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Consciousness?

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Consciousness?

Postby Emma_85 » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:14 pm

Just something I’m interested in right now... there are some modern philosophers around, who claim that we will never know how consciousness first came about. It’s the common view it seems that it is not practically impossible, but generally impossible to know this. That we may find out sometime in the future is ruled out entirely, the reason being we don’t know how matter came into existence out of nothing so how can we know how consciousness came out of biological matter? (We can’t ever even say how biological matter came from just matter).

Needless to say I don’t share this view, because what it all come down to is: what was the reason? and I think the reason a reason can’t be found is that there is none.
I don’t believe there was a reason why all this happened, but that leads to the question what is chance or is there such a thing as chance. * confused *

What do you all think?
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Re: Consciousness?

Postby Lex » Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:40 pm

Emma_85 wrote:Just something I’m interested in right now... there are some modern philosophers around, who claim that we will never know how consciousness first came about.

[snip]

Needless to say I don’t share this view, because what it all come down to is: what was the reason? and I think the reason a reason can’t be found is that there is none.


1) "What was the reason why reason came about?" is not an equivalent question to "How did reason come about?" The first implies purposive intent, the second does not.

2) To the question, "What was the reason why reason came about?", I agree that there was no reason, as in purposive intent. But then again, in addition to being a diehard libertarian, I am also a diehard atheist (the two go together often, for some reason).

3) To the question, "How did reason come about?", I would look towards the idea that it was of some evolutionary value to the organisms that possessed it. But perhaps that's more of a "why" answer than a "how" answer?
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Re: Consciousness?

Postby copain » Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:11 pm

In my point of view consciousness is a result of the human evolution,because in the dawn of mankind when its social behavior was becomming more and more complex it was necessary for our ancestor´s to recognize oneself and others as autonomous individuals, to make out that oneself is a living being. In that way he was able to play an very active part in an dangerous environment to ensure the survival of his kinship.
So in other word´s consciousness is – probably- nothing more than a highly complex result of the work from millions of neurons within our brain!
Evolution don´t ask about why or how something come into existence there is only the way of „try and error“, or the „survival of the fittest“ as Darwin give a description of it.


But perhaps - who will say - consciousness is part of an immortal soul which was given to us from a creator long ago. It is so to speak the interface to him so we became aware of what is good or wrong and we have the freedom to choose between them. But in that way it is difficult trying to explain consciousness because it seem to be something without any material foundation, like the wind you become aware of on your face but can´t grasp with your hand.
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Postby benissimus » Thu Jan 22, 2004 4:30 am

I'm quite certain that consciousness is just the name we assign to the coordination that we experience while controlling our body. As far as I am concerned, mind is brain and brain is body, therefore consciousness is actually physical but because of its subjective nature we tend to perceive it as something rather separate from everything else.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Jan 24, 2004 10:02 am

Hmm... I don't agree with you their copain. With consciousness I mean to have an inner perspective, and that is not limited to just humans. Animals too have it, so it evolved much longer ago in history, about 200 million years ago in mamals I think. Scientist say it was with synapses (because they've worked out that's a prerequisite of consciousness) that consciousness came about. Now I argue that we can at least find a answer to the question why consciousness came about if we try to work out what synapes (or the earliest versions of these) were used for. Like flight for example: dinosaurs didn't play lemmings for millions of years until suddenly one survived because he'd miraculously sprouted very sophisitcead wings and feathers. Feathers were probably more like dino-fur at first, which makes sense, because there's no mutation that will lead to a dino suddenly haveing feathers. You'd start with a little stump or something like that, which might have been an evolutionary advantage because they were a bit like fur...
Hope you get my point... feathers didn't evolve for flight at first, and neither did synapses evolve for consciousness (at least I think so, I'm no biologist, tell me if you think I'm wrong here).
So I argued that we could at least find out the reason why we have consciousness and that it's a question we can answer, which is not what some philosophers think.
I also said that basically our existance is down to chance. Chance to me is not that there are some things that happen for no reason, everything has a reason in this universe (though there may be no reason why the universe exists, because maybe causalty came about only with the existance of the universe). But reason for me doens't mean a god has to be involved, for example there's a reason why the wind moves the leaves, and that's that the atoms in the air brush against the atoms of the leaves sort of thing... but if I say that my problem is that I do end up going back and back and back... and it seems to me like it is possible (maybe not now, but sometime in the future, you only need the right technology) to explain everything except for the existance of the universe itself.
That's what I think, and I don't understand why philosophers today say they think it's impossible ever to know why consciousness came about.

