RE: [asa] minds (New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones)

From: Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
Date: Thu Dec 10 2009 - 12:11:46 EST

Moorad said:
" Consciousness is self-awareness to know you have a self to be able to make sense of what "I am" means. I do not think any external agent, doctor or otherwise, can determine that."

I think Doctors deal with this all the time. If they are trying to treat someone remotely, they may ask "Is he conscious?," expecting a definite answer.

FYI: http://dictionary.webmd.com/terms/consciousness

Moorad said:
"It does not take much to say that consciousness is an emergent property of physical matter, the trick is to device a way to comprehend how matter (purely physical) can transform itself into an inquiring mind."

It is not a transformation. It is something new emerging out of something existing already. The brain is physical. The 'mind' emerges from it. At conception, there is no mind, since there is no brain. Then the brain develops. Then thinking slowly gets turned on. Then it reaches its peak in adulthood. Then it dissipates and goes away in old age, with dementia. It leaves just as it came, for those able to live to a ripe old age. If their heart or other vital organs don't go first, then the brain will start leaving.

...Bernie

-----Original Message-----
From: Alexanian, Moorad [mailto:alexanian@uncw.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 11:29 AM
To: Dehler, Bernie; AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones

Consciousness is self-awareness to know you have a self to be able to make sense of what "I am" means. I do not think any external agent, doctor or otherwise, can determine that.

For instance, we may know when something is alive or dead but that says nothing about what life is.

It does not take much to say that consciousness is an emergent property of physical matter, the trick is to device a way to comprehend how matter (purely physical) can transform itself into an inquiring mind. There must be some sort of transition that it is extremely hard to comprehend.

I suggested three categories physical/nonphysical/supernatural. Man is all three of them, whereas a stone is purely physical. In the ontological sense, it may be that "He .... upholds all things by the word of His power." Heb. 1:3.

Moorad
________________________________________
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie [bernie.dehler@intel.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 12:36 PM
To: AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones

Moorad said:
"The evidence that consciousness is not physical is that purely physical devices cannot detect it---by means of a consciousness meter."

Aren't Doctors trained and able to tell if a person is conscious or not?

And I didn't say consciousness is physical- I said it is an emergent property of physical matter.

You seem to be saying that something must be either either physical or supernatural, the only two choices? You are conflating 'physical' with 'natural' and then saying if it isn't physical it is supernatural?

...Bernie

-----Original Message-----
From: Alexanian, Moorad [mailto:alexanian@uncw.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 9:05 AM
To: Dehler, Bernie; AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones

The evidence that consciousness is not physical is that purely physical devices cannot detect it---by means of a consciousness meter. We can "detect" our own consciousness because we are physical/nonphysical/supernatural and infer that others like us also can "detect" their own consciousness.

I can hold a brain in my hand, but not the consciousness that was previously there.

Moorad
________________________________________
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie [bernie.dehler@intel.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 11:34 AM
To: AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones

Hi Moorad-

RE (your article):
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7049/is_3_60/ai_n28562903/

You said:
"The notions of life, consciousness, and rationality lie at the foundation of the humanity of humankind, but cannot be reduced to the purely physical."

I believe that consciousness does emerge from the brain, so it can be reduced to the "purely physical." As an analogy, consider a robot that is able to "see" and do work, such as make welds in a manufacturing plant. Although it can "see" and "think," it is all reduced to the "purely physical" and is all naturalistic. Now a child can look at it, and if you told them there was some kind of 'supernatural life' inside that robot, they would believe you, because of lack of knowledge.

So what logic am I missing in us having a disagreement? Do you have any evidence that consciousness can't be reduced to the purely physical, considering the mind as an emerging product of the brain?

