Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 160 (8167 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 11-27-2014 11:06 PM
73 online now:
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: MarkG
Upcoming Birthdays: Raphael
Post Volume:
Total: 742,198 Year: 28,039/28,606 Month: 3,096/2,244 Week: 500/710 Day: 76/134 Hour: 0/8


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
RewPrev1
...
910
11
1213
...
24NextFF
Author Topic:   Does science ask and answer "why" questions?
jar
Member
Posts: 24989
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 151 of 353 (647661)
01-10-2012 4:41 PM
Reply to: Message 147 by Straggler
01-10-2012 4:32 PM


Re: Dualism.......?
No, after long effort, I don't think you are capable of understanding what I mean.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 4:32 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 152 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 4:47 PM jar has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9983
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 152 of 353 (647664)
01-10-2012 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 151 by jar
01-10-2012 4:41 PM


Re: Dualism.......?
Given that I am not alone in finding your answers evasive and vague I am unconvinced that you really know what you mean yourself.

Your thinking seems confused to say the least.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 151 by jar, posted 01-10-2012 4:41 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 155 by jar, posted 01-10-2012 4:54 PM Straggler has responded

  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 372 days)
Posts: 1592
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 153 of 353 (647665)
01-10-2012 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 149 by Straggler
01-10-2012 4:34 PM


Re: Observations in the realm of thoughts
Viscerally, it feels like my mind isn't physical. And for many, the thought of your consciousness existing eternally is very comforting...but no, I don't think either of those reasons are valid for actually thinking this is actually true.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 149 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 4:34 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 157 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 4:58 PM Perdition has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9983
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 154 of 353 (647666)
01-10-2012 4:50 PM
Reply to: Message 150 by jar
01-10-2012 4:40 PM


Re: Observations in the realm of thoughts
Firstly - How do you reconcile the fact that changes to ones physical brain can shape ones preferences with the belief that ones preferences are independent of physical brains.

Secondly - Why does it matter which one is original?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 150 by jar, posted 01-10-2012 4:40 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 156 by jar, posted 01-10-2012 4:54 PM Straggler has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 24989
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 155 of 353 (647668)
01-10-2012 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 152 by Straggler
01-10-2012 4:47 PM


Re: Dualism.......?
That's fine. There are several audiences, the person you actually respond to and the wider audience that reads the thread.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 152 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 4:47 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 159 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 5:02 PM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 24989
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 156 of 353 (647669)
01-10-2012 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 154 by Straggler
01-10-2012 4:50 PM


Re: Observations in the realm of thoughts
One is the original. The other is not.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 154 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 4:50 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 158 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 5:00 PM jar has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9983
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 157 of 353 (647671)
01-10-2012 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by Perdition
01-10-2012 4:47 PM


Re: Observations in the realm of thoughts
Perdition writes:

Viscerally, it feels like my mind isn't physical.

True. Some sense of dualism is the intuitive conclusion. But it seems to fly in the face of the evidence now available to us.

Perdition writes:

And for many, the thought of your consciousness existing eternally is very comforting...

Indeed. But this idea of an ethereal "real you" just doesn't make any sense. I mean our behaviour and personalities are demonstrably shaped by variable things like hormone levels. Is the "real me" the way I would be if I were hormoneless? Is the "real" me as I am with average levels of things like seratonin and testosterone?

I don't know what a non-physical "real me" would possibly be like. I'm not even sure it could recognisably be "me" at all. The whole idea just hasn't been thought through.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by Perdition, posted 01-10-2012 4:47 PM Perdition has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 163 by Perdition, posted 01-10-2012 5:09 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9983
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 158 of 353 (647672)
01-10-2012 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 156 by jar
01-10-2012 4:54 PM


Re: Observations in the realm of thoughts
How do you reconcile the fact that changes to ones physical brain can shape ones preferences with the belief that ones preferences are independent of physical brains?

jar writes:

One is the original. The other is not.

Why do you think that matters?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 156 by jar, posted 01-10-2012 4:54 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 161 by jar, posted 01-10-2012 5:06 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9983
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 159 of 353 (647675)
01-10-2012 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 155 by jar
01-10-2012 4:54 PM


Re: Dualism.......?
jar writes:

There are several audiences, the person you actually respond to and the wider audience that reads the thread.

Well with the wider audience in mind perhaps you can consider this much evaded question?

How do you reconcile the fact that changes to ones physical brain can shape ones preferences with the belief that ones preferences are independent of physical brains?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 155 by jar, posted 01-10-2012 4:54 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 162 by jar, posted 01-10-2012 5:07 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16135
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 160 of 353 (647677)
01-10-2012 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by bluegenes
01-10-2012 9:33 AM


Re: who what when where why how ... purpose and science
Hi bluegenes, still struggling?

I notice we still do not have your answer for why the sky appears blue.