Right now it seems you're all agreeing me with (shame my philosophy teacher doesn't and mocks me in class).
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Postby Keesa » Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:51 pm

I don't agree with you, but my disagreements are mainly religious in focus, so I'll refrain from mentioning them. I don't agree, though.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:23 pm

It depends where you differ with me... What do you not like about my arguments, I am interested in knowing.
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Postby Kalailan » Sat Jan 24, 2004 6:34 pm

I haven't posted here from the same reason keesa did.

and i do not agree either.

i do not believe that why the universe was created is the only question we cannot/will not be able to answer. i think that there is more hidden in the world then just the physics of it, things we cannot measure.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Jan 24, 2004 9:21 pm

When you talk of things we cannot measure what are you referring to if it is nothing religious like a the soul for example?
I am not saying that we will in the future sometime know everything, I very much doubt that. We won't know what it is like to live for ever, and even if we knew everything that makes up a bee's life, we still wouldn't be able to understand what it feels like to be a bee (stupid examples, lol I like stupid examples for some reason :P ), but I think that how consciousness appeared doesn't fall in that category, it's biology. And so I think it is at least possible to know this.
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Postby copain » Sat Jan 24, 2004 11:56 pm

I have to confess Emma that consciousness is not limited to humans. But only by apes (wich are close to humans) we surley know that they recognize themselfes as indiduals. I realy don´t know what about
dolphins and whales (like humans and apes they are mamals with a distinctive social behavior) but the hard fact is, that only humans has this highly distinctive consiousness we talk about. And therfore I think consiousness is not as old as you argue. Only in such interactive communities - as humans can form - consciousness had developed in such a extent. Other mamals never formed such communities and therfore their „consiousness“ is very limited.
In the case that synapses are a prerequisite of consciousness you are absolutly right (synapses are essential parts of neurons) and I also have to agree that they are not only or mainly evolved to make consiousness possible. But without those synapses consiousness would not have been possible.
(Your explanation about feathers seems also conclusive to me)
But now the hard part is comming. Synapses are the basis of our mind and consiousness is a very special and highly sophisticated part of this mind. Consiousness is the product of this mind, like music the product of - for example - a harp is. Wie can examine the harp, but how can we grasp the music ?
Perhaps the philosophers see exactly this problem, that consiousness is separate form the material brain.
But in the long run - under the premise that consiousness is only a product of evolution – I agree with you ,this riddle can be resolved.
But in one point I do not agree with you at all, you write „Chance to me is not that there are some things that happen for no reason, everything has a reason in this universe“
Since this universe came into existence (the „time“ before we will probably never know !) all the things that had happen – and will happen in the future – had to follow the laws of nature. But what is the reason of this laws? Your example with the wind is only the explanation how this laws work but will not explain why and for what reason. Yes, we live in a causal world, for this every cause has an effect. But for what reason ? It only happens!
Regarding to evolution it is the same, evolution is blind, live depends on „try and error“ but a deeper reason I can not see!
Only if you bring a creator into it, then all make sense, for this creator must have a plan with this world !
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Postby benissimus » Sun Jan 25, 2004 12:18 am

copain wrote:Only if you bring a creator into it, then all make sense, for this creator must have a plan with this world !


That doesn't make any more sense at all, to me! How is it easier to believe that there was always a creator without going back to his creator but just assuming he was around forever? Could you just as easily believe that the laws of the universe are creator and they have been around forever?
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Postby Kalailan » Sun Jan 25, 2004 8:34 am

when ithink of a 'creator', i never think of an entity. the idea that the metaphysical world acts like this world (in matter of personification, for instance).
i think of the Creation (thats how i call it) more like what benissimus
said. it is more like a set of rules then an entity that directs our world.

to emma:
yes, a soul would be a good example.
or consciousness!
i do not think that consciousness is just a physical thing. i think it cannot exist without soul.
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Postby Kalailan » Sun Jan 25, 2004 8:34 am

when ithink of a 'creator', i never think of an entity. the idea that the metaphysical world acts like this world (in matter of personification, for instance).
i think of the Creation (thats how i call it) more like what benissimus
said. it is more like a set of rules then an entity that directs our world.

to emma:
yes, a soul would be a good example.
or consciousness!
i do not think that consciousness is just a physical thing. i think it cannot exist without soul.
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Postby copain » Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:57 pm

For me laws of nature are only instruments, a „set of rules“ – as Kalailan calls it - which keep this universe in function but without any reason. A fire for example follows special chemical and physical rules, but for what reason, if a a tree or a house will be struck by lightning we can not ask for the reason either. But if a human or something with consciousness light a fire we can ask about a reason. Will he /she / it use the fire to destroy something, to warm himself up, or it is a protection for the night, so suddenly many reason appear!
So, such a consciousness must hang over this „set of rules“ we talk about. But I do not think that such a consciousness is inherent in the laws of nature itself. It have to come from something higher!
And if this „higher being“ will appear as a separate entity or something else, is realy a further question. :)
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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:04 pm

I realy don´t know what about
dolphins and whales (like humans and apes they are mamals with a distinctive social behavior) but the hard fact is, that only humans has this highly distinctive consiousness we talk about. And therfore I think consiousness is not as old as you argue.


I'm not talking of a highly devolped consciousness, just consciousness in general, as supposed to a stone for example. Consciousness is not mathematics or being able to talk to yourself (even a human, who has never learned to talk still has a consciousness I would say). I wouldn't even go as far to say you have to have a 'self'. Split personalities for example. What consciousness comes down to is that for a being with consciousness it somehow feels to be (damn it's not easy to explain what I think :P ). For a stone there's no specially feeling for being a stone, but for a cat, there must be a feeling the cat has to be a cat, a cat's life has a certain quality. ( :cry: Why is it so hard to explain?). If you can ask the question: what is it like to be a cat, then it has consciousness. What is it like to be a stone, and the answer would have to be, for a stone it’s not ‘like to be anything’ at all.
I suppose what I'm saying is that it's not cogito ergo sum, but I feel therefore I am (although I don't think it has to be I). If a life has a certain quality, if the animal feels alive, that's means it has a consciousness, because it has an inner perspective.
I've no doubt that animals have a consciousness, though of course it'll be different from ours. They might not have a consistent 'I' (I'd even go as far to say apes might not have an 'I', as that may really be something unique to humans).



But in one point I do not agree with you at all, you write „Chance to me is not that there are some things that happen for no reason, everything has a reason in this universe“


I don't like that sentence either... it was just in my mind at the time (I don't like it for another reason though).
Where the laws of nature come from is one thing I’m not too sure about. I mean it depends whether the laws of nature are in fact laws of nature, that is they are the same through out our universe and don’t change. If they are then I’d say they are inseparable from our universes ‘fabric’, that is we can’t say how they came about just as we can’t say how the universe came about, because when these laws appeared, so did the universe - or were the laws even the reason the universe came about? Which was first, the universe or the laws? I think the laws where certainly there in the milliseconds after the big bang... but where they there at the exact same ‘time’?. Hmmm.... If they weren’t then that leaves us with the problem, when was the big bang, as it can’t have been at a time when time didn’t exist. Therefore the laws would have been there at the time of the big bang. So they were either there before hand, in which case what was there before would have had to be very much like our universe (or would in fact have to be our universe!), or they came into existence with the big bang, which means neither time, causality or such like might have existed before, meaning their doesn’t need to be a reason for those things to exist. Is a universe imaginable where there is no cause and effect, instead some other state which may have led to the big bang and our laws? If there is one we can’t think of it as our brains are made for this universe and no other. Causality and time are in our brains. And because causality is in our brains we search for a reason where we will probably never find one.
What I don’t like about my sentence is the fact that ‘everything happens for a reason’ means that freedom is taken out of the equation doesn’t it? I was thinking about this this morning and ‘freedom’ of will came to my mind. If I say everything has a reason that would mean there’s no freedom at all, it’s just an idea we invented. In fact that makes me much more nervous than the idea we may have no purpose and may just exist by accident.

