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  • green aventurine
    replied
    Originally posted by ffetcher View Post
    ...you post a link to that thread. Okay, my initial question is whether we're discussing pantheism or consciousness?
    I'm not sure lol maybe both? As a starting point, going from what Tyger told me, my understanding was that he wouldn't conceptualise the pantheist God as having a personality or behaviour that you could relate to in terms of human archetypes/categories (although it would still have beliefs etc perhaps? just nothing we could relate to?). I think what I wrote post#16 would have been more related to soft polytheism? if I've understood that term correctly? I also seem to remember from what Lunacie said that even in Wicca not everyone is a soft polytheist so it might not even apply to that necessarily.

    http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=212686&page=2


    Apologies to everybody if I've misunderstood your beliefs!


    I think I was just wondering in general what you (or anybody else) thought about logical pantheism. I was also wondering if you could kind of look at the physical universe as a gigantic brain instantiating a mind involving particular states at particular times which could be influenced by previous states and also inputs, and then leading to other future states and outputs -- I'm not quite sure what the current consensus is on black and white holes but perhaps they could be outputs and inputs to and from other universes? or somewhere else? [ had a quick look here at origins and recent speculations but I'm none the wiser really lol

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_hole#Origin

    ] -- I'm kind of taking a functionalist approach to the mind of God:

    Functionalism is the doctrine that what makes something a thought, desire, pain (or any other type of mental state) depends not on its internal constitution, but solely on its function, or the role it plays, in the cognitive system of which it is a part. More precisely, functionalist theories take the identity of a mental state to be determined by its causal relations to sensory stimulations, other mental states, and behavior.

    For (an avowedly simplistic) example, a functionalist theory might characterize pain as a state that tends to be caused by bodily injury, to produce the belief that something is wrong with the body and the desire to be out of that state, to produce anxiety, and, in the absence of any stronger, conflicting desires, to cause wincing or moaning. According to this theory, all and only creatures with internal states that meet these conditions, or play these roles, are capable of being in pain.
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/functionalism/#WhaFun


    Not sure if that made any sense lol

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  • green aventurine
    replied
    I can't really focus on this at the moment (see my p.m.) but here's a couple of links that might provide some answers.

    I think we may be back to the machine heuristics example I sent to green aventurine in a PM.
    I actually had something like this in mind when I was talking about evolution and subjective experience:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness/#6


    A lot of hobbyists and a fair few professionals build timy little robots powered by 'soiar' panels, which in this case take their power from ceiling lamps. If you give these things the ability to 'learn' to react to the environment, then the ones that don't 'learn' to turn around when it gets dark, will run out of power. My original question was 'does the robot know that it needs light?' The need for light is part of the construction (genes), and if the builder programmed it in it may also be part of the meme-set. But if that wasn't an original meme, but the behaviour has been 'learened' then it might be fair to say that the machine has learned to be 'scared of the dark', and that might be classed as a subjective experience. That might also be a way of answering Dawkins's re-formulated question.
    It depends on what you mean by the word ‘know’, I'm guessing. This is an old thought experiment against strong AI (I think, it's been a while since I've looked at this):

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/chinese-room/#3

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room


    I'll get back to the rest and pantheism when I can.

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  • ffetcher
    replied
    Originally posted by green aventurine View Post
    I would push it back even further and ask what the evolutionary advantage of any subjective experience was, personally.
    I think we may be back to the machine heuristics example I sent to green aventurine in a PM. A lot of hobbyists and a fair few professionals build timy little robots powered by 'soiar' panels, which in this case take their power from ceiling lamps. If you give these things the ability to 'learn' to react to the environment, then the ones that don't 'learn' to turn around when it gets dark, will run out of power. My original question was 'does the robot know that it needs light?' The need for light is part of the construction (genes), and if the builder programmed it in it may also be part of the meme-set. But if that wasn't an original meme, but the behaviour has been 'learened' then it might be fair to say that the machine has learned to be 'scared of the dark', and that might be classed as a subjective experience. That might also be a way of answering Dawkins's re-formulated question.

