What is Spirit?
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18-01-2014, 03:31 PM
RE: What is Spirit?
It's the thing American high school cheerleaders have at American high school football games.

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18-01-2014, 03:34 PM
RE: What is Spirit?
(18-01-2014 01:39 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  "Spirit" for me, is a meaningless term. It is mildly suspicious at the very least, and fucking enraging at its worst. It seems to me that every person has their own private definition, and when they discuss it, it becomes infinitely more confusing. This near inability to define the term illustrates how unclear the idea is. The best explanations I have heard, while still being vague and nebulous, rely on a belief in a supernatural world which resides perfectly in parallel with our own, but remains unseen. As with all supernatural ideas, when I demand evidence, there is none to be found. I personally have concluded that there is no such spiritual realm, and thus no spirituality or spirit.

I also suspect the motives of those who claim knowledge of the spiritual, because they so often do so as a means of promoting human immortality. They do not wish to die (Who can blame them?) and their doctrine is to openly fearful of that reality. I am told that life will continue after death, but not in any tangible way, nor any way in which I might otherwise understand it. I have no desire to participate in wish thinking of that sort, however much comfort it may supply.

I also cannot help but notice the many tricksters and con persons who use this "spiritual realm" as a means of stealing a living. There have been for many years, and still are, those who would claim to read the future, speak to the dead, and summon ancestors and other spirits, all the for the low price of some of your wallet, and all of your dignity. It is impossible for me not to notice the money making machine of this New Age nonsense.



Good post DP. Good post.

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18-01-2014, 03:36 PM (This post was last modified: 18-01-2014 03:41 PM by Luminon.)
RE: What is Spirit?
(18-01-2014 03:04 PM)Chas Wrote:  And I don't believe you. I think your model of the universe is utterly wrong.

All of the credible evidence so far points to consciousness/mind being entirely brain-based - it is an emergent property. You are still holding out for an élan vital.

I believe I have suggested this book before:
The Mind's I: Fantasies and reflections on self and soul, Douglas R. Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett.

Not THIS consciousness! Our everyday run of the mill consciousness is basically an illusion. It is based on spontaneous attachment to random things, which creates fake concepts which do not have a reference to reality, such as "self-image", "government" or "big man in the sky".

What is not a simulation, is the ability to contact the universals of reality, which are true, general, necessary and certain. The ability to grasp causes of things outside ourselves, that is not an emergent property of our brain, because the thing it emerges from is not within our brain, therefore it can not be random. The pure consciousness is fully reality-perceiving and reality-driven. The illusion of free choice based on ignorance is gone.

(18-01-2014 03:17 PM)Baruch Wrote:  I will strongly disagree with you here. A self conscious AI by definition is going to be above the threshold of complexity of energy/matter for consciousness to emerge - it should be no different to a brain which has emergent consciousness. The same rules should apply to both.

Current AI would have "much less than us" in terms of complexity but they are not conscious and obviously no issue "erasing them" (technically there is no consciousness to erase in the first place)
I see, you understand me, I just wasn't clear enough. I referred to "people in software" and deleting them. I think Ian M. Banks used such a theme in his novel Surface Detail. The living thing is derived from the matter/energy substrate and as such may be identified, because it is on the same level of reality with us, not "down below" simulated in a computer substrate.

(18-01-2014 03:17 PM)Baruch Wrote:  Also - complexity of energy/matter has nothing to do with it - its the way it is organized not how complex or how much energy/matter it contains.
Eg a human in a deep coma (10 on coma scale) may have a more complex brain but no consciousness whilst a chimpanzee has a less complex brain but much more conscious awareness than the coma patient. Likewise with severe Alzheimer's patient who still has an extremely complex emergent consciousness but lacks key functions we associate with self awareness, identity, personality etc.
Yes, I was still at the software people idea, where complexity is hypothetically seen as comparable to material people, as far as complexity is concerned. If that was even possible, then copied software people still would not be real, because they are not material, not on the same level of reality, (matter/energy) with us. Information can be freely created and destroyed, energy can't.
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18-01-2014, 03:39 PM
RE: What is Spirit?
(18-01-2014 03:31 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  It's the thing American high school cheerleaders have at American high school football games.