But for what reason ? It only happens!
Regarding to evolution it is the same, evolution is blind, live depends on „try and error“ but a deeper reason I can not see!
Only if you bring a creator into it, then all make sense, for this creator must have a plan with this world !


Why does it have to make sense, does it need a deeper reason? The universe doesn’t need a reason to exist, evolution doesn’t need a deeper reason, it exists because of the natural laws of this universe. Just because we make objects for a reason (we build houses to live in them) does not mean that every rock on Earth serves a purpose. Our existence has no meaning except if we ourselves give it one.
If this universe needs a cause, because causality existed before hand then you could say it was God (or you could say it was a bouncy ball). We can’t know what was before this universe, so everything else is speculation. Saying a creator exists would mean that <b>we</b> give the universe a purpose. We don’t like the idea at all that we don’t have a purpose, that we just exist as it were by accident, but that doesn’t mean there must be a God. We invented mathematics to somehow give this world some sort of order (which it probably doesn’t posses, or if it possesses one, it’s not likely to be the same one we humans invented for it). We try to search for a reason that may not exist.

yes, a soul would be a good example.
or consciousness!
i do not think that consciousness is just a physical thing. i think it cannot exist without soul.


Ah.. well I don’t believe in souls. I think consciousness is a physical thing, though a very hard thing to grasp. It’s very complex no doubt, but it’s origin is biological.
If you read what I say about consciousness above, do you agree that animals have consciousness or not? Because if they do they would have a soul too, wouldn’t they?
I’m also curious, what do you think about evolution? Because consciousness would have come about gradually, before even the ‘I’ came about. When did ‘humans’ first have souls then?
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Postby copain » Sun Jan 25, 2004 6:22 pm

If you read what I say about consciousness above, do you agree that animals have consciousness or not? Because if they do they would have a soul too, wouldn’t they?
I’m also curious, what do you think about evolution? Because consciousness would have come about gradually, before even the ‘I’ came about. When did ‘humans’ first have souls then?


I do not belief animals (beside apes) could share the experience of consciousness with us humans in any way.
No doupt they have some kind of “instinctive feelings“ about the environment they live in is good or bad for them, but could they judge it, I would say no!
If a cat or a dog rubbed against my legs, and I look them in the eyes and wonder myself how this animal could experience this situation I tended towards to judge about this animal in a rather human way and see behind his behavior more that actually is. But this is no objective way, it comes rather from my heart – which is also very human and not bad at all :) – than from my sense.
And so only in the interactive communities from humans counsiousness had appeared because its depends fundamental from our interpersonal relations, and this will not be found by animals.
Further I think consciousness is inseparable linked with the “I“, with the self-knowledge from an individual, before you can not speak from consciousness.
Last edited by copain on Sun Jan 25, 2004 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby benissimus » Sun Jan 25, 2004 6:47 pm

Do you also think that a loving kitten has no emotion? I think that emotion and consciousness are woven together inseparably. I tend to think that all mammals have some sort of feeling of consciousness, since they do exhibit the same sorts of behaviors that we do. As for birds or lizards, it is difficult to tell, but only because they are dissimilar to us.
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Postby Kalailan » Sun Jan 25, 2004 7:34 pm

Emma,
you seek an absolute truth, and such one cannot be found.
it is truly us who give the univerese any purpose. the univerese is not causal in my opinion. it is us who grasp it that way.

i think that the world is entirely subjective.
as such i find that the search of the "truth" is useless. the same for a reason, it is useless to search for the absolute reason the univerese was created, or consciuosness for this matter.


how can you tell that stones have no consciousness?
just like benissimus said, they could have one we cannot see because of their distance in form from us.

and in that matter, i do think that animals have souls.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Jan 25, 2004 9:43 pm

Emma,
you seek an absolute truth, and such one cannot be found.
it is truly us who give the univerese any purpose. the univerese is not causal in my opinion. it is us who grasp it that way.


I know I won't ever find an absolute truth, but only because I'm human, and I do search for true answers. Why search for answers that aren't true, what would be the point in that?
I agree that the universe may not be causal, that maybe only we think it is so, because it is something so hardwired in our brains we can't think of anything not having a consequence or reason. It is likely though that our universe is at least to the most part causal, if not evolution would have played us a foul trick. We're alive though ... so something about thinking the universe is causal must be true at least, otherwise if I hit the table with my fist, I could not expect it to stop my fist.

