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Is man even a spiritual being?

Discussion in 'General Scientology Discussion' started by Feral, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Claire Swazey

    Claire Swazey Spokeshole, fence sitter

    Well, if it wasn't for ol' Elron, you'd not have TIR now.
  2. By Design

    By Design Patron

    This only works if the metaphysical account does not impinge on the physical world at all (in which case, as I have pointed out, any assertions made about it are completely unmotivatable). This is a very trivial sort of tautological view (literally: phenomena which have no effects in the world have no effects in the world!).

    My mistake for thinking you had something substantive to say (eg, something about the status and relation of the mind and body). But you should have just quoted and agreed with the following when I said it:

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  3. uniquemand

    uniquemand Unbeliever

    That's true, Claire. However, without ol Ron, we WOULD have abreactive therapy, from which TIR would eventually evolve. The process was not invented by Ron, he simply used it a lot, and designed a code of application around it to maximize its effects. Then he changed all the language so that it looked like it was his creation, when it was obvious he had coopted it from Freud and Pavlov.
  4. Mystic

    Mystic Crusader

    Formula for this thread: Find out you are a spiritual being. :hysterical:
  5. apocalyptic

    apocalyptic Patron with Honors

    And exactly what type of evidence would you expect, or hope for, or believe in, to prove the presence of that which is invisible?

    Do you not realize your very thoughts are invisible to the entire world, save for yourself? And the corresponding implications thereof?

    Your premise, taken to its logical conclusion would demand that you don't even exist. In much the same way the universe itself does not exist, in the absence of evidence of it.

    With all due respect sir, you do err. And you do so greatly. (in a beautiful and delightful way).

  6. By Design

    By Design Patron

    ^ If by 'spiritual' one means some agency operating the body, you would expect unaccountable behaviors which could not be modeled or replicated in a computationally-homeomorphic computer (like a neural network). You would expect brain science to make increasingly false predictions about mental states. One would expect human behavior to be absolutely opaque to the inquiries of cognitive science and brain science.

    What we observe, however, is that the lower-order cognitive activities of the brain are replicable in a neural network. This includes things like generalizing a problem-space to encompass classes of similar problem never-before seen in the training set, reliably tracking and predicting complex relations among data, and grouping and deploying categories of data in the same way that humans do (which, interestingly, can sometimes lead neural networks to make the same kinds of errors that humans are observed to make -- take a look at the common pronunciation errors that NETtalk makes with regards to its categorization of phonemes).

    We also observe that the higher-order cognitive activities humans engage in are predictable by such a network given a sufficient amount of data about your brain (meaning a network can measure your brain activity and make what turns out to be a very accurate prediction about future behavior).

    There has been an increase in understanding about the brain and how it produces the mind in the last 30 years or so. The work isn't done, by any stretch. Although still infant sciences, neuro- and cog- science already boast explanatory and predictive power above and beyond the paltry theories of mind that preceded them. In the few decades since these research projects were first conceived a lot of progress has been made which, if there were some intangible agent at the center of cognitive activity, would have to be accounted for (meaning, how could so much progress have been if the theories were so radically false?).
  7. Gadfly

    Gadfly Crusader

    Yeah, it kills me how people miss or ignore this FACT.

    There is a GREAT DEAL in life that involves entirely INVISIBLE and UNDETECTABLE common events and routine phenomena.

    Think of a cat. Picture it. See it in your head. Talk to yourself in words about this cat. YOU are the ONLY one who can experience this on this level and in that exact context. Do these things exist or not?

    Yes, they do exist.

    Your hopes are invisible. Your intentions are invisible. Your love for your friends or family are invisible. Yes, there may very well be manifestations and displays of these things, BUT they, on their own terrain and within their OWN frame of reference, are INVISIBLE to all others. While scientific measuring devices may be able to record various waves and electrical phenomena RELATED to "thoughts" and "feelings", there is no exact direct correlation between the two.

    You can be aware of your ability to concentrate. It is invisible to all others. You can improve this ability through various techniques. The methods involve "doing things with your mind", and these drills ARE ALSO INVISIBLE to every other person except YOU.

    You ability to imagine is INVISIBLE. Imagine what you will eat for dinner tonight. Really wallow in the thought. Feel the "taste" in your mouth. Recall what you ate for dinner last night. All of this mental stuff is COMPLETELY INVISIBLE to everybody else except YOU. IT ALL EXISTS, yet for nobody else except YOU. And, you assume that the same is true for everybody else.

    So, for people to make any assertions that "invisible " things are entirely "metaphysical" is absurd. ANY person can observe and record observations of a great many INVISIBLE events and situations. Scientists HATE this sort of stuff because they can't really quantify these things or experience/observe them directly within the same framework as the person doing the "thinking".

    But don't make the dumb mistake of assuming that because "science" is incapable of dealing with such things that they "don't exist". They DO surely exist, and the simply fact is that the current approach of modern science is quite ill-suited and ill-equipped for addressing and dealing with such things.

    Shit, every time anyone here ever ran a dianetics chain or recalled a moment of upset or loss, he or she did so INVISIBLY to everyone including the auditor. Nobody can "see" what any other is "thinking". In this realm only YOU can "observe" what is happening.

    It may be subjective, but it IS REAL.

    When you imagine and construct an answer to a post on this message board, the process is INVISIBLE to everybody else.

    There is no reason to blanket assume that such processes cannot or do not exist "separate from the body" or "without a body". Since science can't measure or detect such things with a body, of course, they also surely can't currently measure such processes and events if they occur without a body. :confused2:

    For the most part people just argue assumptions, beliefs and fixed ideas about all of this stuff. There is NO "evidence" that you can imagine, think in pictures or talk to yourself in words in your head. NONE! Other than the reports of people that they can and do so everyday. But, there is NO "objective evidence" anywhere - yet do you therefore refuse to accept such things as "real"? :confused2: :duh:

    The above facts and argument MAY say or infer something about questions of "spirit".
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  8. tiptoethrutheminefield

    tiptoethrutheminefield Patron with Honors

    What a great, honest question. I've searched here and there for fifty years--geez, how I love saying that and bragging about my age! Anyway, lately I read The Black Swan by Nessim Taleb, and was blown away. It's not so much philosophy as a debunking of human fallacies--mindsets like Causality, the Narrative Fallacy and the Confirmation Fallacy. From him I went to Montaigne, Lucretius and their source, Epicurus.

    The bottom line: man is an animal that seeks pleasure, pleasure is not hedonism, but responsible and moderate and ethical--everyone who says they know what happens after death is lying, so live without fear and enjoy what you can--and that includes helping others, if that gives you pleasure

    I like this thinking. That's all I can say for now. Hope that adds something, however cursory, to a great thread.
  9. Mystic

    Mystic Crusader

    Sorry, there are those, many, thousands upon millions, who "know".

    Turning this around: The higher "truth" would be something like: "Who knows what happens after you incarnate?"
  10. Mark A. Baker

    Mark A. Baker Sponsor

    Not at all. Your prior statement which you quoted above assumes too much when you assert 'no discernible effects on the world'. As Gadfly points out there are many subjective experiences which may influence the world but for which there are no means of direct physical measurement. That spirit and consciousness may exist in an insubstantial manner yet nonetheless influence the physical world in an unknown way is not beyond the realm of conception. Far from it, the reality of spirit or consciousness has been the favored hypothesis for understanding the world since first posited over 2000 years ago.

    Truly the only thing man can be said to have knowledge of is the fully subjective experience of consciousness. The entirety of human knowledge, the physical sciences included, are nothing but an object for reflection in the conscious mind. Science does not in fact exist in the physical world. It exists only in the mind. All the world contains is the apparency of physical phenomena. The conscious mind is that which creates science through reflection on its perceptions and the establishment of order & meaning to describe that which it perceives in an otherwise apparently unintelligent universe.

    That which consciousness may be and how the mind achieves such magic is an intangible mystery beyond the capability of physical science to explain.

    Mark A. Baker
  11. Mark A. Baker

    Mark A. Baker Sponsor

    Life's a bitch and then you reincarnate.

    Mark A. Baker :whistling:
  12. Mark A. Baker

    Mark A. Baker Sponsor

    I could. I don't see much point in doing so. I'm not out to persuade anyone to adopt a particular speculative hypothesis. When it comes to understanding the mind & consciousness little is known apart from some approximate ideas about 'mechanics'. Suffice to say that knowledge need not consist solely of 'affirmations'.

    It is not only good to know when something is known, it can be even more important to realize when it is not known.

    Mark A. Baker
  13. apocalyptic

    apocalyptic Patron with Honors

    With all due respect, re-incarnation is a function of the human imagination.

    The only incarnation that exists is here & now.

    All else is mental masturbation.

  14. Ogsonofgroo

    Ogsonofgroo Crusader

    With all due respect, sez who?
  15. GreyLensman

    GreyLensman Silver Meritorious Patron

    Yes. I am definitely, so whether you know it for certain at the moment or not, you are too.

