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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: Dominic on December 30, 2012, 02:14:17 PM

Title: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on December 30, 2012, 02:14:17 PM
One of the key underlying assumptions of science is that human sense perception is able to accurately detect the nature of reality.  Where devices are used to confirm or enhance human perception (eg camera, thermometer, computer, geiger counter... and many others) then human sense perception is still required to confirm those device's results.

This underlying assumption itself cannot be tested by science because it must first be assumed before science can begin.


This leads to a couple of necessary conclusions which are very significant:

- Science is entirely based on faith.  (ie faith in the underlying assumptions of science)

- To the extent that Atheism relies on science (as the only reliable source of truth) it is thus also entirely faith based.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: One Above All on December 30, 2012, 02:15:20 PM
BM. This should be fun to watch.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 30, 2012, 02:45:10 PM
Before we get in a big argument, I have to ask this. If scientists could predict in the mid-30's that it was possible to build an atomic bomb, and by 1945 scientists had done it, of physicists predicted years ago that we would find the Higgs boson, and we did find it, how is that equal to the bible predicting the return of Jesus 2000 years ago and nothing yet?


I don't question that humans are limited as to what they can perceive and that surely our instruments that we build to do things humans cannot are colored by said perceptions, but at least we, via science, can predict and then achieve various advances while religion continues to sit in the desert and try making striped goats by mating them in front of striped sticks. Or at least the modern equivalent, insisting the prayer works with no repeatable proof whatsoever.


Please compare your faith with the "faith" of science, which accomplishes stuff.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Ambassador Pony on December 30, 2012, 03:01:15 PM
"We could all be in the Matrix, therefore the deity that I think is real because of where and when I happen to have been born and raised exists".

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on December 30, 2012, 03:03:23 PM
PP,

I'm not saying that the same level of faith is reqd for science and religion.  And I'm not saying that all claims have equal validity.  Not at all.

But I do want to burst the bubble of those who think they have taken some royal high road by accepting science while rejecting all religion.  Those people have simply made a faith based decision.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 30, 2012, 03:08:11 PM
Well, if it works is it still faith?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on December 30, 2012, 03:27:50 PM
Well, if it works is it still faith?

A very good question.  The quick answer is yes, it is still faith, because there is no certainty, but what 'works' is an excellent matter to raise.

A large proportion of believers would say that their faith is working for them and/or that they don't believe that their life would be working without it.  Their faith gives their lives meaning, purpose, direction and hope.

You are obviously claiming that science works and we have seen that to be true in many cases.  We have also seen where the use of science has brought significant dangers to the world.

So, yes, we definitely need to look for what works - while also keeping in mind that some things work for some people and not for others.  There is very often personal preference involved in determining the answer to 'what works'.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Jontom10 on December 30, 2012, 03:36:40 PM
 Faith is accepting an idea as true without reason, or against reason. The first half of this is accepting an idea in spite of the fact that there is no justified reason to believe it.

Your statement that we take on faith that our senses accurately determine our surroundings is false. Our senses have evolved to do exactly that. Through reason and ingenuity our species has developed tools to enhance and aid our natural senses.

To say science is based entirely on faith is utter nonsense. The scientific method starts with a theory and then sets out to prove or disprove that theory. There is no faith component about it at all. You can't say that a kettle will boil as you have faith that the electrons will flow through the element and generate heat etc.

To conclude that Atheism relies on science is also utter nonsense. Atheism means that we do not believe there is a God as there is no reason to believe there is a God. The only argument for a God is "you have to have faith" other than that there is nothing, no argument whatsoever. In the face of all we have learned since coming out of the Dark Ages the idea of God becomes more and more ridiculous and the religions that peddle the idea are even more absurd at best, evil at worst.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2012, 03:38:08 PM
Here's the basic difference between faith and science...

I feel sick today and will go to the doctors.  <Intsert all sort of tests and data collected here about you>

Results: <Insert being treated for cancer here with radiation and/or other scientific treament>

Results After treatment: Person lives to see and spend their time with family and friends.



Faith:

I feel sick today and will 'Pray'.  <Insert all sort of religious but obviously superstitious stuff here>

Results: <Still sick but have prayed and have superstition on my side.....>

Results After treatment: Person dies and family and friends pretend that it was "gods will".



Did I get that about right!? 
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Jontom10 on December 30, 2012, 03:41:17 PM


A large proportion of believers would say that their faith is working for them and/or that they don't believe that their life would be working without it.  Their faith gives their lives meaning, purpose, direction and hope.


So a smaller proportion of believers say their faith does not work?

Those that say their faith works have no reason to say that it doesn't as they are blinded by their delusion. They could pray every morning "Please God, don't crush me to death with a large piano falling from a window" and every day when they go to bed they can state that their faith is working as they weren't crushed to death by a piano. Choose any religion and your faith is based on lies and heresay. Any meaning, purpose, direction and hope derived from such a vehicle is false. Happiness of the truly ignorant.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on December 30, 2012, 03:47:46 PM

DVZ3,

You've missed the point.  Going to the doctor is based on faith.  Accepting treatment is based on faith.   Praying is based on faith.

Simply different faith choices.  I'm not telling you which faith choices to make.  Just to recognise the faith aspect of all our choices and stop pretending that your current faith choices are the 'righteous' ones.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 30, 2012, 03:54:00 PM
Well, now we may have to define what "works" is.


If something makes you feel better but otherwise provides no benefit, does it still work? Especially if the process seems to promise more than you are receiving?


If faith gives a person confidence, regardless of its truth, how justified is that confidence? How can you tell if it works? My keyboard, which wirelessly connects to my computer, which wirelessly connects to the Internet, which gets this message to you and anyone else who wants to read it, is able to pass on the words "science works" with ease.


And if truth is hard for humans to find (and I'm not questioning that aspect at all), why do you have so much faith in religion when one of the possibilities is that there never was a god, just a bunch of people guilty of thinking they knew what the truth was? Which is exactly where I think it came from.


And then there is this: Science doesn't claim to have the truth. Science is looking for it. Science is finding things out that fit into theories that have consistency and that seem to match well with reality as we know it. Science is always looking to improve the knowledge base in hopes that someday it will actually approach truth. But that may be centuries or millennia away. Those of us who follow science get excited every time a new discovery comes along that expands what we seem to know, that contradicts old views, that opens up even more possibilities for discover.


While a bunch of theists tell my son can't marry his boyfriend, because they don't like change at all.


Faith of the sort you are espousing seems to want to freeze humans in one spot while we all sit around waiting for the kid to come back. Science, with our without faith involved, wants to dope slap ignorance at every opportunity and help make the world we live in as understandable as possible. I'm not saying that it always succeeds, and certainly some scientific discoveries have been used for evil. But so too have religious discoveries ("Hey look, heretics burn!"), so neither side has a monopoly on the morality that each wishes were real. But I like to think that human progress, scientific, social or otherwise, is a lot better way to fix human problems than sticking to a 2,000 year old recipe that had 1500 years to work on the problem unabated and didn't.


Added before posting: The doctor thing? If most people who go to the doctor with a broken arm get it fixed and the arm heals and is useful again, why is my choosing to go to the doctor to get my arm fixed an act of faith. I see it as common sense. And what other options do I have? Prayer? How do I get my hands together to do that if one arm is at an odd 60 degree angle that wasn't there this morning?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Karl on December 30, 2012, 03:55:43 PM
All arguments against religion are well planted here but I think the subject is not about that if I understand it right. Of course obviously prayer does not work and a radio does. I think what Dominic is saying is that we rely on our perception of reality of which science forms part. And he is pointing out the common situation that shares with religion.

Practically spoken obviously science beats religion, no doubt. But then again, we are not the end of things. What will be our perception in the future. In the dark ages little thought was spent on science and the world model was conclusive for most. Now we are in a different situation relying on the same senses, plus the technical enhancements available. I can actually see his point whilst I still find the thought of believing in a god utterly ridiculous.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on December 30, 2012, 03:59:21 PM

So a smaller proportion of believers say their faith does not work?

A smaller proportion may say 'I am trying hard to do the right thing but am not yet seeing great results'.
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Those that say their faith works have no reason to say that it doesn't as they are blinded by their delusion. They could pray every morning "Please God, don't crush me to death with a large piano falling from a window" and every day when they go to bed they can state that their faith is working as they weren't crushed to death by a piano.

You have probably heard of the Placebo Effect.  People believe something will improve their health and as a result it does.  Every reputable medical test, allows for this effect and accepts it as real.  Science accepts that - belief itself has real physical outcomes.  Have you thought about that ?  Do you think that science knows the full story of that yet ?   

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Choose any religion and your faith is based on lies and heresay. Any meaning, purpose, direction and hope derived from such a vehicle is false. Happiness of the truly ignorant.

You are simply spouting dogma.  Your belief wins.  Other belief loses.  You are doing what you hate hearing theists do.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2012, 04:18:28 PM
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You've missed the point.  Going to the doctor is based on faith.  Accepting treatment is based on faith.   Praying is based on faith.

Simply different faith choices.  I'm not telling you which faith choices to make.  Just to recognise the faith aspect of all our choices and stop pretending that your current faith choices are the 'righteous' ones.

I'm afraid you missed the point and also the point of your post.  I don't need 'faith' to know how something that is designed to do what it's supposed to works.

I don't need 'faith' to know that if I point a gun at someone and fire the trigger it will potentially kill them.

However, if I point a bannana at a person and squish it in my hand 'believing' it will kill them is what 'faith' is.

Believing in something even though there is simpley no evedence to the contrary.


Do I have to explain your own post....!?


Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2012, 04:20:52 PM
One of the key underlying assumptions of science is that human sense perception is able to accurately detect the nature of reality.  Where devices are used to confirm or enhance human perception (eg camera, thermometer, computer, geiger counter... and many others) then human sense perception is still required to confirm those device's results.

... then you don't unserstand science and/or faith means and stop trying to 'reinvent' what science actually is....  :-\

What are your credentials?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: 3sigma on December 30, 2012, 04:21:24 PM
One of the key underlying assumptions of science is that human sense perception is able to accurately detect the nature of reality.  Where devices are used to confirm or enhance human perception (eg camera, thermometer, computer, geiger counter... and many others) then human sense perception is still required to confirm those device's results.

Here we go again, another religious believer retreats into solipsism in an effort to justify his irrational beliefs. What you are saying here is that we cannot know anything is real, which, of course, includes your belief in your god. At least science has solid evidence and sound arguments supporting its conclusions, which is more than can be said of your irrational beliefs.


A large proportion of believers would say that their faith is working for them and/or that they don't believe that their life would be working without it.  Their faith gives their lives meaning, purpose, direction and hope.

Exactly. Religious faith is all about providing emotional comfort. The difference between science and religion is that science provides the truth with no regard for emotional comfort whereas religion provides emotional comfort with no regard for the truth.


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You are obviously claiming that science works and we have seen that to be true in many cases.  We have also seen where the use of science has brought significant dangers to the world.

Yes, science works. And yes, the use of scientific results by politicians has brought dangers to the world, but science itself doesn’t dictate how people should behave, unlike religions. Science doesn’t say people must be killed for disagreeing with theories, insulting scientists or leaving a particular scientific discipline. There is no death penalty for heresy, blasphemy and apostasy in science. We don’t see scientists constantly killing each other over scientific theories. That sort of sectarian violence is the domain of religions.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2012, 04:24:26 PM
This is almost analgous to some of the gun arguments....

"If you want to ban guns because they kill people, then why don't you want to ban cars because they kill people too..."

Guns were 'designed' to kill... The science of F = M x A or in other words.... A very, very fast moving object... etc...

Faith was 'designed' to sway a group of people to a potentailly and knowinly 'false' idea.


Get it yet...?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2012, 04:26:18 PM
Science exists because of tested and proven equations that control our universe and is the reason we were able to land men on the moon.  Not faith based, but science/equation (math) based.

Can you give me a faith equation please?

No seriouosly, give me a faith equation....

I think that it's like chistians pretending that the divide by zero error or infininity is what religioun acutally is....

I get it.... you and nobody else can explain it.  Sorry, but I'll go with what can and is explained/proven today without some nobody that just tells me the math 'should work'... 'I just don't know how'

Come on....
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2012, 04:34:39 PM

.. and that's the difference...

"Faith" was 'designed' to sway a group of people to a potentailly and knowinly 'false' idea.

"Science" was to know the truth about how our world/universe works.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: naemhni on December 30, 2012, 04:44:13 PM
If science were "entirely based on faith", then we should see the same phenomenon regarding science as we see with religion: widespread disagreement about everything, even down to very simple and fundamental basics.  In religious circles, for example, ask for a definition of "god", and you'll get just about every response you can conceive of and even some that might not have ever occurred to you.  God is a spirit, god is flesh and blood, god is the universe itself, I am god, there's only one god, there is more than one god, god is a trinity, god is a unity, god is an alien who lives on Kolob.

In science, however, there is no such widespread disagreement.  In fact, there's very little disagreement about anything.  For example, there is one theory of mechanics (Newtonian), which everyone uses and agrees is correct, barring relativistic effects, of course.  There is one model of the solar system, the heliocentric one.[1]  Aircraft are designed using identical principles everywhere; there is no equivalent to the "Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Muslim theories of aerodynamics".

Perhaps most tellingly, in areas where there is disagreement amongst scientists, science attempts to resolve the disagreement by investigating further, gathering and analyzing more data.  When Shapley argued that the Milky Way was the entirety of the universe, and Curtis countered that he believed that other galaxies existed outside of our own, they didn't try to kill each other, as has been depressingly common in religious disagreements.  They each presented the reasons that they believed what they did and why they thought the other one was wrong, and when further data showed that Shapley was wrong, he did not frantically cling to his position.  He admitted he had been wrong and moved on.

To say that science is "faith-based" is silly.  One of the most basic precepts of science is that you should not believe anything is true unless there is verifiable evidence to support it.
 1. There had been competing theories, such as the Ptolemaic one, but they were all formulated before the scientific method had been codified -- which should tell you something.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Karl on December 30, 2012, 04:55:57 PM
Exactly. Religious faith is all about providing emotional comfort. The difference between science and religion is that science provides the truth with no regard for emotional comfort whereas religion provides emotional comfort with no regard for the truth.
Whilst I have never believed in a god, not even when I was 2 years old, neither in Santa or the Easterbunny too, I find what you say is one of the central problems we face today. Who in the end is happier, the emotionally comfortable or the disillusioned realist? Even being wrong my grandma was a very happy person and religion assisted in that. She never suffered from the fact that a delusion made her happy. It is only the aggressive theists that worry me. The overwhelming part of believing harmless everyday people do not harm anybody. Their community works are indispensible. If they break a bone they are smart enough to see a doctor too.

But then again this is an atheist site and maybe the author just tried to find leverage to pretend that believe works as well as science does. Which is obviously not the case. So claiming that due to human physics science and religion are equally based on faith in order to promote religion is a little far fetched.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2012, 04:56:01 PM
Here's a thought....

Why is faith so questionable and/or scared of science?  ( I know why but this is rhetorical)

Science doesn't even have to consider faith.  Not at all! Whatsoever.

But yet people like you come here and question how science affects faith.

Ironic when you think about it.  Science doesn't consider or care (nor does it matter) about faith for it's answers.  All the while 'faith' seems so scared, worried and trying to protect it's 'false' answers from science...

Any 'reasonable' person should come to an obvious conclusion who is the one 'really seeking truth'.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on December 30, 2012, 04:56:24 PM

And if truth is hard for humans to find (and I'm not questioning that aspect at all), why do you have so much faith in religion when one of the possibilities is that there never was a god, just a bunch of people guilty of thinking they knew what the truth was? Which is exactly where I think it came from.


PP,

Yes, with all faith there is the possibility of error or at least partial misunderstanding.

The faith in science is based on sense perception.  It assumes the accuracy of sense perception.  It cannot verify that assumption.  Now that doesn't mean that science is wrong it just shows that the whole thing hangs on certain premises.  Science assumes the physical world is the basis of reality and then proceeds from that starting point.  It then places consciousness as some resultant phenomenon.

Religious belief on the other hand (generally) assumes that consciousness is the fundamental and that physical reality is one resultant phenomenon.

[3Sigma, this is not Solipsism - A solipsist claims 'only I exist' and all else is created by my mind]

Now, can either of these two positions claim a moral high ground ?  Claim that they take precedence over the other by some basic law of existence ?

A claim that ONLY science and a fundamental physical reality are the default position has no validity.  It is simply a choice.  For many people it is what they are taught from birth.  It is part of the language they use and they cannot imagine anything different.

If the question is raised of whether they are in fact simply dreaming, imagining, being tricked, in a matrix etc then the only defence is 'I don't believe it' - pure faith.  Nothing but faith.

Now consider the alternative.  That consciousness is the fundamental and that physical experience is a resulting component.  Is the situation the same ?  No, it is not, for this reason-

If I doubt my own consciousness, then who is doubting?  I am!  Thus I have proved my own consciousness by doubting it.  This applies to consciousness but does not apply to material, physical reality which can always be doubted.  What cannot be doubted is the experience, the perception of existing.

This is not of course proof, one way way or the other, but it shows that the religious belief of the primacy of consciousness above and beyond physical reality actually stands up better to the most intense scrutiny.

As soon as physical evidence is called for, that request already assumes the primacy of physical existence.  So that demand cannot be used to deny the primacy of consciousness.

Ultimately whatever our beliefs, we are talking about faith and no-one has the moral high-ground regarding those beliefs.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: The Gawd on December 30, 2012, 04:57:10 PM
Why do theists try this shameful trick? Isnt it embarressing? I wish I had more to add, but all I could really do is shake my head. All the shit around me that works due to science and theists try to posit the idea that I'm using faith when I turn on my TV... its just a desperate ploy that will never work on anyone with a functioning brain.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: naemhni on December 30, 2012, 05:00:55 PM
Why do theists try this shameful trick?

Probably the same reason so many of them also try to say that atheism is a religion.

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Isnt it embarressing?

They don't seem to be embarrassed by saying it.  I'm certainly embarrassed when I hear it.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: DVZ3 on December 30, 2012, 05:02:49 PM
Why don't you understand yet!?

The reason we have engineered vehicles and great and tall structures and complex systems is because of science which brought about engineering.  What world would you expect if we ignored all this and just went....


"Strictly faith based!?"

I've read about the Myans and how many people they sacrificed for the bountiful harvest of their crops for food.


But me, I prefer science and why and how crops grow verses all your accepted carnage acceptance of loss of human life... because of 'faith'
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: 3sigma on December 30, 2012, 05:26:05 PM
Whilst I have never believed in a god, not even when I was 2 years old, neither in Santa or the Easterbunny too, I find what you say is one of the central problems we face today.

Just because science doesn’t provide emotional comfort doesn’t mean people can’t find it elsewhere without turning to religious beliefs. Take yourself, for instance. Presumably you aren’t desperately depressed and yet you aren’t religious so religious belief isn’t necessary for people to be happy. Given that and the harm caused only by religions, I think the world would be better off without them.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: 3sigma on December 30, 2012, 05:28:19 PM
[3Sigma, this is not Solipsism - A solipsist claims 'only I exist' and all else is created by my mind]

So for it to be solipsism, you would have to say something like this:

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If I doubt my own consciousness, then who is doubting?  I am!  Thus I have proved my own consciousness by doubting it.  This applies to consciousness but does not apply to material, physical reality which can always be doubted.  What cannot be doubted is the experience, the perception of existing.

In other words, the only thing you can be certain of is your own existence, everything else is in doubt—you could just be imagining it. No… that couldn’t be solipsism, could it?


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Ultimately whatever our beliefs, we are talking about faith and no-one has the moral high-ground regarding those beliefs.

Scientific beliefs are justified by solid evidence and sound arguments. Your irrational religious beliefs are not. Science certainly has the rational high ground.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 30, 2012, 05:59:16 PM
I think you’re working too hard on this. You are giving credence to consciousness based on I don’t know what, and assuming that since you’re right that all other views must be wrong.

Now a neuroscientist would say that consciousness arose from evolved brain circuitry that appears to give us a evolutionary advantage over many other living things. Our consciousness and our resulting awareness lets us do cute little things, like predict the future (it will get warm again next summer so lets harvest these seeds and grow more plants like this next spring) and it gives us clear memories (the last time we were here Henry got eaten by a polar bear, so we’d better take spears).

You seem to want the physical world to arise out of the consciousness. Try telling that to the tiger, who will want to eat you no matter what you're thinking.

Now clearly our perception of reality depends on how the brain interprets said reality, but that does not mean that the brain came first, the chicken second, and our bad jokes third. It is not a situation where the consciousness arose from, oh, I dunno, a pile of dirt and then created the surrounding world. Hard to do if there is no dirt in the first place. Instead, whatever it is that is actually real happened to include conditions conduscive to life, and assundry variables happened along the way that resulted in mammals, some of which became us. And as we evolved, we got not only average vision and great endurance, but a brain that happens to be so self aware that it knows it exists. Other critters may have similar awareness, most notably elephants and dolphins and such, but as far as we know humans happen to have the most advanced awareness of self, and not counting egomaniacs, it generally helps. I, for instance, am about to make a sandwitch, and I remember that I like the type of sandwitch I am going to make better if I put mustard on it. I get to rely on experience, memory, lessons learned and other things from my past to help make this next sandwich more enjoyable than if I was just guessing what the fuck I wanted to put on it. Because serendipity doesn’t work every time or we wouldn’t have a word for it.
Anyway, you seem to be saying that consciousness arose and out of that consciousness the world arose. We differ because I am saying the world was out there all along and our consciousness, a product of that world, is not the center of reality, but rather a byproduct. I have no argument with how cool consciousness is, but I do not assign it the importance, the primacy, that you seem to be doing.

You are getting to read this frickin’ essay because you wrote this:
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If I doubt my own consciousness, then who is doubting?  I am!  Thus I have proved my own consciousness by doubting it.  This applies to consciousness but does not apply to material, physical reality which can always be doubted.  What cannot be doubted is the experience, the perception of existing.


You think that since you are aware of yourself and can doubt yourself that your consciousness is the epitome of something. How can you tell? Did you ask yourself, or did your self ask you? I know that you are religious and I’m not and that we’re sure to differ, but where does this consciousness thing that you’re describing come in? This makes no sense to me.

You are assuming the you that is consciousness has some sort of precedence over everything else. I’m not questioning its importance to each of us as individuals, but saying consciousness is the star of everything is like saying the smell of coffee is what makes a good breakfast nutritious. Consciousness is along for the ride. It is not the ultimate sign of existence. It is the tool we use to interpret existence. It is not the end-all/be-all of everything. It is but a component.

I don’t know if you’ve seen the TED Talks video by Jill Bolt-Taylor (Click here) (http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html), but in it, she describes how, when she was having a stroke and had not yet been able to call for help, she had experienced a varied and interesting number of interesting things. The one that always stuck with me was how she described leaning against a wall and not knowing where her body stopped and the wall started. Which is entirely consistent with science, not at all consistent with a vastly superior consciousness that can be used to describe the world more accurately than the world can. Because what the consciousness actually does is make the world smaller, make it fit inside our head, make it make some sense so that we can eat better sandwiches and remember where we put out keys. What she was experiencing was a loss of her sense of self, something that the consciousness provides. Her head wasn’t working right and the parts of her that were still aware were loosing track of what was what. Her consciousness could no longer do its part and she was getting lost in the world in ways few could ever imagine.

In other words, the consciousness is a limiting instrument, not an ultimate one. We use it to pare down reality into neuron sized pieces and store the results in our innocent little brain cells, using them to create whatever level of naivite we need to survive. We use it to limit inputs and dampen down reality until we find a balance between the world outside and our brain inside. And while most do this fairly comptently, others shoot up schools and profit from ponzi schemes and join in on gang rapes or panic over when JC is going to return. The consciousness is not a superpower. It is a protective cocoon from which few dare to wander.

You're thinking otherwise is part of the game you play with yourself. We all play the same game, but as individuals, we get to make up the rules. It is how well we do that that determines who wins. You can use the bible for guidance if you want, but I’ll use actual knowledge, thank you.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 30, 2012, 07:02:33 PM
A very good question.  The quick answer is yes, it is still faith, because there is no certainty, but what 'works' is an excellent matter to raise.
I have to ask exactly what degree of "certainty"is required? The fact that science improves upon itself based upon new and better evidence makes it not faith. Faith would be continuing to believe that the world is supported by a huge guy named Atlas. Science is not faith because it is self correcting, it seeks the best explanation given the best possible evidence. Faith is not, by definition, persuaded by evidence. You can't say that two things that are totally the opposite are the same thing. That's argument of the beard.

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A large proportion of believers would say that their faith is working for them and/or that they don't believe that their life would be working without it.
Here's the difference: science works, whether you believe in it or not. Its efficacy is not dependent on the belief states of the credulous. 
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Their faith gives their lives meaning, purpose, direction and hope.
Osama bin Laden's faith gave his life meaning, purpose, direction and hope too. I don't see how this is a good thing. The fact that something gives someone these things has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether or not it is true. If you are going to say that faith giving people these things is good, then that has to apply to bin Laden too, or it's not a valid argument. Sorry,you lose.

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You are obviously claiming that science works and we have seen that to be true in many cases.  We have also seen where the use of science has brought significant dangers to the world.
Even in cases where science is used to accomplish something that is not good (i.e. atomic bombs) it's not because the science doesn't work. An atomic bomb works exactly the way it is supposed to. It may not be ethical to use, but it works just as predicted. The difference between science and faith in this way is that religion doesn't work to accomplish anything other than significant dangers, so to speak. It's not by accident either that there are believers who think that homosexuals and adulterers should be killed, that rape victims should be stoned, that women should be silent, that slavery is OK, because the religious books confirm all of these things. Religion gives people specific and direct license to do all manner of wickedness. Science does not operate in this same way at all. Sure, science CAN be used in bad ways, but when something bad comes out of religion, it's almost always because that's what the instruction book says to do.

In addition, how is it that EVERYTHING that has been discovered, created, accomplished, progressed, improved, envisioned, and revolutionized has only ever been because of science, and why is it that religion is constantly retarding, regressing, postponing, sabotaging, distracting, and rebelling AGAINST this process? Why are the most religious countries on earth, where the LAW is religion, such as Iran, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia, the absolute worst possible places to live, whereas the least religious countries on earth (Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands) are the best places to live?

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So, yes, we definitely need to look for what works
Please give ONE example of something in religion that works, regardless of the belief state of the observer. I will be waiting until I die.
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- while also keeping in mind that some things work for some people and not for others.
No. Science works regardless of whether people believe in it or not. You just can't try to do this. You can't say "I don't believe in gravity!" and then fly off into the air at will. You are simply making a false comparison. And in the case of religion "working" for people, in the sense of giving them hope, meaning, purpose and direction, there are plenty of things besides religion that can provide these things, and might even work better than religion, but people are just too content to think that the universe was all made specially for them.
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There is very often personal preference involved in determining the answer to 'what works'.
Yes but a religious person could easily find other ways to find meaning etc. in their lives. In fact I think it is very much easier to find meaning and purpose to ones life when you realize it's all you have. You don't waste your time on Sunday mornings listening to an elderly virgin drone on about sin and salvation. You don't waste your time having conversations in your head with an imaginary friend, asking him to help get you a raise and forgive your sins, and please please let me into heaven! You don't have to waste your time saying the rosary (indoctrination much??) or having baptisms or getting fondled by the priest.

Instead, you could sleep in, watch a movie, go for a walk, play a game with your family, spend time with a friend you haven't seen in a while, read, build/make something, pick up a new hobby, mow a neighbors lawn, go swimming, bicycling, hiking, teach your kids something new, chop some wood, walk the dog, go fishing, go boating, skiing, sledding, listen to music, go to a concert, take a few college courses in things you enjoy just for fun, really, anything other than waste a second telling Big Brother that you love him.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on December 30, 2012, 07:18:05 PM
- To the extent that Atheism relies on science (as the only reliable source of truth) it is thus also entirely faith based.

All the science I've been involved in relies on statistics, mathematics, reasoning and empirical validation.  Hardcore stuff, but even then when I read science I find the language of conclusions usually quite guarded e.g. "...it appears that...", "...based on these findings...", "...this suggests ...", "...more research may confirm this proposed explanation ..."

Yes, proponents of particular explanations can be somewhat dogmatic and become attached to their pet theories, but science as a whole remains open minded to new explanations.  When old theories are shown to be wrong science happily moves along.

What happens when the bubble of a religious idea is popped?  .... the faithful dig in and generate tons of excusiology .... a froth of new bubbles.

In science, doubting and skepticism is encouraged.  In religion it is belittled and often punished.

I've been involved in both science and religion, and I know which of the two I trust.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Emily on December 30, 2012, 07:44:12 PM
Lets not forgot that, according to Hebrews 11:1, faith is the evidence of things not seen.

It all comes down to how you define faith. I do have 'faith' in science, but not from a biblical standpoint. The 'faith' I have in it is that it works, and I trust its results. Sure, the results of science today may be different than the results of science 50 years from now, but that's only because I have 'faith' in the progress science makes.

There is no 'faith' required to believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun, of that the Universe was formed 14 billion years ago. There is evidence all around us for that. That evidence is in the form of scientific studies. Same with the other fields of science outside of cosmology.

Atheism isn't based on science. It's based on a lack of belief in a god(s). There is no science required to do so. And there is no faith required, according to the biblical definition of faith, to believe in science.

What it all comes down to how the word is defined, which is something a lot of Christians struggle with. For example: a Christian may say the theory of evolution is just a theory - a thought or a guess. When the scientific definition of theory is much different and far more specific. Using faith in terms that science (and atheism) is based on faith is nothing but using a weasel word.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on December 30, 2012, 09:52:03 PM
But I do want to burst the bubble of those who think they have taken some royal high road by accepting science while rejecting all religion.  Those people have simply made a faith based decision.
My bold.

I don't think I've met or read an atheist who rejects "all" religion outright.  Most religions have some good bits of humanist-style philosophy intertwined that look remarkably like the ethic of reciprocity, but often distorted and harnessed as part of meme process to reinforce group cohesion.   

However, I'm quite certain that atheists do reject the notion that the few bits of wortwhile stuff in religion come from a deity i.e that it's the "word of God".

The problem for religion is that their bits of good stuff are packaged together with large tracts utter garbage and vile ancient fiction - and can't be unbundled without jettisoning faith. 

See, the good stuff in religion can all be derived through philosophy - that's why it makes sense!  :police: :laugh: And anyway that is a more plausible explanation of how it got into scriptures in the first place.  Normal thinking humans wrote it into scriptures by flowering up the characters of oral legends, attributing their own thoughts and words to those characters.  All fiction with a moral "message" is written this way.

The memes of religion have acquired and refined the "hooks" of the good stuff for self-promotion and replication.  Look at the way Christians like to ignore the violent God of the OT - somehow the same "eternal" God who suddenly gets portrayed in the NT as sacrificing his only son for our salvation is more real and relevant than the previous version of God who banished, drowned, burnt, and slaughtered for respect.  If scriptures had not been locked down in the canon, the revision and rewriting would be proceeding apace  ;D  by the faithful fighting to stave off modern philosophy and scientific progress

Let face it Dominic, through science we know (without an ounce of faith) that we can't cleanse leprosy by catching two doves then  killing one and letting the other go.  But without science, and through faith in God alone, that's exactly what God's chosen nongs believed - and all because Moses said: "the Lord said..".

Now Mark says: "... pick up snakes and drink poison ..."  Do you do that Dominic?  I think you have too much faith in science to fall for that kind of nonsense.

Religious faith is a cruel trick - perpetuated for the benefit of clergy enjoying the power trip and the benefits of sheltered employment it delivers unto them.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: cablebandit on December 30, 2012, 10:02:55 PM
excellent reading
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: jaimehlers on December 30, 2012, 11:29:41 PM
I flat out disagree with your assertion.  First off, you have not defined what faith is to begin with.  You simply assume that it is required for science because we cannot independently confirm what we perceiving with our senses.  Without an accurate definition of what you mean by faith, this is a fairly meaningless argument.

Second, you make a second assumption, namely that science is based around determining whether something is true to begin with.  This assumption is false; science is not about determining whether things are true, it is about determining whether they are false.  Therefore, science is not a source of truth to begin with, it is a way to systematically remove falsehoods from our understanding of the universe.

Third, it is true that science must make the assumption that the evidence of our senses is reliable.  But to assume otherwise is nonsensical.  It would essentially mean that nothing could be determined by anyone because it was all entirely subjective, yet we can already confirm that this is not the case.  Drop a rock, and observers can see it fall.  Light a match, and observers can see it flare.  So on and so forth.  We know that some things are objective; if a person jumps off of a building, then they will always fall towards the ground; no matter who jumps off, they will still fall, and they can't influence things with 'faith'.  If a person is shot with a fast-moving object like a bullet, it won't bounce off of bare skin because of 'faith'.  These, and many other things, are not subjective.

So, in short, your postulation is invalidated; science is not faith-based.  It works (or doesn't work) regardless of whether someone "has faith" in it or not.  The placebo effect, as you mention later, is not an example of faith in science - it is simply an improvement that cannot be attributed to the effects of whatever medicine is being tested - it could simply be due to the body attempting to meet the expectations of the mind.  Furthermore, it cannot work in reverse - someone taking a medicine can't negate its effects with 'faith'.  Someone who is poisoned can't negate its effects with 'faith' either.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: dloubet on December 30, 2012, 11:32:25 PM
Can we grant that "I exist" does not require faith? If we can't, then this argument is worse than solipsism.

Let's grant that we can justify a solipsistic "I exist" as a non-faith position.

Given that position, the accuracy of my senses is irrelevant. Whether I am experiencing reality exactly as it is or whether I am a brain in a box experiencing a fictional construct, is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it is the only experience I have. None of this takes faith.

Having established that I can only experience what I experience, I can determine how the experiences relate to my well being. I can see how the experiences I have cause pleasure or pain. More importantly, I can see the consistency with which these experiences deliver pleasure or pain. There is still no faith involved, only observation and categorization. And it's irrelevant whether the experiences are a reflection of reality or not. All that's important is the consistency, for with consistency I can claim knowledge. Whether I have knowledge of reality or the Matrix is irrelevant to how the experiences affect my well being.

And all this knowledge is conditional. New data can always change my measure of consistency. Still no faith required. All I'm doing is measuring the consistency of the experiences I get. I can even make predictions based on those measurements, and the success or failure of those predictions will further affect my knowledge. Still no faith required.

Basically, if I decide not to care if what I experience is real or not, your claim that I have faith is false.

I think everyone here finds Matrix-style arguments pointless because YOU CAN'T DISPROVE THEM. This means everyone here admits that there could -- in principle -- be evidence presented that our experiences are utter fiction, but that it's pointless to discuss it because these are the only experiences we have.

That being the case, I put it to you that many of us do not care if our experiences are real or not, and thus that your claim that we have faith they are real is false.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Skinz on December 31, 2012, 12:17:19 AM
The difference between science and faith in religion was, in my mind, most succintly explained by the fellow in my signature.

True science says "I don't know" when it hits upon something it can't explain. Example, we know that mass attracts mass, and we call it gravity. That's a stone cold fact. We don't know for certain why yet, and we can speculate and test each other's hypothesisisis, but no-one who can be taken seriously has yet stood up and said "I know exactly why!", so it's guesswork so far. No faith required.

As to the questions of extentialism, I find it fascinating but completley unaswerable. That said, in my opinion it is not faith to say "I am here". It's just the first observation.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Astreja on December 31, 2012, 12:47:03 AM
Dominic, an interesting point about the limitations of human perception and instrumentation.  However, please consider this:

Even if human senses don't completely accurately register the results of a measurement, for practical purposes it's sufficient that the {measurement + interpretation} is consistent.  In other words, if there's a thermometer and we read it 3 consecutive times as -30C, we are somewhat justified in thinking that baby, it's cold outside.

There probably is more out there than we can perceive via physical means, but we relate to the universe in terms of what is accessible to us.  Rather than being limited by our senses, I think science does a good job of helping us expand beyond those limitations.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: mhaberling on December 31, 2012, 01:57:45 AM
Shit... Another theist makes a thread, I see if there is anyway to help with all the responses and it turns out he's arguing against one of my most basic points...

Human perception is defined by what we know... and therefore is always changing... If you gave a caveman a match he would see a stick with dirt at the end... The idea of science is to build off the perception we have to change it t a more accurate one.

Your consciousness is a very unique thing... It understands logic, which is the most basic law of the universe. So if we perceive things wrong, eventually there will be an observable logical contradiction. So to say that our consciousness is to limited is to say that logic might be false...

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on December 31, 2012, 02:34:53 AM

Note 1 - This thread does not concern the accuracy of any particular religious claim.  It is about the nature of reality and thus the nature of truth itself.

Note 2 - Recognising the primacy of consciousness does not reject science in any way at all.  What it does is place science and the material world as a subset of reality within a greater whole that is consciousness.  [Obviously other words than 'consciousness' can be used for the greater whole.]  Within the physical subset, science is absolutely essential and brilliant at what it does.

Much of western society tends to assume that consciousness is a subset of physical reality ie the 'primacy of physical reality' (based on sense perception).  This viewpoint gives the impression that science applies to all of reality.  However that is logically impossible because the underlying assumptions of science cannot be tested by science.  Those assumptions may be testable but not by science.

Note 3 - Using a label like 'solipsism' as a battering ram to stifle discussion does not solve the problem.  If someone thinks that these ideas cannot be discussed or assessed then don't join in.

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it is true that science must make the assumption that the evidence of our senses is reliable.  But to assume otherwise is nonsensical.

Note that the very word 'nonsense' rejects anything not based on sense-perception.  That rejection is contained in the word itself.  That demonstrates how the material worldview is built into our language and why it is therefore so hard to consider reality outside of that conventional constraint.

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Lets not forgot that, according to Hebrews 11:1, faith is the evidence of things not seen.

That is a narrow definition of faith.  That definition could be useful for many discussions but not for this one.  If we accepted that definition for this discussion then a hallucination or dream would be accepted as confirmed because someone 'saw' it.

We all agree that science works.  Tests are undertaken and results are consistently confirmed.  Technology confirms its success.

However, we cannot forget that at our deaths none of that knowledge or technology is terribly relevant or useful to the individual.  It was a great adventure but then comes something else.  Atheists believe 'then comes nothing or then comes a return of our atoms to nature'.  Whatever comes next, the whole of life may as well have been a dream from the perspective of the individual at that end moment. You could say it all worked or you could say ultimately it all failed.

Of course this is not a reason to change your beliefs or change your worldview but it is a realiasation that ultimately we are all in the same boat and no-one has all the answers.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on December 31, 2012, 02:52:09 AM
Shit... Another theist makes a thread, I see if there is anyway to help with all the responses and it turns out he's arguing against one of my most basic points...

Human perception is defined by what we know... and therefore is always changing... If you gave a caveman a match he would see a stick with dirt at the end... The idea of science is to build off the perception we have to change it t a more accurate one.

Your consciousness is a very unique thing... It understands logic, which is the most basic law of the universe. So if we perceive things wrong, eventually there will be an observable logical contradiction. So to say that our consciousness is to limited is to say that logic might be false...

Hi mh

Thanks for your contribution.

We don't need to agree : - )

It appears you are making logic into a bit of a 'god' as if logic rules over all.  Logic is a very useful tool but its not an absolute.  I liked a song last week and no longer do.  No real logic there.  I might even like it again in a year's time.   A man was thin when younger and fat when older so in retrospect he was a fat thin man.  No logic there.  Many people enjoy nonsense rhyme.  No logic there. 

Logic is a tool for achieving many practical objectives.  It is often essential in those circumstances but it is not a universal absolute.

You also mention contradiction, which is how we use logic to achieve our objectives.  Note however that with contradiction it doesn't tell you which option is true, it simply tells you that two opposing claims cannot both be used when trying to achieve a practical outcome.  So logic and contradiction deal with consistency and achieving practical purposes.  They do not in fact deal with truth.  We could have a thoroughly internally consistent (logical) worldview and still not have truth, or more specifically still not have any true understanding.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on December 31, 2012, 03:01:00 AM
One of the key underlying assumptions of science is that human sense perception is able to accurately detect the nature of reality. 

I don't buy this "key underlying assumptions" stuff.  It's a red herring puffed out of all proportion.

Firstly, these days most science is not done by individuals perceiving things in isolation.  We work in teams, often fiercely competing teams. We are usually building on previous work, repeating our own work, often doing our best to show up a fault in the work of others, or taking it further than they did.   

So if we are having trouble with being able to "accurately detect the nature of reality", then that same trouble has to be happening with frighteningly reliable accuracy in other scientists perceptions too  :police:

Secondly, a lot of modern science is done by thinking and working abstractly.  (We can't see DNA, or atoms, let alone god particles or dark matter.)  A great deal of science now involves data collection by sophisticated sensor technology and subsequent processing by computers.  Human sense perception plays a very limited role - sure we read printouts and graphs but that is mainly to supply our brains with fodder for more abstract thinking. 

Potential human perceptual limitations, whether real or just hoped for by a mischievous theist apologist, are in practice not much of a limitation in modern science.  A blind person could do good science - hell here's a perfect example of exactly that - a blind biologist Geerat Vermeij :
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My research centres on how animals and plants have evolved to cope with their biological enemies – predators, competitors and parasites – over the course of the last six hundred million years of Earth’s history.

http://www.scienceinschool.org/2011/issue18/vermeij
He can't see stuff or go back in geological time - but his brain can.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: natlegend on December 31, 2012, 03:13:20 AM
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...the underlying assumptions of science cannot be tested by science.  Those assumptions may be testable but not by science.

Um... I'm pretty sure that when something is testable and you go ahead and test it, you are using science.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 31, 2012, 04:07:00 AM
Shit... Another theist makes a thread, I see if there is anyway to help with all the responses and it turns out he's arguing against one of my most basic points...
I submit that this demonstrates just how weak, pathetic, and useless the so called "spiritual paradigm" is, considering that NO TWO PEOPLE agree on any of this crap, yet it is supposed to the THE truth as revealed to ignorant credulous desert wandering goat herders by the almighty ruler of the cosmos. Now I suppose that Dominic isn't necessarily advancing a biblical worldview in this particular thread, but I think it's safe to "assume" that his case is in support of some type of religious worldview.

To be honest, I really get sick of the kind of pointless acrobatics that Dominic is doing here, because he hasn't clarified anything, or provided an explanation for anything, or even told us what the rules of the spiritual paradigm are. In another thread regarding souls he is being similarly stubborn. What it comes down to is this. Rather than demonstrating a single way in which his worldview explains anything, describes anything, has rules, or is useful in any way (he can't do this because his worldview does none of these things) he feels the need to try to discredit the scientific method and what he calls the physical paradigm. "It works, and is the basis of all human knowledge, but so what?" is a pretty lame argument, but one that you would expect from a person whose worldview does not work. It's really quite silly. It's like saying "We may know, because of science, numerous ways to produce light. But let's forget all of that, even though it works, because it's all based on the assumptions of science, and instead buy a magic wand and practice the Lumos spell. Only then will we understand anything about light".  In other words, lets conveniently ignore what works, using a bunch of pseudo logic gymnastics to make it look like we are somehow making a point, and then just try to play the "Well we can never really know" card. Personally, I am going to go with what works. The fact that Dominic is expressing these opinions on the internet, and not channeling this info into our consciousness using some sort of "spiritual" means, seems to demonstrate to me that he does not have much faith in his on worldview, because he has to apply OUR worldview to even get his point across.

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Human perception is defined by what we know... and therefore is always changing... If you gave a caveman a match he would see a stick with dirt at the end... The idea of science is to build off the perception we have to change it t a more accurate one.
And this is the exact opposite of what occurs in religion.

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Your consciousness is a very unique thing... It understands logic, which is the most basic law of the universe. So if we perceive things wrong, eventually there will be an observable logical contradiction. So to say that our consciousness is to limited is to say that logic might be false...
But that's just what Dominic is trying to do, demonstrate that the "assumptions" of science are dubious, even though the shit somehow still works! If one made all of the wrong assumptions, and tested a theory based on those assumptions, and the theory works, every time, without fail, which is more likely, that the assumptions are false, but the results are entirely consistent and prove what was predicted, or that the theory works because the "assumptions" are true? Anyone who would choose the first option would believe in a universe that functions properly and consistently by complete accident, in defiance of all possible odds. It's the same as saying that cars are a functional miracle, because the theory engineers use to design them are just "assumptions". Sure, thousands of different parts put together in the correct way produces a machine that we can use to travel about at considerable speeds, and has worked for over a hundred years, but it's just an "assumption" that the theory behind automobiles works. HOW CAN ANY THINKING PERSON TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY?!?

And Dominic still hasn't told us what the assumptions of the spiritual paradigm are, or what to do with them. He can't explain it, it does nothing useful at all, predicts/explains nothing, answers not one question about our universe, and so naturally he has to dismiss the theory that actually works, because it allows him to ignore the glaring flaws in his own. He has to say that because he has nothing else to go on.

Sorry, given two competing explanations for the universe, I'm going to "assume" that the one that actually effing works is the one that is true. Until Dominic sends me an instant message using the spiritual paradigm, I will continue with this "assumption".
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on December 31, 2012, 04:14:51 AM
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...the underlying assumptions of science cannot be tested by science.  Those assumptions may be testable but not by science.

Um... I'm pretty sure that when something is testable and you go ahead and test it, you are using science.

Nat,

Can you see that before science begins that some ground rules (assumptions) must be defined ?   For example, science places huge importance on the role of observation.  But how many people must observe a result before it is accepted as verified by observation ?   How do we know that observation is accurate ?  These questions cannot be answered by science because they relate to the very definition of science.

[You don't need to try and answer those questions although you can if you like. ]

In practice, these underlying assumptions are simply a consensus or general agreement in order for science to be carried out at all.  Now is that general agreement scientific ?  No.  Logically, the definition of science cannot be a scientific process.

The realisation here is that the whole of science is founded on non scientific principles.  This is not designed to be an attack on science.  It is simply a recognition of the nature of what it is that humans actually do.  Humans agree on principles and then use those agreements for various purposes.  Science is one of those agreements.


Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on December 31, 2012, 05:01:56 AM
Can you see that before science begins that some ground rules (assumptions) must be defined ?   

Not at all.  Science already began a long time ago without "ground rules" - it's VERY successful and gets better and more valuable every day.  New science builds on and validates prior science, or revises it as appropriate.

Trying to chip away at the philosophical foundations of science at this stage of the game is either just grubby theist excusiology or otherwise as stupid as hesitating to make a shopping list for your weekly grocery shop because you are worried that you only imagined the goods might on the shelf.

Dominic, you need a reality check - there's simply no gaping vacuum in the foundation of science that needs to be filled by an acknowledgement of "faith" to make it work.  Confidence in science is essentially based on proven repeatability and practical every day benefits to real people - like the petrol combustion engine that takes you to church or the electricity that lights up your computer screen to read this awesome forum  :) 
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: natlegend on December 31, 2012, 06:33:35 AM
Ok I'm doing this the hard way, on a @#$&% mobile phone.[1]

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Can you see that before science begins that some ground rules (assumptions) must be defined ?   For examile, science places huge importance on the role of observation.

I have a bucket of water. I notice that when I leave it in the sun, it gets warm. I know that fire is hot. I wonder if I put my bucket on or near the fire if it will also make the water warm. I try it out. Oh wow, the water DID get warm! How exciting! I try it again. It works again. For shits and giggles I get TWO buckets and put them next to my fire. They BOTH get warm. Holy crap! Now I really use my noggin and get two buckets of water, but only place one next to the fire. Woah, only that water gets warm, the other stays cool. I show my friend what I can do now. He gets excited cos now we can all have warm water for our baths. I tell another friend about it. They try it out for themselves. Far out! It works for him too! Word spreads and other people try. It works for them as well. Every. Single. Time. Voilla, a simplified version of science!

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How do we know that observation is accurate ?

Because Brian, who heard it from Sasha, who overheard a couple of guys talking about it at the bus stop, tried it for himself and got the same results. Brian hasn't even met me and yet he now has hot water too!

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These questions cannot be answered by science because they relate to the very definition of science.

Dude, thaat doesn't even make sense.

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Logically, the definition of science cannot be a scientific process.

lol and that makes even LESS sense. Are you reading your posts before you hit send? Seriously?

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Humans agree on principles and then use those agreements for various purposes.  Science is one of those agreements.

Maaaaate, you don't get to choose whether to believe in scientific results, they're actually these proven, independently verifiable things called 'facts' now.
 1. Please oh please won't someone make a mobile version of this site? For all us plebs without a computer at home?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: naemhni on December 31, 2012, 07:08:31 AM
We can't see DNA, or atoms

I'm kind of surprised to hear you say this.  It isn't true.

Photograph of unlinked DNA:

(http://www.fidelitysystems.com/unlinked_DNA_EM_1.JPG)

Photograph of xenon atoms arranged to form the acronym "IBM".  Each dot you see here is one atom.

(http://muller.lbl.gov/teaching/Physics10/PffP_textbook/Ch04cust_files/image002.jpg)

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let alone god particles or dark matter.

On this one I would add, "at least, not yet".  There was a time not so long ago when it was generally agreed that it was impossible to see atoms, too, and that turned out to be false.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Anfauglir on December 31, 2012, 07:51:28 AM
Can you see that before science begins that some ground rules (assumptions) must be defined ?   For example, science places huge importance on the role of observation.  But how many people must observe a result before it is accepted as verified by observation ?   How do we know that observation is accurate ?  These questions cannot be answered by science because they relate to the very definition of science.

For what its worth, I grok exactly what Dominic is saying, I believe.  Its a solipsistic (sp?) point that says we can't REALLY know whether the universe we experience is correct, or if it is all an externally programmed illusion and we are all REALLY brains in jars.   Rebutters are essentially saying "look at this book, do this experiment", but how do we tell if the book is REALLY there, or not?

If a hallucination can be so all-encompassing that there is no way from the inside of telling it is a hallucination or not, then how can you be sure you are not hallucinating?

Like I say, I see where Dominic is coming from.....the thing is, though, I just don't care.   ;)

Two (or more) alternatives: the universe is "as it appears", or it is all a jar-brain hallucination....insert whatever additional alternatives you fancy.  If I appear to push a pin into my thumb, I will experience a sensation of pain....and if I hammered a spike into my head, I would experience the feeling of "death".  Frankly, if the sensory effect is identical, whether I am real or whether I am a jar-brain, then I couldn't care less which one is true.  If I can never determine the true nature of reality, then there is no benefit to me in not accepting the reality that appears in every respect to be correct.

Call that faith if you like.  But its a faith that is corroborated 100% of the time, so far as I can tell - and to shoehorn the word "faith" into such a circumstance just cheapens the word and makes it meaningless.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on December 31, 2012, 08:54:52 AM
I'm kind of surprised to hear you say this.  It isn't true.

Photograph of unlinked DNA:
...
Photograph of xenon atoms arranged to form the acronym "IBM".  Each dot you see here is one atom.

 ;D Haha ;D yes I concede - but only very slightly.  I worked extensively with DNA/RNA without ever seeing a pic of the actual stuff I was working with at the time - and I'm quite sure practically everyone currently doing the same does not look at pics of the molecules they are handling/processing.  In any case that pic is of a very large macro-molecule - certainly not resolving the genetic information in any way - which is the resolution of real interest :)

I also did a lot of chemistry without ever seeing the atoms I was actually working with.  The VAST majority of scientists doing chemistry and biochemistry do not work with visual confirmation at the level of atomic resolution.  But I do concede that some fields of material science and nanotechnology do sometimes work with sophisticated imagery of high resolution.   

My argument is intact regardless - a lot of modern science is conducted by thinking abstractly and without engaging human perception or "stunt" pictures  ;) 
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on December 31, 2012, 08:57:53 AM

For what its worth, I grok exactly what Dominic is saying, I believe.  Its a solipsistic (sp?) point that says we can't REALLY know whether the universe we experience is correct, or if it is all an externally programmed illusion and we are all REALLY brains in jars.   Rebutters are essentially saying "look at this book, do this experiment", but how do we tell if the book is REALLY there, or not?

If a hallucination can be so all-encompassing that there is no way from the inside of telling it is a hallucination or not, then how can you be sure you are not hallucinating?

Like I say, I see where Dominic is coming from.....the thing is, though, I just don't care.   ;)


A perfectly reasonable position to take.

'I don't know any way out of my current dream so it's all that I have.  I accept it.'

Another analogy is a cell in a body if it was aware.  How can it know what it is and how many layers down (or up) it exists.  All it knows is what it senses by whatever sensual faculties it may have.

However, when the situation that we are in is recognised, it does require a little humility.  If another cell, or another ant, or another human starts to question the nature of its reality and see if any bigger insights can be gleaned, it is not right to tell him to shut up and conform.  It's not right to tell him to be satisfied with his senses and not to question.

Conforming to sense perception as if it was the sole guide to the nature of true reality should not be considered best practice nor must it be the default position.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: naemhni on December 31, 2012, 09:11:16 AM
I worked extensively with DNA/RNA without ever seeing a pic of the actual stuff I was working with at the time - and I'm quite sure practically everyone currently doing the same does not look at pics of the molecules they are handling/processing.

Very likely, yes.  Most of the work that gets done with DNA probably doesn't require having to see the actual molecule itself, and since scanning tunneling microscopes aren't exactly cheap, a lab probably wouldn't spring for one unless they really needed one.

Quote
In any case that pic is of a very large macro-molecule - certainly not resolving the genetic information in any way - which is the resolution of real interest :)

I found that photo after only a brief image search.  I found another one that was much more close up, but I wasn't sure whether it was a photograph or a graphic.  There probably are closer up photographs of DNA out there, but I didn't have time to do an exhaustive search... only had a few minutes before I had to get out the door to go to work.

Quote
I also did a lot of chemistry without ever seeing the atoms I was actually working with.  The VAST majority of scientists doing chemistry and biochemistry do not work with visual confirmation at the level of atomic resolution.

And, again, I'm sure they don't, for the same reason I gave above.

Quote
But I do concede that some fields of material science and nanotechnology do sometimes work with sophisticated imagery of high resolution.   

My argument is intact regardless - a lot of modern science is conducted by thinking abstractly and without engaging human perception or "stunt" pictures  ;)

True.  I was only speaking to where you said we can't see atoms or molecules.  Which isn't strictly true, any more than it's strictly true that we can't send man to the moon.  We can, but because of the cost and effort involved, we almost never do (and haven't for about forty years, but that's a different discussion).
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Iamrational on December 31, 2012, 09:40:16 AM
Word games here, that's all.

Here are the definitions from Webster's:

"1a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs"

So this is what it boils down to. This person is playing semantics. Nothing more. Trying to get the big ZING on an atheist.

As I look through the 3 definitions the first doesn't relate because it deals with promises. The second clearly doesn't relate because it deals with religion.

The third is the only one that loosely relates ONLY because it talks about a general belief, especially with strong conviction. So there you have it. Sure if you want to lay out a blanket statement like that well then it is faith. Notice what words are lacking in that 3rd definition, "lack of evidence."

So you want to sit here and play semantics, fine that is a time waste but all right. So I have a strong belief that science is real and God is not (not saying these are related either). If you want to say that is faith, so be it.

If you want to be the 2 year old that says, "Oh I got the atheist to say he/she has faith," well then you need to open some books and read something that actual matters, like the FAITH(something that is believed especially with strong conviction) in SCIENCE.

(as a side note atheist friends, Please read the Wiki definition of faith and you will see a section about "Fideism." This person seems to draw something from that version.)
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on December 31, 2012, 09:40:58 AM
However, when the situation that we are in is recognised, it does require a little humility.  If another cell, or another ant, or another human starts to question the nature of its reality and see if any bigger insights can be gleaned, it is not right to tell him to shut up and conform.  It's not right to tell him to be satisfied with his senses and not to question.

Um that is a gross distortion of the progress already made in this debate.  Dominic, you are using the topic to attempt to create wriggle room for religious faith to coexist with the same respectability as confidence in science.  That is just bollocks because religion does not satisfy the same standards of evidence that science does.  If a theist's perception of truth can't be perceived by others, or satisfactorily explained, or produce empirical evidence beyond that predicted by chance alone then atheists are quite entitled to deny respect to that perception.

One thing atheists do value is open mindedness - but not to the extent of tolerating unsubstantiated woowoo lala of "another cell, or another ant, or another human" for any length of time.  At some point you've got to explain things adequately to be respected - there is no inalienable right to be taken seriously just because your perceptions are different.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on December 31, 2012, 09:59:22 AM
Yep, the word 'faith' does have multiple meanings and this is exactly what Dominic can't accept. he is working with the meaning he uses of his religion, i.e.

Trusting i something for which there is no evidence at all. It might be called blind faith

Science, and the non-religious world use -

Trusting in something because it has shown it works in the past and there is good evidence to suggest it is still true.

Examples of the latter would be

my trust that the car will start in the morning - it has each day since I have had it so I have good reason to expect it will again.

No stepping out of an upstairs window because I know that everything dropped from there crashes to the ground. True I might be able to float but there is nothing to suggest this is true.

Plotting a course for a spacecraft to go to Mars. Newtonian physics is all that is needed but there is still faith that gravity will work as it should - that the rocket motors will work as they should. Mind with everything tested and nothing to suggest gravity might change, this is hardly risky!

Religion, on the other hand, wants us to believe that praying to a god for something will result in that god acting in our best interest, which may not result in us getting what we pray for. If we don't get what we pray for, there is no way to know if that is because there isn't a god to respond or that the god doesn't feel like acting. As it is rare for prayers to be answered and there is usually an explanation other than a god for the effect claimed, faith is needed in huge measures to act by praying to a god!
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: jaimehlers on December 31, 2012, 12:25:44 PM
I don't have faith in science.  That would be like saying I had faith that my heart wouldn't stop beating before I finish this post, or that I had faith that electrical conductivity would continue to operate, allowing my computer to run so I can finish typing said post.

The assumptions that science makes do not mean it's a faith-based system.  A person who doesn't "have faith" in science will not stop it from working for them.  And that....is the whole point.  What religious faith-based system can possibly claim as much?  Half as much?  One percent as much?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Add Homonym on December 31, 2012, 08:27:00 PM
Why do theists try this shameful trick? Isnt it embarressing? I wish I had more to add, but all I could really do is shake my head. All the shit around me that works due to science and theists try to posit the idea that I'm using faith when I turn on my TV... its just a desperate ploy that will never work on anyone with a functioning brain.

Isn't it, just?

Theists read their bible, and their senses are telling them what's in the bible, so that's the science based level. Then they have to have faith that their interpretation of it is correct; so, that's two levels of faith.

Then Dominic says that their faith apparently "works", so it's not faith at all. Anything that works is science. However, Dominic then wants to say that science is faith based, so it's not science, but religion is actually science, ...

It really makes my head spin.

-100

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Anfauglir on January 01, 2013, 06:06:10 AM
However, when the situation that we are in is recognised, it does require a little humility.  If another cell, or another ant, or another human starts to question the nature of its reality and see if any bigger insights can be gleaned, it is not right to tell him to shut up and conform.  It's not right to tell him to be satisfied with his senses and not to question.

Quite right!  When the little cell says "hey, maybe there is more!" we should indeed tilt our head sideways and say "interesting idea - do you have one shred of evidence for it?  Can you coherentl describewhat the heck you mean?"

And if those two questions repeatedly go unanswered, but the little cell still insists there is more, THEN it is reasonable to tell him o shut up until he is able to come back with an answer.

Otherwise, I might say "hey!  I bet we are all just imaginary characters created by the thoughts of 8th dimensional beings in their after-work role-playing game!", and expect the idea to be given as much credence and respect as the "idea" of the physical universe.....
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Skinz on January 01, 2013, 06:16:58 AM
Conforming to sense perception as if it was the sole guide to the nature of true reality should not be considered best practice nor must it be the default position.

We can make a hypothesis, but if we can't test it with sense perception, it's just an interesting idea.

Though I guess it all depends what you mean by sense perception. If you mean touch, taste, smell etc. exclusively, Then I agree. But we've had microscopes and telescopes for a long time now, to extend our sight. The chemical labs in our nose aren't up to sniffing out the different elements on the periodic table, but we have chemistry, and so on.

My point is that technology is our way of extending our senses. Do I think we should scoff at any idea outside of current scientific consensus? No way. We would, as a species, stagnate. But should we rewrite our understanding of the laws of the universe because some very smart people tell us it is made out of tiny strings and shifting chaos? Until our extended senses positively perceive it, hell no. I do not believe the shifty clothiers and their tales of silk spun too fine to see, and I'll be damned if I'm walking around naked.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Seppuku on January 01, 2013, 08:32:40 AM
One of the key underlying assumptions of science is that human sense perception is able to accurately detect the nature of reality.  Where devices are used to confirm or enhance human perception (eg camera, thermometer, computer, geiger counter... and many others) then human sense perception is still required to confirm those device's results.

This underlying assumption itself cannot be tested by science because it must first be assumed before science can begin.


This leads to a couple of necessary conclusions which are very significant:

- Science is entirely based on faith.  (ie faith in the underlying assumptions of science)

- To the extent that Atheism relies on science (as the only reliable source of truth) it is thus also entirely faith based.

However science produces useable results. It is able to back itself up with lots and lots and lots of tests for validity, there are limitations and science makes a certain number of assumptions, generally science will accept the explanations that make the fewest assumptions, this is a principle called Occam's Razor. And of course, they're accepted if there's enough evidence to support it. In regards to how we measure science and human perception. Yes, we do rely on the idea that the data we receive is accurate and we assume the reality we experience through our senses are accurate. Of course, we could all live in the Matrix and our would could be a lie, it could be like Plato's allegory of the cave. The problem with unknowns is that they're unknown, this is why we use the scientific method, we can measure the data we have, we can build and build on that data and learn more and more about the environment. I would not say individual perception gets in the way, as for anything to become a theory, it is tested and tested and tested and not all by one person. Scientists try to avoid individual bias by having such a rigorous process.

Whilst I understand science does not have a perfect assessment of the way things work, but there is a high degree of accuracy, we can tell things because of the results it has produced. Without our scientific understanding things like modern medicine, space travel, GPS, computers and various things we rely on in our day-to-day lives. To my mind, science isn't entirely based on faith, whilst I'll admit there is a certain amount of faith, as I know the scientific process, I myself have not analysed the data nor do I have a PHD in any of the sciences - so I am relying on the scientific community to stick to the scientific process. Would you say the procedure for successfully completing brain surgery is completely based on faith? No, the procedure is a result of years of medical science. To say science is faith based is an over simplification and one that's seemingly based on ideas related to Plato's allegory of the cave, the idea that the reality we see is not necessarily the reality that's out there and pretty much creates the argument, "everything is faith".

For that reason, you may wish to call empiricism 'faith-based' on any imaginary scenarios where our senses are unreliable, but this is seemingly an attempt to try and devalue the scientific approach to put it on the same level as anything that's 'faith' based, like religion. Science has so much more to offer to back itself.

Also, two things about atheism. One, it's not capitalised, it's 'atheism' not 'Atheism', just as 'theism' is not 'Theism'. One is an abstract noun, whilst the other is a proper noun, 'atheism' is a lack of belief in any deities, 'Atheism' implies the name of an organisation or group of people united by common ideals, like 'Christianity' or 'Marxism'. The reason I feel the need to point that out leads into point 2. People tend to think of atheism as a group or organisation of people united by common ideals, which includes disbelief in deities, science, Evolution, criticism of religion and humanism. Atheism is no way relies on science, this is a misconception. Many atheists may rely on science, but this is not the same thing, many Christians do too...even the ones not willing to admit it. 'Atheism' is not the name of something, it merely describes a quality in a person.

Atheism is the lack of belief in any deities, nothing else. Hence many Buddhists are considered atheists, as Buddhism is a religion without a deity, theistic Buddhist either deify Buddha or belief in the god(s) of another religion. Siddartha Gautama was a Hindu, hence the Hindu gods are sometimes acquired, but it is by no means a part of the Buddhist religion.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: jaimehlers on January 01, 2013, 11:17:02 AM
To my mind, science isn't entirely based on faith, whilst I'll admit there is a certain amount of faith, as I know the scientific process, I myself have not analysed the data nor do I have a PHD in any of the sciences - so I am relying on the scientific community to stick to the scientific process. Would you say the procedure for successfully completing brain surgery is completely based on faith? No, the procedure is a result of years of medical science. To say science is faith based is an over simplification and one that's seemingly based on ideas related to Plato's allegory of the cave, the idea that the reality we see is not necessarily the reality that's out there and pretty much creates the argument, "everything is faith".
I suppose you could consider it the kind of 'faith' where you trust what other people have been studying.  You trust that they know what they're talking about, even though you aren't very knowledgeable about that field; if you studied it, you would understand it given enough time.

But religious faith is different than that.  While it's superficially similar (religious believers trust what their leaders say even though they don't understand it themselves), the leaders can't base what they say on provable facts, but have to use their own subjective opinions.  They can't deal well with constant questioning; they have trouble tolerating dissension and varying beliefs; and it's all too easy for them to whip their followers into a tizzy because "God says".  Science as we use it avoids all three of those traps; it's based on constant questioning, it requires dissension in order to keep moving forward, and people who understand science aren't likely to let themselves get whipped into a frenzy based on someone's opinions.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Seppuku on January 01, 2013, 11:57:57 AM
Aye, they are different. One dedicates their life to using the scientific process to learn about the world and apply their findings and scrutinise the crap out of them, whilst the other is interpreting from ancient scripture and attempting to apply it. However, I'll generally go for the option that has the most evidence and the fewest assumptions. With religion, it requires you to make many assumptions based on religious faith and not base them on knowledge. Religion is all about faith and as a result I tend to respect the religious who defend themselves by saying "I don't know, I just have faith that it's so" than those who try to convince me what they believe is provable or measureable fact and attempt to show me using logic games and pseudo science. Whilst I think the former is wrong and maybe thing it's a bit a silly, but I feel that it is a lot more honest than the latter, the latter is somebody more interested in convincing me than their own beliefs, or heck may have lied to themselves enough that they themselves believe it.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 01, 2013, 08:36:34 PM
It is faith that is based on faith, not science. That every religion requires it should make it even more obvious that the whole concept of religion is a scam, but instead we get a whole bunch of people who believe fervently that their religion is obviously true while all other religions are obviously false. With nothing more to show for their assumptions that, well, you know, faith.


I heard yesterday that both HP and Samsung are working on a new type of electronics circuit (called a memristor) that will, within the next five years, make it possible to store one petabyte of data on a chip less than 1cm2. Plus, while some of that chip is retained as memory, if more processing power is required, part of it can be instantly transformed into a CPU, or video ram, or any other circuit needed by the computer to do its job. Using less power than todays computers, and the chip will be able to store the data and other configurations for periods of time measured on geologic rather than normal electronic time scales. None of this is relevant to the discussion in any way other than a) faith be damned, current progress predicts this outcome, b) while I understand that there may be unforeseen roadblocks that make this level of progress (including a 100 fold increase in computer processing power) difficult or impossible, I trust that there is a pretty good chance of this outcome actually happening and c) in the meantime, I don't have to believe silly stories or hope that absurd sounding crap isn't actually absurd.


No, science is exciting and useful and exhilarating and gives me cause to be optimistic about the future. Religion? Not so much.


Science doesn't require faith. It is too busy doing stuff. It is not amenable to having outdated limits foisted on its ideas


But religion can fuck up the world all it wants, as long as it leaves reality out of the equation.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 01, 2013, 10:26:56 PM
Just a bit more clarification.  I'm not trying to have the last word -

I am not introducing a secret invisible world about which we know nothing.  I am equating the concept of 'spiritual world' with consciousness.  Everyone knows consciousness.  (Although there is plenty of debate about what it actually is.)

Apart from anything else it would fit with Ockham's Razor to equate the two.

But the main idea that I am introducing is that the physical world may be a subset of consciousness rather than consciousness being a subset of the physical world.

And if you think about these two alternatives you will sooner or later realise that science cannot solve this problem (ie whether the physical world or consciousness has primacy).  The reason for this is because science must either ASSUME that the physical world has primacy before the process of science even begins or IGNORE consciousness altogether.

Recognise also that I am not attacking science.  Science is essential within the physical realm where it applies.

For people who are more visual than auditory -


Here is the 'Primacy of matter' physical paradigm -
 ________________________
|                                           |
|        Physical world               |
|    _______________            |
|   |                           |           |
|   |   Consciousness   |           |
|   |_______________|          |
|                                           |
|________________________|


and here is the 'Primacy of consciousness' paradigm -
 ________________________
|                                           |
| Consciousness/Spirit/Soul     |
|    _______________            |
|   |                           |          |
|   |  Physical world     |          |
|   |_______________|          |
|                                           |
|________________________|


In each model the inner 'world' is a subset of the outer 'world'.

They looked much neater in Notepad :-(

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: JeffPT on January 01, 2013, 10:49:14 PM
Until you can prove that consciousness can exist without a physical brain, then acknowledging that consciousness is directly related to a physical brain is the most logical stance.  We have billions of examples of conscious people with brains.  We also have people with brain injuries that directly affect consciousness.  We have chemicals that can affect consciousness. There is no reason to jump to the conclusion that the physical world is unrelated to consciousness.

Consciousness could simply be a function of neurological complexity in a functioning brain. 
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: 3sigma on January 01, 2013, 10:52:25 PM
I am not introducing a secret invisible world about which we know nothing.  I am equating the concept of 'spiritual world' with consciousness.

In that case, why bother? Why introduce another name for consciousness when that other name does nothing to improve our understanding and only serves to confuse the issue with a vague and ill-defined concept? What is the point? Is there any solid evidence that this “spiritual world” exists? If you can’t give us any solid evidence then please stop trying to equate it with anything real.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 01, 2013, 10:56:28 PM
Until you can prove that consciousness can exist without a physical brain,

Can you prove that a physical brain can exist without consciousness ?

And by consciousness I mean a conscious observer of that brain.

We are both in a similar boat when trying to 'prove' either paradigm.


[post number 666.  if I don't post again then you can assume that the dark side has won  ;)]

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on January 01, 2013, 10:57:50 PM
....I am equating the concept of 'spiritual world' with consciousness.  Everyone knows consciousness.  (Although there is plenty of debate about what it actually is.)

Apart from anything else it would fit with Ockham's Razor to equate the two.

Ockham's Razor!!!!!  You're kidding yourself mate :laugh:

The MUCH simpler alternative is that the 'spiritual world' does not exist, except as a delusion. 
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: keeta on January 01, 2013, 11:10:26 PM
just by reading this subject line, i know we have some crack smokers in the room...
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 02, 2013, 12:03:24 AM
Until you can prove that consciousness can exist without a physical brain,

Can you prove that a physical brain can exist without consciousness ?

And by consciousness I mean a conscious observer of that brain.

We are both in a similar boat when trying to 'prove' either paradigm.


[post number 666.  if I don't post again then you can assume that the dark side has won  ;) ]


Well, I remember back when I didn't have a physical brain. I had no consciousness.


Once born, I had one, and I was. Conscious, that is.


I think you're being silly, but if you can link to some great thinkers that agree with you, I'd love to see their take.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 02, 2013, 12:28:53 AM
just by reading this subject line, i know we have some crack smokers in the room...

I've never used any drugs1, or even smoked.  From what I've heard, I'm probably missing out.  Religious mystics and NDE experiencers report some similar experiences to those who take certain drugs.  I would suggest that all 3 groups have let go at least temporarily of the artificial constraints of a material/physical paradigm.

Keeta, the OP is quite short.  Would you like to read it and just make a brief comment.  All perspectives are welcome.


1. Other than vitamins, Aspirin and a few mild ones occasionally prescribed by a GP

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Seppuku on January 02, 2013, 02:42:12 AM
You can measure brain activity when people are thinking, whilst there's still a lot of research needed to work out precisely how the brain works. Also, when a person is brain damaged, how they think, how they perceive things and heck even their personality can be affected - there can be behavioural changes when brain damage is involved. It can also affect a person's intelligence. If our 'consciousness' really is separate from the physical world, then the physical world shouldn't be able to affect it. And we shouldn't be able to measure our thoughts in our brain. To assume our conscious comes through our brain takes fewer assumptions than assuming there's an external consciousness, because we can see a relationship between the brain and consciousness, but see nothing to suggest an external conscious.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: keeta on January 02, 2013, 02:54:13 AM
You can measure brain activity when people are thinking, whilst there's still a lot of research needed to work out precisely how the brain works. Also, when a person is brain damaged, how they think, how they perceive things and heck even their personality can be affected - there can be behavioural changes when brain damage is involved. It can also affect a person's intelligence.
you have no idea seppuku...it changes everything.
alrighty dominic, reality is relative. my reality may not be your reality. and your reality isn't my reality, even though we co-exist on this big marble in the sky..even if we were right next to each other, we all have our own reality, though we may share a common experience.
this coming from a girl with a brain injury. that's my reality.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Skinz on January 02, 2013, 02:59:31 AM
Current science suggests no separate ethereal force being in relation to the individual, key word being current. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Personally, I think the idea of a separate mind/Id/Logos or however it may be described, is simply the meatsack's way of mentally escaping their meatsackery. It's ego wishfully overstepping reality.

The thing to recognize is that there is no shame or degradation in being a meatsack. We are amazing biological machines, the product of billions of years of mutation and death, with massive brains to accommodate all the data that won't fit into our DNA. With those massive brains, we can actually contemplate those millions of years of mutation and death, we can think about what tomorrow may bring in far, far more complex terms than food and sleep and sex, we can store the scores of orchestras for our enjoyment, and we can design logical traps for our fellow meatsacks. I personally think that the potential presented by humanity is far more astonishing and awe inspiring than the concept of an intelligent creation event.


EDIT: I have taken many hallucinogens and their Friends, and I've had some amazing experiences that made me wonder about our generally agreed upon version of reality. I've read minds, I've taken intense visual journeys through different spectrums of energy, I've felt the power of all the universe concentrated in my tingling fingertips... And I, the addled experiencee, believe 100% that it can all be explained by biochemical reactions. I would be willing to take them all again while hooked up to an EEG, if you're paying ;)
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Bagheera on January 02, 2013, 03:40:11 AM
One of the key underlying assumptions of science is that human sense perception is able to accurately detect the nature of reality.  Where devices are used to confirm or enhance human perception (eg camera, thermometer, computer, geiger counter... and many others) then human sense perception is still required to confirm those device's results.

This underlying assumption itself cannot be tested by science because it must first be assumed before science can begin.


This leads to a couple of necessary conclusions which are very significant:

- Science is entirely based on faith.  (ie faith in the underlying assumptions of science)

- To the extent that Atheism relies on science (as the only reliable source of truth) it is thus also entirely faith based.

That's just silly. The key underlying assumption for every living thing is that sensory input is the only legitimate basis for interacting with the universe. And that is what it is; a base. What you do with that base is what separates "science" from just making stuff up.

Science applies reason and logic to that sensory input in an effort to determine  the qualities of the universe at large that we experience through our limited suite of senses. Religion doesn't care about that, only "[insert text or tradition] promises that I get to live forever".

Philosophers: people who will argue ad nauseum about the existence of a ham sandwich but will still eat it when get hungry.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Bagheera on January 02, 2013, 03:46:03 AM
Well, I remember back when I didn't have a physical brain. I had no consciousness.

Once born, I had one, and I was. Conscious, that is.

I think you're being silly, but if you can link to some great thinkers that agree with you, I'd love to see their take.

Well, technically, you don't remember when you didn't have a physical brain. You can, however, imagine that you remember back when you didn't have a brain.

In fact, I suppose when it comes right down to it, imagining that you remember something can actually create a memory of that something, and I guess from a personal perspective, a memory of that imagined something is the same as a memory of something real.

Which is why I don't trust half of what people tell me about how they remember dreaming about grandma's death right before it happened, or how they remembered seeing a ghost walk right through their wall when they woke up, or how that black  looks just like the guy that stole their car with their kids in it. . .
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Bagheera on January 02, 2013, 03:55:52 AM
PP,

I'm not saying that the same level of faith is reqd for science and religion.  And I'm not saying that all claims have equal validity.

But I do want to burst the bubble of those who think they have taken some royal high road by accepting science while rejecting all religion.  Those people have simply made a faith based decision.

I call bullocks.

One can make a decision based on a discipline which produces results and verifiable predictions,  versus that which does not.

Although I appreciate the place of pure philosophy, it has limitations, in that it also requires one to accept an a priori a set of conditions its adherents must accept, making it no more reliable than science or religion.

And I'm not saying that all claims have equal validity.

Why even entertain the discussion then? "We are all characters in a comic book being written by a character in the Marvel Universe" is a claim that is pretty audacious to make, especially if I add to that ". . . and there's no way to prove it." Some claims are more valid than others. Let's stop there until a different claim can establish its 'better' validity.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Bagheera on January 02, 2013, 04:29:11 AM
If the question is raised of whether they are in fact simply dreaming, imagining, being tricked, in a matrix etc then the only defence is 'I don't believe it' - pure faith.  Nothing but faith.

Interesting. I watched 'Total Recall' the other day (the unnecessary Colin Farrell remake). At the end of it, I was struck by the thought that I might be a superhero who is in reality being mind-controlled by Mastermind, an X-Man villain. See, the interesting thing about Mastermind is that he can basically shape your memories and perception any way he wants. I have been thinking for the longest time that these suicidal thoughts I've been having are really Professor X trying to connect with me, letting me know that only by terminating myself in this reality will I be able to wake up,  escape this psychic prison and go back to the X-Mansion where I belong.

Thank you.  You let me know that there's really no reason to continue being trapped here in this nightmarish existence that's been fabricated for me when all this time my true powers were only a ritual suicide away.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Bagheera on January 02, 2013, 04:35:54 AM
Conforming to sense perception as if it was the sole guide to the nature of true reality should not be considered best practice nor must it be the default position.

It is the best guide to the nature of true reality. It is the best practice. And it should be the default position.

If you can provide a practical way of supplanting these statements without using any of your senses to do so, I am willing to entertain. I will not however be able to act on it, because that would require not using my senses.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 02, 2013, 05:31:55 AM
You can measure brain activity when people are thinking, whilst there's still a lot of research needed to work out precisely how the brain works. Also, when a person is brain damaged, how they think, how they perceive things and heck even their personality can be affected - there can be behavioural changes when brain damage is involved. It can also affect a person's intelligence.
you have no idea seppuku...it changes everything.
alrighty dominic, reality is relative. my reality may not be your reality. and your reality isn't my reality, even though we co-exist on this big marble in the sky..even if we were right next to each other, we all have our own reality, though we may share a common experience.
this coming from a girl with a brain injury. that's my reality.

You sound as sensible and normal as all the other people on these forums.  Hope that's a compliment ;)
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Anfauglir on January 02, 2013, 06:30:31 AM
Until you can prove that consciousness can exist without a physical brain,
Can you prove that a physical brain can exist without consciousness ?

And by consciousness I mean a conscious observer of that brain.

We are both in a similar boat when trying to 'prove' either paradigm.

Yeah, I get this - it IS a solipsistic position where we are unable to progress beyond step 1 to determine whether the physical, or consciousness (or 8D roleplaying puppet) paradigm is the one we can use.

So we come back to the question of whether we can consistently define the paradigms, and whether we as individuals experience specific, predictable, and measurable results when we attempt to live as if that paradigm were true.

For example: if I really believed that the consciousness universe were the true paradigm, then potentially it would be possible - by "force of will" - for my brain to override the "physical laws" that spring from consciousness and - lets say - cause a pen to fall upwards when dropped.

Silly example?  Maybe.  But is there ANY way in which - if I attempted to live as if physical was an illusion derived from consciousness - I would NOT experience exactly the same results that would be expected from a life in the physical paradigm?

Now if there is....let's hear it!  But if there is not....then sure.  We may be one paradigm, we may be another.  But if the RESULTS are identical either way, then (like I said) who gives a damn?  And, indeed, why bother with naming them at all?

The only conflict comes when one side or other says "here is something that can ONLY work if MY side of the argument is stronger" - such as where a person claims there is a god outside of the physical universe.  But to make that claim, they must perforce be able to give details of a test (from either paradigm) that supports their contention.  The fact that nobody on the "consciousness side" is able to detail such a test - or, it seems, even feel able to give a consistent definition of their paradigm - is ample evidence to me of which the "true" reality is.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 02, 2013, 06:47:42 AM
Anfauglir, so far as people living according to another paradigm, we do have a real example in the world, the Church of Christ Scientist who believe the the spiritual is everything and the present world something lesser. Due to failing to use the advances in medicine they have a pretty high rate of premature death and disease as they don't 'believe' in immunisation and so on or even the use of doctors.

by now, I would have thought people ought to imagine that, since they 'spiritual healing' doesn't work, they paradigm must also be wrong and the church closed down but with the money religion holds I doubt that will ever happen.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Anfauglir on January 02, 2013, 09:45:48 AM
Anfauglir, so far as people living according to another paradigm, we do have a real example in the world, the Church of Christ Scientist who believe the the spiritual is everything and the present world something lesser. Due to failing to use the advances in medicine they have a pretty high rate of premature death and disease as they don't 'believe' in immunisation and so on or even the use of doctors.

Wheels, many thanks - that's an excellent example.  If their paradigm were correct, we should expect to see greater longevity in this group, not less, as their paradigm would overrule the (lesser) physical one.

Cue Dominic now saying that our "knowledge" of this is gained only through the physical environment, and thus no less a matter of "fact" than anything else we've said.....  ;D 

I note though that he hasn't answered my question as to how he believes he communicated with us - whether or not he truly believes he sends mental messages to us that just happen to be resolved on a perceived PC screen as opposed to physically typing.  Mind you, perhaps he has been attempting to answer me over the conceptual paradigm and refraining from doing anything physical - but (since I ONLY get results when he DOES use the physical) that seems - again - to give a lot more weight to that paradgm.....
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: screwtape on January 02, 2013, 10:07:05 AM
Until you can prove that consciousness can exist without a physical brain,

Can you prove that a physical brain can exist without consciousness ?


That's not how it works, Sunny Jim.  If you think the physical exists within the "spiritual", then you should explain, at least is some basic way, how all that works. 

For example, how are spirits attached to physical bodies?  Why can spirits not switch physical bodies?  From where do these spirits come?  When are the spirits attached?  Consciousness appears to be a spectrum, not a binary quality.  So how does your theory explain that?  What about babies?  That is, we observe personality develop as the physical body develops.  How does your idea explain that?  There are noted cases where personality radically changes with brain injury or disease.  How does your idea explain that?


Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Add Homonym on January 02, 2013, 10:33:43 AM
I've never used any drugs1, or even smoked.  From what I've heard, I'm probably missing out.  Religious mystics and NDE experiencers report some similar experiences to those who take certain drugs.  I would suggest that all 3 groups have let go at least temporarily of the artificial constraints of a material/physical paradigm.

You can suggest it all you like.

Users of LSD and DMT also reckon that there is another set of competing "realities" that are just as valid as this one. However, they seem to have to come back and eat food in this reality. Also, when they come back from the other realities, they seem to know nothing of import, besides that they know there are other realities.

I wouldn't mind so much about your tack, if Genesis started:

Well, you know, there are other realities, and you can have out of body experiences, and this is how to do it, and these are the herbs to take.

But, it doesn't, because it says virtually nothing about anything of philosophical importance, and contains only the dull guesswork of dull people.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Hatter23 on January 02, 2013, 10:36:34 AM
One of the key underlying assumptions of science is that human sense perception is able to accurately detect the nature of reality.  Where devices are used to confirm or enhance human perception (eg camera, thermometer, computer, geiger counter... and many others) then human sense perception is still required to confirm those device's results.

This underlying assumption itself cannot be tested by science because it must first be assumed before science can begin.


This leads to a couple of necessary conclusions which are very significant:

- Science is entirely based on faith.  (ie faith in the underlying assumptions of science)

- To the extent that Atheism relies on science (as the only reliable source of truth) it is thus also entirely faith based.

"You have a belief without evidence, just like I do. That's faith" as your justification. I have a parable for just that situation.

Yes it is a kind of faith. It is that same kind of faith that I have that my shoes do not fly around my round when I am asleep and no recording devices are present. I'm sure you share that same faith, the faith of NoFlyingShoeswhlesleeping, how's that faith working out for you? Does it require a deep conviction of resolute solemnity, or do you have that faith because the proposition that your shoes fly around when you are asleep is in contradiction to everything observable about reality?

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 02, 2013, 12:26:33 PM
There a couple of things worth mentioning here -

1. Communication the most odd thing about the communications claimed to come from gods to people is that they always exactly match the views of the person receiving the message. How often does one hear of someone getting a message from god that goes against how they think? Thus I would expect that, say, Dominic would hacve his views reinforced by these 'messages' - something that would start to make one think that they came not from a god but from Dominic's own sub-conscious.

2. Physical / Spiritual  If we are talking about messages being received from a god - one that is spiritual in nature and not physical - then we need to tackle the tough question of how the non-material can affect the material. Like it or not, we are physical beings and to implant any thoughts requires some very skilful 'adjustments' to our brain chemicals and our neuron connections. We need to get down to the mechanics of how this might be possible and how we might test to see if it can be detected. Any ideas on this one Dominic?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Seppuku on January 02, 2013, 01:42:13 PM
You can measure brain activity when people are thinking, whilst there's still a lot of research needed to work out precisely how the brain works. Also, when a person is brain damaged, how they think, how they perceive things and heck even their personality can be affected - there can be behavioural changes when brain damage is involved. It can also affect a person's intelligence.
you have no idea seppuku...it changes everything.
alrighty dominic, reality is relative. my reality may not be your reality. and your reality isn't my reality, even though we co-exist on this big marble in the sky..even if we were right next to each other, we all have our own reality, though we may share a common experience.
this coming from a girl with a brain injury. that's my reality.

Aye, we can all perceive reality very differently, even without brain damage how one person's brain functions can be very different to another. I would not like to presume what it's like or claim authority of knowledge of when somebody is brain damaged as I can't speak from experience nor am I an expert.

But I would say, reality itself, never changes, how we perceive it does - we might even have our illusions and certainly, drugs can affect our perception of reality, any hippy will tell you that. :P However, assuming our senses are working as they should, then we can find common ground in observing evidence in the physical world, I'd say in regards of reality, this is our most reliable asset. A chair is a chair and we can all assess its physical qualities. Of course, those whose senses aren't working as they should would experience the physical world differently, for example, somebody's who's blind. But in general people receive the same sensory data. So I say it's more reliable than our imagination, reason, faith and our perception of reality.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 02, 2013, 04:26:01 PM
There a couple of things worth mentioning here -

2. Physical / Spiritual  If we are talking about messages being received from a god - one that is spiritual in nature and not physical - then we need to tackle the tough question of how the non-material can affect the material. Like it or not, we are physical beings and to implant any thoughts requires some very skilful 'adjustments' to our brain chemicals and our neuron connections. We need to get down to the mechanics of how this might be possible and how we might test to see if it can be detected. Any ideas on this one Dominic?

In answer to 'how does the non material affect the material'.   Consciousness = non-material.  Sensual perception = material.  Consciousness produces perception.

[ I am also equating consciousness = non physical = spiritual = soul, not as dogma or faith but as my definition of 'spiritual' and 'soul' - but the answer to your question is just the paragraph above this one.]
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Aspie on January 02, 2013, 04:57:55 PM
What you're criticizing isn't science, but epistemology. You're using the fallacy of composition to conflate information with the means to organize and utilize it. Science is a methodology, an abstract tool we've formulated to manage the knowledge we work with. If you input the wrong values into a mathematical equation because you took them on faith this does not reflect upon the mathematical process itself; 2+2 will still = 4 regardless of whether you should have used a 5 instead. The means to assess values and the means to process them are two completely separate areas and thus must be addressed independently.

The only assumption in play is the barest of assumptions necessary for a human mind to function - that knowledge itself is possible - but this is before we even begin to discuss science. Science is certainly used to organize and build upon information even if it's simply what we think we know, but the problem with your argument is that it causes you to fall short of your target. The accuracy or even potential inaccuracy of the information itself has no bearing on whether science is or is not the best means to evaluate and categorize it. However, without even a potential basis for knowledge you leave yourself bereft of grounds to assess truth and therefore unable to weigh in on the practicality of any method versus another. Your contention towards "human sense perception" is easily extended to human experience in totality rendering any conclusion you make inherently untenable since you yourself can only appeal to faith in your criticisms.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Bagheera on January 02, 2013, 04:59:22 PM
How does memory fit into this equation?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 02, 2013, 05:24:14 PM
One of the key underlying assumptions of science is that human sense perception is able to accurately detect the nature of reality.  Where devices are used to confirm or enhance human perception (eg camera, thermometer, computer, geiger counter... and many others) then human sense perception is still required to confirm those device's results.

This underlying assumption itself cannot be tested by science because it must first be assumed before science can begin.


This leads to a couple of necessary conclusions which are very significant:

- Science is entirely based on faith.  (ie faith in the underlying assumptions of science)

- To the extent that Atheism relies on science (as the only reliable source of truth) it is thus also entirely faith based.

"You have a belief without evidence, just like I do. That's faith" as your justification. I have a parable for just that situation.

Yes it is a kind of faith. It is that same kind of faith that I have that my shoes do not fly around my round when I am asleep and no recording devices are present. I'm sure you share that same faith, the faith of NoFlyingShoeswhlesleeping, how's that faith working out for you? Does it require a deep conviction of resolute solemnity, or do you have that faith because the proposition that your shoes fly around when you are asleep is in contradiction to everything observable about reality?

You are simply describing physical reality.  We believe in what we can detect by the senses esp when it is consistent and confirmed by others.  That is fine.  I'm not denying the experience of physical reality.

1. Now imagine for a moment the physical reality of a cell in the body.  How a cell might sense its reality.  Why do we assume that our senses provide a true and correct picture of reality while a cell's senses report a totally different 'world'?  What makes our senses sacred ?  Why are you allowed to assume them correct (like a religious dogma) ?   A common answer to this is that we have corroboration by various recording or measurement devices.  However, we use our senses to read and interpret those devices so that is not independent verification.  Same goes for comparing with other people.  They are simply using the same senses that we are.

2. And how do we know we are not dreaming ?   And all the evidence and scientific tests that are done are part of that same dream.  Your shoes don't fly around while you sleep and yet you may still be asleep when you put them on in the 'morning'.  Science cannot address that question.  It cannot look outside of its own paradigm.

Yet atheists feel entitled to condemn anyone who suggests there may be more to reality than what our senses provide.  Anyone who looks outside of the dream is labelled deluded.  Sense perception is obviously a very useful tool but to make it the arbiter of all truth is simply a dogmatic convention no better than what those crazy deluded theists are accused of.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Bagheera on January 02, 2013, 05:25:29 PM
Let's suppose that reality is a subset of consciousness, rather than the other way around.

What happens if you take someone's brain out of their skull, put it in a tank of nutrients designed to keep the brain alive?

Do they perceive "the world" as if nothing is wrong, as their senses are no longer able to provide any stimuli to contradict anything their consciousness comes up with?

Do they simply go insane as their brain generates its own "reality" independent of their sensory input?

Is this what theists are going for? A belief that stabilizes their consciousness into something pleasant once the physical part of the body is no longer able to function? (yes, this assumes that it is possible for consciousness to exist independent of the actual brain).

That raises a crapload of questions, like what happens to their personality? Memory is stored in the brain, we know that. We even have a way to erase memories. So if you're conscious without memory and no input, do you even have a sense of self at all?

And if the reality of consciousness after death is determined by the belief structure, then shouldn't we be telling everyone they go to heaven instead being all dicks about it and trying to reserve for just the people who didn't work on Sunday?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: JeffPT on January 02, 2013, 05:58:14 PM
Yet atheists feel entitled to condemn anyone who suggests there may be more to reality than what our senses provide.  Anyone who looks outside of the dream is labelled deluded. 

This is completely wrong Dominic.  I defy you to find a single atheist that says that there is absolutely no more, and can not be any more to reality than what our senses provide.  If they do, they're idiots too.  Intellectual honesty comes from admitting that it's possible you could be wrong.  Trying to look outside the dream is fine.  It really is.  Just look at those scientists who are trying to determine whether or not our entire existence is some sort of computer program.  They are definitely looking outside the box. 

What we label as deluded are those people who believe that they have found the Christian God (or any other of the thousands of proposed gods in the history of man) in that search.  That's deluded.  No...  actually its beyond that.  It's massively stupid.  There is no more evidence that THAT particular version of 'what exists outside of our senses' is the truth than there is for any other deity ever proposed by man.   

Sense perception is obviously a very useful tool but to make it the arbiter of all truth is simply a dogmatic convention no better than what those crazy deluded theists are accused of.

Sense perception evolved the way it did because it helped to ensure our survival in THIS world.  Our senses miss a crap load of stuff that's happening in the universe.  The problem is that they are all we have.  There is nothing else with which we can verify truth. 

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 02, 2013, 06:01:10 PM
How does memory fit into this equation?

Memory is one property of consciousness. 

NDE experiencers describe an almost perfect memory while their brains are all but shut down.  Many describe a 'life review' where every moment of their life is recalled in vivid and minute detail.

But even if we accept that a brain is required for memory, the key question still remains - Does the material world give rise to consciousness or does consciousness give rise to the material world ?


Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on January 02, 2013, 06:46:27 PM
....  Why do we assume that our senses provide a true and correct picture of reality while a cell's senses report a totally different 'world'?  What makes our senses sacred ?  Why are you allowed to assume them correct (like a religious dogma) ? 

Well that is another distortion. Human senses have been extremely well studied - we know their limitations. 

Your persistence with this point betrays your lack of involvement and appreciation of how science is done.  Physics is underpinned by mathematical proofs - independent of human senses.  Vast tracts of scientific knowledge are subject to statistical rigor - things have to be repeatable.  One bit of science relies on other bits of science, mostly using different types of sensors being improved over time and calibrated measurement devices - they tend to corroborate each other and when they don't that leads to more interesting science.

Yet atheists feel entitled to condemn anyone who suggests there may be more to reality than what our senses provide.  Anyone who looks outside of the dream is labelled deluded.  Sense perception is obviously a very useful tool but to make it the arbiter of all truth is simply a dogmatic convention no better than what those crazy deluded theists are accused of.

No, sorry Dominic this is just rubbish.  Atheists do NOT condemn "anyone who suggests there may be more to reality than what our senses provide".  We actually find such speculation interesting - and want to know if it is true, and how we might be confident that it is true - quite happy if that method of seeking truth does not involve human senses directly, as long as it all makes sense.  A Hadron Collider for example.

You are confused about what atheists reject, and taking it personally.   What we condemn is the process that invents whole elaborate realms of makebelieve over and over around different gods throughout history.  We condemn hypocritical clergy who don't practice what they preach, but for their own benefit in this reality selfishly manipulate gullible people to believe it all.

If there are any gods, why are they so fickle and apparently incapable of penetrating our human senses with any consistency?  What are the gods afraid of?  That we might know them for sure?  At least to within accuracy limits of our human senses?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Hatter23 on January 02, 2013, 07:29:14 PM


Yet atheists feel entitled to condemn anyone who suggests there may be more to reality than what our senses provide.  Anyone who looks outside of the dream is labelled deluded.  Sense perception is obviously a very useful tool but to make it the arbiter of all truth is simply a dogmatic convention no better than what those crazy deluded theists are accused of.


No I condemn anyone who asserts there is more to reality than what our senses provide, and exactly what it is, without evidence that is perceptible to our senses. Conjecture has led us to some very great discoveries, unsupported assertions have led us to one handed ivory tower mental exercises.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: keeta on January 02, 2013, 10:59:56 PM
Aye, we can all perceive reality very differently, even without brain damage how one person's brain functions can be very different to another. I would not like to presume what it's like or claim authority of knowledge of when somebody is brain damaged as I can't speak from experience nor am I an expert.

i can only speak from my own truth, it's all i know for certain, and the brain is so insanely complex, no two injuries are the same, sometimes you heal from them, and sometimes you just don't, i had a contra coup accident damaging both parts in the front, and parts in the back, which fuks up very specific things, i know many, many brain injured people, and though some of our symptoms are the same, the amount we're able to heal is very different from person to person. my perception of reality is screwed, my spacial awareness is not what it used to be, meaning i think i have more room than i actually do, and bump into shit a lot, i can't tell you if something happened yesterday, today, or 2 years ago, my sense of time is not what it used to be. math now seems like chinese to me...not what it used to be. i can't spell for shit anymore, and most words look wrong when i type them, and if i get it wrong, i'll spell it the same wrong way 9 times before i figure out why it's wrong,  can't remember from one page to the next what i read.. my filter is somewhat broken, and yes, sometimes i offend, though i'm not always sure why something is offensive, or funny for that matter, a lot of humor is wasted on me now..what really bites...is knowing how smart i used to be, and what i used to be able to do, and now can't, pisses me off, yet i look fine, so i must be 100% i do agree with the reality is reality, and our own personal perception of said reality is what get's screwed with for what ever reason. drugs are more fun than brain damage any day!
and yes dominic, i do take that as a compliment, thank you :) i try to not let my brain injury show on a daily basis..but sometimes it slips and i just can't do anything about it :D I have an above average iq post tbi, i can't imagine what a smarty pants i was pre tbi ha ha ha


But I would say, reality itself, never changes, how we perceive it does - we might even have our illusions and certainly, drugs can affect our perception of reality, any hippy will tell you that. :P However, assuming our senses are working as they should, then we can find common ground in observing evidence in the physical world, I'd say in regards of reality, this is our most reliable asset. A chair is a chair and we can all assess its physical qualities.
[/quote]
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Add Homonym on January 03, 2013, 01:34:45 AM
Anyone who looks outside of the dream is labelled deluded. 

You aint looking outside the dream, though.

You get your knowledge of god from others in the dream. They reinforce your desire to pretend to look for a god inside the dream, and then you find god inside the dream, and pretend he's outside the dream, even though you can't possibly know where the boundary is.

Worse, still, unlike the Gnostic version of Christianity, the standard version makes no hint that this is a dream. There is no theological idea to get out of the dream, like there might be with Australian aboriginal culture, or Gnostic Christianity.

Unfortunately, consciousness is a bit like this. Forces within our brain tell us what's real, and their main agenda is to convince us that we are conscious, when we really aren't at all.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 03, 2013, 03:47:41 AM
Anyone who looks outside of the dream is labelled deluded. 

You aint looking outside the dream, though.

You get your knowledge of god from others in the dream. They reinforce your desire to pretend to look for a god inside the dream, and then you find god inside the dream, and pretend he's outside the dream, even though you can't possibly know where the boundary is.

Worse, still, unlike the Gnostic version of Christianity, the standard version makes no hint that this is a dream. There is no theological idea to get out of the dream, like there might be with Australian aboriginal culture, or Gnostic Christianity.

Unfortunately, consciousness is a bit like this. Forces within our brain tell us what's real, and their main agenda is to convince us that we are conscious, when we really aren't at all.

Are you denying consciousness ?  Surely you have to be conscious to do that!
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Azdgari on January 03, 2013, 03:57:12 AM
No he doesn't.  Even computers can deny things.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 03, 2013, 04:15:28 AM
Let's suppose that reality is a subset of consciousness, rather than the other way around.


I'll take it you mean physical reality is a subset because consciousness as a whole is also 'reality'.

Quote
What happens if you take someone's brain out of their skull, put it in a tank of nutrients designed to keep the brain alive?


If physical reality is a subset of consciousness, then the brain becomes a particular perception within consciousness - we call it physical or 'real' but it's reality is simply how consciousness perceives it.  To feel the meaning of this more acutely, imagine dissecting a brain in a very realistic dream.  It seems absolutely physically 'real' but ultimately it is an image or idea in the consciousness of the dreamer.

Do they perceive "the world" as if nothing is wrong, as their senses are no longer able to provide any stimuli to contradict anything their consciousness comes up with?

Quote
Do they simply go insane as their brain generates its own "reality" independent of their sensory input?

Is this what theists are going for? A belief that stabilizes their consciousness into something pleasant once the physical part of the body is no longer able to function? (yes, this assumes that it is possible for consciousness to exist independent of the actual brain).

That raises a crapload of questions, like what happens to their personality? Memory is stored in the brain, we know that. We even have a way to erase memories. So if you're conscious without memory and no input, do you even have a sense of self at all?

And if the reality of consciousness after death is determined by the belief structure, then shouldn't we be telling everyone they go to heaven instead being all dicks about it and trying to reserve for just the people who didn't work on Sunday?

I absolutely agree that religious people can be ignorant both in what they believe (eg all moral truth comes from literal interpretation of a book) and in how they will sometimes try and use their beliefs to belittle others. 

Re consciousness after death, NDE reports suggest that it is strongly influenced by belief structures (during life) but there is a lot more than just those belief structures eg telepathy, instantaneous travel and perfect memory are some of the common additional experiences
regardless of beliefs during life.

In this thread I have tried to avoid making religious claims.  The thread is an attempt to better understand the basic nature of reality.  That has to happen before any religious or non religious claims can be made.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: bertatberts on January 03, 2013, 04:26:28 AM
Why is this thread still up!?

The man is clearly a troll, he hasn't budged one inch in his moronic assertions.
Given the responses he has had, and his failure to amend his position.

When it has been demonstrated a position is wrong and said person continues down the same path, we can only assume that they are a moron or a troll.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 03, 2013, 04:26:46 AM
No he doesn't.  Even computers can deny things.

Hmmm.... 'Access denied' for example. 

So let us imagine a computer denying its own existence.  It could be programmed to do that but it would have no knowledge, understanding, realisation or consciousness of what it is doing.  It would simply be blindly following an instruction set.  It would not actually be denying anything because it does not know what deny means.  In fact it does not know - at all.

For a human to deny his own consciousness he must have some idea of what consciousness is and then make a conscious decision to deny it's existence.  The conscious decision, by definition, then disproves the veracity of the denial.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 03, 2013, 04:30:47 AM
Why is this thread still up!?

The man is clearly a troll, he hasn't budged one inch in his moronic assertions.
Given the responses he has had, and his failure to amend his position.

When it has been demonstrated a position is wrong and said person continues down the same path, we can only assume that they are a moron or a troll.

You are making a dogmatic attempt to stop others from expressing different views to yours.  That is what atheists accuse religion of doing!  Go stand in the corner and think about what you've done.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Anfauglir on January 03, 2013, 04:48:54 AM
You are making a dogmatic attempt to stop others from expressing different views to yours. 

Dominic, why do you continue to utilise the physical paradigm to defend the position of the alternative?  Why not simply demonstrate the truth of the alternative using that paradigm's means of communication?

I ask for (I think) a third time - when you communicate with us, how do you perceive yourself doing it?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: bertatberts on January 03, 2013, 04:55:41 AM
Why is this thread still up!?

The man is clearly a troll, he hasn't budged one inch in his moronic assertions.
Given the responses he has had, and his failure to amend his position.

When it has been demonstrated a position is wrong and said person continues down the same path, we can only assume that they are a moron or a troll.

You are making a dogmatic attempt to stop others from expressing different views to yours.   
Dogmatic! How so!
I haven't ask them to stop, I've ask why they are still bothering, a huge difference.

Also I've merely stated what I think you are. They may not think so.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 03, 2013, 04:59:46 AM
You are making a dogmatic attempt to stop others from expressing different views to yours. 

Dominic, why do you continue to utilise the physical paradigm to defend the position of the alternative?  Why not simply demonstrate the truth of the alternative using that paradigm's means of communication?

I ask for (I think) a third time - when you communicate with us, how do you perceive yourself doing it?

Sorry Anfauglir, I thought it was a rhetorical question.

I fully accept physical reality and I utilise it.  Physical reality exists in both paradigms

The difference between the two paradigms is what takes precedence, consciousness or matter.

In what I'll call the Consciousness Paradigm, consciousness is primary reality.  Consciousness manifests in various ways, one of which is what we call the physical or material world.  No denying of the material/physical world.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 03, 2013, 05:05:30 AM

Anfauglir,

PS:

I am also using consciousness when I post my ideas and you use consciousness when you read and respond.  I believe that I am primarily using consciousness, and at a secondary level also then using tools within physical reality (computer, keyboard, internet etc).

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 03, 2013, 05:06:43 AM
Why is this thread still up!?

The man is clearly a troll, he hasn't budged one inch in his moronic assertions.
Given the responses he has had, and his failure to amend his position.

When it has been demonstrated a position is wrong and said person continues down the same path, we can only assume that they are a moron or a troll.

You are making a dogmatic attempt to stop others from expressing different views to yours.   
Dogmatic! How so!
I haven't ask them to stop, I've ask why they are still bothering, a huge difference.

Also I've merely stated what I think you are. They may not think so.

That's much nicer.  You can come out of the corner now.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: bertatberts on January 03, 2013, 05:32:17 AM
That's much nicer.  You can come out of the corner now.
Wooo!!! Thank you! Dominatrix.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Anfauglir on January 03, 2013, 06:51:04 AM
The difference between the two paradigms is what takes precedence, consciousness or matter.

Then I'm thoroughly lost.  We are all agreed that there is physical reality - PCs and so forth.  We are also agreed that there is a thing called "consciousness", which involves thought.  So what the heck is your point?  What do you mean exactly by "precedence"?

Seriously - I'm lost.  I thought the point was there was either physical universe, or consciousness. 
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: naemhni on January 03, 2013, 07:10:02 AM
Are you denying consciousness ?  Surely you have to be conscious to do that!

Actually, no, you don't.

There is a school of thought in contemporary ontology that holds, in fact, that consciousness does not exist at all.  I don't profess to understand it very well (I haven't kept up since I finished college back in '95), but colloquially stated, the argument goes something like, "You aren't really aware of your own existence; your brain and its 'programming' merely deceive you into thinking that you are."
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 03, 2013, 07:22:24 AM
Are you denying consciousness ?  Surely you have to be conscious to do that!

Actually, no, you don't.

There is a school of thought in contemporary ontology that holds, in fact, that consciousness does not exist at all.  I don't profess to understand it very well (I haven't kept up since I finished college back in '95), but colloquially stated, the argument goes something like, "You aren't really aware of your own existence; your brain and its 'programming' merely deceive you into thinking that you are."

That actually makes quite a lot of sense. Clearly what we call consciousness is what the brain conjures up via its neurons and transmitters - there isn't anything else in there.  Of course the state of self-awareness is an essential tool for the hunter gatherer - the people we were when humans first evolved and it is pretty handy today in our present technological society but trying to think of it as more than the emergent property of the brain is pushing things too far.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 03, 2013, 10:12:25 AM
The difference between the two paradigms is what takes precedence, consciousness or matter.

Then I'm thoroughly lost.  We are all agreed that there is physical reality - PCs and so forth.  We are also agreed that there is a thing called "consciousness", which involves thought.  So what the heck is your point?  What do you mean exactly by "precedence"?

Seriously - I'm lost.  I thought the point was there was either physical universe, or consciousness.

Anfauglir, see if this helps -

Paradigm 1
The dominant school of thought in science is that a standard model of sub-atomic particles form the building blocks of matter and the physical universe is made up from this.  Consciousness then, whatever it may turn out to be, somehow comes about within that physical environment.

That is what I am calling the standard physical paradigm which many people take for granted.

Paradigm 2
The alternative paradigm which I am putting forward (although I didn't invent it) is a Consciousness Paradigm whereby consciousness is the fundamental constituent of reality (constituent is probably not the best word).  Perhaps it might be conveyed more clearly if I say 'in the beginning was consciousness'.  Then within consciousness, one particular manifestation of that consciousness is the physical world (aka the universe).  Consciousness manifests the physical world and relates to that physical world through sense perception.

I will add that many other worlds (other than the physical) are available to consciousness.  Examples of these worlds are dreams, imagination, fantasy, hallucination, drug induced trips, mental ideas, NDEs, OBEs, even perhaps emotions, desires, love, will, all of which are non-material phenomena.

Does that convey the 2 paradigms ?

In a nutshell I think the difference is whether consciousness is a sub-set of matter or matter is a sub-set of consciousness.  Do you agree there is avery fundamental difference between the two ?

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 03, 2013, 10:18:33 AM
There a couple of things worth mentioning here -

2. Physical / Spiritual  If we are talking about messages being received from a god - one that is spiritual in nature and not physical - then we need to tackle the tough question of how the non-material can affect the material. Like it or not, we are physical beings and to implant any thoughts requires some very skilful 'adjustments' to our brain chemicals and our neuron connections. We need to get down to the mechanics of how this might be possible and how we might test to see if it can be detected. Any ideas on this one Dominic?

In answer to 'how does the non material affect the material'.   Consciousness = non-material.  Sensual perception = material.  Consciousness produces perception.

[ I am also equating consciousness = non physical = spiritual = soul, not as dogma or faith but as my definition of 'spiritual' and 'soul' - but the answer to your question is just the paragraph above this one.]

PS:  Re how the non-material 'world' can be detected my response is in whatever ways consciousness can be detected.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on January 03, 2013, 10:22:04 AM
... or matter is a sub-set of consciousness ...

Under paradigm 2, what part/aspect of consciousness would produce zits?

(http://samluce.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/How-to-Get-Rid-of-Zit2.jpg)

Original sin maybe?  :-\
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: screwtape on January 03, 2013, 10:54:11 AM
dominic,

you've not answered my questions from earlier.  IN paradigm 1, there is reason to believe it is so.  As Kcrady once said, if you think reality is a matter of faith, then have faith an anvil is lightweight rubber and drop it on you foot several times.  If that fails to convince you, drop it on your head. 

In paradigm 2, however, I have seen no reason to believe it.  It is a statement like "everything in the universe is growing, including our measuring sticks".  So how do you know it is growing?  Similarly, on what basis do you say the physical arises from the "conscious"?  What reason do I have to believe it?

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 03, 2013, 11:51:54 AM
Dominic,

Can you point us to the source of the second paradigm - maybe a web page of the author, please?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: naemhni on January 03, 2013, 12:15:36 PM
Dominic,

Can you point us to the source of the second paradigm - maybe a web page of the author, please?


There are various takes on it (as you would probably imagine).  I'm somewhat familiar with at least one of them, having been a proponent of it during my brief "woo" period in the late 1980s.  I suggest the novel "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah", by Richard Bach, as a good introduction.
http://www.amazon.com/Illusions-The-Adventures-Reluctant-Messiah/dp/0385319258/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357233364&sr=8-1&keywords=richard+bach+illusions

Apart from giving you some preliminary information about the subject, it's an enjoyable read even if you think the ideas presented are nonsense.  Bach remains one of my favorite authors to this day, although I no longer subscribe to most of his ideas.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: jaimehlers on January 03, 2013, 12:19:58 PM
There's plenty of things outside of what we can perceive with our limited senses.  We can see light and feel infrared; we can smell and taste a limited range of chemical reactions; we can hear a limited range of movements.  Even with technology to assist, there's still limits to what we can detect.  But those limits in no way suggest what Dominic is arguing - that because of our limited senses, what we can detect is somehow based on 'faith'.  That's because what we can detect is consistent between different viewpoints.  Multiple people examining a slide under a microscope will see the same thing, for example.

What Dominic has to show is that those individual perspectives are not consistent, that they differ to the point where they cannot be used reliably.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: naemhni on January 03, 2013, 12:25:25 PM
There's plenty of things outside of what we can perceive with our limited senses.  We can see light and feel infrared; we can smell and taste a limited range of chemical reactions; we can hear a limited range of movements.  Even with technology to assist, there's still limits to what we can detect.  But those limits in no way suggest what Dominic is arguing - that because of our limited senses, what we can detect is somehow based on 'faith'.  That's because what we can detect is consistent between different viewpoints.  Multiple people examining a slide under a microscope will see the same thing, for example.

What Dominic has to show is that those individual perspectives are not consistent, that they differ to the point where they cannot be used reliably.

Exactly.  And as the old saying goes, "Good luck with that."
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 03, 2013, 01:30:53 PM
Dominic,

Can you point us to the source of the second paradigm - maybe a web page of the author, please?

I can't point to a precise source because this idea goes way back to ancient philosophers probably before the origins of Hinduism but I can point to a recent proponent who has tried to bring the concept to a more mainstream audience.  His name is Peter Russell.

This could be a good place to start for a summary -
http://www.peterrussell.com/SCG/ideal.php (http://www.peterrussell.com/SCG/ideal.php)

This is his home page -
http://www.peterrussell.com/index2.php (http://www.peterrussell.com/index2.php)

This is an hour talk he did on the topic -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d4ugppcRUE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d4ugppcRUE)


And here is the first 9 mins if you'd rather have it in easier to manage chunks -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uIJ0OS4pJk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uIJ0OS4pJk)
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 03, 2013, 03:43:59 PM
Thanks for the links. I'm sorry to say I haven't had the time to watch the 1 hour video though.

Are their others with the same ideas - maybe published in proper journals. A quick search suggests this guy is sort of alone in his ideas and his website seems more concerned with selling courses, books and tapes rather than anything like a good explanation as such.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 03, 2013, 04:11:15 PM
Thanks for the links. I'm sorry to say I haven't had the time to watch the 1 hour video though.

Are their others with the same ideas - maybe published in proper journals. A quick search suggests this guy is sort of alone in his ideas and his website seems more concerned with selling courses, books and tapes rather than anything like a good explanation as such.

How about this, which I think is closely related -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_(illusion) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_(illusion))
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 03, 2013, 04:35:19 PM
Thanks for the link, Dominic. It sounds to me as though this might have been Russell's source for his own ideas - it certainly bears a close resemblance.

The problem I have with this is that it is simply ideas - old ideas and new ideas but lacking in the sort of thinking that might allow us to examine it more closely and to conclude if it is right or not. of course, most people never even think of this sort of problem as they have much more pressing issues to attend to but even to the few there does seem to be some problems.

the principle problem with this idea is that if everything proceeds from the consciousness, how come we all experience the same 'outside world'? Leaving aside some obvious problems (I have no idea what you might call yellow and I can't explain what I see either - the same applying to taste and smell) if we both looked out of the same window we would see the same things are we could both go together and experience what we could see too. We could even invite more people and they would agree with us on what they experienced. Now, if each of us has a consciousness and the 'outside world' emerges from that consciousness then what mechanism can we invoke to explain how each up us comes up with the same outside world'?

Of course, if we imagine that the consciousness is and emergent property of the material brain, which would be the vast majority view, then these problems disappear and we can explain that there is only one 'outside world' and that our consciousness takes it in.

Would you care to put something forward that argues for Russell's view that I haven't?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: jaimehlers on January 03, 2013, 06:32:07 PM
Indeed.  Whether we're dealing with the actual universe or the equivalent of a computer program like the Matrix, it's basically communicated to us through our senses.  Those senses may not be especially good, but they're consistent - if several people all look at a scene, they will all see the same scene.

Compare this to the imagination, which is pretty close to what a "world produced by consciousness" would be like.  If I imagine something, say an imaginary world, it is extremely unlikely that someone else's imaginary world will be anything like my own without an external framework (for example, if we both imagined Tatooine from Star Wars).  And even then, there will be dramatic differences between the two.

I only see two ways to produce a consistent "imagined world".  One is for it to be the product of only one mind, with everyone else a figment of that mind; the other being that there's some kind of mechanism for each individual consciousness to share what it produces.  Neither adequately explains the universe as it exists.

If the universe is simply imagined, then there's no reason for it to stay consistent and produce, say, a coherent timeline.  When I imagine things, I seldom concern myself with the kind of linearity that we see in the actual world.  I jump around depending on what I'm thinking about.  I don't even imagine stuff from the same continuity a lot of times - it depends on what I'm actually thinking about the time.

And sharing information between consciousnesses gets to be problematic.  How would this system determine which consciousness was 'dominant' for a given place or time?  How would it ensure that they were all consistent with each other, so as to prevent continuity problems (like magic working in one place and science another, and a third where both worked)?  How would it share information between consciousnesses to begin with, given that the 'world' wouldn't be a valid way to communicate information?

Like it or not, the idea of us experiencing a reality that exists whether we're here to see it or not just makes more sense than any other.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 03, 2013, 07:26:19 PM
What Dominic has to show is that those individual perspectives are not consistent, that they differ to the point where they cannot be used reliably.

The problem with this perspective from Dominic isn't that it is wrong, but that it is of little use. i just drove 140 miles today. All of the drivers I shared the road with were doing a good enough job dealing with reality (along with me) that there were no incidents. I made the trip safely.

Our senses suck if what we are after is actual reality. But they are adequate. And in our case, that is usually good enough.

But are we measuring faith with our mental/physical inadequacies? No, we are measuring how our mind's world compares with whatever it is that is real. And the type of faith involved, if one must use that word, has nothing to do with the faith of religion. If my son wants a red ball, and if he inherited normal color perception from his mom and myself, I have no trouble going to the store and finding one that will meet his requirements. I have faith that his view of red and my view of red are in some sort of agreement, even if, technically, I see red differently than he does. It doesn't matter. Whatever we have works.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on January 03, 2013, 09:11:20 PM
I watched the Russell video to about 30 min and lost patience where Russel starts talking about the “contents of consciousness evolving”.  That is just ridiculous – off the Richter scale of ridiculous and ignorant - how would natural selection operate on phenotypes in the ether of consciousness?

Diminic my question about zits under your paradigm 2 is a serious one.
Why would consciousness give rise to things of no utility?  Or any of the chaos and suffering in reality? 

Is Alzheimer’s a disease of the brain organ or a disease of consciousness? i.e. consciousness deliberately giving rise to its own diming by generating amyloid plaques?

Time is also a problem.  What is built into consciousness that makes us age? Did the dinosaurs exist when none of us existed by virtue of their consciousness?

What about anaesthesia? How do chemicals dim consciousness and then let it return? And brain damage, alcohol, and hallucinogens?  Does consciousness continue when you’re knocked unconscious – why don’t we remember what happened except for the brief blurry and distorted moments when we are going under or resurfacing?

Is a higher being/deity pulling the strings of our consciousness? If so why have so many various gods entered  the consciousness of humans over time?  Why the fuck is Ganesha still riding on the back of a mouse – the correct god should have been able to fix that blip in hindu consciousness by now.
(http://www.exoticindia.com/madhuban/ganesha_riding_his_mouse_pf97.jpg)


Most of my questions have plausible answers under your paradigm 1, where reality and our consciousness of it is a product of matter and its chaos, and it exists only in the little energy eddies in the decay of the universe that we briefly parasite for our own little period of life.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Gnu Ordure on January 03, 2013, 11:05:01 PM
Those senses may not be especially good, but they're consistent - if several people all look at a scene, they will all see the same scene.
If ten people are looking at a rainbow, they don't see the same rainbow, because the arc of a rainbow is always perpendicular to the line of vision of the observer.

Likewise, the colours of the sunset are a creation of consciousness - there are no colours in the real world, only electromagnetic radiation of various wavelengths.

To a certain extent then, our experience of the world is the creative product of our consciousness. Our experience of our inner worlds even more so.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 04, 2013, 01:45:53 AM
I watched the Russell video to about 30 min and lost patience where Russel starts talking about the “contents of consciousness evolving”.  That is just ridiculous – off the Richter scale of ridiculous and ignorant - how would natural selection operate on phenotypes in the ether of consciousness?


You are thinking in the Physical Paradigm where consciousness somehow emerges from matter.

Russell is talking about consciousness being the most basic 'unit' of reality.  Natural selection then is a phenomenon or process within consciousness.  In this framework (paradigm) natural selection is in fact consciousness at work.  ['Unit' is an inappropriate word but it gives the gist]

Quote
Diminic my question about zits under your paradigm 2 is a serious one.
Why would consciousness give rise to things of no utility?  Or any of the chaos and suffering in reality? 


I did wonder if it was a serious question : - ).

If consciousness is the basis of reality then physical manifestations such as zits are (to borrow from Douglas Adams) mostly harmless.

I'll give a hypothetical answer for zits but its not meant to be literally true but it will explain the principle at work.

Zits are a sign that something is not quite right.  It is a signal to the individual that he needs to look at his diet and/or environment to see where some beneficial changes could be made.  The zits themselves are very rarely dangerous but if it is an extreme case then perhaps there is a more urgent need to assess diet and lifestyle.

Zits then are a feedback system designed to inform and assist the 'sufferer'.

To use an analogy, a warning alarm is often an annoyance but it is there for our benefit so we shouldn't resent it.

Quote

Is Alzheimer’s a disease of the brain organ or a disease of consciousness? i.e. consciousness deliberately giving rise to its own diming by generating amyloid plaques?


Until I have better knowledge I will put Alzheimer's into the same category as zits but a more extreme example indicating a more serious warning about diet and lifestyle - possibly a long term effect of ingesting unhealthy substances which find their way into our processed food supply.

We as individuals are not expected to fully understand consciousness and the way it works but it makes a lot of sense to study it and see what can be learned.

Quote

Time is also a problem.  What is built into consciousness that makes us age? Did the dinosaurs exist when none of us existed by virtue of their consciousness?


My attempts at explaining time would be amateur if I attempted it.  But I'll make this suggestion - consciousness as a whole does not age.  Consciousness experiences, observes and learns.  The perception of a physical universe manifests mostly as changing forms but these are simply images presented to consciousness or within consciousness.  They are just one particular subset of consciousness.  To use an analogy, the images in a movie may convey twenty years of change under the influence of time in the story, while the observer (viewer) is largely unaffected by time.

Quote

What about anaesthesia? How do chemicals dim consciousness and then let it return? And brain damage, alcohol, and hallucinogens?  Does consciousness continue when you’re knocked unconscious – why don’t we remember what happened except for the brief blurry and distorted moments when we are going under or resurfacing?


NDEs suggest that consciousness continues even when the heart and breathing are stopped and when brain activity is minimal.  I know that we talk of 'unconsciousness' from anaesthesia and/or from bodily injuries but I suggest that this is a change of consciousness states, not an ending of consciousness.  During NDEs people report more vivid, coherent, meaningful and 'real' experiences than in their normal lives.  We actually know very little of what consciousness is capable of.

Quote

Is a higher being/deity pulling the strings of our consciousness? If so why have so many various gods entered  the consciousness of humans over time?  Why the fuck is Ganesha still riding on the back of a mouse – the correct god should have been able to fix that blip in hindu consciousness by now.


One theory is that the 'higher being' is the totality of consciousness (whatever that may turn out to be) and we as individuals are each experiencing a subset of that totality in accordance with our current beliefs, senses, understanding.

This limited experience (as a subset) may in fact be essential for slowly gaining an understanding of the whole.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 04, 2013, 04:08:44 AM

You are thinking in the Physical Paradigm where consciousness somehow emerges from matter.

Russell is talking about consciousness being the most basic 'unit' of reality.  Natural selection then is a phenomenon or process within consciousness.  In this framework (paradigm) natural selection is in fact consciousness at work.  ('Unit' is an inappropriate word but it gives the gist)


This is all very well and is very interesting too but is there any way to show it to be correct? Is there some sort of test we can do to see if Russell is right?

To be fair, it would seem that the universe began 13 odd billion years ago, produced our sun and hence our planet 4 billion years ago and the planet has been around since then with varying lifeforms. I don't see how Russell's idea make any sense against this very long existence of matter. After all, before people acquired the necessary brain structures and manged to have consciousness to the extent we have it today,
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Anfauglir on January 04, 2013, 06:24:22 AM
the principle problem with this idea is that if everything proceeds from the consciousness, how come we all experience the same 'outside world'?

This is the nub of things for me.

We all experience the same reality - assuming for the sake of argument that there IS a "we", and everything I experience (including Dominic and Wheels) are not simply hallucinations from the lone consciousness in the universe that is "I".  I'll presume for the moment that we are, indeed, working on the basis that there are numerous "identities" in the universe.

Given that that is the case, the physical universe (with emergent consciousness) explains - or can be extrapolated to explain - all the physical and sonsciousness-related aspects of the world.  Including (and I forget who posted this) how thousands of drivers can navigate their cars successfully through rush hour.

However, the reverse does not apply - or, at least, I've yet to hear a convincing explanation.  What IS the mechanism by which Dominic's consciousness, and mine, and Wheels', all share the same consciousness-originating universe?  Does conscsiousness somehow create matter and physical form?  If so, why can individual (or massed) consciousnessess not change/delete/create more physical forms?  Or is the suggestion that the "physical" universe is simply a shared set of hallucinations that are perceived as physical?  In which case, why and how are the perceptions shared?  Why do both Dominic AND me both perceive that we are "typing" on a "keyboard" to disply on a "screen"?  What prevents me from perceiving that I am not tickling the cat in certain ways, and seeing colours form on the wall that convey my thoughts?  WHY do we all create the same reality?

These are the questions that need to be addressed before the consciousness paradigm becomes more plausible than the physical one - which, as I said, already satisfactorily explains the universe - or even begins to come close to it as an explanation.

Like I said in (this? another?) thread - fine to propose "woo, what about THIS as reality?".  But to give it any credence or require consideration beyond the late-night student dope session, it needs to at least begin to answer those questions.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Azdgari on January 04, 2013, 07:55:20 AM
Anfauglir and Jaimehlers:

The problem with your objection is that under Dominic's paradigm, the confirming observations of others are also creations of your consciousness.  They too are figments of your dream.  You imagine a chair, and you also imagine other people seeing a chair and telling you about it.

There is no way to falsify this paradigm because anything can be just claimed to be a part of the dream, or of how the dream works.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: screwtape on January 04, 2013, 08:15:06 AM
All of the drivers I shared the road with were...

...just figments of your imagination.


Quote
I made the trip safely.

No you didn't.  You did not actually go anywhere.  You only imagined it.  You are really just a brain in a jar and you cannot prove otherwise.  You have to have faith to think the world you live in is reality.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Anfauglir on January 04, 2013, 08:46:45 AM
Anfauglir and Jaimehlers:

The problem with your objection is that under Dominic's paradigm, the confirming observations of others are also creations of your consciousness.  They too are figments of your dream.  You imagine a chair, and you also imagine other people seeing a chair and telling you about it.

There is no way to falsify this paradigm because anything can be just claimed to be a part of the dream, or of how the dream works.

If that's what Dominic is suggesting, then Dominic is choosing to argue with himself about the position that he believes he holds.....I suppose if you are the only person in the universe, then you've got to get your giggles somehow.  To be honest, if it were MY mind that was determining my reality, I'd be having a lot better time, on the whole.  I can't imagine there would be any constraints on it all either, once I'd realised that that was the way the universe is.

So if that IS the case, Dominic, why have you decided that your imaginary friend Anfauglir is continuing to argue with you?

And if I'm NOT imaginary, how IS it that you and I are imagining exactly the same physical universe?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 04, 2013, 09:52:07 AM
Sorry but I think we need to go back to basics. We have two different explanation for the material world we see -

1, It is that is created by each and every one of our consciousnesses

and

2. It is that our consciousness is an emergent property of our brain.

Other above have explained why it is that the second explanation manages to explain very well the way things are in the world. For the first explanation we can only think that each of us is actually alone in a place where we each create, in our consciousness a world in which we imagine each other as well everything else that makes up the material universe.

So, come on Dominic, how do we use explanation 1 to explain what we all seem to be doing now - interacting with a material universe together?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Add Homonym on January 04, 2013, 10:12:16 AM
Zits then are a feedback system designed to inform and assist the 'sufferer'.

My cousin-in-law has full brain epilepsy and severe autism. He is 11 and just blows raspberries.

Have you tried moving beyond the Naturopathic paradigms of the 19th century. Have you heard of germ theory?

Quote

NDEs suggest that consciousness continues even when the heart and breathing are stopped and when brain activity is minimal. 


Yes, then the spirit knocks on the table and ectoplasm comes out of his mouth. I saw this one on Madame Blavatsky's 19th Century TV show.

Quote
I know that we talk of 'unconsciousness' from anaesthesia and/or from bodily injuries but I suggest that this is a change of consciousness states, not an ending of consciousness.

Had an NDE yourself? Or are you just going by what your lying hallucinating friends say?

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: jaimehlers on January 04, 2013, 10:19:45 AM
There is no way to falsify this paradigm because anything can be just claimed to be a part of the dream, or of how the dream works.
If it's not falsifiable, it's useless as an explanation about anything.  So it's Dominic's job to show us how it is falsifiable.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: screwtape on January 04, 2013, 11:43:41 AM
If it's not falsifiable, it's useless as an explanation about anything.  So it's Dominic's job to show us how it is falsifiable.

good luck with that.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Azdgari on January 04, 2013, 01:04:22 PM
If it's not falsifiable, it's useless as an explanation about anything.  So it's Dominic's job to show us how it is falsifiable.

Dominic will claim that the physical-reality paradigm is also unfalsifiable.  And he's right.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: jaimehlers on January 04, 2013, 01:07:46 PM
That's true.  However, the physical-reality paradigm better explains why we all experience the same universe with different senses than the reality-from-consciousness one.  So I'll rephrase; Dominic has to show us that the second paradigm actually explains things better with less assumptions than the first does.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Azdgari on January 04, 2013, 01:30:39 PM
Ahh but as long as he goes with the "we can't prove that there really are other people outside of our imaginations" route, then he doesn't have to explain that.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Graybeard on January 04, 2013, 03:09:30 PM
Dominic,

Can you point us to the source of the second paradigm - maybe a web page of the author, please?

I can't point to a precise source because this idea goes way back to ancient philosophers probably before the origins of Hinduism but I can point to a recent proponent who has tried to bring the concept to a more mainstream audience.  His name is Peter Russell.

This could be a good place to start for a summary -
http://www.peterrussell.com/SCG/ideal.php (http://www.peterrussell.com/SCG/ideal.php)

This is his home page -
http://www.peterrussell.com/index2.php (http://www.peterrussell.com/index2.php)

This is an hour talk he did on the topic -

And here is the first 9 mins if you'd rather have it in easier to manage chunks -

The problem that Descartes had, and I pointed this out earlier, was that to have a conciousness, you have to have an organ that will recognise that consciousness. The organ has to be physical. If it is physical, it occupies space and time.

We call it our "brain" and it must be a part of reality. For a brain to exist, there must be a supply of energy from somewhere.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: screwtape on January 04, 2013, 03:29:00 PM
If it's not falsifiable, it's useless as an explanation about anything.  So it's Dominic's job to show us how it is falsifiable.

Dominic will claim that the physical-reality paradigm is also unfalsifiable.  And he's right.

Maybe.  But that is the only thing we have to respond to.  I cannot respond to a "spiritual" world I do not perceive and have no way of detecting.  I have to respond to the material world, the only world which I am able to perceive, whether it is a dream or not.  And really, that is the one Dominic also perceives and to which he responds, because none of us really have a choice about it.  We are doing the only thing we can do.  That really does not require faith.  Which was the whole point he was trying to make in this thread.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 04, 2013, 04:23:52 PM
Dominic,

Can you point us to the source of the second paradigm - maybe a web page of the author, please?

I can't point to a precise source because this idea goes way back to ancient philosophers probably before the origins of Hinduism but I can point to a recent proponent who has tried to bring the concept to a more mainstream audience.  His name is Peter Russell.

This could be a good place to start for a summary -
http://www.peterrussell.com/SCG/ideal.php (http://www.peterrussell.com/SCG/ideal.php)

This is his home page -
http://www.peterrussell.com/index2.php (http://www.peterrussell.com/index2.php)

This is an hour talk he did on the topic -

And here is the first 9 mins if you'd rather have it in easier to manage chunks -

The problem that Descartes had, and I pointed this out earlier, was that to have a conciousness, you have to have an organ that will recognise that consciousness. The organ has to be physical. If it is physical, it occupies space and time.

We call it our "brain" and it must be a part of reality. For a brain to exist, there must be a supply of energy from somewhere.

Gb,

It sounds like you are simply assuming a physical paradigm ie 'you have to have an organ to recognise consciousness and it must be physical'.

The idea that perception can only occur through a physical organ is simply a dogma (assumption) within the physical paradigm.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 04, 2013, 04:31:10 PM
Ok, some of you are asking some good questions and I acknowledge that I may not yet have all the answers.

Having said that, here is my reasoning for why there is similar shared experience by separate consciousnesses (you and me) within the physical world -

Without language to differentiate between 'things' (ie naming of experiences), there is just one single whole undifferentiated consciousness (the 'unity' of eastern philosophy).  This is reflected by individuals experiencing an objective (ie shared) 'world'.  However, as individuals (by use of language to designate a separate self) we also strive for a personal and unique experience.  This is reflected by our personal subjective experiences (emotions, feelings, desires, will, thought etc).


But why (you ask) should we choose the seemingly complicated and abstruse consciousness paradigm rather than the more obvious physical sense based reality ?

1. Because physical reality can be doubted (eg a dream) but the doubter's consciousness cannot be doubted.

2. Because we know how consciousness can produce sense perception (eg a dream) but we do not know whether or not matter can produce consciousness.

3. Because the physical world is subject to cause and effect which means that the first cause (which itself had no cause) is not part of the physical world.

4. Because consciousness is readily associated with perception, emotions, thoughts, feelings, ideas, will, desire etc - but matter is not.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 04, 2013, 04:50:34 PM
Regarding falsifiability, this is a requirement for a scientific theory (according to Popper and many others) and I accept that requirement for science.  However, science relates only to testing within physical experience (objective shared experience).

But when choosing a paradigm, I don't see how falsifiability can apply.  When choosing a paradigm we are working within subjective experience only.  Eg should I assume that my senses provide accurate truth regarding reality ?  This question must be answered before choosing a paradigm.  In effect, before choosing a paradigm, science does not yet exist! and thus falsifiability does not yet exist.

On the face of it that sounds like a very unsatisfactory state of affairs, but I need to point out again that this was always true at the moment when an individual first chooses or adopts a paradigm.  I am simply highlighting that fact.


Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 04, 2013, 04:53:04 PM
Ok, some of you are asking some good questions and I acknowledge that I may not yet have all the answers.

Having said that, here is my reasoning for why there is similar shared experience by separate consciousnesses (you and me) within the physical world -

Without language to differentiate between 'things' (ie naming of experiences), there is just one single whole undifferentiated consciousness (the 'unity' of eastern philosophy).  This is reflected by individuals experiencing a common objective (ie shared) 'world'.  However, as individuals (by use of language to designate a separate self) we also strive for a personal and unique experience.  This is reflected by our personal subjective experiences (emotions, feelings, desires, will, thought etc).

So what, exactly do you mean by an 'undifferentiated consciousness' and what might it be? How do individuals interact with it? Is it supposed to be, in effect, a god of some sort.



But why (you ask) should we choose the seemingly complicated and abstruse consciousness paradigm rather than the more obvious physical sense based reality ?

Quote
1. Because physical reality can be doubted (eg a dream) but the doubter's consciousness cannot be doubted.

Most people, I think, can easily recognise the dream from what they would call reality. I don't think most of us would have a problem with this. As such it rather weakens this idea that we can doubt reality - I really don't think people do.

Quote
2. Because we know how consciousness can produce sense perception (eg a dream) but we do not know whether or not matter can produce consciousness.

Well, if we know that consciousness can produce sense perception, then we get back to the problem of what this consciousness actually is. It can't be based on the brain but would have to be separate from it yet appears to stop working when the brain does. Consciousness seems to be tied up with the brain (because it seems to stop when the brain does) so that we would need to explain what the connection is precisely.
3. Because the physical world is subject to cause and effect which means that the first cause (which itself had no cause) is not part of the physical world.

Quote
4. Because consciousness is readily associated with perception, emotions, thoughts, feelings, ideas, will, desire etc - but matter is not.

So? Rocks and cars don't produce consciousness? Of course not! but so what? This is not an argument for anything. Most of us on this forum would say the consciousness is an emergent quality of the brain (a thing of matter) and so that the things you list do emerge from matter.


To conclude, Occam and his sharp razor. That the brain produces consciousness requires one less item that your explanation as you have to posit an 'undifferentiated consciousness' in order to explain what we all perceive. Occam would slice that off!
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 04, 2013, 04:55:47 PM

[When I edit/modify my posts I am simply fixing typos or occasionally changing one word to a slightly better one with a very similar meaning]

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on January 04, 2013, 07:20:48 PM
You are thinking in the Physical Paradigm where consciousness somehow emerges from matter.

No I’m not – read what I wrote - under your paradigm 2 (Russell’s  idea) natural selection can’t work.

Russell is talking about consciousness being the most basic 'unit' of reality.  Natural selection then is a phenomenon or process within consciousness.  In this framework (paradigm) natural selection is in fact consciousness at work.  ['Unit' is an inappropriate word but it gives the gist]

Exactly – and it can’t work.  Natural selection works by action of the environment (reality) on the fitness of phenotypes (reality) to permit them to reproduce their genotype or not. It doesn’t work in the ether of consciousness – get it?
You are suggesting that consciousness conjures up countless artifacts of processes that require geological time to work, in the absence of your own consciousness.   It’s as daft as the creationist doctrine that the universe was created with “apparent age”.


If consciousness is the basis of reality then physical manifestations such as zits are (to borrow from Douglas Adams) mostly harmless.

It doesn’t matter that they are “mostly harmless” – I’m asking about ontology.  What is at the root of a zit inside consciousness?


I'll give a hypothetical answer for zits but its not meant to be literally true but it will explain the principle at work.
Zits are a sign that something is not quite right.  It is a signal to the individual that he needs to look at his diet and/or environment to see where some beneficial changes could be made.  The zits themselves are very rarely dangerous but if it is an extreme case then perhaps there is a more urgent need to assess diet and lifestyle.
Zits then are a feedback system designed to inform and assist the 'sufferer'.

Why would the sufferer of zits need to look at his “diet” or “environment”.   Surely the owner of the zit, once conscious of his consciousness, he should look to his consciousness under your paradigm 2 – where the zits and diet and environment emanate from.   Or can one cross between the two paradigms depending on whether one is in reality or in lala land?


Until I have better knowledge I will put Alzheimer's into the same category as zits but a more extreme example indicating a more serious warning about diet and lifestyle - possibly a long term effect of ingesting unhealthy substances which find their way into our processed food supply.

Same problem as above – you are mixing up the sources of your realities.  And you haven't given me a reason why consciousness would dim itself.

My attempts at explaining time would be amateur if I attempted it.  But I'll make this suggestion - consciousness as a whole does not age.  Consciousness experiences, observes and learns.  The perception of a physical universe manifests mostly as changing forms but these are simply images presented to consciousness or within consciousness.  They are just one particular subset of consciousness.  To use an analogy, the images in a movie may convey twenty years of change under the influence of time in the story, while the observer (viewer) is largely unaffected by time.

Dominic, if consciousness does not age then why would our bodies (created by consciousness) age relentlessly?  Why would worms, bacteria, and fungi eat our bodies, sometimes before we are dead, and carry on after we are dead.

Say I was driving in the desert and came across a stranded stranger, almost dead and with one eye already picked out by a vulture sitting nearby.  Just before saving the bloke I took a photo of the scene and showed it to you 2 years later.  Whose consciousness created the reality:
-   the vulture, or
-   the one eyed survivor, or
-   me the photographer, or
-   you the observer of the photograph?

More importantly WHEN was the reality created?

NDEs suggest that consciousness continues even when the heart and breathing are stopped and when brain activity is minimal.  I know that we talk of 'unconsciousness' from anaesthesia and/or from bodily injuries but I suggest that this is a change of consciousness states, not an ending of consciousness.  During NDEs people report more vivid, coherent, meaningful and 'real' experiences than in their normal lives.  We actually know very little of what consciousness is capable of.

We’ve done NDEs to death.  There are reasonable explanations.  You make them rise again like zombies who have been shot down many times before.   Dominic, how do you define “near death”?  How is it calibrated?  Is a person tripping on LCD having a NDE?  They also have vivid hallucinations. 

How do you define "meaningful" - that a person almost killed by a suicide bomber suddenly believes the prophet Mohammed because he remembers seeing a bright light and hearing voices after being operated on and resuscitated using science?

One theory is that the 'higher being' is the totality of consciousness (whatever that may turn out to be) and we as individuals are each experiencing a subset of that totality in accordance with our current beliefs, senses, understanding.

Finally something I can agree with.  The lower ranked consciousnesses all together creating the ‘higher being’.
A clusterfuck of lala woowoo.  I have been to many different churches and religious gatherings and have seen that process in action.  I will have no further part in it thank you.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: kaziglu bey on January 04, 2013, 08:01:41 PM
  What is at the root of a zit inside consciousness?
Religion.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Skinz on January 04, 2013, 08:13:37 PM
On the topic of NDEs, I have had chemically induced experiences which match the average NDE, including out of body, total clarity, seeing and speaking to dead loved ones, and a light, as bright and warm as the distant explosion of a nuclear bomb, far above me.

But it wasn't God, it was DMT.

A chemical reaction and electrical impulses in my brain caused me to perceive these things, just like a chemical reaction and electrical impulses allow me to perceive everything else. Despite my hippydom and myriad mind expanding activities, I'm not sure consciousness, as an all inclusive and paranormal construct, exists. The things I've experienced are all explained perfectly well by current science.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Add Homonym on January 04, 2013, 11:54:22 PM
but we do not know whether or not matter can produce consciousness.

It's not the matter that produces consciousness, so much as the algorithm.

Say you've got some sim creatures in a computer vat, and you know that they are not conscious, because you did not program consciousness into them.

So, what can you do to fool them into thinking they are conscious, when you know they can never be conscious?

You start creating an algorithm that looks at itself, and says "Yeah, I'm experiencing that". Then every time the creature tries to analyze itself, it keeps bumping into your algorithm that tells it that it is analyzing itself, and is experiencing impossible things, when it's actually not experiencing anything at all - just the algorithm convinces itself. It can't beat the algorithm, and then realize that it's not conscious at all. That's almost impossible for it to conceive, because this way of thought is so deeply embedded in it.

You can't start with the assumption that consciousness is something that magically transcends matter. You have to prove that it's not just an algorithm fooling itself.

The hallmarks in the error of pretending it's somehow above matter, is that we are slowly dissecting our brains, and by subtracting bits, seeing that it all must be constructed in the brain. Worse, still, the alternative consciousnesses are obviously still constructed in aberrant modes.

Another problem is that consciousness seems to be in most mammals and birds, which means that from an evolutionary POV, it has a use in even things which don't really need consciousness. I look at an Australian Bull Ant, and to me, the way it behaves looks conscious. So, can a brain that small support consciousness? Look at the way a lorikeet behaves

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SGt6jq4Vlk

Brain the size of a peanut, and yet obviously conscious. How big is consciousness? Could be very small.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Xie_0lZe8

Could be way less of a thing than we think it is.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Anfauglir on January 05, 2013, 03:38:12 AM
Without language to differentiate between 'things' (ie naming of experiences), there is just one single whole undifferentiated consciousness (the 'unity' of eastern philosophy).  This is reflected by individuals experiencing a common objective (ie shared) 'world'.  However, as individuals (by use of language to designate a separate self) we also strive for a personal and unique experience.  This is reflected by our personal subjective experiences (emotions, feelings, desires, will, thought etc).

So what, exactly do you mean by an 'undifferentiated consciousness' and what might it be? How do individuals interact with it? Is it supposed to be, in effect, a god of some sort.

Yes, I'd like some clarification of this as well.  How do "individuals" come to be in a "single whole undifferentiated consciousness"?  In the physical paradigm, this is easily addressed.  What is the explanation for the consciousness paradigm?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Gnu Ordure on January 05, 2013, 08:55:38 PM
Science is based on philosophy, not faith.

The details of the scientific method are defined by philosophers. e.g. Popper's principle of falsifiability. Popper was a philosopher.

Science is based on logic. Logic is a branch of philosophy.

Science cannot address the most important existential questions in life, such as how a person should behave. That's the province of ethics - a branch of philosophy.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: jaimehlers on January 06, 2013, 12:09:23 AM
While I don't think we can conclude that consciousness is an illusion, an algorithm to keep something that's not conscious from realizing that it isn't, I do think we can't escape the fact that consciousness cannot exist without a storage medium, and if that storage medium is destroyed, the consciousness is also destroyed.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: chrisinmd on January 06, 2013, 01:52:36 AM
I agree that the bible is full inaccurate information and belief in it is based on faith.  The question I have a hard time dealing with is if life was created by just some random chemical reaction then who created the chemicals?  I get that response from many people who believe?  Thoughts?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: William on January 06, 2013, 02:05:50 AM
... then who created the chemicals? ...

Where did the creator get its knowledge?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 06, 2013, 04:07:27 AM
I agree that the bible is full inaccurate information and belief in it is based on faith.  The question I have a hard time dealing with is if life was created by just some random chemical reaction then who created the chemicals?  I get that response from many people who believe?  Thoughts?

Simply put, the big bang generated the matter we see today. Where's the problem?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Skinz on January 06, 2013, 05:46:32 AM
I agree that the bible is full inaccurate information and belief in it is based on faith.  The question I have a hard time dealing with is if life was created by just some random chemical reaction then who created the chemicals?  I get that response from many people who believe?  Thoughts?

A good question! Only within the last 40 years have we actually done experiments thay may one day lead to the definitive answer. However, the landmark experiment[1] 100% proves that with the most basic molecule (Hydrogen, or hydrogen based gases, which are absolutley everywhere throughout the universe) and lightning (Observed on almost every planet we know of with gases), you can within hours make complex organic molecules. They aren't nearly as complex as DNA, but they can replicate and are the basis for amino acids. With a the profusion of variety that would occur outside a controlled experiment, and given time, is't not only plausible but very likely these organic molecules would form into amino acids. DNA comes next, and once DNA is established, what we call life is almost inevitable on any clement world.

This means that the likelyhood of some basic form of life within our solar system is very, very high... An idea I find truly awesome :) Maybe, within our lifetimes, we will know. Sorry, geekgasm ;)

EDIT: Hydrogen is not a molecule. Oops.
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller%E2%80%93Urey_experiment
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Graybeard on January 06, 2013, 06:46:17 AM
The problem that Descartes had, and I pointed this out earlier, was that to have a conciousness, you have to have an organ that will recognise that consciousness. The organ has to be physical. If it is physical, it occupies space and time.

We call it our "brain" and it must be a part of reality. For a brain to exist, there must be a supply of energy from somewhere.

Gb,

It sounds like you are simply assuming a physical paradigm ie 'you have to have an organ to recognise consciousness and it must be physical'.
Yes, I am assuming a physical paradigm but "simply" is not an appropriate adverb, and you know it. You make it sound as if there might be some lack of though on the 99.999% of the world who would dismiss anything other than a physical paradigm. More to the point, I am doing that because anything else is ludicrous - as someone else said, "your idea is so bad it isn't even wrong." You have copied an idea that is basically unfalsifiable and therefore cannot be accepted... yet you think it is reasonable.

Quote
The idea that perception can only occur through a physical organ is simply a dogma (assumption) within the physical paradigm.
That statement is without foundation - and you can provide nothing to support this new proposed addition to the sum of human experience. It is for you to show that this might be the case, and, you can't, thus I think we can dismiss it out of hand. We can do this as it is unfalsifiable. You would not accept that there is an invisible hippopotamus in my garden, why should anyone credit your interpretation of Descartes with any truth? I should not even be a talking point for the seriously minded.

All that your adopting of this philosophy does is to say that "We can do nothing, we are powerless, there can be no progress as everything might be different from the way we perceive it." The fact that there is progress seems prima facie evidence of your error.

There is no logical reason why we should not make an assumption that is entirely in accord with our world as we perceive it, and it would not matter in the slightest if were it wrong - it would still be true for all of us and all generations. So in basic terms, Descartes idea on this matter was trivial.

Next, you are suggesting that everything is (or may be) illusory, including our perceptions and the means of perceiving them. This does not accord with our knowledge of illusion; illusion is subjective and hence highly varied. You cannot answer why some illusions do vary, whilst others do not - at least you can't do it without inventing some more garbage.

You and I both know that Descartes discarded perception as unreliable but, and inexplicably, claimed that the only method was deduction, yet as Plato had decided many years before, how can we deduce anything reliably if the tools of deduction are based entirely on perception?

As a matter of honesty, you should state why Descartes, frustrated at the question he could not answer, eventually said words to the effect of, "You'll just have to accept it." and it wasn't because his audience was not perceptive...

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 06, 2013, 08:30:16 AM
Without language to differentiate between 'things' (ie naming of experiences), there is just one single whole undifferentiated consciousness (the 'unity' of eastern philosophy).  This is reflected by individuals experiencing a common objective (ie shared) 'world'.  However, as individuals (by use of language to designate a separate self) we also strive for a personal and unique experience.  This is reflected by our personal subjective experiences (emotions, feelings, desires, will, thought etc).

So what, exactly do you mean by an 'undifferentiated consciousness' and what might it be? How do individuals interact with it? Is it supposed to be, in effect, a god of some sort.

Yes, I'd like some clarification of this as well.  How do "individuals" come to be in a "single whole undifferentiated consciousness"?  In the physical paradigm, this is easily addressed.  What is the explanation for the consciousness paradigm?

Analogy 1 - a microcosm

A human body can be thought of as a single unit (a whole) or as trillions of cells.  We usually consider reality from the body's perspective but we could also attempt to understand reality from a cell's perspective.  That reality would be very different.

In this analogy, undifferentiated consciousness is the body and separate individuals are the cells.


Analogy 2 - a macrocosm

A society can be thought of as a single unit (a whole) or as millions of people.  We usually consider reality from the individual person's perspective but we can and do sometimes try and think from society's perspective.

In this analogy, undifferentiated consciousness is the society and separate individuals are the people.


Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 06, 2013, 08:45:47 AM
Science is based on philosophy, not faith.

The details of the scientific method are defined by philosophers. e.g. Popper's principle of falsifiability. Popper was a philosopher.

Science is based on logic. Logic is a branch of philosophy.

Science cannot address the most important existential questions in life, such as how a person should behave. That's the province of ethics - a branch of philosophy.

And does our philosophy not require faith ?  If you make a philosophical claim and you believe it true do you not have faith in your assertion ?

Any philosophical claim requires faith if we actually believe that a claim is true.


Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: naemhni on January 06, 2013, 08:52:30 AM
And does our philosophy not require faith ?

No, it does not.  We do not take the Law of Identity, the Law of Noncontradiction, and the Law of the Excluded Middle on faith.  Those laws are true because it is impossible for them to be false.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 06, 2013, 09:07:46 AM
Science is based on philosophy, not faith.

The details of the scientific method are defined by philosophers. e.g. Popper's principle of falsifiability. Popper was a philosopher.

Science is based on logic. Logic is a branch of philosophy.

Science cannot address the most important existential questions in life, such as how a person should behave. That's the province of ethics - a branch of philosophy.


And does our philosophy not require faith ?  If you make a philosophical claim and you believe it true do you not have faith in your assertion ?

Any philosophical claim requires faith if we actually believe that a claim is true.

Well jump out of a window and see what happens?When we find out things by scientific methods they get tested and tested and we know that they accurately describe what they are supposed to describe.

Look, Newton's Laws of Gravity have been modified a bit but for space flights to be worked out - even landing on Mars, Newton's laws are all we need. It's not faith, it's knowing it works.

Where do you see the faith needed to use Newton's Laws of Gravity?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 06, 2013, 09:42:53 AM
Science is based on philosophy, not faith.

The details of the scientific method are defined by philosophers. e.g. Popper's principle of falsifiability. Popper was a philosopher.

Science is based on logic. Logic is a branch of philosophy.

Science cannot address the most important existential questions in life, such as how a person should behave. That's the province of ethics - a branch of philosophy.


And does our philosophy not require faith ?  If you make a philosophical claim and you believe it true do you not have faith in your assertion ?

Any philosophical claim requires faith if we actually believe that a claim is true.

Well jump out of a window and see what happens?When we find out things by scientific methods they get tested and tested and we know that they accurately describe what they are supposed to describe.

Look, Newton's Laws of Gravity have been modified a bit but for space flights to be worked out - even landing on Mars, Newton's laws are all we need. It's not faith, it's knowing it works.

Where do you see the faith needed to use Newton's Laws of Gravity?

Wheels,

Gnu differentiated between philosophy and science.  I think you are chiefly talking about science.  My message was about philosophy.  Gnu gave ethics as an example of philosophy which is not science, and he stated that science was a subset of philosophy which I agree with.  I then commented on faith in philosophy eg ethics (rather than science).

But your questions are still valid however because my OP states that science requires faith so I'd better answer you :-).

I could easily dream jumping out of a window and falling and being injured.  Should I then assume that it is real ?  That is the situation we are in when we choose the physical paradigm.  Should I assume that the dream is real ?  Now, note that science does not tell us whether or not sense perception is real.  Science assumes sense perception (observation) is real and then runs with it.  The assumptions of science (eg observation by way of sense perception) cannot be verified by science.  These assumptions require choice, belief and faith.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 06, 2013, 10:06:18 AM

I could easily dream jumping out of a window and falling and being injured.  Should I then assume that it is real ?  That is the situation we are in when we choose the physical paradigm.  Should I assume that the dream is real ?  Now, note that science does not tell us whether or not sense perception is real.  Science assumes sense perception (observation) is real and then runs with it.  The assumptions of science (eg observation by way of sense perception) cannot be verified by science.  These assumptions require choice, belief and faith.

Ok, then I might dreaming while typing this, I agree. I might be... The thing is, most humans are well aware of being awake or being asleep. We are also well aware of the effects of the various laws that affect us and so don't, naturally, think of jumping out of windows. Yes, this is indeed what you call a 'physical paradigm.

The problems with this is, though, that you have not come up with a  single shred of evidence so suggest your alternative paradigm might be the correct one. The so-called 'physical paradigm seems to have been quite successful in advancing all sorts of knowledge and we have, after all, been doing this for some centuries now. However, now is your time - your opportunity - to get down to things and state simply and clearly, in your own words, why we should even consider your alternative hypothesis. Is there anything around to suggest that our present way of looking at things is faulty?

Frankly, I'm tired of this discussion because you have not come up with anything of your own to convince us - you have juts typed links to videos etc to a guy who is more interested in selling books and tapes than anything else. Now come on - let's have you won views on your won words.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: kaziglu bey on January 06, 2013, 10:13:40 AM

Wheels,

Gnu differentiated between philosophy and science.  I think you are chiefly talking about science.  My message was about philosophy.  Gnu gave ethics as an example of philosophy which is not science, and he stated that science was a subset of philosophy which I agree with.  I then commented on faith in philosophy eg ethics (rather than science).

But your questions are still valid however because my OP states that science requires faith so I'd better answer you :-).

I could easily dream jumping out of a window and falling and being injured.  Should I then assume that it is real ?  That is the situation we are in when we choose the physical paradigm.  Should I assume that the dream is real ?  Now, note that science does not tell us whether or not sense perception is real.  Science assumes sense perception (observation) is real and then runs with it.  The assumptions of science (eg observation by way of sense perception) cannot be verified by science.  These assumptions require choice, belief and faith.

Dominic, you are being deliberately obtuse. We have had several hundred years of the modern scientific method. It has produced UNPARALLELED results. More technology and advancement has been achieved during that time than all of the rest of human history combined. If the assumptions of science were utterly false, that would mean that during this time period, every discovery, every advancement, every inch of progress was a completely random accident. The fact is that science can explain to a reasonable degree how our senses have evolved specifically to perceive the world we live in, and how our brains organize this information, and process it, and give us an idea of what is out there. You are acting as if we are still utterly ignorant of everything. It's like a child who has lost an argument or appeal to their parent for some privilege, but keeps on saying, "Well, what if I [fill in the blank]? It really seems like you don't know when you have lost an argument.

And lets scrutinize your paradigm, the spiritual one, since you seemed to have missed me asking these questions before. What are its assumptions? What are its rules? What is it at all? What do we do with it? What has it ever done for us? How do we recognize it? What does it explain? Why aren't you using it to communicate with us?

I'm sorry, but the fact that you HAVE to use the physical paradigm to even be capable of discussing the spiritual paradigm demonstrates that you accept the assumptions of science too, because you know that they work, yet you can't just even admit it. You just hide behind pseudo metaphysical discussion, without having yet contributed a single meaningful thing. At least SHIN KAIRI had enough honesty that he would seriously consider converting if his predictions for 2020, I think , were not correct. You are already showing your hypothesis to be false by rejecting it in favor of ours on a daily basis. Unless you spend all of your days in the Jedi Temple seeking to be One with the Force, you are not taking your own model seriously at all.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 06, 2013, 10:24:35 AM
PS:  I'm not denying the practical usefulness of science.  Science is an excellent tool for use within what we call physical reality.

I am claiming that science and physical reality require faith from start to finish.  And I am also claiming that physical reality is a subset of consciousness.  Non scientific questions and assertions like ethics (and the rest of philosophy) are thus addressed by consciousness but not by science.  Again, faith is required for every philosophical belief.

There is in fact one philosophical belief that does not require faith.  I mentioned it earler in the thread.  The claim is 'I am' or 'I exist' or 'consciousness exists'.  These are 3 different ways of making the same claim. 

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 06, 2013, 10:33:53 AM
kb,

The difference between the two paradigms is whether consciousness is a subset of the physical world or the other way around.  Both paradigms acknowledge and use the physical world.

P1 - The nature of reality is matter.  Consciousness (if it exists at all) somehow emerges from matter.

P2 - The nature of reality is consciousness.  One manifestation (subset) of consciousness is what we call the physical world (of matter, space and time).

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: screwtape on January 06, 2013, 10:38:52 AM
Hi chrisinmd

then who created the chemicals?

your question is leading.  It has the answer built in.  By asking "who" and not "how", you have included the assumption that it was some person who did it.   And that may not make any sense at all.  Just because words can be placed side by side does not mean they form a coherent or sensible idea.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: wheels5894 on January 06, 2013, 10:41:12 AM
kb,

The difference between the two paradigms is whether consciousness is a subset of the physical world or the other way around.  Both paradigms acknowledge and use the physical world.

P1 - The nature of reality is matter.  Consciousness (if it exists at all) somehow emerges from matter.

P2 - The nature of reality is consciousness.  One manifestation (subset) of consciousness is what we call the physical world (of matter, space and time).

Right, what is your evidence for P2 that you are proposing?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: screwtape on January 06, 2013, 10:45:32 AM
I am claiming that science and physical reality require faith from start to finish. 

I do not agree that is true, even a little.  But let's for a moment grant you that it is.  So what?  What is your point?  That stupid, religious faith is equal to faith that reality is real? 

Sorry, it's not.  That requires faith that reality is real - which all of our senses point to and everyone has not choice but to take as a given - and it requires blind faith that god is in heaven and is good and loves us immeasurably despite our vile, disgusting, sinful nature.  Blind, preposterous faith piled on top of reasonable faith, I'd say.
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 06, 2013, 11:08:14 AM
I am claiming that science and physical reality require faith from start to finish. 

I do not agree that is true, even a little.  But let's for a moment grant you that it is.  So what?  What is your point?  That stupid, religious faith is equal to faith that reality is real? 

Sorry, it's not.  That requires faith that reality is real - which all of our senses point to and everyone has not choice but to take as a given - and it requires blind faith that god is in heaven and is good and loves us immeasurably despite our vile, disgusting, sinful nature.  Blind, preposterous faith piled on top of reasonable faith, I'd say.

I completely agree that blind and preposterous faith can very often be harmful.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 06, 2013, 11:09:50 AM
kb,

The difference between the two paradigms is whether consciousness is a subset of the physical world or the other way around.  Both paradigms acknowledge and use the physical world.

P1 - The nature of reality is matter.  Consciousness (if it exists at all) somehow emerges from matter.

P2 - The nature of reality is consciousness.  One manifestation (subset) of consciousness is what we call the physical world (of matter, space and time).

Which has me asking, if P2 is the case, why don't you feel a need to use the word "somehow" with that conjecture? Is, in your opinion, the source of that consciousness a given? And if so, do you realize that your opinion might be conjured out of the consciousness that emerged from matter?

Why is your loop better than ours?


Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Dominic on January 06, 2013, 11:13:31 AM
kb,

The difference between the two paradigms is whether consciousness is a subset of the physical world or the other way around.  Both paradigms acknowledge and use the physical world.

P1 - The nature of reality is matter.  Consciousness (if it exists at all) somehow emerges from matter.

P2 - The nature of reality is consciousness.  One manifestation (subset) of consciousness is what we call the physical world (of matter, space and time).

Which has me asking, if P2 is the case, why don't you feel a need to use the word "somehow" with that conjecture? Is, in your opinion, the source of that consciousness a given? And if so, do you realize that your opinion might be conjured out of the consciousness that emerged from matter?

Why is your loop better than ours?

Accepted.  I withdraw 'somehow' from P1.

Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Anfauglir on January 07, 2013, 07:26:00 AM
Without language to differentiate between 'things' (ie naming of experiences), there is just one single whole undifferentiated consciousness (the 'unity' of eastern philosophy).  This is reflected by individuals experiencing a common objective (ie shared) 'world'.  However, as individuals (by use of language to designate a separate self) we also strive for a personal and unique experience.  This is reflected by our personal subjective experiences (emotions, feelings, desires, will, thought etc).

So what, exactly do you mean by an 'undifferentiated consciousness' and what might it be? How do individuals interact with it? Is it supposed to be, in effect, a god of some sort.

Yes, I'd like some clarification of this as well.  How do "individuals" come to be in a "single whole undifferentiated consciousness"?  In the physical paradigm, this is easily addressed.  What is the explanation for the consciousness paradigm?

Analogy 1 - a microcosm

A human body can be thought of as a single unit (a whole) or as trillions of cells.  We usually consider reality from the body's perspective but we could also attempt to understand reality from a cell's perspective.  That reality would be very different.

In this analogy, undifferentiated consciousness is the body and separate individuals are the cells.


Analogy 2 - a macrocosm

A society can be thought of as a single unit (a whole) or as millions of people.  We usually consider reality from the individual person's perspective but we can and do sometimes try and think from society's perspective.

In this analogy, undifferentiated consciousness is the society and separate individuals are the people.

Analogy one requires that individual cells have consciousness - is that what you are claiming?
Analogy two is that society has a collective consciousness born from the accumulated indviduals - is that what you are claiming?

Because the paradigm you propose seems to be saying that there is consciousness at both levels - at that of the individual, AND at the "single whole undifferentiated consciousness": in the former by implication, in the latter specifically.  So I ask again, how does that WORK?
Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Graybeard on January 07, 2013, 04:24:04 PM
I am claiming that science and physical reality require faith from start to finish. 

Dominic,

Is your second language English? If it is, it will at least explain why it is that you do not know that the Churches use “faith” with one definition and normal people use it with another.

So please stop using faith as if you think others do not know the difference.

Faith, for the faithful godbotherer is blind acceptance of a god of some sort, be it Zeus, Woden, Vishnu or Huitzilopochtli. To the “faithful” i.e. those of faith, these gods are very real – they may not be to you, but they are to those of faith.

These gods direct the lives of their followers, i.e. those who have faith in them, and, usually, capriciously. The faithful have no proof of a god’s existence. They cannot “test for gods” They know that the effects of the gods are being eroded by knowledge of how things really work, yet they cling blindly to faith. Even when there is obviously evidence that contradicts their god, they deny it and,calling upon their faith, they say “my god is right.”

This is what the shamans or the priests of religion call “faith” – believing something when you know it ain’t true, but not only that, believing it when it can be shown to be untrue. For the religions of the world, faith is total and blind, faith asks no questions, faith, for the faithful, has all the answers.

Now, faith, when it comes to science and the real world means reasoned trust. It does not mean that science knows everything, because if science did know everything, it would stop. Science may never have all the answers, and I for one am proud of that - there is always more to know.

No, it means knowing that humans are working on problems and questions to the best of their ability for the benefit of mankind or a section of mankind.  Each discovery they make is a step - no more than that – to a better understanding of the world and the universe and how it all fits together. Every discovery is backed by other discoveries, each of which has been shown to be true and can be repeated. every discover brings forth another question... and so it goes on.

If there ever becomes a point at which the whole foundation of science were shown to be wrong, science would openly change. Science has no blind allegiance.

I have already dismissed your “Ooo, we can’t know everything because it could always be an illusion.” which a normal person would see in the same light as you saying “Elvis is still alive”, This idea that “Science is based on sand and it is all an illusion and without evidence.” is so obviously wrong, that it can be dismissed without evidence.

Four hundred years ago, you might have gotten somewhere with it – you can’t escape with that sort of lax thought today. I am afraid that it is impossible to sit in a darkened room with no real information on a subject and yet come to a sound conclusion. No, you need to get out there and prove that what you think is correct and repeatable.

Have faith in science. There are very clever people out there who will do the work that you simply cannot.


Title: Re: Science is entirely based on faith
Post by: Tero on January 07, 2013, 09:23:12 PM
Sorry, I did not get the fuzzy logic of the OP.