Our world is subjective, that's what consciousness is all about - subjectivity. Why should we live and base our lives on wrong information though? Must we not decide how to act on the information we have? If no one thought the question of how the universe or consciousness came about, you would neither have religion nor science. You think the search for the truth is useless? But surly you care to know if God really exists or not? People can say we are useless dumb creatures as much as they like, we are to some extent, but we've also managed to invent such things as science, philosophy and religion, because we want to know what is true. Nothing we find out will probably ever be the 'absolute truth', but we can question the ideas we live with and see if maybe we can find better ones, which will hopefully be nearer to the ‘absolute’ truth.

Well, as for stones... I thought we agreed you needed synapses to have a consciousness? If you believe in the supernatural, then I suppose stones could have a consciousness, because a soul would be something that has nothing to do with matter... That is of course what you said above somewhere that you believe - the soul has nothing to do with matter, but you don't believe stones have souls or a consciousness?
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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Jan 25, 2004 9:46 pm

As for birds or lizards, it is difficult to tell, but only because they are dissimilar to us.


I wonder whether dinos had consciousness or not. I think birds and lizards do have, but of course as you said that's difficult to tell, as they aren’t mammals.
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Postby Kalailan » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:01 pm

What you seek is the subjective truth that is nearest to the objective truth.
i seek not the objective truth at all; i think it irrelevant to my life.
let me take death for an example.

the sanctity of life has caused great fear of death in modern society.
i think that fear is well over the head. it holds back the lives of many people, not allowing them to have a life because of this fear.

When i read the book "Shogun" (i recommended it in the open board yesterday), i was exposed to an entirely different atitude towards death. in that book the japanese people are ready to die instantly, almost not unwilingly.
from a western point of view it is crazy behaviour.
but when i tried to realise why the people there are so unafraid of death i discovered that it is the belief that the souls come back in a different body after their death. that allowed them to be more free to die, because they new they would come back.
now, i do not think it matters whether the souls really come back, of if there is such a thing as soul. it doesn't matter whether this really happens, cause how could you really know?

what matters is whether you are happy. thats my entire point of view on the world. i think that the absolute is irrelevant in many cases, and therefore the search for it as well.

forgive all my typos please,
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:57 pm

in that book the japanese people are ready to die instantly, almost not unwilingly.


Remember though that Christians believe in an afterlife that is in fact the 'real' life, this life on earth is just something that has to be suffered, before the believers then begin their 'real' life in heaven. To stop people killing them selves, this is where sanctity of life comes in I suppose :wink: .
The ancient Greeks on the other hand didn't have the bible, they had Homer instead, and he tells them that death really is the end. When you die your shadow goes down to the underworld, but you are just a bloodless shadow, there is no Christian afterlife.

Of course these views of death influence our actions, and if we give our lives up readily because we believe something that's not true...
If you say that it's not important what ideas we base our lives on I think that's wrong. What about suicide bombers? They kill themselves because they believe that way they can help their people and themselves become heros in the afterlife. If these people knew there was no afterlife, if all people knew that, don't you think people might have a tiny bit more respect for life? That people would be more careful or have fewer wars? I don't know if that's the case, as Romans and Greeks don't seem to be more peaceful people. But you would be forced to think about life and maybe that would lead to them being more considerate towards others, and better towards themselves? Is the world not a better place today now that we don't have human sacrifices, as we don't believe in Gods wanting human blood?

Other ideas like that influence our lives too and with some it isn't always possible to lead a happy life. It's difficult for me to understand why someone would not want to know the truth (or as near a truth as is available), because then at least you can claim to have made an effort to live your life in the best way you saw possible.

