Consciousness & the Brain

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dave The Seeker » Mon May 21, 2012 1:43 pm

Dexing wrote:
I'm familiar with how these other planes of existence are understood and explained in Buddhist terms— but as plausible as they may be in theory, there is really no way to prove such conscious immaterial beings actually exist. So they can't really be used as evidence of consciousness existing absent a brain, no more than the Christian god can be an example or evidence of a disembodied consciousness.



From what I understand in this response is, there is nothing after the death of the physical existance.
So no Karma or "after effect" for actions done in this life. Just a body decaying into it's base elements and no "consciousness" to be reborn..............


Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Jesse » Mon May 21, 2012 2:09 pm

I believe the brain acts as an interface for consciousness. Really our current thinking doesn't explain phenomena like NDE's which are pretty common. If consciousness emerges from the brain someone who is clinically brain-dead should have no memory from that time.

Even taking into account thing's like deep meditation, and dreams where the body is no longer important but consciousness can still exist, while these aren't as compelling as NDE's scientifically because your brain is still functioning, I don't think anyone with experience in these would say consciousness is located in the body.

We really have a long long way to go before we can scientifically say what consciousness even is, so calling it a property of the brain is just silly imo and I doubt it will hold up in the long run.
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dexing » Mon May 21, 2012 2:18 pm

catmoon wrote:I don't think this qualifies as a scientific theory. I do think it is a case of just throwing a label on something we do not understand. And I don't think it's anymore valid rationally than oh, say Scientology.


I am no neuroscientist. I have a lot to study on the topic. But one indication is that patterns of neural network activities correlate with mental states. This and other such indications are the basis of the scientific theory that consciousness is an emergent property of a brain. Because of those indications this is a scientific theory, and not just throwing a label without justifiable cause, like religion often does. However, being a theory and not necessarily a fact at this point, it is temporary and open to development.
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Jesse » Mon May 21, 2012 2:32 pm

But one indication is that patterns of neural network activities correlate with mental states.


You turn the sink faucet on and water comes out, water must then be an emergent property of the faucet. Seems reasonable if you didn't know anything else about how plumbing works..
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dexing » Mon May 21, 2012 2:33 pm

The Seeker wrote:
Dexing wrote:
I'm familiar with how these other planes of existence are understood and explained in Buddhist terms— but as plausible as they may be in theory, there is really no way to prove such conscious immaterial beings actually exist. So they can't really be used as evidence of consciousness existing absent a brain, no more than the Christian god can be an example or evidence of a disembodied consciousness.



From what I understand in this response is, there is nothing after the death of the physical existance.
So no Karma or "after effect" for actions done in this life. Just a body decaying into it's base elements and no "consciousness" to be reborn..............


That would be jumping to the other side of the fence, which I'm not necessarily suggesting. I'm just saying there is no evidence of the above, so it can't be used as an honest example.

As I stated earlier, materialism is a position held by people who cling to science as fact, which not all of it is, nor does it even claim to be. I prefer not to jump to any such conclusion, regardless of whether or not it is the more plausible.

The real question I had in this topic was what justification there is in believing the Buddhist doctrines on consciousness in the face of current scientific indications that tend oppose it. I'm not really taking a materialist position, personally.
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dechen Norbu » Mon May 21, 2012 2:35 pm

Dexing wrote:Materialism is immediately taken as the opposition in this topic here, but it's really just scientific investigation and discovery.

And by any chance you think there's research without metaphysical bias? Really? You live in a dream pal.


When scientific finding is clung to it can result in materialism, but science never holds a position always being open to development when new information is attained. It is actually religion that most often attempts to supply definite answers to everything instead of honestly admitting we don't yet know. All the popular religions do this. Buddhism does it just as much as Christianity.

