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"And God Made Man In His Image"

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posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 03:18 PM
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man indeed seems to have been "made in Gods image".


It has always been the other way round, man made God in his image. All mammals are sentient beings. Each has a level of consciousness that affords them, according to their physical form and brain structure and neurological network, a level of self-sentience. Any life form that has the faculty of long-term remembrance will in varying degrees have capacity for intelligence and self-reflection.

Dolphins are most certainly self-sentient and intelligent, they even display it to us in their play. It amuses me how we consider ourselves the most intelligent creature on earth, and yet billions of us around the planet, profess a faith in a religion, and a belief in a Creator or God. This absurd paradox really does nail it on the head for presenting our greatest flaw...having this supreme natural faculty and using it to believe in fairytales.




posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by Sparky63
 





Man was made in God's image in that he can reflect or imitate God's qualities and attributes.


All of these qualities and attributes you speak about are human ones. Since those are the ONLY ones you're aware of and can speak about. So what you're doing is creating God in your image.


edit on 17-3-2014 by Visitor2012 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:58 AM
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reply to post by kauskau
 





I mean: unbroken consciousness.



Yeah, that's what I was referring to at the end of my post as "embodied". When you are embodied, thought occurs in an "intuitive" and reactive manner. This way of thinking, which Daniel Kahneman calls "thinking fast", does imply a very strong "I-Thou" type of relationship. The self is "immersed" in its environment, as opposed to being "abstracted" from it with it's self-reflective abilities.




In that state can fear occur and you see that you are acting like a programmed being. But you don´t feel separated or objectified.


This is also what I wanted to emphasize. Fear is a central component of animal-mammalian life. When a rat scurries away, when a deer "freezes" upon being startled, or when a polar bear runs for it's life as a helicopter chases it, FEAR, as a subcortical-brain emotion system, kicks into gear as a way to facilitate survival. The visual cortex alerts the amygdala to a "salient cue" in it's immediate environment; this causes the hypothalamus to send out corticotropin releasing factor to the pituitary gland, which in turn releases adrenocorticotropic hormone, which causes the adrenal cortex to release cortisol into the blood. Cortisol breaks down glucose for cell energy. This causes a bunch of autonomic processes to "increase output". The heart increases it's rate, the lungs contract faster for breathing and oxygenating the brain - which needs to be "alert" to the outside dangers in it's environment. A lot of physical stuff happens within the organism as it's experiencing an intersubjective "oneness" with it's environment. After an emotionally traumatizing event, animals usually let out a "discharge freeze", which manifests as a bunch of spasmodic movements associated with the bodily actions utilized during the trauma. This is often a bunch of leg movements - which enacts "running away". So a polar bear, for example, would look like it is seizuring after it's been traumatized by scientists interested in studying them.




And its not godlike to be in a conscious reflection of an object and thinking that you are perceiving "more than a phenomenon"


Regardless of ones personal views, there is something "Godlike" about being removed from an object. In this, the ability of the human mind to "re-represent" to itself an object within it's mind is very much akin to our intuitions about God. God is "the creator" of this same ontological notion we have about God.

Of course, you can say that the ontological notion is "arbitrary", but I do think that the concept of God, which implies to so many the Creative power responsible for the world we experience, both externally as an environment, and internally as our consciousness, necessarily "overwhelms" us, since it implies a knowledge, a knowing, which we simply cannot understand. That God is removed from this context we find ourselves in - being the shaper, creator, and sustainer of it all - it is perfectly natural to consider our similar ability, vis a vis an object represented to ourselves as thought, as being godlike.




God never sees itself. Thats the true god-state.


That may be true. Or maybe that's just an assumption you have which you stubbornly cling to.




We as a society are not even close to be in that state.


Society could never function in that state. The world would become a loony bin if "people never reflected". It's in our nature to be "ape like". To fight for social status, to mistreat one another if it'll "promote our individual survival". These are natural characteristics, i'm sorry to tell you. There's no such thing as the "noble savage".

It takes mindful direction to create a better world. It takes a "knowing" with the right brain, which connects us with deeper and truer values, this being how we develop the faculty of wisdom. At the same time, it takes an active left hemisphere which rationally understands it's environment, it's relationships with others, and understands in a self aware way how to best improve it's own welfare and the welfare of the community.

In my mind, you can't do without either state. Life in this world is all about balance and harmony between opposing states. If you want to be Godlike, in the sense you describe, become a hermit or a monk and dedicate yourself to it. However, so long as we are embodied as "different beings", with different minds, different nervous systems, different perceptions, we need our left brain to help "correct and guide" us lest we create intersubjective "breaks" that sow resentment and anger between people.

