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Offline marco

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Scientific contradictions in materialism
« on: 17/02/2004 16:15:53 »

In the following site I analyse the incongruencies of the materialistic conception of the mind, on the basis of our present scientific knowledges of brain and matter.
This analysis points out how Quantum Electrodynamics  proves that the   brain cannot generate consciousness, which existence implies  the presence in man of a unbiological/unmaterial entity. The problem of consciousness is then strictly connected to the one of the existence of the soul and, consequently, the existence of God.
  newbielink:http://members.xoom.virgilio.it/fedeescienza/englishnf [nonactive]

Marco Biagini

Ph.D. Graduated in Solid State Physics.



 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #1 on: 17/02/2004 22:17:20 »
So are you saying only humans are conscious?  Many higher non-human organisms exhibit emotions, self-awareness and reason, to some degree.  Does that mean there's a doggy-heaven like my mom always said?



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Offline marco

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #2 on: 18/02/2004 08:35:39 »
>>>>So are you saying only humans are conscious? Many higher non-human organisms exhibit emotions, self-awareness and reason, to some degree.

As I have explained in my site, there is no objective evidence of existence of emotions or selfawareness in animals.

Now we know that it is possible to simulate with a computer every feature of the behavior of animals, including their capacity to learn and their apparent capacity to recognize their image in a mirror. An adequate software can allow the computer to record input data, analyze them and give specific outputs; all these operations occur automatically, with no consciousness. For example a computer, connected to a camera, can analyse the external images; this occur automatically through some mathematical algorithms, and the computer has no visive sensations. This proves that the fact that a can can distinguish a bone from a stick, does not imply that the dog has a visive sensation.
   Therefore it is not possible to exclude from a scientific and rational point of view, that the life of animals is only a purely biological/chemical process without any kind of consciousness (neither sensations or emotions). In other words, science cannot exclude the possibility that the animal is only a biological robot, feeling nothing at all, which actions and reactions are uniquely determined by a chemical software implanted in its brain. It is also possible to explain those behaviors of animals, that are usually considered as an indication of emotions. For example, the dogs that because of genetic mutations presented some affectionate behaviors, had a greater probability to be adopted by man, and consequently, to survive. It was sufficient that the animal presented those behaviors also towards only a member of the family (even not the one who gave it food) to be accepted by the family. It would be only a case of natural selection, even if unawares induced by man, that has programmed the behavior and the reactions of the dog. Since we have no way to observe directly the existence of any kind of consciousness in animals, and the hypothesis of existence of consciousness in animals is not necessary to explain the observable phenomena in animals, we can conclude that there is no experimental or scientific evidence of the existence of any kind of consciousness in animals, neither sensations or emotions.
   The idea that animals have sensations and emotions is then only an arbitrary hypothesis, without any scientific or rational foundations. Such an hypothesis can be considered only a reminiscence of childhood, since all children tend to ascribe to animals thoughts, sensations and emotions. Besides, primitive peoples were used to anthropomorphize many natural elements; the sun, the moon, the mountains, animals, etc. During history man has then understood that natural phenomena occur automatically because of specific natural laws: man has understood that nature is only an object and not a person. The anthropomorfic concept of animals is then only the last residue of this inclination to anthropomorphize natural processes. Now the technological and scientific progress allow us to explain the behavior of animals without ascribing them any anthropomorphic features.

Marco

 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #3 on: 18/02/2004 10:32:55 »
I have only six words for you: You Are A Big Fat Idiot.

Plus, what is the difference between animals and humans, really? Our bodies are set up in very similar ways. A chimpanzee, for example, can use language! Human language! The only reason you don't know other being have feelings is because you are not them yourself. How do you know you aren't the only thinking being and the rest of the world is invented by your brain and your senses are telling you everything wrong? So, assuming humans have feelings only and not animals just because you happen to be a human is stupid! Believing in something people made up because you cling to the ideas your family had before there was anything called science that they made up because they were too uncomfortable with not knowing things, so invented answers for it then believed their own stories, while now there is science that can tell us things, is stupid. If you understand me.

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« Last Edit: 18/02/2004 10:37:08 by Quantumcat »
 

Offline qpan

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #4 on: 18/02/2004 11:45:02 »
Sorry Marco- i agree with Quantumcat too- if you argue that animals are not emotive and self aware (or "conscious"), at what stage did humans become so? i do not beleive that such a big jump could have arised from merely 1 evolutionary jump between apes to humans.
Chimpanzee DNA is a 98% match for human DNA, and those are the instructions which our cells have which essentially govern development. We are no more than slightly overdeveloped chimpanzees and some of us are already argueing that we are a completely superiour form of life which can "model" other forms of life on computers. Well hell, we can also model the behaviour of humans with certain personality traits - is that of any significance?
Animals can exhibit emotions. Elephants, for example, will mourn the loss of another group member by weeping - you can also model that on a computer but the likely hood is that most humans would do the same too.
God is simply an invention to confort the minds of people who do not like to ponder all the possibilites. But on the other hand, consciousness may also not be real at all. Our personalities, etc are so goverened by our dna (take separated identical twins for example) that who knows- consciousness may be an illusion caused by the brain as a safety measure - is it really "us" who makes all the decisions or actually does our subconscious make most of our descisions for "us" and create sensations of consiousness and free will....?

Marco, your argument is flawed; either all animals with brains are conscious or consiousness is just an invention of the brain - neither proves the existence of a soul or god in any way. I think that you underestimate the length of time evolution has been going on for and the complexity of the other creatures of this world.

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-Edgar Allan Poe
« Last Edit: 18/02/2004 11:53:04 by qpan »
 

Offline Ultima

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #5 on: 18/02/2004 15:14:39 »
Consciousness is over rated! Your subconscious is part of what makes you as well, and it tends to be more active than your conscious mind unless you are a deep, deep thinker. How many times have you consciously thought about what you are about to say to someone, or how to open a door or jam jarů As a bummy student I am unconscious up to 80% of the day does that make me some sort of amoeba? Well yes it does :D

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #6 on: 18/02/2004 21:39:46 »
Marco, have you ever had a pet?

Quantumcat, idiot, stupid, gullible.  What's happened to you since you went to France?  I've never seen you be so rude.  There's better ways to get your point across.
« Last Edit: 18/02/2004 21:58:30 by Donnah »
 

Offline roberth

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #7 on: 18/02/2004 23:15:37 »
Apart from the fact that I only understood half of the words used by Marco, I agree with you Donnah. On both points.
My dogs do tend to be a bit more proactive than my fish, though.
 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #8 on: 19/02/2004 00:48:38 »
Donnah:  she's been living in France...the French are very rude people...of course it's going to rub off.  

Erin, be nice.  Insulting people does not make your case more valid.  (even though I think you're correct on this issue, how would you like it if people insulted you for things YOU don't understand)

Marco:  There's a whole field of animal psychology.  Experiments have been done to show that animals do indeed have emotions.  Emotions like greed, depression, frustration, happiness, boredom and anger have all been observed in higher order mammals like dolphins, dogs, and many primates.  Haven't you ever owned a dog?  Simple observation shows they're happy to see you when you've been gone all day, they're depressed when you give their puppies after they give birth.  Just because you can't measure "happy" in the brain does not mean you can't observe consistent behavior that matches emotional scenarios.  

Furthermore, while we may be able to simulate simpler life forms, I don't think you can adequately simulate the behavior of a complex creature with a computer.  We can program them to behave in a manner consistent with the actions of, say, a dog, but a true dog would have things like personality quirks and the ability to react to unknown situations.  

Also, in your example of dogs displaying affection being evolutionarily predisposed to survive, I don't see how that is evidence that they are not conscious.  Wild dogs exhibit behaviors very much like domesticated ones, only with less inclination to be nice to people.  Animal emotions are still primitive and grounded in instinct, but that doesn't mean they don't have them.  



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Offline marco

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #9 on: 19/02/2004 08:22:40 »
>>>>Experiments have been done to show that animals do indeed have emotions.

Simply false. No experiment show that animals have emotions. You must understand that the idea that animals have emotions is only an arbitrary interpretation of their behavior. There is no objective element to prove that animals have emotions.
This is the difference between true science, such as physics, and pseudo-science and phylosophy.

Marco.
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #10 on: 19/02/2004 10:52:36 »
Yes Donnah, you are completely right. I'm really sorry. It's alright to believe in a 'maker' because science doesn't have anything to grip on, so it can't say anything about it, and he's not pushing organised religion, so really he's quite justified to say what he said, the only thing being the way he tries to say it. Again I'm really sorry.

To marco, it's "philosophy" not "phylosophy" just in case you wanted to know.

I am a determinist, which means I don't believe in free will, a human will always make the same choice given the same circumstances (total of genes + all experiences + situation in which one must make the decision) Emotions are overrated anyway, all they are are ways that your body reacts to get you to make the right decision to continue surviving ... like love (for reproduction) or anger (to stop people making mistakes that could lead to misfunctioning of the group, or whatever) sadness (to get you to change the thing that is making to group or you malfuntion ... ) you can argue if you like, but it's complicated, and we can't understand everything. Humans just have many complicated reasons for doing everything they do and it's just difficult to know why, so people say they have free will... but we don't. The reasons for animals' behavoiur is exactly the same as ours, just less complicated so we can see the instincts happening. The truth is, we act for the same reasons as animals; we are ourselves animals.

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« Last Edit: 19/02/2004 10:59:38 by Quantumcat »
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #11 on: 19/02/2004 16:47:22 »
Quantum, it's natural to make mistakes and I'm happy to see that you are mature enough to admit and amend when you make one.  That skill will make your life much easier than it would otherwise be.

But I don't agree with you when you say "I don't believe in free will, a human will always make the same choice given the same circumstances (total of genes + all experiences + situation in which one must make the decision)".  Sure, we are conditioned to act and react in certain ways, but some people have dramatically changed their lives and that requires thinking and acting outside your personal paradigm.  There's an old expression:  "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results".  So if you want to change your life (free will) you need to determine the desired outcome and learn how to get there.
« Last Edit: 19/02/2004 16:50:02 by Donnah »
 

Offline qpan

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #12 on: 19/02/2004 18:48:04 »
I read an article a few years ago about free will and the brain. Apparently, microseconds before you even think about doing something, your brain has already began the process of sending electrical signals - this indicates that your brain has probably decided what your body is going to do even before you consciously think about it. However, there are certainly cases where you can decide what to do. It is completely feasible for someone to decide to do nothing for a day and for example not go to work/school/uni; that is their choice and they are free to choose what to do- i do not believe that a choice like that could be preprogrammed into your genes - it would make life awfully boring!

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« Last Edit: 19/02/2004 18:48:20 by qpan »
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #13 on: 19/02/2004 22:07:39 »
Sounds like cache on a computer, it keeps the most likely actions readily available for use.
 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #14 on: 19/02/2004 22:55:55 »
>No experiment show that animals have emotions. You must understand that the idea that animals have emotions is only >an arbitrary interpretation of their behavior.


Ok, Marco.  Using quantifiable scientific data, prove to me that you have emotions.  Now using that same technique, prove to me that dogs, chimps, or dolphins don't.  It sounds like you're unwilling to educate yourself on the topic because you're adamant in your "scientific" determination.  

Read this article, http://www.saveourstrays.com/feelings.htm  and try and tell me the experiments performed in this are pseudo-science.  



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Offline bezoar

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #15 on: 20/02/2004 02:03:23 »
I don't know about animals not having emotion.  I think a couple of dogs that bit me might have been feeling rage or fear.  They certainly didn't try to kill me for food, but they were obviously upset about something.
 

Offline OldMan

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #16 on: 20/02/2004 02:15:17 »
Damn cannabinoid you beat me to it!

Donnah also beat me to it with the definition of insanity.

Sorry Marco we can see you've put a lot of thought into this and you are perfectly welcome to your opinions but all in all it just doesn't hang together for us folk here.
 

Offline marco

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #17 on: 20/02/2004 08:16:18 »

>>>Ok, Marco. Using quantifiable scientific data, prove to me that you have emotions.

The existence of emotions in man is the most proved fact; in fact each of us directly feels in himself the existence of emotions. This is sufficient to prove unequivocally the existence of emotions in myself.
The proof of existence of emotions in other people is more indirect; anyway, the fact other people can discuss with us about consciousness and emotions, proves that they too are conscious and feel emotions.

 
>>>Now using that same technique, prove to me that dogs, chimps, or dolphins don't.

The point is the the two prooves above cannot be applied to animals. This is sufficient to prove that the existence of emotions in animals is not a proved fact, but it is only a arbitrary opinion, without any scientific basis.

marco.
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #18 on: 20/02/2004 21:36:58 »
Marco, you haven't yet answered my question.  Have you ever had a pet?
 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #19 on: 23/02/2004 02:09:37 »
And you also didn't read the article I linked to...why then do animals undergo biochemical reactions when they are experiencing what appear to be emotions that are identical or similar to those experienced by humans when WE feel analogous emotions?  

By the way, apes can be taught sign language and communicate with humans essentially in our language.  They have been observed to convey their feelings of happiness, sadness, and anger on a number of subjects.  I believe this constitutes discussion of consciousness and emotions, your suggested "proof" that humans have emotions.



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Offline marco

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #20 on: 23/02/2004 08:58:20 »
>>>Marco, you haven't yet answered my question. Have you ever had a pet?

Yes, I have had many pets during my life, and now I have a dog. There is absolutely nothing in their behavior that can prove that animals are conscious or really feel sensations. Science allows us to build machines able to react to external stimulations without feeling anything. This is sufficient to prove that the idea that animals are conscious or feel sensations and emotions is only an arbitrary opinion without any scientific basis.


marco
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #21 on: 23/02/2004 10:34:59 »
Marco! Listen! You have emotions because you feel them ... animals have emotions, because they feel them. How does an animal know you have feelings? According to you, to an animal you are nothing but an artificial lego man.

And to the others, you didn't understand what I meant. Think about it for a while, it only seems like we have free will because the reasons for our actions are so complex. When I meant in the same situation, I meant if you went back in time to the same situation, you would do exactly the same thing you did the last time. Right down to the last twitch of your nose. Free will would be determined by being able to do something different in the exact same situation, but we don't, I know I can't prove it because I can't make you go back in time, but we don't. What we 'choose' to do is determined by the connections between neurones in our brain, which are formed by our genetics and our experiences. Think of a computer program, the input goes around its logic gates until it comes out with a solution! Exactly what happens in the brain, our senses give us input and the result is the brain firing down nerves to tell our muscles to act. There is no such thing as free will! Reason can tell you that alone without need for experiements :)

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Offline qpan

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #22 on: 23/02/2004 12:01:30 »
>>The proof of existence of emotions in other people is more indirect; anyway, the fact other people
>>can discuss with us about consciousness and emotions, proves that they too are conscious and feel
>>emotions.

You say that if people tell each other they have emotions, then they must be emotive? So just because animals can't speak they must not feel emotions? That logic is a bit/very flawed isn't it? Its like saying that speech is the basis for emotions - so do you reckon that the power of speech is not given to us by our brains but by our souls also?

I cannot believe you have a dog. You must be lying. Anyone who has a pet knows that they have feelings - especially dogs - they form very string bonds with their owners.



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-Edgar Allan Poe
« Last Edit: 23/02/2004 12:03:09 by qpan »
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #23 on: 23/02/2004 14:14:18 »
Marco, according to you, chimpanzees must have souls, because they can talk using sign language!! They can definitely express their feelings. Does a deaf, blind, and mute person not have a soul? Because people like that, in general, can't talk. They are human though. They can't tell us their feelings so does that mean they don't have any?

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
« Reply #24 on: 23/02/2004 17:55:35 »
You REALLY need to take a course in logic and argument, Marco my friend.  Let's see if I can standardize your argument for you:

premise 1: humans act like they have emotions
premise 2: humans can communicate that they have emotions
premise 3: quantum physics shows that conscious thought and emotion are impossible given brain physiology
sub-argument 1: it must be the soul that provides consciousness and emotions to humans

premise 4: animals are inferior to humans
premise 5: we can build machines that react to external stimuli
premise 6: animals react to external stimuli
premise 7: machines don't have souls
subargument 2: animals don't have souls

Your sub-argument falls apart because of a false premise.  In premise 3, you're expounding expert testimony that quantum physics proves that emotion and consciousness are not possible within the framework of the brain.  This is not a commonly accepted nor widely published nor even significantly considered as fact.  Therefore the premise must be accepted as false.  Since your conclusion RELIES on this premise being true, your subargument is false.

In your second subargument, you're falling into a non sequitur.  The fact we can create machines to react to stimuli in the same way animals do in no way leads to animals being like machines.  This is like saying "All causians are white, Winston Churchull is white, I am a caucasian, therefore I am Winston Churchill."  It's pure fallacy.  Secondly, since your second argument relied upon your first being indisputably true, it fails on that as well.

Thanks for playing, though, it's been fun.  




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Re: Scientific contradictions in materialism
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