consciousness - emergent

Isn’t Consciousness An Emergent Property?

How To Disprove God

If someone were to ask me to disprove God in the most succinct way possible, I would say:

“Consciousness is an emergent property.”
~ Dorian Greer

But a few days ago I was watching a video (private link – sorry) from The Quantum Activist where a certain Dr. Amit Goswami, based on a few experiments using meditation and EEG machines connected to the participants, came to many supernatural conclusions. One of those conclusions was that “consciousness is the primacy of existence.”

He concluded that matter sprang from consciousness, and not the other way around. This, of course, was a contradiction to my “disproof” of God.

Of course, the experiments were very poor, and his conclusion consisted of one leap of faith after another, but it surprised me that anyone would think that “first there was consciousness, AND THEN everything came afterward from that consciousness.”

So, I’m posing the question to a G+ Christian Apologist group, as follows:

I am posting and asking this as a “truth seeker” but do not make the faith statement described as “Christian.”

My question is as follows:

Q: How would you go about proving that consciousness is not an emergent property?

A bit of background and context about the question follows.

The Short Version:
If matter/energy does not exist in advance, from whence does consciousness arise?

The Long Version:
Consciousness (or being-ness) appears to be an emergent property of complex synergies requiring a body, a neural network, sense receptors, a processor, and stimuli (something to be aware OF).

Even with all these things, a synergy must come together emerging as a self-awareness for consciousness to arise. (A dead body can have all the parts, but no synergy takes place for an emergence of consciousness.)

Thus, if consciousness is not an emergent property, then it exists independently of everything we know as necessary for consciousness in the form of a being.

This means it does not require: senses, means of memory, data storage and processing, self, energy/matter (otherwise it would be localized); while still existing as awareness with “powers” to act intelligently and creativity with “purpose!”

If consciousness is the “necessary state” of being, absent everything else (in existence), from whence does it arise? And how does one demonstrate this?

And if consciousness is in fact the primary and “necessary (non-contingent) state,” without the need for a body, then why don’t we have an ever-continuing memory from the moment of our existence? Why do we lose consciousness?

divine ignorance-1

Does Faith Imply Uneducated?

How Does Ignorance Imply Godliness?

Does faith fail with education?

Does faith fail with education?

Source: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113376504911684406239

Mr.Doe’s Your Religion Is Fucked Up™

The more “educated” we become, the farther we move away from God. ~ Flagg Church of God

This church understands the demographics of its target audience. It validates “argumentum ad ignorantiam.” The lower the education of its flock, the greater its profitability and control over those minds. “Education” is represented almost as a sin itself, as being “farther” from God, because of it. Ignorance, in matters of faith, is expressed as a virtue.

This, of course, explains just about everything when it comes to religion. But it gets deeper. There are those who invest a lot of thought into defending their religion, so they are not necessarily “ignorant” in terms of their ability to think!

They are called Apologists. And I’ve had the pleasure of a lengthy discussion with such an apologist at the Christian Apologetics Alliance on Google+.  As a Moderator of the group, he exhibits a good understanding of apologetic thought and strategy.

To avoid any misrepresentation, the entire discussion can be read here: http://tinyurl.com/nn4qps4 where I open the discussion with:

“What are the rules of determining truth in apologetics that differ from the rules of determining truth in any other endeavor of knowledge? And a sub-question would be: how does one verify the accuracy of an apologetic conclusion?”

After receiving the answers to my inquiry, the conversation morphed into several categorical topics, but something ALWAYS remained clear.

To the apologist, it is not necessary that a defended position be true, but only that it be defended as not necessarily false! So, inference is the typical strategy for defending a position, but such a tactic requires plenty of, (albeit sometimes convoluted or circular), thought!

So it’s not really fair to associate “stupidity” or “ignorance” or “gullibility” or any sense of unintelligence with belief in the supernatural, or superstition. But as a matter of how one goes about defending a position; it is little wonder that scientists (grounded in the scientific method) are far less likely to be superstitious or highly religious.

This is a quality of thought issue, not necessarily an “ability” of thought issue.

