1. Joined
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    02 Jun '06 00:24
    I was talking in another thread about the concept of life. Life was referred to as a classification as is nonliving matter. I realize that science categorizes life as a classification, after all science is in the business of classifying things, however, when I think of a living entity, I do not think of it as merely another scientific classification. In the dictionary, life is defined as the quality manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reponse to stimulation, and reproduction, by which living organisms or inanimate matter. Is it just me, or is something missing here? For me, this definition of life is like a blind man trying to describe a beautifal rainbow using scientific terminology by saying it is the result of a refractive dispersion of sunlight in the drops of rain or mist. Should we place a value on "living" matter over "nonliving" matter? If so, why? Why is one classification prefered over the other?
  2. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    02 Jun '06 04:33
    Originally posted by whodey
    I was talking in another thread about the concept of life. Life was referred to as a classification as is nonliving matter. I realize that science categorizes life as a classification, after all science is in the business of classifying things, however, when I think of a living entity, I do not think of it as merely another scientific classification. In th ...[text shortened]... er over "nonliving" matter? If so, why? Why is one classification prefered over the other?
    Living things; or at least some; can suffer and experience pleasure. This is the main reason why they should be treated respectfully.

    Is it just me, or is something missing here?

    Not really.

    You want to be cryptic/poetic and have a feeling of "profoundness". "Profoundness" is only an emotion.
  3. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    02 Jun '06 05:44
    Originally posted by whodey
    Is it just me, or is something missing here?
    It's just you.
  4. Cape Town
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    02 Jun '06 09:10
    Originally posted by whodey
    Is it just me, or is something missing here?
    Its just you.

    For me, this definition of life is like a blind man trying to describe a beautifal rainbow using scientific terminology by saying it is the result of a refractive dispersion of sunlight in the drops of rain or mist.
    You are getting mixed up between the actual rainbow itself and our perception of its beauty. Even our meaning for the word 'rainbow' has a lot more to do with our perception of it than the physical effect. A rainbow is not an object but rather a pattern in the light that our eyes percieve (no two people can observe the same rainbow!) A rainbow requires an observer for it to exist!

    Should we place a value on "living" matter over "nonliving" matter?
    No.

    As I said in the other thread, the definition of life has fuzzy edges and it is a matter of personal choice or dictionary as to whether cirtain phenomena is included. Personally I consider virus' to be quivalent to life, though most dictionaries would not include them.

    Life is a highly complex set of chemical reactions. However due to its complexity, patterns emerge which would not occur in other chemical reactions. For example a computer computing somthing could be called an electrical phenomena, but its design results in far more complexity than an ordinary power cable.
  5. Joined
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    02 Jun '06 09:221 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    I was talking in another thread about the concept of life. Life was referred to as a classification as is nonliving matter. I realize that science categorizes life as a classification, after all science is in the business of classifying things, however, when I think of a living entity, I do not think of it as merely another scientific classification. In th er over "nonliving" matter? If so, why? Why is one classification prefered over the other?
    As other posters have intimated, you are talking about two seperate things. On the one hand we have the categories required for the process of life to be in place. On the other you have all the emotions and experiences etc. which you interact with throught the time that life is in existence. These are two very different situations, one is merely a construct, the other is the nature of being.

    Now if the question you are really asking is something like; 'Is the nature of being something which exists on some non-chemical level?' then you're going to get a much better debate. For my own part, since I have no need for the concepts of a soul or the supernatrual, believe that it is just an incredibly complex set of chemical processes, I'm a physicalist, I believe everything in terms of life, is reducible into bio-electrical events. In this way the nature of being is homogenous with the dictionary definition of life. For you, I suspect the belief you hold in the soul etc. will mena that you view life as having a non-biological quality.
  6. Joined
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    02 Jun '06 13:331 edit
    Originally posted by Starrman
    As other posters have intimated, you are talking about two seperate things. On the one hand we have the categories required for the process of life to be in place. On the other you have all the emotions and experiences etc. which you interact with throught the time that life is in existence. These are two very different situations, one is merely a constr f you hold in the soul etc. will mena that you view life as having a non-biological quality.
    So what your are saying is that these complex bio-electrical events is what is special about human beings. It is what you refer to as "spirituality". I assume everyone who has posted thus far agrees.
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    02 Jun '06 13:43
    Originally posted by whodey
    So what your are saying is that these complex bio-electrical events is what is special about human beings. It is what you refer to as "spirituality".
    Not quite, the bio-electrical activity is the essence of every process; imagination, movement, sight, hunger, pain, desire etc. Spirituality is a term we give to the higher order of bio-electric activity which results in a need to question, a feeling of peace etc. What the exact nature of this activity is, I cannot say. I hope is that in the future, science will shed more light on the nature of consicousness and emotion. There are a pair of philosophers (I'm sure bbarr will be able to give you their names) who believe that in the future, rather than saying 'I have a headache' we will say things like 'neuron b12 is exhibiting a high level of energy transference which is causing blood vessel expansion in the right side of my frontal lobe' (or some such), and whilst I do not believe that the language we speak will alter this much, I do think it is likely at some point that we will reach a point where higher order concepts like spirituality will be reducible in much the same way.
  8. Joined
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    03 Jun '06 03:12
    Originally posted by Starrman
    Not quite, the bio-electrical activity is the essence of every process; imagination, movement, sight, hunger, pain, desire etc. Spirituality is a term we give to the higher order of bio-electric activity which results in a need to question, a feeling of peace etc. What the exact nature of this activity is, I cannot say. I hope is that in the future, scie ...[text shortened]... point where higher order concepts like spirituality will be reducible in much the same way.
    So what you are saying is that as of yet science is yet to explain this higher order of bio-electric activity which results in a need to question, and a feeling of peace ect?

    Does anyone else want to take a stab at sheding more light into the nature of consciousness and emotion via science?
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    05 Jun '06 15:14
    Originally posted by whodey
    So what you are saying is that as of yet science is yet to explain this higher order of bio-electric activity which results in a need to question, and a feeling of peace ect?

    Does anyone else want to take a stab at sheding more light into the nature of consciousness and emotion via science?
    My little bioelectric signals know I have food. They know I have a shelter, a safe one at that. They know I have many people to interact with and socialise with are not going to get bored. They know that I have everything I need to live and go about my life and so as a little reward for me they give me a feeling of happiness and of peace so I know that as long as I keep up all I have been doing for example the social interactions and the consuming of food I will feel as I feel.
  10. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    05 Jun '06 17:28
    Originally posted by whodey
    So what you are saying is that as of yet science is yet to explain this higher order of bio-electric activity which results in a need to question, and a feeling of peace ect?

    Does anyone else want to take a stab at sheding more light into the nature of consciousness and emotion via science?
    I read an interesting article in Reader's Digest that explored brain activity during spiritual experiences. These ranged from the religious (prayer, worship, etc.) to the natural (hiking, or just appreciating the beauty of nature, etc.). One common thing was that the brain scans indicated low self-awareness during the experiences. In their minds, they became part of a whole, rather than individuals.

    Perhaps what we call spirituality is merely a blissful feeling of detachment from the 'self'.
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