What a lovely tie.
I certainly share the sentiment Craig expressed regarding how nice it would be to see the physicalist conception of mind an outdated position on it's last legs. I think that as a consequence of this tendency there is unnecessary and unwarranted impediment on fields like parapsychology. The cognitive sciences are likely to be the nexus of such a shift, if it does in fact occur. I am hopeful that we will see the field move away from this kind of thinking, because I feel like there is a vast array of phenomena--real things that we can observe-- that can't even be spoken of in the current intellectual climate.
The very perception of the road which keeps you from crashing is a thought. When I mean thought, I do not specifically mean the act of visually thinking about something.
When you recall an event, that is a thought. When you make a choice, that is also a thought. When you visualize, that is as well a thought, as it is when you are conscious.
It is hard to know that you are thinking, when thoughts themselves are the consciousness that makes you.. conscious of things. The only way to know of thoughts is to think about them.. which is ironic, nonetheless. To get to the same conclusion as I, you should think about the thought you are thinking. So, every time a thought arises, thinking about that thought leads you to my conclusion... eventually.
Much Buddhist literature supports this view I hold, where thoughts are defined as rivers floating endlessly.
it's always amusing to see how eager "Dr" Craig is to endorse all sort of pseudo-intellectual garbage--recently, the supposed inability of animals to suffer, attesting to God's infinite mercy: but still, it beats Craig's genocide apologetics--as long as it offers the slightest glimmer of hope that scientific naturalism, which is more or less considered the only respectable intellectual position and has become the orthodoxy in academia, is probably false and his primitive faith, including fantasies about life after death with Jesus, are true and he's not wasted his life on folly. (It's difficult to know which is more distressing to someone as vain and arrogant, and at the same time insecure and cowardly as Craig: the prospect of having to face up to the fact that he's spent his entire life serving and spreading the Jesus delusion, or having to face up to the facts of an atheistic Universe where there is no one "up there" who loves him, cares for him and will give him everlasting life suffused with "objective" meaning, and where everything is doomed to destruction in the heath-death of the Universe and "there's no escape, there's no hope", etc., etc., all of which Craig finds so "unbearable" and "unlivable")
Unfortunately for Craig's project of making the perfectly crazy religious dogmas of evangelical Christianity respectable again (and what can be more delusional that that!), Nagel's book's been widely criticized-- see Brian Leiter's and Michael Weisberg's review for the Nation:http://www.thenation.com/artic....
also Elliott Sober's review for the Boston Review:http://www.bostonreview.net/BR...
As for Dr. Alexander, who by the way, is NOT a neuroscientist as Craig alleges (Alexander also describes himself as a devout Christian), but a neurosurgeon (i.e., an MD, who is in the business of cutting brains, not so much studying them), his article is so embarrassingly clueless that I'll just recommend a review by a true neuroscientist-- Sam Harris: http://www.samharris.org/blog/...
It appears, "Dr" Craig, once again, managed to confirm Sean Carroll's recent observation that "engagement with people like Craig is fundamentally less interesting than engagement with open-minded people"--and true to himself he hasn't engaged Craig since--despite Craig;s rather desperate attempts to get prominent scientists to take him seriously and agree to debate. It should be obvious that, after being shot down half a dozen times by Richard Dawkins, to set up a "debate" with an empty chair and spend an hour or so, talking to it in front of an audience in a church (that's where Craig belongs really), declaring victory in Dawkins's absence, is generally not a good strategy to get one or one's religious convictions respected in 21st century academia. It is a good way of demonstrating, however, his intellectual pretenses notwithstanding, what a pathetic loser "Dr" Craig truly is.
I don't believe that Craig's analogy as as flawed as you think I might be. To say that there is a problem with the analogy because the pianist is capable of leaving the piano at any time, is to equivocate -- just a bit -- on the meaning of the word "pianist." This is because, while the pianist still maintains the abilities of a pianist in the absence of a piano, he or she cannot act as a pianist without a piano in the same way that a mind can't think without a brain. I do not think the fact that the pianist can leave the piano diminishes the analogy.
"You can only act with thoughts. If you don't believe me, then try doing something without thinking about it - impossible!"
Not so. Have you ever driven a car for a long distance, space out, yet continue to operate the car normally? Are you consciously aware of every single step you take? Humans can operate on passive or 'neutral' mode. Sure the 'mood' is 'actively' chosen by one's will, but the mood nonetheless reduces active thought and lets the body (memory muscle) do its thing.
Indeed, it is difficult to know with certainty. But we have all the reasons to think otherwise, that what was set forward.
For an example, you can know with certainty that the action you took, was taken for a greater good for yourself. This greater good is often seen as an egotistical thing. Nonetheless, all actions taken are done towards the greater good for one self. This is of course difficult to accept, without some neurological basis, or psychological thereof. But try for once to examine why you do things. Don't accept the, "I do because I will." What future event made your action worth taking? What is it which in the end will justify your action? Ask yourself this about everything you do, and you'll come to realize the same as I. As for your comment you wrote on here, I bet you did it to share your opinion with me - and isn't this at bottom a selfish act? You're sharing with me, because you feel greater than I. You feel worthy enough to answer my post, and to give your own experience and knowledge onto me.
Now, to get back on topic with you. What I stated, and meant, was that all that which we treasure (love, because it feels good. Truth, because it sets us free. Knowledge, because it moves us closer to truth, and so on), we can only have with the brain. All these things, knowledge (information), love (or psychological stimulus), and so on, are derived from the capabilities of our brain.So, we neither know nor feel, nor desire, when alone. In fact, psychologically speaking, an ego can not thrive on itself. It needs people to thrive.. and the ego is the desire - or the will, however you'd put it.
Surely, a mentally retarded person wouldn't be able to obtain all the knowledge a normal person has obtained. And surely, an empathic (due to psychological trauma) person wouldn't be able to feel love, or at least not at the same level as one who has no mental blockages. Thus, concluding that feelings, desires, hopes, and so on, are derived from the brain chemistry, and not otherwise.
Our so called "gift" often gives more pain than pleasure, because we desire things undesirable, and will things that will in the end destroy us.Of course, looking at it from the Buddhistic view, or even Craig's own, it does make sort of sense. Though our prison gives us much pain, we still experience pleasure. It's like a scale, and all our bad actions will eventually uneven the scale, so that it turns against us.This is also why Buddha taught to not do violence against violent people. Murderers, given enough space and time, will eventually kill all that is able to be killed, and in this, they will ensure their own death.
Almost falling asleep on my chair, so I'll have to stop myself here..
Without knowing the boundaries of that immaterial self, it is impossible to say whether it is imprisoned or not. In fact, it may be just as accurate to say the brain is imprisoned by matter and that the self is much larger and greater.Yes, the pianist can leave the piano, but that does not mean he doesn't exist apart from the piano. To assume that an immaterial self cannot exist without material is a linguistic and logical contradiction. It is rather like assuming that someone who just left the room no longer exists.
I apologize if my comment gives the impression that I didn't watch the video. The first paragraph simply re-states the words of Dr. Craig.
There's a small problem with the analogy of the pianist. The pianist is capable of leaving the piano any time. However, the self is bounded by the brain. You can only act with thoughts. If you don't believe me, then try doing something without thinking about it - impossible! You cannot escape thoughts either. They come at all possible times, and are at all possible times. And, these thoughts are controlled by chemical impulses. If one brain region functions, but not the other, thoughts change also - thus leaving the person not able to do certain tasks.
You can only obtain knowledge through thoughts. Memory, perception, etc., are all derived from thought. No thought, no experience. No experience, no self. No self, no "I am."And so on, and so on. I should mention, though, that there is a certain type of self, which Buddha talks about, and this is I - that which knows it exists. Even those who think they're dead know of this I. However, if you die, you (probably) won't know you exist (See above paragraph.).
In conclusion, this analogy ought to be more like, "The self is the prisoner, the brain is the prison."Prison gives shelter for the homeless, but prison so too incapsulates and limits that person.
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