Life - How Should It Be Viewed?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Bob Armstrong View Post
    Hi Pargat:

    Thanks.......didn't know about "3n+1". Seems odd that it is known only by brute force, and no "Principle" can be discovered........just another one of those mysteries of higher math I guess.

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    My understanding of the Universe is that it cannot expand indefinitely....apparently there comes a point at which it loses momentum.....it seems like the energy source has weakened to the point that some type of mass attraction starts occurring to counter the expansion energy. The momentum changes towards densification, and the Universe starts "shrinking" or falling back into itself. I believe some posit disappearance into a black hole. Some "cancellation" - I think of it as quantum physics' entanglement of pairs (As much as I've got it). Creation from nothing is only possible by the emergence of existent opposites (I don't know if this is matter vs dark matter). So whatever is "pulling" the Universe to collapse is the opposite of the Universe.......and at the end they mutually self-destruct each other.......result.........return to Void.

    OK physicists - have a good run at me and explain how I don't know what I'm talking about!

    Bob A (Blissfully Ignorant)
    That idea of the universe eventually collapsing back is just one of a few ideas of the ultimate fate of the universe, and it should be noted that nothing has been proven. The universe COULD keep expanding forever. It that case, it will still die eventually, from something called "heat death" (google it, it is hard to explain). It will take unimaginable length of time for heat death to occur... something like quintillions of years??? Can't remember exactly.

    The universe is expanding via somehow producing more "spacetime". Spacetime is NOT a void nor a vacuum. It contains quantum "things". Einstein envisioned it as a fabric, and heavy things like planet, stars, black holes can bend the fabric.

    Creating more spacetime between galaxies pushes the galaxies further apart. Eventually, long after the Milky Way has combined with Andromeda, the remaining galaxy will be left unable to receive the light from any other galaxies, they will be too far away (again, IF the universe keeps expanding).


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    • #62
      Originally posted by Sid Belzberg View Post
      The idea that everything follows a rigid cycle of birth, growth, stabilization, decline, and death is too simplistic. Many natural systems experience phases of renewal, unpredictable fluctuations, and don't neatly fit this pattern.

      Even if we focus on individual lifespans, there are exceptions. Additionally, the universe's ultimate fate is unknown – it might not follow the same rules we observe in smaller, Earth-bound systems.
      I already made ALL these points in my post #58. Maybe you didn't read the entire post.


      Originally posted by Sid Belzberg View Post
      Comparing the "3n+1" mathematical pattern to this is misleading. This number puzzle has interesting behavior, but it doesn't directly translate to the complexities of living organisms or the entire cosmos. While intriguing, the pattern can't be used as proof of a universal decline towards "death."
      I wasn't using the 3n+1 as a proof of any kind, merely as a way to visualize the notion that everything returns back to death, or in the 3n+1 case, 1.

      So far we don't know of any proven exception to the death of everything, although we don't know if protons will ever cease existing. The universe itself will suffer eventual heat death (if it keeps expanding), but protons will possibly remain.

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      • #63

        Place holder ...
        Last edited by Neil Frarey; Monday, 18th March, 2024, 02:38 AM.

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        • #64
          Following up on Post # 49 - "Alive" vs "Inanimate"

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          Is it true?: The Cats are "Animate"/The Chess Pieces & Board are "Inanimate"?Also, If the board were of onyx, would the board be "inanimate"?

          My Analysis on Going Through the Article below.

          Issue: Has our brain organizer failed us with the generation of these two, apparently mutually exclusive, thought categories? Is this a case of logic without a related reality?

          Article: Why Life Does Not Really Exist (13/12/2)

          By Ferris Jabr (a contributing writer for Scientific American. He has also written for the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker and Outside.)

          (First published in Scientific American’s former blog network [reflects the views of the author, not necessarily those of Scientific American])

          https://www.scientificamerican.com/b...-really-exist/

          Ferris' Presentation of the issue:

          "For as long as people have studied life they have struggled to define it. Even today, scientists have no satisfactory or universally accepted definition of life.....
          Why do we think of [A Roller Coaster] as inanimate and [A Cat] as alive?
          In the end, aren’t they both machines?
          Granted, a cat is an incredibly complex machine capable of amazing behaviours that a K’Nex set [Roller Coaster] could probably never mimic.
          But on the most fundamental level, what is the difference between an inanimate machine and a living one? Do people, cats, plants and other creatures belong in one category and K’Nex, computers, stars and rocks in another?"