    My daughter was and then she was not - and what was left was a body, not her. This isn't faith or fate - rather observation and love. She still is, but not there, not in flesh no longer animate, no longer brought into motion. There was a ceasing, but not of that which was her.
  16. By Design

    By Design Patron

    I think you assume too much in asserting such experiences. Subjective experiences, as with all mental states, simply are brain states by any other name, so much so that computers tracking readiness potential can accurately predict the timing and even some of the content of such experiences before they occur.

    'Not beyond the realm of conception' is not synonymous with 'logically implied'.

    There are many things that influence the physical world in unknown ways, things which fall within the scope of scientific inquiry. Science is in the business of pruning assumptions about metaphysical necessities.

    ... and a whole bunch of brain activity with so many explanatory regularities that such states are predictable.

    I guess bury your head in the sand and keep assuming the same cartesian ghost we've assumed for thousands of years if it makes you happy.

    I've tried to make clear the problems of both dualism and epiphenomenalism, but you've attempted to distance yourself from those views by saying your epiphenomenal/dualist view is 'a result which occurs from the formal application of logic. It is not dependent on empiricism or other faith-based systems for justification.' Unfortunately, as I've shown, the metaphysical gaps that logic prohibits science from investigating do not afford room for an immaterial consciousness anymore. You've really not justified any kind of argument with logic, just a limp-wristed hand wave that neuroscience doesn't know what it's talking about.
  17. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    You just said it much better than I have. :thumbsup:
  18. Mystic

    Mystic Crusader

    You must do a lotta jackingoff.
  19. Mark A. Baker

    Mark A. Baker Sponsor

    The ability to conduct active measures of brain states does not constitute a proof that the 'mind is nothing but brain states'. That is supposition which results from the fact that brain states are what can be, to some degree, measured. It's a convenient belief for those who wish it to be true. I'm reminded of the old saw ... when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. :whistling:

    Nor, have I suggested anywhere that it is. What I have suggested is that there are other possibilities which have yet to be fully refuted.

    Apart from misinterpreting my remarks and ascribing views to me which I haven't stated, what is your point?

    That is true. Such things are physical phenomena, the sort of events that physical science is well equipped to address. However, the presence of physical phenomena is irrelevant to the fact of the logical impossibility of empirical methods being used to directly measure any non-physical phenomena should they exist.

    You seem to have a barrier to your understanding what is actually a very simple & fundamental point about the practical limits of science.

    No. Science is in the business of ascertaining and understanding as best as possible any repetitive patterns observed in the physical world. Metaphysics is outside of the purview of science. Science is incapable of addressing strictly metaphysical questions.

    You keep ascribing views to me which I have not stated and do not hold. That is tremendously annoying and extremely arrogant on your part. It also tells me that you've yet to actually understand what has been stated before on this thread, but instead are basing your arguments on your own assumptions about 'reality' rather than actually addressing the topic raised. Frankly, that doesn't make for interesting or intelligent discussion.

    Which is pointless endeavor as it adds nothing to the question of the innate limits of science. Instead this seems to be inspired by your own need to convert others to your own metaphysical views regarding materialist doctrine.

    What is clear is that you have failed to understand my posts. I'm not arguing on the behalf of the truth of any particular hypothesis. All I've discussed is the question of the innate limits of science.

    My remarks so far have been for the purpose of illustrating the innate logical limits to the empirical method, not as an advocate or in support of some particular belief system.

    Frankly, pretty much everything you've said so far is irrelevant to the question of the limits of science. That is the ONLY topic I've addressed so far on the thread, apart from the occasional wisecrack. Nor am I interested in the measure of your faith in materialism. So, either address the matter of the philosophical limits of science, if you are capable of doing so, or else kindly seek out another for your continuing strawman arguments.

    And whichever you decide, believe what you want to believe, but don't ascribe to me views I have not asserted.

    Mark A. Baker
  20. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    Hmmm, well fellas, there's some part truths in the above.

    An individual's thoughts, intentions, love are often or mostly not perceived by others . . . the corollary is that these things are sometimes, and in the case of love, often, perceived by others.

    Of course there are different levels or methods of "perception" . . . there's the "feeling" of it as with the love you experience from another; and then there is the actual visual seeing of things.

    There are a number of auditors who have seen the "pictures," incidents etc., of their PCs, and I know of many individuals who do perceive at various levels from sight to spiritual feeling the imagery, intentions, projections and mental "pictures" of folks.

    Most humans believe they do not . . . and, to be honest, this is part of why they are in the trapped condition they are in.

    I mean, have you ever actually experienced/perceived the love (or hatred) that another has projected onto you?:biggrin: Ever feel another's respond to your projected love/hatred?