BrainMeta'   Connectomics'  

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> On the Nature and Origins of Good and Evil, Religious Dogma, Consciousness and Life
maximus242
post Mar 29, 2007, 01:10 AM
Post #1


God
******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 1755
Joined: Jan 24, 2006
Member No.: 4768



Okay we are way overdue for a philosophical discussion, you can see the questions pop up on every topic, so I figure its about time to get back to the roots of BrainMeta and have a little pow wow. First off, what is good and evil but a perception right? Or as Rick has often spoken about, can that which engages in un-necessary violence be considered evil? Well, what is the definition of un-necessary violence? Do ethics and morals help to define good and evil? I wonder if humans can have a universal code of ethics that is in their nature.

Can religions define whats good and whats evil? And by what authority do they do so - also, what if two religions had differing opinions about what is good/evil, which one would be right? Heres the tough question though, if truth is an opinion, based off of perception - what happens when you see things in multiple perspectives?
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Laz
post Mar 29, 2007, 04:42 AM
Post #2


Demi-God
*****

Group: Full Member
Posts: 675
Joined: Jun 17, 2003
Member No.: 255



QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 29, 2007, 10:10 AM) *

First off, what is good and evil but a perception right? Or as Rick has often spoken about, can that which engages in un-necessary violence be considered evil?


I think what we should work out before this, whether we actually believe that we are nature, and that nature is us?

I believe we are exactly what our planet wanted us to be, we're not a parasitic lifeform, or from somewhere else in the universe and just happened to land here one day to screw things up.

Once we have a firm idea of what we are we can address the first point. My view is that good and evil don't exist as absolutes, we all vary from one to the other, but basically stay in the middle ground. It is wrong to label one person good and another evil, only individual acts can have this attribute.

Unnecessary violence is extreme but is not beyond the nature of man, so it must be taken into account when discussing the whole of mankind.

QUOTE
Do ethics and morals help to define good and evil? I wonder if humans can have a universal code of ethics that is in their nature.


They do, but only for a limited amount of time, look back a hundred years and the ethics and morals are different, look forward and they will be different again. They only have a limited use in my opinion, and can easily be used against the people they are designed to protect. A code of morality and ethics would be partially useful if the whole world followed the one code, but i can't see that happening.

You may argue about central ethics like thou shall not kill, but even this is a grey area; if you aid a terminally sick and pained person to die at their wish, if you are at war and kill an enemy(lets not pretend wars are not going to happen), or if you accidentally cause the death of a person, like tripping over a brick on some high scaffolding and having the brick hurtle to the ground only to lump some unlucky person in the head.

QUOTE
Can religions define whats good and whats evil? And by what authority do they do so - also, what if two religions had differing opinions about what is good/evil, which one would be right?


Religions can define what they want, and will get a certain number of followers to abide by them. I've actually only just learnt that countries like Iran have their laws based on their religion, and this is what is meant by an Islamic state; one that is run according to the religion. Therefore we are not a Christian state in the UK.

They govern by the same authority as any government making laws. It could be said that religions have more ethical laws, but then religions are always tainted with someones will to power and are used as banners underwhich attrocities can be happily carried out.

So they are equal in my head and no one religion is better than any other, although those religions that are more elderly and have been messed around with the least, are better than the younger ones that have had countless egos playing with them. I firmly place Christianity as the religion most messed around with.

QUOTE
Heres the tough question though, if truth is an opinion, based off of perception - what happens when you see things in multiple perspectives?


You become enlightened :0) The will to look outside of your own borders is the path to freedom.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Culture
post Mar 29, 2007, 06:51 AM
Post #3


Overlord
****

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 355
Joined: Jan 11, 2006
From: all over the place
Member No.: 4711



QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 29, 2007, 01:10 AM) *

Heres the tough question though, if truth is an opinion, based off of perception - what happens when you see things in multiple perspectives?


Multiple truths ?
You've simply changed the place of where the observation takes place.

