Kevin's Watch Forum Index
 HomeHome   MemberlistMemberlist   RegisterRegister   SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   FAQFAQ   StatisticsStatistics  SudokuSudoku   Phoogle MapPhoogle Map 
 AlbumAlbum StoresStores   StoresItems Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

How Does Evolution Produce Consciousnes/Reason?
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 12, 13, 14
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Close
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Vraith
LibTard, Mr. Reliable.


Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 10155

Thanks: 17
Thanked 94 Times in 91 Posts

Location: everywhere, all the time
27918 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Raver1 Wraith1 Caesure


PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
I'm saying our consciousness is greater, and has allowed us to accomplish incredible things. I hold it in higher regard than our intelligence.

Does an intelligent program come up with the ideas humans do/have? No.


I agree on the hierarchy of us compared to all known other species.
[[for a book that is generally not great, a little fun, with a couple interesting ideas involving known species, check out "Toolmaker Koan." If you can get it cheap/free]].
But I think, one way or another, intelligence and consciousness are tightly bound/correlated.
As far as I know, there are no species that are highly conscious and yet stupid, nor highly intelligent but non-conscious.
There are several ways of explaining/interpreting/cause-effect chaining/feed[back]ing that relationship---but the entanglement remains.

On the second---you bet your ass "intelligent" programs generate ideas. Not only ones we have had, but ones we NEVER had. [[and in some cases, ideas we might not be ABLE to have]]
But they are only "intelligent," not intelligent, produce "ideas" [procedures, outcomes, results] not ideas [awareness, understanding, meaning].

Tangentially, that's why I believe cyborging is our best hope.
Every machine we make even remotely similar to current machines will not be really intelligent or conscious.
If/when we make intelligent machines, on different bases, similar to ours, they will ALSO have similar limits to ours [[including, but not limited to, bigotry/bias, irrationality and mental illness]].
Instead, we just integrate them [which is a fuckload easier anyway] and it's a win-win.

_________________
the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
-------------------------------------------------------
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-------------------------------------------------------
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Skyweir
Lord of Light


Joined: 16 Mar 2002
Posts: 13449

Thanks: 16
Thanked 52 Times in 52 Posts

Location: Australia
19007 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Lord's Staff1 Oath of Peace1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh for crying out loud! Sorry, Sky. I don't know how it happened. I was trying to respond to your post, and somehow edited it. I know darned well I didn't hit the edit button. But I can't get yours back now.

F&F
_________________
health and healing

'Smoke me a kipper .. I'll be back for breakfast!'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Fist and Faith
Magister Vitae


Joined: 01 Dec 2002
Posts: 18103

Thanks: 97
Thanked 90 Times in 86 Posts


8911 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Foul Duck1 Lord Mhoram's Victory1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
Fist and Faith wrote:
Vraith wrote:
We don't think of the behavioral/emergent properties of carbon as "irreducible" to helium in the way it appears you are trying to treat consciousness as distinct from brains.
The emergent properties of carbon and helium are materially reducible.

Vraith wrote:
It is in no way surprising, mysterious, weird, that a thing as complex as brains would have "irreducible" properties.
That happens everywhere...
My position is that it does not happen anywhere else.


The next two things together: those are debatable positions/claims.
But THAT you hold them shows me the boundaries/shape of your irreducibilities.
I THINK that shape is too rigid, and the borders too impermeable--such that [I THINK] the only end results of your conceptions is either:
A: Consciousness is an entity/thing that, somewhat like that math would exist/be true whether material things/beings were real or not, would be even if things weren't.
I suppose it's a possibility. And possibly in keeping with Nagel's idea, Z? A universal consciousness, huge all-encompassing. But certain arrangements of matter - brains, for example - focus it into specific manifestations of consciousness.

It all reminds me of something that happened in an issue of Silver Surfer. Eternity is a cosmic entity; the embodiment of all life. Galactus asked why a particular huge chain of events took place. Eternity said, "It is not my way to act as a being. Rather, I meditated on the idea of pure continuity. And from this meditation came the manifestation." Etc etc. (Damned good storyline. One of the highpoints of comics, imo.)


Vraith wrote:
B: Can't exist, can't be what we think it is. Which puts meaning right out. [there are various flavors of that, most of epiphenomenalism, for instance]
I don't see a path from where you start to any other possibilities.
[[which doesn't mean there aren't any...]]
You recently told Z, "But there are many people very deep in the field who say no." What known fact, or even consensus of opinion, of "what we think it is" could my positions/claims say can't exist?


I believe the brain, materially reducible though it is, has achieved consciousness. And I believe consciousness is non-materially reducible. I don't have any idea how it can be. Seems impossible. But no other explanation seems possible, either, and this one does not introduce anything that we don't seem to be able to find to explain this impossible thing.
_________________
We are not required to save the world. We are required to stand up as truly as we can for what we love. -SRD
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Skyweir
Lord of Light


Joined: 16 Mar 2002
Posts: 13449

Thanks: 16
Thanked 52 Times in 52 Posts

Location: Australia
19007 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Lord's Staff1 Oath of Peace1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
Oh for crying out loud! Sorry, Sky. I don't know how it happened. I was trying to respond to your post, and somehow edited it. I know darned well I didn't hit the edit button. But I can't get yours back now.

F&F

You deleted my post????????????? Shocked
_________________
health and healing

'Smoke me a kipper .. I'll be back for breakfast!'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Skyweir
Lord of Light


Joined: 16 Mar 2002
Posts: 13449

Thanks: 16
Thanked 52 Times in 52 Posts

Location: Australia
19007 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Lord's Staff1 Oath of Peace1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luckily for me .. it was still in my copy history Wink Razz

.............................................................. So this is what I wrote............


