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Is man even a spiritual being?

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

  1. Ted

    Ted Gold Meritorious Patron

    It might be easier for some people to find out that someone else is spiritual in nature. That way they don't have to deny themselves. :dieslaughing::dieslaughing::dieslaughing:
  2. Mystic

    Mystic Crusader

    No kidding, Ted. You could probably line up a thousand humans all in a row and go down the line checking on the "spiritual nature" of each one and you'd end up with a thousand different aspects and a thousand parallels.

    Learning spirit is what waterplanet life is all about in the first place. Life couldn't even exist without Spirit creation.
  3. obvious from the three laws of thermodynamics which MEST obeys perfectly. life is counterentropic with MEST material which entropifies rather quickly when separated from spirit
  4. Mystic

    Mystic Crusader

    Three laws???




    Some of these terms are even Hubbard :grouch: spew, which I eschew at every opportunity.


    That's a lotta word carrying on which doesn't get one into anything but mind maundering.
  5. By Design

    By Design Patron


    I looked back at our conversation:
    ^ what are you asserting there? You literally said that the mental states to which Gadfly referred may not be physical phenomena, and elsewhere in this thread you've made clear that this claim logically obtains despite advances in the finesse of our instruments and advances in our methodological approaches.

    You've also asserted the existence of a logically formalized metaphysics containing such an effect-less mental state. I have shown the kinds of empirical measurements that such a formalized framework must be consistent with.

    You're hunting for unaccountable phenomena. That class of phenomena is rapidly shrinking, yet you maintain (through sheer assertion alone imo) there is a bounded region which, despite the scientific enterprise, must necessarily remain opaque to our scientific inspection.
  6. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    By Design, this above is elegantly stated, elegantly argued.

    From my perspective, what I have to say is that the Physical sciences as currently practiced are missing the boat on the issue of spirituality and/or anything to do with what might or might not precede the formation of the physical universe because they keep trying to perceive, analyse and discourse on the issue of spirit by physical means alone . . . and the physical universe instruments and perception and measure methods they try to employ in the endeavor simply cannot perceive and/or measure or analyse the spiritual (at this point in time).

    We spiritual Beings are capable of it, and my recommendation is that we honor our perceptions and not be misled by the physical universe attempts of "science" which are inadequate to the task.

  7. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    Okay. What do you suggest as an alternative? SCN auditing? Meditation?

    (I could claim that there are spirits that exist as cosmic muffins that surround and orbit just outside our solar system. Do you believe that? If not then why not?)
  8. Mark A. Baker

    Mark A. Baker Sponsor

    Yes, the key word being may.

    No, and that is dub-in on your part. What I have alluded to is that phenomena which are not physical would not be detectable by means of physical measurement. The identification of any particular phenomena as subject to measure validates the measurability of the measurable. It does not invalidate the possible existence of any phenomena which may be intrinsically immeasurable, should such exist.

    Metaphysics is that branch of philosophy which deals with the existence of universal principles. As an established branch of philosophy it exists of itself and has now for something on the order of 2500 years. It's existence is not predicated on my assertions.

    Nope. Dub-in.

    Only for those phenomena which would qualify as physically measurable. It follows tautologically from the words that any physically immeasurable phenomena would not.

    I am doing NO SUCH THING.

    That's your own dub-in of what has been said.

    Mark A. Baker
  9. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    Then you can't prove any so-called metaphysical beliefs that you are supporting.
    You just think whatever you want to think... whatever makes you feel good.
  10. By Design

    By Design Patron

    ie: 'may' be dualist. Yet you've now come back the next day and lied about having said such.

    Do I need to go dig up quotes of you to root out this lie as well? You told either Student of Trinity or Programmer Guy that it doesn't matter how much we improve our technology and instruments, that the evidence we are looking for is necessarily (in the modal sense, I take it) outside the scope of scientific investigation.

    There are to my knowledge very few metaphysics which have been formalized into logical statements. Most of those are all materialist, since that's pretty much what we're left with if we don't want our metaphysics to oblige us to untrue statements.