(good to be back here)
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Rick
post Mar 29, 2007, 08:54 AM
Post #4


Supreme God
*******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 5916
Joined: Jul 23, 2004
From: Sunny Southern California
Member No.: 3068



QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 29, 2007, 02:10 AM) *
... Or as Rick has often spoken about, can that which engages in un-necessary violence be considered evil? ...

I define evil as unnecessary harm. Violence is usually harmful, but not always. Dynamite for blasting a tunnel to shorten a road is violent and helpful, not harmful, if done properly.

As unnecessary harm, evil is usually an act or neglect by a person, not the person himself, as Laz mentions. We get in the habit, I suppose, of calling those persons who routinely do evil as "evil" themselves, but this is a sloppy usage (in my system).

In the case of the brick falling off a scaffold and injuring someone, this harm can usually be avoided, so I would generally call it a case of evil. The foreman on the job should have fenced off the area under the scaffold because he should have known that bricks can fall. He should also have taken precautions to enforce a hard hat rule on the job site (and so on).

Because people are generally involved in evil, if we imagine the planet without people on it, then there will be no evil. Everything that happens will be necessary, because there are no thoughtful agents to alter the course of events. Thoughtlessness where people are involved is one of the milder forms of evil, but also the commonest. That's a major reason why consciousness expansion is generally good.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Hey Hey
post Mar 29, 2007, 12:34 PM
Post #5


Supreme God
*******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 7766
Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Member No.: 845



Ancient Head-Squishing Violence Revealed

By Heather Whipps
Special to LiveScience
posted: 28 March 2007
12:19 pm ET

Ancient Peruvian aristocrats dismembered their less well-off neighbors as a scare tactic, new archaeological finds suggest.

Several deformed corpses were found during recent excavations at the burial necropolis of El Trigal [image], a once-downtrodden community located in the Nazca province of Peru and dating to the 1st century A.D.

Members of nearby wealthier communities looking to send a message about their power may have been responsible for the mutilations, say archaeologists.

"When a dominant class appears, [it] always seeks mechanisms to impose fear," said Pedro Castro-Martinez of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), who headed up a study of the corpses. "The power of an elite is exercised and maintained by means of force and fear. Mutilations can be part of those tactics to frighten."

Severed legs and feet

Tombs at the El Trigal necropolis are very simple and indicate increasing poverty that coincided with the emergence, about 2,000 years ago, of the neighboring town of Cahuachi as a powerful conglomeration of upper-class aristocrats.

Most pointedly, several bodies at El Trigal—including the grave of one woman who was buried with a pair of severed legs and feet not belonging to her—showed signs of violence.

The ruling members of Cahuachi's population likely used aggressive measures to force taxation and keep their Nazca rivals in check, said Castro-Martinez.

"The case of dismembered legs at El Trigal is not conclusive [of violence] due to its poor conservation," he told LiveScience. "But we know other cases of dismemberments, mutilations and decapitations in the Peruvian Coast of this epoch."

Squished skulls and power

While there is nothing pretty about dismemberment, one body also found at El Trigal displayed the ultimate of symbol of power and wealth in ancient Peru: a grossly cone-shaped skull.

Finding conehead individuals at El Trigal—achieved by binding the skull with bandages from a young age–is a bit of a mystery, said Castro-Martinez, since it was a practice usually reserved for babies of wealthy lineage and El Trigal was a lower-class community.

Castro-Martinez rejected that the binding was another intimidation tactic used by the powerful of Cahuachi, however.

"[It could be] an individual of an aristocratic lineage excluded of his/her rights, a practice of deformation independent of aristocratic lineage, or a deformation associated to certain activities" for which the child was being prepared, he said, explaining that even in this apparently violent society, children were rarely harmed in such a way.

These latest discoveries are part of The Puntilla Project, a wider study of the archaeological remains of villages throughout the Nazca province conducted by the UAB and the University of Almeria, also in Spain.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Laz
post Mar 29, 2007, 12:54 PM
Post #6


Demi-God
*****

Group: Full Member
Posts: 675
Joined: Jun 17, 2003
Member No.: 255



QUOTE(Rick @ Mar 29, 2007, 05:54 PM) *

Because people are generally involved in evil, if we imagine the planet without people on it, then there will be no evil. Everything that happens will be necessary, because there are no thoughtful agents to alter the course of events. Thoughtlessness where people are involved is one of the milder forms of evil, but also the commonest. That's a major reason why consciousness expansion is generally good.


Rick, is that you having issues with humans not being a part of nature and the make-up of the planet? This statement reads like we are something alien in the world, rather than of the world. There are documented cases of great apes and Chimpanzee's, or Dolphins and Killer whales being "evil" by needlessly killing other mammals, and even canibalism.

One of the things that consciousness expansion provided me with is a view that consciousness is universal, all things are conscious to a lesser or greater extent, to believe that humans are the only animals with consciousness is pernicious nonsense
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Rick
post Mar 29, 2007, 02:26 PM
Post #7


Supreme God
*******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 5916
Joined: Jul 23, 2004
From: Sunny Southern California
Member No.: 3068



Animals have consciousness, but only humans have a sufficiently sophisticated language capability to formulate and express concepts of good and evil.

People are part of nature. Artificiality is a human invention.

It wouldn't make sense to hold animals to human standards of conduct. When a cougar in the hills around Los Angeles gets a taste of human blood, it is put to death without a trial.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Laz
post Mar 29, 2007, 02:30 PM
Post #8


Demi-God
*****

Group: Full Member
Posts: 675
Joined: Jun 17, 2003
Member No.: 255



QUOTE(Rick @ Mar 29, 2007, 11:26 PM) *

Animals have consciousness, but only humans have a sufficiently sophisticated language capability to formulate and express concepts of good and evil.


yeah, shame that!

QUOTE
It wouldn't make sense to hold animals to human standards of conduct. When a cougar in the hills around Los Angeles gets a taste of human blood, it is put to death without a trial.


Very apt, there was a news story today about whether chimps should have rights as they have 99% of our dna ;0)
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Rick
post Mar 29, 2007, 02:47 PM
Post #9


Supreme God
*******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 5916
Joined: Jul 23, 2004
From: Sunny Southern California
Member No.: 3068



I think the test in USA criminal trials is whether the person is capable of understanding 1) the charges against him, and 2) whether the act he is charged with is right or wrong. People who don't know right from wrong are classed as criminally insane and can't be found guilty, but they generally are confined to prisons for the criminally insane until they become sane and then they can stand trial.

I don't think chimps could pass the two tests above, at least not to the satisfaction of a jury of laymen.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
maximus242
post Mar 29, 2007, 09:48 PM
Post #10


God
******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 1755
Joined: Jan 24, 2006
Member No.: 4768



When is violence nessecary? By whos discretion can we really determine whether or not violence is justified? Where was the point when we were able to go from not being able to percieve good and evil - to being able to perceive it. If morals and ethics are constantly changing, then what is ethical or moral really but whatever is considered acceptable by society?

Another thought is, dont we learn what right and wrong is from someone else? You can teach a dog that it is wrong to pee in the house, you can teach a cat not to scratch on the furniture. A dog can know that its wrong to bite someone for no reason - so I wonder if they are capable of understanding good and evil? Maybe not to the complexities that we understand it, but you can teach them not to bite and not to steal food, so those are two criminal concepts. Violence and Stealing.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Culture
post Mar 29, 2007, 11:03 PM
Post #11


Overlord
****

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 355
Joined: Jan 11, 2006
From: all over the place
Member No.: 4711



QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 29, 2007, 01:10 AM) *

Okay we are way overdue for a philosophical discussion, you can see the questions pop up on every topic, so I figure its about time to get back to the roots of BrainMeta and have a little pow wow. First off, what is good and evil but a perception right? Or as Rick has often spoken about, can that which engages in un-necessary violence be considered evil? Well, what is the definition of un-necessary violence? Do ethics and morals help to define good and evil? I wonder if humans can have a universal code of ethics that is in their nature.

Can religions define whats good and whats evil? And by what authority do they do so - also, what if two religions had differing opinions about what is good/evil, which one would be right? Heres the tough question though, if truth is an opinion, based off of perception - what happens when you see things in multiple perspectives?


Thanks for the post! I have had more time to sit and articulate an answer. However your questions deserve more than a mere glancing over. So Ill start with the last "what is the definition of un-necessary violence? Do ethics and morals help to define good and evil? I wonder if humans can have a universal code of ethics that is in their nature"

Truth is a intangible thing. We can't foretell the future, and our memory of
the past is entirely selective and constantly changing. Our awareness of the
present is clouded by our fantasies of what's coming next, filtering out
what's happening now, and figuring out what just passed, filling in the
blanks automatically.

A change in perspective is a good thing. But it's easy to get caught up in
the race to change perspective as many times as you can before you die, all
while fighting the internal panic of existentialism. And truth be told, some
perspectives just aren't worth seeing, even though they're an adventure at
the time.

But to answer your question, assuming that definition of truth, then you'd
influence change in the whole. This is exciting because initially it looks a
lot like omnipotent free will, but later on it just becomes a cause to
reject any perspective or combination of perspectives as 'truth'.
(given the fluidity of perception that comes with an open mind)

In the end, you realise your only truth is that you can't trust a damn thing
about what you perceive through your senses. Nor can you trust your
Pavlovian response to them. You can't even trust the models you build up to
explain it all to yourself. And you can't trust anyone else's model above
your own, although it's useful to learn about them.

If there is an objective truth out there, it's so cleverly disguised we'd
stumble over it and curse (for infinity) out of sheer dogmatic ignorance, no
matter how well informed we believed we had become as to the nature of truth
itself.

Truth cannot be looked for. It finds you.

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Laz
post Mar 29, 2007, 11:13 PM
Post #12


Demi-God
*****

Group: Full Member
Posts: 675
Joined: Jun 17, 2003
Member No.: 255



QUOTE(Rick @ Mar 29, 2007, 11:47 PM) *

I think the test in USA criminal trials is whether the person is capable of understanding 1) the charges against him, and 2) whether the act he is charged with is right or wrong. People who don't know right from wrong are classed as criminally insane and can't be found guilty, but they generally are confined to prisons for the criminally insane until they become sane and then they can stand trial.

I don't think chimps could pass the two tests above, at least not to the satisfaction of a jury of laymen.


Wow, you are in this deep! I'd like to think that you are playing devils advocate here, but i'm afraid i don't know you well enough to say :0(

I believe that the laws of the US and the UK are confused and unable to show right from wrong, leaving us all morally up the creek.

For one confused person to judge another is truely insane.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Laz
post Mar 29, 2007, 11:33 PM
Post #13


Demi-God
*****

Group: Full Member
Posts: 675
Joined: Jun 17, 2003
Member No.: 255



QUOTE(Culture @ Mar 30, 2007, 08:03 AM) *

In the end, you realise your only truth is that you can't trust a damn thing
about what you perceive through your senses. Nor can you trust your
Pavlovian response to them. You can't even trust the models you build up to
explain it all to yourself. And you can't trust anyone else's model above
your own, although it's useful to learn about them.



Nice post Culture :0) liked that a lot and agree with most of the things you say, although i can't see why you would make the above statement about not trusting yourself.

For me, trusting myself was liberating in the extreme, I find this world too based in the words of a few idolised people, be they philosophers, scientists, or politicians. Taking control of your own freedom has to be a break from blindly trusting the words of those in high places and realising that my words are as valid as theirs?
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Culture
post Mar 30, 2007, 04:55 AM
Post #14


Overlord
****

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 355
Joined: Jan 11, 2006
From: all over the place
Member No.: 4711




QUOTE(Culture @ Mar 30, 2007, 08:03 AM) *

In the end, you realise your only truth is that you can't trust a damn thing
about what you perceive through your senses. Nor can you trust your
Pavlovian response to them. You can't even trust the models you build up to
explain it all to yourself. And you can't trust anyone else's model above
your own, although it's useful to learn about them.


QUOTE(Laz @ Mar 29, 2007, 11:33 PM) *

Nice post Culture :0) liked that a lot and agree with most of the things you say, although i can't see why you would make the above statement about not trusting yourself.

For me, trusting myself was liberating in the extreme, I find this world too based in the words of a few idolised people, be they philosophers, scientists, or politicians. Taking control of your own freedom has to be a break from blindly trusting the words of those in high places and realising that my words are as valid as theirs?


But whose to say that 'you' is nothing more than a collection of observed
and learned behaviors? You can't just trust that. Trusting who you are is a
positive thing, but trusting you will always make the best decision given
the illusion of free will is a bad idea.

You have to continually question everything, even though that's really
fatiguing.

Sometimes we're not even aware of our own motivation for doing things until
much later on. So implicitly trusting yourself should never be an absolute.

At times it's absolutely essential, but most of the time we're on autopilot
and you can't assume that all the bugs in underlying OS to have been worked
out yet.

It's one thing to be a zen master, with 60-70 years hard-coded disciplined
and completely entrenched habits of awareness, and trust yourself
implicitly. It's quite another to be a slave to desire, and confuse
free-will with fulfilling desire. You can't trust that manner of autopilot
by any means.

But I've just thought of something. Trusting your instinct/intuition is
something you probably can depend on in most situations. But then you have
to be intimately familiar with what's mere fear, and what is pure instinct.


Life becomes as simple as the 4 Fs: Flight or Fight, Feed or F!ck

At that level *everything* is pure autopilot and you're totally at ease with
the underlying OS. After all, the reptilian part of our brain has millions
of years of evolution behind it.

So I guess at the end of the day, you can trust yourself implicitly to the
extent that your reptilian nature allows, which raises an irony over the
concept of truth itself.

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Laz
post Mar 30, 2007, 07:12 AM
Post #15


Demi-God
*****

Group: Full Member
Posts: 675
Joined: Jun 17, 2003
Member No.: 255



I feel the will to share enlightenment with others is a strong and powerfull urge, but the role of teacher is not a position that is given lightly.

As Joesus would say; "when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear" it shouldn't work the other way round.

Can't you just get to know your friends Culture?
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Culture
post Mar 30, 2007, 07:58 AM
Post #16


Overlord
****

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 355
Joined: Jan 11, 2006
From: all over the place
Member No.: 4711



QUOTE(Laz @ Mar 30, 2007, 07:12 AM) *

I feel the will to share enlightenment with others is a strong and powerfull urge, but the role of teacher is not a position that is given lightly.

As Joesus would say; "when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear" it shouldn't work the other way round.

Can't you just get to know your friends Culture?


I know my friends very well, thank you. As with anything newly gained i.e insights/enlightenment the urge to want to share is predominant. However the urge to share, should remain just that..share as opposed to becoming close minded or indoctrinated in a particular school of thought.

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Rick
post Mar 30, 2007, 10:37 AM
Post #17


Supreme God
*******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 5916
Joined: Jul 23, 2004
From: Sunny Southern California
Member No.: 3068



QUOTE(Culture @ Mar 30, 2007, 05:55 AM) *
... It's one thing to be a zen master, with 60-70 years hard-coded disciplined and completely entrenched habits of awareness, and trust yourself
implicitly. It's quite another to be a slave to desire, and confuse free-will with fulfilling desire. You can't trust that manner of autopilot by any means. ...

Some people speak of the "hedonistic treadmill" where the pursuit of pleasure is seen to be as futile as the condition of a hamster in a wheel. Now consider this thought experiment. Suppose a person on the hedonistic treadmill (a heroin user, perhaps, to take an extreme case) "desires" to get off. The desire to improve himself that way is after all, merely another desire.

Desire for enlightenment is still desire. So is desire to help others. Long live hedonism and the pursuit of happiness!
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
lucid_dream
post Mar 30, 2007, 11:34 AM
Post #18


God
******

Group: Admin
Posts: 1711
Joined: Jan 20, 2004
Member No.: 956



Rick, desire (or alternatively, motivation or will) and happiness are not synonymous. One can argue that the cessation of desire (which occurs in goal-directed behavior when the goal is achieved) produces happiness, which would suggest they are more opposite to each other than similar to each other.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Hey Hey
post Mar 30, 2007, 11:48 AM
Post #19


Supreme God
*******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 7766
Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Member No.: 845



QUOTE(Culture @ Mar 30, 2007, 01:55 PM) *
Life becomes as simple as the 4 Fs: Flight or Fight, Feed or F!ck
Darwin knew it - survival for reproduction.
QUOTE(Culture @ Mar 30, 2007, 01:55 PM) *
At that level *everything* is pure autopilot and you're totally at ease with the underlying OS. After all, the reptilian part of our brain has millions of years of evolution behind it. So I guess at the end of the day, you can trust yourself implicitly to the extent that your reptilian nature allows, which raises an irony over the concept of truth itself.
The modern human brain - just a better machine to improve the chance of survival (and reproduction). And I might well be talking about the species rather than the individual. You know, the altruism stuff. So all those diversions from reproduction such as homosexuality and progenyphobia can easily be accounted for.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
lucid_dream
post Mar 30, 2007, 11:59 AM
Post #20


God
******

Group: Admin
Posts: 1711
Joined: Jan 20, 2004
Member No.: 956



Life is not just about the 4 F's, nor should it be.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
maximus242
post Mar 30, 2007, 07:21 PM
Post #21


God
******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 1755
Joined: Jan 24, 2006
Member No.: 4768



It is a difficult thing indeed to try and look for something beyond perception and to seek some form of a truth beyond it, Culture. I think multiple perspectives are a good start, allowing one to see things in a light that is previously unknown.

I was thinking about the whole purpose of the brain and consciousness, biologically - its pretty bleak isnt it? I mean were basically a living organism like any plant, but with a brain and the ability to move. So the brain does seem to be nothing more than a very good adaptation. In fact, it seems to be so good that nothing else can balance it in the ecosystem of the world.

So, what is life?

We know that cells are made up of chemical structures and those chemical structures are made of atoms.. but so is everything else in the universe. Are we really alive or just a long series chemical reactions?
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Laz
post Apr 02, 2007, 04:48 AM
Post #22


Demi-God
*****

Group: Full Member
Posts: 675
Joined: Jun 17, 2003
Member No.: 255



QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 31, 2007, 04:21 AM) *

I was thinking about the whole purpose of the brain and consciousness, biologically - its pretty bleak isnt it? I mean were basically a living organism like any plant, but with a brain and the ability to move. So the brain does seem to be nothing more than a very good adaptation. In fact, it seems to be so good that nothing else can balance it in the ecosystem of the world.


Maybe the world itself is consciouss? Our consciousness has to have evolved from somewhere.

QUOTE
So, what is life?


This seems to me to be a theolgical question now and can be substituted for "is there a god?"

QUOTE
We know that cells are made up of chemical structures and those chemical structures are made of atoms.. but so is everything else in the universe. Are we really alive or just a long series chemical reactions?


In the grand scheme of things, does the difference really matter? we could happily be either :0)
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Culture
post Apr 02, 2007, 08:05 AM
Post #23


Overlord
****

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 355
Joined: Jan 11, 2006
From: all over the place
Member No.: 4711




[quote name='maximus242' post='77858' date='Mar 31, 2007, 04:21 AM']
I was thinking about the whole purpose of the brain and consciousness, biologically - its pretty bleak isnt it? I mean were basically a living organism like any plant, but with a brain and the ability to move. So the brain does seem to be nothing more than a very good adaptation. In fact, it seems to be so good that nothing else can balance it in the ecosystem of the world. [/quote]

[quote name='Laz' date='Apr 02, 2007, 04:48 AM' post='77926']
Maybe the world itself is consciouss? Our consciousness has to have evolved from somewhere.
[/quote]


[quote name='maximus242' post='77858' date='Mar 31, 2007, 04:21 AM']
So, what is life?
[/quote]

[quote name='Laz' date='Apr 02, 2007, 04:48 AM' post='77926']
This seems to me to be a theolgical question now and can be substituted for "is there a god?"
[/quote]

[quote name='maximus242' post='77858' date='Mar 31, 2007, 04:21 AM
We know that cells are made up of chemical structures and those chemical structures are made of atoms.. but so is everything else in the universe. Are we really alive or just a long series chemical reactions?
[/quote]

[quote name='Laz' date='Apr 02, 2007, 04:48 AM' post='77926']
In the grand scheme of things, does the difference really matter? we could happily be either :0)
[/quote]

Laz spot on mister! It does pose an interesting question though. I am no scientist but in my minds eye we are nothing more than a series of chemical reactions. Our brain/mind controls and alters our perceptions, gives us insights and hinders insights too by chemical reactions. Its just kinda cool that we are able to sit and ponder our existence and have a means of communicate it all.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Laz
post Apr 02, 2007, 11:40 PM
Post #24


Demi-God
*****

Group: Full Member
Posts: 675
Joined: Jun 17, 2003
Member No.: 255



QUOTE(Culture @ Apr 02, 2007, 05:05 PM) *

Its just kinda cool that we are able to sit and ponder our existence and have a means of communicate it all.


When you can have a nice open discussion with your friends about these things, it is indeed very cool :0)

If we are the latter case of checmical reactions, i can't help but wonder what is the point in universal terms? Why is consciousness an evolutionary advantage? Are we destined to seed the galaxy with life?
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
maximus242
post Apr 03, 2007, 10:54 AM
Post #25


God
******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 1755
Joined: Jan 24, 2006
Member No.: 4768



Where did you get the notion that evolution was random? There is random mutation but that is not the same as evolution itself being random. Evolution is a selective mechanism, those with superior genes survive and reproduce and those with lesser genes die. If we look at Conscious beings purpose in life, its easy to see. They eat plants, extret the seeds and plant new plants in other areas, carnivors are used to keep things in balance.

Mutations are not the only way evolution works, genes, contrary to popular opinion, are not set in stone, genes can be altered at any time. There are many adaptations the body takes, like scar tissue. Even brain development can be highetened or lowered depending on environmental variables.

Its quite simple really. The fact that one species seems to show vast superiority over others is nothing new, raptors used to be very intelligent in dinosaur terms and hunted like wolves.

Dophines can take down sharks and killer whales. This is really a matter of who is on the top of the food chain.

Think of it like this, when you are making a neural network, you start out with a random weight and it adjusts to fit the threshold. Evolution starts out with random mutation and adjusts them through selection and the environment to determine which ones to use. However, adaptation is mainly decided by the environment, thats why we have diffrent species of animals.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Hey Hey
post Apr 03, 2007, 03:25 PM
Post #26


Supreme God
*******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 7766
Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Member No.: 845



http://www.genetics.com.au/factsheet/11.htm
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 24th May 2017 - 01:43 AM


Home     |     About     |    Research     |    Forum     |    Feedback  


Copyright BrainMeta. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use  |  Last Modified Tue Jan 17 2006 12:39 am

Consciousness Expansion · Brain Mapping · Neural Circuits · Connectomics  ·  Neuroscience Forum  ·  Brain Maps Blog
 · Connectomics · Connectomics  ·  shawn mikula  ·  articles