The Nature of Spirit

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Originally posted by Mentat
Actually, paradox spells death for any postulation.
Tell that to the particle/wave photon.
 
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Originally posted by sage
You point about "flight and fight" is a little shaky, however. I've seen BUGS run for cover from US...and I don't think it's because they believe they have "unfinished business"... no because they cannot think lacking a logically endowed brain. A beetle is a ready-made creature, its behavior is completely programmed by its genes. It cannot learn from the environment. This is true for all insects, and mostly true for amphibians, fishes and reptiles.
I do not agree with your assessment of the consciousness of lower life forms. Maybe they can't learn -- or can't learn much -- but they can RESPOND to stimuli -- like the sight of me lumbering (to them I'm "lumbering"; actually I'm quite graceful) toward them -- then they run for cover (like many humans do when they see me). Am I going to be able to prove to you that dragonflies are conscious...or that elementary particles themselves are conscious, too? Nope. So I think we've got a stalemate here, Sage, when it comes to our respective paradigms. Still, I'll continue with my response to your post...

But the absolutism of preprogrammed genetic control decreases with increasing brain complexity until we come upon certain birds and mammals capable of showing considerable learning skills. needless to say that logical part of the brain with its inherent capability to learn from the environment has attained maximum complexity in humans. So our genes has produced a brain whose responses to external stimuli is not preprogrammed, but learned. But as responses are learned by our powerful logical brain it may be possible under certain circumstances that the learned responses are actually harmful for the existence of the individual. Indeed this is commonly seen in depressed people with suicidal tendencies. So some checks and balances have to be built in within the system so that responses that increase the chances of survival for the individual(or society) are selected by our brain irrespective of the logic behind it.
And who, per chance, "inserted" the "checks and balances" of which you speak? Are you saying that this is, like other things, part of the process of natural selection? That those whose minds "told them" that they are "special" or "not alone" survived while those who saw themselves as "common" and "isolated" did not? This seems a bit far-fetched to me, too...but I guess not any more "far-fetched" than my OWN ideas about what's going on.

It is here that the feelings of specialty and purpose makes us choose only those courses of action that help us as an individual or as a group survive for one more day. In short it boils down to this- people do not want to die today though they know that death is inevitable because evolution has taken care that such thoughts never enter our minds. Such checks are only there because we can think for ourselves which a beetle cannot do.
We will never know what a beetle knows...so let's leave it at that.

So you see that your ideas gives humans speciality(by assigning that consciousness felt by us is a fundamental property of the universe and thus in a sense the universe is some sort of conscious life form like us) and also a purpose. So yes the we is all inclusive.
Do I think we're "special"? Yes and no. IMO, the Universe -- as a Primal Singularity -- had an INTENTION to give rise -- over time -- to sentient beings...and, a few billion years later, here we are. But I doubt if "we" are alone. And, if it handn't given rise to "us"
it would have given rise to some OTHER sentient beings.

Now, before I go further, I would like to make a distinction between consciousness and sentience...as I am using them in this thread: "consciousness", I propose, is inherent in every piece --or large system of -- baryonic matter (organic or not) which might be called BASIC SELF-AWARENSS while "sentience" as I'm using the word in this post refers to a COMPLEX SYSTEM OF CONSCIOUSNESS that includes AWARENESS OF "OTHERS" and of "CONTEXT"...among other things.

In actuality, Webster's dictionary makes no such distinction. I'm just "defining my terms" for the sake of this discussion.

I still not see how you are ‘sure’ about the existence of universal consciousness. Anyway how did you deduce there is a spirit?
I'm not "sure" of anything. However, this is an excellent question which I need to tackle off-line, so as to take the time to re-assemble the thinking that brought be to my ideas about consciousness. As to the existence of "spirit"...I'm less "sure" about this...but I will share my deductions once I reconstruct them. Thanks for asking.

In fact, I will have to do the same for the rest of your post...as there is too much to address in an off-handed way.
 
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar
First off, you seem "stuck" in a paradigm wherein the Universe is created by an outside entity. I am saying that the Universe IS the Entity...and in each of Its incarnations It creates a DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE for Itself.
but as mentat said this is highly illogical and wrong.an entity cannot create itself.

All that this Entity -- the Universe -- would "know" is what has gone before...NOT what It can create in the future via Its naturual processes. This is because the inherent feature of "randomness" in the "body" of the Universe causes "things" (physical, conscious and spiritual) to come together in ways never before experienced by the Universe.
this is not well thought out. what you're saying is that it created a universe with all the laws of physics and universal properites that we observe here, only to leave the creation of humanity (or the other being that may have risen)to chance? this might be an awful waste of time. our creation wasn't garanteed by the universe, we are here by pure luck. (who's luck though, i wonder?)

another issue: this being must have infinite powers if it is able to create the intire universe. where is the limit to these powers? the laws of physics which it itself layed down at the begining of one of these universes? so its like the old 'can god microwave a burrito so hot, he could not eat it?' question. this being created a universe in which it can have no active part in, other than observation (the gaining of "experience"), yet the universal propeties were layed down by it.

or would one conclude that there are certain laws of physics that are beyond the universe, that are necesaryto have for a universe to funtion.

this must be the case becuase this being had certain inherant properties before there ever was a universe. proporties such as: yearning (for experience). knowledge (of how to go about begining a universe). the understanding of priciples such as experience itself (which is a meaningless word if there is no time or passage of event it therefore manifested a knowledges of something when there was nothing-which is paradoxial)

and there is yet another thing i would like to add: you say that each time the universe is 'rebounded' or restarted by this entity, that a different line of events will take place (or it'd have no new experiences). does it change the initial universal configurations every time?
 