Oh is it? Let me give you a clear example where this didn't happen:
The eminent Italian physiologist Lazzaro Spallanzani, one of the founders of experimental biology, published a modest but heretical proposal. Long intrigued by the ability of bats to fly in total darkness without bumping into things, he set out to discover how they did it. He reasoned that they must be using one of their five senses, and in a series of extremely cruel experiments he maimed bats by destroying their senses one by one, blinding them, blocking their ears or even cutting them off, eliminating their sense of smell and removing their tongues.
It soon became clear to him that it was the sense of hearing that bats needed in order to avoid obstacles. But hearing what? Bats made no audible sounds as they flew, and little if anything was known in the 18th century about ultrasound, the secret of bats’ success as nocturnal navigators. As they fly, they emit beams of up to 50,000 cycles per second - more than twice the upper limit of human hearing - and ‘read’ the returning echoes.
There was no sign in 1794 of a normal explanation for the bat’s navigating skills, so the scientific establishment did what it tends to do on these occasions - it made one up. Its chief spokesman was the French naturalist Georges Cuvier, a pioneer in both anatomy and palaeontology. He decreed, in a paper published in 1795, that “to us, the organs of touch seem sufficient to explain all the phenomena which bats exhibit”.
He had it all worked out. Bats’ wings were “richly supplied with nerves of every type”, which could somehow or other receive impressions of heat, cold and resistance. Yet whereas Spallanzani, and several colleagues whom he persuaded to repeat his experiments, reached their unanimous conclusion only after numerous experiments, Cuvier solved the problem without having performed a single one. It was, as the 20th century bat expert Robert Galambos noted, “a triumph of logic over experimentation”. It was also a triumph of ignorance over knowledge. One of Spallanzani’s colleagues had actually thought of the sensitive-wing theory and tested it, by putting bats in an all-white room and coating their wingtips with some kind of black stuff that would come off on the walls and various white objects if the bats’ wings touched them. They didn’t. Cuvier’s explanation soon found its way into the textbooks, and stayed there until the start of the 20th century, when independent researchers in France and the USA published yet more experimental evidence in support of Spallanzani’s theory. Then, in 1920, a British researcher named Hartridge who had helped to develop the first naval sonar systems during World War 1, published the first clearly stated theory of bat navigation by ultrasound. This was duly confirmed, using newly developed recording devices, by Galambos and his colleague Donald Griffin, who published their results in 1941 - nearly a century and a half after Spallanzani.
I can go on with another example: continental drift. Wegener's hypothesis was received with ridicule. For decades, other geologists scoffed at the idea of drifting continents. In fact, Wegener heard mostly ridicule of his continental drift idea during his lifetime and died a sad man, as only in 1960s oceanic data convinced scientists that continents do indeed move.
I could still go on with dozens of similar cases, but perhaps it is better if I share an article to see if you grow over your naive opinion about the scientific establishment: http://web.missouri.edu/~hanuscind/8710/Barber1961.pdf

But what we're talking about here really is the Buddhist perspective on consciousness versus what science has been able to reveal, and what justification there is for the Buddhist beliefs in the face of science. Neuroscience is the most rapidly growing field. We've learned more about than brain in the past 20 years than ever before.

Indeed. We learned a lot about the brain and practically nothing about consciousness. All we know is that there may be neural correlates to it, yet to be discovered.
We don't know the necessary and sufficient causes of consciousness, we have no explanation for its arising, we don't know its fate... in fact it's a bit hard to find a consensus about what it is. Epiphenomenalism entails a self defeating internal inconsistency that most people convinced by it overlook.
The emergence hypothesis is just that, an hypothesis based on specific metaphysical predilections, not facts.
We already have a tremendous amount of knowledge about the brain that's correct. It's not fully understood, but we do have a lot of knowledge about it. I don't know if you ever took neuroanatomy, neurology or any classes on neuroscience. If you did, then you know we know A LOT about the brain. It would be expected that we already had discovered more on consciousness, but that's not the case. One of the reasons is because when we look a the brain processes we aren't informed about mental events or vice versa. So the the problem is that this knowledge about the brain sheds little light about consciousness or mental phenomena in general.
For instance, we can study a television and know it's components, their relations and so on and so forth very well. But if we believe the information transmitted is being created by the apparel (forgetting the broadcasting network), we will always imagine we still know very little about it, not because we still don't know each and every component and its function, but because we still haven't figured out how the hell is the TV creating the broadcast.
Perhaps it's an assumption that leads us to imagine we still know little about the brain. The assumption that consciousness must be built by it. In fact, we know a lot about the brain. It's one of the best studied organs. Sure, there's a lot of work ahead, but it's a matter of detail.
We just know very little about consciousness, but perhaps this is because we are assuming the brain is producing it. So we simply assume that our knowledge of the brain must be underdeveloped, since we are a long way from figuring out how the hell does it do it. Nevertheless, there might be the case that concerning neuroscience, we already know pretty much all there is to know in general terms. Our knowledge may increase in terms of quantity (understanding better the function and functioning of a cell, a tissue, connections, etc.) , but in terms of a significant quality shift, I'm just not seeing that happening.