To the apologist, conclusions may not be verifiable, because they are apparently “outside” of our ability to demonstrate. This leads to virtually any claim being as valid as any other. (Islam or Christianity? Buddhism or Judaism? One God or many gods?)  Without the ability to verify, truth can only be asserted without proof or demonstration. One story is as good as another, especially when the magic of the “supernatural” can make anything possible.

The weak point of Apologetics, (or the less educated the better), is accepting the non-verifiable as a valid position for belief. A poor explanation is something science never accepts as complete. But superstitious belief relies on poor explanations, to flourish. (Jesus ascending to heaven is as valid as Mohammed flying to heaven on a winged horse. In each faith, each claim is true.)

What makes for a poor explanation is the inability to verify! And the more educated one becomes, the more likely they are going to seek verification to extraordinary claims.

Where knowledge grows, God recedes. Where ignorance grows, God is inserted to fill the unknown, and increases. (See: God of the gaps.) This process happens with the uneducated flock, as well as with the educated apologist. Whatever is not known is relegated to God (or, God did it).

The “God of the gaps” has always been the modus operandi behind faith and religion. It is the quintessential “argumentum ad ignorantiam,” otherwise known as “argument from ignorance.”

Asset – How to Dehypnotize a Believer

How to Dehypnotize a Believer – Or, “How to Plant a Truth Virus in the Matrix of Religion”

…is a systematic approach to navigating a “Believer” into critical thinking about matters of faith, without the aspect of (or necessity for) argumentation.

It is written and licensed as a distributable asset (in .PDF) with full rights to republish (on site, online) or redistribute as an independent document.

Read the document online here; How to Dehypnotize a Believer. Use your browser to Save the download in .PDF format.
How To Dehypnotize A Believer
(Or, How to Plant a “Truth Virus” in the Matrix of Religion)

Creative Commons License
How To Dehypnotize A Believer by Dorian Greer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

angel-faith-knowledge 800x250

The Proper Scrutiny of Beliefs

The short story on religious faith can be summed up in two words: “epistemically invalid.”

Faith has no claim on truth, neither empirically nor spiritually. So the real problem when discussing matters of religion is not so much the “content” of the subject, but the veracity of the content offered for belief. To bridge that gap in any religious discussion, one mustn’t make the content of the subject the issue, but rather the “application of critical thought” TO the content being discussed, as the issue.

For example, one should not discuss whether Jonah (biblical story) really got swallowed and carried to a distant destination by a big fish. A believer of the story will suspend disbelief regardless what evidence contradicts the possibility (because in matters of faith, facts don’t matter). But rather, the discussion with the believer should be HOW that process happened, considering gastric acids, lack of air, suspension of digestion, etc., in order to duplicate, or make possible, the event.

It may not “feel” as satisfactory as winning an argument, but it causes – in the mind of the persons discussing it – a common area of examination where “magic” is ruled out in place of scientific (or empirical) method. Because, the moment someone mentions “magic” or something along the lines of “God can do anything, so it doesn’t have to happen scientifically,” the reply immediately questions that response along the lines of: “if magic was used, then God would not have required the fish in the first place. If God uses a tool, it’s for the utility of the tool in the place of magic.” And once again we can eliminate any necessity for magic.

Keeping critical thinking AS the subject, and not the content or the event being discussed, wins the long-run! You see, few kids figured out Santa wasn’t real, until some other person said in surprise, “You still believe in Santa Claus?” This did not come in the form of winning of an argument, but rather it CAUSED a volley of critical thought on the part of the believer to actually examine those beliefs in the light of reason! The person must do that on their own.

“A man convinced against his will
Is of the same opinion still”
~ Dale Carnegie

This is why, at least in matters of faith, the subject of the topic should never be whether the story is true, but rather the application of critical thought applied (by both sides) on HOW (or what makes) the story true in the absence of magic. You see, even magic requires a process; otherwise there is no necessity for intervening events (like why suspend the sun so a man can win a battle, when magic necessitates no need for a battle in the first place).

Jehovah-Allah

Is Jehovah right, or Allah?

Religious terrorism

The Medieval Inquisitions, marked by torture and murder, were prosecuted through four centuries under the various Catholic Popes; and why most Americans are Christian today. The goal was to cleanse the world of heretics, or the non-believer in Catholicism. If Jehovah was right then, is Allah right today?

The extermination of non-believers, and to take their land and property, is exactly what those fighting for an Islamic State (of Iraq & Syria) and now various parts of Africa, are trying to do. And they are doing it in the name of Islam, or more specifically, Allah.

Under what justification does one man kill another by invoking God’s will? The easy, surface, answer is religion. The deeper answer, that upholds religion, is religious faith.

One of the reasons I made Question 4, “Is Faith Epistemologically Valid?” public, is because once a person can see the mistake in conflating “faith” with “truth” it becomes easier for the religious mind to grasp the significance of the error. If killing people that do not believe what YOU believe is justified by the God of your religion, then YOU are a justifiable victim if murdered in the name of a God other than yours. Unless your god is morally wrong, the other god cannot be morally wrong.

But which God is right?

The rational mind understands this easily, as follows: If God is love, moral, and just, aren’t the actions of terrorists at least prima facie evidence that they do NOT represent a God? In fact, is it not conclusive evidence – for, what other evidence could possibly be needed?

Never mind the fact that a Muslim can no more demonstrate the existence of his God than a Christian could demonstrate his. Never mind the fact that the justification of violence comes not from any God, but from a book. The simple FACT is that if God exists and is moral and just, EVERY act of terrorism is a de facto demonstration that such actions could NOT have come from the will of a God.

Do you see now why some of us (the rational) are pulling out our hair, trying to get those led by faith to see the obvious?

My sad thoughts

My thinking is that if you are rational, you can easily see this. But the faithful have been desensitized to the violence of a loving God for centuries. My sad thoughts are that the irrational will not awaken to the reality of God’s justification for murder until the other team’s God acquires a nuke and uses it in your backyard, because your god has been justifying murder for centuries. Unless your god is morally wrong, the other god cannot be morally wrong. You need to figure this out.

 

And Now Libya comes under attack by ISIS

At least 10 dead in ISIS attack on Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya. Five foreigners killed including one French and one American, plus three from Tajikistan. The purpose of ISIS is to form, with as much real estate as possible I presume, an Islamic state. But killing anyone who’s already occupying that land is murder. So how is this murder justified by the Islamic extremists, or ISIS?

Answer: Apparently the same way Jehovah did in the Old Testament, the USA in the 1700-1800’s against the native Indians, Israel in the 1940’s,  and all de facto winners of genocide war clearly had (have) God on their side. But the question remains: Why does a God need  a set of humans (A) to kill another set of humans (B), so that the first set of humans can have their land? If God really intended them to have that land, why must they kill the owners in order to get it?

If I am successful at killing you and taking your stuff, is that proof that God was on my side and WANTED me to have it? According to the bible, and apparently Islam, that answer is “yes.”

And THAT’s why religious faith needs to be questioned. What you know is wrong can always be sanctioned by religion. isn’t that what ISIS is doing?

Will you begin to question the efficacy of religious faith when they get nukes? My guess is that most religious folk will still be in a deep hypnotic sleep.

On the count of three, you will awaken back into the real world… One… two…

Christians as modern day terrorists?

Yahoo! News reported yesterday that a Christian terror organization, called Anti-Balaka, was prosecuting what amounted to “genocide” against Muslims fleeing the capital of CAR, (Central African Republic). They apparently attacked their convoy of cars and trucks as the angry Christians shouted death threats at the escaping Muslims.

The Christians were supposedly acting against the extremist Seleka Muslim rebels after they had targeted Christian groups; part of the ongoing saga of Muslim extremists taking control of cities by force of violence or extermination.

Personally, I don’t know what the Christians were supposed to do, when they were being murdered by the extremists, except defend themselves. But apparently going on the offensive is an act of terrorism, too. And it is, when you go after the defenseless non-combatant, i.e. women and children refugees trying to get out of the way.

Such is the state of today’s spiritual reality. Oh wait, it’s been that way for centuries. Isn’t it time we took a close sober (honest) look at religious faith?

More info: Communities Digital News, NBC Nightly News,

More Islamic violence in Africa: 2,000 feared killed in ‘deadliest’ Boko Haram attack in Nigeria,