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar
Tell that to the particle/wave photon.

this is an incorrect analogy. the duality of EMwaves is not a paradox, so just don't understand it well enough. (no offence meant)
 
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Originally posted by maximus
this is an incorrect analogy. the duality of EMwaves is not a paradox, so just don't understand it well enough. (no offence meant)
No offense taken. Will seek a paradox elsewhere.

Meanwhile, I do not have the STAMINA to respond to your prior post...at the moment. However, check you PM.
 
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Originally posted by maximus
...but as mentat said this is highly illogical and wrong.an entity cannot create itself.
I have responded to Mentat thusly: if the Universe is truly "eternal", then It has no beginning nor end. However, IMO, it has a series of "lifetimes" that "begin" just "prior to" each Big Bang (when the Universe is a Singularity ...condenses down from Its FORMER INCARNATION).

So, when I say that the Universe RE-creates Itself, I am speaking of every incarnation that "begins" at the moment of each Big Bang, and continues for maybe 30-or-so billion years until it condences down into a Singularity again.

Now, I am fully aware that current cosmological theories have the Universe EXPANDING forever. But I do not hold to this position. Either black holes will "eat up" everything in between and "join forces" so to speak, to cause the Great Collapse...OR..."Dark Energy" will cause the Universe to expand to a point where It (the Universe) cools down so much that a PHASE TRANSITION will take place, turning "Dark Energy" into "Dark Matter" (or some such thing) whereby GRAVITY will do what gravity does and CAUSE the Big Crunch...i.e, the "end" of each incarnation.

Do I expect you -- or many others -- to believe me above established cosmologists. No I do not. However, you are young enough to remember that you heard it here first when cosmologists "get it right" sometime down the road.

Meanwhile, I cannot continue to write and rewrite my above position on this matter (dark or otherwise). Tho I'll be happy to entertain whatever objections you may have to what I have written.

this is not well thought out.
I hope you're kidding...all I DO is think (and ACT).

...what you're saying is that it created a universe with all the laws of physics and universal properites that we observe here, only to leave the creation of humanity (or the other being that may have risen)to chance? this might be an awful waste of time. our creation wasn't garanteed by the universe, we are here by pure luck. (who's luck though, i wonder?)
I am saying that the inherent "property" of "randomness" in the Universe may SEEM like "chance" HOWEVER...there's ANOTHER "property" of the Universe -- i.e., INTENTION -- that 'impinges" on the "lynchpin" of "randomness" CAUSING one "potentiality" to manifest over OTHER potentialities.

And whose intention are we talking about anyway? Why, the Being that is the Universe...and any "under-beings" (like us) that It gives rise to.

Please re-read the above and see whether or not I have given this sufficient thought.

...another issue: this being must have infinite powers if it is able to create the intire universe. where is the limit to these powers? the laws of physics which it itself layed down at the begining of one of these universes? so its like the old 'can god microwave a burrito so hot, he could not eat it?' question. this being created a universe in which it can have no active part in, other than observation (the gaining of "experience"), yet the universal propeties were layed down by it.
And "who" is the "it" of which you speak?????????

I am saying that the Universe ITSELF has certain natural, inherent properties....forces, processes and ingredients. Now, do these things operate differently in each of the Universe's incarnations: I don't know. I tend to think that the laws of physics are PART of the "body" of the Universe in each incarnation...that gravity, for instance, is always at play, brining baryonic matter together. Likewise, whatever forces are at play with consciousness (and spirit, if spirit exists) in this incarnation are at play in all others. One can "shuffle the deck" but still play with the same "deck of cards".

But please, when responding to MY posts, stop referring to an "it" that "gave" the Universe certain qualities...because this is inconsistent with my basic paradigm.

...or would one conclude that there are certain laws of physics that are beyond the universe, that are necesaryto have for a universe to funtion.
I believe I've just answered this...EXCEPT that there is NO "BEYOND the Universe".

... this must be the case becuase this being had certain inherant properties before there ever was a universe. proporties such as: yearning (for experience). knowledge (of how to go about begining a universe). the understanding of priciples such as experience itself (which is a meaningless word if there is no time or passage of event it therefore manifested a knowledges of something when there was nothing-which is paradoxial)
If there is "yearning"...the Universe yearns. If there is "knowledge"...the Universe acquires it. If there is "understanding"...then the Universe understands. There is no paradox because there is no time when "there was nothing"...if, indeed, the Universe is ETERNAL.

...and there is yet another thing i would like to add: you say that each time the universe is 'rebounded' or restarted by this entity,
No, no, no...no "other" entity...the Universe IS the Entity! Please get this piece of my paradigm...even if you don't AGREE with it. Otherwise, we will continue to chase our tails...and I'm getting dizzy!

... that a different line of events will take place (or it'd have no new experiences). does it change the initial universal configurations every time?
Yes, if you're referring to the "laws of physics" and the like...these remain the same (in my view)...however, they could change ALSO. The main thing is that the EXPERIENCES of each incarnation are different from all other incarnations. That is the point...of EXISTENCE ... IM .

What a workout! Thanks.
 
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I know that this has been said before in other threads; but, I think that it bears repeat now at this point. This is where the uncertainty principle comes in to play. It is the thing that "suffles the deck" continuously so that there is no determinism in the universe in this incarnation or any other. With the uncertainty principle firmly in place along with the other physical laws nothing is predetermined or known other that the one constant of this or any universe, CHANGE. Everything is always changing.

(How that for a scientific absolute! )
 
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar
I have responded to Mentat thusly: if the Universe is truly "eternal", then It has no beginning nor end. However, IMO, it has a series of "lifetimes" that "begin" just "prior to" each Big Bang (when the Universe is a Singularity ...condenses down from Its FORMER INCARNATION).
and when did this eternal cycle begin? and who began that? if you're saying that each universe may not be eternal, but the cycle of changing universes are that makes more sence, but goes a little against common experience. wouldn't at some point there have to be a begining?

So, when I say that the Universe RE-creates Itself, I am speaking of every incarnation that "begins" at the moment of each Big Bang, and continues for maybe 30-or-so billion years until it condences down into a Singularity again.
again, you should question the 'bounce-back' idea. if a being existed (even if that being was the concious universe)that could infringe upon the laws of physics, sure it could be possible. but current ideas say that the universe cannot bounce-back from a singularity. it might if it was unable to collapse intirely, and only became very dence, then exploded. but once you collapse to singularity, there is little hope of reincarnation. time will come to an end. and even if it does collapse down-not to a singularity-but to a dence 'bouncable' state (which i believe was shown to be impossible) how could the laws of physics change every time, as you said they might. (at least the initial configurations of the universe)

Do I expect you -- or many others -- to believe me above established cosmologists. No I do not. However, you are young enough to remember that you heard it here first when cosmologists "get it right" sometime down the road.
i'll remember that.


I am saying that the inherent "property" of "randomness" in the Universe may SEEM like "chance" HOWEVER...there's ANOTHER "property" of the Universe -- i.e., INTENTION -- that 'impinges" on the "lynchpin" of "randomness" CAUSING one "potentiality" to manifest over OTHER potentialities.
and can the intention of the concious universe (i.e., the intention to have an experience) override the laws of physics? (by which i mean probobility and randomness) (and QM, which depends greatly on the others mentioned)

And whose intention are we talking about anyway? Why, the Being that is the Universe...and any "under-beings" (like us) that It gives rise to.
so we are the manifestation of an intention to have an experience. so the universe is using us?


I am saying that the Universe ITSELF has certain natural, inherent properties....forces, processes and ingredients. Now, do these things operate differently in each of the Universe's incarnations: I don't know. I tend to think that the laws of physics are PART of the "body" of the Universe in each incarnation...that gravity, for instance, is always at play, brining baryonic matter together. Likewise, whatever forces are at play with consciousness (and spirit, if spirit exists) in this incarnation are at play in all others. One can "shuffle the deck" but still play with the same "deck of cards".
so the universe has only one set of the laws of science that can produce beings like us(beings able to have experience). but how does the universe being know? how can it (i don't know what else to call it) know that in a differently organized universe, other creatures might not evolve (or whatever other process there would be in this other universe). might it be missing out on a new experience?

But please, when responding to MY posts, stop referring to an "it" that "gave" the Universe certain qualities...because this is inconsistent with my basic paradigm.
what else would you have me call it? i understand the concept that this entity is inherrent in the universe, but i would call the universe 'it' also.


I believe I've just answered this...EXCEPT that there is NO "BEYOND the Universe".
so time and the universe (or cycle of universes) is eternal. this is the only other explanation.

and anyways, there must be a beyond to each specific universe. are you saying that the universe we currently reside in is infinite in size? there must be a boundary and beyond that is nothing. (no space time)

If there is "yearning"...the Universe yearns. If there is "knowledge"...the Universe acquires it. If there is "understanding"...then the Universe understands. There is no paradox because there is no time when "there was nothing"...if, indeed, the Universe is ETERNAL.
i take this to mean the cycle of univeres is eternal. not this specific one.

and you are commiting the subjective error, how can there be yearning or understanding in a place or time without any events (i.e., before the first incarnation)?


No, no, no...no "other" entity...the Universe IS the Entity! Please get this piece of my paradigm...even if you don't AGREE with it. Otherwise, we will continue to chase our tails...and I'm getting dizzy!
i got it.

Yes, if you're referring to the "laws of physics" and the like...these remain the same (in my view)...however, they could change ALSO. The main thing is that the EXPERIENCES of each incarnation are different from all other incarnations. That is the point...of EXISTENCE ... IM .
theoretically, in a cycle of universes infite in time wouldn't eventually you run out of experiences? (i.e., everything that could ever happen in probobility would happen)

************

in conclusion let us gather together that which i believe we agree upon or is inescapably true:

1) the universe entity cannot have created inself. this is paradoxial. therefore, the only other explanation is that the being never had a moment of creation and that the cycle of universes is infinite. (at least infite in negative time) (by which i mean it has an infitie past, and may or may not end one day)

2) we are the subsystems of the universe, with which the entity wants to have an experience. (term experience, or example of experience has yet to be given, M. Gaspar)

3) the entity has the ability to infringe upon the laws of physics (possibly the only explanation for the 'bounce-back' effect.

4) the goal of the entity-universe is to have an ambigious experience. (supposedly a different one everytime, and cannot expect what will happen in each incarnation)
 
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Originally posted by Royce
I know that this has been said before in other threads; but, I think that it bears repeat now at this point. This is where the uncertainty principle comes in to play. It is the thing that "suffles the deck" continuously so that there is no determinism in the universe in this incarnation or any other. With the uncertainty principle firmly in place along with the other physical laws nothing is predetermined or known other that the one constant of this or any universe, CHANGE. Everything is always changing.

(How that for a scientific absolute! )
this does not hold true if

a) the entity-universe can change the laws of physics (including probobility)

or b) in a universe or universal cycle that is infinite in space or time
 
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this is certainly the most interesting thread i have been to yet.lets rate it so that more logical(or illogical) beings participate in it.
gaspar what are the things that your hypothesis can explain which our current hypothesis of non-conscious universe cannot.
will give a fuller reply later.
 
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Originally posted by maximus
1) the universe entity cannot have created inself. this is paradoxial. therefore, the only other explanation is that the being never had a moment of creation and that the cycle of universes is infinite. (at least infite in negative time) (by which i mean it has an infitie past, and may or may not end one day)
And yet what is existence, if not a state of "coming into being" or, a state that "always was and always will be?"

What if the only "true singularity" were God, by which everything else "springs forth?"
 
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Originally posted by Royce
I know that this has been said before in other threads; but, I think that it bears repeat now at this point. This is where the uncertainty principle comes in to play. It is the thing that "suffles the deck" continuously so that there is no determinism in the universe in this incarnation or any other. With the uncertainty principle firmly in place along with the other physical laws nothing is predetermined or known other that the one constant of this or any universe, CHANGE. Everything is always changing.

(How that for a scientific absolute! )
Then we AGREE...right?

See PM
 
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
What if the only "true singularity" were God, by which everything else "springs forth?"
Then I'd be out of business!

(...'cause I made it my business to promote the Universe as the SINGULAR living, conscious, eternal and self-perpetuating Being.)
 
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
And yet what is existence, if not a state of "coming into being" or, a state that "always was and always will be?"

What if the only "true singularity" were God, by which everything else "springs forth?"
you are using beautiful words to mask meaningless concepts. existance is what we're going through right now. the universe exists. a concious being cannot create inself, end of story. (unless you can prove me wrong of course) if the being "always was and always will be" than it is more likely. this eternal bounce-back theory of the universe is dependant on: a) a being than exist at least somewhat out of the universe (or at least is not physical) (which in its own right is impossible), otherwise it would be destroyed in the singluratity of one of the universe's collapse. (i.e., time comes to an end, so the being cannot make a choice or a change) and b) an eternal (at least eternal in the direction of the past) cycle of universe. thus, illiminating the paradox of a being creating itself.
 
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Originally posted by sage
this is certainly the most interesting thread i have been to yet.lets rate it so that more logical(or illogical) beings participate in it.
are you complimenting us by calling us logical beings and wishing more like us would come, or are you insulting us by wishing that beings who are more logical than us would come?
 
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar
Then we AGREE...right?

See PM
Yes, at least in part and so far as possibilities go.
In principle we agree and we are not the only ones who speculate in this possibility. See John Gribbin's "In the Beginning"
 
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Originally posted by maximus
you are using beautiful words to mask meaningless concepts. existance is what we're going through right now. the universe exists. a concious being cannot create inself, end of story. (unless you can prove me wrong of course) if the being "always was and always will be" than it is more likely. this eternal bounce-back theory of the universe is dependant on: a) a being than exist at least somewhat out of the universe (or at least is not physical) (which in its own right is impossible), otherwise it would be destroyed in the singluratity of one of the universe's collapse. (i.e., time comes to an end, so the being cannot make a choice or a change) and b) an eternal (at least eternal in the direction of the past) cycle of universe. thus, illiminating the paradox of a being creating itself.
But haven't you heard there were angels in heaven man? If you understood this, would that make a difference? While I understand the spiritual realm (dimension) does not conceive of time and space, but rather "changes of state," as they (angels) are a reflection of our inner-most thoughts and feelings.
 
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Originally posted by maximus
you are using beautiful words to mask meaningless concepts. existance is what we're going through right now. the universe exists. a concious being cannot create inself, end of story. (unless you can prove me wrong of course) if the being "always was and always will be" than it is more likely. this eternal bounce-back theory of the universe is dependant on: a) a being than exist at least somewhat out of the universe (or at least is not physical) (which in its own right is impossible), otherwise it would be destroyed in the singluratity of one of the universe's collapse. (i.e., time comes to an end, so the being cannot make a choice or a change) and b) an eternal (at least eternal in the direction of the past) cycle of universe. thus, illiminating the paradox of a being creating itself.
PM
 
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Now we have ‘sentience’? Have it your way gaspar. what I am saying is simple. There is no need to hark back to some mysterious preexisting sentience(/consciousness) to explain the sentience in humans. This can be explained by evolution. Given this what is interesting is the fact humans who are sentient and having possession of logical faculties have an emotional urge to invent the existence of a powerful sentient being ,who invariably is either the universe or its creator, and thereby wish to create an illusion of specialty and purpose to their own existence. I tried to show that this urge for a specific set of illusions is there again because of evolution as they confer distinct evolutionary advantage to sentient beings possessing a logical brain. I have explained why in my previous post and I need not go into that. You have correctly felt that most other animals do not have such illusions and yet they show effective fight and flight response. To this I replied that this is because their responses are preprogrammed by genes and they cannot learn new responses or behavior as a logical sentient animal like human can. As a result there remains a possibility that we can under unusual circumstances ‘unlearn’ our fight and flight response systems that are so vital for our existence. Thus evolution has led to the growth of certain illogical illusions in us to delimit our logical capabilities in spheres that are harmful to our existence. Thus even if through a logical exercise we can show that we are not special and hence have no purpose, we will not understand what it implies and we will continue our lives ‘as if’ we are special and do have a purpose because evolution has designed us in that way.

Now let’s look at your objections.
I do not agree with your assessment of the consciousness of lower life forms. Maybe they can't learn -- or can't learn much -- but they can RESPOND to stimuli -- like the sight of me lumbering (to them I'm "lumbering"; actually I'm quite graceful) toward them -- then they run for cover (like many humans do when they see me).
Every living thing can respond to stimuli. What is different is that the majority of life forms cannot change their responses or behavior by learning from the environment. Their responses are predictable-hardwired into their genes and will not change until the genes mutate. In a certain experiment an egg of a Siberian crane was kept in a hens nest. The mother hen dutifully reared and protected the chick even though it was twice her size. This is not due to unselfish maternal love-she couldn’t recognize that it was not her chick! It is programmed in her genes to rear a chick that came from an egg in her clutch and she did not have the brain to do anything else. And this limitation is exploited by certain birds who lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. And do not think that the latter class of birds are cleverer, it is just that through evolution the behavior of laying eggs in other bird’s nest has been hard-wired into their genes. Humans on the other hand have been given(by evolution) the rare ability to modify their behavior according to the environment. This is extra-genetic behavioral modification which we call learning. Surely the beetles do not have this. So they do not need illusions to keep at bay some of its potentially harmful consequences.
Are you saying that this is, like other things, part of the process of natural selection? That those whose minds "told them" that they are "special" or "not alone" survived while those who saw themselves as "common" and "isolated" did not?
BINGO!!!
This seems a bit far-fetched to me,
why?
We will never know what a beetle knows
I gave you an illustration about the thinking capabilities of hens. Do not find any reason to think that beetles are better endowed.
Do I think we're "special"? Yes and no. IMO, the Universe -- as a Primal Singularity -- had an INTENTION to give rise -- over time -- to sentient beings...and, a few billion years later, here we are
even if the universe has no intention the possibility of formation of sentient beings and of life itself were quite good, the laws of physics being what they are. If you ask why they are so, I will retort ‘why not’ and if that does not satisfy you I will point you towards anthropic principle as maximus has done- we are where we are because our little corner satisfies the conditions for us to exist-not that it means our corner was specially meant for us; that would be like saying there is philosophical significance in the fact that all rainforests are in the tropics and all glaciers are at the poles.
I'm not "sure" of anything. However, this is an excellent question which I need to tackle off-line, so as to take the time to re-assemble the thinking that brought be to my ideas about consciousness. As to the existence of "spirit"...I'm less "sure" about this...but I will share my deductions once I reconstruct them. Thanks for asking.
I will be waiting eagerly.
Here are a few bits of my points that you did not reply to.
If spirit does exist and can interact with the physical world it must leave its signatures behind that can be picked up by science. If we can find neutrinos, we can find spirits if they exist in our world
and
Thus, the consiousness or spirit of a "table" is/are connected to OTHER similar systems that remain so even after the table is blown to smithereens!
but a table is made from wood which came from a tree. This tree is made of carbon which was made in nucleosynthesis within a star from hydrogen. This hydrogen came from primordial post big bang soup. So if the changes in form experienced by physical entities are not mirrored in the spirit world then the entities in the spirit dimension must be frozen into the shape it acquired directly after the big bang. There will be no evolution, everything would be static-a drab dimension indeed.
thought they were relevant to the current discussion.
I have stated before and I say again your hypothesis is consistent. But is such a grandiose idea necessary? What’s wrong with the simpler idea that there was no consciousness anywhere before sentient beings like us arose due to evolution(granting a few alien species who would have risen the same way and perhaps may rise in future). Why build a castle when a hut is good enough? Here my earlier reply may be helpful-
many amongst you seem to believe that purpose and consciousness cannot originate from situ. It had to be there all along. But this is simply not true. Consciousness is an effect of the processes occurring within our complex brain. So it is a form of complexity. Can complexity arise out of simplicity. here we must first define what complexity is. Any system that has a lesser entropy than another system is more complex than the latter. So the question boils down to this- can a system progress from a state of higher to lower entropy. The answer is it can under certain conditions. Such processes are called self-organization and is today a leading field of research. Everyday you see processes of self-organisation. Thus the structure of a hurricane is much more complex than the things from which it arose. Life, consciousness etc. are sophisticated examples of such processes of self-organization.
will elaborate if you insist.
 
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Originally posted by sage
i am posting an outdated reply.
Me too.

...but a table is made from wood which came from a tree. This tree is made of carbon which was made in nucleosynthesis within a star from hydrogen. This hydrogen came from primordial post big bang soup. So if the changes in form experienced by physical entities are not mirrored in the spirit world then the entities in the spirit dimension must be frozen into the shape it acquired directly after the big bang. There will be no evolution, everything would be static-a drab dimension indeed.
I could spend an HOUR addressing this one paragraph...and might. Let's see...

Holding my feet to the fire, I am being forced by "flaming materialists" to start thinking "structure" as opposed to "function"...the latter being my wont as a right-brained creature.

Thus, I am sure you'll forgive me if the following hasn't gelled...and will offer feedback in the spirit of support, not annihilation.

I am picturing the Universe -- for the purpose of this discussion -- as being comprised of three distinct -- tho interconnected -- systems. These systems are not "new" -- physicality, consciousness and spirit -- and I'm only "sure" of the first two, but include the last because it would perform one of the three FUNCTIONS I'm about to relate.

Are you with me thus far? Who's got time for this anyway?!

To continue...

Let me say BEFORE I go into the "functions" and the "structures" that my BASIC PREMISE IS: that the Universe exists to have an Experience. Now, I could spend another hour supporting this contention...but for the sake of actually getting to an ANSWER to what you have asked, why not take this as a given for awhile.

SO...the Universe is out to have an Experience...a real complex one, consisting of the "lives" of Everything that It gives rise to ...organic or not. (And let us not -- at this juncture -- get sidetracked by what constitutes life. Just let your mind flow for awhile...you can always reel/real? it back.)

SO, again, the Universe is out to have a real complex Experience -- in every of Its "incarnations"(but that's another post) -- thus, THIS is Its Primary Intention...the Primary Will (yet another post!) of the living, conscious Entity that is the Universe.

To PERFORM this feat, the Universe, in each of Its incarnations, does the following:

From the Primal Singularity (which is the Universe twixt incarnations), It "bursts forth", thereby "fragmenting out" the "components of the three systems I've mentioned.

Within each of these systems are inherent forces and processes that CAUSE a coming together again...the best known: GRAVITY...and the ACCRETION of baryonic matter. This system is the PHYSICALITY I spoke of...and its FUNCTION is to provide a (theatrical-type) "stage" (calm down: I'm being figurative) and "vehicles" (I would have said "players" but I don't want your eyes to pop ).

So you get it so far: the dynamic, coherent System of PHYSICALITY serves the function of providing a setting for complex sub-systems (biological and otherwise) to arise, INTERRACT and evolve. AND, in every incarnation, this is the first "step" the Universe takes.

The second System is CONSCIOUSNESS which performs the function of receiving, processing and transmitting information. Its most fundamental "operation" is SELF-AWARENESS (present in each elementary particle) and in larger systems of physicality (biological and otherwise) might include AWARENESS of "OTHER" and of "CONTEXT" and a whole lot more.


Ya know what? I'm afraid to be disconnected and lose all this good stuff...especially since I know you're buying into EVERY WORD.

Might have to continue in the morning...as this is a lot like work.
 
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Sage:

Let me try to finish tonight so that I can address your next monster post in this lifetime.

So, you've got it so far: that PHYSICALITY provides the "setting" and "entities" to have experiences and CONSCIOUSNESS provides the information processing system.

Finally, we have "spirit" (MAYBE!) which is another dynamic, coherent System comprised of sub-systems ("Souls"???) that serve the function of MEMORY STORAGE.

Now, you have to "get" that "spirit" would ALSO be a "network"...only ONE POINT OF WHICH would "reside" in an actual specific TREE...but would ALSO INCLUDE, as part of the network, all OTHER trees.

Thus, the life experience of every tree would be stored within this network...even after the physical components of a specific tree has moved on into something else.

Likewise the "life experience" of the "self-aware" coherent system that is a specific TABLE would join with the life experiences of all OTHER tables that have gone before. (I know you're LOVING this, Sage, and can't WAIT to congratulate me for recognizing these BASIC COSMIC TRUTHS...but be patient).

So you see, the Universe is anything but "static" and "drab". Its enjoying a really complex experience of information which It remembers.

Or do you think I could be wrong?
 
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REMINDER TO SELF:

Answer Royce and Maximus in due time.

[zz)]
 
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Originally posted by sage
i am posting an outdated reply.
Finally, the outdated finale to your outdated reply...

...many amongst you seem to believe that purpose and consciousness cannot originate from situ. It had to be there all along. But this is simply not true. Consciousness is an effect of the processes occurring within our complex brain. So it is a form of complexity. Can complexity arise out of simplicity. here we must first define what complexity is. Any system that has a lesser entropy than another system is more complex than the latter. So the question boils down to this- can a system progress from a state of higher to lower entropy. The answer is it can under certain conditions. Such processes are called self-organization and is today a leading field of research. Everyday you see processes of self-organisation. Thus the structure of a hurricane is much more complex than the things from which it arose. Life, consciousness etc. are sophisticated examples of such processes of self-organization.
...and some amongst us seem to believe that something comes from nothing...yet even science affirms that a "vacuum" -- once thought to be "empty space" -- is actually RICH with POTENTIAL energy and particles.

Even the "huricane" of which you speak is "composed of" -- or is the "result of" -- whatever forces, processes and ingredients that brought it into "being". The hurricane is a dynamic, coherent tho transient system like every OTHER dynamic, coherent tho transient system (biological or otherwise)...a product/result of the natural/inherent forces, processes and ingredients of this planet ...which is ITSELF a dynamic, coherent tho transient system which is the product/result of the natural/inherent forces, processes and ingredients of the Universe.

Thus, CONSCIOUSNESS (like physicality) is, IMO, just another dynamic, coherent tho transient System of sub-systems...the product/result of natural/inherent forces, processes and ingredients of the Universe...among them, the FUNDAMENTAL INGREDIENT of "elemental" consciousness which "resides" in Everything that is.

In other words, you don't get baryonic matter without elementary particles...and you don't get consciousness without elementary "building blocks" of same.

Now, some might see that the "drive" toward "coherency" is without purpose...and it well may be. It is, however, not without FUNCTION...because you can see how this all functions to produce all that exists (past/present/future).

Now, some of us conjecture that OTHER "natural forces and processes" are "at work"...some call it "the Will of God"....and some (like myself) call it "the Primary INTENTION of the Universe".