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18-01-2014, 03:45 PM
RE: What is Spirit?
Quote:Luminon
Philosophy itself is slippery, it is the stuff beyond the concepts we use.
Philosophy is the love of wisdom Smartass

Philosophy is not the "stuff beyond the concepts we use"
philosophy can be an analysis of concepts - using meta-concepts (generalizations, categorizations, especially in philosophy of language)
In some cases philosophy does analyse experience that is non linguistic and non cognitive (eg in phenomenology or embodied cognition)

Quote: To be a philosopher is like to be able to look under the hood of a car while you're driving it.
Not for embodied cognition or phenomenology - philosophies which focus on experience as it is. I would agree with you for overly wordy analytical philosophy.
If Kant was driving he would be banned doing philosophy at the same time.

Quote:But it is true that the universe itself is considered as an out-breath of divine creation.
Why do you assume this is true ?

Quote:Which presumes there will be some kind of in-breath and there is a cycle of breathing in and out.
The universe may be ultimately cyclical (we don't know).
However at least our section of the universe we can observe (the 14 billion years old part) looks like when we extrapolate that it will expand eternally into a very cold place inconsistent with any life (at least for our parts of the observable universe)

Quote:We are the divine breath or spirit that circulates throughout the universe - and not just breath, but voice.
News to me. Last time I looked my breath was circulating around me.
I follow it on those really cold days when it becomes misty.
When I screamed I don't think my voice reached anywhere near the stratosphere.

Quote:The divine sound, AUM or OM manifests all forms into being, similarly to sand patterns on a kymatics sound plate.
Sand patterns ? Oh, sound patterns.
When I meditate I use woo woo as my mantra and incarnate the spirit of woo woo.
I suggest you study physics by physicists.

Quote: And if we meditate long and quietly enough, we may hear the small still voice, the voice of the silence...
Yes, I listen to the voice of silence when I meditate. No Joking, I have practiced mindfulness and one can quieten the seemingly endless mind chatter. However this is no licence to infer God, souls or spirits. I also listen to silence when I sleep & take drugs.

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David Hume


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18-01-2014, 03:58 PM
RE: What is Spirit?
Quote: Alla:
every theology has parts of the truth. Mormonism or Gospel of Jesus Christ embraces all the truth. It doesn't matter who has it or where it can be found.

There are elements of the gospel of Jesus Christ which are dualistic & assume transcendence - how do you reconcile this ?

Eg below are MANY references suggesting dualism & the notion of transcendence in the Gospels - this does not look anything like ideas of "emergent consciousness" at all.

Quote:EG
For New Testament Gospel writers, the notion of dualism in the universe is abundantly clear. About Jesus himself, the writers of the Synoptics and John affirmed a staunch belief that Jesus was an incarnation of God (cf. John 1:1, 14; 8:58; 10:30-33). All of the Gospels refer to the eventual reunion of the essence of Jesus (that is, his spirit) with the material body of Jesus in the Resurrection event (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:36-46; John 20:1-27). Thus a dualistic affirmation seems to be a part of the Gospel portraits of Jesus. This has led many to conclude that Platonism, with its distinct and original view of the universe, is perhaps responsible for the dualism extant throughout the New Testament Gospels.


Any hint at Platonism in the Gospels (which is abundantly has quoted above) is in contrast to what you say Alla about your view on emergent consciousness. The Gospels make a distinction between a spiritual realm + physical realm as separate and distinct. The spiritual real is "transcendent" from the physical realm in the above gospel quotes.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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18-01-2014, 04:06 PM (This post was last modified: 18-01-2014 04:09 PM by Luminon.)
RE: What is Spirit?
(18-01-2014 03:45 PM)Baruch Wrote:  Why do you assume this is true ?
I thought I referred to the philosophy of Brahmanism somewhere. This is a common idea. It may be true in the sense that Big Bang is true or that kymatics is true.

