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I am a harsh skeptic of everything, including myself. I look at my arguments from many perspectives and angles and use those counter arguments to form my basis better, even if it means changing what I originally thought. I’m aware that I can be wrong, right, somewhere in the middle or all three simultaneously. Anyway, this topic has been really been biting me and I really felt like talking about it and writing about it to get it out of my system. I mentioned bits and pieces of my experiences so far but never actually went into great detail in it. I want to start this essay by bringing up the fact that humans don’t want to accept the fact that they don’t understand everything and look for answers to prove their own beliefs. It’s important to note that there are things that exist beyond human or mortal comprehension because of its complexity. There are many things that we can’t comprehend such as infinity, reality, and existence. (And the song ‘Infinite Dreams’ comes on as I write this sentence. GG) Quantum mechanics doesn’t make sense and works oddly, yet it exists. A particle can move in a line and move in a zig zag simultaneously. A big basis on my philosophy and reasoning is the theory of the conservation of mass. You can never stop existing. Our essences and souls have been created the moment the big bang of this universe was created based on this theory. But other universes exist, perhaps independently of each other. But this thought is just a guess. Thirdly the basis of infinity states that everything exists. Every single reality and thought exists somewhere, such as it existing or emerging from within your own mind. It is impossible to comprehend this with a human mind because a human mind has its limitations. I think that Plato’s philosophical theory on a realm where base thoughts and ‘forms’ exists explains the workings of the mind and the universe quite well. Thoughts are in a plane all within themselves that exists outside of our space and time. Even though the human mind has limitations, the creations and thoughts that emerge from it are infinite. The proof of other realities exist when those thoughts and ideas emerge from your mind. If it has been thought, it exists. Perhaps even other thoughts that haven’t been thought exist somewhere waiting to be discovered. Saying that only one universe exists contradicts the theory of infinity and reality. Then, you must also question what is real and what is false. Reality and consciousness in of itself is a miracle. I have never astral projected but what other people tell me of their experiences, the theory of there being a multiverse looks promising. Even though the approach I have is unscientific and unproven, I believe that souls exist when you have the theory of conservation of mass. Your soul is energy and is unbound by laws of macro-matter. There is a separation between physical matter and energy. Energy is within everything physical. I consider this energy to be the soul. I am spiritual, that is true. But should spirituality and hard science be treated differently or as different sides of the same coin? I didn’t believe in coincidences when I was in my early teens yet everything kept piling on top of each other and coincidences just stopped being coincidences. There are many coincidences that I can’t really list off of the top of my head. Well, one example is the song I was listening to while I was writing the first paragraph. I had no idea what song it was or that it would come up next yet moments after I write the sentence: “There are many things that we can’t comprehend such as infinity….” The lyrics go “infinity is hard to comprehend.” Ironic that a coincidence like this would emerge at a time like this. Another example are tarot cards. Sometimes when I ask the same question, I constantly get the same card, even though the chances of getting that card in a tarot deck that has 76 cards using a 3 tarot spread 1/73 even though it shuffled and picked at random. At first, I was skeptical but then I realized that it’s surprisingly accurate and for reasons that can’t be explained. A couple of weeks back on vacation I was drawn to a tarot deck and when I went to pick it up, I realized that it was exactly what I needed. It was a tarot deck that was themed around the universe, infinity and the metaphysical. Which was exactly what was going through my mind at that time. Another thing is that at the same time I was going through this, someone I talked to had a very similar thing going on when I mentioned it, though we are technically enemies in that other life. What are the chances of meeting someone else at this moment in a random rping community that originally had nothing to deal with the universe in question? Looks like I’m the only one on the internet with this kintype too, amazingly. (There are probably others who don’t mention it or don’t know). Spirituality and science should exist hand in hand. Science explains what is tangible and everything that exists in the physical world. I believe the soul carries prior knowledge of the intangible and it is through your inner voice, consciousness, feelings and sensations that you can use to make sense of it. We were all born in a human body as a blank slate (for the most part, at least) with no knowledge of what came before that moment. I compare it to being hit with amnesia, and I am an amnesiac that is trying to get my prior memories back through sensations, meditation, dreams and deja-vu’s. My essence, or core knows a lot more than I do but it’s up to my human brain