Are we merely machines
Posted: 04 June 2007 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I was recently listening to a skeptic radio show and the lady was saying that she believed we are machines.  Is this true?  Are we merely machines? and can we be programed?  As in being programed to murder, rape etc.  It can go in light with Sam's assesment of religion, how religion programs people to murder etc. Can you be an athesist/non believer and still believe in a soul?  Any thoughts?

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Posted: 04 June 2007 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Another type of human machine, called a republican, can be very susceptible to programming through conditioning via something known as FOX News channel.

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Posted: 04 June 2007 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Thats great, can anything be more obvious!  FAUX News is complete propaganda, and they have the nerve to call CNN liberal biased, BS   what they do is try to lable progressives and organize them into the democrat party and stamp on the word Liberal, anyone can see through this bullshit

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Posted: 05 June 2007 12:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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What did you mean by “dietary control to increase credulity and susceptibility to conditioning” ? I’m confused

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Posted: 05 June 2007 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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I want to go back to the question ‘are we merely machines?’ because our thinking can get trapped inside a metaphor.

A machine is an object with moving parts put together by a person in order to work on a specific task. If I think of myself as a machine, those elements will skew my thinking, and even the way I feel about myself.
I’ve been learning about cell biology, and the machine metaphor is used a lot, even as what they are describing is clearly not a machine. The investigation of these biological processes really took off in the 19th century when Western culture was very impressed with industry, with machines, with our ability to do huge amounts of work. Energy became defined as the potential for doing work.

As I study what’s going on in the cell, the first thing that becomes completely obvious is lack of purpose. The cell is not doing anything. We impose our point of view when we say that certain elements ‘needed’ to cross the cell membrane. But, look, those elements don’t ‘need’ anything. It just so happens that electrons flow in a particular direction, that enzymes behave as catalysts, that proteins fold in ways that can turn out to be significant.

The 20th centure metaphor is that the cell is a computer, programmed by DNA….but again, we’re using as a model a device that was put together by humans to do particular tasks.
The very heart of the metaphor ‘machines doing work’ is the human concept of work as purposeful activity requiring effort. Again, look at the biochemistry of the cell and see if you can find either effort or purpose.
We’re way too quick to latch onto metaphors - that’s why the question was not ‘are we machines?’ but ‘are we MERELY machines?’. That’s why when the concept of conditioned behavior becomes ‘program’ LIKE (metaphor) a ‘program’ for a robot our thinking is throwing us off the track of better understanding ourselves.

I’m not suggesting we go back to the Bible. God forbid!!!

Just be careful of the comparisons, and go back to our own direct experience of ourselves. As these words flow onto the screen I’m aware, not of oxidative phosphorylation (although I now ‘know’ it’s a huge part of what’s taking place), but of a conscious presence. This conscious presence is unbounded, not an object, and of absolute value. It can only be investigated in the silence of non-thought.

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Posted: 05 June 2007 07:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“Jefe”][quote author=“bribri10134”]What did you mean by “dietary control to increase credulity and susceptibility to conditioning” ? I’m confused

A diet containing mainly non-complex starches and not enough proteins or fresh vegetables can leave your brain not at its best.

Eating nothing but porridge or rice, and drinking nothing but water for weeks at a time can drain one’s mental faculty, and make one more easily susceptible to indoctrination of ideas and more prone to passive acceptance.

There is a reason it is important to eat from all 4 food groups.

In the cult thread I posted a list of cult symptoms, poor diet was one of the major ones.

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Posted: 05 June 2007 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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The three main methods of thought control are hypnosis, brainwashing, and conditioning.  Hypnosis works by suggestion, implanting suggestions in a receptive mind (or, e.g., one made pliant by such things as a poor diet).  Brainwashing involves bombarding the mind with the same message through as many sensory modalities and in as many ways as possible (just think of the state evoked by going into a mall where mirrors, sounds, smells, visual signs, etc, all say BUY!!!!!)  Conditioning is the stress and relax, or stick and carrot method.  Any group that uses these methods can be suspected of being a cult or worse.

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Posted: 07 June 2007 02:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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If you have played any X-BOX game, say Halo or any role playing game, do you called the character in the game as “REAL” beings ?

If the “BEINGS” in the X-BOX that appears on your TV screen has perceptions and feelings and cognitions and certain basic autonomous functions of its own without external interference from your X-BOX controller, do this “BEINGS” belive that it is “REAL” ?

If your world and your dimensional existence is exactly the same as that of the “BEING” in the X-BOX, do you believe that you and your world is “REAL” ?

What about the “BEING” outside of the X-BOX machine with the remote controller, do they consider the “BEING” in the X-BOX as “REAL” ?
Do they consider themselve as “REAL” ?

Tiny particles are not tiny particles. They are just named ‘tiny particles’. The worlds are not worlds. They are just named ‘worlds’.

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Posted: 10 June 2007 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Do we face a greater danger without the precense of religion?  Would people be more prone to brainwashing, and a greater number of cults created?  Could people become brainwashed into murdering people.  Religious moderation does serve a purpose, I believe it keeps the majority of the people “in line” I’m not saying that religion is true, just saying that it does “work” Also, are we to worship science? Remember science has created the nuculear bomb, we have the abiltity to create incredibly dangerous weapons, that could ultimately destroy the earth.  Just looking at things at different angles.

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Posted: 11 June 2007 03:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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[quote author=“bribri10134”]Do we face a greater danger without the precense of religion?  Would people be more prone to brainwashing, and a greater number of cults created? Could people become brainwashed into murdering people. 

Unfortunately, due to the pervasiveness of religion, it is difficult to assess whether we would be better off as a species without religion. Looking at the track record of religion so far, I would say we would be far better off without it. And what may I ask is religious belief if not brainwashing? Since when has religion ever been interested in the wel being, education and long term welfare of it’s adherents?

[quote author=“bribri10134”]Religious moderation does serve a purpose, I believe it keeps the majority of the people “in line” I’m not saying that religion is true, just saying that it does “work”

If that is the case, then how do you explain the higher rate of divorce, spousal abuse and child abuse in “religious” families than in non-religious families? Don’t take my word for it, do some research. In addition, the same is true when you look at the prison population, 95% religious, 5% non-religious, compared to 85%/15% in the general population.

Just how can one state that religion works?

[quote author=“bribri10134”] Also, are we to worship science? Remember science has created the nuculear bomb, we have the abiltity to create incredibly dangerous weapons, that could ultimately destroy the earth.  Just looking at things at different angles.

Worship science? No. Respect science for what it is, a method for us to understand who we are, where we came from, where we are going and what our place is in the universe.

Science didn’t create all the nefarious uses for our knowledge of the workings of the atom, men did. Predominately religious men in fact. Science has brought about knowledge for endless improvements to the lives of our species. Science has also enabled those who choose to use that knowledge in certain ways to put at risk and/or end the lives of millions or even billions of others. Man alone is to blame. Science is only a tool. Man is the one wielding the power of that tool.

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To be blunt, the Bible records all manner of silly shit.

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Posted: 11 June 2007 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Perhaps religion nor religion is the answer.  Science has given us so many great things but also so many horrible things, weapons especially nuculear weapons and as someone else stated on the board, we’re a mere few hundred years from a weapon that could split the earth in half.  Extremely scary, so perhaps neither religion or science is the answer.

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Posted: 13 June 2007 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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[quote author=“bribri10134”]Do we face a greater danger without the precense of religion?  Would people be more prone to brainwashing, and a greater number of cults created?

The only way we could ever be without religion is if people become saner and more deferential to reason.  I think that answers your question in itself.

Religious moderation does serve a purpose, I believe it keeps the majority of the people “in line” I’m not saying that religion is true, just saying that it does “work”

What does “in line"mean, exactly?  Laws keep people “in line”; their own rational minds keep them “in line”.  Religion does not have this effect precisely because it does not promote rationality.  The only thing religion keeps “in line” is the occasional propensity for people to want to think for themselves and be individuals.  Can’t have too much of that sort of thing happening!

Also, are we to worship science?

How can worship science?  I think you can overstate the significance and role of science in human life - and I think that happens all too often - but I don’t quite see how it can be worshiped.  Individual scientists, well, that’s a different matter!

Remember science has created the nuculear bomb, we have the abiltity to create incredibly dangerous weapons, that could ultimately destroy the earth.  Just looking at things at different angles.

The products of science can certainly be dangerous in the wrong hands, but the point is that the religious mentality has a tendency to create those wrong hands.  It may be that we needed to have evolved beyond religion before creating some of these things but it’s a bit too late for that now.  All we can do is strive for a saner world.

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Posted: 31 October 2007 06:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Pat_Adducci - 05 June 2007 08:45 AM

A machine is an object with moving parts put together by a person in order to work on a specific task.

I’m a machine created by a human, my mum, for the specific task of procreation.

Very terse, and not very romantic or nice, but biologically that’s exactly what’s going on.

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Posted: 31 October 2007 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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How does a community of machines(regardless of its composite materials being organic or metallic) with cognition and autonomous functions survive a great flood that covers most part of their world ?

How does a community of ants survive a great flood that covers most part of their world ?

If the answers to the two question are fairly similar, then the organic/metallic machine and the ant are just of failry similar intelligence level.

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Posted: 31 October 2007 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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sgxbroker - 31 October 2007 02:17 PM

How does a community of machines(regardless of its composite materials being organic or metallic) with cognition and autonomous functions survive a great flood that covers most part of their world ?

How does a community of ants survive a great flood that covers most part of their world ?

If the answers to the two question are fairly similar, then the organic/metallic machine and the ant are just of failry similar intelligence level.

Your two questions are valid, the conclusion you draw isn’t. My point was that despite our higher intelligence we still fit the definition of a machine.

However as I’m sure you’re well aware, not all machines are the same. We are intelligent machines that have senses that interpret the world around us, convert into signals we can understand and form responses and appropriate actions to. A machine in a car factory that screws bolts obviously can’t do this. The difference lies in the abilities of the machine.

So in answer to your questions, the Human and Ant machines respond to outside stimuli and form appropriate responses based on their abilities. That clearly doesn’t make an assumption that both are of the same intelligence level.

ASIDE: I said machine way too much in that post. What a machine.

[ Edited: 31 October 2007 10:41 AM by RationalRuben]
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Posted: 03 November 2007 12:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Only time can tell which species of living organism has higher intelligence, for the race is not who build the most in the shortest time but who last the longest in the millions of millions of years available to the universe.

Is it the species that learns to create and make things from the various materials on the planet and by so doing destroy its own habitat and those of others species ?

Or it is the species that lives in harmony with its environment and survive through gigantic meteorite/comet attack, mountain shattering earthquake, hundred metre high tidal waves for hundred of millions of years ?

Or it is the species that is so intelligent, advance and enlightened that its footprint and impact on the planet is barely noticeable and leave all the other species to thrive on their own and observe them from afar, even though it is originally a part of the planet ?

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