Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

The introduction is brand new and the rest of it, well the discerning eyes around here will notice it has gone through a bit of evolution itself. There’s only so much polishing one can do and then it’s pretty well finished, so I don’t mind reposting it. write4u you’ll find your influence woven into some of these lines. :slight_smile:

Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide (2/5)

"Our relationship between our selves and the knowledge we acquire is rarely examined."

“Who am I?”

Children and the learned have been fascinated by that question and the mystery of our sense of “self" since forever.

David Chalmers formalized some of that wonder with his Hard Problem of Consciousnessback around 1995 and philosophers have been having a field day with the notion ever since.*

The glaring problem with their conceptions and the endless philosophizing is that they rarely truly incorporate the ramifications of Evolution beyond lip service.

Seems to me as a society our biggest problem is that most are still trapped within the Abrahamic mindset of absolute self-absorption. A bubble where our own thoughts, perceptions and expectations totally engulf our thinking and leaves no space for explicitly recognizing the physical realities beyond our own immediate needs, with that unrecognized attitude permeating and shackling our understanding of the world around us .

For all the lectures on the topic, I rarely hear any examination of the relationship between our selves and the knowledge we acquire. That’s a big problem because it blinds us to Earth’s realities and the needs of others, such as this life sustaining biosphere we’re currently destroying as fast as we can.

No grand revelation, a simple observation.

*{Incidentally, Dr. Mark Solms has recently done an excellent job of demystifying those notions and bringing the source of consciousness back into the realm of biology and real science.}

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Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

I can’t figure out, why it isn’t self-evident to folks that consciousness and mind can’t be understood by studying modern people in these modern times? Consciousness requires an evolutionary perspective of the natural, biological forces at work. First producing simple creatures that eventually evolved into aware complex creatures, with branches that eventually evolved into Homo during the last minute+ of Evolution’s 24 hours of Creation, only then into Homo sapiens, a mere 3, 4 seconds ago.

How does one ponder the human brain and mind without wondering about all the time before Homo? We evolved out of the mammalian class of animals. Think about it, the breast-feeding body plan with a lifestyle built around nurturing their young, developing families and even communities.

Physical Reality is the physical world of atoms, molecules, universal laws of physics, biology and Earth’s laws of nature. It is Earth’s dance between geology and biology and time and Earth’s evolving creatures. For this discussion, one in particular, one that learned to contemplate the universe along with its own short life.

Human Mindscape is all that goes on inside of our minds. The landscape of our thoughts and desires and impulses and those various voices and personalities who inhabit our thoughts and Being. The ineffable ideas that our hands can turn into physical reality and change our planet.

The me, myself and I, and all that unfolds within the thoughts just beyond the biological sparks and chemical cascades unfolding within our physical bodies and brains as they navigate their environments.

The evolutionary biologist and historian of science Stephen J. Gould wrote an essay in 1997, “Non-overlapping Magisteria” in an attempt to address the tension between scientific truths and religious truths.

His solution was the notion of “Non-overlapping Magisteria” which delineated two teaching “authorities” (magisterium), the “magisteria of science” and the “magisteria of religion.” It wasn’t his original idea, rather a continuation of a centuries old dialogue between scientists and the Catholic Church that I won’t get into.

In any event, Gould concluded there should be no conflict because each realm had its own domain of “teaching authority.” Since these “magisteria” do not overlap, they cannot contradict each other and should be able to exist in mutual respect.

When it first came out, I loved the idea because of my own struggling intellectual spiritual journey which was embedded within gathering and learning from sober scientific knowledge about this Earth and her story, while dealing with the spiritual aspect of ‘touching Earth’ and having experienced ‘God’s breath’ against my back so to speak.

Gould’s idea was interesting and it gained a lot of attention and lively discussion, but in the end seems to have offered little to either side. For myself, the criticisms made sense and my enthusiasm faded away. Still, the conflict kept echoing like an unresolved challenge as I increasingly engaged faith-shackled contrarians towards climate science and Evolution, then it was reinvigorated by my recent adventures through Prof. Hoffman’s imagination.

I’ve kept learning more about Earth’s amazing evolution and geophysics and also the scientific process itself.

A process that’s basically a set of rules for gathering and assessing our observations in an honest, open and disciplined manner, that all who understand science can participate in and trust because it is a community of skeptical experts who are always looking over each other’s shoulders. It’s also predicated on the notion that fidelity to honesty and truth matters.