    Originally posted by green aventurine View Post
    This was a very important and seminal paper by Chalmers which helped reframe the mindbody debate as it is today and its agenda, I think. I also think it was originally a lecture at a conference around early-mid 1990s. If you take a look at section two it gives a very clear account of the hard and easy problems of consciousness and qualia etc, IMO.

    http://www.imprint.co.uk/chalmers.html
    You're right, it is much clearer than Denning's, just goes to show that it can be done. But...

    in the summary of the hard problem, Chalmers writes:

    "As Nagel (1974) has put it, there is something it is like to be a conscious organism. This subjective aspect is experience. When we see, for example, we experience visual sensations: the felt quality of redness, the experience of dark and light, the quality of depth in a visual field. Other experiences go along with perception in different modalities: the sound of a clarinet, the smell of mothballs."

    ...whereas Denning spends quite a while ('intuition pumps' four to six) trying to argue that these experiences can't be verified as being the same for everyone, so the qualia are inaccessible (and much later extending that to suggest that they don't exist, or at least I think that's what he's saying).

    If recent neuroscience shows that Area 34 (Broca's area) reacts the same way when the subject is 'hearing' whatever they percieve as 'music', and that formal training in that 'music' modifies that reaction in a pretty much constant way regardless of what anthropologists call 'cultural determination' of that 'music' - just one example off the top of my head - does that undermine Denning's argument?

    I shall think about that over the weekend. I'm now off to play the music from which this discussion has successfully distracted me for much of the week, and will return late on Monday (GMT) to see what has transpired here.

    blessings
    ffetcher

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  • green aventurine
    replied
    Ffetcher:
    Sitting on the waterfront watching the sunset over the islands off Split, large glasses of the local beer in hand and discussing Dawkins? Well, it's different, certainly.

    It certainly is different although sounds a pleasant way to spend one's time and discuss philosophy etc

    Yep, you're limited by the biology and memes can't work outside the limits of the biology - although they can push the envelope- so she thinks that there can't be a conflict.
    That's good, we are all on the same page. Always a good start for a discussion lol

    Materially related to this thread (I think, at least) is the comment Dawkins made at the end of the BBC Horizon programme "God on the Brain", to the effect that 'asking what is the evolutionary advantage of spirituality? is probably asking he wrong question. We should perhaps be asking what is the evolutionary advantage of a brain that's capable of experienceing spirituality?' (this is a paraphrase and he may have actually metioned religion rather than spirituality, but earlier in the programme he had failed to experience the sensed presence effect when wearing Persinger's hat, so spirituality is how we remember it.
    I would push it back even further and ask what the evolutionary advantage of any subjective experience was, personally.

    This was a very important and seminal paper by Chalmers which helped reframe the mindbody debate as it is today and its agenda, I think. I also think it was originally a lecture at a conference around early-mid 1990s. If you take a look at section two it gives a very clear account of the hard and easy problems of consciousness and qualia etc, IMO.

    http://www.imprint.co.uk/chalmers.html


    Looks like a good article, I'll add it to the list. Your comments have had me digging back into hard-bound log-books with handwritten notes in pencil. How retro
    Lol I gave up taking notes in lectures a long time ago. If you saw the state of my hand writing you'd understand why -- I would look at my notes a couple of days later and not be able to make out half of what I'd written lol

    I'm just starting to realise that (a) I've forgotten a great deal about agents and sub-units in the last ten years or so; and (b) a lot of what I did know is out-of-date. But I believe that when I get to the endI'm going to fins some stuff that's actually directly relevant to pantheism.
    Yes, I'm afraid I'm also about 10 years or so out of date which is more drastic for psychology than philosophy but I would imagine even in philosophy of mind there might have been some progress, perhaps, plus I've forgotten loads as well, unfortunately.


    I'll race you.
    I think you may win this race lol

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  • ffetcher
    replied
    Originally posted by green aventurine View Post
    ffetcher: I'll post something properly in a while although I'm afraid my mind is rather soup-like at the moment so you might just have to take it with a pinch of salt (and with some croutons as well, perhaps, if they are to your palate )
    In the light of the last link you posted, might we try cauliflower soup, and perhaps agree on a time to eat it?

    (although I do recommend reading the paper, I won't be cruel. Denning uses the example that two people may have different opinions of the taste of cauliflower, and that the same person may experience it differently at times t and t', as part of his argument. It's an example with which I agree; I'm still trying to work out whether I agree with the conclusions he draws from it. )

    But, 'soup-like' I understand. I should be working up some music for the weekend; reviewing an article; configuring a new server. Hell, I should be removing the lime-scale from the bathroom. Instead, I'm trying to get a ten-year-old compiler working on modern kit, so that I can understand the notes I wrote at the time, and after the cribbage match last night (I won, the team lost) we started discussing/arguing about whether an over-arching controller program is necessary for machine heuristics. And then...

