Monism, Dualism and Pluralism

From ethics to metaphysics and everything in between

Re: Monism, Dualism and Pluralism

Postby Og » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:38 am

gilnv wrote:But if I can use the term loosely, the life force on earth seems to be quite unique. Seems like our consciousness is seperate in that it arises to give us an impression that we exist as something more than simple matter and then eventually dies, completely gone, no trace of it what-so-ever. It doesn't even seem to morph into something else the way that matter does, like rocks to sand, or water to steam, or dirt into plants.


This perspective is a product of your cultural upbringing and is not the universally held perspective of the majority of the population of earth. Eastern culture has quite a different take on things.

Furthermore, the "no-trace-of-it-what-so-ever" comment is indicative of a poor understanding of properties matter and interaction of phenomena. In fact, the "trace" of your existence echos in eternity according to our current scientific model of the world. It certainly morphs into something else.

Consciousness is the behavior of a neural network. As you die, the behavior of this network changes as the cells die and become re-absorbed into other materials and reform into other matter in the earth (i.e. plants or animals or bacteria). There is a continuum of consciousness there. When the brain is consistently supplied with oxygen you get these coherent memory phenomena that are highly correlated with signals sent from your eyes, ears, etc. When you die, these connections fade away all across your brain and your mind changes the way it behaves in repsonse to these signals. There is most certainly a continuum and trace. At some point, by convention only, when the behavior of the brain changes away from "this" stable state, we call that death.

But its not like something was taken out of the head when that happened (other than oxygen or something like that).
Luke 17:20: Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
My Blog: Data and the Divine
User avatar
Og
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:48 pm
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Country: United States

Re: Monism, Dualism and Pluralism

Postby gilnv » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:29 am

Og wrote:
gilnv wrote:But if I can use the term loosely, the life force on earth seems to be quite unique. Seems like our consciousness is seperate in that it arises to give us an impression that we exist as something more than simple matter and then eventually dies, completely gone, no trace of it what-so-ever. It doesn't even seem to morph into something else the way that matter does, like rocks to sand, or water to steam, or dirt into plants.


This perspective is a product of your cultural upbringing and is not the universally held perspective of the majority of the population of earth. Eastern culture has quite a different take on things.

Furthermore, the "no-trace-of-it-what-so-ever" comment is indicative of a poor understanding of properties matter and interaction of phenomena. In fact, the "trace" of your existence echos in eternity according to our current scientific model of the world. It certainly morphs into something else.

Consciousness is the behavior of a neural network. As you die, the behavior of this network changes as the cells die and become re-absorbed into other materials and reform into other matter in the earth (i.e. plants or animals or bacteria). There is a continuum of consciousness there. When the brain is consistently supplied with oxygen you get these coherent memory phenomena that are highly correlated with signals sent from your eyes, ears, etc. When you die, these connections fade away all across your brain and your mind changes the way it behaves in repsonse to these signals. There is most certainly a continuum and trace. At some point, by convention only, when the behavior of the brain changes away from "this" stable state, we call that death.

But its not like something was taken out of the head when that happened (other than oxygen or something like that).

This neural network you refer to is certainly responsible for starting some dendrites and axions going and some neurotransmitters but doesn't come close to explaining the conceptual ideas and decisions our minds are making and choosing, it is a good explanation as to how conceptual thoughts can happen but if I judge this by percentages of being a likely truth, it is somewhere between 1 and 99 percent, it sure isn't like a fact of 100 percent, it involves too much belief of a explanation that is being thought up to explain something.

I've read many arguments for and against dualism, Substance dualism,
Property dualism (with Non-reductive physicalism and Epiphenomenalism)
Predicate dualism (as opposed to Predicate Monism) and I value your explanation as good or better than most that I've read so as I ponder it more I may accept it or parts of it, etc.Personally, I still tend to think of consciousness as less of a result of the beginning physical brain neuron stuff that starts it and more of a occurance akin to us viewing a salad buffet (we see food and the food doesn't act on us, the food may start some thoughts, but we choose to act on some of it or not, and then move on with absolutely no affect on the foods we decided not to eat).

The 'trace of existence echoing in eternity is in no way indicating Monism. Again, when we view a buffet food item, we are not a part of it and it is not a part of us, we may alter it if we eat it but that doesn't mean that we are part of it unless we touch or eat it, in the same way our consciousness leaves us just as we may walk away from a buffet table. We may leave a trace of existence on the buffet table if we choose to but if we choose not to then there is no trace.
Best wishes and thanks for your view of how the brain may work conceptual thoughts and decisions, I appreciate it, Gil (frontal lobe and all).

P.S. Actually, my opinions of consciousness are more than simple cultural upbringing, heck, I've rejected most parts of our cultural upbringing ridiculous, starting with baptisms, circumcisions, marriage, eating animal products, God, funerals, etc.
the divine isn't a living entity, it is the living force within all of us.
- Sadhguru
User avatar
gilnv
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 891
Images: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:59 am
Affiliation: Agnostic

Re: Monism, Dualism and Pluralism

Postby AB517 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:27 am

eating animal products?

thats telling.
User avatar
AB517
Distinguished Prognosticator
Distinguished Prognosticator
 
Posts: 2943
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:35 am

Re: Monism, Dualism and Pluralism

Postby romansh » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:05 am

gilnv wrote: The 'trace of existence echoing in eternity is in no way indicating Monism.

