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The limits of the human mind.

  1. Oct 24, 2005 #1
    The limits of the human mind........

    Can you perceive the fact that there is no end to space or the thought of God always being here and always will be or maybe the thought of there being nothing it can't be nothing it has to be something even being nothing its something,just like there has to be an end to space because nothing last forever it has to be some kind of boundary or change,I also can't perceive God has always been here and aways will it had to begin at sometime there had to be a starting point even the big bang is a form of begging in the fact that it is the starting point of existence but it still don't explain the unfathomable amount of time that was before that critical moment of creation
    please share your ideas,theories,and knowledge:confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2005 #2


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    The inability to conceptualize things like nothingness and infinity does make you wonder what the referrants of these terms are, doesn't it? It makes one want to accept the pragmatist conclusion that "nothingness" is simply a noun formed from the negation function in the English language and has no referrant; indeed, is a misapplication of the substantive transformation in grammar.

    "Infinity" is a little trickier. There is the mathematical abstraction, which is simply a symbol defined by how it behaves computationally within a given function. Then there is the fuzzier concept of "endlessness." One can certainly conceive of simply continuuing on in a straight line without ever ending, but to fully conceive of something, we need of it in its entirety; an object that is infinite in the sense of being "endless" has no entirety.
  4. Oct 24, 2005 #3
    This is something i read in a paper that compares humans earth with a gorilla reservation (as in that humans dont know that ET civilisations surround them, like gorilla's dont know human civilisation surrounds them):

  5. Oct 24, 2005 #4
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Here's some periods. Feel free to use what you like, Raziel. A gift. Perhaps the concept hasn't reached the south yet? They make things easier to read for the respected audience. *__-
    (here's some free ????????????s (as an added bonus) to use at your leisure.)
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2005
  6. Oct 26, 2005 #5
    HAHAHAHA well all shucks you sure are a smart fella with all that good grammer and all,I must apologize,you see all us unfortunates from the south you know with all are gibberish and such forget to write were yall educated folks can understand i must try to write correctly next time
  7. Oct 26, 2005 #6
    Feeling a bit .. 'insecure'?
    That was humor, Razzy, relax. You know.. humor? Y'all heered o' that? (Damn, more humor leaked out!)
    But, for us old blind folks, it is much easier to read things with a bit of punctuation, if that consideration isn't to much to ask? If it is, I guess I just don't have to read it. It is a courtesy. Thank you.

    I dunno, you cant even punctuate a sentence but want to discuss the limits of the human mind.
    Do you not see the irony?

    (!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here's a few exclamation points also. Don't spend 'em all at the same time!)
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2005
  8. Oct 26, 2005 #7
    That should be (ignoring your use of "dunno") "I dunno; you can't even punctuate a sentence but want to discuss the limits of the human mind."

    And "Here's a few exclamation points also." should be "Here are a few exclamation points also."

    "...if that consideration isn't to much to ask?" should be "...if that consideration isn't too much to ask?"

    And in your 'humor' you've misplaced the apostrophe in "ya'll", the one word that it isn't part of the parody to write incorrectly.

    Ugh... Couldn't you just be polite in one discussion?

    Mm... And on the actual topic, I don't think that the human mind is incapable of grasping the ideas of infinity and nothingness. Culture and experience-wise we are not prepared to understand such concepts, but we are capable of forming the abstract thoughts; many people do.

    It just goes against your personal experience and the norm of your cultural world-view. It isn't beyond the reach of the human mind; it's just new.
  9. Oct 27, 2005 #8

    Well anyway I think that is true in some cases but I think that boundries are pre-stamped in the human instinct,I mean I think we need them to feel safe are like we are in control and just accepting those truths would break that barrier.So if your a man of faith then God said he would not put you through anything your mind can't handle so maybe he won't let us figure those things out,If heard of men going crazy thinking to much and not to mention we only us what like 10% of our brain that might help to!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh crap,I'm spent
  10. Oct 27, 2005 #9
    Hmm... I see where you're coming from; and I do agree that we need boundaries to feel safe-- but I don't think those boundaries are really pre-stamped. We have to have SOME boundaries, and as a young child there is only so much that we can experience and thus there are certain boundaries that everyone develops early on; however, these boundaries can be broken and replaced later; it isn't impossible to do that, just difficult. We can understand anything that's either true or false; then, by analogy, we can understand things that are partly true and partly false; then, by further analogy, we can extend our logic system itself and have ideas that are neither really true nor false. The human ability to draw analogies between things allows us to understand an infinite array of phenomena... Even if something is totally new, we can relate it to the other times we've encountered something new and solve it using the same, or similar, methods that we used before.

    Do you know what I mean, at all? You can even imagine colors that you've never seen and visual images in four or five dimensions; it's difficult to break out of the limits that keep you from doing those things normally, but it is possible. You just need to understand the relationship between colors and extend it, or the relationship between dimensions and extend it; you could even extend the relationship between colors and dimensions and imagine something that would be neither one, but some combination of both. In the same way, you can examine the relationships between everything you know about and come up with an idea that does NOT include any of those; and thus come up with something entirely new and foreign, simply by understanding the old and familiar. Granted, it is, in general, extremely difficult to do most of this-- but it can be done.

