How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 Philosophy 101
 Human Nature   [ Page: 1  2  ]
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

Human Nature

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


0 posted 04-25-2003 04:31 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

What is Human Nature?  What makes us most human?
Sometimes I feel scizophrenia is what makes us most human for that we seem not just of nature but capital supernature, and unnature--nature becomes spilt.  We manipulate and deviate; and contend with more personalities around us and within us of our own kind than any other kind!  We are not "fixed" in a basic personality of nature, nurture, and force to change mostwhat only by evolution but can change ourselves and the world around us for the increasement or decrease of complete nature!   But why should the Universe want us to make choices when we could have been but to graze in fields never able to do a wrong?   If there were no human choices what evil could ever be wrought on earth?  Wouldn't the world be much healthier? Do you think there is a pyscological reason behind our being able to reason or is it just a strange incident that became a complex in nature's instinctual appetite? Is it an accident? Is it a disease?! Nature seems to flow swiftly on its own in other creatures but then gets disturbed at the human like a river about a dam, where at hehimself must push and give it a way through creating a humanmade way to peace.  But this make peace more distant to the Human than any other earthling; He will always be contending with the foam and floods of Reason, trying to balance his force with senses and not completly succeeding because it will always to a degree overhwhelm his senses!
What does the core of human nature want most?  Where is it going?  Do you think it is becoming more accuratly felt and expressed in our media and in the kind of lifestyles we live today?  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (04-25-2003 04:34 PM).]

serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


1 posted 04-25-2003 11:36 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

what makes most of us??? human...chuckle...

I seem to have vague recall of an actual list of attributes...oddly? I aced anthropology.

I do recall number one tho:

1. An opposable thumb.



but? some links of interest:
http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/4953/kv_vonnebug8.html
http://www.farook.org/sm/archives/000148.html
http://www.humanistsofutah.org/2003/AreHumanTraitsInheritedOrAcquired_DiscGrp_Jan-03.html


This is an ocean of a topic m'friend.

Enjoy. I'm gonna go write.

Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


2 posted 04-26-2003 11:20 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I recall an assignment in Freshman Lit that required us to list at least 60 universal human concerns.  

There was extra credit to anyone that could add one to the already compiled and catalogued list of over 5k.
Midnitesun
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Empyrean
since 05-18-2001
Posts 29020
Gaia


3 posted 04-28-2003 08:32 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

What makes us most human?
That one Q could generate thousands of answers. And each answer would be correct if it came from a human mind attempting to fathom the essence of humanity.
For me? It is the ability to love and be loved in return, unconditionally. But? perhaps a mommy cat and her kitty do the same thing? perhaps a mare and her foal have the same ability?
jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


4 posted 04-30-2003 01:19 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

I agree with much of what Pope says about human nature.

http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Poetry/PopeManA.htm
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


5 posted 05-03-2003 12:52 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Tillich had some interesting words too:

quote:

This is why God Himself cannot liberate man from his aloneness: it is manís greatness that he is centered within himself. Separated from his world, he is thus able to look at it. Only because he can look at it can he know and love and transform it. God, in creating him the ruler of the earth, had to separate him and thrust him into aloneness. Man is also therefore able to be spoken to by God and by man. He can ask questions and give answers and make decisions. He has the freedom for good or evil. Only he who has an impenetrable center in himself is free. Only he who is alone can claim to be a man. This is the greatness and this is the burden of man.

http://www.religion-online.org/cgi-bin/relsearchd.dll/showchapter?chapter_id=1597

Severn
Member Rara Avis
since 07-17-99
Posts 8273


6 posted 05-03-2003 07:23 AM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Ess.

Schizophrenia has nothing - and I mean nothing - to do with a split personality. I suggest you research schizophrenia before you generalise like this.

I'd also suggest looking at biological reasons for a lot of human nature...science actually has some rather interesting answers, that is if we're prepared to accept the relative coldness of them..

Most of us can't accept that we're biological more than spiritual. I have a hard time accepting that I admit. But the more I've studied...well...

An example in terms of our lifestyle...why do you think there's such an issue with obesity in today's western world? Partly because we have a biological craving for fat. If you look back at our earliest ancestors (that is if you're (a general 'you' there by the way) prepared to accept scientific evidence that we did live in caves at one point lol)...fat was in small supply. Fat was also necessary for growth. Early humans needed the small amounts of fat they were able to obtain much more than we do now. They also used enough energy to burn it off - we, however, in today's want want want society where things are of course easier - don't.

Evolution hasn't caught up yet. We still crave fat - so we eat it, knowing it's 'bad' and yep - we still store it like the ancients did...

Lifestyles today don't seem to me to have much to with human nature...I think human nature is perhaps a shifting thing..

K
  
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


7 posted 05-03-2003 12:50 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

This may seem off topic, but bear with me a moment.

Kamla, I disagree that humanity has an innate biological craving for fat strong enough to account, even in part, for obesity. Yes, we have a physical need for fat, just as we do for proteins and carbohydrates, but I think that only accounts for a gene-induced craving when the need isn't being met. And that's highly unlikely in today's world.

Picture yourself eating a whole jar of mayonnaise, spoonful by fat-dripping spoonful, and chances are the image will make you a little nauseous. Major yuck. What I discovered when I was "into" the health scene in the early nineties was that many health conscious people feel exactly the same way about eating a hamburger and fries. By 1995, after three years of exercise and limiting fat intake, I found I could become physically ill by eating too much fat. Just as most of us still would with a jar of mayonnaise.

I am convinced that our craving for fat is an addiction. As with any substance addiction, different people need different levels of the substance to meet their addiction. Most smokers would get sick if they smoked as many cigars as they currently do cigarettes, in the same way a jar of mayonnaise would make us sick. But substance addiction is also an escalating affliction, and the more fat we eat the more fat we're going to want. Severely cut back on fat consumption for a year and I guarantee you'll find you don't really miss it. The craving, as with any addiction, feeds on itself. (However, an addict is always an addict, and the craving is always sitting on your shoulder, waiting for another foothold.)

Okay, time to segue back on topic.

If human nature, i.e., the way we act, is at least largely a product of chemicals, it only stands to reason we can change the way we act by changing the chemicals. Medicine does that with prescribed drugs. Drunks and druggies do that with unprescribed drugs. I submit that every single one of us does that, daily, by what we choose to eat.

Food is a drug. And like all drugs, it can change the way we feel and act.
Severn
Member Rara Avis
since 07-17-99
Posts 8273


8 posted 05-03-2003 06:16 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Ron - lol, I get the feeling you might think I'm spouting off a little theory I've come up with on my own.

It's medically and scientifically researched and theorised - and I studied it extensively during a third year Medical Anthropology paper (course).

The point being - I'm well aware - it is only theory. However, I do support that theory, from what I have learned, and the scientific research that has been conducted. I very much doubt our ancestors would like to eat a jar of mayonnaise too. I'm sure however that the idea of a large juicy stake sitting next to a huge pile of potatoes (for carbohydrates) followed by a great big piece of chocolate cake would likely be more appetising to them, just as it is today.

I find that your citing of fat-craving as an addiction is just another slant in the overall argument. If you want to call it an addiction - cool, to me though, I'd say it's often a biological one.

There are flaws and exceptions to every theory.

K
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


9 posted 05-10-2003 03:59 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Most of us can't accept that we're biological more than spiritual. I have a hard time accepting that I admit. But the more I've studied...well..."


I believe there is a body of heaven and a body of world and together they make the body of being.  The state of feeling, the way of will, and balance, define the nature; the chiefmost willing or willed nature is the truth, and the way it is expressed with virtue is the beauty.  It seems human wills human nature more than nature, and that is what makes humans surpassing unique.  We are not fixed upon our line of instincts like other creatures seem mostwhat, but we reason it and change with reason.  I do not tend to believe we are more biological than spiritual.  The universe is more uncarnate than carnate, there is more sky than there is world, and thus there is more spirit than body to life. This just my belief.  I think that the cheifmost elements of the universe are spirtual -- a small set that gives creation to an almost infinite production of biological compounds.  Each biological and worldy compound if able to be resolved down to its most initial substance is of spiritual elements--somehow of the heavens.  No matter how worldly you are you are heavenly.  But there is no segregations.  Spirituality and biology are always touching each other in the same spectrum, different states of each other..
As far as eating fat goes.  Why not?  We are carnivores, we need amounts of fat, and want fat as it is part of our carnate appetite.  Being carnivore naturally makes us fativores.  What makes it a problem though is falling out of proportion of natures inclination for balance by not eating with spare and care, and balanced fashion.   Good instincts and reason are sullied by excess of fat in the kind of foods we eat today, and convenience of those, and the advertising that goes with them.  Excess becomes the appetite phsychologically and physically. We take too much and therefore we want too much and thus feel like we need that much - but we don't. Or we would be healthy with that much.  Nature wants us to balance not to excess.  If only we could!

[This message has been edited by Essorant (05-10-2003 04:00 PM).]

Phaedrus
Member
since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


10 posted 05-10-2003 06:31 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus


The pragmatist would argue that the human nature that you describe and we see is actually a true reflection of the nature of the human condition. That the human nature that you posit is not our natural state Ė otherwise that would be the one we would tend towards and observe.

As far as the spiritual/biological thing goes I have to admit to a belief that we are wholly biological in nature, any spirits or pieces of heaven that exist are simply figments of our biologically created imagination.
Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
since 11-18-2002
Posts 7451
the ass-end of space


11 posted 05-11-2003 05:11 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Stupidity is the most human characteristic I can think of, animals will learn from there mistakes quickly whereas we seem to enjoy making the same ones over and over.
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


12 posted 05-11-2003 07:12 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant wrote: "†Nature wants us to balance not to excess.††If only we could!"


Nature "wanting" anything is questionable.  We humans however want certain things because we are conscious beings with reasoning minds.  But the very fact that we see that there is a better way both for nature and ourselves reveals a standard.  Where did the standard come from?  You are not the first to feel that somehow through nature and through reason, there is a standard or ideal being communicated.  This view of course is Platonic.  But a set of ideals floating somewhere out there with no mind made little sense, so the dualism was rightly rejected.  But perhaps it was only a shadow of the truth offered by Christian Theism.  Where there is a universal mind, and a designer, there can be ideals that remain.  

Isn't it funny that one consistent aspect of human nature has been a haunting idea that we have a purpose, some role to play, some momentous reason for being?  It could be the underlying source of all aspiration, and of all grief and disappointment.  Aenimal's reply illustrates this very well.  He sees our "stupidity".  We keep making the same  mistakes over and over again... But for there to be mistakes there must be a "right way" to miss-take.  Your dialectical struggle between what is and what "ought to be" is an example of what I'm talking about.

G.K. Chesterson once said of human nature, "Whatever else is true of man, man is not what he was meant to be".

    

Phaedrus wrote: "As far as the spiritual/biological thing goes I have to admit to a belief that we are wholly biological in nature, any spirits or pieces of heaven that exist are simply figments of our biologically created imagination."


Phaedrus,

I am wondering, since thinking we are wholly biological in nature (chemical I think you mean) forces you to place religious faith in the category of imagination or myth, what prevents you from going further and placing other things in that category ... like human reasoning, or other types of knowledge?  Or perhaps you have?


But if I am to take you seriously, that everything is chemical with no spiritual realm, then even your ideas about the nature of humankind and the universe are only "figments of your biologically created imagination".  Help me to philosophically understand where and why you draw the line of valid knowledge, or meaningful content.  


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-11-2003 07:38 PM).]

Phaedrus
Member
since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


13 posted 05-11-2003 09:09 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus

Stephen,

Yes, I believe that all thought, knowledge and reasoning is a biologically created and stored process.

How do we decide whatís valid and meaningful?

We learn through trial and error including the trials and errors of others and extract validity and meaningfulness based upon a mixture of pragmatism and contingency.

[This message has been edited by Phaedrus (05-11-2003 09:11 PM).]

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


14 posted 05-11-2003 10:53 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Phaedrus,


What I was attempting to point out is a possible double standard in what you've said.  You have pointed out that all things "spiritual" are irrelevant or invalid based on the premise that our make up is wholly chemical/ biological ... so they are "figments of imagination" which are really produced by a natural cause and effect process.

But if you reject anything on that ground, you must reject much more on that ground also.  Your thoughts, no matter how pragmatic, or how much they seem to correspond with nature, are the same stuff as all other thoughts, according to your view.  They are links in a natural chain of events.  So they may not reflect reality at all.  How can you trust a blind chemical process to give you an accurate picture of the world around you?  Your sensory perceptions, if not designed to accurately communicate to you some reality of nature,  are merely a part of nature and therefore can't be relied upon to tell you anything true about it.  This is what Hume and Kant belabored unsuccessfully  to overcome.  It places all knowledge on shaky ground.  It is the birthplace of profound skepticism.  Some people don't even believe in an external world for knowledge to correspond to!  