    Originally posted by green aventurine View Post
    ffetcher and Tyger: I've been thinking about some of the things we have been discussing by e-mail and I'm wondering whether some of logical pantheism could be salvaged or re-written and whether some of the things I wrote were just wrong/hasty (which wouldn't surprise me lol) - I've learnt and developed a great deal from this site even since that post and my understanding and views on things like pantheism are constantly changing.

    http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=212686
    ...you post a link to that thread. Okay, my initial question is whether we're discussing pantheism or consciousness?

    There are some really nice butterflies on the lobelia outside the window and I'm finding my thoughts straying to the efficiency of the apparently random nectar-gathering algorithms. I think I'll just go and lie down for a bit.

    blessings
    ffetcher

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  • green aventurine
    replied
    ffetcher: I'll post something properly in a while although I'm afraid my mind is rather soup-like at the moment so you might just have to take it with a pinch of salt (and with some croutons as well, perhaps, if they are to your palate )

    ffetcher and Tyger: I've been thinking about some of the things we have been discussing by e-mail and I'm wondering whether some of logical pantheism could be salvaged or re-written and whether some of the things I wrote were just wrong/hasty (which wouldn't surprise me lol) - I've learnt and developed a great deal from this site even since that post and my understanding and views on things like pantheism are constantly changing.

    http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=212686

    Leave a comment:


  • ffetcher
    replied
    Originally posted by Xentor View Post
    Usually: yes, deliberately. Some people love to show off their knowledge by using unnecessarily complicated language structures, and then fault us for it when we demand a straight-forward explanation.
    I remember (but can't place) a story he told about perception, talking about thinking he was looking at a Canaletto painting, which would have exquisite detail, and then finding that it was by someone else, who had just put in blobs that looked okay from a distance.

    So he can do it.

    Originally posted by Xentor View Post
    Personally, I feel that jargon should be reserved for peers.
    IMO, "jargon" between peers, is simply specialist language. I'm perfectly capable of using specialist terms in my own related field, such as "agents", "sub-units" and "specialist agents". But even in a learned paper I' want to be able to describe those terms, if not for full understanding by people with no background at all, at least so that people educated in related fields could absolutely understand what I was talking about.

    Originally posted by Xentor View Post
    If I wish to share my thoughts with a wider audience, I need to drop the jargon and rephrase my speculations using the simplest language possible.
    yep.

    Originally posted by Xentor View Post
    Then again, sometimes we don't wish to reach a wider audience.
    This last is getting wildly OT, but forgive me for being naive, and feel free to PM me rather than post on-list. Why? Or at least, if not why, then why publish?

    blessings
    ffetcher

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  • Xentor
    replied
    Originally posted by ffetcher View Post
    once you penetrate the (?deliberately?) dense language
    Usually: yes, deliberately. Some people love to show off their knowledge by using unnecessarily complicated language structures, and then fault us for it when we demand a straight-forward explanation. Personally, I feel that jargon should be reserved for peers. If I wish to share my thoughts with a wider audience, I need to drop the jargon and rephrase my speculations using the simplest language possible.

    Then again, sometimes we don't wish to reach a wider audience.

    Leave a comment:


  • ffetcher
    replied
    Originally posted by green aventurine View Post
    with respect to Dan Dennett and eliminating consciousness in general. I think this is one of the classic papers in that debate which is by him.

    http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/quinqual.htm
    Ye ghods and little fishes I could wish I hadn't started this this morning - my brain hurts. The first section defines the verb 'quine' and attempts to do the same for 'qualia' (noun, plural). I read that bit twice and I'm still not sure whether he succeeds; ducks the issue accidentally or ducks it deliberately. However, since the purpose of the paper is to show that they don't exist, and since I do actually have a fair idea of what he's talking about, I just took it on trust and kept referring back when he comes back to what qualia are, which of course he does frequently.

    Then we get to his summary of his method: I quote (fair dealing for the purposes of review)

    "Rigorous arguments only work on well-defined materials, and since my goal is to destroy our faith in the pretheoretical or "intuitive" concept, the right tools for my task are intuition pumps, not formal arguments. What follows is a series of fifteen intuition pumps, posed in a sequence designed to flush out--and then flush away--the offending intuitions. In section 2, I will use the first two intuition pumps to focus attention on the traditional notion. It will be the burden of the rest of the paper in to convince you that these two pumps, for all their effectiveness, mislead us and should be discarded."

    Whilst I'm not sure that I agree either with where he's going or even that if he's going there the first two 'pumps' are inappropriate, once you penetrate the (?deliberately?) dense language, the arguments make sense and do at times address material pretty close to Dawkins's definition that started his thread. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the later statements have been overtaken by recent fMRI studies, but to be honest I'm far from sure of that and I can't face a second read of the paper right now.

    All in all, though, an interesting and thought-provoking read.

    blessings
    ffetcher

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  • ffetcher
    replied
    Originally posted by green aventurine View Post
    :uhhuhuh: I'm guessing he might also say something like "you can't run Windows XP on a ZX81" kind of thing ie. biology will set certain constraints which social determinism, or even one's own efforts, can't override.

    I'd be interested to hear what your wife has to say on this topic if you have time to talk to her and post something.
    Sitting on the waterfront watching the sunset over the islands off Split, large glasses of the local beer in hand and discussing Dawkins? Well, it's different, certainly. Yep, you're limited by the biology and memes can't work outside the limits of the biology - although they can push the envelope- so she thinks that there can't be a conflict.

    Materially related to this thread (I think, at least) is the comment Dawkins made at the end of the BBC Horizon programme "God on the Brain", to the effect that 'asking what is the evolutionary advantage of spirituality? is probably asking he wrong question. We should perhaps be asking what is the evolutionary advantage of a brain that's capable of experienceing spirituality?' (this is a paraphrase and he may have actually metioned religion rather than spirituality, but earlier in the programme he had failed to experience the sensed presence effect when wearing Persinger's hat, so spirituality is how we remember it.

    Originally posted by green aventurine View Post
    see my PM. Also with respect to Dan Dennett and eliminating consciousness in general. I think this is one of the classic papers in that debate which is by him.

    http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/quinqual.htm

    I haven't read it yet though. I'm still looking at this and Eliminativism in general at the moment as I want to write some notes on it etc.
    Looks like a good article, I'll add it to the list. Your comments have had me digging back into hard-bound log-books with handwritten notes in pencil. How retro I'm just starting to realise that (a) I've forgotten a great deal about agents and sub-units in the last ten years or so; and (b) a lot of what I did know is out-of-date. But I believe that when I get to the endI'm going to fins some stuff that's actually directly relevant to pantheism. I'll race you.

    blessings
    ffetcher
    Last edited by ffetcher; August 10th, 2009, 05:49 AM.

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  • green aventurine
    replied
    All off the top of my head at the moment:

    I'm on shaky ground over the genetic element - my wife is the one with a background in biology, and I'll ask her when she gets back from her current business trip - but as I recall it, he doesn't see 'clashes'; memetics explain the bits that genetic determination doesn't, so if genetic selection can explain something, that's fine, you don't need a meme.
    :uhhuhuh: I'm guessing he might also say something like "you can't run Windows XP on a ZX81" kind of thing ie. biology will set certain constraints which social determinism, or even one's own efforts, can't override.

    I'd be interested to hear what your wife has to say on this topic if you have time to talk to her and post something.

    I should be on stronger ground here from my understanding of machine heuristics, but again maybe others on here can explain it better. However, I think he explains the sum of consciousness as being made up of a large number of simple biological mechanisms that are explainable in the same way as, say, self-repair (I seem to recall that's one of his examples). This makes sense to me, in that a computer program that learns to traverse a maze, for example, is constructed of a number (actually a remarkably small number) of simple algorithms. What to many people might look like a 'miraculous' ability (and again I seem to recall that he uses miracles and magic as analogies) is in fact just a sequence of 'this worked last time so it may well work again'. By extension, there's nothing actually in charge of said consciousness, but I can't recall right now whether he went that far.
    see my PM. Also with respect to Dan Dennett and eliminating consciousness in general. I think this is one of the classic papers in that debate which is by him.

    http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/quinqual.htm

    I haven't read it yet though. I'm still looking at this and Eliminativism in general at the moment as I want to write some notes on it etc.

    Yep. At a conference a few years ago she managed to have discussions with both Todd Murphy (with whom she nowadays disagrees about the nature of OOBE's) and the Bishop of Oxford (with whom her disagreement is perhaps obvious ) without stooping to rubbish their thought processes or academic abilities....

    .... Susan, who had drawn the graveyard shift on day two to talk about assigning risk factors to memes, took a couple of minutes at the start to summarise the differences between their approaches and thank Todd for his patience. The civility wasn't forced, either: everyone there knew that everyone else had different opinions and the atmosphere for the whole things was "let's discuss..."
    That sounded a lot of fun. I can believe she would act like that from the little I know about her. It would be nice if all conferences were like that
    Last edited by green aventurine; July 8th, 2009, 04:51 PM. Reason: changed font size

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  • Xentor
    replied
    Originally posted by spiral View Post
    In this video Dawkins defines theism, deism, pantheism and atheism, so it could have been posted in a few different forums... I put it here because I'm particularly interested in his definition of pantheism.

    Do you agree with him? Is pantheism simply 'sexed up' atheism? Is that necessarily a bad thing?
    My own path tends to be a bit deist as well as pantheist. I believe there's more between heaven and earth than science can explain.

    Some Atheists may allow for that, but the few I've met apply the scientific method, categorically refusing non-scientific explanations. Not that this is required by the word "atheism". A better word for it would be "scientism". But I digress.

    No, pantheism is not a sexed-up version of atheism. Pantheism does not stem from atheism. Pantheism stems from animism and other nature religions. Atheism is a naturalistic reaction against theism.

    Do we have things in common? Sure. Most religions have some thing in common (if only for the fact that they require people). That does not make us the same. For instance, I'd be surprised if any atheist would take animism seriously.
    Last edited by Xentor; July 4th, 2009, 08:58 PM.

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  • ffetcher
    replied
    Originally posted by green aventurine View Post
    It's been a long time since I read a bit of the selfish Gene and had to discuss it in a tutorial but I was wondering how he reconciled it with his new theory of memetics. It seems to me he almost switched from biological determinism to social determinism of personality and behaviour. I wonder when there is a clash, which he gives precedence to for determining them and why.


    I'm on shaky ground over the genetic element - my wife is the one with a background in biology, and I'll ask her when she gets back from her current business trip - but as I recall it, he doesn't see 'clashes'; memetics explain the bits that genetic determination doesn't, so if genetic selection can explain something, that's fine, you don't need a meme. It appears, though, that there are others on this thread who could explain it better and probably disagree.

    Originally posted by green aventurine View Post
    I'm more familiar with memes and the consequences for philosophy of mind and consciousness with Dan Dennett and books like consciousness explained. From what I remember, he wanted to completely deconstruct the self and eliminate consciousness while keeping intentional states like beliefs.
    I should be on stronger ground here from my understanding of machine heuristics, but again maybe others on here can explain it better. However, I think he explains the sum of consciousness as being made up of a large number of simple biological mechanisms that are explainable in the same way as, say, self-repair (I seem to recall that's one of his examples). This makes sense to me, in that a computer program that learns to traverse a maze, for example, is constructed of a number (actually a remarkably small number) of simple algorithms. What to many people might look like a 'miraculous' ability (and again I seem to recall that he uses miracles and magic as analogies) is in fact just a sequence of 'this worked last time so it may well work again'. By extension, there's nothing actually in charge of said consciousness, but I can't recall right now whether he went that far.

    Originally posted by green aventurine View Post
    I remember Susan Blakemore from studying psychology and that she changed from believing out of body experiences were literal to explaining them in terms of clashing maps of things like the body and the environment or the maps going out of sync with each other (eta: this hasn't been explained very well, I need to look it up really).

    She is also a Buddhist from what I remember and I think with respect to the self she doesn't completely want to deconstruct it and would perhaps allow for, I suppose, Buddha nature or original nature? - I'm not sure if that's the right way to express it, I'm not that familiar with Buddhism. I would also be surprised if she wanted to eliminate consciousness like Dennett. Finally, I would imagine she is a lot more approachable if you wanted to have a discussion with her than with Dawkins from the little I know about them both.
    Yep. At a conference a few years ago she managed to have discussions with both Todd Murphy (with whom she nowadays disagrees about the nature of OOBE's) and the Bishop of Oxford (with whom her disagreement is perhaps obvious ) without stooping to rubbish their thought processes or academic abilities. I enjoyed the gig enormously and it appeared that they all did as well. My abiding memory is of one of the inevitable discussions over coffee and wine after somebody's paper, with Murphy trying to explain his theories about romantic love, perhaps realising that the reasoning was going to take him outside everyone else's comfort zone, cutting it short and saying to the bishop something like 'you know, perhaps [Philip] Pullman's right: maybe fiction is a better tool for exploring this stuff than fMRI'.

    More seriously and perhaps with greater relevance to the thread, Susan had asked Todd a couple of demon questions after his paper (which touched on OOBEs) at the end of day one, and the chairman was going to rule one of them out of order until Todd courteously explained why he didn't see it as an ad hominem attack. Susan, who had drawn the graveyard shift on day two to talk about assigning risk factors to memes, took a couple of minutes at the start to summarise the differences between their approaches and thank Todd for his patience. The civility wasn't forced, either: everyone there knew that everyone else had different opinions and the atmosphere for the whole things was "let's discuss..."

    blessings
    ffetcher

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  • green aventurine
    replied
    This has been a very helpful thread for me. I think I am slowly beginning to get a grasp of what pantheism is about.

    That was another very good post, Tyger. The question, or one question that springs up for me now is this:

    Personhood. What is it to be a person? What is necessary, and what suffices, for something to count as a person, as opposed to a non-person? What have people got that non-people haven't got? This amounts more or less to asking for the definition of the word person. An answer would take the form “Necessarily, x is a person if and only if … x …”, with the blanks appropriately filled in. More specifically, we can ask at what point in one's development from a fertilized egg there comes to be a person, or what it would take for a chimpanzee or a Martian or an electronic computer to be a person, if they could ever be. (See e.g. Chisholm 1976: 136f., Baker 2000: ch. 3.)
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal/#ProPerIde

    ffetcher:

    With regard to his own modified position, if you go back and re-read "The Selfish Gene", you'll find that it doesn't quite reflect his current stance - he's had to add new things to cope with concepts such as altruism, which simply don't fit with the original concepts.
    It's been a long time since I read a bit of the selfish Gene and had to discuss it in a tutorial but I was wondering how he reconciled it with his new theory of memetics. It seems to me he almost switched from biological determinism to social determinism of personality and behaviour. I wonder when there is a clash, which he gives precedence to for determining them and why. I'm more familiar with memes and the consequences for philosophy of mind and consciousness with Dan Dennett and books like consciousness explained. From what I remember, he wanted to completely deconstruct the self and eliminate consciousness while keeping intentional states like beliefs.

    Susan Blakemore, an academic who fits into the 'prepared to enter into discussion' class, has published some fairly accessible stuff on how they got here from there, particularly as regards the concepts of 'Memes'.
    I remember Susan Blakemore from studying psychology and that she changed from believing out of body experiences were literal to explaining them in terms of clashing maps of things like the body and the environment or the maps going out of sync with each other (eta: this hasn't been explained very well, I need to look it up really).

    She is also a Buddhist from what I remember and I think with respect to the self she doesn't completely want to deconstruct it and would perhaps allow for, I suppose, Buddha nature or original nature? - I'm not sure if that's the right way to express it, I'm not that familiar with Buddhism. I would also be surprised if she wanted to eliminate consciousness like Dennett. Finally, I would imagine she is a lot more approachable if you wanted to have a discussion with her than with Dawkins from the little I know about them both.

    He tells me that I should give credence to his activism because of his academic track record.
    If he does actually make this claim, then for me personally, I would say that's irrelevant as I don't subscribe to the method of authority for believing that something is true or being obligated to have to take something seriously. I've wondered how seriously his books would have been taken if he hadn't been who he was.
    Last edited by green aventurine; July 2nd, 2009, 11:34 AM. Reason: clarification/correcting mistakes

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  • TygerTyger
    replied
    I don't believe in God as a person, that is a concept that I attribute to the Abrahamic religions and I left Christianity behind many years ago now.

    I am not even sure of the nature of the God I believe in, but that is part of the process of discovery that is an integral part of my Pantheistic belief.

    Also, I am not interested in adhering to one interpetation of Pantheism. From my point of view strict adherence is one of the problems of organised religion and divergence is often met with intollerance and opposition.

    My beliefs are my own and not dictated by a head of church, a clergy or derived from a bible. That my Pantheism might stray close to another system of beliefs, such as Atheism, does not concern me overly, I don't claim to know the 'truth', I do know that the way I currently look at Existance allows me to be happy. Whether that is just a delusion or a state of being is another question, however, as my current belief seems to be supported by scientific fact then I feel quite secure.

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