to interpret it and detect it. Trust me, I was skeptical of some fictionkin at times but my experiences has forced me to reconsider. I am not any ‘canon’ or specific character but I am my own individual among that species. I can defend a fictionkin only if they say that they are a specific character when they do their research correctly and have good evidence to support their claim. I believe that a soul can fracture and split (twin souls) so maybe that is an explanation for doubles. But I don't know much about being an actual character, so I can't speak much about it. Never have I looked at a fictional world and thought to myself “this feels like it’s happened before” or “I felt that I’ve been here.” My inner mind (my unconscious self) spoke to me and said things along the lines of “it’s because you were.” At that point, I was thinking of myself to be quiet and shut up because of how insane the thought was at the time. I don’t believe I consciously wanted to believe it or think it. The thing was, that I didn’t even have these thoughts or feelings as an impressionable little kid. It is now in my adulthood that I feel this. At first, I was in denial, embarrassed and hated myself for thinking it. But one and one became two, then two and one became three, etc…..It kept adding up indefinitely the more I thought about it. The sensation that came next felt like a god damn sledge hammer hit me on the top of my head. The similarities were uncanny. The phantom, mental shifts, my mannerisms fit everything to a T. Even more so than my therian identity. I knew that I felt something resembling horns and knew that my third kin type had something to deal with justice and judgement (I mean it’s even in the name of my occupation) And I just realized the latter two days ago. Even when I fight with my bo staff and practice fighting moves, the movements I do feel so fluid and natural as if I have always done them, when I didn’t. If I think about what to do, I stiffen up and get confused, but if I let myself just go with the flow, I move much better. The coincidences keep adding up. I had these thoughts and impressions even before I knew anything about the story/lore. These impressions I got the more I read about the fictional world just kept adding up until it led to an avalanche. I also compare these impressions as handprints in sand (okay, I was at the beach when I was thinking this through). In this life, all I see are these hand prints in the sand with no idea whose or what sort of hand it was. But once I place my own hand over the handprint, it was a perfect match. Hard data and logic has its uses a lot of the time, and I am a very logical person regardless, but there are some things and experiences that logic cannot explain. Those experiences are the dreams I had that felt real. All of those realistic dreams had the same theme. I was surrounded by very good friends who I missed dearly when I woke up because of how real they felt, and I was acquiring weapons, jewelry and some sort of armor. These type of dreams have been recurrent in my life from as young as 5 years old. Even with all of the potential opposing arguments against the fallacy of my arguments, I feel like I have too much spiritual ‘’evidence’’ that shows that I am near the truth. I feel like my sensations, memories and feelings help point me in the right direction even though hard logic can’t prove it because of how intangible it is. I think that is the potential flaw that hard science and experimentation has. I do believe that your inner self, or essence knows things that you consciously don’t know and the only way to extract this knowledge is by inner introspection and observation which is far from easy.
Nøkken posted a topic in Science, Math, & TechnologyHello all, I decided I'd start a thread on the study of nonhuman cognition and consciousness. Cognitive Ethology is a very inchoate field that combines philosophy of mind with neuroscience and cognitive science as well as animal behavioral sciences. Although having some background in a scientific or philosophical field is helpful to understanding the topic at hand, I can clarify and explain in a way that is accessible to anyone who is curious. Please feel free to ask away. I don't bite. Well, sometimes I do instinctively, but not here. There are many many misunderstandings about nonhuman cognition and thought, especially that of consciousness, which is mostly due to quite grand historic biases and misconceptions of the animal and the human being, in particular issues of human supremacy and transcendence in earlier humanistic philosophies. Many dated tests, such as the "mirror test" are completely bunk, but still frequently referred to by pop culture. Since this is a topic that interests me greatly and something I did formal research in during my education (and continue to research autodidactically), I figured I get a topic rolling on it and perhaps be able to answer some questions. (In fact, the topic interests me enough that I will probably pursue a PhD in it at some point later in life once I feel like returning to academia.) Believe it or not, there is actually a field devoted to the study of kinds of consciousness and thought that goes even beyond psychology. Philosophy of mind is a formal academic discipline that complements scientific studies of mind. I did my BA in this field, so I can help a bit with understanding it. The fact is, consciousness is made of many different parts, different "kinds" of consciousness with varying levels of complexity and interdependence. The human being is a particular collection and organization of cognitive traits in various degrees and ways. Each individual member of a species is itself a unique organization of mind and consciousness given that they develop neural pathways according to their embodied experience of the world. There are many analogs in the animal kingdom and each species can be conceived of as a reordering and regrouping of sets of traits that are pervasive and common across the world. It is supposed that there are no uniquely human cognitive properties, that each aspect of humanity is shared with other species, but the particular organization of traits gives rise to certain species-specific traits, such as formal discursive language in human beings. This becomes a major point of contention because some thinkers like Noam Chomsky believe that language learning is a unique human instinct with a kind of symbolic thought that no nonhumans are capable of. However, just recently, it was demonstrated that horses can use representation language to intentionally communicate. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168159116302192 And the original research, in case you are interested in the primary source: http://www.appliedanimalbehaviour.com/article/S0168-1591(16)30219-2/fulltext While horse people like me are shrugging their shoulders at the obviousness of it from interacting with the species, it is a major breakthrough in science and undermines many previously false preconceptions. While it may seem like science sometimes devotes a lot of effort to proving the obvious with rigor, it is necessary because, throughout history, the obvious has so frequently proven wrong. For me, I have never doubted for a second that nonhuman animals lived rich inner, conscious, minded lives, but the act of actually proving this scientifically is bleeding edge research that few human beings care to actually engage. Sadly, if there were more interest in doing so, we would have likely unlocked many wondrous discoveries about how nonhuman animals think and experience the world. Even what we have discovered is astounding. For instance, this is a model of horse vision: https://eventingconnect.today/2016/11/25/ever-wonder-how-your-horse-sees-the-world-video-break/ Keep in mind that you yourself are watching this model with a human brain and human eyes, constructing meaning and perceptual experience through wetware you can't possibly escape. The way the horse sees its own vision is inaccessible to us because we are interpreting its eye's properties with our human brains. We would have to have identical horse brains to see as a horse sees (its focus and thought about seeing, its qualia, it's what-it-is-like-to-be or perception) because the horse's optic nerve is a complex system interpreting visual data, eliminating junk info and focusing on those things that are pertinent to the horse's survival as an embodied being in the world, which is then fed into an even more complex system of its central executive functions. You can't replicate that with a human brain any more than I can see the very way you see the color red with your brain. (This actually gets into the largest problem in philosophy in the 21st century called "The Hard Problem of Consciousness" by philosopher David Chalmers.) I'll start with two links. The first is to the "Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness". Scientists have pretty much come to consensus on the consciousness of nonhuman animals. http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclarationOnConsciousness.pdf The second links are to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article entry on cognitive ethology. This is a rather advanced discipline so the technical jargon is quite heavy. But I can assist with understanding where necessary. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cognition-animal/ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-animal/ I hope you find this information useful and stimulating. I will endeavor to provide new links and thoughts in this thread for others over time, as well as engage in discussion and explanation as necessary.
wicked_caty posted a topic in Books, Music, & ArtIn his books he attacks the scientists, because they exclude everything that can't be explained by the knowledge they have at this very moment. He says that "supernatural" things (like magick) must be included in science, because everything works only as a whole. He has a really unique style. He simply writes what's on his mind, and doesn't care if he hurts anyone's feelings. He uses examples to demonstrate his arguments, and actually tries to convince the reader (instead of that usual "here is some data, now believe in it"). The books were written somewhen at the very beginning of the 20th century, but with a dictionary it should be readable :D The 4 books are: Lo! New lands The book of the damned Wild talents
dextro posted a topic in Science, Math, & TechnologyFound an interesting article while browsing a science blog, detailing a star with a strange pattern of dimming only found in young stars. I'm curious, though. I think it could be possible, but it raises a few questions. Would we really find an alien species that built structures around a star before we found any evidence on life itself on planets? Should we give more focus on possible objects like this to signify alien life instead of focusing squarely on what life COULD need in space? (Such as looking for water when it's possible that aliens could not even need it to begin with.) I dunno. Opinions? SOURCE: How Long Would it take to get to the Star with "Alien Megastructures"?