I see what wayfriend is talking about so will address both your comments.

Fist and Faith wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Fist and Faith wrote:
Sky, what do you think the reason is that we cannot communicate in any significant way with the smartest animal, despite some pretty serious efforts?

I would dispute that as a fact. We can sign with gorillas. Dogs can follow complicated commands and know the names of things. Cats have become our overlords. Our knowledge of the intelligence of other species grows daily.
I'm talking about much more than that, as I suspect you know. Is the reason we can't discuss consciousness, meaning, and math with them simply that we don't understand their language?


Our lack does not denote an absence in consciousness or intelligence in animals. Because we have not yet cracked the entire code to enable us to communicate with all animals species .. does not infer that communication is not possible.

And I work with animals, sheep dogs, and they respond to hundreds of commands communicated by humans to them, and use those commands to round sheep, guide them, recover wayward ones etc..

Ive trained goats, horses and dogs .. they are intelligent animals. They are clearly "conscious" and possess "consciousness" .. this is acknowledged in science and philosophical science. This very point to me indicates that human "consciousness" is a similar thing. It occurs throughout mamalia, and animals possessing complex nervous systems .. but I dont know about invertibrates .. but science authority is mixed on this issue.

Quote:
Block (1995) points out that consciousness (at least as the term is used in science) is not limited to its phenomenal, qualitative character - there is also a cognitive component.


The fact that consciousness has a cognitive component .. suggests that all animals with consciousness has intelligence. And of course they do .. that is incontrovertibly true.

What all this tells me is that human consciousness and human intelligence is not that different to animal consciousness and animal intelligence .. and given we are in fact animals .. why would it be? Now do not make the mistake of thinking I am suggesting that on the continuum of intelligent beings Wink if you will .. that humans are not a significantly more advanced than all other animals. Indeed they cant hold a candle to us .. well lacking opposable thumbs and all .. its a lot more difficult for them than it is for us Wink no?

FF wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Fist and Faith wrote:
Why do you think a dolphin can get a piece of fishing line tangled across it's dorsal fin, which works it's way through the fin over a period of weeks, severing it, while it's pod mates do nothing?
I
What has equipped a dolphin for an understanding of fishing line? This is ignorance, not un-intelligence nor non-consciousness.

You don't need an understanding of fishing line to see that this thing is damaging your friend - if you have the capacity to see damage being caused in another. Try biting this tiny thing to see if it snaps, if you have the capacity to understand that you can affect things. Grab a sharp rock or shell in your mouth and try to cut it?

There is more than ignorance of fishing line at work.

First .. a mammal without opposable thumbs is not able to remove a fishing line caught in its own dorsal fin. Thats a non sequitur .. and tbh Im surprised you raised such a scenario.

But ok .. and you suggest that others in his pod idly watch on. Well again .. no opposable thumbs .. what would you expect the pod to do. However, your scenario assumes idleness or a lack of consideration that you assume one dolphin has for another dolphin.

Are you suggest this inidicates a lack of morals in the pod? And as such somehow evidences their lack of cognitive ability .. or that they are less principled than humans? Do you see this isnt a sound basis to progress a discussion on animal consciousness?

The thing is dolphins are extremely intelligent .. and disregarding the narrow assumptions aimed to affirm your view of human consciousness ... it is highly likely that the dolphin would in fact attempt to remedy the problem. I have seen dolphins save dogs who have fallen into water, return items thrown into the water. They are very intelligent mammals.

FF wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Fist and Faith wrote:
Why does no species do anything - such as hide, communicate, make organized attacks - about the clear threat we are to them?

I would dispute that as a fact, too.
We've wiped out quite a few species, and seen no signs that they were aware of their impending doom. The passenger pigeon could have kept away. They could have tried.


Well Ff .. oxymoronically, we are the "superior" intelligence, superior physique .. and a direct consequence of that is .. we have greater capability to destroy and wipe out other entire species and bird life, animal life etc.

That does not prove, nor indicate that those species we wipe out are not intelligent, nor do they possess consciousness. All animals under threat flee, take flight or fight. The same survival responses that humans still exhibit.

Also animals inhabit in small groups or communities, just like humans used to .. in numbers insignificant in a mass defensive Laughing at any rate .. and its no real contest is it?

FF wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Fist and Faith wrote:
Do you think we would be the masters of this planet if we had our mental abilities, but did not have our opposable thumb?

You could argue that opposable thumbs are the result of mental abilities. Because natural selection would ensure that the physiognomy best suited to capitalize on intelligence would evolve. If we didn't get the thumbs, we would have gotten tentacle-fingers or prehensile nose or something.
Other primates can hold a hammer, or knife. They do nothing with them on par with what we do with them. They are no threat to us. The ability to handle tools is not the most important thing. But it didn't help the apes achieve greatness, and doesn't mean we couldn't have achieved greatness without it.


FF wrote:
Vraith wrote:
Oh, and WF is right. There's a lot of consciousness going on out there.
Indeed there is. I never said otherwise. I'm saying our consciousness is greater, and has allowed us to accomplish incredible things. I hold it in higher regard than our intelligence. Does an intelligent program come up with the ideas humans do/have? No. Because the striving is not part of intelligence. With less intelligence, we would have to struggle more - but we would still manage what we wanted. With less consciousness, we would be like every other species and intelligent program.
Simply drifting from day to day, always the same.


No one is arguing that human intelligence is not greater than animal intelligence .. again a non sequitur. However, I argue that consciousness is not intelligence .. I agree that consciousness has a cognitive component as per Blochs view .. but I think it gives rise to intelligence and critical thought.

I see consciousness as absolutely necessary to human survival and evolution. I see it exactly the same in animals, without consciousness they would not be able to evolve or survive. Consciousness and intelligence are part of all organisms with complex nervous systems... thats how we have them.

We have advanced more than other species because of a number of factors, not least being our physical evolution. Humans are truly amazing beings, they have achieved awesome advancements through the stone age, bronze age, iron age to modern times. We are at the very top of the evolution, consciousness and intelligence spectrum ... lesser species still possess consciousness and intelligence without the degree of physical and intelligence advances that homo sapien have themselves acquired.
_________________
health and healing

'Smoke me a kipper .. I'll be back for breakfast!'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 17333

Thanks: 37
Thanked 173 Times in 166 Posts


19562 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for those smart people who disagree with me, I'd love to have an in depth discussion of those points! I'm not saying I could defeat their arguments, I'd just like the opportunity and challenge of investigating this in more detail. We can take our time. I'd like to sharpen my position. So feel free to post the evidence, V! Or if you'd like to read the Nagel book MIND AND COSMOS we could discuss that, too. I'd reread it.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Skyweir
Lord of Light


Joined: 16 Mar 2002
Posts: 13449

Thanks: 16
Thanked 52 Times in 52 Posts

Location: Australia
19007 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Lord's Staff1 Oath of Peace1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
... I've said that consciousness is "the bridge between meaning and matter" but that's probably a bad metaphor. It's an intensification of a relation that is already there. Mind doesn't invent it, but rather intuits it.


This I also dont get .. how can human consciousness .. or even all living organism consciousness have a connection with the universe, or matter? What matter?

Is it because it animates matter? Organisms need to be conscious to animate.

Z wrote:
But the fact that matter produces mind makes your point that meaning is "imaginary" a moot point. Either material things already have meaning/essence, or certain material things--i.e. brains--can create it and assign it. So if matter doesn't have meaning, then how does matter create it? How can matter know it? The irreducibility is there no matter how you consider it.
Ok so we, our conscious minds give matter meaning, human consciousness assigns meaning to matter, to objects?? It seems a long bow to draw imo .. yet also a direct one .. of course our intelligence assigns meaning to matter, by defining it, labelling it, describing it .. assigning parameters to it. Is that what you mean?

Beyond that .. consciousness is not in fact a bridge between meaning and matter .. per universal consciousness .. where is the evidence of this?


Z wrote:
I think that all life is unique in how it interacts with meaning.


How does life interact with "meaning"? Isnt it really our perception of life that interacts with "meaning" by the meaning we give it?

Z wrote:
Even when they are operating on the basis of instinct and habit, they are still moving about according to a different level of order than a comet following its orbit.
They? Meaning planets, universal bodies? They move according to a different level of order? How do they do that?

Gravity is why planets, other bodies move the way they do. Its not a mystery is it more than that?

Quote:
Like all orbiting bodies, comets follow Kepler's Laws - the closer they are to the Sun, the faster they move.
There is no "meaning" beyond the laws that govern its experience.

Z wrote:
A comet may be expressing its relation to the laws of gravity, but little else. Life uniquely takes advantage of meaningful differences in the environment, even when they are not consciously assigning significance to this meaning.
Id like to understand what you mean by "meaningful differences" .. do you mean .. changes in gravity that may alter its vector? Or do you mean changes in speed as it nears the sun, those differences? If so I get that .. but think there may be a better descriptor here. Maybe replace "meaningful" with "significant" or change etc

Z wrote:
Lifeforms are complex information processing systems. It should not be surprising that the more complex they become, that they develop consciousness and intelligence.
This I completely agree. To my mind it is part and parcel of the evolutionary process of all life forms.

Z wrote:
They already enjoy a special relationship with meaning merely in virtue of being alive.

They do? I dont see this. Let say a planet .. what relationship does a planet have with meaning .. in and of itself .. We assign its meaning. Is this not simply an example of anthropormorphising? Imbuing objects with human like characteristics?

What special relationship with meaning does a dolphin have? A goat, or a single cell organism?

Is it really "meaning" that you are describing? Trying to understand.
_________________
health and healing

'Smoke me a kipper .. I'll be back for breakfast!'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Fist and Faith
Magister Vitae


Joined: 01 Dec 2002
Posts: 18103

Thanks: 97
Thanked 90 Times in 86 Posts


8911 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Foul Duck1 Lord Mhoram's Victory1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
Skyweir wrote:
Oh for crying out loud! Sorry, Sky. I don't know how it happened. I was trying to respond to your post, and somehow edited it. I know darned well I didn't hit the edit button. But I can't get yours back now.

F&F

You deleted my post????????????? Shocked
Indeed! My apologies. The problem seems to have been that I was using my cell. I do that often enough, but it didn't behave this time. It edited instead of responding. My first actual attempt to edit it, with "For crying out loud" responded instead of editing.


Anyway...



Skyweir wrote:
FF wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Fist and Faith wrote:
Why do you think a dolphin can get a piece of fishing line tangled across it's dorsal fin, which works it's way through the fin over a period of weeks, severing it, while it's pod mates do nothing?
I
What has equipped a dolphin for an understanding of fishing line? This is ignorance, not un-intelligence nor non-consciousness.

You don't need an understanding of fishing line to see that this thing is damaging your friend - if you have the capacity to see damage being caused in another. Try biting this tiny thing to see if it snaps, if you have the capacity to understand that you can affect things. Grab a sharp rock or shell in your mouth and try to cut it?