Social life REQUIRES a dualistic framework which operates within a "unifying" context.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 01:14 AM
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reply to post by elysiumfire
 





Dolphins are most certainly self-sentient and intelligent, they even display it to us in their play. It amuses me how we consider ourselves the most intelligent creature on earth, and yet billions of us around the planet, profess a faith in a religion, and a belief in a Creator or God. This absurd paradox really does nail it on the head for presenting our greatest flaw...having this supreme natural faculty and using it to believe in fairytales.



It's important that we understand the terms we use.

Self sentience, that is, the awareness of self as an embodied actor, is not the same as "awareness OF awareness", that is, representing ones own thoughts - those related to ones being - back to oneself.

As my post mentioned, apes and monkeys have been studied and continue to be studied by researchers in primatology. Franz DeWal, for example, acknowledges that only human beings have morality. As a psychologist, he is careful - unlike so many other people - to understand and recognize the distinction between "feeling another creatures emotions", something called "emotional contagion", sympathizing with another creatures emotions, which is an advanced form of empathy, and representing to the self in a conceptual manner that "this way of relating" is inherently right; or more subtly, that "this way of relating in this particular context, is right".

Thousands of experiments with apes have been done to ascertain what their awareness is. How do they respond? We know that chimps and bonobos have very different social systems; chimps will eat their enemies, for example. Whereas when disagreements occur in bonobo troops, the females interject themselves and all the fighter make love instead of war.

Chimps (and bonobos) are very intelligent creatures, no doubt. There is an awareness here in this behavior that implies that sex is preferable to fighting. But is there an awareness that "this social structure benefits our troop. So whenever we are about to fight, we should # instead"?

If there is one principle in science that should be respected that laughably enough, most people don't accept, is the connection between "behavior" and consciousness. You would think neuropsychology has advanced far enough to show that damn near everything about us is sourced in the brain. The right arm doesn't move without input from the left motor cortex. The mind doesn't think normally without a fully intact orbitofrontal cortex. We KNOW what the brain does from experiments. It's not a mystery to science anymore.

What's a mystery is that so many behaviourist minded people fail to understand that behind an acting body is a feeling and thinking consciousness. And whats "in that consciousness" is reflected in behavior, in eye contact, body language, vocal tone, in relation to context. Much can be inferred. This principle applies to human psychology, so I do not understand the rationale of people who obtusely insist that "we don't know" what happens in the minds of animals.

Can we know "for certain", that is, 100%? No. I'm not sure anything but my own awareness is "a certainty". I can't say you exist with a 100% certainty because the world is ultimately limited to my own conscious awareness. But still, I am not insane. I understand that "highly probable" is good enough. And this is what science operates from.

Thus, assumption i've made with this thread is that animal consciousness is legitimately inferable from animal behavior.
edit on 18-3-2014 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 03:09 AM
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Astrocyte:

Self sentience, that is, the awareness of self as an embodied actor, is not the same as "awareness OF awareness", that is, representing ones own thoughts - those related to ones being - back to oneself.


I would agree with your coherent elucidation, but balk at the way you describe 'awareness of awareness' as being a 'representation of one's own thoughts'.

The phrase you use -'awareness of awareness' - sets up an infinite series of 'awarenesses' plus 1. The plus one being an infinite addition of an awareness carrying out the actual sentient observation. Nature has omitted this infinite series of awarenesses simply by imbuing the faculty of memory in mamals and other life forms. Self-sentience is simply a cross-referential resonance between immediate past with immediate present, which allows for an extension of awareness into an immediate future (ie, anticipation). All memory-bearing life forms will have a varying degree of self-sentiency. Self-sentience is always a latent resonance, and never a true representation of the real present moment, even if the external environment conditions are unchanging.

The 'real' present moment is always opaque to consciousness, undergoing an ordered filtering process before being represented in or as consciousness. This also must include our thoughts and thinking process, the end result of which (ie, conscious awareness) remains inescapably a latent representation. The 'real' observer of awareness is as opaque to conscious awareness as the 'real' present moment.


Thus, assumption I've made with this thread is that animal consciousness is legitimately inferable from animal behavior.


Absolutely. Wholly agree with you.


I'm not sure (of) anything but (that) my own awareness is "a certainty".


