Panpsychism?

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Panpsychism?

Postby Bart Stewart » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:00 pm

Here we have an article that considers whether the universe itself may be conscious.

It seems to hinge on a lot of poorly understood or unknowable quantum theory, but maybe they are on to something. It's a little reminiscent of the idea that the universe is a hologram, which to me raises the question -- how is that different from intelligent design creationism? A hologram would be an artificial construction, made by someone, right?

I readily concede I may be missing something.

http://bigthink.com/philip-perry/the-un ... ign=buffer

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby scrmbldggs » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:10 pm

If it's conscious, it also is nuts. It made me read "the universe itself may be contagious." :nuts:
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby gorgeous » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:42 pm

everything is conscious...everything is imbued with God...native people talk about the spirit of the Earth, the spirit of the tree, the mountain.....
Science Fundamentalism...is exactly what happens when there’s a significant, perceived ideological threat to one’s traditions and identity.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:17 pm

Conciousness resides only in living things. Intelligence only in advanced living things (though gorgeous may be an exception). There is currently no credible evidence for anything else, though I am willing to be open minded if credible evidence is produced. There is nothing in theory to forbid intelligence in a sufficiently advanced computer, though no such thing has yet appeared.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby gorgeous » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:19 pm

everything is energy, everything has God in it...one reason mountain climbers risk their lives is because they communicate with the spirit of the mountain..they have said so....and human spirits there guide them...
Science Fundamentalism...is exactly what happens when there’s a significant, perceived ideological threat to one’s traditions and identity.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:29 pm

As always, the assertion with no evidence. Ho hum.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Phoenix76 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:45 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Conciousness resides only in living things. Intelligence only in advanced living things (though gorgeous may be an exception). There is currently no credible evidence for anything else, though I am willing to be open minded if credible evidence is produced. There is nothing in theory to forbid intelligence in a sufficiently advanced computer, though no such thing has yet appeared.


Lance, when you say "living things", are you speaking of the animal kingdom (includes humans), or do you include flora as well? I use the term flora broadly. I far as I know, animals all have brains, therefore one may say they have a conciousness. Flora etc do not have a brain as accepted in animals, yet one could say they are concious as they react to certain stimuli. For instance, a flower will turn to face the sun as the day progress, in times of drought, plants will run to seed so as to preserve their future.

Very interesting theory and an open mind is needed. My one reservation in this is that is seems to smack of religion, spirituality, perhaps a godman. As an athiest, that would be contra to my beliefs. But we will watch with interest.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Fab Yolis » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:45 am

The validity of panpsychism depends on your definition of consciousness. The article doesn't set out a clear coherent definition of consciousness. If you define consciousness as the capacity to be affected by the environment, then you could say that the universe is filled with consciousness. If you define consciousness as the possession of personality, or as the ability to appreciate and understand, then it would not appear that the universe is filled with consciousness (though we can't rule out the possibility entirely).

Imo mind-matter dualism is an invalid paradigm, primarily because it is based on two ill-defined concepts. It makes more sense to see the world as being composed of information, and to regard that which we call "matter" and that which we call "mind" as different kinds of information processes.
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:48 am

Phoenix

Opinions vary. My personal opinion is that 'true consciousness ' would not occur at any level lower than reptiles*, but that is an opinion, and others may differ.

*With one exception. Cephalopods may be conscious.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:28 am

Bart Stewart wrote:Here we have an article that considers whether the universe itself may be conscious.


http://bigthink.com/philip-perry/the-un ... ign=buffer[/quote]

1) Logic Error: Only considers Individual consciousness
The claim has a logic error. It says if an individual doesn't hear a tree fall in the forest, how does he know it fell? The answer it simple, The individual exchanges information with other individuals who did see the tree fall. That information is added to the collective knowledge of all individuals and thus a collective framework of knowledge arises. This is why Dualism is bull-shit and deceptive as it ignore individuals communicating with other individuals.