(18-01-2014 03:45 PM)Baruch Wrote:  The universe may be ultimately cyclical (we don't know).
However at least our section of the universe we can observe (the 14 billion years old part) looks like when we extrapolate that it will expand eternally into a very cold place inconsistent with any life (at least for our parts of the observable universe)
Right.

(18-01-2014 03:45 PM)Baruch Wrote:  News to me. Last time I looked my breath was circulating around me.
I follow it on those really cold days when it becomes misty.
When I screamed I don't think my voice reached anywhere near the stratosphere.
Still describing Brahmanism. I thought I wrote Brahmanism, but apparently I didn't. Sorry.
If our reality is a simulation, then there must be another reality that is capable of simulating and influencing it, which means it must be more energetic/massive. There can not be a simulated reality that is more massive/energetic than simulating reality, because energy can not be created nor destroyed.
This is why we may consider that the visible universe is like a sand on a kymatical sound plate of the invisible yet real and undiscovered universe. Its massive presence can be detected, but not analyzed with our instruments, so we call it dark matter and dark energy. Thus other "levels" of the universe may be even more real, meaning:
The rest of the unseen universe may be literally more massive, energetic and dimensional than the matter we are made of. In that case our matter would be just a temporary and relatively inert precipitation of something grander, a shade of true reality.

(18-01-2014 03:45 PM)Baruch Wrote:  Yes, I listen to the voice of silence when I meditate. No Joking, I have practiced mindfulness and one can quieten the seemingly endless mind chatter. However this is no licence to infer God, souls or spirits. I also listen to silence when I sleep & take drugs.
No, it's not - but it is good to contemplate the substrate of our experience. If this universe is a simulation of some kind, then we don't go looking for errors in the Matrix by participating in the chatter of Matrix, but by sitting still and watching what is in the gaps between the thoughts. If there is something, and I'd say there is, then our world is not all of the world there is. What do you say on that?
(please give me the benefit of the doubt that I can differ true observation from the makyo hallucinations of sensory deprivation, and such, I can also historically cros-reference results of meditative practices)
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18-01-2014, 04:07 PM
RE: What is Spirit?
(18-01-2014 03:12 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(18-01-2014 03:02 PM)Baruch Wrote:  'Dark Phoenix' - I agree with you, you can see that virtually immediately on this thread that the word "spirit" and "spiritual" are indeed very slippery terms.
Throughout history the word had different meanings from "breath" to "soul" to "essence" to "transcendent ego's" to "transcendent renunciation of the ego" to "vitality & well being" to......vodka.

Interesting how it starts of with physical breath and ends with vodka. Must be a link. Breath in first then take a shot of spirit = spiritual drinking.
Philosophy itself is slippery, it is the stuff beyond the concepts we use. To be a philosopher is like to be able to look under the hood of a car while you're driving it. But it is true that the universe itself is considered as an out-breath of divine creation. Which presumes there will be some kind of in-breath and there is a cycle of breathing in and out. We are the divine breath or spirit that circulates throughout the universe - and not just breath, but voice. The divine sound, AUM or OM manifests all forms into being, similarly to sand patterns on a kymatics sound plate. And if we meditate long and quietly enough, we may hear the small still voice, the voice of the silence...

Nope, now you're just back to woo. Divine breath? Really?

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-01-2014, 04:17 PM
RE: What is Spirit?
(18-01-2014 03:36 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(18-01-2014 03:04 PM)Chas Wrote:  And I don't believe you. I think your model of the universe is utterly wrong.

All of the credible evidence so far points to consciousness/mind being entirely brain-based - it is an emergent property. You are still holding out for an élan vital.

I believe I have suggested this book before:
The Mind's I: Fantasies and reflections on self and soul, Douglas R. Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett.

Not THIS consciousness! Our everyday run of the mill consciousness is basically an illusion. It is based on spontaneous attachment to random things, which creates fake concepts which do not have a reference to reality, such as "self-image", "government" or "big man in the sky".

What is not a simulation, is the ability to contact the universals of reality, which are true, general, necessary and certain. The ability to grasp causes of things outside ourselves, that is not an emergent property of our brain, because the thing it emerges from is not within our brain, therefore it can not be random. The pure consciousness is fully reality-perceiving and reality-driven. The illusion of free choice based on ignorance is gone.

What universals are you referring to? Have you gone Platonic?
And who said anything about random?

All neurological evidence shows that every bit of personality resides in the brain.
There is no person without a brain.

However, your insistence that the brain be human is entirely anthropocentric. What about non-humans? What about aliens?
Or are you insisting that only a biological brain can support or host a person? Are we back to élan vital, for which there is no evidence?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-01-2014, 04:28 PM (This post was last modified: 18-01-2014 04:34 PM by Baruch.)
RE: What is Spirit?
Quote:Luminon
Not THIS consciousness! Our everyday run of the mill consciousness is basically an illusion.
Our everyday consciousness is not an illusion but a real emergent property with new attributes the individual parts don't have.
Like wise a wave in the sea is not an illusion but emerges from water molecules, hydrogen bonding, wind, mathematics of fluid dynamics, enough water molecules etc. Individual water molecules don't have properties of "waves" or the concepts of "solid ice" or "liquid" don't exist - they emerge but are as real once emerged to the individual water molecules.
Consciousness - even the everyday sort is real once emerged and destroyed once its substrate is destroyed (brain in our case)


Quote:It is based on spontaneous attachment to random things, which creates fake concepts which do not have a reference to reality, such as "self-image", "government" or "big man in the sky".
Our everyday consciousness does not base itself on "attachment to random things" but have incredible order in the systems involved in perception. Granted the systems of perception can malfunction - see V.S. Ramachandran or Oliver Sacks work on bizzare neurological conditions.

Quote:What is not a simulation, is the ability to contact the universals of reality, which are true, general, necessary and certain.
No reason why an AI with sufficient complexity and consciousness could not contact universals...
If you mean universal in the platonic sense then an AI might even be better at "awareness" of mathematical patterns underlying observable phenomena.
In any case as Kant rightly argued (& many others) we have limited access to the "absolute essence" of things (the numena) because our brain generates phenomena and is inherently anthropocentric which either distorts or has limitations - hence why some of our intuitions & introspections can be misleading. (i.e we don't automatically intuit quantum physics unless steeped in the mathematics & experiments required to reveal this level of reality.) Just because the mathematics of quantum physics is generally hidden it does not mean our everyday observable world is an illusion. I don't need understand quantum mechanics to fly an aeroplane but aerodynamics which emerges on a much larger scale and follows Newtonian physics. (again Newtonian physics emerges on a large scale - not applicable to the incredible small, or incredible massive or fast scales - but still "real" in the everyday sized world.

Also there is no hint that some meditating on OM / AUM is going to reveal quantum mathematics - for this we need hard work, good mathematicians and getting our hands dirty with experiments ! Rationality & empirical evidence is the way do this !

Quote: The ability to grasp causes of things outside ourselves, that is not an emergent property of our brain, because the thing it emerges from is not within our brain, therefore it can not be random.
Your sentence doesn't make any sense.
Grasping causes is both within and outside our brain simultaneously. Your are assuming some dualism or "élan vital"

Quote:The pure consciousness is fully reality-perceiving and reality-driven.
Again this doesn't make any sense. Like Chaos (or Kant & many others) said we must think anthropocentrically and limited by this when perceiving "full reality"
Granted we may have access to some universals in mathematics - but this is a huge debate in philosophy of mathematics I cannot go into here for sheer space. (Kurt Gödel was a mathematical Platonist and some of his points might be valid)

Quote:The illusion of free choice based on ignorance is gone.
"Free choice" may also be an emergent property when consciousness reaches a certain threshold of self organization. I don't actually like the word because the term "free" is ambiguous. We have choices, or a will and for the most part that is part of being conscious but not necessary & sufficient for consciousness. It is most certainly possible to be conscious and not experience "will" or "choice" eg in non lucid dreams.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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