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  #61  
Old Feb 20, '12, 4:43 pm
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lemondiesel lemondiesel is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zundrah View Post
In a sense, we are, since you and only you will decide how you feel about our words and appearances.
Would I have come to the same conclusions had I not used this site via the world wide web?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
Science can't even define consciousness, they can only describe symptoms of it.

And what makes you think matter is unconscious?
I think you have a big misunderstanding on what science is. Science is never set in stone, and promotes an environment for changes.

For illustrational purposes, I view all matter to be stuck in a state of ďunconsciousness.Ē In such a way the universe (and all matter contained within) is much like a maturing infant baby. The first few years are completely oblivious in respect to consciousness, but eventually it grows into a cognitive being.
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  #62  
Old Feb 20, '12, 7:29 pm
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Julia Mae Julia Mae is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemondiesel View Post
I think you have a big misunderstanding on what science is....
Well, as I spent half my life studying and working in and teaching science, ... I kinda have a sorta grasp of it. Like, I know "science" doesn't actually exist the way people refer to it in these forum conversations, but I bow to cultural inevitability.

Quote:
Science is never set in stone
Who said it was?

Quote:
and promotes an environment for changes.
Actually, in practice, it does not. It only promotes an environment to get published. "Science" in practice is inbred, stodgy and conservative, for the most part. Remember what they accused Newton of when he proposed universal gravity.

Quote:
For illustrational purposes, I view all matter to be stuck in a state of ďunconsciousness.Ē
That's nice for you. What does it have to do with science? Being as the statement was illustrational and all.

Quote:
The first few years are completely oblivious in respect to consciousness, but eventually it grows into a cognitive being.
You just said all matter grows into a cognitive being. Is this a form of panentheism?
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  #63  
Old Feb 20, '12, 9:19 pm
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lemondiesel lemondiesel is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
Who said it was?
You gave the impression that science doesn't have the potential to describe the conscious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
Actually, in practice, it does not. It only promotes an environment to get published. "Science" in practice is inbred, stodgy and conservative, for the most part. Remember what they accused Newton of when he proposed universal gravity.
We are a lot more mature than those who accused Newton, or so I hope. It promotes an environment to get published, yes, but anyone can try and to refute those publications with new data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
That's nice for you. What does it have to do with science? Being as the statement was illustrational and all.
Because their unconscious actions is what allows for patterns and repetition, with which a conscious mind can interpret?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
You just said all matter grows into a cognitive being. Is this a form of panentheism?
I don't believe that God is the force for their unconscious being. Matter is unconscious because that is their nature, there was no pre plan for them to be that way. It just so happens that somewhere in the universe a cognitive being woke up in history...

I might say, however, that it was inevitable that at least one cognitive being derived from the amount of matter and energy from this universe.
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  #64  
Old Feb 20, '12, 9:27 pm
Augustine3 Augustine3 is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

Quote:
Originally Posted by cho pilo View Post
In following the rules, I will explain in detail what exactly is up for debate here, so this thread will not be locked.

"I Think Therefore I Am", a common phrase (maybe the most common phrase), was written by Rene Descartes in the 1600's in his book Meditations II. In Meditations I, he "demolished" the certainty of anything existing. His reasoning was that there is no way to prove that his thoughts are deluded or being deceived, as humans have been wrong. Some of the examples he provided was you could not disprove that there is an evil supernatural being tricking the human mind or simple everyday optical illusions that trick the mind. The next day in Meditations II, he wrote that there is one thing that he could be completely certain of, that he existed. His logic was that doubts of certainty were because of deluded thoughts. If there are thoughts to delude, thoughts exist, and "I" (in this case, Descartes) is a thinking being that exists.

Question: Does this common phrase which is often seen as self-evident provide solid proof to remove the doubt of "I" (in your case, yourself) existing.

---

My personal opinion:

Essentially descartesí proof is:
X is true. Y is true. Therefore, X is true.

His argument is circular. "I think therefore I am" could also be "I am therefore I think".

Itís the same thing as to say unicorns are pink, therefore unicorns surely exist. How could something be pink if it doesnít exist. Itís tautological. Itís the equivalent of saying apples are red and they are delicious, therefore apples are surely red.

You can replace the word think with ANYTHING. I eat therefore I exist. I dream therefore I exist. I walk therefore I exist. Thereís no difference of what you say.

Philosophy is a part of linguistics. We use words, as our only means, to try to prove our ideas to other people. There is so many limitations to language. We may exist, but we are unable to use words to prove it.

Your thoughts?
Subjective thoughts do not change objective truths.