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.
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.

You are confusing me a little here.
Let me try to understand. You are saying that it's safe to assume the brain produces consciousness because we have limited knowledge to explain this proposal?
I'm not sure I'm getting you, because using our knowledge limitation to make an assertion makes no sense.
Perhaps what you mean is that you believe that with future knowledge we will be able to explain how the brain produces consciousness. Well, it may very well be so, but since I can't predict the future for the time being I prefer to suspend my beliefs on that, especially because they contradict empiricism.
Computers can be fully reduced to (= described in terms of) elementary particles and fundamental forces, i. e. there is no computation property that is 'produced' by them. If the same is true for brains, i. e. if they are fully reducible to elementary particles and fundamental forces, then the consequence is that no new properties are produced by them. This is at odds with the physicalist position, which precisely holds that there *is* a property that is produced by brains and vanishes when the brain dissolves. So the physicalists, in order to maintain their position, have to hold that there is something about consciousness that is irreducible to elementary particles and fundamental forces, which makes it unlike computation. what you seem to be forgetting is that the ascription of syntactical properties is always relative to an agent or observer who treats certain physical phenomena as syntactical. Not mattering the abstract level in computation, we built it, a human, conscious mind is behind it. Computational operations can be analyzed into progressively simpler units, until eventually we reach simple flip-flop, "yes-no", "1-0" patterns and these involving simple physical changes in hardware components. The fact remains that if we analyse a mental event into its simpler components we don't get neurons! And this should be freaking obvious by now. If I look at the physical components of a computer, the state of these components (0 or 1) and all the logical relations registered physically there (registered as 0 or 1 again), I can see the computation. That's all there is to computation in the end. Theoretically, it could be done with valves or even highly trained pigeons or cats. It just would take a lot of pigeons! If I look at the neural correlates, I will never see a thought. If I look at a thought, I'll never see its correlates.

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.

It's an intellectual sleight of hands.
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Jesse » Mon May 21, 2012 2:41 pm

:good:
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dexing » Mon May 21, 2012 2:44 pm

ghost01 wrote:Really our current thinking doesn't explain phenomena like NDE's which are pretty common. If consciousness emerges from the brain someone who is clinically brain-dead should have no memory from that time.


No one has ever come back from being brain-dead to tell a NDE story.

NDE stories are not reliable in any way, anyway.

Even taking into account thing's like deep meditation, and dreams where the body is no longer important but consciousness can still exist, while these aren't as compelling as NDE's scientifically because your brain is still functioning, I don't think anyone with experience in these would say consciousness is located in the body.


The body is no longer important? While certain mental states may cause one to feel that way, it would seem you need a body to meditate or dream, unless you have some evidence of a disembodied consciousness that you would like to present.
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dechen Norbu » Mon May 21, 2012 2:51 pm

You seem to have a pretty biased idea about NDE's and their significance.
How about listening to someone who actually researches these phenomenona instead of parroting "new atheist movement" or hard core skeptics (aka materialism fundamentalists) propaganda?
Here:
http://www.btci.org/bioethics/2012/videos2012/vid1.html

and as reading material:

http://www.pimvanlommel.nl/files/public ... 0Brain.pdf
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Jesse » Mon May 21, 2012 3:05 pm

No one has ever come back from being brain-dead to tell a NDE story.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlwyU0_M88o
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby steveb1 » Mon May 21, 2012 7:35 pm

Also, the jury is still out on the question of the separability of consciousness from the brain, i.e., veridical OBE is only beginning to be seriously experimented with. If any data coming from a consciousness whose brain is comatose or even has temporarily "died" can be proven, then there would be a strong indication of brain-mind separability.
There may be a way to test information gathered from "apparitions of the dead", dreams of the dead, and death-synchronous anomalies that - if not outright proving survival - could narrow down the plausible options to the point of "the best explanation being" survival.
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dexing » Tue May 22, 2012 3:00 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:
Dexing wrote:Materialism is immediately taken as the opposition in this topic here, but it's really just scientific investigation and discovery.