2) Quantum Mechanics only matters on a molecular or smaller level
If you stop looking at the moon how do you know it doesn't disappear? Well the billion other people, on earth, looking at the moon do not see it disappear and they tell you. The mood does not disappear due to quantum mechanics and to claim, as the article does, that the moon may actually disappear due to quantum mechanics is complete bull-shit.

The next issue is the claim that electrons jumping between synapses may change to have new and exotic quantum states. That is also crap. We don't know exactly how quantum mechanics works but we know what it does in different scenarios. That evolution of the brain continued to evolve with those expected quantum states to be normal day to day events, simply shows quantum mechanics have already been factored into evolutionary advantages and this has been true simce the first simple form of life An amoeba reacting to light ( a photon) is going through a quantum mechanical event. There is no point pretending consciousness is a unique result of quantum mechanics.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:55 am

If the article is representing John Archibald Wheeler's theory correctly...
He called his theory the “participatory anthropic principle,” which posits that a human observer is key to the process. Of this Wheeler said, “We are participators in bringing into being not only the near and here but the far away and long ago."
...then I need a new BS detector, because mine just exploded. Nothing exists unless humans observe it? So Jupiter had no moons until Galileo observed them through his telescope? Humans functioned with no blood cells until Leeuwenhoek observed them through his microscope? What an egocentric theory! Or am I taking it too literally?
Neuroscientist Christof Koch of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, is another supporter of panpsychism. He’ll be running some animal experiments. In one, he plans to wire the brains of two mice together. Will information eventually flow between the two? Will their consciousness at some point become one fused, integrated system? If these experiments are successful, he may wire up the brains of two humans.
Who the {!#%@} is going to allow him to "wire up the brains of two humans?" He won't get the data he wants from dead brains, only from functioning ones. That means living human beings. I don't see people jumping to volunteer for this kind of experiment, so you know what this kind of baseless medical experimentation reminds me of, with its "{!#%@} the consequences to the patients as long as we get our data" attitude. WTF?
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Phoenix76 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:58 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Phoenix

Opinions vary. My personal opinion is that 'true consciousness ' would not occur at any level lower than reptiles*, but that is an opinion, and others may differ.

*With one exception. Cephalopods may be conscious.


So Lance, what explanation would you give the actions of say flora? Why does a flower follow the sun?

I can certainly accept that Cephalopods are conscious, just the same as any other marine animal is concsious, IMO.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:17 am

Phoenix

When someone taps your knee with a hammer, your leg jerks. No consciousness needed for that response.

Plants have no nervous system, and it is really, really difficult to see how they could have consciousness without some equivalent of a brain.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Phoenix76 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:35 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Phoenix

When someone taps your knee with a hammer, your leg jerks. No consciousness needed for that response.

Plants have no nervous system, and it is really, really difficult to see how they could have consciousness without some equivalent of a brain.


So a reflex reaction. Hmm, that sounds reasonable. I guess the question is, what is the lowest level of life that might have a brain. I'm sure that question could raise some debate.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Poodle » Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:58 pm

Consciousness is one of those horrible words with a nebulous definition. Its use is tantamount to the medieval argument about the number of angels which could stand on the end of a pin. Or was it dance rather than stand?

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:53 pm

As I said, Poodle, it is all about personal opinion. I have read an article on the subject in which scientists expressed the belief that Drosophila melanogaster, the laboratory fruit fly, had a form of simple consciousness. That is their opinion, and it differs from mine.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:04 pm

appro po of nothing, I recall from a long time ago the statement that consciousness required the ability to recognize the difference between yourself, and your image in a mirror. Fun to play with that notion but of course its only a partial. Dogs for instance do not make that distinction, their world based more on smell. Great Apes readily make that distinction. THEN: Dogs "know" to follow human directions like pointing to the bowl that has food underneath it. A skill or "consciousness" that Apes do not possess.

Its a mix of things.
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:45 pm

Plants don't have a nervous system, nor brain cells; but they do have a complex system of chemicals whose sole purpose seems to be to transport information from one part of the plant to another. Animal brains have neurotransmitters.

Plants could have some sort of consciousness, but it seems very unlikely that they have any cognitive ability.
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:02 pm

Oleg

Seriously unlikely. Not impossible, but I would ascribe a probability of less than 1 to 1000.

The thing is that response to stimuli, and even learning, can operate in a totally unconscious way, and still be relatively sophisticated. Just refer to Pavlov's dogs.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Hex » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:20 pm

gorgeous wrote:everything is energy, everything has God in it...one reason mountain climbers risk their lives is because they communicate with the spirit of the mountain..they have said so....and human spirits there guide them...

Enlighten me, define what you mean by "energy" and "spirit" in this sentence. Not some kind of nebulous, hazy, vague word, I want to know what these things mean when you say them.
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:47 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:Plants don't have a nervous system, nor brain cells; but they do have a complex system of chemicals whose sole purpose seems to be to transport information from one part of the plant to another. Animal brains have neurotransmitters.

Plants could have some sort of consciousness, but it seems very unlikely that they have any cognitive ability.

What "information" is transported from one location to another? I think: None, but might agree with whatever you are thinking of.

Easy to think of plants as having a bunch of independent acting knee jerk non-neuron based responses...... and the ones that linked together most efficaciously won Darwins Race. No thinking or consciousness about it.
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:27 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:Plants don't have a nervous system, nor brain cells; but they do have a complex system of chemicals whose sole purpose seems to be to transport information from one part of the plant to another. Animal brains have neurotransmitters.

Plants could have some sort of consciousness, but it seems very unlikely that they have any cognitive ability.


I agree with this, in theory.

We live on a planet where Earth like neurotransmitters evolved. I can imagine a planet that other "reaction to the environment" systems have evolved, that are simply much much slower than the speed our evolved systems on Earth work.

I can imagine a scenario in the distant future where humans land on a planet and , in the short term, assume the life forms are like plants, but in reality the plants are quite bright, but take a month to make a decision.

I think it would be unlikely that we come across alien species who "think" at the the same speed the species on earth "think".

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:34 am

On the other hand, Matthew, they might be silicon based and think with the speed of computers. We just cannot know.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Nikki Nyx » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:20 am

Poodle wrote:Consciousness is one of those horrible words with a nebulous definition. Its use is tantamount to the medieval argument about the number of angels which could stand on the end of a pin. Or was it dance rather than stand?

What kind of dance are the angels doing? I mean, you could fit more if they were all doing the Lambada as compared to, say, a Tango.
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Phoenix76 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:26 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:Plants don't have a nervous system, nor brain cells; but they do have a complex system of chemicals whose sole purpose seems to be to transport information from one part of the plant to another. Animal brains have neurotransmitters.

Plants could have some sort of consciousness, but it seems very unlikely that they have any cognitive ability.


I agree with this, in theory.

We live on a planet where Earth like neurotransmitters evolved. I can imagine a planet that other "reaction to the environment" systems have evolved, that are simply much much slower than the speed our evolved systems on Earth work.

I can imagine a scenario in the distant future where humans land on a planet and , in the short term, assume the life forms are like plants, but in reality the plants are quite bright, but take a month to make a decision.

I think it would be unlikely that we come across alien species who "think" at the the same speed the species on earth "think".


Matthew & Oleg, I like your thoughts, but get the feeling that feel plants take a long time to 'react' as it where. For instance, take a sunflower, it reacts quite quickly by following the sun all day. It doesn't take a month, probably dead by then, but within a day it follows the sun. Obviously it needs the sunlight to complete its designated duties.

So whilst I can understand your thoughts and the suggestion that a plant might take a month to make a decision, there are cases, as above, that take a much shorter time.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:12 pm

Phoenix76 wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:Plants don't have a nervous system, nor brain cells; but they do have a complex system of chemicals whose sole purpose seems to be to transport information from one part of the plant to another. Animal brains have neurotransmitters.

