Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

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.

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.


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?

Then don’t call it Abrahamic mindset that suggests a religious mindset. The name Abraham is only associated with religion.

What you are talking about is the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Dunning-Kruger effect, in psychology, a cognitive bias whereby people with limited knowledge or competence in a given intellectual or social domain greatly overestimate their own knowledge or competence in that domain relative to objective criteria or to the performance of their peers or of people in general.


[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:20, topic:9533”]
Wait a minute? You speak to brains?!? How’s that work?
In my experience, I’m speaking to faces and voices?

That is because you do not accept the fact that brains are autonomous organs and only occupy a male or female body by accident. It is the brain that speaks by producing action-potentials that trigger the vocal muscles.

I am sure you are aware of the current debate about transgender persons, who’s brain identifies as female trapped in a male body or vice versa?

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

Yes, intellect is gender neutral. Do you believe blind people are intellectually handicapped. Was Stevie Wonder intellectually handicapped? Was Hellen Keller intellectually handicapped.

Was Stephen Hawking intellectually handicapped because his body didn’t work? How about Peter Dinklage?

Did these people speak to males and females differently?

Do you speak differently to females than men? If so, why?

“Dunning-Kruger effect” - now there’s an interesting notion and I can see how some of that holds true - perhaps related, but still it’s not the same.

Why are you ignoring that Judaism, Christianity, and Islamism, weren’t just religions!

They were society and Law and social custom and a prescribed way of thinking.

Saying that the Abrahamic Mindset is “only religion” reveals yet another blindspot.
Weren’t those religions central to tribes developing into great cultures? Didn’t those religions dictate every aspect of the life, economy, laws, social structure?

Modern society is the evolved outgrowth of that historic dynamic. And it’s been a very self serving dynamic full of exploitation and wanton destruction, and stupid decisions that have brought our now global society to the brink of its own collapse, and doing nothing but pouring more gas on the fire. This even though we are amazingly intelligent, but rather than wisdom we are the self-serving human and will pay dearly for our inability to look outside of our self-serving needs and desires.

At the heart of our human societal failure to our unwillingness to come to terms with actual physical reality, all we see is a larder for us to empty, along with zero vision of the future.

I mean we are destroying our life support system and destroying our ecomonic infrastructure, destroying the splendid weather cycles humanity and Earth’s other creatures have enjoyed these past 8-10 millennia.

Now, you’re telling me there’s nothing to see there? We got it all figured out?

I see a profound societal failures of judgment which implies a failure to understand and require an explanation.

I see a profound societal failures of judgment that’s worth getting to the roots of.

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

I’ll wager that if you took some time to think about it, you’d acknowledge that on a fundamental level the Abrahamic religions are all about self-centeredness - ours as well as God’s.

These religions were founded on the basis of self-interest, they were focused on selected kernels of knowledge, born of an aggressive insecurity, and supported by a passionate sense of self-important certitude. Usually with empire building in mind while reeking with hostility towards outsiders, other teachers and learning. They did achieve results.

All the while pretty much ignoring the sovereignty of our Earth’s biosphere, her other inhabitants and the reality of our Evolutionary origins.

Consider, within the Abrahamic tradition our planet’s life support system and her inhabitants never rise above something to exploit until we suck it dry, then we move on to the next bonanza.

Whereas for me, Earth, her creatures and biosphere, her Evolution, these are my touchstones with physical reality. I feel time flowing through me as I travel through my days. I live within a mindscape that’s filled with an awareness of time in its entire spectrum, from microseconds, to my heart beat, to the days, seasons, years and decades, on to the eons of Evolution… link

The condition you describe is the Dunning -Kruger Effect. Why are you making it so complicated?

I never think I know more than someone else, but I am pretty confident in my ability to reason on a logical level.

A learned scientist may catch me on detail, but seldom on my understanding of basic principles.

I seldom look at the proofs. I trust that peer review has been thorouh. I read the narratives and if I understand the narrative to the proofs, I understand the concept or principle.

If a subject is outside my knowledge I refrain from comment until I have examined the knowledge.

and I sadly wonder why are you being so obtuse?
Light wine and brandy are not the same thing. :clinking_glasses:

That’s why we like each other I believe and strive to behave the same way. :tumbler_glass: :tumbler_glass:

You want more about Abrahamic Mindset, among its first tenets is the reduction and subjugation of women in social standing. We here in America 2022 separation of church and state since 1787, The Equal Right Amendment of 1997 has yet to ratified.

So why are you telling me I should refrain from the labeling a certain attitude that puts self before others, and that’s force a dualism into all our thinking that does as much blinker as it has helped enlighten.

Abrahamic Mindset? It demonstrates what I’m talking about to a tee. In all three religions and across all secular cultures that have been touched by them. It set the rules and everyone had to play their game, and days become generations.

sure, it’s an over-simplification, but isn’t every label an over-simplification? That why we are obliged to define ourselves.

I guess my answer that I speak to minds rather than to men and women, should qualify as a satisfactory negation of possessing an Abrahamic mindset,?.. :scream:

Yeah, that’s why this took a life time of learning and experience, and a few years of focused thought, exploration, writing.

Case For Reality

Because apparently someone needs to make one. Dissecting delusional thinking.



Cc’s Students’ Study Guide for The Case Against Reality.

(a non-scholar’s “scholarly” effort)

©2020 Peter Miesler

I intend to be a witness for a fact based Deep Time,

Evolutionary perspective on our Human Mind ~ Physical Reality interface.

And that’s why I’m actively seeking intelligent critique -

And why I’m more interested in finding people with whom all this resonates a wee bit, the defending gets old, especially when constantly confronted with more misunderstanding and straw men and defensiveness that actually picking apart the words I’m writing. Not trying to be harsh or snotty, and I do welcome all you have to offer because it’s better than the sound of one hand clapping, but you just won’t sit back look at those essays I wrote, allow them to at least percolate.

(7.01) An Alternative Philosophical Perspective - “Earth Centrism

(7.02) Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

(7.03) Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution

(7.04) It’s not a “Body-Mind problem” it’s an “Ego-God problem.”

Give it a little time and then lets take it from the top. :v:t2:

Absolutely. I suspect that we more agreement than disagreement on the subject…
Kindred spirits and all that… :innocent:

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For sure - for the Abrahamic mindset that you have set your sights on.
But that is not the Abrahamic Mindset that I’m trying to describe.

I think I am getting the idea and am looking forward to finding confirmation in different

There might even be situations that warrant such a social arrangement?

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Not really keeping up with this thread, but here’s a random comment.
For me, after getting the full Evil Genius argument, Descartes' Epistemology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy/Winter 2003 Edition), and realizing he ends with a “first cause” argument for God, I had to think this out for myself. This was probably about the time someone was on this forum make a “zombie” argument, Zombies (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy/Winter 2003 Edition), which is taking the brain in a vat to the extreme that you are the only brain, and everyone else is fake.

Anyway. In the end, we only have the tools that we have, no matter what is “real”. The tools include concepts, like accepting that we can’t be 100% sure about what we know. We can calculate probabilities, but let’s say Descartes’ experiment is probable, and we’ve been wrong about physics for the last 500 years. It doesn’t change the tools we have to determine what the evil genius is and maybe even how to escape its prison. Whether we are hooked up to a Matrix, or beings on a planet surrounded by other life, the way we figure it out is the same.

I watched a video by Fr. Matthew Pearson

Professor Destroys Relativism in 4 Minutes!
Feb 25, 2019

It was interesting, in its own way, but nothing to talk about. I mention it because of a comment more than the video itself.

John Tuel
1 hour ago

“Gonna have to provide some solid evidence that reality was “given” to us.”

I kinda like my response so am adding it to my collection over here considering it’s relevant to some discussions around here.

Don’t make it so personal. Reality isn’t “given” to “us”.

Isn’t Physical Reality the atoms, molecules, laws of physics, then galaxies and solar systems, then Earth and biology/geology, life, then ecosystems and creatures that kept getting more complex and learning how to think, move and manipulate better. Until one creature was able to reflect upon itself in a way that’s inconceivable to anything else out there.

Think about it, either everything you see, you are making up in your own mind, or you are part of something bigger. Don’t think there’s much middle ground there.

Do you know about the deep time of evolution unfolding one day at a time, and all the foundational steps needed before the environment created the massive foundation needed to create the human being, magnificent body and brain and the mind they produced and environment with resources to sustain it.

Physical reality created stars and planets, this Earth created life and thinking creatures. Earth created us and we created our Gods and philosophies and science.

Here’s a benchmark for appreciating the rest of it - Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide.