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Re: [existlist] Re: Thoughts and the Brain?

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  • eduardathome
    I am not familiar with Camus wager, or perhaps can t recall it. I would agree with Pascal s wager, but not in the fashion it is presented ... that is, the
    Message 1 of 43 , Jan 1, 2013
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      I am not familiar with Camus' wager, or perhaps can't recall it.

      I would agree with Pascal's wager, but not in the fashion it is presented
      ... that is, the probability of end results. If you believe in God and you
      are wrong, then you lose nothing. But if believe in God and it is true,
      then you gain everything [eternal life and heaven].

      I would agree with Pascal's wager from the point of view that if you believe
      in God you may have a life philosophy that will be successful for you. If
      you do not believe in God, then you are exposed to stress [the realisation
      that your life has no purpose]. Belief in God also makes available a
      ready-made community. There are not many atheist communities. There is
      comfort in numbers.

      The point being that a god-fantasy may provide mental comfort and that is a
      benefit you derive whilst you are believing it. The wager should not be
      about what you win or lose, but what is gotten at present, rather than at
      the end of your life. When you are dead, you are dead and who then cares
      whether the wager is won or lost.

      All of which brings us back to the reason I brought up this subject in the
      first place. My suggestion was that you could think up and believe in a
      fantasy [god-based or otherwise] by choosing to do so. It is just another
      mental script and you can create out of first cloth. You have the ability
      to manipulate your brain. You can create a fantasy or adopt a fantasy and
      convince yourself to believe in it. Because ultimately everything that you
      think about is in the brain.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mary
      Sent: Monday, December 31, 2012 5:46 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: Thoughts and the Brain?

      What's wrong with individual fantasies? Isn't it communal fantasies which
      have caused all the problems? Social utopias, religious and political
      ideologies, who needs them? I doubt a fantasy can attract enough people to
      change the existing fantasies of expanding capitalism and an afterlife.
      Existentialism is about facing the reality that we are alone together, and
      no one can help us except ourselves. So rather than Pascal's wager, I like
      Camus' instead.

    • eduardathome
      My only point is that the idea of the apple does not reside within the apple, as you suggested. eduard ... From: Mary Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:07
      Message 43 of 43 , Jan 15, 2013
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        My only point is that the idea of the apple does not "reside" within the
        apple, as you suggested.


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Mary
        Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:07 AM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [existlist] Re: What power to charm or harm?


        When referring to anatomical differences of receptors, I forgot to specify
        sense organs which are variously configured and influence perception. My
        point is that anatomical variations determine how and what we perceive, yet
        despite these differences some of us are able to grasp the notion an object
        represents and further develop the truth about it.

        An apple is not just an apple; it represents an agricultural and commercial
        history, cultural mythology and symbolism, scientific, nutritional and sense
        properties, relationship with the environment, etc. Furthermore it
        represents how an immediate appearance is mediated as an object for the
        observer and developed into a complex truth.

        The brain is as essential to thought as the objects of thought, including


        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
        > Mary,
        > The receptors do not project anything. That is why they are called
        > "receptors". I used the example of the Greeks to show how off the mark
        > people were in ages past. The reason is indeed holistic for reason that
        > one
        > tends to use mechanisms that are used in other processes. Since "seeing"
        > is
        > not understood, one can envision [to use the term] how this might be
        > similar
        > to the sense of touch.
        > The receptors have a molecule which changes shape when impacted by a
        > photon
        > of light. The change causes a electrochemical signal that is sent to the
        > brain. Different molecules react to different frequencies of light. The
        > short frequencies are seen as blue, the long frequencies as red and the
        > median frequencies as green. But the eye doesn't actually "see" in
        > specific
        > frequencies. It sees with a certain efficiency so it is up the brain to
        > work out which colour is really out there.
        > Where the "anatomically" difference comes into play is where people have a
        > lack of a certain receptor which may make them say green-red colour
        > confusers. Or perhaps blue-yellow confusers. If they lack colour
        > receptors
        > [the cones] entirely, they will see the world in monotone greys, using
        > only
        > the brightness receptors [the rods]. There are other factors which can
        > effect vision ... we have 3 colour receptors whereas birds have 4 and some
        > fish up to 10 ... but generally most people have the same appropriate
        > equipment and therefore as humans we can establish a colour coding for
        > lights and paints for which there is a general consensus.
        > "How is this different from saying our idea about what we're perceiving
        > shapes what we see but doesn't prevent us from developing new ideas about
        > it?"
        > I am not sure of the meaning of your question. My response was to your
        > previous email in which you said, "I suggest there is the power of an idea
        > residing in objects themselves which works together with the brain." I
        > disagree that the idea of an apple resides in the apple. The idea of the
        > apple resides entirely in the brain. And to go to part of your question,
        > we
        > can develop new ideas about the apple. We can do so, because the idea
        > resides in the brain, not in the apple. My idea of an good eating apple
        > is
        > that of a Pink Lady with the Gala apple coming second. I could not do so
        > if
        > the idea was in the apple itself. Sometimes we apply an idea and end up
        > munching into a wax apple.
        > The other argument against the idea residing in the apple [the object] is
        > because the apple changes over time from an unfertilized flower, to a bud,
        > to a rip fruit and then falling to the ground to rot. I don't believe
        > there
        > is any mechanism or means by which the apple can change its idea even if
        > we
        > were to accept that it has its own idea.
        > eduard
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Mary
        > Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2013 6:39 PM
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [existlist] Re: What power to charm or harm?
        > You misread me, eduard. I didn't say knowledge that the brain thinks has
        > been around since antiquity; secular thought has. I don't know if
        > philosophy
        > has ever been a large part of the general view as you call it. And yes,
        > neural plasticity and brain re-scripting are new.
        > For me a mental script involves thinking, but a neural program does not.
        > These however are both ideas. I reduce thinking to ideas; you reduce it to
        > neurons. Where we differ doesn't seem all that significant to me, so I'll
        > leave it for now. I don't feel pressed to make you agree with or
        > understand
        > what I think.
        > In any case, several of our scripts intersect where it comes to agreeing
        > the
        > world of humans requires some changes. I don't think either of us has
        > articulated a compelling enough reason to change our scripts, or our ideas
        > about observer and observed.
        > In some strange way, the notion that rays were the cause of vision is
        > interesting. There was some intuition about light and connection between
        > observer and observed happening back there. It was more holistic. Also,
        > the
        > reason sense perceptions differ from person to person is because the
        > receptors which 'project' the rays anatomically differ. It says the brain
        > receives from what it projects. How is this different from saying our idea
        > about what we're perceiving shapes what we see but doesn't prevent us from
        > developing new ideas about it?
        > Mary


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