Blog Comments

  1. PeterL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Magnocrat
    I am a plain layman who examines the experts.I think you will find the vast majority disagree.
    There are some who believe a few higher mammals have self- awareness as shown by the mirror test. Most believe it is only man who self aware.
    This is a matter of how one defines "self-awareness". A narrow definition can make only humans self-aware, and not all humans either, while a broader definition has all animals being self-aware. This is a matter of opinion.

    Infact Julian Jaynes believed that we were not self- aware until about 3000 years ago before that time we possessed bicameral minds.
    It was the appearance of self awareness that caused the conscience to be born in us. This meant we were at war with ourselves as pointed out by Freud.
    The tiger knows no sorrow it kills instinctively.
    I first encountered the idea that humans only became self-aware a few thousand years ago a few decades ago, and I immediately discarded it as absurd, because it ignores the evidence that can be found in literature that pre-dates that, and from the evidence found by archaeologists.

    Just consider Gilgamesh. His saga is largely about himself as an individual and the conflict between that an larger issues.

    Then there are the pregnant Goddess images that go back as much as tens of thousands of years ago and ar similar of images that are only a couple of thousand years old, which suggests that people haven't changed much.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=preg...HaBrBXoQ7AkIKA
    Updated Yesterday at 04:45 PM by PeterL
  2. Magnocrat's Avatar
    I am a plain layman who examines the experts.I think you will find the vast majority disagree.
    There are some who believe a few higher mammals have self- awareness as shown by the mirror test. Most believe it is only man who self aware.
    Infact Julian Jaynes believed that we were not self- aware until about 3000 years ago before that time we possessed bicameral minds.
    It was the appearance of self awareness that caused the conscience to be born in us. This meant we were at war with ourselves as pointed out by Freud.
    The tiger knows no sorrow it kills instinctively.
  3. PeterL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Magnocrat
    The famous atheist Sam Harris believes free will and the self are illusions, if so they are pretty strong ones. He runs into serious problems since nobody can be blamed for anything that they do.
    There is some difficulty in explaining meta- consciousness or self awareness and just how it differs from animal consciousness. Professor Penrose believes it is connected to quantum mechanics in some way, he rejects the idea that computers will ever be self-aware.
    I am not acquainted with Mr Harris, but those opinions are not rare. The matter of the self being an illusion hinges largely on definition. Fundamentally, self-awareness is common to all animals and plants; they can tell the difference between "me" and "not-me", even single celled life can do that, and that's basically what the self is about. The rarefied concept that some people have doesn't mean anything to most people. From what I know of it, the search for a difference between animal consciousness and human consciousness has come back with nothing.

    Penrose idea that computer will never be self aware demands some sort of soul that computers simply don't have, but from what I have read about animal consciousness, the spirit is an outgrowth of computer power becoming greater. Even he biggest and fastest computers aren't close to human brains in many ways.
  4. Magnocrat's Avatar
    The famous atheist Sam Harris believes free will and the self are illusions, if so they are pretty strong ones. He runs into serious problems since nobody can be blamed for anything that they do.
    There is some difficulty in explaining meta- consciousness or self awareness and just how it differs from animal consciousness. Professor Penrose believes it is connected to quantum mechanics in some way, he rejects the idea that computers will ever be self-aware.
  5. ErrantKnight's Avatar
    Mr. Trump is qualified to serve based on the qualifications in the Constitution and was duly elected president under the electoral college system set forth by the Constitution. He is implementing the policies which he was elected upon and is actually carrying them out unlike most elected officials in high office. If We the People are not satisfied with his performance, we may vote in the Opposition Party in the midterms election, as was done Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama. Impeachment is the last recourse and is very unlikely given the Republican control of both Houses of Congress.

    If qualifications were a real issue Mr. Clinton was less qualified than the elder Mr. Bush, who served as President, Vice President, Director of the CIA, among other high level appointments but Mr. Clinton was voted in anyway.
  6. ErrantKnight's Avatar
    St. Valentine married Roman soldiers at a time the emperor forbade it, believing a soldier with a family would have divided loyalties. He representative of the Christian ideal of courage and advocate for marriage and family. This is the primary reason he is given a Holy Day.

    Holy Days and secular holidays serve as reminders that we may otherwise overlook in the business of our daily lives. They bring us closer as a community by observing our cultural values together. In a time of rampant excessive individualism many forget no man is an island. Man is a social being and needs to share a common history and culture with his community to feel rooted and grounded.
  7. ErrantKnight's Avatar
    PeterL,

    What a compelling rumination of the different genres of writing. The poet Horace wrote that since fiction is speculative in nature it is more philosophical as oppose to history which is a record of events. Mark Twain is an interesting example of the writer and journalist tradition that began with Defoe, but Dickens seem to be the most acclaimed. Both resorted to fiction to raise awareness of the issue of their day through fiction that was not possible through journalism. All writing is a creative process with particular restraints depending on the genre. Certain genres are more suited to particular aims than others. A writer of fiction may come closer to a deeper truth in his work than a bias journalist clouded by his political preferences.
  8. PeterL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chiz
    Obviously, you didn't follow Bill Clinton's presidency for the high crimes and misdemeanors. I thought there was a rule against political commentary... but I'm rather amazed that so many Americans are ready to chuck the whole country, the Constitution, the procedures of government, freedom & liberty... in an all out effort to destroy everything rather than to allow President Donald Trump an opportunity to bring back our economic health and MAGA.
    Apparently you haven't noticed the difference between Clinton's crimes and Trump's crimes. Clinton's crimes involved personal behavior, while Trump has engaged in crimes that are against the country. Clinton had a sexual affair and tried to cover it up, but Trump is trying to profit from his office, and that is explictly7 forbidden by the Constitution. I am still amazed that anyone voted for Trump. The late Pat Paulsen would have been a better president, but he just campaigned for laughs.

    I haven't heard from anyone who is interested in chucking the government. What I see and hear are people who want to actually use the laws and constitution to get rid of Trump before he does anything worse.
  9. Chiz's Avatar
    Obviously, you didn't follow Bill Clinton's presidency for the high crimes and misdemeanors. I thought there was a rule against political commentary... but I'm rather amazed that so many Americans are ready to chuck the whole country, the Constitution, the procedures of government, freedom & liberty... in an all out effort to destroy everything rather than to allow President Donald Trump an opportunity to bring back our economic health and MAGA.
  10. PeterL's Avatar
    The day certainly is within the feast of Lupercalia, but identifying someone like Valentine with Lupercalia is odd.
  11. Danik 2016's Avatar
    Two legends about St. Valentin;
    http://www.stvalentinesday.org/legen...tines-day.html
    By the way, in my country lovers celebrate on June 12. Donīt ask me why.
  12. PeterL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MANICHAEAN
    Hard to say. If the first week was anything to go by, the reactions both in the US and overseas are such that he might last six months before being impeached as mentally unstable.
    ". . .he might last six months before being impeached as mentally unstable." O.K., I can understand that. The wheels of justice roll slowly.

    What is interesting is that some of the heavy guns like the Federal judge who put a block on his immigration executive order are beginning to stick their heads above the parapet. What is shameful is those Republicans that try to distance themselves from him, yet hope that by keeping a low profile, they will retain their jobs ( McCain excepted, which should do him good in the long run.)
    The one decision I read about lifting the order suspending the executive questioned whether the need was immediate. It looks like an issue that will get to the Supreme Court quickly. I wonder whether the Supreme Court has docket space available for this session.
  13. MANICHAEAN's Avatar
    Hard to say. If the first week was anything to go by, the reactions both in the US and overseas are such that he might last six months before being impeached as mentally unstable.

    What is interesting is that some of the heavy guns like the Federal judge who put a block on his immigration executive order are beginning to stick their heads above the parapet. What is shameful is those Republicans that try to distance themselves from him, yet hope that by keeping a low profile, they will retain their jobs ( McCain excepted, which should do him good in the long run.)
  14. PeterL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ShakeintheMts
    Agree with that, and love the way that you can get tied up in paradoxes when you start thinking about it. For example, can you decide to believe or not believe in free will? If we live in a deterministic universe your beliefs are no exception to that determinism. The sensation of having free will is vivid and actual, while the intellectual acknowledgement that there are predetermined patterns governing our lives at every level from the molecular up to the global requires hard thought and reflection. Is there any benefit in acknowledging that we live in a predetermined universe? Not really. I think most writers in the seventeenth-century would have thought the same and called it Divine Providence.
    As you noted, "the sensation of free will is vivid", but there are moments when I see my subconscious mind at work, and recent findings in neuro-science have also seen this, where the subconscious mind makes decisions before the conscious mind even starts working. Mystics believe that there are four (4) brains or minds: conscious, Astral, Mental, and spiritual. Most people only know the conscious mind.

    It does, however, provide a check to the more outrageous egotism of people who want to set themselves up as self-made men, geniuses or even just to declare that they deserve their good fortune. No one deserves anything. We are all a product of our genetics and environment and nothing more.
    That's how it is.
  15. ShakeintheMts's Avatar
    Agree with that, and love the way that you can get tied up in paradoxes when you start thinking about it. For example, can you decide to believe or not believe in free will? If we live in a deterministic universe your beliefs are no exception to that determinism. The sensation of having free will is vivid and actual, while the intellectual acknowledgement that there are predetermined patterns governing our lives at every level from the molecular up to the global requires hard thought and reflection. Is there any benefit in acknowledging that we live in a predetermined universe? Not really. I think most writers in the seventeenth-century would have thought the same and called it Divine Providence.

    It does, however, provide a check to the more outrageous egotism of people who want to set themselves up as self-made men, geniuses or even just to declare that they deserve their good fortune. No one deserves anything. We are all a product of our genetics and environment and nothing more.