1. Standard memberPBE6
    Bananarama
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    30 Nov '09 18:59
    I just re-read a 2002 interview with experimental psychologist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker by Reason magazine, in which he discusses his book "The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature" (recently published at the time):

    http://reason.com/archives/2002/10/01/biology-vs-the-blank-slate/

    I have also read the book and found it to be fascinating, well thought out and brilliantly written. I posted this in the Spirituality forum because of the refutation of the "noble savage" and "ghost in the machine" myths, both of which play a big part of religion. Any comments?

    A bit more information about the book can be found here:

    http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/books/tbs/index.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blank_Slate
  2. Joined
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    30 Nov '09 21:50
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I just re-read a 2002 interview with experimental psychologist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker by Reason magazine, in which he discusses his book "The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature" (recently published at the time):

    http://reason.com/archives/2002/10/01/biology-vs-the-blank-slate/

    I have also read the book and found it to be ...[text shortened]... /pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/books/tbs/index.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blank_Slate
    Interesting, but it leaves out the spiritual component. Besides, the brain is far too complicated to be put in a box.

    Are you one of those posters who hits and runs?
  3. Standard memberPBE6
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    30 Nov '09 21:56
    Originally posted by josephw
    Interesting, but it leaves out the spiritual component. Besides, the brain is far too complicated to be put in a box.

    Are you one of those posters who hits and runs?
    No, I try to respond to other posters. Did you have anything specific you wanted to comment on?
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    30 Nov '09 22:44
    Originally posted by PBE6
    No, I try to respond to other posters. Did you have anything specific you wanted to comment on?
    Okay, let's go there.

    I'm not a neuropsychologist or anything like it. But I've read about this stuff for decades. It's all very interesting. Mapping out the brain. Finding out how it works. It's all well and good, but the implications are man made.
    The scientist insists that we are merely animals without soul or spirit, and simply respond to our environment based on electro/chemical processes.

    I don't buy it. In fact, I believe thought is generated by the spirit, and the body is a conduit through which we receive information from our environment. The brain plays a role in our thinking, but it's not what generates thought.
  5. Melbourne, Australia
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    30 Nov '09 23:50
    Originally posted by josephw
    Okay, let's go there.

    I'm not a neuropsychologist or anything like it. But I've read about this stuff for decades. It's all very interesting. Mapping out the brain. Finding out how it works. It's all well and good, but the implications are man made.
    The scientist insists that we are merely animals without soul or spirit, and simply respond to our enviro ...[text shortened]... environment. The brain plays a role in our thinking, but it's not what generates thought.
    Nice theory, but what's your evidence?
    What is this spirit/soul thing that you mention? Where is it to be found? How does it manifest? What's the connection between this thing and the brain?
    Could a brain dead human still have thoughts? Could you remove a brain and still have thoughts?

    Actually, come to think of it, do you have a brain? Are you a human? Oh my god, is the world actually real,or is this some simulation?!
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    30 Nov '09 23:57
    Originally posted by amannion
    Nice theory, but what's your evidence?
    What is this spirit/soul thing that you mention? Where is it to be found? How does it manifest? What's the connection between this thing and the brain?
    Could a brain dead human still have thoughts? Could you remove a brain and still have thoughts?

    Actually, come to think of it, do you have a brain? Are you a human? Oh my god, is the world actually real,or is this some simulation?!
    You've been watching too many sci fi movies. As a matter of fact you're whole reasoning process is dictated by fantasy fiction thinking brought about by years of doubting truth and believing a lie.

    Or worse, not knowing the one from the other.

    So take that and stuff it in your science pipe and smoke it. 😲😀
  7. Melbourne, Australia
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    01 Dec '09 00:01
    Originally posted by josephw
    You've been watching too many sci fi movies. As a matter of fact you're whole reasoning process is dictated by fantasy fiction thinking brought about by years of doubting truth and believing a lie.

    Or worse, not knowing the one from the other.

    So take that and stuff it in your science pipe and smoke it. 😲😀
    Oh if only I could my boy, if only I could.
    Some crazy Christian stole my science pipe.