For a better example of a robot, see this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vwZ5FQEUFg

...Bernie

-----Original Message-----
From: Alexanian, Moorad [mailto:alexanian@uncw.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 7:34 PM
To: Dehler, Bernie; AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones

Hi Bernie,
You seem to be fixated on "God did it" too much. When I study the physical aspect of Nature, which is what a physicist does, I do not bring God into the models I use to describe Nature. How can I anyway? You try it while doing physics. I have done work on the Big Bang and never invoked God. These models are helpful in our attempt to understand the workings of Nature. Such models are representations of Nature, facsimiles of it, but not the real thing. Models are very much like a map of a city. [BTW, all our mental constructs of thoughts are actual models of our perceptions, sensations, and memories.]
I really do not care how life came into being---God or no God. It is a very difficult scientific problem. Period. There is no sense of banging one's head against the wall and achieve nothing but a headache. One attacks problems that one has a change to solve. One should not delude oneself thinking of solving very difficult problem. Sometimes the solution may fall in your lap. Witness Maxwell and his discovery that light is an example of an electromagnetic wave. Do you think Maxwell was looking for that? Similarly, Dirac suggested the existence of antiparticles when he combined relativity and quantum mechanics. Dirac did not know what would come out of his studies but he thought that such unification ought to be attempted.
Why did me, as a Christian, work in the very early universe. Well, I had some ideas that I could carry out and was interested in the consequences of my ideas. The results were interesting and thus I published them. In fact, a noticed a numerical coincidence that lead me to write an expression of the fine-structure constant in terms of other fundamental constants. [My formula appears in the famous book, "The anthropic cosmological principle" by Barrow and Tipler.]
Scientists really deal with the physical, regardless how it came into being. Whether God brought the whole shebang into being and upholds it or not is not at all relevant to physics. The question of origin is not at all important in 99.99% of the physics that gives rise to all the applications that we all enjoy.
Let me repeat, physicists, I would say scientists in general, are not interested in ontological questions, e.g., how did the whole thing came into being. Of course, we are getting to areas of physics where such questions are being asked. However, such areas are notoriously speculative. You may be interest in this letter I wrote, "Can science make the "breath" of God part of its subject matter?"
 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7049/is_3_60/ai_n28562903/
Hope this helps.
Merry Christmas Bernie,
Moorad

________________________________________
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie [bernie.dehler@intel.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 12:24 PM
To: AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones

Hi Moorad, you said:

"No serious scientist who is a Christian says, "God did it" and so there is no sense of trying to find out how."

Ok- so you think Christian scientists will look to unravel mysteries even if they think God may have done it by miracle.

But you said earlier:
"However, I think the attempt to solve the problem of the origin of life may be a waste of time. It seems to be a very difficult problem since one has no idea of how to characterize life in terms of purely physical terms."

Are you saying it is a waste of time because maybe God did it by miracle, so looking is futile? Or are you saying it may be a waste of time because the mystery is so huge with so little clues? Or do you think both?

If a Christian thinks that God made the big-bang 'de novo,' then why bother wasting time on a naturalistic explanation with string theory and multiverse theory?

I would think that if I were a theist I'd argue that a theist might have the upper hand because they wouldn't waste time looking for naturalistic answers to supernatural events, thereby freeing themselves to work on real problems instead of impossible problems. In this way, if it turns out there is no God, the atheist scientist wins, and makes new discoveries on the frontiers of science. But if there's a God, the theist is much more efficient working on real issues while the atheist spins his wheels in the mud of frustration, looking for answers and causes where none exist.

So bottom line, I don't understand how a theist, who thinks God made the big-bang 'de novo,' would be motivated to work on trying to determine what brought the big-bang into existence. Can you enlighten me? It seems like it would be working directly opposite their convictions. (If it was working just for the paycheck, I'd understand that, as many people do that; but I don't se other reasons available.)

...Bernie
-----Original Message-----
From: Alexanian, Moorad [mailto:alexanian@uncw.edu]
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 1:48 PM
To: Dehler, Bernie; AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones

Bernie,

One of my attitudes towards doing research in physics is that of attacking the problems that I think I can solve. I think any scientist who is attracted to the problem of finding how life originated ought just to do honest research. However, I think the attempt to solve the problem of the origin of life may be a waste of time. It seems to be a very difficult problem since one has no idea of how to characterize life in terms of purely physical terms.

I do not think that a person who believes that reality is more than the physical is handicapped when doing science. In fact, his/her space of thought is wider than that of the atheist. It is like the old saying, "two heads are better than one."

Bernie, you must realize that when one is dealing with profound problems, the problems may be more in the realm of the ontological thus beyond science. Science does not deal with notions of existence and so may not be equipped to solve deep problems, say, like how the universe came into existence, etc.

No serious scientist who is a Christian says, "God did it" and so there is no sense of trying to find out how. In fact, just as you can look at the paintings of your favorite artist, you may want to go beyond the mere physical and know something about the author of the art form. That is what many Christian who are scientists do.

Merry Christmas,

Moorad

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 12:07 PM
To: AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones

Moorad said:
"I am not saying that an atheist cannot search the truth and know without presupposing the above; but the atheist's way of knowing can be consistent with the above yet inconsistent with his stated beliefs."

I think the atheist has the advantage. That is because the driving force for the atheist is to find a naturalistic solution, and all modern science, and breakthroughs, have to do with naturalistic understanding. Not one breakthrough or anything in science is based on a supernatural premise. Therefore, the supernatural can only be viewed as scientific baggage, I think.

For example... How did life originate? A Christian could say "Who cares, God did it." The atheist will search for an answer, knowing there has to be a natural explanation, because God and the supernatural don't exist. The Christian scientist then may tag along because it sounds like an interesting investigation, and there is some attention to be gained if any breakthroughs are found. But the Christian is not fully, 100%, convinced in the search for a naturalistic explanation since "God did it" (de novo) could be a possible answer for any scientific investigation that is on the fringe of understanding (origin of life, multiverse, etc.).

Now if ID has a hypothesis of supernatural intervention and that becomes accepted by scientific peers, then we will have a watershed event which will overturn all modern views of science.

As I understand it, the scientists of old were mainly Christians because it was a Christian-controlled field. Now that scientists can be secular (religion not an issue), I wonder if there will be any Christians on the leading edge of new discoveries on the really fuzzy frontiers where it is easiest for Christians to day "God did it" (de novo style). Origin of life and multiverse theory are the two interesting frontiers, I think. Probably also is the search for extra-terrestrials.

...Bernie

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Alexanian, Moorad
Sent: Sunday, December 06, 2009 7:50 AM
To: John Walley; AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones

I truly believe that the Christian faith is the correct metaphysics to regulate all the different kinds of knowledge we have. I do not want to enumerate how that is so for each kind of knowledge, including science. Note I said to regulate and not to make direct implications.

As a Christian, I am pleased that our faith is guided by searching the truth. "And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:32.
"All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." John 1:3.

"...resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:2-3.
Of course, some of these cannot be used to do science. Nonetheless, one can find that violations of the above ontological statements would undermine science, epistemology, etc.

I am not saying that an atheist cannot search the truth and know without presupposing the above; but the atheist's way of knowing can be consistent with the above yet inconsistent with his stated beliefs.

Merry Christmas to you all,

Moorad

________________________________________
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of John Walley [john_walley@yahoo.com]
Sent: Saturday, December 05, 2009 10:43 PM
To: AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones

This is one of the reasons why I have always had a hard time taking AGW serious as a Christian concern. About 60 miles from my house is this modern day Stonehenge like monument that was built anonymously years ago with the New Age 10 Commandments engraved in it in all the major languages of the world.

The first and foremost commandment is: 1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.

Although I am not a mathematician, by my calculations that means about 90% of us have to go. So that would be 2-3 of those of us that are regular posters on this list.

Why would anyone build this? And why would anyone believe this? And what are we supposed to make of it? But my concern is that if we hand over the kind of power and control we are talking about in AGW legislation to the government and some of these New Age occultists get into power, it could be dire. As Christians, are not any of you others concerned about this?

John

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones

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Received on Thu Dec 10 12:12:22 2009

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