And by any chance you think there's research without metaphysical bias? Really? You live in a dream pal.


Are you telling me I can't examine scientific research without assuming a materialist position?

When scientific finding is clung to it can result in materialism, but science never holds a position always being open to development when new information is attained. It is actually religion that most often attempts to supply definite answers to everything instead of honestly admitting we don't yet know. All the popular religions do this. Buddhism does it just as much as Christianity.

Oh is it? Let me give you a clear example where this didn't happen:


The point is religious doctrine is most certainly put forth as immutable fact, while scientific theories can be overridden by new evidence, as clearly shown in your example. You only help to solidify the point.



But what we're talking about here really is the Buddhist perspective on consciousness versus what science has been able to reveal, and what justification there is for the Buddhist beliefs in the face of science. Neuroscience is the most rapidly growing field. We've learned more about than brain in the past 20 years than ever before.

Indeed. We learned a lot about the brain and practically nothing about consciousness. All we know is that there may be neural correlates to it, yet to be discovered.
We don't know the necessary and sufficient causes of consciousness, we have no explanation for its arising, we don't know its fate... in fact it's a bit hard to find a consensus about what it is. Epiphenomenalism entails a self defeating internal inconsistency that most people convinced by it overlook.
The emergence hypothesis is just that, an hypothesis based on specific metaphysical predilections, not facts.


The emergence hypothesis is not put forth as fact, hence "hypothesis". If it were based on "specific metaphysical predilections" you would likely see it pushed as fact and not theory.

Anyway, why do you ignore the first part, "what we're talking about here". Do you have anything to add to the topic as to justification for the Buddhist beliefs, in spite of what science has revealed to us at this point?

Is belief in disembodied consciousness justifiable, or is it taken on faith— albeit what Buddhist like to call "confidence-based" faith?

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.

You are confusing me a little here.
Let me try to understand. You are saying that it's safe to assume the brain produces consciousness because we have limited knowledge to explain this proposal?
I'm not sure I'm getting you, because using our knowledge limitation to make an assertion makes no sense.
Perhaps what you mean is that you believe that with future knowledge we will be able to explain how the brain produces consciousness.


No. First of all, I have not asserted any belief in this thread. Please don't assume I have claimed either side of the fence, or even to be a fence sitter. I haven't disclosed, because that's not the topic. I've merely presented the scientific theory, and posed a question to Buddhists in response.

What science has shown is that all indications suggest at least a brain is necessary for consciousness. There is no evidence of consciousness absent a brain, unless you have some which you would like to share. With that being the case, the question here is what justification, if any, is there in taking the Buddhist model of consciousness as fact?

You seem to have a pretty biased idea about NDE's and their significance.
How about listening to someone who actually researches these phenomenona instead of parroting "new atheist movement" or hard core skeptics (aka materialism fundamentalists) propaganda?


Whoa, when you assume things about people you don't know you really make an ass out of you and me, "ass-u-me". ;)
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dexing » Tue May 22, 2012 3:22 am

ghost01 wrote:
No one has ever come back from being brain-dead to tell a NDE story.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlwyU0_M88o


A coma may be described as "virtual brain death" as the narrator did, but it is not actual brain death. No one comes back from brain death.

As I said, no one has ever come back from being brain-dead to tell a NDE story. So there is no example of consciousness outside the brain to have "memory" of a time when they were brain-dead. Hence, "near" death experience... When all electrical activity in the brain ceases, it doesn't start up again.

If you take this guy's hallucinations as reliable, then you have to take it as evidence for god, which it is not, unless you wish to better interpret what only he experienced.
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue May 22, 2012 11:39 am

Dexting wrote:That would be jumping to the other side of the fence, which I'm not necessarily suggesting. I'm just saying there is no evidence of the above, so it can't be used as an honest example.

