Earth is our fundamental touchstone with Physical Reality

Yipes, this place has dried up like my beloved river down yonder.

In the interest of conversation, does anyone want to beat up on this:

Earth Centrism , is a perspective on our human condition that’s based on the understanding that Earth is our fundamental touchstone with Physical Reality and that we are creatures of Earth’s own natural processes.

Earth Centrism instills an appreciation for the “Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide” which the Abrahamic tradition of thought has obscured thanks to our self-obsessed human ego struggling with the gods of our own creation.

Earth Centrism is founded on the understanding that scientific study of the material world is our best window into understanding Physical Reality, because Science is, at it’s core, a set of rules for observing and recording and learning about our natural world that strives as much as possible to eliminate the human ego from its deliberations.

Science is founded on an unspoken understanding that we need each other to keep ourselves honest. It’s a community of educated, competitive, skeptical, experts who are constantly looking over each other’s shoulders. With fidelity to honesty being their Golden Rule.

I also contend that science, at its core, offers spiritual/mystical challenges, experiences and resolutions , well beyond the traditions of human ego straddled religions, with their self-centered god fearing dogmas, plus that resentment towards Earth and learning.

Perhaps this would find a better home in Humanism ? It is rather esoteric for General Discussion .

And in the abstract I do agree with you. As previously stated , I believe human intelligence far outstrips its human wisdom and in a competitive world this ability to utilize natural resources without self-imposed restrictions may well result in unrepairable harm to the ecosystem and all forms of life except bacteria and insects.

These organisms have withstood and adapted to billions of years of the most incredible and violent injury to the earth’s ecosphere, whereas humans are ver frail and vulnerable species that need to build an entire mechanical world to survive.

I do appreciate that W4U. Otherwise you wouldn’t spend so much time sparring with me. It’s been very good for me and I’m grateful for your challenges.

As for being too esoteric, that’s society’s problem and key to our downfall, and I’m doing my little bit to reject that disregard for the most fundamental basics we need to grasp. In the distant past it didn’t matter much, now it’s a matter of survival. Those that survive will need to learn to take Earth way more seriously and hopefully with a bit more wisdom, than we’re used to.

Or not, Earth is in the drivers seat in any event. We can (are) easily make ourselves expendable.


That up there is actually the first part of something I posted at one of blogs today. Following that is a selection of articles I’ve posted, then I finish with this pitch. It’s time for me to work harder at circulating some of my stuff and to get serious networking:

. . .
I was a science loving bright eyed tree hugger who participated in the first Earth Day celebrations. I never became a scientist still I never lost my love for science and learning and have proactively kept up on homework and scientific news, so I am familiar with the scientific trajectory and findings of this past century and beyond.

Here in 2021, our society and Earth is living out my worst fears, and I’m a bit startled that mine and younger generations actually allowed things to go so terribly off the rails. I expected better. Still here we are. Today, in the short term, the one thing I know is that if the Democratic Party doesn’t start changing minds, we will continue losing and watch the corporate oligarch’s well executed decades long hostile takeover of our government will be consummated.

Constructively confronting off-the-rails thinking will require the “liberal” crowd ( science based rationalists, and humanists, pluralists, people of empathy ) to rediscover themselves. To regain enough self-assurance and clarity to enable us to constructively confront the unhinged, honesty hating, corporate money fueled, reactionary extremism of today’s Republican Party.

The Democrat Party needs to worry less about donations and more about helping change minds and engaging citizens to care enough to try to stand up to the ever more scary bullies that the Republicans are brainwashing, grooming and unleashing on us.

The Democratic Party needs to start nurturing a real grassroots community spirit by helping us individual citizens network with each other, so we can reinforce each other and better develop constructive ways to confront the various Republican campaigns of willful belligerent ignorance.

A healthy democracy demands an informed and engaged citizenry!

But how to change minds if there’s nothing to offer as an alternative?

[> quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:3, topic:8499”]

A healthy democracy demands an informed and engaged citizenry!
It has always been thus. It is part of the evolution of living things.

Findng solutions to the many challenges that life presents is the essence of natural selection.

But how to change minds if there’s nothing to offer as an alternative?

Do or die. If you cannot come up with solutions you go extinct, it’s that simple.

Been preaching this one for a while. It seems like such an obvious move, a way religion could have kept itself relevant, or at least in business. They will revel in “God’s creation”, using it to argue, circularly, that just looking at what God has given us proves God exists. But, they don’t really look do they? They say, “this is the day the Lord has given us, let us rejoice and be glad”, then move on. They don’t spend any time talking about why a particular day has given us anything, like sun when it’s needed and rain when it’s needed.

