alert versus aware

jddescript_deja at my-deja.com jddescript_deja at my-deja.com
Fri Sep 24 18:11:32 EST 1999


In article <37eb90f0.0 at ns2.wsg.net>,
  "Ray D. Scanlon" <rscanlon at wsg.net> wrote:
> Stephen Jay Gould has proposed that we recognize two realms in the
universe
> of thought that he labels the magisterium of science and the
magisterium of
> religion. (He acknowledges that "magisterium" is a four-bit word.) He
is
> lead to this because of his conflict with the creationists. As a
> paleontologist, he looks to the bones, while they look to the Bible.
Both
> claim "science". He says this is not right, that they should be
satisfied
> with religion and give up their claim to science. This is not just a
> theoretical argument given the continuing efforts of the creationists
to
> nullify evolution and outlaw the teaching of it or to give equal
weight in
> public schools to creation science.
>
> It seems to me that this dichotomy might help me when I look at
> consciousness.
>
> Consciousness has two aspects: one, objective, I call alertness; the
other,
> subjective, I call awareness. A behaving animal exhibits alertness.
> Behavioral psychologists have studied it ad nauseum. A physician
speaks of
> alertness when he judges that the patient is hyperactive, normal,
confused,
> stuporous, or comatose. Some argue that awareness may be also studied
> scientifically. They have established a discipline, cognitive science,
> dedicated to this end.
>
> I would argue that cognitive science is an oxymoron as is creation
science.
>
> Some would say that there is a soul (mind) that selects from data
proffered
> by the brain, manipulates that data, comes to a conclusion, and
forwards
> that decision to the brain for execution. Others say they will have
no soul
> (mind) with causal powers. Still others say that they will not allow a
> mental event that is not identical with a brain event. Is there any
science
> here? Any hypothesis to be tested in the laboratory?
>
> The neuroscientist studies the neuron. His work is reductionist. He
busies
> himself identifying proteins, especially those proteins that pass ions
> through the cell membrane. Is there any religion here?
>
> If the neuroscientist should isolate a protein that gives rise to the
> experience of "blueness", or "pain", or any other quale, then we
shall have
> a science of awareness and not before. In the meantime, I will pass
all talk
> of awareness over to the religious magisterium. (Philosophy to be
subsumed
> under religion.) When I speak of awareness I have entered that
magisterium
> and admit it.
>
> --
> Ray
>
> Those interested in how the brain works might look at
> www.wsg.net/~rscanlon/brain.htm
>
>
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This sounds familiar. Didn't I respond to something similar only with a
different name? I don't know whether maybe you only submit and don't
exchage or what? but here goes again,anyway. JD

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In article <37ab61eb.0 at ns2.wsg.net>,
  "Ray D. Scanlon" <rscanlon at wsg.net> wrote:
>
> When we speak of intelligence, artificial or living, there are things
that
> people say are pertinent and other things that are not. The trouble
is that
> few agree on how to divide the territory. Stephen Jay Gould pushes
for a
> general division between the magisteria of religion and that of
science. He
> calls his approach NOMA, non-overlapping magisteria. He says that some
> things belong to religion and some things to science and asks for no
> overlap. We can swing an axe and say that soul (mind) belongs to
religion
> and the brain belongs to science. If you talk about the soul (mind),
you are
> talking religion. If you talk about the neurons of the nervous
system, you
> are talking science. The theologian speaks of free will; the
neuroscientist
> talks of molecular activity. There is no middle ground.
>
-----------------------see the continuation-----------------------------

You have a good writing style. It sounds like this message of Gould is
the same old king's men talk of dividing up the loot. In the models I
use the first distinction that must always be drawn [ and of course
there are many uncertainties and such and if possible it is best to
assume one side or the other is non existent ] is between the average
free people who live by production and free exchange and the power
manipulators ( or king's men ) who live by dominating and taking. If
this distinction is not drawn then there is no way to know the meanings
of the words. Even such base words as take and make have opposite
meanings to the two types of people. In the history of the godspeakers
this pact of loot "sharing" was always called give unto caesar that
which is caesar's and in the words of the hitler and stalin socialists
when starting WW II it was let's not fight over political/spiritual
issues but rather share Poland ( invade as linked comrades at arms ).Is
this fundamental need for political distinction , as taught in the
philosophy of Ayn Rand, recognized by any of the ai schools? Please
forgive my new guy on the block lack of knowledge. Good seeing. JD

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