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21
Biology, Psychology & Medicine / Re: Neurology
« Last post by Baruch on July 24, 2017, 06:30:32 PM »
I'm a monist, and the words of  Professor Joseph B. Martin rings true to me.

Ooh ... Dean of Harvard Medical School ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_B._Martin

Lay some words on us, you tease ;-)

He has passed on.  He was an Alzheimer's researcher.
22
Hobbies and Photos / Re: Favorite Beer
« Last post by Deidre32 on July 24, 2017, 06:09:42 PM »
Yes, referring to myself, but more handsome than the old Dos Equis guy ... not just more interesting ;-p
and...more modest ^_^


I forgot about Blue Moon, I like that beer if I'm in the mood for one.
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Biology, Psychology & Medicine / Re: Neurology
« Last post by Sal1981 on July 24, 2017, 03:45:21 PM »
I'm a monist, and the words of  Professor Joseph B. Martin rings true to me.
24
Biology, Psychology & Medicine / Re: Neurology
« Last post by Baruch on July 24, 2017, 01:33:06 PM »
To summarize ...

https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/hist.html

Wundt, James and Freud are founders of neuroscience (though Freud barely qualifies).  Wundt was the first official psychologist.  James was mostly an educator.

Neurology uses the scientific method, but you can't see the forest for the trees (it is too complicated).  But you can find out medically useful things.

Psychology uses observation and introspection, of a pre-scientific type.  You can see the forest, but not the trees.  It isn't clear if it is useful.  Freud was the first medically trained psychologist aka psychiatrist.  But he was still a Jewish shaman.

However, since I am not interested in the medical angle, psychology is my go-to for philosophy in general.  I am not Platonic, I don't think that philosophical truth is "out there somewhere".  Philosophy is a human behavior pattern, it doesn't exist outside of humans (as far as we know).  So psychology frames it, necessarily.
25
Christianity / Re: questions and answers anyone?
« Last post by Baruch on July 24, 2017, 01:21:07 PM »
Yes, I've thought of that point many, many times. 

I made the mistake once of going to see The Passion of Christ with a christian friend/co-worker.  I knew at the time it would be a bad idea but for some reason agreed to it.  After the movie he had to ask me what I thought.  I asked him why Jesus/God was so upset when he prayed to himself in the garden about the his 'passion'.  And I asked why Judas was the 'bad guy' when god set it up so that he had to be the bad guy--no choice.  (In my view he is the biggest victim in this mess)  He did not like those questions and mostly ducked them.  Our relationship did take a hit, I'm sorry to say.  Never do that again.

The seams in the story-line were never ironed out.  This happens with poor screen plays too.  Like I pointed out ... in the Gospel of Judas, Judas is the good guy.  In some forms of Christianity, Pilate is a Christian martyr (afterward).  There isn't just one story line prior to Constantine burning the other books.

And yes, traditionally, Jews, not Romans, were blamed ... but then that is what the Romans would have you believe.  Even the culpable Jews (Sanhedrin) were quislings of the Romans.  Common Jews are generally portrayed as pro-Jesus.  So it was a class thing.  Also the centurion at the cross is made to say "he was the son of a god".  Again, Roman authorities are the bad guys, not the common man.  The stuff that happened in Judea in the first century, was a combination civil war, uprising and religious revolution.  Think Syria today.
26
Science General Discussion / More on Climate Change
« Last post by SGOS on July 24, 2017, 12:49:17 PM »
I get this thing called The Real News Network in my email several times a day it seems.  I don't know how I got on their subscriber list, and the very name "Real News Network" makes me suspicious since I mentally equate something called "Real News" as having to be "Fake News".  After all, isn't misnaming something the opposite of what it really is politically fashionable today?  I usually disregard the email without even opening it, but the title of this email caught my attention because first, it's about climate change, and second having lived in the west for 40 years of my life, working 7 summers for the Forest Service on the fire crew and knowing how fearsome and destructive Western forest fires can be, I naturally felt compelled to read it.

 http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=19616

Part of what I found interesting, I already understand, but this expert believes we still have time to act and that it wouldn't be as hard to take appropriate action as we have been led to believe.

Without any expert knowledge about reversing the effects of climate change, I've believed, possibly incorrectly, that it's too late to reverse the tremendous inertia of climate change.  I think we can affect it, but the inertia, now that the train is gathering speed, will take hundreds of years to even experience a slow down, and by that time our own extinction will be well on the way.  We may not wipe humanity out, but for all practical purposes, we will have ruined civilization as we know it.

This guy still has hope, as some others do.  I hope he's right.  And don't think for a minute that I don't think we should do anything about the problem.  I think we should, although for many others, the idea that it's too late to do anything will be the next big excuse to do nothing and  will be the next bumper sticker pedaled by Corporate America and the oil and gas interests.
27
Christianity / Re: questions and answers anyone?
« Last post by Blackleaf on July 24, 2017, 10:58:04 AM »
Yes, I've thought of that point many, many times. 

I made the mistake once of going to see The Passion of Christ with a christian friend/co-worker.  I knew at the time it would be a bad idea but for some reason agreed to it.  After the movie he had to ask me what I thought.  I asked him why Jesus/God was so upset when he prayed to himself in the garden about the his 'passion'.  And I asked why Judas was the 'bad guy' when god set it up so that he had to be the bad guy--no choice.  (In my view he is the biggest victim in this mess)  He did not like those questions and mostly ducked them.  Our relationship did take a hit, I'm sorry to say.  Never do that again.

The Bible even says that the devil entered Judas during their Last Supper. He didn't even have a choice. The devil literally made him do it.
28
Biology, Psychology & Medicine / Neurology
« Last post by SGOS on July 24, 2017, 10:52:17 AM »
I was just thinking this morning about some of the discussions we have had here about neurology, including some tangential complaints theists have lodged against neurology.  I'm about as poorly versed in the subject as the next guy, so someone might want to set me straight.  Wikipedia goes on and on but this is the part I was thinking about this morning:
Quote
Overlap with psychiatry[edit]

Further information: Psychoneuroimmunology and Neuropsychiatry

Although mental illnesses are believed by many to be neurological disorders affecting the central nervous system, traditionally they are classified separately, and treated by psychiatrists. In a 2002 review article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Professor Joseph B. Martin, Dean of Harvard Medical School and a neurologist by training, wrote that "the separation of the two categories is arbitrary, often influenced by beliefs rather than proven scientific observations. And the fact that the brain and mind are one makes the separation artificial anyway".[14]

Note that there is a close relationship between psychology and neurology, and of course there is a relationship, but the two areas seem widely different to me.  Psychology is much more philosophic than neurology because it somewhat clumsily deals with HOW THE MIND draws conclusions and perceives input.  Neurology identifies places in the brain that control various functions, and identifies various chemicals utilized to make THE BRAIN function properly, or improperly.  Neurology deals with the BRAIN.  Psychology deals with the MIND.  This may be an over simplification, but in my mind there is a huge difference between the mind and the brain, because my somewhat idiosyncratic definition of the mind is all about the perceived results of brain function.  Whereas the brain is just a physical organ that creates perceptions in the mind.

Everything I've read about neurology, granted it isn't much, is limited to neurons and synapses and electro chemical connections, and what parts of the brain create visual images, store memories, enables speech, or sends impulses to muscle groups, etc.  But I have never read anything that explains how all of this physical brain activity translates into that part of ourselves that makes us aware, think thoughts, or experience ourselves and the environment.  What I call the overlap between brain and mind is conveniently avoided in any explanations, and no attempt is made to describe what happens between brain functions and perceptions.  And it seems to me to be a wide gap, indeed.  Neurology seems to deal with the physical that creates a non material kind of "nothing" we experience in the mind.  BUT HOW?

We know quite a bit about the brain, and we know quite a bit about the mind, but we know precious little about what's in between.  Oddly, this in between is probably the most important part of who we are, and we understand almost nothing about that part.

This area of ignorance is fertile ground for theism, the philosophy known for supplying answers to what we do not understand and paints a picture of this thing it calls a soul, the part of us that supposedly lives on after we die, a part that is just the result of brain function that makes us cry for understanding to the point that some are compelled to speculate wildly and assert as fact.

Neurology, for all it knows, seems to me to be in it's infancy with the most important part yet to be learned:  How do electrochemical reactions become thoughts?  The same can be said of psychology, which for all it knows, has no understanding of how the physical brain reactions become actual thoughts, which are not physical at all, but are un-material wisps of consciousness that we perceive as our most important asset.
29
Christianity / Re: questions and answers anyone?
« Last post by Mike Cl on July 24, 2017, 10:49:53 AM »
Interesting question that -- if Pilate had said, "Fuck this, no, he hasn't done anything to deserve the death penalty!", or had Judas said, "no, wait, I'm not doing this", there's no Passion, no crucifixion, no resurrection, no Christianity.

I once asked a priest why, since without Judas' betrayal there was no crucifixion and therefore no resurrection, Judas wasn't actually doing the will of god.

He mumbled and hemmed and hawed a lot, and fundamentally fell back on 'it's a mystery'.

I didn't go to church on my own initiative after that.
Yes, I've thought of that point many, many times. 

I made the mistake once of going to see The Passion of Christ with a christian friend/co-worker.  I knew at the time it would be a bad idea but for some reason agreed to it.  After the movie he had to ask me what I thought.  I asked him why Jesus/God was so upset when he prayed to himself in the garden about the his 'passion'.  And I asked why Judas was the 'bad guy' when god set it up so that he had to be the bad guy--no choice.  (In my view he is the biggest victim in this mess)  He did not like those questions and mostly ducked them.  Our relationship did take a hit, I'm sorry to say.  Never do that again.
30
Religion General Discussion / Re: Goddidit Vs Naturedidit
« Last post by Mike Cl on July 24, 2017, 10:40:30 AM »
Everything requires a maker; everything requires a cause.  So what?  In the eyes of a theist a 'cause' or 'maker' means a being of some sort--a god--to have ultimately done it.  What Drew likes to call mindless happenstance probably isn't.  It's math and probability.  The mathematical probability of a particular rain drop hitting me in a rain storm verge on the impossible; while it is a 100% certainty that I'll get hit by many if I go out into the rain.  That our solar system developed exactly where it is now most likely is an almost mathematical impossibility; that it would develop somewhere given the chemical and physical makeup of this universe I see as 100% of happening somewhere/somewhen.  I guess you could say that that is mindless and happenstance.  But I would not view the physical actuality of our solar system as a sign of a 'cause' or a 'maker', which there for sure is a cause and a maker, if you will.  It's not mindless nor is it mindful.  It is indifferent.  There is no emotion one can attach to the various elements of this universe; helium just does not get happy or sad or anything else; it just is.  So, our universe just is; and the actual cause is still a long way from being known; but it is much clearer now that it was 2000 years ago.  And in another 2,000 years the questions will be that much clearer.  (And Jesus will still be a fictional character as will god)
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