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923Re: [existlist] neurons firing: part 2

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  • Edward Alf
    Mar 6, 2001

      i would agree with what you are saying in regard to the dangers ... but then
      there are dangers whether this be from reductionism or non-reductionism ...
      religion (if one could refer to this as wholistic) has been responsible for
      a tremendous amount of torment ... i find it difficult to read the bible
      because of all the killing that is in it ... that is not to excuse science
      which has merely made killing more efficient ...

      the danger that lies within any system of thought is that someone may apply
      it for his/her own purposes ...

      however, all of that does not to say that we should ignore the simple fact
      that the brain operates through the means of neurons ... that is not
      reductionism in itself ... it all depends upon how you treat the brain from
      that starting point ... it would be reductionism if one were to try to
      analyse each thought down to the firings of single neurons ... but a true
      understanding of our thinking process requires that we look at it from the
      point of view of combinations ... if a set of neurons are dedicated to
      identifying vertical or horizontal lines, this does not help in
      understanding how the brain can recognize a chair ... a lot more is going on
      ... the signals also must be "tagged" with other thoughts such as ones
      previous experience with chairs ...

      what i was trying to point out was that the human brain may be "wired for
      spirituality" ... that there is an inherent need for spirituality which is
      not obtained through learning ... it is already there (in our genes, so to
      speak) ... if this true ... and i would suggest that it is ... then how do
      we deal with existentialism? ... does existentialism satisfy the need for
      spirituality? ... im not sure of this point ... on one hand i find it
      intellectually satisfying, yet im still inclined to search for some form of
      god/deity ... with little success to date ... to put the question another
      way, can existentialism be taken as a religion, or is it only a philosophy



      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Paul R Turner" <paulturner@...>
      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 9:41 AM
      Subject: Re: [existlist] neurons firing: part 2

      > Edward
      > You missed my point. I was not suggesting that religion is a neurosis from
      the use of science merely pointing out the inherent dangers (which Freud
      fell into) in using scientific evidence (which is not what I'm suggesting
      you have done) to describe human action. My point was that scientific
      evidence is a form of reductionism just ONE example of many is
      psychoanalysis, which reduces actions, speech etc to the unconscious
      disregarding the workings of cognitive processes.Sometimes we can benefit
      greatly if we resist the 'atomism' of science, the desire to reduce
      everything to its small constituent.
      > Regards
      > Paul
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