          Ferris' Conclusion: "No."

          Relevant Fact: "the inorganic ["inanimate"?] can be converted into the organic ["animate"?] both inside and outside the lab [Evolution].

          Relevant Question: "When a leaf detaches from a tree, its cells do not instantly cease their activities. Does it die on the way to the ground; or when it hits the ground; or when all its individual cells finally expire? If you pluck a leaf from a plant and keep its cells nourished and happy inside a lab, is that life?"

          Relevant Definition (Early 90's): "widely cited working definition of life: a self-sustaining system capable of Darwinian evolution (Gerald Joyce of the Scripps Research Institute, as a member of an advisory panel to John Rummel, manager of NASA’s exobiology program at the time).

          Ferris' Assessment of the definition: "It’s lucid, concise and comprehensive. But does it work?"

          Ground of Conclusion that "Life does not exist" [Reality is simply a range of simple to unbelievably complex realities; the thought category "alive" cannot really be applied to reality]:

          "
          Life is a concept that we invented. On the most fundamental level, all matter that exists is an arrangement of atoms and their constituent particles. These arrangements fall onto an immense spectrum of complexity, from a single hydrogen atom to something as intricate as a brain. In trying to define life, we have drawn a line at an arbitrary level of complexity and declared that everything above that border is alive and everything below it is not. In truth, this division does not exist outside the mind."

          The Philosophical Counter-Position: Carol Cleland, a philosopher at the University of Colorado Boulder (has spent years researching attempts to delineate life):
          - also thinks that the instinct to precisely define life is misguided—but she is not yet ready to deny life's physical reality.
          - “It’s just as premature to reach the conclusion that there is no intrinsic nature to life as it is to define life....I think the best attitude is to treat what are normally taken as the definitive criteria of life as tentative criteria.”

          The CT'er Task

          Regardless of where you stand on this issue, what are your CT'er thoughts on this very interesting and challenging article?

          Note 1: Since the start of this thread (24/2/23), 6 CT'ers have contributed: Bob Armstrong (Thread Initiator), Sid Belzberg, Dilip Panjwani, Pargat Perrer, Neil Frarey, and Fred Henderson.
          Note 2: Before wading in again on this, I'd love to hear some other CT'er thoughts on this item; give me some new stuff to chew over first! Of course, I'm all ears to additions from the other existing 5 as well.
          Note 3: It appears that it is now an open question whether "the gang of 6" are "alive"!

          Bob A
          Last edited by Bob Armstrong; Tuesday, 19th March, 2024, 08:12 PM.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Bob Armstrong View Post
            Following up on Post # 49 - "Alive" vs "Inanimate"

            ....

            The CT'er Task

            Regardless of where you stand on this issue, what are your CT'er thoughts on this very interesting and challenging article?

            Note 1: Since the start of this thread (24/2/23), 6 CT'ers have contributed: Bob Armstrong (Thread Initiator), Sid Belzberg, Dilip Panjwani, Pargat Perrer, Neil Frarey, and Fred Henderson.
            Note 2: Before wading in again on this, I'd love to hear some other CT'er thoughts on this item; give me some new stuff to chew over first! Of course, I'm all ears to additions from the other existing 5 as well.
            Note 3: It appears that it is now an open question whether "the gang of 6" are "alive"!

            Bob A
            Perhaps life can be defined as "the only process in which the participants in the process investigate the process."

            And by that definition, the "gang of 6" are the only ones on CT who are alive!

            Last edited by Pargat Perrer; Wednesday, 20th March, 2024, 02:00 AM.

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            • #66
              Hi Pargat:

              I've often wondered, about this particular thread, if the other CT'ers who apparently exist here on CT, other than the "gang of 6", might just be bots that have now fizzled.......hmmmm......

              Any live CT'ers care to respond?
              Any resurrecting bots care to respond?

              Bob A (Not a fizzled bot)
              Last edited by Bob Armstrong; Wednesday, 20th March, 2024, 04:26 AM.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Bob Armstrong View Post
                Hi Pargat:

                I've often wondered, about this particular thread, if the other CT'ers who apparently exist here on CT, other than the "gang of 6", might just be bots that have now fizzled.......hmmmm......

                Any live CT'ers care to respond?
                Any resurrecting bots care to respond?

                Bob A (Not a fizzled bot)
                I was lying awake last night thinking about this definition (NOT thinking about Libertarianism LOL) and decided it needed a small adjustment.

                So here it is:

                "Life is the only process in which the participants in the process are capable of doing, and sometimes do, examinations of the process."

                I added the phrase "are capable of doing, and sometimes do" to include all rational, logical humans as being alive, even if they don't actually do any examinations of the process. I changed the word "investigations" to "examinations" because philosophizing about life counts as examination, but not necessarily as investigation.

                So dogs and dolphins and whales, the smartest animals we know of, by this definition are not alive. Dogs and dolphins and whales are never going to create religions or develop reading and writing so they can put their thoughts into permanent form.

                We can thus kill animals and plants for food and not feel guilty that we are "ending lives".

                Also, people with dementia / senility are by this definition not alive, and if it can be shown that they can't go back to being alive, they can be removed from life support machines legally (as is now often the case). Anyone who is still logically and rationally capable of examining the process of life will be defined as alive and their lives will be sacrosanct as is the case now.

                We can ask bigger questions: is the Universe alive? To show that it is, we would have to show that the Universe cares about us, because we are its only known examiners of the process. So far, there is no indication at all that the Universe cares about us.

                Is Planet Earth alive? I believe there is evidence that it could be. Again, we have to show that it cares about us. Well, it provides all our food and energy. It allowed zones of weather that allowed us to exist even in caveman times. And now as we threaten Earth with climate change, it seems to react, not to totally eliminate us, but to curtail our activities to a more sustainable level. This shows signs that Earth wants us to remain here and continue our examinations.

                Our human body cells seem "alive" but are not by the above definition. But we humans are part of the "body" of Planet Earth and we are the only such parts that are examining the entire process.

                I believe both we and Planet Earth are alive, by the above definition. But I don't think it can be scientifically proven that Earth is alive.

                As for other CTers outside of the "gang of 6" .... they are still capable. They just lack the motivation, at least to express any views they might have here on this forum.

                This is rather timely ... the story came out this week about a man who contracted polio in the ... 1940s? .... and was on an "iron lung" for 78 years died this week. He was still logical and rational to the end, I believe.

                Last edited by Pargat Perrer; Wednesday, 20th March, 2024, 12:36 PM.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Pargat Perrer View Post

                  I was lying awake last night thinking about this definition (NOT thinking about Libertarianism LOL) and decided it needed a small adjustment.

                  So here it is:

                  "Life is the only process in which the participants in the process are capable of doing, and sometimes do, examinations of the process."

                  I added the phrase "are capable of doing, and sometimes do" to include all rational, logical humans as being alive, even if they don't actually do any examinations of the process. I changed the word "investigations" to "examinations" because philosophizing about life counts as examination, but not necessarily as investigation.

                  So dogs and dolphins and whales, the smartest animals we know of, by this definition are not alive. Dogs and dolphins and whales are never going to create religions or develop reading and writing so they can put their thoughts into permanent form.

                  We can thus kill animals and plants for food and not feel guilty that we are "ending lives".

                  Also, people with dementia / senility are by this definition not alive, and if it can be shown that they can't go back to being alive, they can be removed from life support machines legally (as is now often the case). Anyone who is still logically and rationally capable of examining the process of life will be defined as alive and their lives will be sacrosanct as is the case now.

                  We can ask bigger questions: is the Universe alive? To show that it is, we would have to show that the Universe cares about us, because we are its only known examiners of the process. So far, there is no indication at all that the Universe cares about us.

                  Is Planet Earth alive? I believe there is evidence that it could be. Again, we have to show that it cares about us. Well, it provides all our food and energy. It allowed zones of weather that allowed us to exist even in caveman times. And now as we threaten Earth with climate change, it seems to react, not to totally eliminate us, but to curtail our activities to a more sustainable level. This shows signs that Earth wants us to remain here and continue our examinations.

                  Our human body cells seem "alive" but are not by the above definition. But we humans are part of the "body" of Planet Earth and we are the only such parts that are examining the entire process.

                  I believe both we and Planet Earth are alive, by the above definition. But I don't think it can be scientifically proven that Earth is alive.

