Friday, September 28, 2012

SCHOLARS INVESTIGATE THE SOUL



The scientists have not yet managed to explain the thing we call 'consciousness'.

A book called "The Soul Hypothesis: Investigations into the Existence of the Soul", edited by Mark C. Baker and Stewart Goetz, was published in 2011.

The book has been reviewed by Howard Robinson of Central European University.

The Soul Hypothesis: Investigations into the Existence of the Soul.

In Chapter 1, Charles Taliaferro points out that materialism (the belief that there is no soul) cannot explain consciousness.

In chapter 2, Daniel Robinson writes that certain scientists have wrongly interpreted the scientific data when they seek to prove that the mind is a mere product of physical processes.

R is a conscious, self-aware, and sentient human being despite the widespread destruction of cortical regions purported to play a critical role in Self Awareness, namely the insula, anterior cingulate cortex, and medial prefrontal cortex.  - WHERE IS YOUR MIND?

In Chapter 3, Mark Baker argues that the language problems caused by brain damage all have to do with words and grammar.

The brain damage appears not to affect the ability to think creatively, which suggests that the 'mind' does not need the brain.



In Chapter 4, Stewart Goetz argues that common sense sees us as agents, in other words, people with souls.

When examining neurological experiments, we should not assume that only physical stimuli are affecting the mind.

The materialists have problems explaining reasons, desires and beliefs.



In Chapter 5, Robin Collins refers to scientists who have thought that belief in the soul goes against basic 'conservation principles' and so is anti-scientific.

The law of conservation of energy, first formulated in the nineteenth century, is a law of physics that states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant over time.

How can a non-physical mind provide the energy to get a human body to carry out an action?  

However, Collins points out that, according to many modern scientists, energy is not conserved "in general relativity, in quantum theory, or in the universe taken as a whole."

In Chapter 6, Hans Halvorson explains that, according to Quantum Theory, a physical system can be in two apparently inconsistent states at once.

Apparently a particle can perform an action that requires much more energy than the particle itself has.

More here: The Soul Hypothesis: Investigations into the Existence of the Soul.

~~~

CanSpeccy left this comment:

Science deals only with what can be demonstrated. But consciousness cannot be demonstrated, it can only be experienced.

To science, the only approach to understanding the human mind is on the assumption that we are automatons and that our reports of awareness of pain, or color, or whatever, are merely reports of internal states that correspond with neurological events. But such states or events are scientifically significant only insofar as they are outwardly observable, and thus do not constitute an understanding of consciousness.

That pain hurts or that color green has a subjective quality that cannot be expressed by reference to anything observable means that consciousness will never be explained.

This is no doubt a cause of annoyance to the purveyors of the scientific world view who know that belief in the unlimited power of science to explain the world is the basis of their own wealth, power and prestige.

Hence the recurrent claims to have "solved" the problem of consciousness: some special cells at the back of the brain, some neuronal quantum resonance, or some other hocus pocus. 



15 comments:

Anonymous said...


Thank you as ever for bringing together the sacred and the profane, AANGIFAN.

That woman smelling the roses against the garden wall is me, and no doubt you.
I played the Sanctus video and just wept. Two of my boys sang in their catholic school choir, and when I think of what they got up to, in their later adult lives, I weep even more. Thank God they survived all that, when so many do not.

There seems to be no end to depravity, and for some, we have glimpsed also the infinitude of Heaven, and I suspect that is the consciousness of aangirfan, no matter the rants of your critics.

Two issues on the Truthseeker
site today:
first, a video of NYC meeting between Torah rabbis and Iranian President, in which the Jews openly said something about dissolving the Zionist state. Hopefully you might see it, and comment on it, because to me this problem of Israel can only be 'solved' by its own people, like a bad marriage.
And just as two people in a bad marriage might be encouraged and counseled to take a clear eyed view of their choices, so it is with Jews, who need to step back from their own 'madness', in order to see clearly, more Life giving choices in their own little world.

Secondly, new robotics to replace drones in America. Another wave of scientific/materialistic madness, which highlights precisely the content of your presentation on Consciousness.

'Without emotions to cloud their judgment and anger driving their actions, the robots could wage war in a more restrained, “humane” way, in accordance with the laws of war, Arkin said.

“It is not my belief that an unmanned system will be able to be perfectly ethical in the battlefield, but I am convinced that they can perform more ethically than human soldiers are capable of,” he wrote.'

Thank you for all you do.
Blessxx

j said...

A. SOUL
I agree with the Buddha that there is no soul.
What should the "soul" be?
1. If you can notice a "soul" it is clearly within(!) the six senses. The six senses are the 5 senses plus thinking, which is also a sense. While Indian philosophy knew this, European philosophy was unable to realise this. But the language of the people is here ahead of their philosophers: The English-language appeal "be sensible!" aims at your mind, or reason, or the thinking/contemplating apparatus. It does no at all mean you should be "sensuous" or "sensual" - quite to the contrary!

And if someone thinks he/she has a soul because of a 'feeling' - of sensitive (5 senses) or emotional (thinking/mind) grounds - this feeling relies on the 6 senses! And they are not at all eternal but will be washed away in only in a handful of years. So a soul relying on the 6 senses can certainly not be eternal. So those who demand that there was a soul, can only claim that this soul exists as long as your lifetime - but then it must die along with the rest of your material configuration. But what is a soul that dies with your body worth? Also there is no use during lifetime for this soul.

2. On the other hand: A soul existing eternally - and that is what we usually demand of a "soul" - cannot rely on our 6 senses. But then again, if there is a soul that is out of our 6 senses: How would we know we had a soul?! We couldn't!

3. An look at all those soul-believers: The real impulse of their believe is not 'exact registration' or 'proof', but only their devout wish that their current 'ego-formation' would be please, please "eternal".

4. As Buddhist have no doubts that there is rebirth, the question arose: How can there be rebirth if there is no soul?
When Buddha (Gotama) was asked how it was possible to be reborn without a soul, Buddha gave two examples:
a. A person says a poem or verse and another person heard it and repeats the poem or verse.
b. Somebody has a burning torch and another has a cold torch. The later leans his torch to the burning torch and the new torch suddenly lights.


B. CONSCIOUSNESS
We must differ between "to be conscious" and "consciousness".
1. To be conscious is like in this picture of Caspar David Friedrich - a self-portrait (of 1818): http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:Caspar_David_Friedrich_032.jpg&filetimestamp=20110615184255 . There he sees himself from behind. He 'sees himself seeing'.

The Hindus have also have a picture - but, oh, these Hindus! Here it is: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-qZez2-YoLvg/TYD3-sC9BQI/AAAAAAAAAgQ/w5X7PkiEIig/s1600/Bhagavad-gita.jpg

2. Consciousness defines your status of world realisation. These statuses are hierarchic. Brahma (the God, who believes he created the world) has another level than real humans or you majority (I call you "small gods") - and animals even have even more (lower) levels of consciousnesses.

CanSpeccy said...

Science deals only with what can be demonstrated. But consciousness cannot be demonstrated, it can only be experienced.

To science, the only approach to understanding the human mind is on the assumption that we are automatons and that our reports of awareness of pain, or color, or whatever, are merely reports of internal states that correspond with neurological events. But such states or events are scientifically significant only insofar as they are outwardly observable, and thus do not constitute an understanding of consciousness.

That pain hurts or that color green has a subjective quality that cannot be expressed by reference to anything observable means that consciousness will never be explained.

This is no doubt a cause of annoyance to the purveyors of the scientific world view who know that belief in the unlimited power of science to explain the world is the basis of their own wealth, power and prestige.

Hence the recurrent claims to have "solved" the problem of consciousness: some special cells at the back of the brain, some neuronal quantum resonance, or some other hocus pocus.

Anon said...

Many thanks for all the excellent comments.

Dear CanSpeccy,

I've added your comment to the text.

- Aangirfan

j said...

@Anon 7:47 AM / CanSpeccy

I disagree
Citation: "Science deals only with what can be demonstrated. But consciousness cannot be demonstrated, it can only be experienced".

Answer: "Consciousness" is here used in the sense of "to be conscious".
And that of course CAN be proved: Is somebody faints and gets unconscious your CAN prove that!
Also if someone sleeps, he/she is unconscious. And you CAN prove it!
Also if someone sits in a cinema-chair and enjoys a film he/she is unconscious. This person did not ay for an expensive cinema ticket only just to be conscious to be sitting in a chair and to be (possibly) conscious to munch some popcorn. He/she could that done at home - without paying for a ticket. No nee to go to the movies!
But this person paid only to become unconscious. He/she wants to drop into the film plot - and to be unconscious! Same with watching TV or reading a novel.

Buddha had a (scientific!) test to register, if you are conscious or not: Suddenly ask yourself if you are standing, sitting or laying. If you can't answer this question i m m e d e a t e l y (like Superman's "fast as a speeding bullet") you have not been conscious!

Citation: "To science, the only approach to understanding the human mind is on the assumption that we are automatons and that our reports of awareness of pain, or color, or whatever, are merely reports of internal states that correspond with neurological events".

Answer: I also disagree with that. Yes, Archimedes, Newton, Einstein were wrong. But they WERE NO SCIENTISTS!

brian said...

FYI
this may interest people:
“The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself.” ― William Blake


http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1355163.Mundus_Imaginalis_or_The_imaginary_and_the_Imaginal

focus on 'consciousness' can be misleading..

But if i may, in tibetan buddhism consciousness , the open field of awareness, is like a cloudless sky with the sun in it...its not something one possesses...like imagination in the Blake quote.Its you youself

CanSpeccy said...

Re: brain and mind

There is an amusing paper in Science Magazine entitled: "Is your brain really necessary?" recounting a study of an individual whose cerebral cortex was reduced to an almost paper thin layer surrounding a fluid-filled cavity.

Intellectually, the subject was apparently normal, had an IQ of 126 and a first class honors math degree.

CanSpeccy said...

"'Consciousness' is here used in the sense of "to be conscious".

If that were correct, then the rest of your argument would be correct. However, the statement:

"The scientists have not yet managed to explain the thing we call 'consciousness'"

makes it clear that what is under discussion is not the meaning of being conscious or unconscious, but what is meant by consciousness as the subjective knowledge that we have knowledge, or the awareness of being aware.

But that's difficult for a dogmatic materialist to acknowledge, because to acknowledge the question confirms the limitation of materialism.

j said...

@CanSpeccy 5:54 PM

1.) "The scientists have not yet managed to explain the thing we call 'consciousness'"

Yes, I disagree with this statement.
This statement is right as far as it concerns Archimedes, Newton, Einstein and even more Descartes ("I think, therefore I am").
But this statement is wrong as far as it concerns Siddhattha Gotama (Buddha) or even early Hindu philosophers like Shankara.

No one has researched more intensive and more scientifically the topic "consciousness" than the Buddha in the Pali-texts (Hinayana - the Mahayana-texts I know too little, to say something about them).
His whole teaching relied on this research!

What would we say if we heard a discussion of scientists about a 'relation of time and space'. And then when we'd mention the name "Einstein", they would glare at us with a total lack of understanding. And when we then would find out that they never heard of a man named "Einstein" - not to speak of his work - wouldn't we be totally surprised!
But exactly this happens when "consciousness" is discussed. The best you get is, that the name of this stupid Descartes is dropped.

To Buddha's causal chain of phenomenons (to which most prominently belongs "consciousness") see: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html .


2.) Citation: "…makes it clear that what is under discussion is not the meaning of being conscious or unconscious, but what is meant by consciousness as the subjective knowledge that we have knowledge, or the awareness of being aware".

Answer: Somehow I don't understand what You mean. My comment treated exactly(!) this "awareness of being aware". Thus my picture of Caspar David Friedrich (among those tons of self-portraits of painters throughout the last 1000 years this is probably the only one self-portrait, where a painter portraits himself exclusively from behind): http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:Caspar_David_Friedrich_032.jpg&filetimestamp=20110615184255 .
And C. D Friedrich here shows us of course exactly that: "Awareness of being aware": The Friedrich looking at the "sea of clouds" is "awareness". The Friedrich looking with the eyes of the viewer (like us) is "awareness of being aware".

Same with the Hindu picture: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-qZez2-YoLvg/TYD3-sC9BQI/AAAAAAAAAgQ/w5X7PkiEIig/s1600/Bhagavad-gita.jpg .

The lady holding the bridle is "awareness". The lady watching the lady, who holds the bridle represents "awareness of being aware"

So I really can't see your point.

j said...

@CanSpeccy 5:54 PM
Addition:
The same with the person sitting in a cinema.
To watch the film is "awareness" (probably even before the hero of the film finds out he is in danger, you've already seen it, and would love to warn him!) .
To watch yourself watching the film - and thus always knowing you sit in a cinema chair - is "awareness of being aware" (of course it is hard to enjoy a film this way).

CanSpeccy said...

Anon, you are changing your position. At first you said:

"Consciousness" is here used in the sense of "to be conscious".

Then, when I said it was not this, but the awareness of being aware that was under discussion, you said:

"My comment treated exactly(!) this "awareness of being aware".

I think not.

As for your explanation of "awareness of being aware", it does not conform to the scientific requirement of objectively verifiable evidence.

j said...

@CanSpeccy 4:59 AM

Please don't try to be bossy, CanSpeccy. It isn't worth it!

1.) Citation: "Anon, you are changing your position. At first you said: "Consciousness" is here used in the sense of "to be conscious". Then, when I said it was not this, but the awareness of being aware that was under discussion, you said: "My comment treated exactly(!) this "awareness of being aware".

Answer: "to be conscious" and "awareness to be aware" are e x a c t l y the same. I never said something different. Thus I never changed my position (this doesn't mean I was shy to change my position if necessary - I do that quite often!)

2.) Citation: "(you said:) My comment treated exactly(!) this "awareness of being aware" .. I think not."

Answer: My comments of "7:52" and "8:04" had only one topic. "Awareness of being aware" (or: to be conscious). I can't see how You would have disputed this. Otherwise elaborate your statement "I think not".

3.) Citation: As for your explanation of "awareness of being aware", it does not conform to the scientific requirement of objectively verifiable evidence.

a) If this was the case the same is true for Your comment. Because at this point I can't see how Your explanation ("but what is meant by consciousness as the subjective knowledge that we have knowledge, or the awareness of being aware") differs from mine.

b) Also You mix up the demand of "proof" on the scientific field and the demand of "proof" on the field of 'explanation' or 'discussion'.
On the field of science the validity of a theory is accepted after there was first a successful theoretical proof (usually with a lot of mathematics) and then a proof by practical experiment (usually in a physical surrounding).
But on the field of "explanation" and "discussion" there is never a need for "proof" - except if the explanation or the argument was disputed or put into doubt.
But at this moment You have not disputed my explanation of 'awareness of being aware' by my three pictures (Caspar David Friedrich, Hindu picture, example with person in cinema).

DarkStar888 said...

Perhaps, in Creating This Reality, we have already become – as in Star Trek, The Next Generation – a Q of the Continuum or we are part of a consciousness virtual reality experiment.

The holographic paradigm also has implications for so-called hard sciences like biology. Keith Floyd, a psychologist at Virginia Intermont College, has pointed out that if the concreteness of reality is but a holographic illusion, it would no longer be true to say the brain produces consciousness. Rather, it is Consciousness that creates the appearance of the brain as well as the body and everything else around us we interpret as physical.

We are or should I say, our minds are not our minds there are the minds of our thought entities that create this consciousness.

HUMANITY IS ITSELF, an illusory form, and the product of HYPNOTIC SUGGESTION. The awareness to consider this information WILL BREAK the TRANCE STATE.

The 3 dimensional curtain of deception, otherwise referred to a SINISTER FORM of HYPNOTIC MISDIRECTION, separates us from our natural state of wisdom, through awareness. The 3D perspective, everything we see, is a curtain formed in 3 directions – height, width and depth. Part of this 3 dimensional curtain is our physical body. The body has 5 physical sensors programmed to be receptive to the 3 dimensional illusion around us. The way these sensors pick up the signals from the 3D curtain is through subliminal messages. Subliminals are constructed through such techniques as simple shapes, sounds and colours, and then more complex, multi-layered methods, such as reverse imagery, reverse symbolism, distorted symbolism, reverse speech patterns, neuro-linguistic (brain language) programming techniques, and the elaborate use of the language and number systems, among other devious modes of manipulation.

Nuff Said for Now. DS888

DarkStar888 said...

The 3 dimensional illusion is CREATED BY THE THOUGHT PROCESS. Thinking is not being aware. Thinking is that thing any conscious being APPEARS TO DO to attempt to manipulate the future, or relive the pain/pleasure from the past. Both these time zones, the future and the past, do not exist. Therefore, thinking about them to manipulate them is a deception. However, to consider what is happening in this moment is not called thinking. Staying in the moment and meeting the needs of the moment is awareness of the 3 dimensional space, albeit, an illusory space. To function within this 3D space requires that needs be met. Reality, and our true eternal wisdom state, extends beyond the 3D illusory forms, and that wisdom state simply knows everything through awareness, ALREADY. Our eternal wisdom state knows the manipulation process of the luciferian egregore group of thinkers. Wisdom knows that this luciferian group plays god and plays the devil. Both of which are none existent. Wisdom, through awareness, sees how this group mindset bands together to manifest the reality they want all humanity to follow.

Reincarnation is so obviously a myth that it hardly bears mentioning. The light energy that forms our 3 dimensional form is a conjured up illusion and is not who or what we are. Our spirit is also a fabrication of this illusion. SPIRIT is nothing more than ENERGY that’s invisible to the naked eye, and is the product, the manifestation, of the luciferian Thought Process. If we shed our physical body and experience the ILLUSION of DEATH before our 3D illusory life experience becomes aware of our Original Wisdom State, we still shed the number/language systems that appeared to keep us locked in the Trance State, and unaware. Upon shedding the physical body we are immediately aware of our Original Eternal Wisdom State. The only draw back is that it was of no benefit to us as we experienced this present 3 dimensional life existence.

j said...

@DarkStar888 6:49 AM and 7:00 AM

"Rather, it is Consciousness that creates the appearance of the brain as well as the body and everything else around us we interpret as physical"

I agree absolutely. There is only software - no hardware. We experience only(!) the products of the six senses (5 senses + thinking).

And we, DarkStar888, can even prove it.
In school we were taught, that before the eye there was an (objective!) object and light goes from it into the eye and falls on the retina. And the light-cells then send 'on' or 'out' signals through the fat bundle of nerves that start at the end of every eye and go to the seeing-brain (in the back of the brain). And the seeing-division then makes the picture.

Bat that is bullshit of course!
Because before the eye is not an (objective/absolut) "object" or 'start-product' of the seeing-process - but the END(!)-product!

What You see before the eyes is the (END)product of the seeing-brain. So the eye does not look to some 'outside' but into the seeing-brain!
The same is true for the other senses.
So it's exclusively an inside world.

This is why we have dreams that are so realistic, that we only realize that we dreamt, when we wake up.

Instead of speaking of "HYPNOTIC SUGGESTION" or "TRANCE STATE" it was the similarity of reality to the dreams, that S. Gotama gave himself the title "Buddha" - which means "the awakened one".
When later Hinduism appeared the Hindus put Vishnu to the root (or on top) of the whole universe. Not Krishna, who is just an avatar - something like the ego in your dream (which may run through streets or talk to friends, while you in fact lie in a bed and won't talk at all).

Ad this Vishnu is dreaming his cosmic dream.
And the Hindi philosopher Shankara doesn't say it explicitly but strongly hints to the reader of his commentary of the Bhagavad-Gita, that Vishnu is no one else but the reader him/herself.

But like Buddhism also Hinduism declined: The first pray(!) to Buddha, the last pray to Vishnu.
BUT THEY DON'T TRY TO WAKE UP ANYMORE!

 
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