Too many celebrity talkers have become so infatuated with the wonderful ideas their genius creates, that they lose sight of the actually physical reality they are trying to render.

Science seeks to objectively learn about our physical world, but we ought to still recognize all our understanding is embedded within and constrained by our mindscape and the bubble our personal ego creates.

Religion is all about the human mindscape itself, with its wonderful struggles, fears, spiritual undercurrents, needs and stories we create to give our live’s meaning and make it worth living, or at least bearable.

What’s the point?

Religions, science, same as political beliefs, heaven, hell, mathematics, art, music, even God, they are all products of the human mindscape, generations of imaginings built upon previous generations of imaginings, all the way down.

That’s not to say they are the same thing, they are not! Though I think they’re both valid human endeavors, still fundamentally, qualitatively different.

Religion deals with the inside of our minds, hearts and souls, Science does its best to objectively understand the physical world beyond all that, doing its best to eliminate ego and bias from of its deliberations.

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Well stated… image

Ricky Gervais came up with a brilliant falsification of Religion v Science.

He proposed that if we were to burn all Scripture and all Scientific theory and waited 500 years and then rewrote all books, the new Scripture would be completely different from the current versions, but all new Scientific theories would be exactly the same as they are today.

I’ll never forget that profound observation showing the deep divide that lies between these 2 worldviews.

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Yeah there’s some truth in that, but it’s a comedian view.
I’ll bet there have been comparative studies made of religions, and I’ll bet by and large, when you get down to the basic fundamental, there would be more similarities found between religions, then substantive differences.

Because basically, any reinvented religions will be born out of pretty much the same evolutionary backstory, and the same self-serving human brain with the same suite of reinforcing thoughts.

How about something more to the point?

Science seeks to objectively learn about our physical world, but we should still recognize all our understanding is embedded within and constrained by our mindscape.

Religion is all about the human mindscape itself, with its wonderful struggles, fears, spiritual undercurrents, needs and stories we create to give our live’s meaning and make it worth living, or at least bearable.

The point is:

Religion deals with the inside of our minds, hearts and souls, Science does its best to objectively understand the physical world beyond all that, doing its best to factor ego out of the deliberations.

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There’s a thread going by the title of

And write4u thinks we should keep the philosophizing to another thread so here’s something that came to me as I was walking Maddy, I’m out of time so won’t be able to fix it up, but it’s still something I wanted to share with Write.

Had a good walk with Maddy and got to thinking about a more historic perspective.

You like quoting Descartes, no doubt he was a smart fella, yet what should be overlooked or underestimated is that we can’t separate Descartes from his religiosity and Catholicism. He’s a perfect example of Abrahamic thinking, that is, being totally consumed by his own thinking, to the point that he was oblivious to the physical reality beyond his thoughts and immediate situation.

All he has is his thoughts and he doesn’t consider the reality outside of his thought. That simply is - the stuff and story that went into creating us. Earth’s day to day “natural” reality that will remain long after we dissolve back into Earth’s biosphere.

Descartes is my Abrahamic Mindset personified.

Or take it further back to great Greek thinkers, too often it comes across as though they reasoned out how nature should look - then expecting nature to conform to their assumptions, when confront with a conflict between observations and assumption - they simply ignored what didn’t suit their fancy.

Rather than a fundamental appreciation for the divide between us the receivers and the physical reality being projected onto us and process by our body, mind and thoughts. Thus, learning a respect for the limitations of our assumptions.

We are all giving it our best shot with the information each of us happen to have been exposed to growing up. Some methods produce more objective results than others, but all is shackled by our perceptual limitations, and that delicious divide between what our bodies are doing and what we are thinking.

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Excellent OP Title!

I am inclined to disagree with this, but I’ll have to think on it trying to see it from your perspective.

Let me explain why I am hesitant to agree.

Descartes observed a hard fact that the brain itself is physically completely isolated from the exterior environment and only learns of it from secondary neural information.

Just as we receive information via the internet and you know how unreliable this can be.

That means the brain must rely on the accuracy of the translated information and it is another hard fact that every person perceives reality a little differently .

For one, every observer is subject to relativity and especially when the observed object is in motion it presents a completely different sensory reception of the same exterior phenomenon being observed.

This is where according to Roger Antonsen, imagination becomes important in allowing for empathic emotional response.