                  As for other CTers outside of the "gang of 6" .... they are still capable. They just lack the motivation, at least to express any views they might have here on this forum.

                  This is rather timely ... the story came out this week about a man who contracted polio in the ... 1940s? .... and was on an "iron lung" for 78 years died this week. He was still logical and rational to the end, I believe.
                  On further reflection ... by my own definition of life as

                  "the only process in which the participants in the process are capable of doing, and sometimes do, examinations of the process",

                  I no longer believe Planet Earth could possibly be alive. For it to be alive, it must somehow be aware of the results of human examination of the life process. I do not see any way that Planet Earth could be aware of such. Therefore we humans are only examining the life process because WE are alive, whereas Planet Earth could not be examining the life process using humans since there is no "feedback" mechanism AFAIK back to Planet Earth.

                  So by my definition, humans are the only elements of the entire known Universe that are alive. (until we can prove the existence of intelligent aliens)

                  Although I do not classify myself as Christian (I might have more to say on that later), it is interesting that this definition of mine does make humans special in the entire Universe just as the Bible says we are (probably somewhere in the book of Genesis).
                  Last edited by Pargat Perrer; Thursday, 21st March, 2024, 08:56 AM.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Pargat Perrer View Post
                    I was lying awake last night thinking .... I believe.
                    Originally posted by Pargat Perrer View Post

                    On further reflection ... by my own definition of life as

                    "the only process in which the participants in the process are capable of doing, and sometimes do, examinations of the process",

                    I no longer believe Planet Earth could possibly be alive. For it to be alive, it must somehow be aware of the results of human examination of the life process. I do not see any way that Planet Earth could be aware of such. Therefore we humans are only examining the life process because WE are alive, whereas Planet Earth could not be examining the life process using humans since there is no "feedback" mechanism AFAIK back to Planet Earth.

                    So by my definition, humans are the only elements of the entire known Universe that are alive. (until we can prove the existence of intelligent aliens)

                    Although I do not classify myself as Christian (I might have more to say on that later), it is interesting that this definition of mine does make humans special in the entire Universe just as the Bible says we are (probably somewhere in the book of Genesis).
                    Hi Pargat. Thanks for the above posts. Lots of stuff to think about. One item in particular: should your definition be amended to include potential / future possibilities? For example, a fetus is not capable of self-reflection (as far as I know) and yet in most cases 'acquires' that ability some time after birth. So is a fetus not alive at some stage in its development? Similarly, could a mammal like a dolphin be viewed as having the potential to self-reflect and therefore be considered as part of an 'aliveness continuum'?














                    "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." - Aesop
                    "Only the dead have seen the end of war." - Plato
                    "If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination." - Thomas De Quincey

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Peter McKillop View Post



                      Hi Pargat. Thanks for the above posts. Lots of stuff to think about. One item in particular: should your definition be amended to include potential / future possibilities? For example, a fetus is not capable of self-reflection (as far as I know) and yet in most cases 'acquires' that ability some time after birth. So is a fetus not alive at some stage in its development? Similarly, could a mammal like a dolphin be viewed as having the potential to self-reflect and therefore be considered as part of an 'aliveness continuum'?
                      Wow, the fetus question is really difficult and intriguing. And it even goes beyond the fetus into the toddler / young chld stage, because a toddler / young child could also be said to be unable to self-reflect. But given good brain health, we can say that both the fetus and the toddler / child have built-in what my definition calls "the capability" of self-reflection. Just as we have the capability of language or of math, but don't develop it until a few years after birth.

                      Given that, I think we should be able to say that if brain health is normal, both the fetus and the toddler are alive and should be treated as such. As far as how this impacts abortion laws .... I've personally never been strongly pro-choice or pro-life, but I've kind of vacillated between the two. On the one hand, I do understand issues with women being raped or there is incest or other unusual circumstances of a conception, but on the other hand once a life is there, it should be respected as something truly magical because of the special status of human beings in the Universe. So my beliefs are probably pro-life with the caveat that there should be FAR more support for single mothers, for child support, for all the things that are necessary for a healthy raising of a child IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. What I'm against are conservatives who are strongly pro-life, yet want to cut things like food stamps, school lunches, drug and alcohol rehabilitation (especially for pregnant women / single mothers). That is just horrible politics.

                      If brain health is NOT normal for either fetus or toddler, then we have a different situation. Doctors and medical specialists would have to weigh in on whether the individual could ever be able to self-reflect. In any case, yes or no, once the birth has taken place, I think full life support should be in place in case in the future there could be some cure for the brain condition. But for the fetus, I could see that a diagnosis of irreparable brain damage or sever underdevelopment could be a valid reason for abortion.

                      I don't think an INDIVIDUAL dolphin or dog or whale should be viewed as having a future capability of self-reflection. But ALL SPECIES of animals, and maybe even more than just animals, could be considered as having POSSIBLE future self-reflection capabilities and so all species should be considered sacrosanct. Saving an individual dolphin, not so important, but saving the dolphin species, very important imo.

                      I'd love to read your ideas (and anyone else's) on these aspects. I may have come up with this new (?) definition of life, but my opinion is no more important than anyone else's.
                      Last edited by Pargat Perrer; Friday, 22nd March, 2024, 04:27 AM.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Bob Armstrong View Post
                        Theist Community (TC)

                        1. Fb Page - https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064817052277 - Theist Community - This is where the Community sets out some of its simple approach to Religion.

                        2. Fb Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/6579...ref=nf&__xts__[0]=68.ARBPgftXHCO1yVfGVVSsm8bFkSm5X5qQg-X2uXyf6VEUHZLEW65g-IEFXKRB4x-W3mOJcMD9Q60UUBIq6T0_ve7eO-NexVUbpWIDC2z4rWYC2BpC___8fFTq8Rx6M9vxkJiYr5nweWlFsoBXpgU55U0PX7eq-OOCotDEbtQk5k-Wyvg-AcgKzkwhHJ0wamiZl0_PPzLgpMdHVrUP9i_xh_1JVgHn0_S48byksjXXOwX6tArN21q-t_4zaN5XmORvf3Ovdxev2R3wjMzxtJ0T8hlWteLH3P7u8cxW3mhWtypHFx5pHHHIwV7EXlrtmbrfmbQzug - Spiritual/Religions Discussion Club - a wide-open forum where all aspects of spirituality and various Religions can be discussed. There is no attempt to proselytize for members for the Theist Community........everyone has to decide these things for themselves. Some interesting discussions.

                        3. Statement # 2 of the Theist Community "Core Beliefs" - "2. Life events are, generally, random, not by design."

                        Random here does not mean that there are no causes - we are effective beings; we can cause good things or bad things; material things can break down and cause damage and death - getting caught under a breaking tree branch.

                        But "Random (generally) means that the Supra-Natural has not determined/ grand designed all that is going to happen. Most things are just random events in a material multi-verse. Most events don't happen for any "reason" - that they are planned by God to achieve some certain result. TC does not believe in Karma - that one gets compensated in the future for having undergone some trauma in the future (May or may not happen - just pure luck). There is no "What goes around, comes around" - again, maybe, maybe not. It is dependent on the causes operating randomly in the multi-verse.

                        Does this generate any ideas that might continue this discussion?

                        Bob
                        I was in Europe when this thread started and missed most of it until I got back, otherwise I would have contributed much sooner.

                        Bob A., are you the founder of Theist Community?

                        Here are my own theological beliefs, shared by a significant number of others, and verified to a degree by MOST (but not all) accounts of Near Death Experience (NDE):

                        Soul Plan Theology Part 1

                        The first thing is that there is an eternal creator God who has the power to create the Universe and everything in it, and obviously did so. He gave the Universe special laws and conditions that allow for the existence of planets like Earth (possibly billions of them). And on these planets can exist ecosystems that eventually support the rise of life, which I have defined in other posts as a process in which the participant(s) in the process are capable of doing, and often do, examination of the process. In Earth's case, the only species that has risen to the extent of being alive are Human Beings. Other species seem to be alive, but are missing the key ingredient, the so-called "breath of life". Or maybe they just didn't touch the Monolith (LOL Space Odyssey 2001 joke).

                        I do believe that part of being alive is to have within our bodies a spirit or soul, also created by God. One question I still have is whether God created all souls at the beginning of time, or whether God is in fact still creating souls and will do so into the infinite future. I prefer the latter, because it allows for no end to the creation of souls. The former belief would place a finite limit on the number of souls. When it comes to God, I do not believe in finite limits; this is why I believe God is still learning and will do so forever, and His created souls are His agents for learning, which is not to diminish His unfathomable love for each and every soul.

