about.

      Furthermore, I am absolutely certain that you don't either.

      Delete
    10. RalphH 11/104:06 PM

      “Ralph, I am sure I don't know what you are talking about.” (MalcolmS8:13 AM)

      Quite simple really Malcolm. I disagree with your claim that ‘the soul‘ is consciousness. IMO, it does not agree with the broad definition of soul. The soul is not an add-on as consciousness is. It’s integral to the existence of the body - the body is the add-on.

      How could a soul (logically) not be involved in the manufacture of it’s own covering/interface (as consciousness is not present until the birth). IMO, it’s the soul that enables consciousness as it enables everything else of the body.

      “Furthermore, I am absolutely certain that you don't either.”

      Many atheists complain about theists thinking and talking in absolutes but you (an avowed atheist) do it quite frequently. You have ‘absolutely’ no way of knowing your claim unless you’re psychic and if you were, you’d know that you were wrong.

      Delete
    11. "If we think of the soul as our conscious sense of self, emotions etc then this is necessarily disembodied under Materialism too."

      Bullshit, emotions etc are firmly attached to bodies.

      First you need an agreed upon definition of soul.

      Delete
    12. "“Embodied” does not mean ‘integrated‘ Malcolm"

      Yes it does.

      1.
      to give a concrete form to; express, personify, or exemplify in concrete form: to embody an idea in an allegorical painting.
      2.
      to provide with a body; incarnate; make corporeal: to embody a spirit.
      3.
      to collect into or include in a body; organize; incorporate.
      4.
      to embrace or comprise.

      Delete
    13. "Not likely, seeing as the soul is ‘the essential part or fundamental nature of anything’."

      No it isn't.

      "Consciousness (of the physical world) which occurs at the interface of soul and body, begins with the birth of the body."

      Bullshit.

      " If the soul were consciousness what oversaw the building of the body?"

      Genes, you complete moron.

      Delete
    14. MalcolmS8:11 PM

      RalphH: "Many atheists complain about theists thinking and talking in absolutes but you (an avowed atheist) do it quite frequently"

      Yes, I try to.

      You do know that everything that exists is an absolute I hope :)

      Delete
    15. RalphH 11/105:52 AM

      “*"Not likely, seeing as the soul is ‘the essential part or fundamental nature of anything’."* (RalphH)



      No it isn't.” (Stranger7:57 PM)

      It’s a definition taken directly from dictionary.com Stranger. Maybe you could take it up with them.



      “*"Consciousness (of the physical world) which occurs at the interface of soul and body, begins with the birth of the body."* (RH)



      Bullshit.”

      So, what’s your idea? Do you have one?



      “*" If the soul were consciousness what oversaw the building of the body?"* (RH)

Genes, you complete moron.”

      What oversees the “genes”? and what oversees whatever oversees the genes? Try to think beyond the initial knee-jerk.

      Delete
  14. So, am I a believer in the afterlife?

    No.

    But on the other hand I don't rule it out because it involves no logical impossibility or contradiction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin: But on the other hand I don't rule it out because it involves no logical impossibility or contradiction.

      Can you give us an example of anything you deem to a logical impossibility or contradiction?

      Delete
    2. If you can show any relevancy.

      Otherwise why would I waste time with your tiresome irrelevant questions?

      Delete
    3. Robin: If you can show any relevancy.

      If you can show me that there is anything which you can rule out as a logical impossibility or contradiction then I might believe that you didn’t waste your time trying to rationalise your reason for not ruling out the existence of an afterlife.

      On the other hand, if you can’t, then I’ll have to believe that the reason you can’t rule out the possibility of an afterlife is simply that you don’t think you can rule out the possibility of anything. That is, any attempts to explain how you arrived at your belief are really justifications of a belief you already held.

      But don’t feel bad about it. We all do it. Although you’ve achieved a level of mastery not often seen.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS10:23 PM

      Robin: "But on the other hand I don't rule it[the afterlife] out because it involves no logical impossibility or contradiction"

      Except that it's arbitrary and there is not a shred of evidence for it.

      Delete
    5. As I thought Terry, you can't show relevance, just empty bluster.

      Delete
    6. What you appear to be saying, Terry, is that if I don't, yet again, provide an example of something that can be ruled out as a logical impossibility then you will have to believe some random nonsense that you made up about me.

      I am struggling to see the downside for me in that.

      You have never given me any reason to care what you choose to believe.

      And lets face it, I could no more prevent you from believing random nonsense you have made up about me than I could hold back the tide.

      Delete
    7. Robin; As I thought Terry, you can't show relevance, just empty bluster.

      What you could have said, in plainer language, is ‘I’ll let that one through to the keeper’.

      Delete
    8. "But on the other hand I don't rule it out because it involves no logical impossibility or contradiction."

      Yes it does.

      Delete
    9. "If you can show any relevancy."

      It's relevant if you can't show something to be a logical impossibility or contradiction then your ability to make judgments in that area is suspect. And of course just saying the afterlife involves no logical impossibility or contradiction is not showing it does.

      Delete
  15. I can’t bring myself to get into a debate on the nature of souls. I can’t see what there is to debate. It’s like debating the existence of beelbubs. What the hell are beelbubs? They’re whatever you think they are. Then how can we debate them? We can’t. Then where’s the sense in it? There isn’t any sense.

    What is debatable, and to my mind much more interesting, is why we feel the urge to invent ideas like the souls, or rather why we have the urge to be immortal. There must be something driving this urge because we all seem to feel it to a greater or lesser extent. What causes this urge? How and why did it come about?

    Is it possible that there’s a biological explanation? Is the urge for immortality like the urge to procreate? Did past humans with a stronger urge to be immortal out-compete humans with a lesser urge? Are we modern humans the inheritors of their genes? If so, is our urge to be immortal becoming increasingly stronger? Would that explain why religion seems to be getting stronger (in the sense that it is more organised than it used to be)?

    Much more interesting stuff than trying to chase shadows like souls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't conflate the concept of a soul with the concept of immortality.

      For example the ancient Jewish scriptures clearly refer to the idea of a soul but do not have the concept of the immortality of that soul until later.

      Delete
    2. Robin: Don't conflate the concept of a soul with the concept of immortality. For example the ancient Jewish scriptures clearly refer to the idea of a soul but do not have the concept of the immortality of that soul until later.

      OK, how about this: There are people who can’t accept that death is the end of the affair, and some of these people, but definitely not ancient Jews, have posited the existence of a mechanism by which they can continue to exist forever, and the name they give to this mechanism is ‘the soul’. Is that better?

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS9:03 PM

      "Don't conflate the concept of a soul with the concept of immortality"

      For once I agree with Robin.

      Furthermore the existence of soul[mortal consciousness] is far more self-evident than is the workings of brain. The former is self-evident to anyone who is aware of this post. The workings of brain is not self-evident and must be established by complex inference from scientific observation.

      The "concept of immortality" is a myth for which there is no shred of evidence.

      Delete
    4. Mal: Furthermore the existence of soul[mortal consciousness] is far more self-evident than is the workings of brain.

      I don’t see how you can say that. Soul and consciousness are abstract words for which we don’t even have agreed definitions. The workings of the brain, on the other, while not completely understood are at least well enough understood for us to be confident that there is a connection between what we experience and what goes on in the brain.

      That is to say, by far the best chance we have of explaining consciousness is to keep chipping away at the mystery of the brain. The surest way to remain in the dark is to sit in an armchair and philosophise about it.

      Delete
    5. Malcolms10:30 PM

      Terry: "Soul and consciousness are abstract words for which we don’t even have agreed definitions"

      How can you know that if consciousness does not exist?

      Or, if consciousness does not exist, you could know nothing of brain.

      Your position is without foundation and the reverse of the truth.

      Delete
    6. Mal: … the reverse of the truth.

      Nice one, Mal. I’m warming to you, old fart. The wit juices are beginning to flow. Now don’t disappoint me and tell me this is one of Ayn’s expressions and not your own.

      Delete
    7. Mal: How can you know that if consciousness does not exist?

      Consciousness? What's that? The soul, you say. What's the soul? Why, it's consciousness, you old fart. Philosophy. Blah. Circles within circles.

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS8:20 AM

      "How can you know that if consciousness does not exist?"

      Yet still you can't answer the question!

      Delete
    9. Mal: Yet still you can't answer the question!

      That’s because it’s not worth answering. What’s the point of arguing the existence of something you don’t understand? How does that advance your knowledge of it?

      As with most things, you can’t sit on your wrinkly arse and philosophise your way to an understanding of consciousness. Instead you have to roll up your sleeves, get some folk into your lab, run some tests on them, and see if you can put together a working hypothesis that smarter people can develop further.

      This is exactly what people like Giulio Tononi have done. You would do yourself (and the rest of us) a favour if you paid more attention to them and less attention to that old windbag, Ayn Rand.

      Delete
    10. MalcolmS8:01 PM

      Terry: "As with most things, you can’t sit on your wrinkly arse and philosophise your way to an understanding of consciousness. Instead you have to roll up your sleeves, get some folk into your lab, run some tests on them, and see if you can put together a working hypothesis that smarter people can develop further"

      You are trying to be a smart arse[successfully] but the above has already been done by Rand in her epistemology. She has already answered the question as to what "concepts" [abstractions] are thereby solving the two thousand year old *problem of universals* bequeathed to us by Plato. I suggest you get out of the armchair you accuse me of sitting in and learn something about that of which you are so bog ignorant.

      Delete
    11. "How and why did it come about?"

      Look for a simple answer; we don't want to cease to exist.

      Delete
    12. "You are trying to be a smart arse[successfully] but the above has already been done by Rand in her epistemology"

      Rand explains nothing about consciousness all she does is expose her on ignorance, and now yours.

      Delete
    13. Terry wrote: "OK, how about this: There are people who can’t accept that death is the end of the affair, and some of these people, but definitely not ancient Jews, have posited the existence of a mechanism by which they can continue to exist forever, and the name they give to this mechanism is ‘the soul’. Is that better?"

      Well no.

      The name 'soul' is obviously irrelevant because we are dealing with people who lived before the English language even existed.

      So first you need to define what you are dealing with in order to get consistency in your data. Did they invent the concept of soul for the purpose you suggest?

      The ancient Jews had both a concept of the soul and a concept of an afterlife.

      But the concept of the afterlife only emerged centuries after the concept of the soul.

      So there you have an example of people who fully accepted that death was the end of the affair but still had a concept of a soul.

      They are only one example. The Hindu 'Atman' is also an analogous concept but the Upanishads make it clear that there is no survival of consciousness after death. (And of course there are many threads to the Hindu family of beliefs).

      Interestingly, they had a concept of an afterlife, they had a mechanism whereby it could happen but they simply rejected that it happened.

      That again counts against the idea that these concepts arose from the desire to believe in immortality.

      Delete
    14. Terry wrote: "The surest way to remain in the dark is to sit in an armchair and philosophise about it.

      I hate to break it to you but you are philosophising about it right now.

      You have done nothing but philosophise since you joined this forum.

      It is just that, because you refuse to learn anything about it, you are doing it really badly.

      Delete
    15. MalcolmS9:13 PM

      Stranger: "Rand explains nothing about consciousness all she does is expose her on[sic] ignorance, and now yours"

      She has written numerous excellent articles and books on the subject of which you have not a clue.

      Skulk off to the valley of the bog ignorant dopey - and take Koko with you.

      Delete
    16. Robin: That again counts against the idea that these concepts arose from the desire to believe in immortality (and all the crap that preceded this statement).

      That may or may not be true. But why are you telling me this?

      Delete
    17. Robin: I hate to break it to you but you are philosophising about it right now.

      And I take delight in breaking it to you that you are talking through your anus. Philosophy, as you practice it, relies entirely on rational argument. I do my damndest to avoid rational argument. Therefore I can’t be philosophising.

      Here’s the difference between you and me. You can rule the soul out because you trust your brain to see the logical impossibilities and contradictions. I rule it out because I can’t trust my brain. To do so is to ignore the phenomenon of, among other things, confirmation bias, our habit of seeing only what supports beliefs we already hold.

      Feynman said the first principle of science is to never fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. You would do well to adopt it.

      Delete
    18. MalcolmS2:35 AM

      Terry: "Feynman said the first principle of science is to never fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool"

      Damn! More confirmation bias :)

      Delete
    19. Terry wrote: ". I do my damndest to avoid rational argument"

      I can't help but agree with you there. You rely entirely on irrational argument.

      Delete
    20. Let me give you an example Terry. You have apparently believed your assumption that I do not take things like confirmation bias into account.

      On what did you base that belief?

      You have believed your claim that critical thinking involves trusting your brain. You have believed it based on what?

      Of course rational thinking involves taking the limitations of our brain into account.

      I have been saying for years on various forums that the first step in any process of critical thinking is to admit to yourself that you are not a rational person. I am way ahead of you there.

      But the question is, if you do not use rational thinking then what do you use?

      You make an awful lot of claims on this forum including the ones above.

      On what do you base these claims?

      Delete
    21. Terry wrote: "I rule it out because I can’t trust my brain. ""

      Another example. Ruling something out is a positive claim.

      In this case a positive metaphysical claim.

      So you are making a positive metaphysical claim purely on the basis that you can't trust your brain?

      Does that really make any sense to you?

      I have said that I neither rule in nor rule out an afterlife because I have no basis to do so.

      So you are apparently telling me that I should rule it out because I can't trust my brain to know that I don't have any basis to rule it out.

      That makes no sense.

      Delete
    22. The long and short of it is that the fact that we cannot trust our brains is exactly why we should use rational argument.

      Delete
    23. MalcolmS7:47 AM

      Terry: "I rule it out because I can’t trust my brain"

      Your brain is only a physical deterministic machine.

      The important question is: can you trust your *I*?

      Delete
    24. "She has written numerous excellent articles and books on the subject of which you have not a clue."

      She's just as ignorant about consciousness as you are and never written an excellent article on the matter in her life.

      Delete
    25. MalcolmS11:44 PM

      Back to the valley of the bog ignorant dopey.

      Delete
  16. Dick Gross wrote: "The life of a disembodied soul would be one of sensory deprivation and endless tedium. Such a disembodied existence, were it possible, would be awful, miserable anti human existence. "

    But surely tedium and misery are attributes of human experience? If the existence of a disembodied soul was "anti-human" then it could neither be tedious nor miserable.

    On the other hand if such an existence could be miserable or tedious then what would be the objection the possibility that it could experience joy, contentment, fulfillment etc?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dick Gross wrote: "But what form of existence would there be for the disembodied soul? Without eyes, ears, brain and mouth, the soul would be incapable of thought, sight, sound and the ability to communicate. Souls would have an awful isolated existence of sensory deprivation. "

    It does not follow. The experience of sound is created using data collected by the ear but it is not created by the ear. It does not follow that if we did not have sense organs we could not experience sensa.

    And if there was no thought then in what way would that existence be awful?

    Either there would be oblivion which is just the same as saying there is no survival after death, or else there is not oblivion in which case there is no objection to there being sensa and communication.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS10:40 PM

      Robin: "The experience of sound is created using data collected by the ear but it is not created by the ear. It does not follow that if we did not have sense organs we could not experience sensa"

      False.

      If a tree falls in a deserted forest there is no *sound.*

      Sound is the *product of an interaction* between an event in reality and the ears.

      Delete
    2. If a tree falls in a deserted forest there is no *sound.*

      If every person on earth expressed an opinion in the forest, and toolie wasn't there to hear it, would they still be wrong?

      zen rofl... ;)

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS wrote: If a tree falls in a deserted forest there is no *sound.*

      Note that the term I used was "experience of sound". If a tree fell in the forest and there was no being around then there would be no experience of sound.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS1:06 AM

      Robin: "Note that the term I used was "experience of sound""

      Yes, I am aware of that. However, if a tree falls in a deserted forest there is no sound OR "experience of sound."

      You also claimed: "It does not follow that if we did not have sense organs we could not experience sensa"

      That is false.

      Delete
    5. How can a forest be deserted if these a tree in it?

      Delete
    6. MalcolmS8:27 AM

      Because it fell down dopey :)

      Delete
    7. Mal: Because it fell down dopey :)

      What about the tree’s soul? It’s still there isn’t it, old top?

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS7:40 PM

      "What about the tree’s soul?"

      Er... how to break the news gently... trees aren't conscious Terry.

      Guess that's not as bad as Ralph who, last time I heard, believed rocks have souls.

      Delete
    9. " It does not follow that if we did not have sense organs we could not experience sensa."

      Yes it does. Without a working antenna and receiver you can't get radio no matter how much you try.

      Delete
    10. "Sound is the *product of an interaction* between an event in reality and the ears."

      Wrong, sound is the term we give to vibration waves in solids, gases or liquids.

      Delete
    11. MalcolmS9:42 PM

      "sound is the term we give to vibration waves in solids, gases or liquids"

      Wrong.

      If all you have is vibrating particles in a medium there is no sound - only vibrating particles in a medium.

      Delete
    12. "If all you have is vibrating particles in a medium there is no sound

      That is the definition of a sound-wave you ignorant twit.

      Delete
    13. MalcolmS11:42 PM

      "That is the definition of a sound-wave you ignorant twit"

      What you are calling a "sound-wave" is not *sound* in the absence of ears dopey.

      It's just vibrating particles :)

      Delete
  18. If the definition of a soul is the problem then I suggest we use George Berkeley's:

    "MIND--SPIRIT--SOUL.--But, besides all that endless variety of ideas or objects of knowledge, there is likewise something which knows or perceives them, and exercises divers operations, as willing, imagining, remembering, about them. This perceiving, active being is what I call MIND, SPIRIT, SOUL, or MYSELF. By which words I do not denote any one of my ideas, but a thing entirely distinct from them, WHEREIN THEY EXIST, or, which is the same thing, whereby they are perceived--for the existence of an idea consists in being perceived."

    George Berkeley - Treatise Concerning Human Knowledge


    I would suggest that by the this definition the existence of the soul is not in doubt, only its nature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin: I would suggest that by this definition the existence of the soul is not in doubt, only its nature.

      That’s stretching it. All I get is that writer hasn’t got the vaguest clue of what he’s writing about but he’ll write it anyway. How would anyone wanting to know if the soul exists come away from this babble any the wiser?

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS9:34 PM

      I'll keep it simple for you Terry. If you are aware of this post, then, you necessarily have a soul[mind, consciousness].

      Furthermore, "that writer" was a bishop and a philosopher - one of the British Empiricists on the road to the scepticism of Hume - one of those who made your current position possible :)

      Delete
    3. Mal: I'll keep it simple for you Terry.

      I didn’t think you were capable of doing anything else.

      Mal: ... "that writer" was a bishop and a philosopher - one of the British Empiricists on the road to the scepticism of Hume - one of those who made your current position possible :)

      Well, I’ll be sure to thank him when I see him in the afterlife.

      Delete
    4. Terry wrote: "All I get is that writer hasn’t got the vaguest clue of what he’s writing about but he’ll write it anyway. "

      Presumably the "writer" to whom you are referring is yourself..

      Delete
    5. I mean, seriously Terry, did you even think about that response. Do you get the concept of a "definition". It means that the writer has yet to make a claim but is simply saying what he means by a term that he will be using throughout the argument.

      How can you possibly be in a position to judge whether or not someone has a clue before he has even made his opening statement?

      Delete
    6. And what part of that definition was unclear to you?

      Delete
    7. Robin: Do you get the concept of a "definition". It means that the writer has yet to make a claim but is simply saying what he means by a term that he will be using throughout the argument.

      That’s odd. My dictionary says something like it’s an exact statement or description of the nature, scope, or meaning of something. At least that’s what I think it says. Must be confused. Between you and old Mal it’s difficult to know what anything means these days. Y’all seem to have different dictionaries to the ones we use.

      Delete
    8. Robin; Presumably the "writer" to whom you are referring is yourself.

      Are you serious? My teenage daughter would cringe at the juvenility of that riposte. Are you trying to usurp Mal ‘s position on the throne of witlessness? That’s a big ask, but you’re making a fist of it, mate. I’m rootin’ for ya.

      Delete
    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    10. Terry wrote: "Y’all seem to have different dictionaries to the ones we use."

      Fortunately, it would seem. You don't appear to know the name of your dictionary or be able to determine exactly what it says.

      Delete
    11. "I would suggest that by the this definition the existence of the soul is not in doubt, only its nature."

      He doesn't define soul at all.

      Delete
    12. "I'll keep it simple for you Terry. If you are aware of this post, then, you necessarily have a soul[mind, consciousness]."

      I'll keep it simple for you, not everyone defines soul as consciousness.

      Delete
    13. MalcolmS10:13 PM

      Stranger: "He doesn't define soul at all"

      I'll keep it simple for you dopey.

      Nor do you.

      Delete
    14. Stranger wrote: "He doesn't define soul at all."

      Of course he does - that part I quoted is his definition.

      It is a perfectly good definition in that it makes clear what he is referring to when he uses the word "soul" in the argument that follows.

      Delete
    15. "Of course he does - that part I quoted is his definition."

      This statement "This perceiving, active being is what I call MIND, SPIRIT, SOUL, or MYSELF." does not define soul. For start he can't decide what to call it. Nor does he differentiate it from his physical body.

      Delete
    16. I'll keep it simple for you Terry. If you are aware of this post, then, you necessarily have a soul[mind, consciousness].

      So soul is mind is consciousness and thats all you can say about it? ;)

      I've read of such totalitarian notions before. Welcome to nobjectivist newspeak


      "Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with it’s meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten...Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller.

      Even now, of course, there’s no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It’s merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won’t be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect."
      - Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, p.49.


      Good on ya nobjockey.

      Delete
    17. Good on ya nobjockey.

      That's sarcasm by the way.
      Hate for you to get the wrong idea... again

      Delete
    18. MalcolmS9:44 PM

      Good on ya Führer toolshead.

      That's NOT sarcasm by the way.

      Hate for you to get the wrong idea.

      Delete
    19. That's NOT sarcasm by the way.

      Sorry for the thoughtcrime Mein Chickenshagger

      rofl

      Delete
  19. MalcolmS3:16 AM

    boof

    Every time someone tries to reduce consciousness to physical phenomena they fail.

    My consciousness of the apple sitting on my desk at the moment does not reduce to electrical currents in nerve fibres. Nor to chemical reactions at synapses. Nor to photons striking my retina. In fact I have never been conscious of any of those. I only know about them from the inferences of scientists.

    Existentially, I am only conscious of the apple!

    Your theory, so far, does not explain that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be a fairly useless form of consciousness if you were aware of those things happening. Just like a movie would be fairly useless if you were aware of each individual frame going past. This doesn’t mean that the film is not a series of still photos flicking past in front of your eyes.

      Yes you are only aware of the apple. But that doesn’t mean that there is anything more going on than electrical impulses through your neural network.

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS8:52 PM

      "that doesn’t mean that there is anything more going on than electrical impulses through your neural network"

      But there is more going on.

      For starters the electrical impulses through my neural network are physical, the apple is physical but my consciousness of the apple is not. That's the point. What we get in consciousness is not reducible to the physical - at least not in any way I can see.

      I don't consider there is anything mystical about consciousness. It is not otherworldly. It is just as "natural" as any of the phenomena you describe but we are yet to discover the relationship between the two.

      Delete
    3. "Every time someone tries to reduce consciousness to physical phenomena they fail."

      No they don't. Is it your intention to always come across as willfully and hopelessly ignorant?

      "My consciousness of the apple sitting on my desk at the moment does not reduce to electrical currents in nerve fibres."

      It would be neurons, not nerve fibres, you're so ignorant you can't even get a decent analogy together.

      "Existentially, I am only conscious of the apple!"

      Doesn't stop the other things being the reason you are conscious of the apple. Seriously Mal get a child's book on how the brain works as that's about your level.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS9:33 PM

      Here stranger, take Koko's hand, she'll carry you off to the valley of the bog ignorant. Hope you both have a lovely life together.

      Delete
    5. To use your analogy of the hopping kangaroo, the hopping is not physical but that doesn't mean there is more going on than the physical movements of the kangaroo.”Hopping” is the description of what the kangaroo is physically doing, just like ”consciousness” is the description of what the neural network is doing.

      Scientists have discovered the relationship between consciousness and the physical brain. When people are experiencing an emotion, doing an action or contemplating some object, scientists have been able to map which parts of the neural network are firing more than others. But again nothing else has been discovered. The conclusion is that ”consciousness” just is a sufficiently firing neural network.

      Delete
    6. boof - how exactly does that "conclusion" follow from anything you said???

      Delete
    7. There is no reason at all that all of this brain activity could happen without there being anything like a feeling of nausea, a taste of sweetness, the experience of a sound etc.

      Delete
    8. "Here stranger, take Koko's hand, she'll carry you off to the valley of the bog ignorant. Hope you both have a lovely life together."

      Fallacy of the abject ignorant.

      Delete
    9. ”how exactly does that "conclusion" follow from anything you said??? ”

      My point is that we haven't found anything other than neural activity. Consciousness is, as far as we have discovered, neural activity. These demands that there must be something more seem to me like people playing ”World of Warcraft” and saying ”these graphics and this game are so amazing, there must be something going on other than electrical impulses on computer circuitry” I am saying ”No that is what it is.” If you think there is more to it, show me where and what it is.

      Yes there are routines and the brain has the hardware and the software layered together in the same place (to stretch the computing analogy). But that doesn't mean that there is more than electrical impulses across the neural network.

      Delete
    10. MalcolmS7:05 AM

      Nice try boof - but no cigar.

      You claim that "the hopping is not physical" but it's entirely physical. There is no mystery about how the kangaroo's "neural network" causes hopping but there is plenty with regard to how neural networks cause consciousness which is not physical.

      You claim that ”consciousness is the description of what the neural network is doing" but it's no such thing. A description of what the neural network is doing would include a description of photons striking retinal cells, chemical reactions in synapses and electrical currents in neurons - all physical and radically different to a description of consciousness. Consciousness is simply awareness and that's not physical. When I am conscious of my apple I am blissfully unaware of what my neural network is doing.

      Neurophysiologists know plenty about correctly functioning brains and neural networks but little about consciousness and its properties. For that you need an epistemologist who usually knows little about brains. The greatest ancient epistemologist, Aristotle, had a vast knowledge of the nature of abstraction, thinking, deductive reasoning, syllogism and discovered the laws by which thinking should operate[logic] yet he knew little about brain - he thought human thinking occurred in the heart. Perhaps an integration of the two branches of knowledge would solve the dilemma but even today they study entirely different fields.

      Delete
    11. RalphH 12/107:07 AM

      “But there is more (than electrical impulses) going on.

      For starters the electrical impulses through my neural network are physical, the apple is physical but my consciousness of the apple is not. That's the point. What we get in consciousness is not reducible to the physical - at least not in any way I can see.


      I don't consider there is anything mystical about consciousness. It is not otherworldly. It is just as "natural" as any of the phenomena you describe but we are yet to discover the relationship between the two.” (MalcolmS8:52 PM)
 


      Malcolm, by your saying that, “consciousness is not reducible to the physical” you have already placed it outside of the physical world i.e. in a world of it’s own that is not the physical world.

      Yet strangely you seem to be incapable of seeing this or doggedly determined not to admit it.

      Why? There’s nothing “mystical” about it. That’s just the way it is.

      Delete
    12. RalphH 12/107:26 AM

      “Scientists have discovered the relationship between consciousness and the physical brain. When people are experiencing an emotion, doing an action or contemplating some object, scientists have been able to map which parts of the neural network are firing more than others. But again nothing else has been discovered. The conclusion is that ”consciousness” just is a sufficiently firing neural network.” (boof12:21 AM)

      The way I understand this boof is that it is a person’s loves that motivate/drive them. Loves are the innermost, most fundamental things of a person’s life. They do not reside in the brain but in the soul.

      It is the soul (the core or being of the person) that uses the brain (as one would use any other physical tool) to perform the functions of “experiencing an emotion, doing an action or contemplating some object” which scientists are then able to map and record data about.

      Delete
    13. MalcolmS7:31 AM

      RalphH: "Malcolm, by your saying that, “consciousness is not reducible to the physical” you have already placed it outside of the physical world i.e. in a world of it’s own that is not the physical world"

      I have done no such thing.

      When I say “consciousness is not reducible to the physical” I am saying that consciousness is not reducible to brain or its components. I am saying it is of a different nature to physical things but still exists in this world.

      You really need to come to terms with the fact that consciousness is natural, embodied, thisworldly and sui generis.

      Delete
    14. RalphH 12/105:19 PM

      “When I say “consciousness is not reducible to the physical” I am saying that consciousness is not reducible to brain or its components. I am saying it is of a different nature to physical things but still exists in this world.” (MalcolmS7:31 AM)

      There you go again Malcolm. You’ve repeated yourself, “is of a different nature to physical things”. You recognise that it is not physical yet at the same time refuse to accept it’s difference because it only exists within a physical object.



      “You really need to come to terms with the fact that consciousness is natural, embodied, thisworldly and sui generis.”

      I have no intention of ‘coming to terms’ with such a notion because I believe it is fundamentally incorrect. You have already contradicted yourself by saying that “consciousness is natural” because you also said it “is not reducible to the physical”. Physical! Natural! - same thing i.e. of time and space.

      It is embodied in a natural/physical object because it is enabling that object. But it is not a ‘part’ of that object in physically definable terms. It is something separate that exists ‘within’ but in terms other than physical principles i.e. we cannot measure it’s length, breadth or weight or even localise it’s ‘position’ within it’s body.

      The physical world is a world of time and space - of measurement. Consciousness and that which is actually conscious (i.e. the soul) reside in a different, non spacial world that exists within the spatial world. The body only has a referred consciousness as any other tool that we might use (like a computer) to extend our consciousness further.

      Why did Jesus say, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

      Being within does not mean being within in a physically measurable, ‘this-worldly’ sense but in an other-worldly, inner dimensional sense.

      Delete
    15. If you chaps are looking for an analogy, you might want to consider the OSI model

      Id hate to confuse mallypoo any more than he already is, so here, I've made it simple for ya

      http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_model

      Delete
    16. boof wrote: "My point is that we haven't found anything other than neural activity. Consciousness is, as far as we have discovered, neural activity.

