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Author Topic: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?  (Read 308950 times)

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1100 on: 03/12/2013 21:30:28 »
... nature cannot "generate " life or consciousness...
So now life and consciousness are unnatural are they, Don?

Not unnatural, they just cannot be "generated " by nature , otherwise , let any materialist out there ,or any naturalist non-reductionist account for the nature of life or consciousness fully naturalistically .

In other words :
Let them explain to us how life or consciousness emerged in nature .
Sir Don., why should I accept your challenge when you have ignored mine for so many posts. But, in an attempt at fairness, I have six words for you: ................................Limited Evolution, and or Natural Selection

Maybe you should answer your own question here my friend. How would you construct the means for the onset of life?

But first, you'll need to define life. What is life Don.?
Secondly, what makes consciousness different from other forms of mental activity?
Thirdly and lastly, What is Nature?


Try to make time for the above excerpts i did make some effort to post ,just for you :
Just try to read the above : after that , try to answer the following then :

Tell me then how any naturalist approach can account for the origins and nature of both life and consciousness ?
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1101 on: 03/12/2013 22:16:40 »
No problem. If you define life or consciousness, I''ll explain how they arose.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1102 on: 03/12/2013 22:18:34 »
Cheryl

Quote
there are properties of objects which cannot (in principle) be explained in physical terms

Why can't I think of any examples? There are plenty of things I can't explain in practice, but I have no reason to believe that they can't be explained at all by anyone ever.

I can't think of any either, other than the common examples of emergent properties - the strength of brass, flight in a bird despite the inability of its cells to fly, the traffic patterns of the LA free way that cannot be derived from the smallest components of cars and people, things like weather, etc. So I don't see a big difference in Chalmer's view and emergent properties, despite the superveney stuff.

Maybe he only applies his property dualism to consciousness, but if so,  that seems based on the impression that the qualitative difference between consciousness and brain activity is greater than the qualitative differences between  other emergent properties and what they emerge from - links that seem somehow less tight from one level to the next.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2013 03:18:00 by cheryl j »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1103 on: 04/12/2013 01:04:59 »

Yes; a philosophical zombie may be conceivable, but it seems to me that a creature that is behaviourally indistinguishable from a known conscious creature must itself be conscious because that level of behavioural complexity requires consciousness - or to put it another way, consciousness comes with the level of complexity required to support those behaviours. Also, the energetics of evolutionary development suggests that consciousness is unlikely to be an 'optional extra' that has no significant advantage, yet consumes energy resource.
Ramachandran says there are two visual pathways from the eyeballs to the higher centers of the brain.  The  evolutionarily older pathway, more prominent in some mammals and reptiles,  goes to the brain stem, and then gets relayed eventually to the higher centers of the brain. The evolutionarily newer pathway goes from the eyeball through the thalamus to the visual cortex of the brain. In blindsight, the first pathway still works, and some kind of visual information is shared with other parts of the brain, but without the conscious experience of it. In blindsight, the second pathway, or part of the the visual cortex it leads to, doesnít work.  Some patients describe the experience as being like what they would imagine ESP to be like Ė they know something, but donít know how they know it.

If Iím out cross country skiing in late March in Canada, I know that is the time of year that hungry bears emerge from their dens, often with cubs in toe. If Iím cross country skiing in March I might see a dark moving object that from a distance looks a bit like a bear (although it could be a large black dog or an Angus cow.) Both situations provide my brain with information about the possibility of a bear, both kinds of information are provisional or uncertain, but they are different experiences and have different effects. The bear threat associated with qualia is anchored in the present. It nags at my brain Ė is it a bear or isnít it? As Ramachadran says, qualia are irrevocable. If I get close enough to see that it is an Angus cow, at some point, I can no longer see it any other way.  Where as,  I have all day to consider the odds of running into a bear because I know they come out of hibernation in the spring (and ironically, I could continue to contemplate those odds, as a typical scientist is inclined to do, while in hospital recovering from my bear mauling injuries.)

Consciousness and qualia seem to be important in distinguishing between reality and imagination, reality and memory, reality and reasoned guesses. An animal that has no complex memories, no imagination that runs test simulations, and doesnít reason,  doesnít really need systems to distinguish between these things Ė it just needs accurate sensors, minimal interpretation of data, and a response.