What I am trying to say is that it is impossible to have the exact same experience of reality . All there is, is a best guess by the brain about “what’s out there in the world”.
But it is only on the observation of those things we generally agree on that may be called reality. Reality is by consensus (Anil Seth)

Perhaps this results in a natural tendency to trust one’s own mindscape more so than another’s mindscape. The brain can only rely on its own relationship with the environment via its physical sensory experience and that varies from person to person. This incredible variety of relational experiences with environmental influences is a result of evolution. Everyone gets an equal chance at survival, depending on their ability to cope with the environment. And it may require an Abrahamic brain to make the most of that.

Richard Dawkins wrote a book called “The Selfish Gene”. What kind of mindscape was he talking about?

But ask how it is possible that identical twins may grow up in totally different ways.
How is that even possible when being that closely related?

Most of what I’ve heard from Gervais, i first heard from the Four Horseman or others.

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After he does his thought experiment of what could control our minds, he is left with no roots in physical reality. He solves this problem with the “perfect being”. And we know who he has in mind.

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Be sure to look at his background in and relationship to the Catholic Church.

"And in its ( Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences) pages Descartes sought to construct the foundation for human reason by stripping away belief in anything that could be doubted. He entertained the thought that “everything that had ever entered my mind was no more true than the illusions of my dreams.”

It’s all about his thought processes, what’s lacking is any sort of benchmark for physical reality, reality feels like it’s been reduced to an outgrowth of his (our) ideas.

Again that’s an over-simplification that misses real world details. In real life, the brain itself is not “completely” isolated from the exterior environment - those belong to idealized thinking and the perfection Lausten alludes to.

Look up: “infrasound impacts on the brain.” That isn’t a rhetorical trick, it’s real world physical stuff that does touch the brain. The point is, in reality the Brain is not perfectly isolated from the world outside of us, and using such a statement as a foundation of any real world argument (as opposed to philosophizing ad hoc notions) will lead us astray!

So what?
What does that have to do with the fact that Decartes’ thinking was dominated by religious indoctrination and he was fairly oblivious to the fact of nature in and of itself. It was all about his perception and thinking himself out of his dilemma.

Which is fine, it’s what we humans were built for, and obviously he was able to do a lot with it.
But it still blinds one to recognize a firm defined physical reality that transcends our thoughts and that doesn’t give a hoot what are minds are puzzling together.
(and I don’t mean the “defined” our minds do. I’m talking about having specific definition in and of itself, not dependent on any human thoughts.)

Which gets us back to this problem of being so totally self-absorbed by one’s own thoughts that there’s no imagining anything beyond our limits.

Brain in a Vat is a splendid Mind Experiment, but it’s an idealization and disconnected from actual wet and slimy biological reality. He was outrunning his headlights and today we continue to outrun our headlights, as witnessed by our never ending ingenuity doing more to feed our self-destruction than to build anything sustainable, which would require recognizing the nature world out there as something beyond our playground and pantry.

And how is that relevant to what I’m trying to say?

I’ve never tried to deny that, what I scream & holler about is when people use that fact to conclude that we are creating what we observe, a la Hoffman. When we’re actually observing and composing an impression of what we see according to our particular foreknowledge.

Okay, that’s half the formula.

Here’s the other half, accepting that you are a creature in this sea of one particular physical reality that simply IS and always has been, regardless of what we may or may not think about it.

Our challenge is to give understanding it our best shot, while still appreciating the limitation of having to do all our understanding through our individual Brain in that Vat, of course that “Vat” has all sorts of varied connections (known and yet to be discovered) to the outside world.

Where have I ever argued differently???

Please hear me when I say, it’s the Physical Reality that is the exact same thing for everyone. Each creature, great or small, observes and processes that reality differently, but that’s not the interesting point.

The fascinating thing is appreciating that Physical Reality simply does swdqcvdw exist outside of our ability to become one with it.

Separate them at birth within different households. How could they possibly not grow up being non-identical in looks and behavior? Puzzle me that.

After all, our genes are only the recipe, there is also nutrition, nurture, environment, etc. that go to creating who we turn out to be.

I have no idea and you give me no context and though I’m familiar with the book and have read bits of it, but long long ago. Hum a few bars and perhaps I can join it.

Did he even mention Mindscape?
Why isn’t the definition I offer enough? It’s basically all of our thoughts and associated mental drama. I don’t understand why the concept is so challenging. Can you explain?\

Oh dear Maddy is getting impatient, now she’s trying to knock my 'puter out of my lap, it’s time to give in. My little girlie, girlie who seems to think she owns me and I do precious little to dissuade her.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:8, topic:9533”]
Be sure to look at his background in and relationship to the Catholic Church.

That is a meaningless argument. Darwin was a religious man. Did it influence his science? I have never heard anyone say that Evolution is false because Darwin believed in a god.

[quote=“write4u, post:5, topic:9533”]
Descartes observed a hard fact that the brain itself is physically completely isolated from the exterior environment and only learns of it from secondary neural information.

Again that’s an over-simplification that misses real world details. In real life, the brain itself is not “completely” isolated from the exterior environment - those belong to idealized thinking and the perfection Lausten alludes to.

Look up: “infrasound impacts on the brain.” That isn’t a rhetorical trick, it’s real world physical stuff that does touch the brain. The point is, in reality the Brain is not perfectly isolated from the world outside of us, and using such a statement as a foundation of any real world argument (as opposed to philosophizing ad hoc notions) will lead us astray!

So what?
What does that have to do with the fact that Decartes’ thinking was dominated by religious indoctrination and he was fairly oblivious to the fact of nature in and of itself? It was all about his perception and thinking himself out of his dilemma.

Which is fine, it’s what we humans were built for, and obviously, he was able to do a lot with it.
But it still blinds one to recognize a firm defined physical reality that transcends our thoughts and that doesn’t give a hoot what are minds are puzzling together.
(and I don’t mean the “defined” our minds do. I’m talking about having a specific definition in and of itself, not dependent on any human thoughts.)

What does that have to do with thinking? The brain is also subject to gravity, heat, cold, and atmospheric pressure, But what does any of that have to do with emergent consciousness? All life on earth is subject to these conditions. Not everything is intelligent.

Which gets us back to this problem of being so totally self-absorbed by one’s own thoughts that there’s no imagining anything beyond our limits.

That is a totally unsupported assertion. The two are not mutually exclusive.
But consciousness seems to be an emergent property over and above it’s physical limits. The real limits resides in the patterns physical objects are arranged in.

Brain in a Vat is a splendid Mind Experiment, but it’s an idealization and disconnected from actual wet and slimy biological reality. He was outrunning his headlights and today we continue to outrun our headlights, as witnessed by our never ending ingenuity doing more to feed our self-destruction than to build anything sustainable, which would require recognizing the natural world out there as something beyond our playground and pantry.

Is it an idealization? Do you believe the experiment is based on a false assumption?
Do you believe that the brain can be absolutely certain of what it “believes”?

I totally agree that man has removed himself from the physical world. The reason is that we have the ability to shape our environment. Problem is that if you exceed natural limits , nature will exact a price. We have no argument there! Don’t create it.

And how is that relevant to what I’m trying to say?

I don’t know. I was voicing my perspective. Do you agree with that observation?

I’ve never tried to deny that, what I scream & holler about is when people use that fact to conclude that we are creating what we observe, a la Hoffman. When we’re actually observing and composing an impression of what we see according to our particular foreknowledge.

Halleluja!
I believe I just got through with saying the same thing !
“No one has the score to the symphony of life!” The best we can do is make an educated guess.

Okay, that’s half the formula.

Here’s the other half, accepting that you are a creature in this sea of one particular physical reality that simply IS and always has been, regardless of what we may or may not think about it.

I agree!

Our challenge is to give understanding it our best shot, while still appreciating the limitation of having to do all our understanding through our individual Brain in that Vat, of course that “Vat” has all sorts of varied connections (known and yet to be discovered) to the outside world.

I agree, but none that cause intelligence. That property emerges from the inside out not from the outside in.

Where have I ever argued differently???

Please hear me when I say, it’s the Physical Reality that is the exact same thing for everyone. Each creature, great or small, observes and processes that reality differently, but that’s not the interesting point.

I hear you and I agree totally!

The fascinating thing is appreciating that Physical Reality simply does exist outside of our ability to become one with it.
That sounds like you are arguing with yourself!

Separate them at birth within different households. How could they possibly not grow up being non-identical in looks and behavior? Puzzle me that.

That’s easy. The question is when both grow up in the same environment and one becomes cop and the other becomes a criminal? That is the remarkable phenomenon!

After all, our genes are only the recipe, there is also nutrition, nurture, environment, etc. that go to creating who we turn out to be.

I agree .

I have no idea and you give me no context and though I’m familiar with the book and have read bits of it, but long long ago. Hum a few bars and perhaps I can join it.

Did he even mention Mindscape?

Why does Mindscape have to be mentioned ? Now do you understand why I complained that so many researchers of consciousness completely ignore the fact that the mindscape originates in the microtubule network?

Why isn’t the definition I offer enough? It’s basically all of our thoughts and associated mental drama. I don’t understand why the concept is so challenging. Can you explain?

In context, your definition is enough. As I said before I have no argument with your perspective. AFAIK it is perfectly rational.

We both have problems with the lazy way of thinking that even some scientists engage in the context of our perspective.

This is what David Bohm called “fractured science”.

My focus is on the emergence of consciousness.
Your focus is on the emerged conscious relationship with the environment, no?

Of course it influenced his feeling and thoughts, and his science was built up on that substructure.

Are you free of your upbringing and the influences that played on your growing imagination, and the form of the challenges you faced? I am the sum total of all the experiences and learning and days that preceded this one. I couldn’t wash away my rather unique experience that managed to save me from that Abrahamic sort of religious indoctrination. Or, that would be my guiding light, rather than a speck of dust that wanted to be more - and all the distracting dualism and self-centeredness that embodies would have imprinted itself upon my being.

10. Darwin was a confirmed atheist who had a deathbed conversion to Christianity

Like his father and the rest of the males in his family, Darwin had little use for established religions because he thought they were authoritarian and discriminated against those who did not accept them. He was never an outright atheist, however. His statements on religion (Barlow 1958) suggest that he was a deist, like many cultured Englishmen of his time (Wilson 2002) and the American founding fathers (Holmes 2006). That is, he accepted the presence of some kind of Creator, but avoided the words Christ, Savior, or Redeemer. Darwin could not conceive how the universe could have been the result of “blind chance and necessity”; all this must have had a “First Cause” with “an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man” (Barlow 1958). Nevertheless, like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and others, Darwin did not identify with any religious denomination in traditional terms. After the death of his 10-year-old daughter Annie, he lost his faith in Providence (the idea that everything is divinely ordained for the best), as many have done after similar tragedies. As he grew older, questions of religion simply ceased to interest him (Barlow 1958, Desmond and Moore 1992).

The deathbed conversion story is a myth started by a profiteering woman who never actually met Darwin, as far as can be told (Moore 1994). The legend is still repeated by fundamentalist Christian preachers and radio hosts, which prompted Darwin scholar James Moore to write his book The Darwin Legend.

I dare say Darwin was more aware of the influences his religion played on him than most people. Nonetheless, his fundamental intellectual skeleton was build on top of the prevailing Christian doctrine, which is infused with absolute self-absorption with the Earth and our environment a stage set.

As so much of early anthropological conjectures make laughable clear.


Write, I appreciate this comment and I look forward to reading it carefully and giving it a thorough response, but things are particularly crowded so who knows when I’ll do it. Good night.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:10, topic:9533”]
Of course it influenced his feeling and thoughts, and his science was built up on that substructure.

How can you say that? Evolution is the very opposite of creationism on which the Abrahamic religions and thinking are founded.

It is you who posits that Abrahamic thinking prevents objective science, not me.

As for me, I am a hard atheist brought up in an atheist family. I have read some of the bible only to be able to argue against dogmatic religionism. I believe in Tegmark’s mathematical universe. Do you want to call that Abrahamic thinking?

I consider that prejudicial… image

If anything I am an empath, able to see the world from many different perspectives.
Read any of my poetry?

And here you carelessly diagnose my mindset as Abrahamic thinking? I suggest you consider what I post with a more open mind!

.

I only have a few minutes, but I saw a story in the recent Science News, it’s a wonderful example of how hidden attitudes impact perspectives:

Lucy Cooke’s new book ‘Bitch’ busts myths about female animals

Sexism in biology has left females misunderstood

To Charles Darwin, nature had a certain order. And in that order, males always came out on top. They were the leaders, the innovators, the wooers and the doers.

“The males of almost all animals have stronger passions than the females,” Darwin wrote in 1871. “The female, on the other hand, with the rarest of exceptions, is less eager.” The founder of evolutionary theory posited that throughout the animal kingdom, males are active, females are passive, and that’s pretty much that. Females, in sum, are boring.

That’s poppycock, Lucy Cooke writes in her latest book, Bitch. This blinkered view of nature as a man’s world was conceived and promulgated by Victorian men who imposed their values and world view on animals, she says. Cooke, a documentary filmmaker and the author of The Truth About Animals and two children’s books (SN: 4/14/18, p. 26), has traveled the world and met scientists who are exposing the truth about the sexes. She takes readers on a wild ride as she observes the ridiculous mating rituals of sage grouse, searches for orca poop (to monitor sex hormones) and watches female lemurs boss around males.

Through such adventures, Cooke learns that females are anything but boring. “Female animals are just as promiscuous, competitive, aggressive, dominant and dynamic as males,” she writes.

That may not sound radical to today’s feminists, but in the field of evolutionary biology, such a pronouncement has long bordered on the heretical. Generations of biologists have focused on male behavior and physiology, on the assumption that females are little more than baby-making machines to be won over by the strongest, showiest males. …

I’m not, being sure that you’ve also read plenty about the history of anthropology, and some of the goofy pronouncement that were made in all seriousness along the way. How you be shocked by the notion?

Til later.

Yes , many people are indoctrinated in biblical dogma. I am not one of them.

I know that Bonobo chimpanzees are the most peaceful hominid on earth. One researcher observed that if you are guest in a Bonobo camp you can go to sleep and rest easy in the knowledge that you will wake up unharmed the next morning.

Of course, the Bonobo society is matriarchal.
The females run the show and all disputes are resolved with sexual favors. Neat huh?

And then there are the honey bees. Once the males have completed the mating flight, they are expelled from the hive and die a sorry death. The female bees continue their love affair with flowers. It works!

I’m not talking about Biblical dogma, I’m talking about more subtle stuff, ways of thinking.
Dualism, right v wrong, heaven v hell, man v woman, strength v weakness, my and my tribes needs take presence over all else, particle v wave, and so on and so forth. The easy way of dismissing nuances and other concerns, or facts for that matter.

That’s not religious dogmas, but the way of thinking that’s formed from within those dogmatic perspectives upon the world.

I dare say it’s probably a bit more complicated than that, but okay, so what do we learn from that?

Don’t suppose you might be allowing your own emotional anthropocentric outlook color that “objective description”. :wink:

Like meme about the fishes who are unaware of the water they inhabit, because they know nothing else.

Let me put this very succinctly.
In conversation I don’t differentiate between man and woman. I speak to a brain. And as you know that is perfectly understandable in view that I believe the brain functions more or less independent of the body…

I have little formal education other than accounting and draftsman, but I am well-read and confident in my ability for logical thought as a mandatory IQ test for a job application indicated.

I was a bookkeeper for a multimillion-dollar non-profit community development organization with 7 bank accounts and 40 employees. In 7 years my books were always balanced. Before then worked in medical billing for a small hospital with a large extended care facility.

Before that, I spend 7 years on the road as travelling musician, regularly playing big entertainment venues like Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe.

Before coming to US , I travelled halfway around the world as merchant marine, visiting some 10 countries in Europe and South America.
I was a proposal writer for two Indian tribes and lived for 7 years in the Idaho boonies, built my own log cabin, dug my own well, and ran a small farm with 2 horses, 2 dogs , 2 goats . 1 ram, 1 cat, 100 chickens.

I believe that experience has given me a well-rounded perspective on life and my place in it. Call me what you will, I know who I am and I am satisfied… :upside_down_face:

Why do you jump to the most dramatic dichotomies - besides, I never said that either!
I say his religion colored his outlook which seeps into this thinking and writing.
I don’t know what’s so controversial about the notion?

Darwin was a scientist, he did strive to be a keen objective observer and thinker and he constantly playing devil’s advocate with himself. He was excellent at it.
That doesn’t conflict with being imprinted by the religious milieu of his upbringing and world. Heck seems like religion was a monkey on his back, although much of that had to do with negotiating the dogmatically religious that populated his world and his wife’s thinking.

Of course the “Brain in a Vat” is an idealization. That’s the problem, it’s a philosophical challenge, a mind game to play.

