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View Diary: Let's Teach the Controversy of Evolution vs Intelligent Design **Updated with Poll question** (365 comments)

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  •  you made a bad assumption (3+ / 0-)

    ""religious" type thinking is the nature of consciousness (as seemingly non-physical)"

    "Seemingly" is the problem.  You assume that consciousness is separate from your brain.  You then take that assumption and treat it as a fact.  Bad logic.  First show what is consciousness, then prove it is non-physical (or not).  Only then will you be able to go on with the rest of your points.

    •  " First show what is consciousness, then prove it" (1+ / 0-)
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      I don't think it is possible to show what is consciousness other than appeal to Introspection.    One's own consciousness is private ... if there was a means to show it to you, then it would not be my consciousness.

      Now, of course, you might say I need to show you physically what is consciousness, but that is starting with the physicalist assumption that I'm not granting.  Thus, I think it is up to the physicalist to address my points or at least admit to the issue.

      Thanks for the response BTW ... not trying to be argumentative as these are my genuine thoughts.  I'd gladly stand corrected.

      •  You are the one making the assertion. (1+ / 0-)
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        I'm not asking you to show me "your" consciousness.  I am asking you to define the word you are using.  If consciousness is metaphysical, then you are not talking about science, you are talking about philosophy.  The nature of science is that it is testable even if its not tangible.

        You are the person claiming the brain is more complicated than what we can see, but you demand that I prove there is not more.  Why should I have to prove what you say is wrong, when it is you making the extraordinary claim?  What was that Hitchens quote?  Something like "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."  You claim that consciousness is ... something more.  All I am asking is that you please define the something more.

        •  I'm glad to clarify any specific questions. (1+ / 0-)
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          Knowledge is based on observation and I can only observe my own consciousness.  Thus, prior to providing a definition, I'll first quality that I only define my own consciousness.

          In that regard, I define my consciousness as the whole of my bundled experiences.  Per Descartes 'I think therfore I am'  is the evidence. (We might not agree how to define evidence although I agree with Hitchen's claim essentially that an argument must be falsifiable to have meaning.)

          I'm not sure if this statement qualifies to you as either 'showing' or 'defining'.  For instance, I don't say anything about the cause-and-effect nature which is what you might be requesting of me?  

          To clarify about whether or not I'm intending consciounsess as being metaphysical, I don't think that terminology adds any meaning.  For me, metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that may be studied and  not a way something exists.  If you are meaning to define metaphysical as something different, then I'd be happy to explain -- if it would help --if your definition could be provided.  Of course, if you are just throwing the word out there to get me to clarify, then I hope I've answered.

          If you can agree introspectively that you can define your consciousness the same way I define my consciousness, then perhaps we can go to the next step.  But you are correct that it is important to first define our terms. Without that, we'll talk past each other.

      •  No, no, no! (1+ / 0-)
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        Appealing to introspection is exactly the wrong approach to understanding consciousness. The right approach, IMHO, is to study the brain in the most minute detail possible. When we gain an understanding of what the brain does, and how it does it, we are on the right track toward understanding consciousness.

        Note to Boehner and McConnell: "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." --Bob Dylan-- (-7.25, -6.21)

        by Tim DeLaney on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:14:31 PM PDT

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        •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
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          Tim DeLaney, cybersaur

          Ultimately, the mind must map upon the brain.  

          As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

          by BPARTR on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:40:42 PM PDT

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        •  Yes Yes Yes (0+ / 0-)

          Ruling out introspective knowledge also rules out study of the brain.

          How do you have any knowledge of the brain without referece to your own experience/observation.

          Did you read a book about the brain ...that is an experience.

          Did you perform surgery, open up the skull and take a look at a real live brain ... that is an exerience.

          In the same way, I'm referring also to experience.  If you are saying I can't trust my experience, can't I turn it back on you and see you cannot trust yours?

          •  You evidently have a different definition (0+ / 0-)

            of "introspection" than I do. Reading books or performing surgery are not my idea of introspection.

            Note to Boehner and McConnell: "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." --Bob Dylan-- (-7.25, -6.21)

            by Tim DeLaney on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:33:20 AM PDT

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            •  Yes, perhaps we do have different definitions. (0+ / 0-)

              In using the term introspection, I meant being sensitive to the whole of one's experience.  If there is a better term for such a thing I'd be thankful for the input.

              Hopefully this helps and we can get beyond semantics and back to  substance... according to this specific definition of introspection (or whatever word you might feel more appropriate) does this clarify or do you have remaining issues with what I've said?

            •  I just read your definition after posting above. (0+ / 0-)

              Actually, your definition might serve my purpose.

              "observation or examination of one's own mental and emotional state, mental processes, etc.; the act of looking within oneself. "

              does that not include this?

              "observation of one's own mental processes"

              If so, is not reading a book an [observed] mental process?

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