                        Each soul God creates exists in spirit form in a heavenly realm where God's love is the very essence of existence. Here on Earth, love is not a "force". You cannot make anything move by even the most powerful love you can possibly muster. But in the Heavenly realm, God's love is the source of all energy and existence. The physics of this realm are beyond all human understanding. Communication between souls is telepathic. Souls can be in multiple locations at the same time. Souls can create "material" things simply by thought. Souls do not need air, water, food, and they never sleep. Souls have mental abilities far beyond anything seen here on Earth. They are not endlessly singing hymns to God, although they do so at times.

                        And speaking of time, it DOES exist but it is considered totally irrelevant because it never ends. Many NDErs say time "doesn't exist" on the other side, but I think this must be a misinterpretation. Time must exist for any change to occur, and the NDErs that say time doesn't exist still describe their experience as a sequence of events. What i think they really mean is that time is of no consequence whatsoever on the other side, and so can be dismissed entirely. If I"m wrong and time really doesn't exist, I'm looking forward to finding out what that REALLY means!

                        Given all this, why would there be a physical Universe at all? I will get into that in my next post.
                        Last edited by Pargat Perrer; Saturday, 23rd March, 2024, 06:14 PM.

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                        • #72
                          Hi Pargat:

                          I will chew on what you've posted so far......great discussions re both "alive" and the "Supra-Natural".

                          Yes I founded "The Theist Community".

                          I also am its only member, so far. Though minimal in theology and liturgy, I believe it likely should be classed as a "Religion". It's core belief is in the "Supra-Natural" (What other religions refer to as God, Yahweh, Allah, the Great Spirit, etc.).

                          Closely associated in some ways are "Deism", and "Ietsism" ((Dutch: Ietsisme; Dutch pronunciation: [itsˈɪsmə]) is an unspecified belief in an undetermined transcendent reality. It is a Dutch term for a range of beliefs held by people who, on the one hand, inwardly suspect – or indeed believe – that "there must be something undefined beyond the mundane and that which can be known or can be proven", but on the other hand do not accept or subscribe to an established view of the nature of a deity offered by any particular religion. Some related terms in English are agnostic theism (though many ietsists do not believe in anything that could be called "god", and therefore are agnostic atheists), eclecticism, deism and spiritual but not religious. - Wikipedia)

                          Bob A (Theist)
                          Last edited by Bob Armstrong; Friday, 22nd March, 2024, 06:41 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Alive & Self-Reflective

                            Just one point for the moment.........

                            The USA military, some time ago, learned of the intelligence of dolphins. They did experiments and learned that a dolphin was self-aware.

                            They put a mirror under water. Then the affixed a ribbon to the chest of the dolphin. The dolphin came up and admired its ribbon for some time. The conclusion was that it was well aware of the difference between its objective world in which it live, and its own self as separate in some way from the rest.

                            I don't have a cite for this, but likely it can be googled....long time ago that I read of this.

                            Bob A (Searching out the "Inanimate/Animate" conundrum)

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Bob Armstrong View Post


                              Bob A (Searching out the "Inanimate/Animate" conundrum)
                              Bob,
                              Your conundrum may get resolved when you realize that the one categorization mainstream science has neglected to adopt is that the most fundamental difference between what we can call 'alive' vs 'only a complex machine' is the presence of consciousness in the former...

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                              • #75
                                Hi Dilip:

                                I agree that "Consciousness" and "alive" seem intimately intertwined. Pargat has gone down a particular aspect of consciousness in his attempted definition: "Self-aware".

                                I have always considered "alive", that which is "independently" conscious. So a DNA strand is not "alive", but a constituent building block of that which can be alive. The complete being, the butterfly, is therefore "alive". But then, one can say the butterfly is "dependent" - needs air, water, food, etc to continue to be alive. But somehow I am not inclined to like this counter much.

                                But I have problems with Pargat's approach. I desperately want to believe that a tree is both alive, and has a unique non-material partner Spirit joined to it. But I don't think a tree is self-aware (Except in Lord of the Rings).

                                I guess I am still in quest of being "enlightened"!

                                Bob A (What do I know about what is going on in the Multi-verse)

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