In response, you might say that doesn't matter and that you are not concerned with such speculative and metaphysical things, and that you are only  concerned with what works.  Fine and well, but what is real doesn't always correspond with what works.  Some knowledge counters practical  considerations.  The fact that Antarctica is covered with ice is contrary to our desire to sail across it's girth.  We have to alter our practices to conform with what is real in the physical world.  So truth and valid thought don't seem to me to depend upon pragmatism as you say.  It is the other way around.  When we cooperate and react to what is valid in our knowledge, then we get practical results.  Science is not based on pragmatism, but pragmatism upon science.


Another thing to notice.  Your claim of knowledge  that we are nothing more than chemical biology was not itself reached empirically was it?  You may say that you find practical value to this belief, but others find practical value to spiritual things as well.  So how can your claim of material monism fit anywhere different than the category that you placed religious faith in ... a biologically produced imagination?


Again, I just wanted to show that believing we are only biological without spirit is a presupposition.  You gave this presupposition as your reason for believing it.  To say that we are exclusively chemical in nature, is the same thing as saying there is nothing truly spiritual.  But you have given this as your grounds for disbelieving in spiritual things.  Circular reasoning.  Again, I have no qualms with presuppositions.  You can't even exist without them.  But to claim a priori knowledge while saying that all knowledge must be reached empirically doesn't seem to work.  I personally think that a lot of knowledge is possessed by us in a way quite beyond empiricism.


Sorry if I've diverted this thread again,


I think it is human nature to discuss ontology and metaphysics.  


Stephen.
    

    

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-11-2003 10:59 PM).]

Phaedrus
Member
since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


15 posted 05-12-2003 09:10 AM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus

Stephen,

I believe that the double standards you talk about donít exist, if I imagine heaven it is a biological process, if I think of Antarctica the process is biological and if I picture pixies in my mind then that too is a biological process. How do we know which actually reflects reality? The answer seems fairly obvious Ė we compare what we think with what we believe we see Ė we base our belief on the best evidence available to us and then store that knowledge by way of a biological process to be used or amended at some future point in time.

Both the process of thinking and the process of verification (seeing what you believe) are both products of a biological process, not a double standard in sight. I agree that Kant did have problems tying our perception to an absolute reality but thatís not what I was talking about, my assertion was that thinking and imagining are a biological and not a spiritual process, that a biological process creates all thoughts including spiritual.

You claim that truth and valid thought are not reliant on pragmatism, I claim that a form of pragmatism is the method by which truth and valid thoughts are arrived at. Youíre example of Antarctica and the thought of sailing across it is valid only before the point at which pragmatism accepts the knowledge that it is covered in ice, only at that point does the idea of sailing across Antarctica become invalid.

quote:
Again, I just wanted to show that believing we are only biological without spirit is a presupposition.


Yes but what does that prove? Isnít it equally true that believing we arenít only biological is also a presupposition?

[This message has been edited by Phaedrus (05-12-2003 09:41 AM).]

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


16 posted 05-12-2003 11:20 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Phaedrus,

"I believe that the double standards you talk about donít exist, if I imagine heaven it is a biological process, if I think of Antarctica the process is biological and if I picture pixies in my mind then that too is a biological process."


It is your definition of the human 'biological process' that concerns me.  I'm assuming that what you mean by 'biological process' is a chemical process by which life on earth arose by chance, without any intervention from a director or divine mind.  In a nutshell... that nature is all there is, so that everything in nature is causally linked to something else in nature... including human thoughts.  So all thoughts must have complete untampered-with natural causation.  Correct me if I am reading into your statements something you are not saying.


Now you reject all concepts of anything spiritual based on the idea that such thoughts are biologically caused, arrived at by direct cause and effect through our biological system.  But the problem is, you don't seem to discount other thoughts, such as your own reasoning, on that account.  If everything is chemical, and bound in cause and effect relation, then there can be no such thing as valid or invalid thought.  If you think there can be, in such a universe, explain how.  


Your own quote above perfectly demonstrates what I am talking about.  You lump together thoughts of Heaven, Antarctica, and Pixies into one category.  But you don't treat them as one category.  You would say that two are fictitious and one is reality based, or empirical.  But if these thoughts were all caused simply by the preceding configurations of molecules in your brain, dictated by a blind evolutionary process, then your divisions are artificial and completely arbitrary.  That is the double standard I am speaking of.  You tried to resolve this by saying that we use the process of verification to differentiate between valid and invalid thought.  But you yourself admit this too is a mere biological process.  So the double standard remains.  The process we use to verify ends up being fundamentally the same as the process we use to believe in pixies.  Of course, I agree that there is a marked and obvious difference.  But how can the "Locked-nature" view of the universe account for it?



"...Isnít it equally true that believing we arenít only biological is also a presupposition?"


Sure Supernaturalism is a presupposition.  I never denied it.  

Remember my former quote:

" I have no qualms with presuppositions.††You can't even exist without them.††But to claim a priori knowledge while saying that all knowledge must be reached empirically doesn't seem to work"

But since I don't believe that all valid knowledge must come through the empirical process, my prima facie view of the universe doesn't have to come that way either.  This is consistent.  But someone who is a strict empiricist holds the thought that "all valid knowledge must be  empirical" which itself cannot be arrived at empirically.  See the contradiction?  It too is a presuppositional statement about ones world view ... but in the case of the naturalist also at odds with it.  


Stephen.  

  

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-12-2003 11:23 PM).]

Opeth
Member Elite
since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


17 posted 05-13-2003 11:06 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Have you ever watched the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey?

That is how human nature developed - by touching that damn monolith.

Evidence suggests we evolved into what we are. However, an alien race could be resonsible for our nature...or a combination of both evolution and alien contact.
Phaedrus
Member
since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


18 posted 05-13-2003 03:05 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus

Stephan,

You said:

quote:
It is your definition of the human 'biological process' that concerns me. I'm assuming that what you mean by 'biological process' is a chemical process by which life on earth arose by chance, without any intervention from a director or divine mind. In a nutshell... that nature is all there is, so that everything in nature is causally linked to something else in nature... including human thoughts. So all thoughts must have complete untampered-with natural causation. Correct me if I am reading into your statements something you are not saying..

Thanks for the chance to correct you.    

I never mentioned anything at all about how life arose on earth, Iím talking about the process of thinking, which I maintain is wholly biological, and the mechanism by which all thoughts are created/processed, including the spiritual.
quote:
Now you reject all concepts of anything spiritual based on the idea that such thoughts are biologically caused, arrived at by direct cause and effect through our biological system. But the problem is, you don't seem to discount other thoughts, such as your own reasoning, on that account. If everything is chemical, and bound in cause and effect relation, then there can be no such thing as valid or invalid thought. If you think there can be, in such a universe, explain how.

..if I imagine heaven it is a biological process, if I think of Antarctica the process is biological and if I picture pixies in my mind then that too is a biological process

In other words

Everything we imagine/think/picture is a biological process including my reasoning, how we ascribe validity to what we imagine/think/picture is by referencing what we believe we see or by inductive or deductive reasoning (also biological processes).

I may think pixies exist but without coherent additional verification thatís about as far as I can go. However a form of pragmatism dictates that if the arguments against pixies far outweigh the evidence in favour of pixies the thought of pixies is in all probability invalid.

I may think Antarctica exists but without coherent additional verification thatís about as far as I can go. However a form of pragmatism dictates that if the evidence for Antarctica far outweighs the arguments against Antarctica the thought of Antarctic is in all probability valid.

I may think heaven exists.... My assertion throughout this thread is that such a thought is arrived at by a biological process, whether that thought is deemed valid or invalid is dependent on each individuals interpretation of the arguments and evidence for and against. Whatever validity value is ascribed to the thought doesnít alter the solely biological nature by which that thought was created and processed.
quote:
Your own quote above perfectly demonstrates what I am talking about. You lump together thoughts of Heaven, Antarctica, and Pixies into one category. But you don't treat them as one category. You would say that two are fictitious and one is reality based, or empirical. But if these thoughts were all caused simply by the preceding configurations of molecules in your brain, dictated by a blind evolutionary process, then your divisions are artificial and completely arbitrary. That is the double standard I am speaking of. You tried to resolve this by saying that we use the process of verification to differentiate between valid and invalid thought. But you yourself admit this too is a mere biological process. So the double standard remains. The process we use to verify ends up being fundamentally the same as the process we use to believe in pixies. Of course, I agree that there is a marked and obvious difference. But how can the "Locked-nature" view of the universe account for it?

