Mod+ 250. DR. JEFFREY SCHWARTZ, SCIENCE’S INABILITY TO EXPLAIN PERSONHOOD

#41
The weird thing about a concept like the immortality of the soul/immortality of consciousness is that it doesn't disrupt physics or reality at all.
If you study the history of pseudo-skepticism you will find that the "problem" is that the soul is a religious idea and certain influential scientists believed the purpose of science was to eradicate religion. So, the anti-religious motivation is primary and science is secondary, just a tool to be used to achieve the primary goal, and that is why science gets perverted by pseudo-skeptics.
 
#42
If you study the history of pseudo-skepticism you will find that the "problem" is that the soul is a religious idea and certain influential scientists believed the purpose of science was to eradicate religion. So, the anti-religious motivation is primary and science is secondary, just a tool to be used to achieve the primary goal, and that is why science gets perverted by pseudo-skeptics.
You are absolutely right; that is consistent with what I've observed.
 
#43
I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Do you mean it can be explained by physics or that there can be more to the universe than known physics without contradicting known physics?
There is more to the universe than what physics is aware of. Dare I call it "invisible physics"? Higgs fields and bosons, virtual photons, wave-functions and other things which we can't detect which do things like uphold the invariance of the speed of light and something that inhabits the cells of the body and experience their lives.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#44
There is more to the universe than what physics is aware of. Dare I call it "invisible physics"? Higgs fields and bosons, virtual photons, wave-functions and other things which we can't detect which do things like uphold the invariance of the speed of light and something that inhabits the cells of the body and experience their lives.
You might be interested in Cartwright's No God, No Laws.

(Skeptiko thread here)

As an atheist, she denies the existence of scientific laws.
 
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#50
There is more to the universe than what physics is aware of. Dare I call it "invisible physics"? Higgs fields and bosons, virtual photons, wave-functions and other things which we can't detect which do things like uphold the invariance of the speed of light and something that inhabits the cells of the body and experience their lives.
Those are physical things, they may explain some regions of the afterlife, but I don't think they can explain the primacy of consciousness, as seen in QM by the ability of consciousness to collapse or sustain wave functions, and implied by the fine tuning of the universe, or explain subjective experience that cannot by measured or explained by any objective physical process. So I think it is likely that consciousness is not part of the physical universe, ie existed before space/time and everything in it was created, and this explains why psi and unfiltered consciousness experienced by NDErs are not limited by physical properties such as time and distance. This view of consciousness does not contradict physics because it is outside physics but it means that physics will never explain consciousness.
 
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#51
Sheldrake says the idea of scientific laws is a carry over from the idea of God's laws . . . And, IIRememberC, this tied in with his challenging "constants," such as the speed of light.
I think eventually we will find the room with the knobs and levers that makes the universe work. We will see if God is still there or if we can take control of that room. One day we shall see.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#52
I think eventually we will find the room with the knobs and levers that makes the universe work. We will see if God is still there or if we can take control of that room. One day we shall see.
Is the room at the top of a Dark Tower?


"...The field was a deep scarlet, as if some titanic battle had been fought here and the ground had been drenched with so much blood that it could not all be absorbed. Then he realized it was not blood he was looking at, but roses.

That feeling of mingled joy and triumph surged through him again, swelling his heart until he felt it might burst within him. He raised his clenched fists high over his head in a gesture of victory...and then froze that way.

The field stretched on for miles, climbing a gentle slope of land, and standing at the horizon was the Dark Tower..."
 
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#53
250. DR. JEFFREY SCHWARTZ, SCIENCE’S INABILITY TO EXPLAIN PERSONHOOD

Interview with research psychiatrist and and author, Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz examines the mismatch between science-as-we-know-it and human experience.
I thought it was clear from the interview, that since materialism is entrenched in established academia, that has an ego far surpassing its actual accomplishments, understanding, and financially, all the grant support is heavily biased toward research that supports the materialism position, the mismatch is a fabricated construct that has become a self-perpetuating economic feedback system. It's out of control and the scientist have willfully caged themselves inside a prison of their own making and now serve the needs of that narrow paradigm, rather than the ambition of unfettered exploration and the reward of intrinsic knowledge.
 
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#54
Something to keep in mind is that when Chalmers originally proposed the Hard Problem and the inadequacy of materialism, he wasn't proposing that humans had souls. In fact, he seemed to be largely convinced that qualia were epiphenomena. So originally the issue was entirely philosophical, as a useless spectator consciousness isn't any better than a biological robot. What wish could be granted by such a conception of the mind?

It's only now, decades later, that he thinks it might be otherwise.

Let's also not forget the desperation of the "skeptical" movement, which sees immaterialism in opposition to secular humanism. There's just as much wishful thinking among materialists, something Searle & Chalmers both noted when discussing philosophy of mind:

"I believe one of the unstated assumptions behind the current batch of views is that they represent the only scientifically acceptable alternatives to the antiscientism that went with traditional dualism, the belief in the immortality of the soul, spiritualism, and so on. Acceptance of the current views is motivated not so much by an independent conviction of their truth as by a terror of what are apparently the only alternatives."
-John Searle, "What's wrong with the philosophy of mind?"

"A motivation to avoid dualism, for many, has arisen from various spiritualistic, religious, supernatural and other antiscientific overtones of the view. But those are quite inessential. A naturalistic dualism expands our view of the world, but it does not invoke the forces of darkness."
-David Chalmers, "The Conscious Mind"
This is an interesting change of mind, because I always thought that Chalmers seemed to pose the problem so neatly, and yet be scared of the obvious answer. This may, of course, be a reflection of the power of accademia to repel radical new ideas!

In a way, Chalmers' old approach reminded me of a couple of other thinkers.

1) Roger Penrose agonises at great length over why he thinks consciousness can't result from a mechanical process (essentially any physical process), but his books avoid all reference to ψ phenomena or a non-physical realm!

2) John Searle demonstrated that computers can't be conscious, by using a thought experiment that replaced the computer with a room of people passing messages to each other. I think his argument was convincing, but he still asserts that the brain can be conscious because brains just work that way! This is despite the fact that others (including Penrose) have pointed out that if mind=brain, then another thought experiment would be to simulate the brain on a computer - so a physical brain should be subject to the same restrictions as a computer program!

David
 
#55
I probably mentioned this already but I'll say it again. The cells are alive. They are the conduits of consciousness. Consciousness can experience the biochemicals at their receptors as "feelings". The spirit is what occupies the cells and is released when the cell dies. Neurons have a lot more neurochemicals available and can experience a lot more feelings. When you take a bunch of neurons and assemble them into a brain, then the neurons, and the encased spirit, can experience a very wide range of thoughts and feelings. When neuropathways are damaged, the soul experiences less. When the soul leaves the body at biological death, obstructions are removed and normality is recovered. What do you think?
 
#56
I probably mentioned this already but I'll say it again. The cells are alive. They are the conduits of consciousness. Consciousness can experience the biochemicals at their receptors as "feelings". The spirit is what occupies the cells and is released when the cell dies. Neurons have a lot more neurochemicals available and can experience a lot more feelings. When you take a bunch of neurons and assemble them into a brain, then the neurons, and the encased spirit, can experience a very wide range of thoughts and feelings. When neuropathways are damaged, the soul experiences less. When the soul leaves the body at biological death, obstructions are removed and normality is recovered. What do you think?
I agree that cells are probably conscious. However, neurotransmitters are mostly fairly simple chemicals, so I don't know about the rest of what you wrote. However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that cells are massively complex, and need some consciousness to control them.

David
 
#57
I agree that cells are probably conscious. However, neurotransmitters are mostly fairly simple chemicals, so I don't know about the rest of what you wrote. However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that cells are massively complex, and need some consciousness to control them.

David
I figured a cell would experience a chemical/neurotransmitter/food/whatever at it's protein receptor site the way we experience food or something touching us.
 
#58
I probably mentioned this already but I'll say it again. The cells are alive. They are the conduits of consciousness. Consciousness can experience the biochemicals at their receptors as "feelings". The spirit is what occupies the cells and is released when the cell dies. Neurons have a lot more neurochemicals available and can experience a lot more feelings. When you take a bunch of neurons and assemble them into a brain, then the neurons, and the encased spirit, can experience a very wide range of thoughts and feelings. When neuropathways are damaged, the soul experiences less. When the soul leaves the body at biological death, obstructions are removed and normality is recovered. What do you think?
Are you saying the consciousness of the person, the soul, is the sum of the consciousness of the cells? I don't think that is correct. I think the soul exists before birth and temporarily uses a brain to interface with the body, and then leaves the brain at death. I see the brain as a filter, if you kill brain cells the soul is unchanged only the filter is changed. If the cells are conscious I think it is a different entity than the soul of the person. I don't understand it, but supposedly all things are conscious including rocks. If you break a rock into pieces what happens? So the body may have its own consciousness like a rock does. The consciousness of cells would be like the consciousness of bits of the rock. That is just my opinion.
 
#59
I agree that cells are probably conscious. However, neurotransmitters are mostly fairly simple chemicals, so I don't know about the rest of what you wrote. However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that cells are massively complex, and need some consciousness to control them.

David
David,

Why do you think cells are probably conscious?
 
#60
Are you saying the consciousness of the person, the soul, is the sum of the consciousness of the cells? I don't think that is correct. I think the soul exists before birth and temporarily uses a brain to interface with the body, and then leaves the brain at death. I see the brain as a filter, if you kill brain cells the soul is unchanged only the filter is changed. If the cells are conscious I think it is a different entity than the soul of the person. I don't understand it, but supposedly all things are conscious including rocks. If you break a rock into pieces what happens? So the body may have its own consciousness like a rock does. The consciousness of cells would be like the consciousness of bits of the rock. That is just my opinion.
I'm a spiritualist, so of course I believe in life after death. But I want to understand how a soul/spirit/astral body/etc. fit inside of the biological body. I don't want neuroscientists to mistakenly believe that cells and neurochemicals are all there is. When you sit in your car, your butt doesn't get a good view. In the same way, your soul, your immortal soul has to fit inside of the living tissue, cells and organs of your biological body. I think that cells have a consciousness even if it is minimal. Even when someone's spinal cord is severed, and the fully aware brain cannot feel the body, the soul still inhabits all of the cells of the body. The cells experience whatever they experience as a very tiny manifestation of cosciousness. The cells have consciousness because, in my belief, cells and souls are both conduits of consciousness unto Infinite Consciousness.

No, I don't believe that rocks have consciousness (although I wouldn't know if there were earth elementals or something exotic like that). Put me down as someone who believes in spirits and souls. I just want them to fit nicely with biology and physics.
 
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