As I pointed out on the other thread, you're assuming your incorrectly restricted definition of why in order to come to your conclusions, although I don't think you're doing this intentionally. "Why", in those questions can be technical. It doesn't have to mean "for what objective purpose", or "for what ultimate reason".

In which case, context is of utmost importance. In the context of providing a complete answer or explanation you end up at the "Big Why" unavoidably. In the absence of context you should default to the "Big Why" question or ask for context.

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
I dunno why she swallowed that fly,
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly -
Perhaps she'll die.

If you are satisfied with an incomplete, tentative and partial answer then wail away.

Take the birds singing. A why question might initially be answered by an immediate reason, like "because they are communicating". Then "why do they communicate" could be answered by giving specific functions, like marking territory, mating, warning, etc. Then, if a questioner asks why they do those things, you could give a reasonable general answer like "it's advantageous for them to do so, and aids their survival."

Indeed. Those are the purposes that singing has been used for, it is how they accomplish those tasks, but it doesn't answer why birds sing.

We also have some species of birds that don't (or very rarely) sing, and yet they are not handicapped in either survival or breeding compared to ones that do. There appears to be no relationship between song verbosity and survival. There are also some birds that sing and don't attract mates. There appears to be no real 1 to 1 correlation between any singing behavior and the assigned purpose, as each of these purposes are also achieved without song in many species.

If your answer were correct then the non-singing species would not survive.

It is a bit like the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy, the complex cause logical fallacy, and the part for the whole logical fallacy all mixed together. Just because you know a (small) part of the answer does not mean that you know (all) the answer.

Science may be able to discuss partial answers, based on observations, assumptions, and inference, but that does not mean that science provides the full answer, or that it ever can. There are certain details in a complete answer that science is not equipped to determine.

  • Why did it happen that birds can sing?
  • Why did it happen that the sky appears blue?

These are essentially untestable\unfalsifiable aspects of the "why" issue, and thus cannot be determined through science. They are part of the "Big Why" question.

By contrast, science can do very well at answering the how questions, and while those answers may be incomplete, there is no significant reason that would suggest that more details can be developed through science.

  • How did it happen that birds can sing?
  • How did it happen that the sky appears blue?

These can be answered through science. Is there a "Big How" question that theoretically cannot be answered through science?

Have fun.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by bluegenes, posted 01-10-2012 9:33 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 168 by bluegenes, posted 01-10-2012 6:09 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 24989
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 161 of 353 (647679)
01-10-2012 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by Straggler
01-10-2012 5:00 PM


Re: Observations in the realm of thoughts
It matters to me because it is a fact.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 158 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 5:00 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 164 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 5:13 PM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 24989
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 162 of 353 (647680)
01-10-2012 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 159 by Straggler
01-10-2012 5:02 PM


Re: Dualism.......?
I do not try to reconcile those things.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 159 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 5:02 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 372 days)
Posts: 1592
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 163 of 353 (647681)
01-10-2012 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 157 by Straggler
01-10-2012 4:58 PM


Re: Observations in the realm of thoughts
I don't know what a non-physical "real me" would possibly be like. I'm not even sure it could recognisably be "me" at all. The whole idea just hasn't been thought through.

Especially when you add in temporal considerations. Is the real me when I'm 20? 50? 90? Maybe it's when I'm 5?

And wouldn't it be less comforting to think that either your real you degrades as you reach advanced age...or the real you is less and less able to communicate with the real world, essentially stuck in a box until the release of sweet death?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 157 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 4:58 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 165 by Straggler, posted 01-10-2012 5:16 PM Perdition has not yet responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9983
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 164 of 353 (647682)
01-10-2012 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 161 by jar
01-10-2012 5:06 PM


Re: Observations in the realm of thoughts
jar writes:

It matters to me because it is a fact.

Too funny.

Straggler writes:

How do you reconcile the fact that changes to ones physical brain can shape ones preferences with the belief that ones preferences are independent of physical brains?

jar writes:

I do not try to reconcile those things.

It is also a fact that physical changes can demonstrably effect the things you are claiming lack any physical cause.

But I guess some facts are less convenient, less in line with your chosen beliefs and thus don't matter so much.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 161 by jar, posted 01-10-2012 5:06 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 166 by jar, posted 01-10-2012 5:25 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9983
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 165 of 353 (647683)
01-10-2012 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 163 by Perdition
01-10-2012 5:09 PM


Re: Observations in the realm of thoughts
Perdition writes:

And wouldn't it be less comforting to think that either your real you degrades as you reach advanced age...or the real you is less and less able to communicate with the real world, essentially stuck in a box until the release of sweet death?

Shit yeah!! When you think of it like that it's downright spooky.

I think some sort of creepy psychological horror movie could be made along these lines.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by Perdition, posted 01-10-2012 5:09 PM Perdition has not yet responded

  
RewPrev1
...
910
11
1213
...
24NextFF
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2014 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2014