I believe that there is one biological method, as described above, that validates or invalidates thoughts of the existence of Antarctica and invalidates or validates thoughts involving the existence of pixies and heaven. I havenít, as far as I can recall, ascribed any value to those thoughts one way or the other but if I did you can rest assured that the process by which I arrived at my decision would be the one described.

If all three are judged by one methodology how can you claim a double standard?

[This message has been edited by Phaedrus (05-13-2003 03:12 PM).]

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


19 posted 05-13-2003 05:59 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Phaedrus,

"I never mentioned anything at all about how life arose on earth, Iím talking about the process of thinking, which I maintain is wholly biological, and the mechanism by which all thoughts are created/processed, including the spiritual."

When you said "wholly biological", I felt like you meant that all thoughts are chemically created by a cause and effect process.  This is an atomistic view of a strictly material universe.  But if you agree that thoughts are in some way contigent upon an external reality, then you do not believe that thoughts are "wholly biological".  The apparatus of perception and interpretation may be biological (the senses, and the mind), but the ground / consequent relation between thought and knowledge of reality is not itself biological is it?    

For example, I am thinking right now that a ceiling fan is above my head because my senses tell me it is, and I remember installing it.  If my senses are basically reliable and consistent, then my thought cannot be "wholly biological", it is partially based upon logic and a non-biological external reality ... ie the fan itself and my ceiling.


This is a far cry from getting to anything spiritual, but I want to begin by trying to convince you that your thoughts are not 100 percent biological.  If they were, a reasonable thought compared with a non-sensical thought could be no different than comparing brown eyes with blue ones.  But we usually correct illogical thinking instead of treating it as a biological trait.  There is a ground/ consequent relation that a 100 biological origin can't account for.
  

If you concede, you may be able to say that all thought is naturally caused instead of biological.  There are problems with that too, but we can discuss that only if you concede that your thoughts are not derived wholly from biology.    

I erroneously assumed that by biological you meant "natural", so I went too fast.

Stephen.        

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-13-2003 06:32 PM).]

Phaedrus
Member
since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


20 posted 05-13-2003 08:21 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus

Me concede Ė so soon!  
quote:
For example, I am thinking right now that a ceiling fan is above my head because my senses tell me it is, and I remember installing it. If my senses are basically reliable and consistent, then my thought cannot be "wholly biological", it is partially based upon logic and a non-biological external reality ... ie the fan itself and my ceiling.

We can start with the senses if you like, I see; hear; smell; taste and feel using biological means. If my senses are basically reliable and consistent, then my thoughts must be driven by biological input.

Next comes logic and thought itself, both products of neurological processes in various parts of the brain Ė all generally accepted biological processes.

On to external reality, the fan obviously isnít biological but our knowledge of it certainly is, we can only know the fan through our senses, which, as stated above, are biological.

I may think that the ceiling fan is above my head but without coherent additional verification thatís about as far as I can go. However a form of pragmatism dictates that if the evidence that the ceiling fan is above my head far outweighs the arguments that the ceiling fan is not above my head the thought that the ceiling fan is above my head is in all probability valid.

If the processes of thinking and verification (the senses) are biological in origin; construction and application then my claim that everything we think is wholly biological seems reasonable.
quote:
This is a far cry from getting to anything spiritual, but I want to begin by trying to convince you that your thoughts are not 100 percent biological. If they were, a reasonable thought compared with a non-sensical thought could be no different than comparing brown eyes with blue ones. But we usually correct illogical thinking instead of treating it as a biological trait. There is a ground/ consequent relation that a 100 biological origin can't account for.

My point is that there is no difference. As for correcting illogical thinking we donít, we dismiss it or correct our logic to encompass an illogical thought that matches our reality, remember it was once contrary to logic to believe the earth was anything but flat.

Iím willing to concede that the process of thinking is not wholly biological but only if you can convince me that it can be anything other than biological - spiritual for instance. Iíll even give you a starting point if you like, how about the thought:

Thou shalt not kill

We were heading in that general direction anyway.  

[This message has been edited by Phaedrus (05-13-2003 08:22 PM).]

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


21 posted 05-13-2003 11:44 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Phaedrus:

"On to external reality, the fan obviously isnít biological but our knowledge of it certainly is, we can only know the fan through our senses, which, as stated above, are biological."

Let's take one thing at a time...

You seem to slur over this one a bit too quickly.  We can only know the fan through our senses, as you say.  But our biological senses are not the source of the knowledge, they are the conduit through which the knowledge is transmitted.  If our knowledge of the fan was wholly biological, then something trivial like the fan not existing would not affect our knowledge.  "Wholly biological" implies to me that the knowledge cannot hinge on anything outside of your biological system.  Obviously the knowledge of a ceiling fan is dependent upon both your biology and the fan.  Remove either one and your knowledge crumbles.  I think this is sufficient to show that certain knowledge is not wholly biological.  If you said that all knowledge comes through biology, I could agree with you.  But if you still claim that it is 100% derived from biology, you must account for it's contigency on an external reality.  You may say that the fan just affects the our body in such a way that it produces knowledge.  But that doesn't suffice either.  Water travelling through a garden hose affects the hose, but the well must be considered as the source, not just the hose.  


(It's getting warm, I'd better turn on that fan)

  

Stephen.    

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-13-2003 11:55 PM).]

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


22 posted 05-14-2003 12:09 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"it was once contrary to logic to believe the earth was anything but flat."


No, to logically assume that the earth was flat was based on incorrect information.  When the information was corrected the logic didn't budge.  

Logic works in syllogisms like ...if A = B, and B = C, then C = A.  Now if I think that A = B, then I'm alright, until I learn that A does not actually equal B.  So C consequently does not equal A.  The logic behind this doesn't change.


It would have been illogical to believe that the earth was round, if one believed that the earth was round because oranges are round.  Here is a case where someone could be inadvertently correct, by a fluke, based upon illogical thinking.  But that is very rare.  And so of course to believe the earth was round without any knowledge to back it up, was illogical, not because logic changed, but because variables were missing.


So I disagree that we do not correct illogical thinking.  Again, If someone says the earth is round because oranges are round, we correct their logic even though they are right that the Earth is round.  

Stephen

  


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-14-2003 12:14 AM).]

Opeth
Member Elite
since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


23 posted 05-14-2003 01:30 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Ever heard of Area 51?

It could be possible that we were just like animals at one point in time and that an alien race imparted on our kind, the human-kind, our "nature."

Here is what a former employee at Area 51 had to say:

"I, I don't have a whole lot of time.
Um, OK, I'm a former employee of Area 51.
I, I was let go on a medical discharge about a week ago and, and...[chokes] I've kind of been running across the country.

Damn, I don't know where to start, they're,
they're gonna, um, they'll triangulate on this position really soon.

OK, um, um, OK, what we're thinking of as, as aliens, they're extradimensional beings,
that, an earlier precursor of the, um, space program they made contact with.

They are not what they claim to be!

Uh, they've infiltrated a, a lot of aspects of, of, of the military establishment,
particularly the Area 51.

The disasters that are coming, they, the military, I'm sorry, the government knows about them. And there's a lot of safe areas in this world that they could begin moving
the population to now.

They are not!

They want those major population centers wiped out so that the few that are left will be more easily controllable."


Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


24 posted 05-16-2003 10:11 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Phaedrus,

My idea was, after showing the necessity of some knowledge being contigent on an external physical world, to suggest the possibility of knowledge also being contigent on something beyond or behind that world.  If there is nothing in our biological nature to rule out knowledge being fed in from the outside, then there is nothing to logically rule out the reception of spiritual knowledge.  This is especially true if our biology is both phsyical and spiritual in nature . . . if we are composite beings.  As G.K. Chesterson once wrote:

"Man is not a balloon going up into the sky nor a mole burrowing merely in the earth; but rather a thing like a tree. whose roots are fed from the earth, while its highest branches seem to rise almost to the stars"



You said that spiritual thoughts are of biological origin, and so are explained away.  You may believe so.  But if you are not able to demostrate that sensory knowledge is wholly biological (being contigent on the physical world), then how can you demonstrate that spiritual knowledge is biological?  It very well may be contigent on something higher, beyond, or behind nature, even though transmitted through our biological system.  I cannot discount the validity of your knowledge of the chair you're sitting in, based on the biological pathway of knowing, any more than you can explain away spiritual claims and thoughts on that same basis.  The point I am trying to make is, though you are free not to believe in spiritual things, you cannot cogently discount them based upon a biological reductionism ... because you must apply the same rigors to all knowledge, yours included.


It's something to think about anyway.


Stephen.      

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-17-2003 09:27 AM).]

 
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> Philosophy 101 >> Human Nature   [ Page: 1  2  ] Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors