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    1. #151
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      Quote Originally Posted by Noogah View Post
      There is no reason to believe the earth is filled with peanut butter. There is reason to believe we have souls.



      And I also think that I'm more than a lump of matter and energy.
      There is absolutely a reason to believe that the center of the earth is made out of peanut butter: My parents have told me my entire life, my religious doctrine says so, and all of my friends believe that!

      There is absolutely no reason to believe in a soul. None. You are an extremely complex 'lump of matter and energy', however. Everything that you are composed of is found in nature. Why are supernatural explanations needed? Just because?

    2. #152
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      Quote Originally Posted by A Roxxor View Post
      There is absolutely a reason to believe that the center of the earth is made out of peanut butter: My parents have told me my entire life, my religious doctrine says so, and all of my friends believe that!

      There is absolutely no reason to believe in a soul. None. You are an extremely complex 'lump of matter and energy', however. Everything that you are composed of is found in nature. Why are supernatural explanations needed? Just because?
      Quote Originally Posted by Noogah
      Quote Originally Posted by René Descartes
      I think, therefore I am
      ... and I also think that I'm more than a lump of matter and energy.
      I have conciousness. I have emotions. I have feelings. I have a soul.
      John 3:16

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    3. #153
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      Quote Originally Posted by Noogah View Post
      I have conciousness. I have emotions. I have feelings. I have a soul.
      That's still not evidence. That's a biased inference.

    4. #154
      Member Specialis Sapientia's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Noogah View Post
      I have conciousness. I have emotions. I have feelings. I have a soul.
      Even though you have those it does not make Christianity or any religion the truth nor right.

      I say you this, take those four words: Consciousness, emotions, feelings, soul and let that be your basis for seeking knowledge and truth. You need to know nothing else to start that quest, if you desire to do so.

      It would be productive for you (and many others).
      The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve. ~ Buddha

    5. #155
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      Quote Originally Posted by A Roxxor View Post
      Cutting off your limbs =/= Damaging your brain when it comes to consciousness. I have no clue how you can compare the two.
      You can compare the two by understanding that the "sense of self" is not a product of neuronal networks, memory or even body parts. It is a substrate that lies deep within subjectivity itself and it is not subject to change at all.

    6. #156
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      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      You can compare the two by understanding that the "sense of self" is not a product of neuronal networks, memory or even body parts. It is a substrate that lies deep within subjectivity itself and it is not subject to change at all.
      Really? How do mind-altering drugs work then?
      Could it have something to do with the brain chemistry?

    7. #157
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      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      You can compare the two by understanding that the "sense of self" is not a product of neuronal networks, memory or even body parts. It is a substrate that lies deep within subjectivity itself and it is not subject to change at all.
      Well that is just about as ridiculous as it gets. Sense of self is certainly a product of your neural network. If you damage someones brain enough, you can completely eliminate their consciousness without killing them. If you were able to wipe someone's memory completely clean, then they would basically become an infant again, with no self awareness or proper perception.

    8. #158
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      Quote Originally Posted by SnakeCharmer View Post
      Really? How do mind-altering drugs work then?
      Could it have something to do with the brain chemistry?
      It is related to brain chemistry and also awareness. The "sense of self" is still the absolute condition ("I"), regardless of what perceptions arise. Altering conditions can only influence awareness of what already prevails, and in some cases it doesn't.

      Quote Originally Posted by A Roxxor View Post
      Well that is just about as ridiculous as it gets. Sense of self is certainly a product of your neural network. If you damage someones brain enough, you can completely eliminate their consciousness without killing them. If you were able to wipe someone's memory completely clean, then they would basically become an infant again, with no self awareness or proper perception.
      The "sense of self" an/or consciousness is also what brings about a heart beat. If you don't believe that, there's no use arguing. We are talking about different "conscisousness" again.

    9. #159
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      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      It is related to brain chemistry and also awareness. The "sense of self" is still the absolute condition ("I"), regardless of what perceptions arise.
      The "I" is just a result of past and present perceptions, nothing else. Awareness is the product of brain chemistry, it can not be separated from it.

    10. #160
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      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      The "sense of self" an/or consciousness is also what brings about a heart beat. If you don't believe that, there's no use arguing. We are talking about different "conscisousness" again.
      ...What?

    11. #161
      Psychonaut pringlechip's Avatar
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      If you've read Godel, Escher, Bach you know that mathematcal equations, at more complex levels, begin to refer to themselves. At the level of molecules and 0/1 networks (which is what the brain is) this manifests as life. Yes, digital organisms are alive, and will continue to evolve.

      Think of how the first cells operated, probably very much like how our simple programs do. Function.
      have you ever been so close to a dream that once you step upon the doorstep and start knocking at what might be there, no answer? twisting the doorknob does not help nor doe clenching fist upon the dependent solidity of barriers.
      there is a silent sorrow to the...

      - Unknown

    12. #162
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      Quote Originally Posted by pringlechip View Post
      If you've read Godel, Escher, Bach you know that mathematcal equations, at more complex levels, begin to refer to themselves. At the level of molecules and 0/1 networks (which is what the brain is) this manifests as life. Yes, digital organisms are alive, and will continue to evolve.
      Lol, sorry that went right over my head... how does that work?

      Quote Originally Posted by A Roxxor View Post
      ...What?
      Do you believe that life has valid existence or is it "just an accident of the universe?" If you think "life" is valid, I say consciousness is the life-force, and it dominates our choices and prevailing intelligence.

      Quote Originally Posted by SnakeCharmer View Post
      The "I" is just a result of past and present perceptions, nothing else. Awareness is the product of brain chemistry, it can not be separated from it.
      That personal "I" is the false self, yes. I'm talking about the impersonal "I" that is in complete Unity with the Universe.

      Explain why awareness is a product of brain chemistry. :/

    13. #163
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      You aren't making any sense at all.

      Consciousness is a concept invented by humans to describe a specific behavior. Behavior is an emergent property of systems like organisms who have nervous systems and can accurately, actively respond to complex external and internal stimuli.

      I think what you are missing or stepping over here is that consciousness isn't some mystical thing that humans have (Though arguably our behavior is as complex as it gets) it is a behavior. Consciousness is what a system has when it can can actively determine itself from other systems and refer to itself. All behaviors are derived from neural activity, thus consciousness is derived from it as well.

    14. #164
      Member sheogorath's Avatar
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      IMO, stuff that is alive must have independent reasoning, IE: not AI

      However, this brings upon the question of if WE are just a complex AI program following a set of rules that a higher race has given us.

      this question was actually brought up when a friend and i were messing around with cleverbot. The program appears real, but after debate, we came to conclusion that the thing that makes it alive is the ability to reason and infer.

      also, what makes us alive? I mean, we are just a network of cells sending information to each other are we not? and our brains are a complex network of nerves and stored reaction, are they not?
      Last edited by sheogorath; 10-18-2009 at 01:49 AM.

    15. #165
      Miss Sixy <span class='glow_FFFFFF'>Maria92</span>'s Avatar
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      I would say...maybe? It's not "alive" by our understanding of the term, but perhaps we're computer programs, too. How do we know that we're not merely the AI creations of another race of beings?

      I would define life as follows:
      It must be able to reproduce, if even just at the cellular level
      It must be able to adapt
      It must be able to respond independently, without some "omnipotent" being directly influencing its behavior.

      Probably some other criteria, but these are the best ones I can come up with. So, following this definition of life, the computer programs would be considered to be alive, provided humans weren't mucking about too much with them.

      Click the sig for my Dream Journal
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    16. #166
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      In response to the original question, yes, these organisms do reflect certain aspect of how we usually perceive life, and thus is does indeed classify as a kind of life. Keep in mind though, that we have different kinds of life in this world. Some life doesn't have a brain and some life is single-celled.

      About the entire interesting discussion we have going on in here, then my personal point of view, is that our brain is merely an ultra complex neural network. We do not have free will, as free will is an illogical concept. Everything we think, everything we feel, every reaction that we have to any kind of stimuli, is based in earlier experiences and stimuli, thus, what happens in the universe around us, our environment, is what defines us.
      That said, I believe that quantum mechanics imbues the universe with a certain randomnes, which unfortunately doesn't allow us to say we have free will, but atleast it makes the universe completely unpredictable, and thus our lifes and what we experience are not completely predestined.

      Believing in souls, and that souls give us some kind of free will, has always appeared to me as a desperate move that people make, so that they can feel more secure in their existence.

      Before somebody jumps me and says "Then how come I'm not just running around doing random things all the time. We are completely random, right?", then re-read what I wrote. If you still feel I need to clarify my views, or if you feel that my views are faulty (the entire quantum thing might be faulty, I'm not very knowledged on the subject), then please, go ahead.

      I think this entire discussion is very very interesting and engaging, and I'm impressed that we've managed to keep it as civil as we have.

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      Lost count of how many lucid dreams I've had
      ---------

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