Some of us (like YOU) don't like this idea...saying it's just "us" wanting to feel "special" and "a part of something important".

At the moment, I can't "prove" what I think and you can't "prove" what YOU think. But it makes for good discussion 'til one of us can.
 
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Originally posted by sage
Now we have ‘sentience’? Have it your way gaspar.
What could you possibly be objecting to here???

...what I am saying is simple. There is no need to hark back to some mysterious preexisting sentience(/consciousness) to explain the sentience in humans. This can be explained by evolution. Given this what is interesting is the fact humans who are sentient and having possession of logical faculties have an emotional urge to invent the existence of a powerful sentient being ,who invariably is either the universe or its creator, and thereby wish to create an illusion of specialty and purpose to their own existence. I tried to show that this urge for a specific set of illusions is there again because of evolution as they confer distinct evolutionary advantage to sentient beings possessing a logical brain[/b]. I have explained why in my previous post and I need not go into that. You have correctly felt that most other animals do not have such illusions and yet they show effective fight and flight response. To this I replied that this is because their responses are preprogrammed by genes and they cannot learn new responses or behavior as a logical sentient animal like human can. As a result there remains a possibility that we can under unusual circumstances ‘unlearn’ our fight and flight response systems that are so vital for our existence. Thus evolution has led to the growth of certain illogical illusions in us to delimit our logical capabilities in spheres that are harmful to our existence. Thus even if through a logical exercise we can show that we are not special and hence have no purpose, we will not understand what it implies and we will continue our lives ‘as if’ we are special and do have a purpose because evolution has designed us in that way.
Shall we declare an impass? It'll save space.

Now let’s look at your objections.

Every living thing can respond to stimuli. What is different is that the majority of life forms cannot change their responses or behavior by learning from the environment. Their responses are predictable-hardwired into their genes and will not change until the genes mutate. In a certain experiment an egg of a Siberian crane was kept in a hens nest. The mother hen dutifully reared and protected the chick even though it was twice her size. This is not due to unselfish maternal love-she couldn’t recognize that it was not her chick! It is programmed in her genes to rear a chick that came from an egg in her clutch and she did not have the brain to do anything else. And this limitation is exploited by certain birds who lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. And do not think that the latter class of birds are cleverer, it is just that through evolution the behavior of laying eggs in other bird’s nest has been hard-wired into their genes. Humans on the other hand have been given(by evolution) the rare ability to modify their behavior according to the environment. This is extra-genetic behavioral modification which we call learning. Surely the beetles do not have this. So they do not need illusions to keep at bay some of its potentially harmful consequences.
And I say that there are DEGREES of AWARENESS and what you call "hard-wiring" I call a certain lower level of consciousness. Making CHOICES about how one behaves would be on the "higher" end of the scale. At the lowest end might be a basic self-awareness -- as with that of an elementary particle -- so "basic" that we cannot conceive of what it might be.

Yet there are a lot of "beings" that have "survived" who do NOT think of themselves as "special" nor "a part of something grand". Your idiot birds, for example. So how does this support your beloved theory?

...even if the universe has no intention the possibility of formation of sentient beings and of life itself were quite good, the laws of physics being what they are. If you ask why they are so, I will retort ‘why not’ and if that does not satisfy you I will point you towards anthropic principle as maximus has done- we are where we are because our little corner satisfies the conditions for us to exist-not that it means our corner was specially meant for us; that would be like saying there is philosophical significance in the fact that all rainforests are in the tropics and all glaciers are at the poles.
That's right: our little corner of the Universe -- as well as many OTHER corners, no doubt -- have the right forces, processes and ingredients to give rise to life...which gives rise to the LEVEL of sentience that most recognize as such. But this does not factor out the "ingredient" or "force" or "process" of INTENTION as that which IMPINGES on POTENTIALITY via the "lynchpin" of "randomness"...thereby DRIVING certain results while overriding others.

With these speculations, I'm not looking for the "philosophical significance" as you claim. I'm looking for the philosophical equivalent of the Theory of Everything.

I will be waiting eagerly.
I trust you are satisfied.

Here are a few bits of my points that you did not reply to.
and thought they were relevant to the current discussion.

I have stated before and I say again your hypothesis is consistent. But is such a grandiose idea necessary?
What, may I ask, is "grandiose" about speculating that the natural/inherent forces, processes and ingredients of the Universe gave given rise to certain dynamic, coherent tho transient systems -- i.e., physicality, consciousness and spirit -- for the purpose/function of the Universe having/processing/retaining an complex Experience? Huh?

What’s wrong with the simpler idea that there was no consciousness anywhere before sentient beings like us arose due to evolution(granting a few alien species who would have risen the same way and perhaps may rise in future).
'Cause it's "simple"?

Why build a castle when a hut is good enough?
'Cause I'm lookin' at a pile of bricks...not a lump of mud.

Here my earlier reply may be helpful.
It wasn't.

...will elaborate if you insist.
I won't.
 
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Even the "hurricane" of which you speak is "composed of" -- or is the "result of" -- whatever forces, processes and ingredients that brought it into "being". The hurricane is a dynamic, coherent tho transient system like every OTHER dynamic, coherent tho transient system (biological or otherwise)...a product/result of the natural/inherent forces, processes and ingredients of this planet ...which is ITSELF a dynamic, coherent tho transient system which is the product/result of the natural/inherent forces, processes and ingredients of the Universe.

Thus, CONSCIOUSNESS (like physicality) is, IMO, just another dynamic, coherent tho transient System of sub-systems...the product/result of natural/inherent forces, processes and ingredients of the Universe...among them, the FUNDAMENTAL INGREDIENT of "elemental" consciousness which "resides" in Everything that is.

In other words, you don't get baryonic matter without elementary particles...and you don't get consciousness without elementary "building blocks" of same.
I am saying sentience is a physical phenomenon just like a hurricane and can be explained by interactions between baryonic matter following physical laws. There is no necessity to invoke seminal consciousness in baryonic matter to explain the emergence of sentience in humans. Consider this- a hurricane is produced by baryonic matter. Does that mean we need to assume the existence of a mysterious property called seminal ‘hurricaneness’ in elementary baryonic particles to explain how hurricanes are formed? Laws of physics are enough. Same with the emergence of ‘higher’ consciousness in humans.
Yet there are a lot of "beings" that have "survived" who do NOT think of themselves as "special" nor "a part of something grand". Your idiot birds, for example. So how does this support your beloved theory?
you didn’t get the point did you. OK let me begin again.
1) KEY SURVIVAL SYRATEGIES LIKE FLIGHT AND FIGHT RESPONSE ARE HARD-WIRED IN BOTH BEETLES, CHICKENS AND HUMAN BEINGS.
2) BEETLES AND CHICKENS CANNOT LEARN NEW RESPONSES FROM INPUTS FROM THEIR ENVIRONMENT(more for beetles than chickens)
3) HENCE THERE IS NO DANGER THAT VITAL FIGHT AND FLIGHT RESPONSES CAN BE MODIFIED(through learning from the environment) IN THESE ORGANISMS.
4) SENTIENT BEINGS LIKE HUMANS LEARN PRODIGIOUSLY FROM THE ENVIRONMENT LEADING TO CONSIDERABLE MODIFICATION OF THEIR INITIAL HARD-WIRED BEHAVIOR.
5)HENCE THERE IS A DANGER THAT HARDWIRED FIGHT-FLIGHT RESPONSE MAY BE OVERRULED BY STRONG ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS.
6)THIS IS CLEARLY DISADVANTAGEOUS.
7)SO NATURAL SELECTION HAS DEVISED METHODS TO PREVENT SUCH AN OCCURANCE.
8)ILLUSIONS OF SPECIALITY AND PURPOSE ARE THESE METHODS.
9)THERE EXISTS NO SUCH DANGER FOR HENS AND BEETLES.
10)HENCE NO PREVENTIVE ILLUSIONS ARE NECESSARY.
11) ANALOGY- YOU DO NOT NEED MEDICINES UNLESS YOU ARE SICK.

Note- this is a watered down version of my idea. Just presents the rough structure of my logic so that you can understand.

I wrote.
even if the universe has no intention the possibility of formation of sentient beings and of life itself were quite good, the laws of physics being what they are. If you ask why they are so, I will retort ‘why not’ and if that does not satisfy you I will point you towards anthropic principle as maximus has done- we are where we are because our little corner satisfies the conditions for us to exist-not that it means our corner was specially meant for us;
I am waiting for your reply in this specific point.
'Cause it's "simple"!
either you are saying that my idea is inconsistent or you are saying you are rejecting it because it is simple. I hope the second is not true. I always thought that simple ideas if consistent and explaining observed facts is preferred over equivalently consistent but more complicated ideas.
'Cause I'm lookin' at a pile of bricks...not a lump of mud.
no you are building bricks from thin air. You are adding two additional and as yet unobserved dimensions, postulating as yet unobserved properties of consciousness to elementary particles, arbitrarily assigning consciousness to the entire universe, saying universe has a purpose again without any evidence and stating further that this purpose is to create sentient beings like us to have ‘experiences’ and thus making the creation of sentient beings the primary goal of the universe again without any shred of evidence. I can understand such a radical proposition if the current facts do not give us any hope of a coherent explanation otherwise. BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE. OUR BRICKS OF SOLID FACTS GIVE US A LOGICALLY COHERENT AND A MUCH SIMPLER PICTURE. WHY NOT ACCEPT IT? YES WE SAY WE ARE IGNORANT ABOUT EVENTS BEFORE THE BIG BANG. BUT THE IGNORANCE IS COMPLETE AND ALL HYPOTHESIS REGARDING PRE-BANG EVENTS ARE EQUALLY PROBABLE . THUS A LOGICAL THEORY CAN EASILY BE MANUFACTURED THAT GIVES A FANCIFUL DESCRIPTION OF PRE-BANG EVENTS COUPLED WITH A DESCRIPTION OF POST BANG EVENTS IN CONFORMATION WITH KNOWN FACTS. SO WHY SHOULD I PREFER YOUR HYPOTHESIS RESTING ON SUCH UNSUBSTANTIATED ASSUMPTIONS TO ALL OTHERS?
A society of blind men starts disputing about colors. One feels colors are more akin to the notes of music. Another feels it is more like taste, some are sweet, some salty. Another shouts out that colors are more like smell. A fourth quips that it is a composite mixture of sound, taste and smell. They turn to the oldest of the group to resolve the dispute. He says they can think whatever they like as none really know what colors are. The situation with us is the same for us with respect to events before the big bang. So should we take recourse to so many unsubstantiated claims and assumptions just to manufacture an explanation of events which we never could understand? Or should we accept our ignorance and proceed to understand things that we do know something about? What do you think?
 

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