There is more than ignorance of fishing line at work.

First .. a mammal without opposable thumbs is not able to remove a fishing line caught in its own dorsal fin. Thats a non sequitur .. and tbh Im surprised you raised such a scenario.

But ok ..
I think Wosbald said it best:
Wosbald wrote:
+JMJ+

@Sky,

What on earth are you talking about?
Despite being an atheist, I left the JMJ in there, because, often enough, that's how I feel reading your posts. I never said anything about the dolphin removing the fishing line from its own fin. Trying to invalidate my point that way is... Well, a few words spring to mind, but I'll just stick with dishonest.

My point is that the pod mates either didn't notice, or chose not to do anything about it. As Spock said - they are unable to respond, or unwilling to respond. A group of beings with the capacity to understand what is going on there could have figured out a way to help, regardless of their physical limitations, if they wanted to. Did they not have the capacity; or did they not want to?

Skyweir wrote:
We are at the very top of the evolution, consciousness and intelligence spectrum
This is what I've been saying to everyone these last few days. So what does it mean to be at the top of the spectrum in regards to consciousness?





Skyweir wrote:
Our lack does not denote an absence in consciousness or intelligence in animals. Because we have not yet cracked the entire code to enable us to communicate with all animals species .. does not infer that communication is not possible.
No, there is not an absence. I'm not aware of anyone posting here who has ever said they do not have consciousness or intelligence. I'm talking about the type, or depth, of consciousness and intelligence. We are never going to discuss Shakespeare with a member of another species of Earth animal. Not because we have not figured out their language. It's because they don't have the capacity for such a discussion.


Yes, many animals can be trained. Skinner taught a rat to raise a flag, stand on its hind legs, and salute it. Sheep dogs have greater consciousness and intelligence. They are more flexible. They have more freedom in how they accomplish their tasks? But they're never going to build fences in certain spots that are difficult for even them to monitor. Do they drag fencing material there to let us know what they have in mind? They're never going to give us their opinion on which they prefer - Hamlet or King Lear. Those concepts are beyond them.
_________________
We are not required to save the world. We are required to stand up as truly as we can for what we love. -SRD
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 17333

Thanks: 37
Thanked 173 Times in 166 Posts


19562 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
how can human consciousness .. or even all living organism consciousness have a connection with the universe, or matter? What matter?

Is it because it animates matter? Organisms need to be conscious to animate.
Well, it's two-way: matter produces consciousness and then consciousness knows matter. That's a direct connection, either way you consider it. We alter physical world in ways that would be impossible without understanding the mechanisms of the physical world. Atom bombs, for instance, don't happen by accident. They only happen by creatures who can figure out the deepest levels of physical reality.

But I actually meant that mind is a bridge between meaning and matter. This is clear in my atom bomb example. We bend matter into a "circle" where matter acts upon matter in ways that can only happen with consciousness/intelligence being in that loop. We are atoms that build atom bombs, but only because we are atoms that can intuit the meaning inherent in physical laws. That meaning isn't imaginary or assigned, it is discovered. Otherwise, the atoms bombs wouldn't work.

Skyweir wrote:
Ok so we, our conscious minds give matter meaning, human consciousness assigns meaning to matter, to objects?? It seems a long bow to draw imo .. yet also a direct one .. of course our intelligence assigns meaning to matter, by defining it, labelling it, describing it .. assigning parameters to it. Is that what you mean?
Whereas we do assign meaning to matter beyond what it already means (e.g. a wedding ring "means" love or commitment), we also discover inherent meaning in matter, as I've illustrated above. When Newton formulated his laws of gravity, he understood what it meant for an apple to fall (according to the story), namely, that it was the same phenomenon that holds the moon in orbit. That meaning is not imaginary or assigned. Like I said, it is discovered.

Skyweir wrote:
Beyond that .. consciousness is not in fact a bridge between meaning and matter .. per universal consciousness .. where is the evidence of this?
How else do atoms discover the laws of nature??? We are atoms. We discover the physical laws that govern atoms. What is the connection between A) atoms and B) the meaningful laws that govern their motions? Answer: mind. There is no other explanation for the fact that atoms can complete this "loop" of utilizing the very laws that govern them.


Skyweir wrote:
How does life interact with "meaning"? Isnt it really our perception of life that interacts with "meaning" by the meaning we give it?
There is a meaningful difference between summer and winter. In the winter, food is scarce. So when a bird flies south for the winter, it is interacting with this meaningful difference. It may not understand what it is doing, but the interaction with this temporal and temperate pattern exists nonetheless. Rock don't roll south for the winter. Only living things have these complex behaviors and migrations that cannot be described in terms of pure physics or chemistry, but also require some kind of awareness of their reality.

Skyweir wrote:
Z wrote:
Even when they are operating on the basis of instinct and habit, they are still moving about according to a different level of order than a comet following its orbit.
They? Meaning planets, universal bodies? They move according to a different level of order? How do they do that?
You are making this more difficult than it needs to be. Do planets have instincts and habits?? I was talking about living things! Obviously!


Some things move around the universe according to physical laws (e.g. planets and comets), while other things move around the universe in ways that can only come about by a consciousness interacting with meaningful distinctions in the environment--meaningful in terms of life and death issues.

Life gives matter a level of meaning that it otherwise would not have--a scope of action that is relevant to this distinction. But it also interacts with matter on levels that exist even if the living beings weren't there, such as time and space. The point is that there IS meaning in the world, and living beings--even "lower" animals--not only detect it but also sustain their lives through this detection. That is not imaginary. It's not an assignment of meaning.