    At least, that's the way it seems to me.
  11. Oct 27, 2005 #10
    i agree with sikz for the most part. we can imagine other dimensions ( also the only other 1 i can mentally visualize is time, and not the one that is perpendicual to the "x,y,z" dimensions ) but we know what the shadow for an "4 dimensional cube" is in 3 dimensions, but we cant see the cube itself...
  12. Oct 27, 2005 #11
    First of all, that 10% of the brain thing has been floating around since I was a kid. The brain has many different parts and none are dormant.

    Anyway, I think the distinction between conceptualization and visualization should be made. Visualization is the first stop for the mind. So, in cases where one should just move on to conceptualization, some people obsess about trying to “picture” something. Some concepts are inherently impossible to visualize. Take the word infinity. You can grasp the idea of something that never ends but you can’t come close to visualizing what it might look like. Hawkins can’t visualize infinity any better than you, believe it or not. He just spends more time conceptualizing it in the abstract.

    Nothingness is tough too because there isn’t anything to visualize. It’s kind of like that old adage; does a blind person only see darkness? No, they see nothing. It doesn’t make sense to someone who’s never had that frame of reference before. I have no clue what really seeing nothing would be like.

    About the boundaries, those exist but are very mobile. What the mind will tolerate changes constantly. Take a guy from 150 years ago who never went faster than 20 mph at any time (and that speed would have been risking life and limb on a horse). Put that same guy in a Corvette on a track and see how calmly he handles 150 mph. I've got a pretty good idea that he'd freak out. I'm usually angry about going 25 mph (means I’m going to be late for something).

    People were really very upset (riots) about the notion that the world was round and not flat. It messed with their sense of reality.

    Anyway, that's a ramble. I just think that whatever boundaries you have are subject to change (from aggregate experience) and your children will laugh about them. Just the way of things.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2005
  13. Oct 27, 2005 #12


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    It is a myth that we only use 10% of the brain.
  14. Oct 27, 2005 #13

    Les Sleeth

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    Mean-spirited ridicule isn't all that funny.

    Should we care more about the quality of his thoughts or the quality of his punctuation and grammer? In a philosophy forum, it seems superficial to emphasize form over substance. I know I had no trouble understanding Raziel.
  15. Oct 28, 2005 #14
    Thanks for the kind words Les Sleeth,I aways turn the other cheek, well I try but anyway.Maybe somethings are mentally (period) unprecievable,Like how well we ever progress to the point at which we understand that matter is never created or destroyed,we may except it but thats not understanding,as a scientist your instinct is to get to the bottom of things.To completely know that thing from every angle,that is understanding(in my opinion).For instance I accept these deep formulas of math or the system in which our goverment works and I can visualize it and conceptualize it but I still don't understand it in full which is true understanding. And the fact that matter had to begin or be made at some point regardless of theories and even if not what was before matter and if nothing then when did it all start where did it begin, how did it all institute,and its not the big bang, things where happening way before that.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2005
  16. Oct 29, 2005 #15

    Yes,infinity and endless are two funny words although we in someway understand the concepts behind them we will never understand them in full simply because we are to fragile,bound by the physical and mental boundaries pre-set for us, in short we were never meant to become that powerful.I am a religious man and I like to try and tie this place and all that's ever happen and all that ever will, in to God.I think that if your a scientist and you believe in all that we know as Christianity,Judaism,and the Muslim religions(they're all the same,just minor differce in the way they were told-past down,due to regional habits,sperks of growth and change,and mostly because of the men who ruled these areas ideas or preferences changed) then you can find a reasonable answer in every part of science.From the evolution theories to the big bang theories, they can all be explained by looking at religion in a differant perspective. For instance evolution in a lot of ways can easily be explained from simply reading Genesis.He said he made us in his image and that he simply spat on the ground and from dust we were made.If you look beyond the words(which by the way were not written for our generations of people)then you could easily explain the fact that there are Neanderthal(I tried to spell the best I could)skeletons found all the time because that was once us.We may have even evolved in to Nea. from some other human like beings.I say this because they all resemble the same image and that's all he said.he never went in to detail about how.Same as in the beginning he made light and dark and separated the waters of the heavens from the waters of the deep.This sounds a lot like trying to explain the big bang and atmospheres and space to some people from any where before what like 1200 A.D.So I believe with close examination we can figure most things out,but some things I don't know about.How far can we go,how long will we be,how close to becoming all knowing Gods of science,which is everything,.will he let us be.I don't know if the human race can transcend in to enlightenment as a whole which will be necessary to truly reach that lofty goal.

    "We must learn to over come the crass demands of the flesh and bone, for they warp the matrix through which we think and perceive the world.Extend your awareness outwards,beyond the self of body,to embrace the self of group and the self of humanity. The goals of the group and the greater race are transcendent,and to embrace them is to truly achieve enlightenment"

    "Essay of mind and matter"

    So Infinity and endless are really meaningless words for we don't perceive their true nature and definition.And how do we know space is "endless" if we can't see the end of it and if the universe is truly expanding what is it expanding in to and who or how did it all get pulled together in the first place in order to expand?I don't have a science background but,that don't much account for anything anyway.Hell if you think about it were all scientist anyway right,But these ideas are not that outside the box at least in my opinion.
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