    Okay, for real now, without using the words god, jesus, creation, soul, spirit, salvation or scripture, tell me the truth ...
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    01 Dec '09 00:18
    Originally posted by amannion
    Oh if only I could my boy, if only I could.
    Some crazy Christian stole my science pipe.

    Okay, for real now, without using the words god, jesus, creation, soul, spirit, salvation or scripture, tell me the truth ...
    This is the truth: You're kicking against the goads. Inside you know there is more to what you are than just some electro/chemical reactions to stimuli. You want to believe this but you've seen too many so-called-Christians make a mockery of reason.

    Did I come close?
  9. SubscriberProper Knob
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    01 Dec '09 00:261 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    This is the truth: You're kicking against the goads. Inside you know there is more to what you are than just some electro/chemical reactions to stimuli. You want to believe this but you've seen too many so-called-Christians make a mockery of reason.

    Did I come close?
    I saw an amazing program on tv a month ago about conciousness. As part of the program the presenter volunteered to take part in a simple experiment. He was placed lying down in an MRI chamber (i think), that measured his brain activity. In each hand he held a trigger, and all he had to do was lie in the chamber for 5 minutes or so and press either the trigger in his left hand or right hand whenever he wanted.

    The scientist conducting the experiment explained afterwards that by looking at the brains activity during the experiment he could predict up to 6 secs before a trigger was pressed which trigger it was going to be.
  10. Joined
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    01 Dec '09 00:29
    Originally posted by Proper Knob
    I saw an amazing program on tv a month ago about conciousness. As part of the program the presenter volunteered to take part in a simple experiment. He was placed lying down in an MRI chamber (i think), that measured his brain activity. In each hand he held a trigger, and all he had to do was lie in the chamber for a 5 minutes or so and press either the ...[text shortened]... ent he could predict up to 6 secs before a trigger was pressed which trigger it was going to be.
    Fascinating!

    The next thing you know science will end all wars and feed all the starving children.
  11. SubscriberProper Knob
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    01 Dec '09 00:31
    Originally posted by josephw
    Fascinating!

    The next thing you know science will end all wars and feed all the starving children.
    Maybe one day, your God's not doing a good job of it in the meantime.
  12. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    01 Dec '09 00:34
    Originally posted by josephw
    Fascinating!

    The next thing you know science will end all wars and feed all the starving children.
    I cant believe you're not grateful for all science has given us...
  13. Melbourne, Australia
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    01 Dec '09 00:35
    Originally posted by josephw
    This is the truth: You're kicking against the goads. Inside you know there is more to what you are than just some electro/chemical reactions to stimuli. You want to believe this but you've seen too many so-called-Christians make a mockery of reason.

    Did I come close?
    No, not at all.
    I don't have any sort of overwhelming desire to give credit to the wonder of this world on some supernatural entity, or to invent some sort of life force or spirit/soul. I really don't.
    And it has nothing ot do with you wacky Christians. I never had a bad experience in growing up - no lecherous priests or annoyingly fundamentalist preachers.
    I really don't want to believe.
    I rest my atheism on science, but to be quite honest, the emotion behind my position - my faith if you like - rests on a profound abhorence of the notion of a world in which I'm not in control of myself. I find the idea of the supernatural vile in the extreme.
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    01 Dec '09 00:36
    Originally posted by Proper Knob
    Maybe one day, your God's not doing a good job of it in the meantime.
    I knew you'd say that.

    Don't blame God for what we do. We made this bed. Now we have to sleep in it.
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    01 Dec '09 00:39
    Originally posted by amannion
    No, not at all.
    I don't have any sort of overwhelming desire to give credit to the wonder of this world on some supernatural entity, or to invent some sort of life force or spirit/soul. I really don't.
    And it has nothing ot do with you wacky Christians. I never had a bad experience in growing up - no lecherous priests or annoyingly fundamentalist preacher ...[text shortened]... which I'm not in control of myself. I find the idea of the supernatural vile in the extreme.
    I really don't want to believe.

    I wonder what neural circuit produced that.
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