It would be interesting to know how a blindsighted person would react to something that almost looks like a bear. Would they react in a reptilian way - "this registers as a threat, I'm getting the hell out of here." Or would they, still having a human brain, delay, and not be able to tell the difference between what their blind sight signals and a "guess" -a bear "idea", without the associated qualia?

« Last Edit: 04/12/2013 05:11:29 by cheryl j »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1104 on: 04/12/2013 01:32:53 »


Materialism is false , simply because materialism cannot account for consciousness , not because materialism cannot explain consciousness , but simply because physics and chemistry alone cannot "generate " consciousness , the latter that cannot rise from matter .


why not?

Quote
That religious dualism cannot explain consciousness either , that does not make the fact go away that consciousness is ...immaterial .

That's not a fact. It's an assertion. And if the immaterial "fails to explain" consciousness, it must be false by your own reasoning.

Quote
P.S.: The so-called non-reductionist naturalism ,either that  that was proposed by  either  Chalmers ,Nagel, or others , as an alternative to the false reductionist naturalist materialism, can also not account for consciousness , in the sense that  nature cannot "generate " consciousness or life ...."

Nor can immaterial mechanisms generate it, or at least you haven't explained how.

Don, your reasoning is based on process of elimination ie If there's known material mechanism, it must be immaterial. But that argument is your undoing, because it's easily reversed - If there's no known immaterial mechanism, it must be material. All that really counts is evidence that directly supports your claim.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2013 02:25:09 by cheryl j »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1105 on: 04/12/2013 03:10:34 »



What is immaterialism ? what is that ? you must have been referring to ...idealism, i guess = all is mind = also false,as the materialist "all is matter " conception of nature is also false  .

Who is playing games now, Don?

Quote
When i say that not "all is matter " = that means : matter is not the only reality ,the immaterial side of reality is the other part of reality = the other side of the same coin : reality has both material and immaterial sides

Immaterialism is the belief in the immaterial side of reality, that other side of the coin of which you speak.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2013 03:50:15 by cheryl j »
 

Offline Ethos_

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1106 on: 04/12/2013 04:10:32 »
Human Consciousness:  An advanced state of mental activity where the physical brain makes acquaintance with the self.........................Ethos

My personal definition and my last post in this thread.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2013 04:12:12 by Ethos_ »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1107 on: 04/12/2013 06:56:28 »
Pity that's your exit line, because it's the first interesting one in this thread.

I wonder why you restrict it to humans? AFAIK all animals have a concept of self, and it's a fairly basic necessity.

Alas, we'll never know.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1108 on: 04/12/2013 14:34:18 »
I wonder why you restrict it to humans? AFAIK all animals have a concept of self, and it's a fairly basic necessity.

Alas, we'll never know.
I would suggest/predict that animals that have the capability of flexible & adaptive forward planning using 'what-if' modeling are most likely to have a sophisticated concept of self (i.e. more than simply discrimination between 'self' and 'other'). I don't see what use it would be otherwise; concepts are abstractions, and that kind of modeling requires abstracted models of the environment and its relevant creatures - including the self, to be run in  predictive scenarios. An introspective 'avatar' of self for forward planning basically is a self-image...
« Last Edit: 04/12/2013 14:36:03 by dlorde »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1109 on: 04/12/2013 16:04:42 »
A primitive form of self awareness seems to come with any ability to distinguish self from non-self and might have earlier benefits besides running what if simulations in the brain (see picture)

I think the sense of self is also tied to systems that monitor intentions and the actual results, compares them, and makes corrections. Of course this happens below the level of awareness in the cerebellum,in regards to physical movements, so maybe it doesn't absolutely require consciousness. But if an animal only became aware of its actions after the fact with no sense of "I am the one who is doing this", it would have to constantly reason backwards about what occurred.


In the brain, the structures most closely associated with consciousness (Reticular Activating system, the thalamus, the cingulate cortex and the somatosensory cortex) are the same ones associated with a core sense of self. Surprisingly, they are mid level brain structures, except for the somatosensory cortex. In older anatomy textbooks, they are described as just being like relay stations or switch boards, or controlling level of physiological alertness, but these areas seem to be getting more attention now.   
« Last Edit: 04/12/2013 16:23:19 by cheryl j »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1110 on: 04/12/2013 17:09:42 »
Damasio (Self Comes To Mind) talks of brain stem structures as contributing to the 'proto-self' with its fundamental 'felt' sensations. Structures associated with consciousness are in more recent evolutionary layers (thalamus, posteromedial cortices, etc), but richly connected to these brain stem structures in both directions.

I think, perhaps, it would help to explore some examples to clarify what we're talking about. I would expect mammals to have some sense of self, and insects little or none (they can detect others and act accordingly, but this appears reflexive or 'hard-coded'). But what about, say, a frog? does a frog need to conceptualize? It shows little adaptability, problem-solving, or forward planning, so I would think not...
« Last Edit: 04/12/2013 17:31:42 by dlorde »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1111 on: 04/12/2013 17:51:25 »
Human Consciousness:  An advanced state of mental activity where the physical brain makes acquaintance with the self.........................Ethos

Wrong : physics and chemistry cannot account for our conscious subjective experiences and states,let alone for the whole process of consciousness as such  .

Quote
My personal definition and my last post in this thread.

That's a non-definition .

Consciousness is so elusive ,deceptive and mysterious that it has been escaping any clear definition for thousands of years now so far , and consciousness will remain so , for nobody knows how long still ,for ever maybe .
I think that consciousness will remain beyond science in fact .

Why didn't you even try to make the slightest effort to read just some of the excerpts i did post ? instead of continuing to listen to your own music alone ?: what an unscientific attitude of yours .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1112 on: 04/12/2013 18:00:56 »

What is immaterialism ? what is that ? you must have been referring to ...idealism, i guess = all is mind = also false,as the materialist "all is matter " conception of nature is also false  .

Who is playing games now, Don?

What games ? I am aware of none .

Quote
Quote
When i say that not "all is matter " = that means : matter is not the only reality ,the immaterial side of reality is the other part of reality = the other side of the same coin : reality has both material and immaterial sides

Immaterialism is the belief in the immaterial side of reality, that other side of the coin of which you speak.

There is no such a thing such as "immaterialism " , just idealism = all is mind = false .
Religious dualism , for example , sees reality as being matter and mind , the latter that's irreducible to the physical or to the material .
Materialism is just a lower form of idealism , simply because the mental that's irreducible to the physical or to the material is more fundamental than matter can ever be , and  materialism  is also the  exact opposite of idealism , by assuming that 'all is matter ,including the mind " = false also .

All naturalist conceptions of nature thus , either the reductionist or the non-reductionist ones + idealism are false .

Only religious idealism is true = reality is both matter and mind , the latter that's irreducible to the physical or to the material ,once again = that's the only conception of nature out there that does make sense in fact .
« Last Edit: 04/12/2013 18:02:59 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1113 on: 04/12/2013 18:09:56 »
Human Consciousness:  An advanced state of mental activity where the physical brain makes acquaintance with the self.........................Ethos

Wrong : physics and chemistry cannot account for our conscious subjective experiences and states,let alone for the whole process of consciousness as such  .

Quote
My personal definition and my last post in this thread.

That's a non-definition .

Consciousness is so elusive ,deceptive and mysterious that it has been escaping any clear definition for thousands of years now so far , and consciousness will remain so , for nobody knows how long still ,for ever maybe .
I think that consciousness will remain beyond science in fact .

Why didn't you even try to make the slightest effort to read just some of the excerpts i did post ? instead of continuing to listen to your own music alone ?: what an unscientific attitude of yours .
Human Consciousness:  An advanced state of mental activity where the physical brain makes acquaintance with the self.........................Ethos

Wrong : physics and chemistry cannot account for our conscious subjective experiences and states,let alone for the whole process of consciousness as such  .

Quote
My personal definition and my last post in this thread.

That's a non-definition .


Why is it a non-definition? It's brief but it contains some key elements - "state" "mental" "brain" and "self." One could do worse.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1114 on: 04/12/2013 18:13:23 »


Only religious idealism is true

Based on what evidence?
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1115 on: 04/12/2013 18:29:31 »


Materialism is false , simply because materialism cannot account for consciousness , not because materialism cannot explain consciousness , but simply because physics and chemistry alone cannot "generate " consciousness , the latter that cannot rise from matter .


why not?

Amazing that people do still ask why : well, consciousness is a subjective state or experience or whatever  that's totally different from physics and chemistry , and can thus not have "arisen " from them,logically .

Quote
Quote
That religious dualism cannot explain consciousness either , that does not make the fact go away that consciousness is ...immaterial .

That's not a fact. It's an assertion. And if the immaterial "fails to explain" consciousness, it must be false by your own reasoning.

It is a fact to me at least, and to any other sane and intelligent person , no offense  .
Religious dualism has its own metaphysical explanations of consciousness that are unfalsifiable = unscientific , but not necessarily false , as materialism is .
The latter that cannot account for consciousness, not just that materialism cannot explain it : physics and chemistry cannot explain a process such as consciousness that's totally different form the former ,simply because  not " all is matter , including the mind " .

It's not that materialism is false , because it cannot explain consciousness:  the materialist belief assumption that  "the mind is in the brain " is just an extension of the materialist "all is matter , including the mind " conception of nature , no empirical fact .

Materialism is false in fact , simply because it cannot account for consciousness that cannot be material or physical , let alone that consciousness could or can rise from physics and chemistry .

Quote
Quote
P.S.: The so-called non-reductionist naturalism ,either that  that was proposed by  either  Chalmers ,Nagel, or others , as an alternative to the false reductionist naturalist materialism, can also not account for consciousness , in the sense that  nature cannot "generate " consciousness or life ...."

Nor can immaterial mechanisms generate it, or at least you haven't explained how.

What "immaterialism " are you talking about , there is no such a thing , just idealism = all is mind = false .

Religious dualism = reality is matter and mind , in the sense that the latter is irreducible to the physical or to the material .

Quote
Don, your reasoning is based on process of elimination ie If there's known material mechanism, it must be immaterial. But that argument is your undoing, because it's easily reversed - If there's no known immaterial mechanism, it must be material. All that really counts is evidence that directly supports your claim.

No, that's your own misinterpretation of my reasoning :

The materialist "all is matter ,including the mind " conception of nature is false , simply because it cannot account for the mental that's irreducible to the physical or to the material, and hence not "all is matter ,including the mind " = there is matter and mind , the latter that's non -physical non-material and non-biological .

Even matter itself ,by the way , is not only matter , as modern physics have been showing , if you haven't noticed just that yet : we do still not know what matter exactly is , let alone what the mental might be .

Try to tell me what matter is then, first : that should be easier to answer , ironically speaking , than trying to know what the mental is , the mental that's more fundamental than matter can ever be .

Since the mental is more fundamental than matter , then, there might be some other totally different forms of causation out there , that might be underlying the laws of physics themselves =  non-physical or non -material forms of causation that're still unknown to the materialistic science : quantum mechanics have been, for example, showing , that the mental has indeed causal effect on matter .

How the non-physical mind does interact with matter or with the physical brain and body , and vice versa ,  is still a mystery .
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1116 on: 04/12/2013 18:32:57 »


Only religious idealism is true = reality is both matter and mind , the latter that's irreducible to the physical or to the material ,once again = that's the only conception of nature out there that does make sense in fact .


You seem to have an almost primitive view that anything that does not have mass requires a mystical, dualist explanation. That design, as in the arrangement of things, is not a physical reality, that states do not matter, that interactions between things do not matter, that energetic processes do not matter, that changes over time do not matter or are not part of physical reality, every bit as much as mass.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1117 on: 04/12/2013 18:38:04 »


Only religious idealism is true

Based on what evidence?

That's the only conception of nature that does make sense ,from everyday's experience = reality is both matter and mind = reality is both material physical and non-physical non-material = reality has both material physical and non-material non-physical sides = the material or physical side of reality and the non-physical non-material side of reality are the both sides of the same reality = the both sides of the same coin = physics and chemistry alone cannot explain the whole pic of reality , the same goes for the mental side of reality that cannot alone explain the whole pic of reality ,in this life at least .

To try to explain reality  as a whole  , science cannot afford to keep on trying to do just that , just via one single side of reality , just in terms of physics and chemistry , science has been taking for the whole real pic for so long now , thanks to materialism thus .
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1118 on: 04/12/2013 18:41:10 »
That's not a fact. It's an assertion. And if the immaterial "fails to explain" consciousness, it must be false by your own reasoning.
It is a fact to me at least, and to any other sane and intelligent person , no offense  .
So, yeah; if you don't agree, you're neither intelligent nor sane. QED.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1119 on: 04/12/2013 18:47:16 »

Religious dualism has its own metaphysical explanations of consciousness that are unfalsifiable = unscientific , but not necessarily false



So much for Popper.

And "not necessarily false" is not the same as "true," so your statement "Only religious idealism is true" isn't proven and can't be proven according to you.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1120 on: 04/12/2013 18:50:14 »


Only religious idealism is true = reality is both matter and mind , the latter that's irreducible to the physical or to the material ,once again = that's the only conception of nature out there that does make sense in fact .


You seem to have an almost primitive view that anything that does not have mass requires a mystical, dualist explanation
.


So "primitive indeed " that science itself did originate from the very womb of a particular religion .
There is in fact nothing more primitive , absurd , surreal, stupid , sorry ...you name it , than that false materialist "all is matter ,including the mind " mainstream "scientific world view " .
I said many times , that since the mental is more fundamental than matter can ever be , (we still do not know even what matter exactly is , matter that's not just matter , simply put , let alone that we can pretend to know anything about the mental that's irreducible to the physical or to the material ) ,and since the mental has more fundamental causal effect than matter can ever have (Quantum mechanics has been showing the causal effect of the mind of the observer on matter ) , then, it's pretty logical to assume that there might be more fundamental forms of causation out there = non-physical or non-material forms of causation .

Quote
That design, as in the arrangement of things, is not a physical reality, that states do not matter, that interactions between things do not matter, that energetic processes do not matter, that changes over time do not matter or are not part of physical reality, every bit as much as mass.

Who said that ? Why do you think science itself did come from the very womb of a particluar religion, in order to study nature and the universe , empirically?
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1121 on: 04/12/2013 18:55:51 »
the mental is more fundamental than matter


How do you know this? Do you believe that before there were humans to think about the universe, nothing existed or could exist?
« Last Edit: 04/12/2013 19:06:32 by cheryl j »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1122 on: 04/12/2013 18:57:42 »
Quote
Why do you think science itself did come from the very womb of a particluar religion, in order to study nature and the universe , empirically?

Only the prejudiced and ignorant think so. Please don't ask those who know better, to accept your bizarre assertion as fact.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1123 on: 04/12/2013 19:01:19 »
Why do you think science itself did come from the very womb of a particluar religion, in order to study nature and the universe , empirically?


I think both religion and science are attempts by an intelligent brain to answer "Why do things happen? Why are things the way they are?" But I don't believe religion was or is necessary for science, nor do I agree that any religion can take credit for scientific knowledge. I'm not sure what this has to do with the discussion.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1124 on: 04/12/2013 19:05:04 »

Religious dualism has its own metaphysical explanations of consciousness that are unfalsifiable = unscientific , but not necessarily false



So much for Popper.

And "not necessarily false" is not the same as "true," so your statement "Only religious idealism is true" isn't proven and can't be proven according to you.

Popper hismelf did realise the falsehood of materialism .


To me at least , religious dualism is true , but unfalsifiable = unscientific .

What is not unfalsifiable , is not necessarily false , as materialism is .

Which does mean that science cannot be the ultimate authority or the ultimate source of knowledge : that's beyond both science's realm and jurisdiction .

Materialism has been going in fact beyond the scientific method and beyond science thus = beyond science's realm and jurisdiction ,by stating that "all is matter " .

Worse : materialism has been imposing that false unfalsifiable metaphysical theory of nature of his ,for so long now , as "the scientific  world view " = how about that ?


I did post a long article from another forum on the subject , you seem to have dismissed,for no reason

 In short :

You did call my world view as being primitive , without realising the fact that the current " scientific world view " has just been the materialist metaphysical false one = the materialist outdated superseded false secular religion in science , that has been taken for granted as the 'scientific world view ",since the 19th century at least  .

Materialism that's just a lower and a degenerate form of ...christianity in fact , as Nietzsche used to say regarding ...humanism .


Who's the one here with a primitive view of the world , you or i , that's no question, obviously .

Congratulations, lady .



 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1124 on: 04/12/2013 19:05:04 »

 

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