    You said two pages back that your metaphysical view is the result of the formal application of logic. I re-quoted you earlier but you chose to ignore it. I take you to mean you have, you know, literally, a formalized set of statements.

    If not, if you were just using 'formal' and 'logic' the way some people use, I dunno, 'cheesecake' and 'leather boot', please find different words for what you're describing. Formal logic is pretty rigorously formalized.

    You can continue to lie about what you've said but it's there for all to read. You've said that the spirit 'may' be non-material, that subjective states 'may' have no effects, that such a view is the result of the formal logic.

    I don't know what you think you've said, but that's what you have literally said. I think, honestly, the problem is that you're used to throwing statements together without really considering the logical commitments of those statements.

    Now instead of defending your statements about our subjective states and their alleged immaterial effects, you've continually tried to direct the conversation in such a way as to remove the burden from yourself of having to defend those statements. If you don't want to talk about the 'knowledge' you've gleaned from introspecting from your armchair, then don't. But don't expect to drop little claims which simply can not be true if empirical experiments are true and expect to not get called out on it.
  11. By Design

    By Design Patron

    I suppose I should be more clear here. What I mean is that there are very few metaphysical statements one can make which cohere, and of those fewer still which cohere and make no statements which are empirically false. This latter class of metaphysics tends to be materialistic these days -- most of the philosophical divide in contemporary times is of the reductive/anti-reductive sort, and concerns linguistic reduction. Very few philosophers commit to an ontological dualism anymore. David Chalmers is a notable exception, and even his version is a dualism of properties (as opposed to immaterial 'stuffs'). It's also worth noting that Chalmers has yet to mount an adequate defense against most of his contemporaries regarding the physical effects of knowledge in the brain (since it basically collapses his famous zombie argument) and does not address what I believe to be a very valid criticism of question begging (essentially, the criticism is that he begs in the property dualism in the very premises of the zombie argument).

    (Since this is one of the better versions of a formalized, independent dualism, I was charitably ascribing this view to my interlocutor in this thread, and thus it should be noted that I began the discussion by attempting to unpack the problems with this view. )

    Aside from the formalized metaphysics that the very cutting edge of the physical sciences deals with, I'm not familiar with many formalized metaphysics which are a) extensible and b) do not produce empirically false statements. I suspect that one can not exist (at least, nomologically can not).

    (Granted many of the metaphysics at the cutting edge of physics aren't extensible, which is why they are not very useful at the moment).
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  12. By Design

    By Design Patron

    Thanks Rog. I understand the intuition here. Let me suggest some things you may not be considering.

    It clearly is the case that spiritual phenomena have remained unobserved by science. The question is why. You propose what I think is a very intuitive answer: spiritual phenomena are perceptible to and have an influence over our mental states, which do not in-turn effect our brain states (since that would remove spiritual phenomena to the domain of scientifically observable phenomena). This view hinges, I think, on the existence of mental states which do not have physically corresponding brain states (at the very least, the mental state of realizing a particular spiritual state).

    This would have to be a very special class of mental states, since so far every mental state we've attempted to track has a brain state correlate (to the degree that future mental states can be accurately predicted based only on initial brain states).

    It would also have to be a special class of memory encoding. Everything we know about memory indicates it is encoded in the brain. Granted, the way it's encoded isn't intuitive like, say, the way a hard drive encodes onto a disk, but it IS encoded. (As it turns out, the brain distributes memory across the synaptic weights of a large population of neurons).

    I think that both of these special classes of mental phenomena would be observable to science, at least in the mundane sense that there would be large gaps of unaccountable mental phenomena (special spiritual states and special spiritual memory) in our understanding, and that there would be a regularity to those gaps.

    As it turns out, there are gaps in our understanding (neuroscience and cognitive psyche are both new fields), although it's too early to tell if those gaps are temporary or if they necessarily obtain because of some ontological independence or a linguistic anti-reductionism (and it's important to the intuitive, spiritual view that it be ontological independence -- truly independent stuff happening -- as opposed to non-independent stuff for which our physicalist language is ill-equipped to describe).