As I stated earlier, materialism is a position held by people who cling to science as fact, which not all of it is, nor does it even claim to be. I prefer not to jump to any such conclusion, regardless of whether or not it is the more plausible.


Science is not a system of cold hard facts as you've stated here.
So if science doesn't claim to be a fact, why question the Buddhist beliefs as being plausible when you just stated science is or is not?

The real question I had in this topic was what justification there is in believing the Buddhist doctrines on consciousness in the face of current scientific indications that tend oppose it. I'm not really taking a materialist position, personally.


Once again you're admitting that science "tends to oppose it". Which means it neither proves nor disproves the questionable fact.

Science isn't really any more of a fact than any belief system. A person, scientist, claims that this idea has now been proven to be real. Then another person, scientist, says you are mistaken and disproves or updates this so called fact.
If you seriously look into scientific facts, they are no more than an opinion that someone who is creative enough to make people believe that what they say is truth. As people we want answers to things we don't understand, so the person who comes up with the most believable scenario is the one considered right.
There are many examples of this, one would be the speed of light. Now really do we know how far the sun is from us? The theory is based on an guess that it is this far and it then takes this long for light to reach us. There is no proof of this but it is still considered a fact.
Another example would be medicines. This pill will cure this, fix that. BUT it will also cause this or that or these side effects. Many of them way more destructive to the body than the original "problem".

So I guess choose what you'd like to believe and go with it. That is about par for the course when you relate anything in any system of beliefs to another system of beliefs. We are a very ignorant race who come up with great stories (theories) to explain what we don't understand. It's just as we advance (also a theory) our stories become more indepth and complicated to make us seem more intelligent.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dexing » Tue May 22, 2012 12:20 pm

The Seeker wrote:So if science doesn't claim to be a fact, why question the Buddhist beliefs as being plausible when you just stated science is or is not?


Simply because the scientific method provides a generally reliable a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. Scientific investigation of the brain has revealed a lot to us, but its indications about consciousness thus far oppose the Buddhist model of consciousness.

My question does not put science as a fact, or suggest that all things are known by science, but at the very least no evidence of consciousness absent a brain has been discovered. In response to this I ask what justification there is for the Buddhist model of consciousness.

Criticizing the scientific method does not make the case, and is not an attempt at an answer.

So I guess choose what you'd like to believe and go with it.


I already got that answer from Nosta. "You believe or you don't".

Just choosing what you'd like to believe, or either "believe or don't" is just saying you don't have a good reason to believe what you do. For me, that is not satisfactory as I do care that my beliefs are justifiable.

Science isn't really any more of a fact than any belief system.


Do you really believe that? Science has proven the fact of evolution, while many religions still hold creation stories which deny it. Science has proven the Earth is not 6,000 years old and flat as the Bible suggests. They cannot be mutually valid. One is fact, one is fiction.
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue May 22, 2012 12:43 pm

Dexing wrote:Do you really believe that? Science has proven the fact of evolution, while many religions still hold creation stories which deny it. Science has proven the Earth is not 6,000 years old and flat as the Bible suggests. They cannot be mutually valid. One is fact, one is fiction.


Yes I do believe that.
Also science has the theory of evolution, not a true cold hard fact.
State where in the bible does it say the age of, or that the world is flat. It doesn't.
That was science saying that the world was flat and Columbus disproved it.
The bible does speak of the world being created and destroyed 2 times before this "creation" that we are supposedly existing in.

I see no point in going back and forth about the consciousness existing outside the brain anymore as it truly is a matter of belief. You are asking for proof of something that science, which you seem to hold at a very high standard, which is still only a belief system, can't prove or disprove.
But every "religious" belief system believes to be true.
So all in all if you don't believe it to be true than that is your own belief.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dexing » Tue May 22, 2012 1:20 pm

The Seeker wrote:Also science has the theory of evolution, not a true cold hard fact.
State where in the bible does it say the age of, or that the world is flat. It doesn't.


Do I have to do all your homework for you?

Evolution is no longer just a theory. It's fact. Go look it up.

Every place about the Earth in the Bible refers to it as flat, with four corners, hoisted on pillars, fixed immovable in space, with a firmament dome, god sits above it, the sun revolves around it, etc., etc.. Look these passages up for yourself.