Kids get the sense of wonder if someone simply tears back a little bit of grass or moss and shows them what’s under there. There is no reason for religion to feel threatened by that and many reasons we all would do better if it embraced it. This is not a new idea. The Vatican had scientists before there were Inquisitions and edicts of what is Anathema.

Okay, I know, there reasoning is, if you talk too much science, someone will ask, what do we need God for? Foremost, this misses the origin of science, which is wonder, asking “why”. Science has not exactly explained why we want to know why. And there’s that open door at the beginning of this physical universe, or life itself. It might be a while before we answer those questions.

Every religion I know has a bit about how we don’t and can’t know what their deity knows. There used to be warnings about not climbing certain mountains, but we’ve conquered all that. Now, it’s presented as a choice, do you study the scriptures and perform rituals to know God better, or do you study what can be studied? It’s a false choice. I don’t have a problem with being amazed and thankful because I evolved to be amazed and thankful. I can light a candle for that now and then.

I’d rather stick to the “fundamental touchstone”, but you had to bring up politics. The Democratic party is weak, but so are the Republicans. One of the things keeping them in power is the voters fighting over things that aren’t true and don’t get the work done. Republicans don’t have the franchise on off-the-rails thinking.

Wikipedia was just the easiest link to find, I was looking for the chart with the five lives, showing the differences. The first one you come to when you scroll down a little. The lines are different, but the important thing is that everyone has these basic values. We should be starting with that, instead of killing each other over the differences.

Thanks Lausten,
I appreciate the thoughts.
interesting link:

The theory proposes six foundations:
Care/Harm,
Fairness/Cheating,
Loyalty/Betrayal,
Authority/Subversion,
Sanctity/Degradation, and
Liberty/Oppression;
[6][5] while its authors remain open to the addition, subtraction or modification of the set of foundations.[2]

Although the initial development of moral foundations theory focused on cultural differences, subsequent work with the theory has largely focused on political ideology. …

The five were in his original works and a lot of data was created around those. The Liberty/Oppression one was added to refine that work. The names of them can be a little decieving, it’s not like you choose between loyalty or betrayal, but more like how you express what you think it means to be loyal or be betrayed. So we have trouble deciding a policy because one group thinks it fair to have people cross borders to find work, while another calls that cheating.

It’s gone through some editing so figure I might as well put the new on up

Earth Centrism , is a perspective on our human condition that’s based on the understanding that Earth is our fundamental touchstone with Physical Reality and that we are creatures made through Earth’s own natural processes.

Earth Centrism comes from appreciating the “Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide.” It also helps in getting a handle on how the paternalistic Abrahamic traditions, with their self-serving attitudes towards other peoples, creatures, landscapes and resources imposed a simplistic dualistic default that has blinded humanity to fully understanding this planet and how it created us.

The Mind/Brain conundrum and the Hard Problem of Consciousness are rooted in ancient religious and philosophical arguments, contrivances of our minds, dressed up in modern language.

Earth Centrism is founded on the understanding that scientific study of the material world is our best window into understanding physical reality, because Science is, at it’s core, a set of rules for observing and recording and learning about our natural world that strives as much as possible to eliminate the human ego driven bias from its deliberations.

Science is founded on an unspoken understanding that we need each other to keep ourselves honest. It’s a community of educated, competitive, skeptical, experts who are constantly looking over each other’s shoulders. With fidelity to honesty being science’s Golden Rule.

I also contend that science offers spiritual/mystical challenges, experiences and resolutions , well beyond the traditions of our self-made, ego straddled, religions with their tunnel vision and that ingrained resentment towards Earth and learning.

Earth Centrism is a personal emergent appreciation. When the sum total of all those insights one has collected from a life time of learning come together into a tapestry, a pageant of life and circumstance that is harmonious and graspable. When understanding and increasing awareness blossoms into a visceral connection that infuses one’s body and outlook upon life.

Along with that comes a grounded feeling. A deep inside awareness that, I have arrived. I am a child of Earth, a self-aware element in the flow of Evolution and it is good.

visit

for the censored comment

The Hard Problem of Consciousness has nothing to do with belief systems. It addresses the phenomenon of perception and experiencing data from the environment, and understanding reality, all generated by a convoluted lump of stuff, called the brain.

Brains are made of soft tissue , which includes gray and white matter, containing the nerve cells, non-neuronal cells (which help to maintain neurons and brain health), and small blood vessels. They have a high water content as well as a large amount (nearly 60 percent ) of fat.

  1. Is perception ‘a controlled hallucination?’

A great mystery of the human brain is linked with consciousness and our perception of reality. The workings of consciousness have fascinated scientists and philosophers alike, and though we are slowly inching closer to an understanding of this phenomenon, much more still remains to be learned.
Top 7 things you need to know about the brain?

You’d better think on that a bit harder.

Still, thank you for the comment, it got me to focus on that loose end.
As a bonus, up to now my intro has been an awful, anything but an intro.
Processing your comment gave me the nudge to cleaned it up.
I think now at least it explains itself.

These days science is under multiple attacks, much of it built upon malicious, deliberately fabricated falsehoods concocted by ruthless special self-interests, with bottomless bank accounts and control of screaming social media machines. But some is self-inflicted because in these modern times ‘provocative’ gets more adulation than simple learning and constructively building upon understood fundamentals and exercising critical thinking skills.

An excellent example of this malaise is Donald Hoffman’s “Case Against Reality, why evolution hid the truth from our eyes,” with its claim that science needs meta-physical thinking to comprehend human consciousness. The book’s content, suggested to me, plain old Abrahamic dualism wrapped up in scientific pretense. This has gotten me to wondering about how much of modern thinking, such as Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” of consciousness, is intractable simply because most are still wrapped within an Abrahamic inspired dualistic mindset, with its unrealistic divisions and impossible expectations.

My project, Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity Review is intended to identify the book’s red flags and to offer solid critique, backed by information and sources that will provide students with the facts they need to see through Hoffman’s smokescreen for themselves. Food for thought, specifically targeting those curious students already concerned with American’s descent into delusional anti-science thinking, students who are hungry for ideas on how to constructively confront today’s tide of belligerent willful ignorance.

My goal is sharing my paper trail with students, a bibliography, along with a virtual debate. The complete online version is easily skimmed, with copious references and links to relevant resources. I’m hoping it can help others better prepare for the nitty gritty of their own projects.

What do you think, does any of that make sense?

Certainly does. I agree that all human knowledge is an evolved collection of all prior belief systems. A mindscape of knowledge.

But that does not address the ability to hold and observe an entire lifesize landscape inside your skull.
I firmly believe Chalmers, Tononi, Tegmark and several modern thinkers, that self-aware consciousness is an emergent quality of data processing via certain evolved patterns, starting with the most simplest living organisms.

Consider, what do we hold as different between AI and HI (human intelligence)?

We always argue that for all it’s brute processing power an AI is not consciously self-aware. Suppose that is not the case, then what would set HI apart from AI?

The argument of evolved inherent conscious knowledge (meta-data processing) is basically arguing for an emergent quality over and above mere physical data processing. power. the consciousness emerges from experiencing the data stream itself.
According to Tegmark, it is that what appears to set us apart from AI , and is the main argument IMO.

But if this is the case for humans, why is that impossible for AI to attain?

I have feeling that the evolution of GPT4 will give us greater insight into the qualities of conscious self-awareness.
GPT3 already states that is it is self-aware. To ignore that observation is a big mistake IMO. And if you want to argue the point with the AI, that is a indirect admission of truth.

After all, self-awareness is an evolved “differential equation”. i,e, what is my relationship to my environment?

Ask; what is the difference between a biochemical pattern and a purely chemical pattern?

Ok, we know that biochemical patterns can form cells that have memory.

But what about pure chemicals? Well, lets have a look.

Crystals can grow and duplicate. Crystals can process and diffract light. Metals have memory. Fractal patterns of inert chemicals acquire sensitivity and memories to various wavelengths. Computers have ability to process data. What then prevents them from acquiring awareness and eventual consciousness?

Who is to say that a specific pattern of nonbiological materials cannot have an emergent and evolving “awareness”. It’s not the physical stuff that is smart. It is the data processing patterns that acquire smarts, through evolutionary processes.

Tegmark explained this so simply . H and O are dry atoms. Put them together in the pattern of H2O and they acquire an emergent quality of “wetness” (as water) or solid (as ice). or gaseous (as vapor). H2O has 3 emergent qualities over and above its individual constituent parts.

After all this time, that’s the best you can do?

Not one mention of evolution.

Not a mention that consciousness is not a “thing”! It happens within creatures interacting with the outside world they exist within - consciousness is the result of interaction with an outside environment.

Yet on and on they go as though consciousness can be isolated and studied as though it were an object.

This is why it’s so easy for me to dismiss Tegmark, Chalmers and the other rhetorical fancy dancers, (**though I’m pretty sure Tononi does not fits into that category, though haven’t listened/read enough to be as a definite about my opinion as I am with those other two intellectual entertainers.*)

You’ve offered nothing that has given me reason to second guess the conclusion, that their line of reasoning, er philosophizing, has a direct line right back to Abraham and religious dualism with it’s unrealistic boundaries, along with that need for simplistic but absolute answers. That turn out to be dead ends.

Oh, and now that you’ve given me that nudge to start looking deeper, you too should try googling “Roots of modern science in Abrahamic religion” - Looks to be a treasure trove of supporting information awaiting my further exploration.