Surely this depends on how we define and use the word monism?
For me it means we are interconnected. Not idependent. The behaviour of your salad would be not be the same if it was not for your presence.
gilnv wrote:Again, when we view a buffet food item, we are not a part of it and it is not a part of us, we may alter it if we eat it but that doesn't mean that we are part of it unless we touch or eat it, in the same way our consciousness leaves us just as we may walk away from a buffet table. We may leave a trace of existence on the buffet table if we choose to but if we choose not to then there is no trace.
Best wishes and thanks for your view of how the brain may work conceptual thoughts and decisions, I appreciate it, Gil (frontal lobe and all).

So the salad is not made up of carbon hydrogen oxygen, nitrogen plus other useful elements like we are? Is not the chemical behaviour of the salad and our bodies described by the same laws? For me it's like saying, one eddie in a hurricane is somehow fundamentally different from another in the same hurricane.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
Douglas Adams
User avatar
romansh
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4677
Images: 23
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:46 pm
Location: BC/US border - in the woods
Affiliation: Agnostic

Re: Monism, Dualism and Pluralism

Postby Bill » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:57 am

romansh wrote: So the salad is not made up of carbon hydrogen oxygen, nitrogen plus other useful elements like we are?
Does this mean that any old cocktail of carbon hydrogen oxygen and nitrogen would make a nourishing meal? That seems to be like saying there is no difference in a snake's venom and any other part of the snake.
The only reality is the moment that we call "Now".
= = = =
We evolved to seek dinner, not to seek the truth - Mark Whatever
User avatar
Bill
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5031
Images: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:23 pm
Location: South Orange, CA
Blog: View Blog (8)
Affiliation: Agnostic
Country: United States

Re: Monism, Dualism and Pluralism

Postby AB517 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:08 am

That is not what he is saying bill.

He is saying the laws that govern the salad can be used to understand the snake. If you know the laws of the tail you can then possibly predict the behavior of the mouth.

Since the venom and your body run by the same set of laws as the salad, you can predict the behavior of the venom and thus be wary of it.

BTW,

I like creamy Italian dressing.
User avatar
AB517
Distinguished Prognosticator
Distinguished Prognosticator
 
Posts: 2943
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:35 am

Re: Monism, Dualism and Pluralism

Postby romansh » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:16 am

Bill wrote:
romansh wrote: So the salad is not made up of carbon hydrogen oxygen, nitrogen plus other useful elements like we are?
Does this mean that any old cocktail of carbon hydrogen oxygen and nitrogen would make a nourishing meal? That seems to be like saying there is no difference in a snake's venom and any other part of the snake.

Ultimately yes.
The atmosphere seems an unlikely source of nourishing food, yet it is a primary precursor of nourishing food, as are stars.

Having said that I would not inject a nice Italian oil vinegarette into my blood stream either.

Bill, I think you are missing my (and perhaps Og's) point here. From a pragmatic point of view venom and salad can be considered as separate entities. So I have no problem with this pluristic approach; but if we believe they are intrinsically different then I suspect we are falling into the dualist trap. Note the emphasis on "intrinsically".
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
Douglas Adams
User avatar
romansh
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4677
Images: 23
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:46 pm
Location: BC/US border - in the woods
Affiliation: Agnostic

Re: Monism, Dualism and Pluralism

Postby Bill » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:30 am

When it comes to building blocks, they are all refined star stuff. Given.

Some building blocks are assembled in such a way, the resulting "engine" can make substantive and accurate predictions about the way other things are going to interact, both in the short and long term.

Are you saying their is no intrinsic value in being able to make such forecasts?
The only reality is the moment that we call "Now".
= = = =
We evolved to seek dinner, not to seek the truth - Mark Whatever
User avatar
Bill
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5031
Images: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:23 pm
Location: South Orange, CA
Blog: View Blog (8)
Affiliation: Agnostic
Country: United States

Re: Monism, Dualism and Pluralism

Postby romansh » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:49 am

Bill wrote:Are you saying their is no intrinsic value in being able to make such forecasts?

Yes
There may be great subjective value though.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
Douglas Adams
User avatar
romansh
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4677
Images: 23
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:46 pm
Location: BC/US border - in the woods
Affiliation: Agnostic

Re: Monism, Dualism and Pluralism

Postby AB517 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:21 pm

romansh wrote:
Bill wrote:Are you saying their is no intrinsic value in being able to make such forecasts?

Yes
There may be great subjective value though.



for us humans anyway.
User avatar
AB517
Distinguished Prognosticator
Distinguished Prognosticator
 
Posts: 2943
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:35 am

PreviousNext

Return to Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron