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#35 Rade

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 05:19 PM

The soul is present from conception to death. Cells age and die but the soul stays as is. It is invariant......  :vava:

Yes, the soul ONLY is present from one moment (conception) to another (death).  After death, the soul is no loner present.  The soul is not invariant, not if you want it to be associated with concept of genetic code.  The reason being that mutations occur within the genetic code, thus the soul must change after each mutation if the soul has an association with genetic code.



#36 Rade

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 05:27 PM


In fact I had a thought-provoking discussion with my son a couple of years ago, about what the criteria are for defining life. It is in fact not a straightforward thing to define. He was given, in biology class,  a list of criteria, most but not all of which must be satisfied for something to be said to be alive. But is not possible to come up with a clean, unambiguous definition, oddly enough.  

 

So if you associate the soul with life, you are likely to run into the same definitional problem, it seems to me.  

 

===

 

Yes I agree, the Biology textbook definitions of life are wanting.   This is the reason I offer a definition of life that meets all the odd examples, such as virus, which by my definition are not living entities.  It is because I define life with reference to genetic code that I can associate the concept of soul with the concept of life.  It is likely that my definition of life is the only one that allows for such association.

 

Once again, from my first post above, here is my definition of life.

 

....life is defined as a process of self generated action mediated (constrained) by the information contained within nucleic acids (via evolution first RNA, then DNA). Because the soul is a first actuality of a natural body, it is a capacity to mediate the development of the life process. The soul is a capacity for life to exist, life would not be possible without a soul, neither is a soul possible outside a natural body that is alive...

 

 

 



#37 Turtle

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 06:04 PM

Is the soul a kind of psychic genetic code ?
 
Please opine.  :zip:

WTH is a 'psychic genetic code'? :jab:

I find such discussions largely worthless, other than perhaps helping each individual solidify personal thoughts by writing them out. Ultimately there will be little to no agreement making it a mental twiddling-of-thumbs. (And the usual clash of trolls of course.)

I'm responding not to support any personal argument but to point interested readers to one of my favorite authors, Douglas Hofstadter, and his latest book I Am A Strange Loop. I won't quote a definition because, while he titles the first chapter On Souls and Their Size, the chapter and the whole book are as an orb-weavers web are to a strand of silk in it. Witnessing just a strand -of which there are numerous types- tells you nothing about the complete web's form or function. Or to quote Buckminster Fuller as I did recently in the thread on his work, there is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly. (Note: Fuller's quote is apt, but he's no Hofstadter IMHO.) :reallyconfused:   :slingshot:

Addendum: On further thought, I will quote a bit of Hofstadter on the soul, as he echoes my sentiment that a quote or two is insufficient to grock strange-loopedness. :D

pg. 22 In short, I would here argue, echoing and generalizing the provocative statement by James Huneker*, that "soulness" is by no means an off-on, black-and-white, discrete variable having just two possible states like a bit, a pixel, or a light bulb, but rather is a shaded, blurry numerical variable that ranges continuously across different species and varieties of object, and that also can rise and fall over time as a result of the growth or decay, within the entity in question, of a special kind of subtle pattern (the elucidation of whose nature will keep us busy for much of this book).

*Huneker's statement was in reference to Chopin's eleventh etude in Opus 25, in A minor; he said, "Small-souled men, no matter how agile their fingers, should not attempt it". ...


Quoting myself, "small-souled persons should not attempt to read Hofstadter". :lol:

Edited by Turtle, 05 June 2017 - 08:12 PM.


#38 Rade

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 04:54 PM

In reply to the above post....

 

I find that Hofstadter puts unjustified constraints on his concept of the 'soul' as it relates to the concept of life.  I say this because for Hofstadter, the ant is 'small-souled' while the cucumber and bacteria cell are 'soul-less'.  Hence the reason he finds no moral objection to eating cucumbers for dinner, but shuns eating fish.  Hofstadter's philosophic lapse is that while he associates the soul of living entities with patterns that trigger (a priori) the emergence of life [which is what I presented above motivated by the definition of soul of Aristotle], he concludes that the essence of a soul requires a process of self awareness by a living entity.   According to Aristotle it does not, and as sharp a thinker Hofstadter may be, he is no Aristotle. 

 

 


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#39 Turtle

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 05:50 PM

In reply to the above post....
 
I find that Hofstadter puts unjustified constraints on his concept of the 'soul' as it relates to the concept of life.  I say this because for Hofstadter, the ant is 'small-souled' while the cucumber and bacteria cell are 'soul-less'.  Hence the reason he finds no moral objection to eating cucumbers for dinner, but shuns eating fish.  Hofstadter's philosophic lapse is that while he associates the soul of living entities with patterns that trigger (a priori) the emergence of life [which is what I presented above motivated by the definition of soul of Aristotle], he concludes that the essence of a soul requires a process of self awareness by a living entity.   According to Aristotle it does not, and as sharp a thinker Hofstadter may be, he is no Aristotle.

Well, Aristotle was no Hofstadter. :lol: It is in many ways an unjust comparison inasmuch as Aristotle did not have access to the information Hofstadter does, and of course that we do. We would err to speculate on what Aristotle would have thought had he access to this additional information, beyond perhaps that he would think differently and certainly think in different terms. I'm not much for Hofstadter's vegetarianism bent, even though he makes it clear he isn't trying to push it on others. Let them eat beef!  He's human of course and lets his judgments creep in here-and-there among the rigor.
 
To be clear, he says in his personal consciousness cone [pg.19: I Am A Strange Loop] that microbes, viruses, and atoms have 'little or no consciousness'. Do you have a page reference where he states what you say about bacteria and cucumbers? The Index contains neither the word 'bacteria' nor the word 'cucumber' and Hofstadter is meticulous if not anal in his indices.
 
By a priori, do you mean you think he is saying self-awareness is destined to arise? If so, I don't get that at all, rather that he is saying if human-like self-awareness, i.e. I, is to arise there must be a sufficiently complex and interconnected matrix that can support a hierarchical self-referential feedback loop. This is not the same as saying that human-like consciousness must arise under those constraints. There is also the time factor needed to have consciousness/I/soul develop and he gives low soul ranking to even human infants. [pg 22-23] "Even though I believe there is much more of a soul in the twenty-year-old than in the two-year-old (a view that will no doubt dismay many readers), I nonetheless have enormous respect for the potential of the two-year-old to develop a much larger soul over the course of a dozen or so years".



#40 sluggo

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 11:55 AM

I disagree.

Though “metaphysical” is not a clearly defined term, I take it to mean “explaining the fundamental nature of reality”.

“Soul” is also not a clearly defined term. As I mentioned upthread, I take it to mean “the key defining characteristic of a thing”. Characteristics are attributes added by an observer to better understand a thing. As such, the “soul” entity doesn’t explain the fundamental nature of reality, but our understanding of it. The soul, then can be considered an epistemological entity.

I should call out that the definition of soul I’ve used here is very different than the one used by most people. The most widely used definition of the soul, I think, includes:
The soul is something God breaths into human, but not animals;
The soul is the part of a person that survives the death of their body.

This definition proposes that the soul is as real and important a physical entity as the genome. I don’t believe this kind of soul exists.
 
This seems to me to agree with my definition of the soul as an epistemological entity – a description of mental states, not a cause of them, except that you use the word “vis”, which in Latin means “force”. I don’t believe the soul is a physical force, or physically real in any way.

You misquoted,

"and the man became a living soul", i.e. soul is synonymous with living creature, which includes animals.

"the soul that is sinning will die", thus no immortality.

These are spiritual matters which can't be measured, thus can't be analyzed by science.



#41 current

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:32 PM


You misquoted,
"and the man became a living soul", i.e. soul is synonymous with living creature, which includes animals.
"the soul that is sinning will die", thus no immortality.
These are spiritual matters which can't be measured, thus can't be analyzed by science.


Disagree

The Soul learns , hence grows .

#42 Rade

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 06:50 AM

Well, Aristotle was no Hofstadter. :lol: It is in many ways an unjust comparison inasmuch as Aristotle did not have access to the information Hofstadter does, and of course that we do. We would err to speculate on what Aristotle would have thought had he access to this additional information, beyond perhaps that he would think differently and certainly think in different terms. I'm not much for Hofstadter's vegetarianism bent, even though he makes it clear he isn't trying to push it on others. Let them eat beef!  He's human of course and lets his judgments creep in here-and-there among the rigor.
 
To be clear, he says in his personal consciousness cone [pg.19: I Am A Strange Loop] that microbes, viruses, and atoms have 'little or no consciousness'. Do you have a page reference where he states what you say about bacteria and cucumbers? The Index contains neither the word 'bacteria' nor the word 'cucumber' and Hofstadter is meticulous if not anal in his indices.
 
By a priori, do you mean you think he is saying self-awareness is destined to arise? If so, I don't get that at all, rather that he is saying if human-like self-awareness, i.e. I, is to arise there must be a sufficiently complex and interconnected matrix that can support a hierarchical self-referential feedback loop. This is not the same as saying that human-like consciousness must arise under those constraints. There is also the time factor needed to have consciousness/I/soul develop and he gives low soul ranking to even human infants. [pg 22-23] "Even though I believe there is much more of a soul in the twenty-year-old than in the two-year-old (a view that will no doubt dismay many readers), I nonetheless have enormous respect for the potential of the two-year-old to develop a much larger soul over the course of a dozen or so years".

Hello, to answer your question, I do not think Hofstadter claims that ... "self-awareness is destined to arise" .  I believe he would say that because life did arise (e.g., a logical truth statement of a fact of reality) that by definition of the concept life, there must be a priori, (​as you nicely word) "a sufficiently complex and interconnected matrix (of life) that can support a hierarchical self-referential feedback loop".

 

I hold that such a "complex and interconnected matrix" derives from a concept of a soul as defined by Aristotle, as I have discussed a number of times in my previous posts.   Thus I hold that life itself cannot arise unless first a soul arises, e.g., the soul is a priori to life and life forms so actualized may or may not further develop a consciousness.  I hold that Hofstadter type self-referential feedback loops do not require self-awareness (e.g., consciousness) to be present, but I think Hofstadter would not agree with me, thus my disagreement with him....but perhaps I error in my understanding of his philosophy.

 

ps/  To answer another question you ask, bacteria I think would fit into Hofstadter definition of a microbe, which he mentions.  As for cucumber, we can use any vegetable to meet Hofstadter concept of plants lacking consciousness, but for me, so full of soul.   



#43 Turtle

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 09:34 PM

Hello, to answer your question, I do not think Hofstadter claims that ... "self-awareness is destined to arise" .  I believe he would say that because life did arise (e.g., a logical truth statement of a fact of reality) that by definition of the concept life, there must be a priori, (​as you nicely word) "a sufficiently complex and interconnected matrix (of life) that can support a hierarchical self-referential feedback loop".

 

I hold that such a "complex and interconnected matrix" derives from a concept of a soul as defined by Aristotle, as I have discussed a number of times in my previous posts.   Thus I hold that life itself cannot arise unless first a soul arises, e.g., the soul is a priori to life and life forms so actualized may or may not further develop a consciousness.  I hold that Hofstadter type self-referential feedback loops do not require self-awareness (e.g., consciousness) to be present, but I think Hofstadter would not agree with me, thus my disagreement with him....but perhaps I error in my understanding of his philosophy.

 

ps/  To answer another question you ask, bacteria I think would fit into Hofstadter definition of a microbe, which he mentions.  As for cucumber, we can use any vegetable to meet Hofstadter concept of plants lacking consciousness, but for me, so full of soul.   

Hi Rade :hi:

For Hofstadter it is not so important how he or you or I rank particular souls, rather what is key is that people can and do make such judgments.

 

For my own part I will argue 'self-awareness' and 'consciousness' are hierarchically distinct, i.e. consciousness is a necessary condition for self-awareness, but it's not a sufficient condition. Take for example the mirror test wherein an animal is exposed to a mirror and either recognizes it is seeing itself [self-awareness] or thinks the image is another creature [conscious, but not self-aware]. Very few living things are self-aware by this standard.

 

In any regard, I  consider consciousness an emergent property of matter as I dare say does Dougie. While our only experience with a sufficiently complex network has the matter being wet & squishy, there is nothing in what Hofstadter shows that requires such  a matter. :turtle:



#44 Rade

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 08:16 AM

Hello again Turtle:

 

Your example of the mirror test is one reason why I am unsure that Hofstadter would claim that "self-awareness is destined to arise", and I do agree with your comment that "self-awareness and consciousness are hierarchically distinct".  Hofstadter refers to self-referential feedback loops.  Now perhaps I do not understand what he means, but I would hold that self-referential for Hofstadter has two meanings (1) self-recognition and (2) self-awareness, which are not the same mental process.   

 

So, back to mirror experiments, two have been published that suggest magpie bird species and various ant insect species pass the mirror test.  But, neither study concluded that magpies and ants showed self-awareness, what they showed was ability for self-recognition, which is a lower level of consciousness.  Thus (my thought) perhaps the evolution of self-referential feedback loops presented by Hofstadter advanced from (i) no ability to (ii) self-recognition, to (iii) self-awareness, with self-recognition maybe more common than we now think, if it is an evolutionary advance developed in insects....the fast majority of animal species are insects, especially beetles (as a side note, it would be instructive for future research on mirror experiments to be conducted with beetle species given their large number of species).   

 

My problem seems to be with the conclusion that self-recognition and then self-awareness for living things on earth were destined to arise, sure they did arise, but was the processed destined to happen ?   I think not, for me they arose as an outcome of the interplay between random genetic variation and evolutionary processes such as natural selection and genetic drift.   

 

Here is a question I have.  Would Hofstadter agree that self-awareness is destined to arise in robots, or would he argue that self-recognition is the best we can hope for...e.g., at best we will be able to create robots that pass the mirror test as a magpie or an insect,with no ability to be aware why they can recognize anything ?         


Edited by Rade, 18 June 2018 - 08:24 AM.


#45 montgomery

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 10:35 PM

Dejavu (sp?) is a brain malfunction https://en.wikipedia...rg/wiki/Déjà_vu Wiki is a good place to start investegating these things. Instinct is indeed genetic http://psychology.ab...-motivation.htm As far as i know, despite James Randy's million dollar challenge no one has been able to show the mind can affect the outcome of scientific experiments.

Some Border Collie sheep dogs have what is referred to as 'good eye'. Mine does and he can stare at a small flock of sheep and cause the sheep to move where he wills them to move. 

Has his mind influenced the behaviour of the sheep? 

Are humans capable of influencing the behaviour of another species in a physical way that can be seen as the equivalent of my dog's power?


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#46 Flummoxed

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 03:41 PM

 

 

....life is defined as a process of self generated action mediated (constrained) by the information contained within nucleic acids (via evolution first RNA, then DNA). Because the soul is a first actuality of a natural body, it is a capacity to mediate the development of the life process. The soul is a capacity for life to exist, life would not be possible without a soul, neither is a soul possible outside a natural body that is alive...

 

 

 

 

 

Theravada Buddhism assumes the soul is separate from the body and reincarnates. Other religions in the world also have similar beliefs transmigration, the father becomes the son etc.

 

Assuming the soul, exists and cant be detected, unless you believe in ghosties. Perhaps looking at the body and DNA is the wrong place to look.

 

All things are quantum fluctuations. Space is full of quantum fluctuations, virtual and real.

 

Chuckle :)

 

How many dimensions could a quantum fluctuation(vibrating string) exist in. :) Could a soul/entity/ghosty/thingy exist in other dimensions of space along side us and not be detected  :innocent:  :sherlock:  :zip:  :angel2: This might satisfy spiritual beliefs of various religions and new agers, without upsetting science too much. Amusingly String theory has various dimensions, why not just add a few to allow for souls to be eternal and be part of god the creator ie space. Taking this view during the inflationary phase god/space created all matter, and is eternal via Penroses aeon theory. 


Edited by Flummoxed, 13 February 2019 - 05:35 AM.


#47 montgomery

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 10:28 AM

How about trying to go back and try to determine what caused earlier humans to invent the soul. I bet the only idea that will stand up to modern day scrutiny on the sole will be a fish.



#48 Flummoxed

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 04:55 AM

How about trying to go back and try to determine what caused earlier humans to invent the soul. I bet the only idea that will stand up to modern day scrutiny on the sole will be a fish.

 

It is very possible that the concept of spirit or soul originated with seeing things people could not in perhaps bad visibility, or hearing weird noises where the imagination can take over and build an entire picture, or meaningful sound from the wind. 

 

:) How ever higher dimensional beings or ghosties might be real to you if you believe in that sort of thing. I would imagine with current technology the existence of such beings might only be detectable by tricks of the light just like Dark Matter. If some one believes in a thing or perhaps is imprinted with the idea at birth it is hard to break their belief even when no hard proof can be found supporting the belief. :)

 

String theory has lots of dimensions, I am surprised the Catholic church has not added one or two extra to include ghosties.

 

It may be the idea of religion was developed around peoples belief in spirits, the concept seems to run through most religions, except perhaps Zen Buddhism. If clever bunch of shamans got together they might perhaps realize that they could manipulate and control people by speaking on behalf of the spirits of the dead. This concept could be further developed into large organized religions with multiple gods ie Hinduism and early Egyptian Religions. Having multiple priests giving conflicting orders to people, might have lead to confusion, so having a supreme god/priest giving the final answer on anything, might be the ultimate end of religion. For the catholic church this started in about 325AD and still carries on with the Pope today. :)

 

 

In fact, this could be a very cool essay on several pages. I really think you should write an essay about it. In extreme cases, you can use some service to buy an essay. For example, a service Uni Tutor should come up. Be sure to write about this essay

 

I guess you might enjoy writing essays, I dont.



#49 montgomery

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:41 AM

It is very possible that the concept of spirit or soul originated with seeing things people could not in perhaps bad visibility, or hearing weird noises where the imagination can take over and build an entire picture, or meaningful sound from the wind. 

 

:) How ever higher dimensional beings or ghosties might be real to you if you believe in that sort of thing. I would imagine with current technology the existence of such beings might only be detectable by tricks of the light just like Dark Matter. If some one believes in a thing or perhaps is imprinted with the idea at birth it is hard to break their belief even when no hard proof can be found supporting the belief. :)

 

String theory has lots of dimensions, I am surprised the Catholic church has not added one or two extra to include ghosties.

 

It may be the idea of religion was developed around peoples belief in spirits, the concept seems to run through most religions, except perhaps Zen Buddhism. If clever bunch of shamans got together they might perhaps realize that they could manipulate and control people by speaking on behalf of the spirits of the dead. This concept could be further developed into large organized religions with multiple gods ie Hinduism and early Egyptian Religions. Having multiple priests giving conflicting orders to people, might have lead to confusion, so having a supreme god/priest giving the final answer on anything, might be the ultimate end of religion. For the catholic church this started in about 325AD and still carries on with the Pope today. :)

 

 

 

Thanks for that Flummoxed. I'm pretty well fixed with the James Randi approach to the whole thing too. But as to the facts ending religion, I doubt it. We have ample evidence already that all religions are nonsense and the  believers refuse to accept the fact. 

 

I said "all religions" a bit carelessly though and I would be delighted to be corrected. That would be the same as the James Randi challenge! 



#50 Flummoxed

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 03:02 PM

Thanks for that Flummoxed. I'm pretty well fixed with the James Randi approach to the whole thing too. But as to the facts ending religion, I doubt it. We have ample evidence already that all religions are nonsense and the  believers refuse to accept the fact. 

 

I said "all religions" a bit carelessly though and I would be delighted to be corrected. That would be the same as the James Randi challenge! 

 

I guess that depends on where the break between religion and well being kicks in. For example meditation I think is not religious and improves some peoples sense of well being. Zen Buddhism I understand is about self improvement, not an afterlife except perhaps what you do in this life echoes into the future, ie no reincarnation of any sort unlike Theravada Buddhism.  Zen and Theravada are very closely related. Should Zen Buddhism be considered a religion or a way of life.

 

Religion and Politics are similar in that they are about control of large numbers of people, and structuring society. Both, in extreme cases, have the rather dubious feature of subduing and controlling human thought. Religion in its unique way though has believers stressing about what might happen to them after their death unlike politics. As a friend said to me many years ago "its all just smoke and mirrors"  :sherlock:



#51 montgomery

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 05:19 PM

I guess that depends on where the break between religion and well being kicks in. For example meditation I think is not religious and improves some peoples sense of well being. Zen Buddhism I understand is about self improvement, not an afterlife except perhaps what you do in this life echoes into the future, ie no reincarnation of any sort unlike Theravada Buddhism.  Zen and Theravada are very closely related. Should Zen Buddhism be considered a religion or a way of life.

 

Religion and Politics are similar in that they are about control of large numbers of people, and structuring society. Both, in extreme cases, have the rather dubious feature of subduing and controlling human thought. Religion in its unique way though has believers stressing about what might happen to them after their death unlike politics. As a friend said to me many years ago "its all just smoke and mirrors"  :sherlock:

I like the 'smoke and mirrors' description! But if you're familliar with the James Randi $1,000,000 challenge then that would about cover it.