Plants could have some sort of consciousness, but it seems very unlikely that they have any cognitive ability.


I agree with this, in theory.

We live on a planet where Earth like neurotransmitters evolved. I can imagine a planet that other "reaction to the environment" systems have evolved, that are simply much much slower than the speed our evolved systems on Earth work.

I can imagine a scenario in the distant future where humans land on a planet and , in the short term, assume the life forms are like plants, but in reality the plants are quite bright, but take a month to make a decision.

I think it would be unlikely that we come across alien species who "think" at the the same speed the species on earth "think".


Matthew & Oleg, I like your thoughts, but get the feeling that feel plants take a long time to 'react' as it where. For instance, take a sunflower, it reacts quite quickly by following the sun all day. It doesn't take a month, probably dead by then, but within a day it follows the sun. Obviously it needs the sunlight to complete its designated duties.

So whilst I can understand your thoughts and the suggestion that a plant might take a month to make a decision, there are cases, as above, that take a much shorter time.

Plants produce hormones that are growth inhibitors as well as growth inducers. The cells that are in sunlight produce more of the inhibitors than the cells in shadow, so the shadow side grows slightly faster, bending the plant toward the light. It doesn't require a messaging system.
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:25 pm

Phoenix76 wrote:[It doesn't take a month, probably dead by then, but within a day it follows the sun..

Within a day?
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Phoenix76 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:15 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Phoenix76 wrote:[It doesn't take a month, probably dead by then, but within a day it follows the sun..

Within a day?


Okay Bobbo, thought an intelligent person like yourself would figure what I was saying. No?

As an example, lets look at the Sunflower. It will follow the sun all day. Sit and watch, the bloom continues to turn as the sun moves (appears to move) across the sky. So when I say within a day, I am referring to the movement within the day.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Shen1986 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:37 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Conciousness resides only in living things. Intelligence only in advanced living things (though gorgeous may be an exception). There is currently no credible evidence for anything else, though I am willing to be open minded if credible evidence is produced. There is nothing in theory to forbid intelligence in a sufficiently advanced computer, though no such thing has yet appeared.


It depends what you call consciousness. I am not claiming that we already produced a robot with consciousness but the ASIMO is quite good at what he does. It can be a great milestone that we will be able to produce a robot with consciousness. Here are the abilities what ASIMO can do:

Abilities[edit]
ASIMO has the ability to recognize moving objects, postures, gestures, its surrounding environment, sounds and faces, which enables it to interact with humans. The robot can detect the movements of multiple objects by using visual information captured by two camera "eyes" in its head and also determine distance and direction. This feature allows ASIMO to follow or face a person when approached.[1] The robot interprets voice commands and human gestures, enabling it to recognize when a handshake is offered or when a person waves or points, and then respond accordingly.[8] ASIMO's ability to distinguish between voices and other sounds allows it to identify its companions. ASIMO is able to respond to its name and recognizes sounds associated with a falling object or collision. This allows the robot to face a person when spoken to or look towards a sound. ASIMO responds to questions by nodding or providing a verbal answer in different languages and can recognize approximately 10 different faces and address them by name.[8]


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASIMO#Abilities

If ASIMO would be able to make his own decisions then we would have a conscious robot I think that is the only thing that ASIMO cannot do so far. Also I read somewhere that the newer models can even search for a energy source when they are running low on energy. Cannot find the article no more but ASIMO was used as a example that consciousness is not something magical or special and can be reproduced inside robots.
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:41 pm

Universe Itself is conscious?

Wow man that's really really heavy. ;)

Image

OK, so these generically described scientists are saying that The UniverseTM is GodTM.

Even though I call myself an atheist and not an agnostic, I willingly admit I can't disprove the existence of the more nebulous flavors of The Deity.

Because they are meaningless.
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:57 pm

Panpsychism is kinda the only escape from the trap of having to place consciousness at some level but not below.
It is so attractive that famous thinkers like Leibnitz believed in it.
Of course, saying conscious of the most basic sort is everywhere doesn't actually explain anything.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby mattb » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:43 pm

To all those who've commented on this post, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on my recently completed video. It's my argument for a scientific 'panpsychism' - a panpsychism based on logic and known science, instead of religious or new age ideas. It offers an explanation for the existence of conscious beings in a world made purely of atoms and energy, and properly understood, can explain the measurement problem without using the observer effect.

As I explore in the video, I believe there are three major assumptions in western thought that have historically made this philosophically simple answer unnecessarily problematic.

https://vimeo.com/247760088

Some background as to why I made this video
https://www.theideastring.com/video-release

I believe it's a philosophical discussion much needed at this point. The New Scientist's cover story on 11/11/2017 was about leading physicists using idealism to explain quantum weirdness. I would say a non-religious panpsychism is a much closer and more pragmatic step from where science is right now, than idealism of any sort!

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:45 pm

mattb wrote:I believe it's a philosophical discussion much needed at this point.

why?
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby mattb » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:02 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
mattb wrote:I believe it's a philosophical discussion much needed at this point.

why?

Well, it's needed only as much as any philosophical discussion is ever needed!
I can't say what practical benefits would come from a such a p.o.v. But as I say, quantum physicists are now investing time and energy in Idealism, which is really the opposite of Materialism - my 'panpyschic' description is I think closer to Materialism, and so more likely to offer some practical benefits. Resorting to Idealism is going from one extreme to the other.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby Poodle » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:27 pm

mattb wrote:... But as I say, quantum physicists are now investing time and energy in Idealism ...


They are? Who and where, please.

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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:56 pm

mattb wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
mattb wrote:I believe it's a philosophical discussion much needed at this point.

why?

Well, it's needed only as much as any philosophical discussion is ever needed!


Yes, that is my point. Which greek said something like: "Too much philosophy makes a man impotent."? I've googled it a number of time and not found it. Part of a threesome as I recall. Too much athletics makes a man too agressive. Too much reading makes a man slothful. ................ But I think I got each element just a little bit wrong. Not so much a saying, as a caution.

Edit, with the subconscious working on it, I think the saying was closer to "Too much philosophy makes a man incapable of action."===or some similar snappy opprobrium.
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Sample Issue: Should the Feds provide all babies with free diapers?

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gorgeous
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby gorgeous » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:41 pm

seth---Buddhist myth comes closest to approximating reality
Science Fundamentalism...is exactly what happens when there’s a significant, perceived ideological threat to one’s traditions and identity.

mattb
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby mattb » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:49 pm

Poodle wrote:
mattb wrote:... But as I say, quantum physicists are now investing time and energy in Idealism ...


They are? Who and where, please.


According to The New Scientist, 11/11/17, "Reality? It's what you make it" by Philip Ball, it mentions Chris Fuchs at University of Massachusetts, Markus Muller at University of Vienna, Giulio Chiribella at University of Hong Kong.

I'm not involved in the field so I know nothing about these people, and perhaps the author is taking what they have said and giving it his own slant, (he does apparently have a book on the way!). But this article in a serious science journal suggests Idealism is on the agenda in academia.

mattb
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby mattb » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:59 pm

gorgeous wrote:seth---Buddhist myth comes closest to approximating reality

Buddhism and Taoism have a panpsychic basis. But all religions add extra layers of interpretation to deal with the why of human existence, which is of limited use to a scientist. The point of my video and writings on the subject is to show it's a philosophical point of view which is consistent with science.

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gorgeous
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Re: Panpsychism?

Postby gorgeous » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:04 pm

yes, and science evolved from philosophy and to philosophy it is returning....Seth has said everything has consciousness...even a table...all part of God ...so it makes sense....
Science Fundamentalism...is exactly what happens when there’s a significant, perceived ideological threat to one’s traditions and identity.


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