"Meaning" is a difficult word. Usually, in philosophy, it's used in terms of language and how words carry meaning, how minds understand meaning, how do we communicate, what are the limits of language, what role does logic play, etc. Language introduces a host of issues.

However, I'm talking about a more commonsense use of the word. I'm talking about some things in the physical world imply other things. The physical world has order, cause/effect, and relations. It makes sense to ask, "Hey, what does the sudden appearance of that light in the sky mean?" And it makese sense in more than some omen of war or anger of the gods. It might just imply the arrival of an extinction level collision. It's the assumption behind all of science: we can figure out how the universe works because some things imply other things. The expansion of a star means it is going to die soon. The path of a comet means it is caught in the sun's gravity. The melting glaciers means that the planet is warming. There are real patterns of interaction in the world, and some events can be signs for other events.

If the world didn't have inherent meaning, we wouldn't be able to figure any of this out. Everything would be unpredictable chaos.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Skyweir
Lord of Light


Joined: 16 Mar 2002
Posts: 13449

Thanks: 16
Thanked 52 Times in 52 Posts

Location: Australia
19007 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Lord's Staff1 Oath of Peace1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well FF .. there was no dishonesty in my comments. Its kinda sad that you have interpreted them that way. You presented a fete accompli .. a rigid scenario that did not enable the possibility of communal pod action.

The following link is about dolphin social structures.
https://www.dolphins-world.com/dolphin-social-structure/

Quote:
If an individual [dolphin] is in distress, it uses a particular sound that indicates help is needed, so the pod responds quickly.

Dolphins are very social animals and do assist one another when one is in strife. Many species not only are protective of their young but of each other. My point was genuine. As far as removing fishing lines, that is probably beyond their physical capability to remedy. My .comments were not dishonest .. they were identifying a number of actual reasons removing a fishing line might be significantly challenging for a mammal lacking in opposable thumbs. But you knew that when you scribed the scenario .. Big Grin

But my point is not how other species do or do not interrelate ... its that they possess consciousness as any organism with complex nervous systems do. Its a direct result of an organisms evolutionary development, as it is ours. This then despite how far human intelligence has progressed .. makes to my mind .. "human consciousness" not particularly unique.

Consciousness itself .. gives rise to an awake state, our sense of self awareness, our awareness of our environments and absolutely has a cognitive component ... which gives rise to human intellect .. as it does animal intellect.

To my mind "consciousness" is no mystery or mystical concept. Humans have progressed far more than any other animals species .. because of our use of intellect, as well as our anatomical evolution.

Not all conscious humans exercise or even possess the same degree of intellect .. and it is intelligence that gives meaning to matter, not consciousness imv.

https://onphilosophy.wordpress.com/2006/06/05/consciousness-and-intelligence/

Is it not logical to nuance the elements involved in human development thusly?

I have to go but will come back and finish later

..............................
Back

Quote:
Consider for example that intelligence seems to come in a spectrum, with humans ranking as the most intelligent (so far) and the other animals falling somewhere lower on the scale. Consciousness however seems to be very much a "you have it or you don't" kind of thing.


Some interesting links ..


https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/theory-consciousness/201708/human-consciousness-and-human-intelligence

Quote:
More generally, we regard intelligent behaviour as the capacity for solving problems and consider it to be inextricably linked to evolutionary fitness. The German biochemist and Nobel laureate Manfred Eigen, provides definitions of learning, memory and intelligence at the molecular level that suggest how organisms might have evolved such behaviours (Eigen & de Maeyer, 1966). Clearly, not every behavioural trait is a sign of intelligence, but when the environment is unpredictable in terms of food resources or the presence of predators, innate behaviour is maladaptive and threatens survival. Fitness favours those organisms that can adapt.

The ability to learn from experience and adapt behaviour accordingly is most apparent among the higher vertebrates. Teaching a chimpanzee 300 words using sign language or observing that chimps stack boxes to reach a hanging banana are indeed impressive, but these are still experimental designs that impose human criteria of consciousness and intelligence. Chimpanzees can take hours, days or months to learn how to solve some laboratory problems, but they need only seconds to learn a particular dominance status when they encounter a new social situation.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3245704/

Humans have evolved far beyond other species because of their physical advantages and the fact that humans have more cortical neurons than other mammals .. and that it is this that has enabled our greater interaction with learning and memory, complex problem solving etc.. which led to the development and optimising of human intelligence.

http://embor.embopress.org/content/12/12/1221

Quote:
During 3.5 million years of human evolution, an enormous increase in brain size has occurred, from a volume of 450cm3 found in Australopithecines to about 1350 cm3 in modern Homo sapiens and 1500 cm3 in Homo neanderthalensis, which is mostly the result of a positively allometric growth of the cortex (Fig. I). Experts agree that such a rapid growth, independent of its evolutionary 'driving forces', must be based on relatively simple genetic mechanisms

.... Of the more general brain features discussed here, number of cortical neurons combined with a high conduc- tion velocity of cortical fibers correlates best with intelligence.


Interestingly, whales are the closest to humans in the number of cortical neurons they possess.

Quote:
The fact that intelligent behaviour is apparent in higher apes, corvids and parrots suggests that social interactions might be a prerequisite for consciousness and intelligence. All these animals live in groups or flocks, so social interaction is inevitable. Similarly, human intelligence evolved among our ancestors through the positive feedback implicit in social interactions. But there are many other organisms, including microorganisms, that have adopted social lifestyles-indeed multicellular organisms can be regarded as colonies of socially interacting cells-and that could benefit from intelligent behaviour through social interaction.


http://embor.embopress.org/content/12/12/1221[quote]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC49701/pdf/pnas01090-0042.pdf
_________________
health and healing

'Smoke me a kipper .. I'll be back for breakfast!'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Skyweir
Lord of Light


Joined: 16 Mar 2002
Posts: 13449

Thanks: 16
Thanked 52 Times in 52 Posts

Location: Australia
19007 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Lord's Staff1 Oath of Peace1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Z I dont think atoms discover laws of nature .. and we are comprised of atoms .. we are not an atom. Are you suggesting individual atoms are independently sentient?

Mh point about planets .. is that they do not operate on "instinct" .. they do not possess consciousness.

I guess I question your use of language .. and the descriptors you are choosing.

Also I dont think the world does have "inherent meaning" .. I think it only has the meaning that human intelligence assigns it .. as we grow in our understanding of our natural world.

I gather you mean the world is structured by laws .. and those laws etc are learnable and decipherable through the application of intelligence.

Maybe it is a semantic issue .. perhaps we need agreed definitions to represent more clearly our meaning Wink
_________________
health and healing

'Smoke me a kipper .. I'll be back for breakfast!'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 17333

Thanks: 37
Thanked 173 Times in 166 Posts


19562 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
I gather you mean the world is structured by laws .. and those laws etc are learnable and decipherable through the application of intelligence.
Yes! And the fact that the world is structured by laws means that it has an inherent structure. I'm calling that structure "meaning." Order. Pattern. Relations. Whatever. The fact that intelligence can decipher it is just another way of saying that intelligence can discern meaning in the world.

I think "meaning" is a proper term for this, because the order, structure, or laws in the universe are formal structures, mathematical structures, that can't be reduced to the matter itself. Take gravity, for instance. It's not really a force, it's a warp in the geometry of space. The same goes for all forces, really. They are fields. They aren't things tugging on other things. They are structures in reality. In fact, matter itself may be nothing other than these structures, with no "substance" at the bottom. Substance itself may be an illusion, a product of our senses. A human approximation of a quantum reality. The truth of the world may in fact be purely structural. Reality is more of a system of relations than a bunch of stuff. And what is a relation made of? It's not matter. It's meaning.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fist and Faith
Magister Vitae


Joined: 01 Dec 2002
Posts: 18103

Thanks: 97
Thanked 90 Times in 86 Posts


8911 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Foul Duck1 Lord Mhoram's Victory1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
I think "meaning" is a proper term for this, because the order, structure, or laws in the universe are formal structures, mathematical structures
What are informal structures? Do you mean non-mathematical structures?

Zarathustra wrote:
that can't be reduced to the matter itself. Take gravity, for instance. It's not really a force, it's a warp in the geometry of space.
HEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

Gravity is a non-materially reducible force that affects matter!!!!!!
And it is created by matter.

It is reducible, though not materially. I wonder if consciousness is also.

And yes, I'm calling it a force. The force of gravity is created by warping spacetime. How should a force be created?

Zarathustra wrote:
The same goes for all forces, really. They are fields. They aren't things tugging on other things. They are structures in reality. In fact, matter itself may be nothing other than these structures, with no "substance" at the bottom. Substance itself may be an illusion, a product of our senses. A human approximation of a quantum reality. The truth of the world may in fact be purely structural.
Same for matter/substance. It's not an illusion. This is how it is achieved. You once said solids weren't solid, because there is space between the particles. But that's not the definition. Solid, matter, substance. These things are defined because of certain characteristics, not because of the way those characteristics are achieved.

Zarathustra wrote:
Reality is more of a system of relations than a bunch of stuff. And what is a relation made of? It's not matter. It's meaning.
I would say it's cause & effect. Calling it a relation and saying it has meaning are our interpretations of the web of chains of cause and effect. As Rorschach (Watchmen, not Hermann) said:
Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. Has no meaning save what we choose to impose.

I guess you say the chains and webs are meaning. I think they're just chains and webs.

But then, our minds are always looking for meaning. I mean, that's what they do all. the. time. Maybe they look for meaning because they arise from/are grown in, meaning.

Or something like that...
_________________
We are not required to save the world. We are required to stand up as truly as we can for what we love. -SRD
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Skyweir
Lord of Light


Joined: 16 Mar 2002
Posts: 13449

Thanks: 16
Thanked 52 Times in 52 Posts

Location: Australia
19007 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Lord's Staff1 Oath of Peace1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmm .. brilliant Rorschach quote FF .. I rather like that one.

I am not sure its entirely accurate .. though it could be ... I think existence is absolutely random, and yet there seems evidence of structure and pattern ...

... but as Rorschach claims perhaps it is only the meaning we design .. and it does shine the spotlight on the inevitable anthropomorphising of meaning and our relationship with data humans identify.

The fact that there are objective laws that govern certain systems .. like the movement and positioning of planets .. which do indicate structural features.


I can see Zs point too ..
_________________
health and healing

'Smoke me a kipper .. I'll be back for breakfast!'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Fist and Faith
Magister Vitae


Joined: 01 Dec 2002
Posts: 18103

Thanks: 97
Thanked 90 Times in 86 Posts


8911 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Foul Duck1 Lord Mhoram's Victory1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sky, it is dishonest to read my "The pod did not remove the fishing line", and respond with "It makes no sense to say it could remove the fishing line from itself". I did not raise such a scenario. You did. Then blamed it on me so you could dismiss it, throwing in a cute little "But ok .." What better word to describe that?

Opposable thumbs are not the only way to remove fishing line from your friend's dorsal fin. And it doesn't take human intelligence to think of some. Try biting it. Try to wedge your nose under it and snap it. Heck, the one whose fin is slowly being sawed of could swim - forward, nothing tricky like backward - around a coral reef our peer, and catch the line on something so it breaks. I'm sure there are other possible ways something without a thumb could manage this.

I'm sure dolphins do these things in other situations. Situations where they can perceive danger of the moment.

The problem is that dolphins don't have our consciousness. Our awareness. They are aware of things. They are aware of themselves. They are aware of others. But they are not aware of the future. They do not understand that the fishing line is causing damage to their friend that will become catastrophic. They see the line. They see the damage it has cause the partially severed fin. But they don't see that the damage will continue. They don't see the need to act. So they don't act.

Our consciousness is superior. We are aware of the future. We know what could happen, and what we want to happen. Not just moments from now. Days, months, years, centuries. That's not intelligence. Intelligence is how we go about it. It's consciousness. Nothing else on Earth has it, and that's why we are at the top.

This is why, as I said earlier, animals don't hide from is. Yes, of course they hide from present danger. But they don't hide as a species. Because they don't perceive the danger awaiting them in the future. Heck, individually, that come out of hiding when they no longer sense danger at the moment. Freakin' wildebeest sees a lion, and goes on high alert. But when the lion doesn't move for a lousy minute, it relaxes, and goes back to eating grass. It doesn't know what's going to happen, even though the lion is still right there.
_________________
We are not required to save the world. We are required to stand up as truly as we can for what we love. -SRD
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Skyweir
Lord of Light


Joined: 16 Mar 2002
Posts: 13449

Thanks: 16
Thanked 52 Times in 52 Posts

Location: Australia
19007 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Lord's Staff1 Oath of Peace1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
Sky, it is dishonest to read my "The pod did not remove the fishing line", and respond with "It makes no sense to say it could remove the fishing line from itself". I did not raise such a scenario. You did. Then blamed it on me so you could dismiss it, throwing in a cute little "But ok .." What better word to describe that?

Opposable thumbs are not the only way to remove fishing line from your friend's dorsal fin. And it doesn't take human intelligence to think of some. Try biting it. Try to wedge your nose under it and snap it. Heck, the one whose fin is slowly being sawed of could swim - forward, nothing tricky like backward - around a coral reef our peer, and catch the line on something so it breaks. I'm sure there are other possible ways something without a thumb could manage this.

I'm sure dolphins do these things in other situations. Situations where they can perceive danger of the moment.

The problem is that dolphins don't have our consciousness. Our awareness. They are aware of things. They are aware of themselves. They are aware of others. But they are not aware of the future. They do not understand that the fishing line is causing damage to their friend that will become catastrophic. They see the line. They see the damage it has cause the partially severed fin. But they don't see that the damage will continue. They don't see the need to act. So they don't act.

Our consciousness is superior. We are aware of the future. We know what could happen, and what we want to happen. Not just moments from now. Days, months, years, centuries. That's not intelligence. Intelligence is how we go about it. It's consciousness. Nothing else on Earth has it, and that's why we are at the top.

This is why, as I said earlier, animals don't hide from is. Yes, of course they hide from present danger. But they don't hide as a species. Because they don't perceive the danger awaiting them in the future. Heck, individually, that come out of hiding when they no longer sense danger at the moment. Freakin' wildebeest sees a lion, and goes on high alert. But when the lion doesn't move for a lousy minute, it relaxes, and goes back to eating grass. It doesn't know what's going to happen, even though the lion is still right there.


The honest genuine .. fact of the matter is that dolphins do act to assist fellow pod mates to the degree they are capable. Your scenario assumed they dont. I genuinely see your assignment of a limited and loaded scenario, as flawed. It is not only inaccurate, but it assumed only one flawed outcome. Dolphins would not intervene if one of the pod were in strife. It is wrong. Dolphins do assist one another. They will intervene, chew, nudge, do something to assist the dolphin in trouble.

However, moving on from that non starter .. I do argue ... that almost EVERY organism with complex nervous systems possesses consciousness .. I do argue that animals possess consciousness .. Yes they dont possess the same degree of intelligence as humans .. and we are indeed superior in our intellect, I have no argument with that assertion.

Simply google "do animals possess consciousness" .. Ive provided links previously to assist .. but here even wiki explains this scientific fact rather succinctly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_consciousness

Consciousness is NOT unique to humans. There is a wealth of research findings that animals possess "consciousness" .. it is not unique to humans as a species. Neither is intelligence for that matter ..

Quote:
It's the 21st Century. We can put people on the moon but we still don't understand our own consciousness," she said. "I think we need to recognize that we're part of an evolutionary progression and it would be very bizarre for animals to not have forms of consciousness.

From http://scienceline.org/2015/03/do-animals-have-consciousness/

"Scientists conclude that nonhuman animals are conscious beings" https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animal-emotions/201208/scientists-conclude-nonhuman-animals-are-conscious-beings

Quote:
Some might say we didn't really know that other animals were conscious but this is an incredibly naive view given what we know about the neurobiology and cognitive and emotional lives of other animals.


http://www.earthintransition.org/2012/07/scientists-declare-nonhuman-animals-are-conscious/

Quote:
Science leaders have reached a critical consensus: Humans are not the only conscious beings; other animals, specifically mammals and birds, are indeed conscious, too.


Quote:
The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in Non-Human Animals was publicly proclaimed in Cambridge, UK, on July 7, 2012, at the conclusion of the Conference, at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, by Philip Low, David Edelman and Christof Koch. _ The Declaration was signed by the conference participants that very evening, in the presence of Stephen Hawking, in the Balfour Room at the Hotel du Vin in Cambridge, UK.


Quote:
Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.

https://www.livescience.com/39481-time-to-declare-animal-sentience.html

Try to approach a rabbit, and see if it doesnt run, or a possum, or any non domesticated animal, they will run from humans .. as they "sense" danger, they know not to trust us.

If that were not the case, animals would curl up readily into our laps when we do no more than approach them.

As for wildebeests the fact that they do not maintain a constant state of alert
really doesnt mean they trust lions, it means they do not maintain a constant state of alert. Nothing more .. and it will undoubtedly lead to their detriment. This does not prove they lack consciousness .. perhaps they lack intelligence, or do not possess the degree of neural plasticity needed for high level
adaption and responsiveness. I dunno .. not a biologist etc .. or a scientist.

However, I take scientists at their word, if they have proven animals possess consciousness .. I think thats pretty compelling.
_________________
health and healing

'Smoke me a kipper .. I'll be back for breakfast!'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Fist and Faith
Magister Vitae


Joined: 01 Dec 2002
Posts: 18103

Thanks: 97
Thanked 90 Times in 86 Posts


8911 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Foul Duck1 Lord Mhoram's Victory1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobody here is arguing that animals do not have consciousness. To my knowledge, nobody here has ever held that position. You are wasting your time repeatedly arguing against a position that nobody is arguing for. You are preaching to the choir. You may, of course, continue to try to convince me of a position that I have been in full agreement with for decades, but I will no longer address it.

The topic at hand is whether or not there are degrees of consciousness, and whether or not humans have a higher degree than any other species. I say Yes to both. At least one type of consciousness that humans have that no other species has is awareness of the future.
In 'The Future of the Mind', Michio Kaku wrote:
With this framework for consciousness, we see that humans are not unique, and that there is a continuum of consciousness. As Charles Darwin once commented, "The difference between man and the higher animals, great as it is, is certainly one of degree and not of kind." But what separates human consciousness from the consciousness of animals? Humans are alone in the animal kingdom in understanding the concept of tomorrow. Unlike animals, we constantly ask ourselves "What if?" weeks, months, and even years into the future, so I believe that Level III consciousness creates a model of its place in the world and then simulates it into the future, by making rough predictions. We can summarize this as follows:

Human consciousness is a specific form of consciousness that creates a model of the world and then simulates it in time, by evaluating the past to simulate the future. This requires mediating and evaluating many feedback loops in order to make a decision to achieve a goal.
Z has posted, repeatedly and eloquently, about this. The connection between consciousness and intelligence is obvious, even if we can't nail down all the details. But they are different things. Our greater intelligence let's us understand things like math, building materials, and electricity. That is much more in the category of how we bring about the future we want. Our consciousness is why we bring it about, and the fact that that is what we're trying to do. The pyramids were built for kings to inhabit after they were dead. We have calendars, and the Mayans had one that began millennia BCE, and ended more than a thousand years after their empire collapsed. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted planted trees at the Biltmore Estate because of what they would look like in the future.


There is no question that humans are aware of the distant future. Animals are not. Bears eat in warm months to fatten up for hibernation. Squirrels gather and store nuts for the winter. I have never heard anyone say they suspect these animals consciously plan these things. I have always heard it is instinct, caused by various environmental triggers.
_________________
We are not required to save the world. We are required to stand up as truly as we can for what we love. -SRD
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 17333

Thanks: 37
Thanked 173 Times in 166 Posts


19562 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
I think "meaning" is a proper term for this, because the order, structure, or laws in the universe are formal structures, mathematical structures
What are informal structures? Do you mean non-mathematical structures?
"Formal" in terms of form, not in terms of fancy. Smile A formal structure is like logic or math, pure form without content. Syntax instead of semantics. So maybe I shouldn't have used "formal structure" in this context. The laws of nature definitely have content and semantics. They aren't purely mathematical. In fact, I've argued this very point in saying that the universe can't be subjected to Godel's theorem. So I'll have to retract my comment above.

But the relations themselves do have form, even if not pure form, and the fact that there is content/semantics doesn't invalidate my point that this is *meaning.* And meaning isn't material. That's what I was trying so say, the distinction I was trying to make. Meaning isn't made of atoms, but atoms certainly have meaning in terms of how they arrange themselves according to laws that have mathematical structures. They express this meaning in taking the forms that we see. And we discern this meaning when we figure out their structures to the extent that we understand them.

That's what explanations do: they give us understanding. How can there be understanding without meaning?

Fist and Faith wrote:
Gravity is a non-materially reducible force that affects matter!!!!!!
And it is created by matter.
Yeah, I think that physicists might disagree, lol. I think they are still trying to reduce gravity to gravitons, right?

Quote:
Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. Has no meaning save what we choose to impose.
If that was true, then science wouldn't be possible. And life would not have arisen. Natural selection isn't a random process. It "selects" for survival. That's how it builds complexity.

Fist and Faith wrote:
But then, our minds are always looking for meaning. I mean, that's what they do all. the. time. Maybe they look for meaning because they arise from/are grown in, meaning.

Or something like that...
Why would we evolve with a brain that is always looking for meaning if there is no meaning in the world? How would natural selection select for that? If there were no meaning, it would be absolutely no advantage for us to look for it. One of our brain's primary functions would be a complete waste of time and energy.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Close All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 12, 13, 14
Page 14 of 14

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by Earthpower © Kevin's Watch