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Which is the Soul, Exists??

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 14, 2013, 06:34:18 AM
Anyway, if I were to explain the soul, I would go with Plato and say it is the charioteer that drives and controls the horses and the chariot.  It is the aspect of man that is not at the mercy of physical concerns or impulses, it is the very ability to make a decision one way as opposed to the other.

This idea has been out of style for some time. It similar enough to the "homunculus theory". Unfortunately it leads to an infinite regress; if a little man in my mind is deciding everything for me, then what is deciding everything for the little man? Another little man? Who decides for him?

The idea has pragmatic value if you apply it to human cognition.

Alright. I think I can see it either way. After all, we do seem to be living in a universe where infinity is not impossible. Maybe an infinite regress is actually not that absurd of an idea after all, when considering cognition.

Is that what you're saying?

The way I understand it, a good portion of our mathematical models only work with infinity.

Though to answer your question, infinite regress is just a glitch in our thinking pertaining to causality.

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 14, 2013, 04:32:58 PM
Now you're just talking past me - and you still haven't responded to my point concerning verifiable evidence of chemicals causing changes in mental states/behavior.

Let me ask you:  how are chemicals summoned in the brain when not directly imbibing them?  Eating magic mushrooms and tripping balls is not an explanation for the normal processes of a brain that is not under the influence!

Anyway, if I were to explain the soul, I would go with Plato and say it is the charioteer that drives and controls the horses and the chariot.  It is the aspect of man that is not at the mercy of physical concerns or impulses, it is the very ability to make a decision one way as opposed to the other.

This idea has been out of style for some time. It similar enough to the "homunculus theory". Unfortunately it leads to an infinite regress; if a little man in my mind is deciding everything for me, then what is deciding everything for the little man? Another little man? Who decides for him?

Really?  I never would have thought of conceiving it like that.  The charioteer, horses, and chariot are in one sense separate, yet simultaneously in another sense, unified.  They are unified in that they are all working to win the race, that's the brilliance of the metaphor, so the buck stops with the charioteer.   

In fact you explain the exact problem with chemicals/impulses.  If chemicals are deciding everything for me...don't blame me, blame my chemicals.  My chemicals lord over me and I just follow orders.  I was the victim of my chemicals!

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 14, 2013, 04:56:09 PM
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Let me ask you:  how are chemicals summoned in the brain when not directly imbibing them?

They're produced by various glands/organs; however if you're asking what directs the production/amount of chemicals under various circumstances, as far as I know that's still a murky area for research. Perhaps most notably for depression - (does depression cause the release of certain chemicals, or is it a result of certain chemicals already present in the brain?).

However, this still falls under the realm of chemicals relating to behavior of the brain and doesn't provide any grounds for inserting the notion of a "soul".

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Eating magic mushrooms and tripping balls is not an explanation for the normal processes of a brain that is not under the influence!

It is proof that the human consciousness is dependent on chemical interactions.

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In fact you explain the exact problem with chemicals/impulses.  If chemicals are deciding everything for me...don't blame me, blame my chemicals.  My chemicals lord over me and I just follow orders.  I was the victim of my chemicals!

False dichotomy: your brain (and it various chemicals/impulses) is what produces your notion of yourself.

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 14, 2013, 07:40:14 PM
Wrong. My notion of myself comes entirely from reading comics.
Beano, Dandy, Beezer, Victor, Eagle, Lion, etc...
Boy, those were the days!

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 14, 2013, 07:59:26 PM
Somehow, I think you're being sarcastic.

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 14, 2013, 11:32:44 PM
Somehow, I think you're being sarcastic.


Possibly, but more humorous than sarcastic.
It's not really possible to define where one's sense of self comes from, is it?
The only real issue is to become sure it actually is what you think it is.
Mine comes from dispelling every notion of what I thought it was, and starting over, from zero.

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 15, 2013, 03:23:07 PM
Anyway, if I were to explain the soul, I would go with Plato and say it is the charioteer that drives and controls the horses and the chariot.  It is the aspect of man that is not at the mercy of physical concerns or impulses, it is the very ability to make a decision one way as opposed to the other.

This idea has been out of style for some time. It similar enough to the "homunculus theory". Unfortunately it leads to an infinite regress; if a little man in my mind is deciding everything for me, then what is deciding everything for the little man? Another little man? Who decides for him?

The idea has pragmatic value if you apply it to human cognition.

Alright. I think I can see it either way. After all, we do seem to be living in a universe where infinity is not impossible. Maybe an infinite regress is actually not that absurd of an idea after all, when considering cognition.

Is that what you're saying?

The way I understand it, a good portion of our mathematical models only work with infinity.

Though to answer your question, infinite regress is just a glitch in our thinking pertaining to causality.

Please explain both statements. What mathematical models specifically only work with infinity? Generally, mathematicians and physicists consider a formula useless if it returns infinity at any time. That is a sign that their input is incorrect somewhere. I just finished up a book in which this was discussed a lot, actually (The Shape of Inner Space by Shing-Tung Yau, solid read and any layman without deep knowledge of math or physics [like myself] can get something out of it).

As far as the second statement; you're saying that an infinite regress is just the way one could think of the infinity of variations and physical configurations that occur as time passes? Care to explain how it relates to causality?

Necroslaughter : Could be I was drawing parallels out of line. Nevertheless I would say what Wild already said; to consider some part of "you" a chariot, another part horses, and yet another part the charioteer, is indeed a false dichotomy. If "you" remove any one of those parts, where would "you" be and what would have happened to "you"? And is any one of those parts on their own "you"?

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 15, 2013, 04:17:21 PM
There is only one Green Bay Packers.  The Green Bay Packers is comprised of Running Backs, Quarterbacks, Lineman, Kickers, Coaches, Medical Staff and a General Manager.  Although they all comprise aspects of the Green Bay Packers, none of them are solely the Green Bay Packers in and of themselves.  If you remove any of these individuals the Green Bay Packers still exists.  There are 0 members from the 1969 Green Bay Packers still on the roster, yet the Green Bay Packers will play today.  So the notion of the Green Bay Packers is not at all produced by any single player, nor even any single team or coach, in any way whatsoever.  That being said, every player, every team, every win does in fact add to the aura and perpetuate the notion of the Green Bay Packers; all of the aspects are important, and all play their role but none of them are bigger than the Green Bay Packers itself.

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 15, 2013, 04:23:29 PM
There is only one Green Bay Packers.  The Green Bay Packers is comprised of Running Backs, Quarterbacks, Lineman, Kickers, Coaches, Medical Staff and a General Manager.  Although they all comprise aspects of the Green Bay Packers, none of them are solely the Green Bay Packers in and of themselves.  If you remove any of these individuals the Green Bay Packers still exists.  There are 0 members from the 1969 Green Bay Packers still on the roster, yet the Green Bay Packers will play today.  So the notion of the Green Bay Packers is not at all produced by any single player, nor even any single team or coach, in any way whatsoever.  That being said, every player, every team, every win does in fact add to the aura and perpetuate the notion of the Green Bay Packers; all of the aspects are important, and all play their role but none of them are bigger than the Green Bay Packers itself.

"Packers" is a plurality. Are "you" a plurality? Why say "me", "I", "you", rather than "we", "us", "they"?

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 15, 2013, 04:30:28 PM
The Packers are not a plurality sir.  A team is a single entity.

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 15, 2013, 05:52:09 PM
Just like the Holy Trinity?  :P

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 15, 2013, 07:38:30 PM
The Packers are not a plurality sir.  A team is a single entity.

Fair argument, but I'd like to point out that, grammatically, "Packers" is indeed a plural term, where as "Packer" would be the singular.

I guess this is a matter of getting into the nitty gritty details of what defines a thing. Ontology and epistemology are not unfamiliar territories for me so I'm up for hammering out the details.

I suppose it could also be this case; that language is not up for the task of describing a consciousness that identifies itself as a self, separate from other things, and other selves.

A group of people identify themselves as a community. A group of communities identifies itself as a nation. So forth. So you're saying that an individual is really no different? A group (or rather, several groups within groups) of cells identifies itself as an individual? In that case, we should throw the descriptor "individual" out the window altogether! I don't disagree with this.

But when talking about entities, we are in shaky territory right off the bat. Entities are defined arbitrarily, at best, and spontaneously at worst. Not even the "atom" (which comes from the word meaning "indivisible") is indivisible. So it's a question of drawing a line now. Where do we stop treating a thing like a group of things, and start treating it like its own thing? It's a good question when talking about a human self.

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 16, 2013, 04:19:29 PM
Anyway, if I were to explain the soul, I would go with Plato and say it is the charioteer that drives and controls the horses and the chariot.  It is the aspect of man that is not at the mercy of physical concerns or impulses, it is the very ability to make a decision one way as opposed to the other.

This idea has been out of style for some time. It similar enough to the "homunculus theory". Unfortunately it leads to an infinite regress; if a little man in my mind is deciding everything for me, then what is deciding everything for the little man? Another little man? Who decides for him?

The idea has pragmatic value if you apply it to human cognition.

Alright. I think I can see it either way. After all, we do seem to be living in a universe where infinity is not impossible. Maybe an infinite regress is actually not that absurd of an idea after all, when considering cognition.

Is that what you're saying?

The way I understand it, a good portion of our mathematical models only work with infinity.

Though to answer your question, infinite regress is just a glitch in our thinking pertaining to causality.

Please explain both statements. What mathematical models specifically only work with infinity? Generally, mathematicians and physicists consider a formula useless if it returns infinity at any time. That is a sign that their input is incorrect somewhere. I just finished up a book in which this was discussed a lot, actually (The Shape of Inner Space by Shing-Tung Yau, solid read and any layman without deep knowledge of math or physics [like myself] can get something out of it).

As far as the second statement; you're saying that an infinite regress is just the way one could think of the infinity of variations and physical configurations that occur as time passes? Care to explain how it relates to causality?

Necroslaughter : Could be I was drawing parallels out of line. Nevertheless I would say what Wild already said; to consider some part of "you" a chariot, another part horses, and yet another part the charioteer, is indeed a false dichotomy. If "you" remove any one of those parts, where would "you" be and what would have happened to "you"? And is any one of those parts on their own "you"?

(1) I was recalling, albeit poorly, a conversation I had with a friend who is way more into mathematics than I am. I'll have to ask next time I see him, I could be fucked to recall the details right now

(2) Infinite regress is, in my opinion, just an expression of the limitations of our mental faculties. Causalities an easy example of this limitation because it leads us looking for this, under that, which is under this, that was generated by that, who created it after being created by something else and so on. One way out, ontologically, is the Monad.

(3) With regards to the human, it is like anything else, there are 3 in everything. 3 phases of the moon, 3 faculties of man, on and on. Iamblichus considered the Triad to be perfectly balanced. The Greeks had a special Isoceles triangle which, when graphed, would turn out to match, point for point, the golden ratio, when drawn on the same graph. Mathematically, the proportions of this triangle are supposed to be a case of super symmetry. I don't know what that means exactly, but the point is, you can find this principles of 3 everywhere.

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 16, 2013, 05:31:49 PM
I understand better now.

Point number 2 is clear to me. I do see that the way we perceive causality is due to our limitations; specifically, the way in which we are restrained in time. Were matter able to assemble itself more stably in one or two dimension higher than what we operate in, we would not have the problem of trying to explain everything causally; the immediate connection between every material configuration would be obvious, and we wouldn't need to experience "events". Yet, here we are. I'm willing to live in this little 4-dimensional prison to prevent my atoms from smearing into trans-universal blurs of tachyonic vibrations.

As for point number 3; you are right in that 3 does appear "everywhere", but there is nothing more special about 3 than 4, or 4 than 5, 5 than 6, and 6 than 2. All of those numbers are reflected in different aspects of the world around us, but the tricky part is assigning the most distinguishing number to the aspect it best represents. You can explain the human in terms of 3, but that number is usually reserved for something more elemental and primal than the human. 5 is usually the number associated with the human; five extremities, five fingers and toes, five basic senses, not to mention the famous pentad that represents the spirit within the human overcoming the 4 basic elements of nature (as well as the general shape of the human body).

Re: Which is the Soul, Exists??
December 16, 2013, 06:36:12 PM
I was just making a point about the ontological significance of 3. You're right about the Pentad, however I still believe that man is a composite entity primarily represented by 3 insofar as identity is concerned.

4 is the empirical existence of animated matter and 5 is life, the balance.

I can't remember the details, need to hit the books.