      Does not follow. There was a time when we had not discovered neural activity. So we could say then that consciousness was, as far as we have discovered - blood flow.

      There is not reason, none at all, why all that neural activity cannot happen and for there never to be, for example, a feeling of nausea or the smell of a peach.

      The Warcraft thing is simply the fallacy of false analogy.

      Delete
    17. Think of it this way. I have a feeling of nausea. All the activity in my body that can be observed by someone else could happen - with no inconsistency or contradiction - without there being a feeling of nausea.

      There is no analog to that in your Warcraft example.

      Delete
    18. MalcolmS9:30 PM

      RalphH: "You have already contradicted yourself by saying that “consciousness is natural” because you also said it “is not reducible to the physical”. Physical! Natural! - same thing i.e. of time and space"

      There is no contradiction. The meaning of *embodiment* is that consciousness cannot exist independent of the body although consciousness is radically different to body/brain. There is nothing about that which makes consciousness other than thisworldly or natural. You have fallen for the materialist's fallacy that the natural is necessarily physical. That's not so!

      PS How's the *hopping* disembodiment process going? Should be a cinch for you - especially as hopping is only a physical action. Good luck! :)

      Delete
    19. "It is the soul (the core or being of the person) that uses the brain (as one would use any other physical tool) to perform the functions of “experiencing an emotion, doing an action or contemplating some object” which scientists are then able to map and record data about."

      Why do you keep lying Ralph?

      Delete
    20. "Being within does not mean being within in a physically measurable, ‘this-worldly’ sense but in an other-worldly, inner dimensional sense."

      Why do you keep lying Ralph?

      Delete
    21. "There is not reason, none at all, why all that neural activity cannot happen and for there never to be, for example, a feeling of nausea or the smell of a peach."

      Yes, and? You do know how those sensations work don't you? or are you just arguing from ignorance?

      Delete
    22. Fine; there is no adequate analogy for consicousness.

      But all I hear from you "non-materialists" (if that is the right word) is that you can't believe that consicousness is due to electrical impulses in the neural network so therefore it can't be so.

      If consciousness is more than electircal impulses then where does it come from? why can't electrical impulses account for it? why would we have to be conscious of every electrical impulse for that to be the cause of consciousness?

      Delete
    23. MalcolmS11:31 PM

      boof: ".. all I hear from you "non-materialists" (if that is the right word) is that you can't believe that consicousness is due to electrical impulses in the neural network so therefore it can't be so"

      I haven't claimed that consciousness does not *depend* upon the "neural network." I think it does.

      Only that they are fundamentally different phenomena. One is physical and the other is not.

      The experience of *red* cannot be reduced to what occurs in neural networks when I am experiencing red.

      Delete
    24. "The experience of *red* cannot be reduced to what occurs in neural networks when I am experiencing red."

      Yes it can

      Delete
    25. MalcolmS1:09 AM

      No it can't.

      Delete
    26. Yes it can, your ignorance doesn't allow you to understand much.

      Delete
    27. RalphH 13/107:12 AM

      “Yes it can” (Stranger12:45 AM)

      

“No it can't.” (MalcolmS1:09 AM)

      

“Yes it can, .......” (Stranger2:31 AM)


      Reminded me of the ‘Anything you can do’ song from the musical ‘Annie Get Your Gun’.

      http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/anniegetyourgun/anythingyoucando.htm

      Delete
    28. MalcolmS7:50 AM

      Good one Ralph.

      Now get back to disembodying the hopping from the kangaroo.. er.. frog :)

      Delete
  20. Mal: Existentially, I am only conscious of the apple!

    Take that as progress, mate. By the end of the week, with a little more therapy, we'll get you to be conscious of the rest of your room.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS8:34 AM

      Only if consciousness exists dopey :)

      Delete
  21. MalcolmS8:51 AM

    The disembodied soul - an analogy.

    Imagine a kangaroo hopping through the bush.

    Can you disembody the *hopping* from the kangaroo? :)

    Impossible you say!

    Well, consciousness zooming around by itself is far less likely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mal: Can you disembody the *hopping* from the kangaroo? :)

      You need to get a job, mate. Or take up carpentry or something. People are starting to talk.

      Delete
    2. "The disembodied soul - an analogy.

      Imagine a kangaroo hopping through the bush.

      Can you disembody the *hopping* from the kangaroo? :)"

      Category error.

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS10:05 PM

      "".... Can you disembody the *hopping* from the kangaroo? :)" Category error"

      That's the point.

      So is disembodied consciousness.

      Get it dopey?!

      Delete
    4. """.... Can you disembody the *hopping* from the kangaroo? :)" Category error"

      That's the point.."

      Equating hopping to consciousness is the category error dopey.

      Delete
    5. MalcolmS5:44 AM

      Stranger: "Equating hopping to consciousness is the category error"

      I did no such thing. You did.

      'Hopping' is physical. 'Consciousness' is not.

      There is no such equation.

      Too hard for you?

      Delete
    6. 'Hopping' is physical. 'Consciousness' is not.

      Consciousness is a noun. Hopping is a verb. Ya twiddlehead

      You're essentially comparing "apples" to "eating apples".

      Score: 2/10
      Back to school for the fooly tool...

      Delete
    7. MalcolmS8:45 PM

      "Consciousness is a noun. Hopping is a verb"

      My point was that one was *physical* and the other was not.

      Back to school for Führer toolshead...

      Delete
    8. "Hopping" isnt "physical" twiddles.The "entity that hops" is.

      noun - verb - Get it? No?

      Not surprised you didn't know that basement boy

      Delete
    9. "Stranger: "Equating hopping to consciousness is the category error"

      I did no such thing."

      Yes you did.

      "The disembodied soul - an analogy.

      Imagine a kangaroo hopping through the bush.

      Can you disembody the *hopping* from the kangaroo? :)"

      Delete
    10. MalcolmS11:13 PM

      ""Hopping" isnt[sic] "physical" twiddles[sic].

      Hopping is a physical action sewer dweller.

      Delete
    11. twiddles[sic][sic] lol

      Hopping is a physical action...

      We've been through this already twiddlesic. The "entity that hops" is physical. The "hop" is not.

      If hopping is physical, then where does "the hop" go when the entity stands still?
      Does it hide in the bushes waiting for its opportunity to leap on another roo and make it hop around? Or does the roo keep some hops in its pocket and pull one out when it's time to play bouncy bouncy?

      Hmmmm?

      If "hops" are "physical" they must have some mass. If so are they heavier or lighter than the soul (which apparently weighs 21 grams?)

      http://www.snopes.com/religion/soulweight.asp

      You're on the shakiest of epistemological ground claiming that "actions are physical".

      Still, thats BAU for you isnt it...? ;)

      Delete

    12. Imagine a kangaroo hopping through the bush.

      Can you disembody the *hopping* from the kangaroo? :)


      That's easy twiddlesic

      hop hop hop hop hoppity hop hoppity hop hoppity boing BOING ..... CRASH!!!

      See? ;)

      Delete
    13. MalcolmS7:33 AM

      idiotcat: "If hopping is physical, then where does "the hop" go when the entity stands still?"

      It ceases to be actual but the potential remains - as with all such action. Same as consciousness when you take a [cat]nap.

      "If "hops" are "physical" they must have some mass"

      Not at all - only the entity has mass.

      "If so are they heavier or lighter than the soul (which apparently weighs 21 grams?)"

      No, it doesn't.

      "You're on the shakiest of epistemological ground claiming that "actions are physical""

      Why? It distinguishes them from *mental action* such as thinking.

      PS Congratulations pussy - for once you actually attempted to make points. You were wrong on all counts but at least you tried. Stick with me kid and you could become an epistemological legend [although in your case it'll take all of your idiot nine lives] :)

      Delete

    14. Not at all - only the entity has mass.

      So "not physical".
      Finally. That took a while.

      It distinguishes them from *mental action* such as thinking.

      lol. Poor twiddlesic

      For most of the human race the act of thinking actually burns calories - just like hopping -, although I can certainly see how you in particular wouldn't burn many compared to the rest of us.

      Perhaps this dearth of cognitive caloric utilisation is the source of some of your more amusing displays of confused thinking?

      Maybe you should try hopping around less .. lol ... ;)

      Delete
    15. MalcolmS8:59 AM

      idiotcat: ""Not at all - only the entity has mass" So "not physical""

      Yes, physical! As in physical action! As distinct from mental action!

      Please try to remain in focus.

      "For most of the human race the act of thinking actually burns calories"

      Your point being?

      Delete
  22. RalphH 11/104:10 PM

    Dick, before I forget again, I really must compliment you on your subject title, "Soul searching' - a perfect fit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS8:28 PM

      Yes, I agree - excellent title.

      But can you help us out Ralph?

      I would really like you to show us all how to disembody the hopping from the kangaroo.

      It would make you more legendary than the Buddha :)

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS8:45 PM

      Handy hint in the interests of Ralph's safety.

      Perhaps it would be better to practise on a frog first :)

      Delete
  23. MalcolmS10:05 PM

    Ralph: concerning God's alleged conditional/unconditional Love from previous thread.

    Here is one of the central dogmas of traditional Christianity:

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NIV)

    So, that should settle it: God's alleged Love is decidedly *conditional* if one is to attain "eternal life."

    Just thought you ought to know :)

    ReplyDelete

  24. Speaking of abstractions made "real", I just noticed something:

    Nobhead said:
    That is one of many fallacies committed by materialists/nominalists who regard "ideas" as not fully real. You need to grasp that an idea/concept, once formed, is a mental concrete.


    Then

    Sat 15/06/2013 2:11 p.m.- Mallywallypoo said - "zedinhisbigloonyflyinghead:"
    Wed 19/06/2013 2:15 a.m. -Twerplet said - "Idiot feline impersonator:"
    Tue 2/07/2013 4:16 a.m. - the nobjectivist said - "idiotcatfetishist:"

    Finally
    Sun 13/10/2013 3:34 a.m. -twiddlesec said - "idiotcat:"


    Took a while numbskull...but you got there.
    Congratulations on finally reifying the magic cat

    Now you know what the most amazing thing about billy is

    "He's not just as "real" as "really real" is... He's realler!!!

    lol


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh goody! I'm not just real, I'm realler than really real!!

      So does that mean I have a soul now?

      Delete

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