A mind experiment focused on arguing specific intellectual ideas.

https://iep.utm.edu/brain-in-a-vat-argument/

The Brain in a Vat Argument

The Brain in a Vat thought-experiment is most commonly used to illustrate global or Cartesian skepticism. You are told to imagine the possibility that at this very moment you are actually a brain hooked up to a sophisticated computer program that can perfectly simulate experiences of the outside world. Here is the skeptical argument. If you cannot now be sure that you are not a brain in a vat, then you cannot rule out the possibility that all of your beliefs about the external world are false. Or, to put it in terms of knowledge claims, we can construct the following skeptical argument. Let “P” stand for any belief or claim about the external world, say, that snow is white.

  1. If I know that P, then I know that I am not a brain in a vat
  2. I do not know that I am not a brain in a vat
  3. Thus, I do not know that P.

And that is a ludicrous suggestion - something that only a mind totally consumed in itself can come up with.
Another perfect example of this Abrahamic Mindset driven disconnect from reality!

Even hearing philosophers explaining how there’s no difference between the dreaming mind and the wakeful mind is a bit of hokum.

Your Dreaming Mind is all about the brain internally processing and sorting and settling down the memory patches (or how ever you want to call it) of today - the Wakeful Mind is all about processing incoming information.
And to say you can’t sense the difference between your dream state and your waking state is false, I know that much from my own experience of sleeping, “light” dreaming, and living. Although I’ll admit most the time I don’t even recall any dreams, and when I do they leave me more with an emotional imprint that video worth of action. Even in younger years when I remembered more dreams, and remembered dreaming.
The dreamer and the dreamed long fascinated me, so I was actively thinking about such things and remember being rather shocked when it I read it suggested that we couldn’t tell the difference between dreaming and wakefulness - seemed contrived and no matter how much I ponder those ideas, they just don’t sit with my experience and I believe it’s a suggestion much more than a reality.

The Abrahamic Mindset has an abhorrence of not knowing, thus finds it natural to plaster over unknown complexity with idealized assumptions.

**Recognizing the divide between your thinking processes and the absolutely reality of the physical world we live in,**the physical reality that simply IS and can’t be doubted to have developed by one particular pathway, no matter what the human mind is capable of conjuring. Such an appreciation goes a long way to sobering up the mind games we love playing with our selves and others.

The think I’ve found and you’ve demonstrated a number of times is that the Abrahamic Mindset finds it easy to replace unknowns with assumptions. Me I appreciate the unknowns, and just as soon recognize them outright as unknowns. That doesn’t mean I can’t conjecture about this and that, it simple adds a sobering perspective on how seriously, or not, I should take myself.

Here’s a fundamental cornerstone of my way of thinking

either I am making up all that surrounds me, which would make me infinitely imaginative (heck it would make me the god)
or I am the stuff begotten from previous biological stuff and the simple fact that I exist in a rich world of living creatures, is my proof positive that this universe evolved along one particular unimaginably long and complex series of evolutionary event (evolution being Cumulative Change Over Time)

So what pisses me off about this Brain in the Vat thing is that it totally ignores the reality of evolution!!! That’s what I call being stranded within the mindscape. I mean think of, our brain is hundreds of millions of years in the making, and from it’s very first annunciation, it was all about helping it’s organism function, prosper and survive; with time and lessons learned; and Earth herself maturing chemically and geologically, there evolved and most excellent brain capable not just of prospering and surviving but also of self reflection and contemplation, which itself has spent millions and hundreds of thousands of year to achieve it’s current stupendous iteration in humans.

But we are God. First we realized we could imagine divorcing our body from our brain, now we can actually put that brain into a vat and keep it alive and somehow that proves what about the brain?
What? This stuff?

His seminal paper reconstructed the argument in terms of a disjunctive dilemma suggested by Putnam (Brueckner 1986: 154; more or less reproduced by Pritchard and Ranalli in Goldberg 2016: 78):

  1. (1) Either I am a BIV (speaking vat-English) or I am a non-BIV (speaking English).
  2. (2) If I am a BIV (speaking vat-English), then my utterances of ‘I am a BIV’ are true iff I have sense impressions as of being a BIV.
  3. (3) If I am a BIV (speaking vat-English), then I do not have senseimpressions as of being a BIV.
  4. (4) If I am a BIV (speaking vat-English), then my utterances of ‘Iam a BIV’ are false. [(2), (3)]
  5. (5) If I am a non-BIV (speaking English), then my utterances of ‘Iam a BIV’ are true iff I am a BIV.
  6. (6) If I am a non-BIV (speaking English), then my utterances of ‘Iam a BIV’ are false. [(5)]
  7. (7) My utterances of ‘I am a BIV’ are false. [(1), (4), (6)]

D. Šuster, “The Brain in Vat” at the Intersection

What does any of that tell us other than we are stupendous game players and can create the most marvelous stories. But in the end, it simply takes us further from recognizing our real bodies and brains as a living organism and our consciousness simply being the inside reflect of all the physical stuff that unfolds within us. NO that’s too simply, we need to contrive something more fanciful, sexy, sellable, it’s about the story more than the substance - … because it gives us a sense of knowing, which is better than not-knowing?

That is what I am calling the Abrahamic Mindset in action.

Extract

Hilary Putnam has famously argued that we can know that we are not brains in a vat because the hypothesis that we are is self-refuting. While Putnam’s argument has generated interest primarily as a novel response to skepticism, he originally introduced his brain in a vat scenario to help illustrate a point about the ‘mind/world relationship.’ In particular, he intended it to be part of an argument against the coherence of metaphysical realism, and thus to be part of a defense of his conception of truth as idealized rational acceptability. Putnam’s discussion has already inspired a substantial body of criticism, but it will be argued here that these criticisms fail to capture the central problem with his argument.
Indeed, it will be shown that, rather than simply following from his semantic externalism, Putnam’s conclusions about the self-refuting character of the brain in a vat hypothesis are actually out of line with central and plausible aspects of his own account of the relationship between our minds and the world.

So long as your Brain in the Vat is oblivious to the evolutionary origins of that brain, it’s a child’s fable. Might have something to say about human psychology, but nothing about our actual brain or its relationship with the world it exists within.

Write, an example of this replacing unknowns with assumptions is,
you say the brain is absolutely isolated, I showed you links that discussed documented examples of infra-sound impacting the intellectual and emotional and physical state of people. Seems plenty of proof that the brain is not isolated from the exterior world.

That falsifies your conjecture right there. Why can you dismiss it so easily?

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I don’t believe that.

How do you mean that?

You said it of Descartes. And Darwin proves that science can be practised in spite of , or alongside religion if one is willing to incur the wrath of the church.
If I recall, Galileo was found guilty of heresy and placed under house arrest.

It took another 350 years for the Papal Academy of Science to admit that Evolution is true, because it does not argue against the concept of a causal agency God , but is a correction of Divine Scripture ( add another mystery).
Galileo’s name was conveniently never mentioned again.

Seems to me that you are identifying any strongly held belief as Abrahamic , regardless if there is indisputable proof of its veracity.
Using that name, I attach a religious aspect to the analogy. And I am atheist so it is meaningless to me.

I told you. I speak to brains. not breasts.
I may look at them with appreciation, but they don’t represent thoughts except to the mind of the beholder… :hugs: :hugs:.

No! Stop telling me what I’m saying since you obviously don’t understand what I’m trying to spell out, pay attention to what I’ve actually written down - you don’t do that.

And look at yourself. You are talking about religious dogma, I’m talking about a subtle superior attitude that blinkers our intellects - that we aren’t even aware of. And you often offer good examples, such as how you’ve managed to reduce the difference between a man and a woman, to tits and nothing else.

Abrahamic Mindset has a way of limiting one’s outlook of the reality that confronts us.

For instance, do you really believe that the difference between male and females is reduced to possession of tits? Seriously!

You seem to imply that it’s all reduced to being sexist or not being sexist and nothing else out that belongs in your equation -
At least that’s what your words are saying.

Yes a woman is a human and a man is a human and both deserve simple human decency and respect.
But you don’t just speak to male or female icons,
you speak to individual people with their life experiences and personalities, and you’re telling me the man’s experiences and perspectives are the same as a woman’s?

The Abrahamic Mindset idealizes, over simplifies and finds it too easy to use assumptions to coverup mysteries.

Wish I had the time to try to explain it better, but I’m tired, good night.

Though I notice you danced around and avoided my comments regarding the disconnected brain in a vat.

Wait a minute? You speak to brains?!? How’s that work?
In my experience, I’m speaking to faces and voices?

So that must mean you’re telling me you treat everyone exactly the same way.
Is that a true fact?