Je pense, donc je suis as Descartes wrote, later latinizing it into 'cogito ergo sum'. That there is always an observer of awareness, but it cannot be the representation in consciousness, but always behind it, underlying it, and opaque to its own observation except as a latent image from memory. Memory is the cause of duality.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 10:01 PM
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reply to post by elysiumfire
 





Self-sentience is simply a cross-referential resonance between immediate past with immediate present, which allows for an extension of awareness into an immediate future (ie, anticipation).


Forgive me for the confusion. We each come to this discussion with our own way of talking about things. My way is mostly influenced by developmental psychology and cognitive/affective neurosciences. In particular, the works of Ian Mcgilchrist, Jaak Panksepp, Elkonan Goldberg, Dan Siegel, Peter Fonagy figure large in my way of thinking. I see a lot of cognitive neuroscience in your way of thinking, which, in my view, seems a bit reductive to reduce everything to just an issue of "working memory". Although that can be a useful framework to work, it doesn't accurately account for the phenomena we see within our ownselves, and within the behavior of other creatures.

I think Jaak Panksepps views are the most succinct we have to date for consciousness. And it can only be "made sense of", in my opinion, from the perspective of the neurological evolution of the vertebrate brain. With each "accretion", from reptiles to animals, for example, a more complicated form of sociality and with it, emotion and cognition, emerges. What animals do, reflects what they are able to understand and know. This is how evolution works. Environment "impresses" upon biology. Dogs don't have philosophy because there is no point for it. There social structures are far too primitive to accomodate a consciousness that can "wonder" about the world. Same thing with dolphins and apes. In apes in particular, the rudiments of self-reflection i.e sympathy, is present




and never a true representation of the real present moment,


I never said the "awareness of awareness" is contingent on whats happening with the present moment. It is, like everything we think, a reflection of whats "just passed". It's important that you at least understand and recognize that science - primatology, ethology, neuroscience, developmental psychology - strongly indicates that only human beings possess the awareness to be aware of ones own awareness. And no, I don't care about how "redundant" this can become. I mean only the "split" which occurs un human awareness where the self can be reflected upon and objectified as an "I". This state is not contingent on external factors. A monkey, for example, may recognize its own image in a mirror. But science has shown that this "self reflective" capacity is limited to embodied awareness i.e. a sense of their own body within time and space. Since "embodiedness" i.e. experiencing reality in a "subjective emotional present", is how animals experience the world, evolutionary theory would mandate that before full blown "awareness of awareness" i.e. a cognition about ones cognitions, develops, something which is seen in human beings, it first had to reach a stage of "awareness of self as an embodied actor", which is what we see in apes.

This faculty - mindfulness, or mind sight - is what enables the emergence of "guided behavior". Behavior that is directed by a self which mindfully projects it's own will into it's flow of experience. This is a sui generis mental phenomenon with no known cognate in any other life-form.

No other animals can do this, and we know this because we've tried to measure it by creating different situations which can be solved only by engaging in the desired behaviour. Apes - chimps, bonobos, orangatuans etc, as mentioned, can show sympathy. This is especially present in bonobos. One chimp at a zoo, apparently, picked up a bird that fell into it's cage, picked it up, brought it up to the top of the canopy, and opened its wings for it to "fly away". For this to happen, the chimp had to: a) be aware of birds b) understand that birds fly c) that by bringing it to the top of the tree, she would be optimizing it's ability to fly. These mental skills are amazing, but what astonishes me is that the chimp would even experience sympathy for another SPECIES.

Chimps are a evolutionary throwback. They help explain our own development. Nevertheless, they are hamstringed by their instincts and biology. Unlike human beings, they do not have the capacity to "reify" wisdom in external institutions. It's precisely this human capacity for language creation, writing, and manipulating our external environments with such efficacy, that succeeding generations are made smarter and smarter. No other creature can change it's condition like we can. If this isn't astonishing, I think you've become dissociated from the sheer-awesomeness of life.
edit on 18-3-2014 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 19 2014 @ 07:49 AM
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Visitor2012
reply to post by Sparky63
 





Man was made in God's image in that he can reflect or imitate God's qualities and attributes.


All of these qualities and attributes you speak about are human ones. Since those are the ONLY ones you're aware of and can speak about. So what you're doing is creating God in your image.


edit on 17-3-2014 by Visitor2012 because: (no reason given)


That is an interesting point of view. I don't agree with it but thank you for sharing it with us. The qualities or attributes I mentioned were not the "only" ones I am aware of though. As I mentioned in my post, those are the "cardinal" attributes, there are many more that are off topic for this thread though.



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