    However, as far as I know (and I'm not touting myself as some kind of expert here), the regularities around the gaps in our understanding are not consistent with spiritual regularities. Neuroscience has investigated folks under fMRI having spiritual and non-spiritual experiences (to be fair, 'religious experiences' is what was looked at) and we're beginning to learn just what is happening inside someone's skull under those circumstances.

    More importantly, a very good model of mental activity is beginning to emerge from our efforts across several domains, including neuroscience and AI, one which precludes special classes of memory encoding and special classes of 'brain-less' mental states.

    The emerging view conceives of the brain as a system of interconnected layers of feature discriminators (many of which can perform their function even without the presence of features to discriminate). The 'conceptual space', the 'mind space', is embodied in the high-dimensional weighting architecture connecting populations of these nodes. The brain represents the world, or some aspect of it, by means of a high-dimensional activation vector across the nodes of one of these layers, and projects that vector through a matrix to another non-linear population of nodes (with the coefficient of the matrix being the synaptic weights connecting the two layers).

    Such a system undergoes a training period to calibrate the weight space to particular problems, but once calibrated the system solves new and never-before-seen problems by generalizing problems from the training set. It projects inputs through the 'weight space' to pair them with behavior outputs.

    This view (which is, basically, the neural network model) is very amenable to the empirical observations we make in the brain, as well as the reported observations folks make about their subjective states. It unifies several bodies of research that pre-date it, offers the promise of explanatory and predictive success over its competitors, and doesn't require special metaphysical conceits to get off the ground. It is, in fact, the result of considering only logically-implied phenomena, so unfortunately it's deflationary to 'spiritual' notions.

    On the plus side, models built according to this view demonstrate many of the same capacities that humans do with regards to problem solving, abstract generalization and reasoning, and even cognitive biases. We haven't made one which is self-aware yet, of course (because that kind of complexity would require several billion connections), but in principle it's looking increasing possible (much more possible than the old days of symbol-processor Turing Machines).

    I'm not sure how dissuasive any of this is for you in terms of spirituality . I simply wanted to let you know how much we do know about the brain and the ways in which it is entangled with the mind, since your view is predicated on certain brain/mind unknowns.

    (OK 3 posts in a row. I yield the floor!)
  13. Reasonable

    Reasonable Silver Meritorious Patron

    OK I'll bite....How do you "know"...Objectively

    ......Just becasue it is true to you does not make it true
  14. apocalyptic

    apocalyptic Patron with Honors

    'Mentally' speaking, we all do. What is your point beyond that Mystic? If you even have one (absent rage and anger at the conjuring up of one L. Ron Hubbard.)

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  15. apocalyptic

    apocalyptic Patron with Honors

    Well, it was signed by Apoc. That would be a fairly good first hint.

    Mark didn't say it. Emma didn't say it. Rog didn't say it. Ted didn't say it. Mystic didn't say it.....and on and on and on, and so forth.

    Apoc said it.

    With all due respect to you, what part of that, do you not understand?

  16. tiptoethrutheminefield

    tiptoethrutheminefield Patron with Honors

    Equally sorry, but appealing to "millions and millions" is called Bandwagon and is a logical fallacy.

    That said, I sympathize with your "certainty." I was there, too. Everyone should have the freedom to seek how, where and when they choose.
  17. apocalyptic

    apocalyptic Patron with Honors

    You are apparently stuck in time Mystic. And the thousands upon millions you speak of, are not.

    A rather delightful paradox to witness, nonetheless.

    Much like an ant explaining the reality of an elephant.

    Under the quise of being an enlightened ant.


    ps: for the record, we believe you are one of the best posters on ESMB. So please do not take our commentary personally, to the point where you are offended.

    Else wise it goes down hill from there (called here).
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  18. Mystic

    Mystic Crusader

    Sorry, I don't do bandwagons and logical fallacies and certainties.
  19. Mystic

    Mystic Crusader

  20. apocalyptic

    apocalyptic Patron with Honors


    So you are black. So are we.

    In a metaphysical sense.