(All my spelling mistakes are just typos too :D )
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Postby Kalailan » Mon Jan 26, 2004 6:59 pm

hmm... you still speak out of the christian life sanctity.
the need for life preservation for survival of the species has long passed, and the only threat now would be an ecological disaster (counting a radioactive one in).
so objectively , there is no need for the respect to life!
i do not say that i wish people would die around like butterflies.
nevertheless, they do, and it would be a whole lot better if we could accept death (other people's and our own) easier.


it's not that i don't want to know the truth. i want to know my truth.
because that is what makes me happy. knowing what happens from my point of view, which isn't always easy, is what helps me conduct a good life.
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:56 pm

I don't think life is holy and has to be preserved! But I think that people should not throw away their lives and that it would be much better if people were able to lead a respectable life in which they have the chance to lead a happy life. This life is all we have, and everyone is only given this one chance to do anything in the world so it is better to use it as best as you can then to throw it away needlessly.
Of course we should accept that one day we will die, as it's a fact that one day we just won't be there anymore and there's nothing we can do about it (though what we do have a least a bit of an influence on is the time we die). I'm not saying that the longer you live the happier that life is. You can accomplish a lot in a short life time, but when one's life is over it's irreversibly gone.
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Postby Kalailan » Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:29 am

I agree that it's good to have a happy life.
but as we have already agreed that we are subjective beings,
i think that happiness is not dependent on the objective order of life one has. one can be very successfull, and not be happy, and one can be very unsuccessful and be happy. the "happy" life is an atitude.
and i think this atitude is very hard to acquire if one believes that this life is the only one he or she will experiance, because then every decision is very fatal. you cannot be free to have fun in life (thats what makes them happy... isn't it?) if you are always worried about what will happen, whehther this decision is good or not.

anyway, why should anyone want to have a good life?
according to what you say, after one dies nothing is left of him (i'm talking about the person, not the things that he has done or like that). if so, what difference does it make if you have a good life or a bad life, except to your subjective feeling, of which nothing will remain?
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Postby benissimus » Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:05 am

Kalailan wrote:anyway, why should anyone want to have a good life?
according to what you say, after one dies nothing is left of him (i'm talking about the person, not the things that he has done or like that). if so, what difference does it make if you have a good life or a bad life, except to your subjective feeling, of which nothing will remain?


This seems to me to suggest that only those who believe in an afterlife or who don't care are able to have a happy life. I do not see how this can be true... surely happiness is not exclusive to the religious? I think you are correct that without afterlife/divine beings there is struggle to find meaning in life, but there were people long before there were any of the major religions and they were not a depressed mass of unhappy humans.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Kalailan » Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:49 am

I am not suggesting anything.
of course you can be happy anyway, just like i said!

and i didn't say that a belief in the after life is what makes people happy either.
i was trying to show that puting too much weight on you life can kill it.
if you believe in an afterlife you spread the weight.

what you said about the people being unhappy before religion: (i was having a problem with quoting. nothing that cannot be solved)

maybe thats the reason people invented (i don't like the word, but i will use the one common here.) religion?

anyway, i do not know about then, but i do know that the world is pretty much like what you said, "a depressed mass of unhappy people".

i want to clear a few things:
i am not trying to convert anyone.
just like i said, one can be happy anyway.
just wanted to make it clear, as i do not want people to think i am a missionary or anything.
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Postby mingshey » Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:30 am

Kalailan wrote:if you believe in an afterlife you spread the weight.


Or multiply it. ;)
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Postby Kalailan » Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:35 am

I didn't mean the christian afterlife. that one does really multiply.
i meant reincarnation for instance, even though i am not sure whether it falls into the category of an afterlife.
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Postby mingshey » Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:43 am

The only kind of reincarnation I know of is child birth. They are physically the (combined) reincarnation of their parents. They might give happiness to their die(parents). But in a short term, they surely increase the burden of their parents. Anyway burden of life is no hindrance to happiness. You can just be happy for nothing. :)
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Postby Emma_85 » Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:20 pm

I understand what you mean, religion in that case would be nothing more than comfort though, wouldn't it? No longer necessarily the search for truth ,which is what religion was actually invented for. People were scared and nature seemed to big, so they made the trees and other things in nature their Gods (the half beast Gods in Egypt or the sun for example). The great forces of nature ruled their lives, so why couldn't these forces be Gods too? And afterlife was probably invented out of fear. They had no idea what happened when some one died and in their grief of course people wish that their loved ones live on...So rituals came about to make sure the dead could live on and that the river would flood... you have a religion. (That's not a scientific explanation though, I haven't read one yet, still searching the internet for reliable information).

