steveb1 wrote:Audience seems weighted toward the materialist position.
No discussion of category differences, e.g., the brain is some thing, the person is some one.
Harris saying that non-dual consciousness is unaware of what the brain is doing during that state. But why should it be? Materialists are fond of saying, "Neurologists have been investigating the brain for a long time, and have never discovered anything like a soul" (category error again). The statement can be reversed: "Meditators have been investigating consciousness for millenia, and have never discovered anything like a brain". Exactly. The two categories are unmixable, even if the production theory claims turn out to be true.
Chopra needs to drop the metaphysics and meet the materialists on their own ground, i.e., not make unprovable assertions that consciousness creates molecules. Perhaps he should step down from the debate until he can marshal scientific/philosophical reasons for mind-brain dualism, as Raymond Tallis and others have been doing with some success.
undefineable wrote:I also note that Harris tried to persuade Chopra to apologise for 'making claims for which he has no evidence' (consciousness creating Reality in either the New Age or the Buddhist vision would be a good example), but this seems perverse when neither man is known as a scientist.
steveb1 wrote: Materialists are fond of saying, "Neurologists have been investigating the brain for a long time, and have never discovered anything like a soul" (category error again).
Nosta wrote:Deepak Chopra is just another New Age guy. Not a real buddhist, neither a real defender of Dharma.
Second, a buddhist will not enter this kind of useless discussions.
Or you believe or you dont, and if you dont there is no point on keeping a discussion that will end in a predictable way: with no conclusions but where the "rational" side will be slightly shining.
[Super] Skeptical people are really annoying.
steveb1 wrote:One path toward a non-materialist answer might be phrased in questions like, "Once created by, or emerged from, brain activity, in what way does consciousness continue to keep and express its purported physical origins and functions?
Does it in fact 'behave' in the same way as matter - or even the same way as the brain - behaves?
For example, vapor released from warming ice is 'liberated' from the constraints of solidity, and it takes on new properties and a new 'life' of its own quite separate from ice. Perhaps a similar comparison can be made to consciousness once it has been 'projected' out of its material matrix; in which case it is possible that, like ice-released vapor, consciousness has a seperate being and category level than the matter from which it supposedly originated".
But a more pertinent question might be - considering that Dharma Wheel is a Buddhist site - "What did Shakyamuni say about consciousness? And what do the Theravadan, Mahayanist, Vajrayanist, and Shin schools say? To what extent does Buddhist consciousness-experience, philosophy, and theory/speculation support, agree with, confirm ... OR conflict with and contradict ... the modern materialist point of view?"
catmoon wrote:I mean, it could just be a very nice academic materialist way of saying, well we really have no idea what is going on.
In electronics, one might say that video games are an emergent property of transistors. But in that case we a can trace the emergence step by step from transistors to logic gates to programmability to computer languages graphics and finally games. But we can't do that with the brain and consciousness. We can't come within a million miles of creating a circuit that generates , say, compassion. So what do we do? We throw the "emergent property" label at it - without having the faintest idea of the mechanisms involved.
In such a case, it means the same thing as saying "A miracle has occurred" or "At step 4 some magic happens". The speaker has exactly the same knowledge of the mechanism - none whatsoever.
Andrew108 wrote:I think more than ever it's actually important for buddhists to get in line with scientists and accept that the brain is the site for the arising of consciousness. This doesn't diminish the buddhist view at all in any way. Why not?
Buddhism isn't really interested in establishing which relative truth is more truthful. The 'fact' of dependent origination isn't undone by the the statement that 'consciousness' resides in the brain and is produced in the brain. Both the brain and the consciousness that abide there lack any essential nature.
The Seeker wrote:Our brain has an "electrical" system in it correct? Now what's to say this isn't our conciousness.
Electrical energy is not destroyed or used up, so in that line of thought, what's to say that our "electrical energy" or consciousness doesn't continue on after the cessation of this physical existance.
Dexing wrote:Consciousness is an emergent property of a brain like light is an emergent property of a lightbulb. Electrical energy must be converted to produce consciousness and light. That is to say electrical charge or energy itself is not conscious or bright.
Just as when the filament in a lightbulb breaks it ceases to produce light, when a brain stops working so does consciousness. Unlike light from a lightbulb that is emitted outside the bulb and eventually becomes heat, there is no evidence of consciousness exiting the brain.
Even granting that electrical energy could exit the brain at the cessation of physical existence, it being transmitted to a new brain and regenerating consciousness would violate the Buddhist theory of Dependent Origination, which states that it is 'consciousness' that conditions 'name and form'. So there would be no brain to receive this electrical energy and convert it into consciousness.
it is consciousness that conditions name and form
The model states that the combined neural and glial system with multiple synapses and astrocytes interacting electrically and chemically results in the emergent property of consciousness.
There is a difference between theory and scientific theory. "Emergent properties" of the brain are not just theories or labels thrown on something we don't understand. Otherwise it would be a religious doctrine and not scientific theory. It is scientific theory with indication.
The Seeker wrote:it is consciousness that conditions name and form
Is a brain actually necessary for name and form?
Does a Deva, Hungry Ghost, Asura or even a Buddha have a brain? A brain is a physical attribute.
So unless ones existence is in a physical realm there is no brain but still the energy of consciousness.
Your example of the light bulbs filament being broke and hence no energy going through it still doesn't mean the energy doesn't exist. I'll refer to the point made on the forum before, Since the tv is off does that mean there is no programming happening? Of course not, just that that television is not on broadcasting it.
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