If I think the watch in my hand is a pizza it does not change its essence. Itís a watch no matter what else I perceive it to be.

God bless,
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  #65  
Old Feb 21, '12, 1:03 am
Sair Sair is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

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Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
One is not saying that there cannot be a scientific explanation for the Human Brain in terms of how it processes thoughts. But what one would say is that any such theory would not be a full or sufficient explanation of what a rational mind is or what its sufficient cause is.
And here you shut down the process of inquiry - scientific investigation, according to you, cannot and will never fully explain consciousness. Simple, when you cut through the 'metaphysical' padding. You assume mind and brain are separate, but research indicates they are only as separate as any mechanical device and its output.

Quote:
Your failure to see this as a real philosophical problem rather than simply a scientific issue, is surely based upon your bias as a metaphysical naturalist.
It would be worthwhile to remember that science was called, in its earliest days, natural philosophy. Science and philosophy are not fundamentally separate realms, any more than the operations of the brain are fundamentally different to thought and awareness. Again, as Bertrand Russell intimated, philosophy operates on the undelimited edges of our knowledge - it helps us keep abreast of what we don't know, and to avoid getting bogged down in the assurance that we already know the potential limits of our understanding. It doesn't define things, only questions.
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  #66  
Old Feb 21, '12, 8:50 am
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Julia Mae Julia Mae is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemondiesel View Post
You gave the impression that science doesn't have the potential to describe the conscious.
I gave the impression? Because you infer, does not mean anyone implied.

Quote:
I don't believe that God is the force for their unconscious being.
I'm happy for you to believe whatever you wish. Your beliefs are not facts. They are not "science." They are your beliefs.
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  #67  
Old Feb 21, '12, 11:27 am
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lemondiesel lemondiesel is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

Let me start off by saying that I am very sorry that I'm coming off as a dick. Unlike much of my social network, I often forget people actually can debate here. Hopefully there are no hard feelings.

Going back to this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
Science can't even define consciousness, they can only describe symptoms of it.
As a teacher of science, would you agree or disagree, if you combined multiple sciences (nature and social) a concept of what the conscious is, might emerge? I find it difficult to say that science doesn't have the potential to define the conscious.

And it's not like all of a sudden our species could "think." The "I think" is built upon layers, and reducing these layers leads to some of the first cognitive abilities. Pretend you are primitive man before living in civilization (which had huge influence), what would be some of the first things you notice? My opinion would say difference of night and day or the nature around me.

Chemical releases Influece emotions which dictate our moods. Our highly complex hierachal mind merely interprets. It interprets it with a high developed system of symbols, images, etc in its data base

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
I'm happy for you to believe whatever you wish. Your beliefs are not facts. They are not "science." They are your beliefs.
I never claimed they were facts. There are no such things as "facts" beyond the "I" so your facts are no more valid than mine. Science explains how matter (and the collection of matter) behave under certain situations. I simply said that science gives interpretation on how the clock (the universe and the human body) are here. But our science is bound to this universe, as the laws exist because this certain amount of energy/matter exist. Natural forces shaped chaos into harmony, from individual parts to a working clock. There has been no belief implied, just conceptual understanding. There has been no need for any divine force. If you wish to converse otherwise, then I would think it would be best in convincing me that science will/can never provide us with more detailed understanding.
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  #68  
Old Feb 21, '12, 3:07 pm
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Julia Mae Julia Mae is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemondiesel View Post
Let me start off by saying that I am very sorry that I'm coming off as a dick. Unlike much of my social network, I often forget people actually can debate here. Hopefully there are no hard feelings.
Well, thanks. I hope I didn't come across poorly, myself. It's just what happens when folks don't know each other well.

Quote:
Going back to this:

Originally Posted by Julia Mae
Science can't even define consciousness, they can only describe symptoms of it.

As a teacher of science, would you agree or disagree, if you combined multiple sciences (nature and social) a concept of what the conscious is, might emerge? I find it difficult to say that science doesn't have the potential to define the conscious.
I should have added: "right now." There are rather a of of very well-qualifed researchers delving into this topic as we speak. The problem is, the topic itself causes others in science to regard them as "fringe science" advocates. Of course, all true advances came from going beyond the "fringe."

Medical doctors have a definition of "consciousness" and what that comprises. However, we are in the realm of philosophy on a forum sponsored by one of the oldest and most mystical religions on earth. The PEARS people bent over backwards to find terms with which to refer to phenomena that didn't not come from either religion or psychism. Melvin Morse does exceptionally good work, but has become indifferent to criticism and stopped trying to get the respectful attention of the mainline scientific community. Gary Weiss is now "the nut in Arizona" and not the highly regarded Harvard scientist and intellectual he once was.

The Global Consciousness Research Project has actually proven not only that human consciousness is measurable on large scale and can affect a random number generator, but accidentally provided exceptionally strong evidence for consciousness that exists outside of Time/Space. I have posted this several places because they skewed and repressed their own data later on because of what it clearly showed.

I am giving up CAF for Lent, so I'm going to make a speech here (Already did.) since I'll be gone for 6 weeks.

Science does not legitimately "explain away" phenomena. It observes and speculates and tests, hypothesizes and researches and then theorizes. Unless you say "NDE" and they come up with forty explanations that make no sense whatsoever in terms of the facts of NDE research. Or some other "pseudoscience." (A word that always reminds me of "feminazi" - evocative of emotion while being essentially meaningless.)

No one is going to figure out consciousness or define anything until they are willing to discard ALL preconceived notions. (Now I have to make a new post because this is too long for one.)
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  #69  
Old Feb 21, '12, 3:08 pm
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Julia Mae Julia Mae is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

Quote:
And it's not like all of a sudden our species could "think." The "I think" is built upon layers, and reducing these layers leads to some of the first cognitive abilities. Pretend you are primitive man ...
My field was paleoanthropology. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but "think" is a very imprecise word. Watch a groups of chimps subtly signal one another to surround and kill a green monkey for lunch, keying off their leader. They are thinking. Planning. Cooperating. Assessing. Activity in your brain, whether intellectual, emotional or spiritual, is evidenced in structure. Dolphins and parrots think differently than people and pugs, but they all think. Cognitive abilities aren't limited to people or mammals or even vertebrates, necessarily.

Quote:
Chemical releases Influece emotions
Or, more simply, create them.

Quote:
Our highly complex hierachal mind merely interprets. It interprets it with a high developed system of symbols, images, etc in its data base
Anthropocentric egotism. We ain't that highly complex, trust me. What other animals do in terms of environmental assessment and problem-solving, we can't begin to approach.

Quote:
I never claimed they were facts. There are no such things as "facts" beyond the "I"
Ah! The topic raises it's head sniffing hopefully at the air of debate! If there are no "facts" then that there are no facts is also not a fact which brings us to the ineluctable conclusion: there very well may be facts!

Quote:
Science explains how matter (and the collection of matter) behave under certain situations.
Agreed. Or at least tries to.

Quote:
But our science is bound to this universe,
You and I are defining the word differently. I define it classically as comprising "everything." You seem to believe that if there is an afterlife that you will proceed to on the death of your body, it is not in the Universe. Since the Universe is everything, whatever exists is in it. Of course, I know for a fact there is afterlife and that it is not only right here but rather easily accessed and that there is a constant exchange of energy between that state of being and Time/Space.
You accused me of limiting science. Looks to me like you are doing that, this time.

Quote:
If you wish to converse otherwise, then I would think it would be best in convincing me that science will/can never provide us with more detailed understanding.
I have no desire whatsoever of convincing you of a thing. Even if I were to be around to try and do so. As a very smart man once said: Nothing worth knowing can be taught.

It can be found, however.

I'll be back after Easter.
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  #70  
Old Feb 29, '12, 5:44 pm
greylorn greylorn is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

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Originally Posted by GEddie View Post
It's no more than a head game, for you may know that you are thinking, but nobody else does. You cannot prove to others that you have a mind.

Descartes' statement, used incessantly to prove the transcendence of the human mind, really emphasizes the importance of the body. If someone puts a chokehold on your neck, you would cease thinking at once, and cease being shortly thereafter.

ICXC NIKA
This kind of reply is what one might expect from a non-thinking victim. If I was placed in a chokehold, I would take a moment to "think" about my footing and body positioning, then use one of several moves learned in martial arts training to change the situation. If the chokehold came from the front, the perp would end up with a shattered left elbow and jaw, or have his adams apple pushed up into his larnyx. If from the rear, he will lose the ability to breathe, leaving me other options.

If one of the perp's associates pulled out a firearm and terminated me amid this process, my body would cease to be a living thing, but I will continue to exist as a surprised and ornery, but still-conscious being.

Evidently you disagree with this, by your statement. Exactly how, then, do your Catholic beliefs serve you? Why even label yourself a Catholic? Are you that dreadfully ignorant about the core teachings of your alleged beliefs?
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  #71  
Old Feb 29, '12, 6:04 pm
greylorn greylorn is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

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Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
As a very smart man once said: Nothing worth knowing can be taught.
If that silly nit meets your standards for "a very smart man," I'd dread an encounter anyone you regard as a dimwit, or even average.

I found the English language, complete with its odd spellings and inconsistent set of grammatical rules, to be well worth knowing. Likewise mathematics. These two languages have been essential to my understanding of anything at all, as well as the discussions and analyses required to get there.

Curiously enough, I neither came into life knowing English and math, nor did I invent these languages. They were taught to me.

Who is the nit responsible for that quote, please? I want to avoid reading anything else that he, she, or it wrote. My first guess--- Nancy Pelosi.
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  #72  
Old Feb 29, '12, 7:30 pm
greylorn greylorn is offline
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Default Re: I Think Therefore I Am

Quote:
Originally Posted by cho pilo View Post
In following the rules, I will explain in detail what exactly is up for debate here, so this thread will not be locked.

"I Think Therefore I Am", a common phrase (maybe the most common phrase), was written by Rene Descartes in the 1600's in his book Meditations II. In Meditations I, he "demolished" the certainty of anything existing. His reasoning was that there is no way to prove that his thoughts are deluded or being deceived, as humans have been wrong. Some of the examples he provided was you could not disprove that there is an evil supernatural being tricking the human mind or simple everyday optical illusions that trick the mind. The next day in Meditations II, he wrote that there is one thing that he could be completely certain of, that he existed. His logic was that doubts of certainty were because of deluded thoughts. If there are thoughts to delude, thoughts exist, and "I" (in this case, Descartes) is a thinking being that exists.

Question: Does this common phrase which is often seen as self-evident provide solid proof to remove the doubt of "I" (in your case, yourself) existing.

---

My personal opinion:

Essentially descartesí proof is:
X is true. Y is true. Therefore, X is true.

His argument is circular. "I think therefore I am" could also be "I am therefore I think".

Itís the same thing as to say unicorns are pink, therefore unicorns surely exist. How could something be pink if it doesnít exist. Itís tautological. Itís the equivalent of saying apples are red and they are delicious, therefore apples are surely red.

You can replace the word think with ANYTHING. I eat therefore I exist. I dream therefore I exist. I walk therefore I exist. Thereís no difference of what you say.

Philosophy is a part of linguistics. We use words, as our only means, to try to prove our ideas to other people. There is so many limitations to language. We may exist, but we are unable to use words to prove it.

Your thoughts?
I read through several posts seeking someone who at least gave the appearance of having read Rene Descartes before adding more irrelevant opinions to the OP. No luck. Did I miss anyone?

Cho the OP originator was so hot to display her own ill-conceived opinions on the matter that she couldn't even take a minute to check out Wikipedia first, where the irrelevancy of her all-too-common interpretation was clearly explained.

Descartes' classical statement, cogito ergo sum, was not the only statement in his writings. It was the consequence of considerable thought and analysis, and soul searching. It is best understood in the context of those thoughts, which no poster here seems to know.

The English translation, "I think, therefore I exist" is easily confused by various modern notions of what thought actually means. The occasional poster to this thread who seems to have a slight clue about the nature of thought still confuses it with various ideas that have come out of artificial intelligence research and animal studies.

The pseudo-scientists who purport to study these things, or at least collect grant money for pretending to do so, are so dreadfully confused that they use the term "consciousness" interchangeably with "perception" and "self-awareness." You'll learn nothing of value from such incompetents.

The best way to understand Descartes is to actually read him. I realize that this is way too much to ask from my fellow posters, because it would take time away from reading scripture, watching TV, and for the occasional multi-tasker, simultaneous nose-hair removal.

If you must write about Descartes from ignorance, it would be helpful to first appreciate that he did not regard the information processing of animals as thought. He would have noted that while a clever AI computer program is clearly the product of thought, the program itself, in the process of execution, is not thinking at all. A reincarnated Descartes reading this very thread might marvel that many of those posting to it can form sentences.

The statement, cogito ergo sum, came within a discussion of consciousness-- the ability of an information processing entity to recognize, while processing information, that it is doing so--- thus becoming momentarily self-aware.

Descartes realized that more than mechanistic/animalistic information processing was required to reach self-awareness.
He realized that the human brain, as a machine, could no more be responsible for self-awareness than the brain of a fruit fly. Thus he correctly attributed the property of self-awareness to the human soul.

This was the most important insight about the nature and purpose of the universe ever developed by a member of the Church, primary even to Galileo's realization that the physical universe is a far more reliable source of knowledge about God than the scriptures and anything else written by men. Naturally, both Galileo and Descartes have been ignored by the Church, as they will be ignored by those posting here on CAF.
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