The age of the Earth in the Bible is not explicitly stated, but is indicated in its passages alone. I'll provide this for you, everything else is too easy for you to just find yourself.

Beginning with the archeological landmark event of the fall of Jerusalem (which has now been corrected to 588 B.C., instead of 586-587 B.C.) and counting backwards the prophesied number of years between this event and the division of Solomon's kingdom (390 yrs. + 40 yrs., according to Ezekiel 4:4-7), brings us to 1018 B.C.

From the end of Solomon's 40-year reign to the start of the Temple in the 4th year of his reign takes us back another 37 years to 1055 B.C.

From the start of Solomon's Temple "in the 480th year" (1 Kings 6:1) back to the Exodus from Egypt (hence 479 years previous) brings us to near 1534 B.C.

From the Exodus out of Egypt to Abraham's entering Canaan from Haran was exactly 430 years to the day (Gen 12:10/ Exodus 12:40/ Gal 3:17), thus around 1964 B.C.

Since Abraham entered Canaan at age 75 (Gen 12:4), he was born approximately 2039 B.C.

From Abraham's birth to Noah's grandson (Shem's son), Arpachshad's birth, 2 years after the Flood started, was 290 years (Gen 11:11-26), this places the onset of the Flood at around 2331 B.C. [definitely 4,300-4,400 years ago].

The genealogy of Genesis 5:3-32 precludes any gaps due to its tight chronological structure and gives us 1,656 years between Creation and the Flood, thus bringing Creation Week back to near 3987 B.C. or approximately 4000 B.C


The Seeker wrote:I see no point in going back and forth about the consciousness existing outside the brain anymore as it truly is a matter of belief.


Okay, so you just choose to believe things for no reason. I asked what justification you have for your belief, or why you believe as you do. You have none and you just "choose what you'd like to believe", as you said.

I don't know why you call yourself "The Seeker", but okay. Thanks for posting.
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue May 22, 2012 1:56 pm

Thanks for the dates you provided. But as you know, any texts we read have been translated and there are many inconcistencies in these texts. As well as peoples belifes of what they heve written
As to why I believe what I believe here is one of the reasons.
I know everyone has a talent or ability that seems to come natural to them. I believe that these abilities are a result of a continuing consciousness. You recall, so to say, how to do these things because you have done or experienced them in a past existence.
One example I have experienced in my life was at the age of 18 I became the youngest licensed builder in the history of the state I live in. I was able to read blueprints nearly the first time I picked them up. And my abilities in building homes and laying out the framing as well as stuctural situations was said to be "second nature" to me.
I attribute this to a past experience. Hence my belief in a consciousness continuing from one existence to the next

I seek answers the same as you, but I also keep a very open mind and not rely on what the majority believe. Not saying you follow the majority though.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Dave The Seeker
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:02 pm
Location: Reading MI USA

Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dexing » Tue May 22, 2012 2:03 pm

The Seeker wrote:As to why I believe what I believe here is one of the reasons.
I know everyone has a talent or ability that seems to come natural to them. I believe that these abilities are a result of a continuing consciousness. You recall, so to say, how to do these things because you have done or experienced them in a past existence.
One example I have experienced in my life was at the age of 18 I became the youngest licensed builder in the history of the state I live in. I was able to read blueprints nearly the first time I picked them up. And my abilities in building homes and laying out the framing as well as stuctural situations was said to be "second nature" to me.
I attribute this to a past experience. Hence my belief in a consciousness continuing from one existence to the next


This is a description of what you believe, but not why you believe it.

You believe in a continuing consciousness because people have individual talents. But what makes you attribute that to past lives? What about the uniqueness of talents points to previous lives?
nopalabhyate...
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Dexing
 
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Re: Consciousness & the Brain

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue May 22, 2012 5:37 pm

I thought I gave the reason. How can someone, with no instruction, do something that takes years of instruction? Another example.would be a child prodogy. When a child picks up and plays an instrument like a seasoned professional with absolutly no instruction. This to me is proof of a past experience with the instrument.


Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
User avatar
Dave The Seeker
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:02 pm
Location: Reading MI USA

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