(Don't stop discussing this with us! I wouldn't have started a debate if I wasn't interested in other peoples opinions)
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Postby mingshey » Tue Jan 27, 2004 11:33 pm

The science and religion is different in that science uses mathematical model for description, and modern science has many powerful instruments. But the human mind working behind it is not very different. It is the restricted capability of human brain that requires 'explanations'. We need a simple frame, or order in which to arrange the infinitely diverse phenomenon around us. Somehow in the course of evolution(or whatever) the device for arrangement is implanted in the central nervous system of a lineage of animals. If we find a simple pattern to match many a few stimuli we feel comforted. That's why we feel F=ma and Fugue beautiful.
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Postby Kalailan » Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:07 am

-er- i am not sure i understand what you posted mingshey.
this sentence in particular:
mingshey wrote:If we find a simple pattern to match many a few stimuli we feel comforted. That's why we feel F=ma and Fugue beautiful.


is the "many" just an accident?
i don't understand it anyway, but with the many it gets wierd!
what do you mean by comforted? whats the relation between fugue and comfort? most people hate fugues anyway. (unless you mean something else. i myself know only of music fugues.)
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Postby mingshey » Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:39 am

Kalailan wrote:-er- i am not sure i understand what you posted mingshey.
this sentence in particular:
mingshey wrote:If we find a simple pattern to match many a few stimuli we feel comforted. That's why we feel F=ma and Fugue beautiful.


is the "many" just an accident?
i don't understand it anyway, but with the many it gets wierd!
what do you mean by comforted? whats the relation between fugue and comfort? most people hate fugues anyway. (unless you mean something else. i myself know only of music fugues.)


I think "many" and "quite a few" is mixed up while I was editing. :oops:
I meant the musical fugue, and you're right. You can hate fugue, But then again you can hate F=ma, too. :)
By "comforted", it is that if you have something left unexplained in your experience, you get uneasy about it. You'll be shovel it into some category in the frame of thought you happen to have, or somehow find a better frame for it and all the other.
My poor english might have confused you, and sorry for that. :)
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Postby Kalailan » Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:16 am

i think i misunderstood you...
i thought you ment comfort as in to comfort someone who is sad.
thats the comfort i ussualy talk about when speaking about religion...

Never mind your english, look at mine!

what is F=ma?
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Postby Kalailan » Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:22 am

To what emma wrote:

i think religion shoulg evolve. some of them did, but there are always the conservatives (lots of them here) who don't accept any changes.

i think that because we have science to explain how the physical world, religion should explain the metaphysical world.
in other words, turn into philosophy.
most religions have philosophical aspects. some more and some less, but however i find that aspect the most interesting.
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Jan 28, 2004 7:53 pm

F=ma is Force= mass x acceleration (that's one of Newton's :P )

i think that because we have science to explain how the physical world, religion should explain the metaphysical world.
in other words, turn into philosophy.
most religions have philosophical aspects. some more and some less, but however i find that aspect the most interesting.


:D Philosophy is much better than religion
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Postby copain » Wed Jan 28, 2004 8:02 pm

Yes I think religion has it’s right to exist as a special kind of philosophy and further on I will tried to explain in brief why.
Ok, you can explain the „invention“ of religon as an evolutionary aspect going along with our consciousness. But why neither in the past nor in the present is a community to be found who has decided to get rid of religion like other traditions of old, if religion can be explaind in that manner ? Communism had tried and had failed, yes he is going itself to become extinct ! The truth is, that it is hard to wipe off religion from the heart´s and mind´s of humans! But why, only because it is an evolutionary heritage ? Or may it be more - the presentiment about a being which lies behind our logic and sense, but still linger within us for ever an ever ?
In my opinion it is impossible to force God into a “formular“ !
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Postby Kalailan » Wed Jan 28, 2004 8:12 pm

i agree in one thing:
religion is very hard to wipe. not that i try...
the entire western life is christian based. the values of hard work and good and evil are very dominant. see weber
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Jan 28, 2004 8:42 pm

I'm not sure what you mean with religion as an evolutionary heritage. It's something we started to have as soon as people were able to ask such questions such as: Where do you come from?
It's hard to wipe out, because it's part of our culture and because people want to believe it or believe it to be true. We have answers that can compete with religion, and I believe they are much better answers in that I think they have more truth to them than the religious ones, but they aren't ones that can 100% convince someone. We don't know how the universe came into existance for one thing. There are many other reasons why it won't die out (ever?).
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