Lucid Dreamers and God

For those who wish to discuss the purely scientific aspects of sleep and dreams, including new research and future technologies.

Have you ever tried to communicate with God in the phase state (LD/OOBE/AP)?

Yes, and I was successful
5
9%
Yes, but nothing happened
2
4%
Yes, but what was encountered was a product of my mind
5
9%
No, but I am willing to try
28
51%
No, and I'm reluctant to try out of fear
0
No votes
No, and I never will (I'm an atheist who doesn't see any point)
15
27%
 
Total votes: 55

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buildit
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby buildit » 22 May 2015 00:00

It's alright, Deschain. I could have mentioned to Buildit that Isaac Asimov was an atheist, too. :mrgreen:


And I could remind you Gregor Mendel was a clergy, it doesn't make genetics illegitimate . :roll:

So Buildit, have we established here, once and for all, that, in all likelihood, God does not exist in any way, shape or form apart from human imagination and dreams (lucid or otherwise)? :mrgreen:

In all likelihood it wouldn't matter to you if he did. :lol:

By the way, Buildit, I really recommend that you read "The Selfish Gene" as it will help you to acquire a better understanding of evolution and dispel that ridiculous notion that the gene is somehow sentient, intelligent and thus selfish as though it were an ego. :geek:

I couldn't find it today but I did but The Greatest Show On Earth. Since it is written after The Selfish Gene I am hoping it might contain some of his thoughts on the issue. My education specified the importance of natural selection and economics of energy in the environment and food webs over individual causality.

I try not to carry any prejudices or ego into discussions like this. But as you consider it a debate I now see where my perception of your derisiveness emanates from.

Buildit, do you realize that you just said that "the individual," as a biological unit, is the same thing as fluid genetic information? These are indisputably distinct entities in science, like the distinction between populations and communities and ecosystems. It doesn't really matter what it "seems" like "to you," because this is elementary biology and Dawkins specifically dispels this confusion in almost all of his work.


Taking what I said out of context? Are we discussing the genetics of a population or the heredity of an individual here? When I heard Dawkins discuss it he used it in the context of the individual and their natural instincts as influenced by genetic preservation. He did not cover the expression of genes in a population like Mendal did.
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buildit
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby buildit » 22 May 2015 00:36

Here is one of the videos on the selfish gene I watched... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8C-ntwUpzM

Now here he is defining the individual as a carrier of the gene and that the genes of a population are dependent upon the individual as being good at what it does. This to me is inherent in natural selection. The altruism is based upon a benefit for the individual. These benefits are obvious in the benefit of mutual protection, mating opportunities and food availability thru exploiting cooperative hunting. All of these natural instincts are beneficial to the genes immortality. In a very obvious way the symbiotic relationship that began between dogs and humans demonstrates the genius of a gene trait which utilizes empathy and kinship even outside of its own species.

If you still think my comprehension of his theory is incorrect please explain it better than you have in previous comments.
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deschainXIX
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby deschainXIX » 22 May 2015 00:57

When did anyone mention even in passing the Mendelian (not "Mendalian") principles of heredity? They have nothing to do with your failure to discriminate between the levels of organization in ecosystems.

What don't you understand?

1.) You said Dawkins thought individuals were selfishly motivated due to their genes, comparing his theory to cynicism.
2.) I corrected you; Dawkins acknowledges both the altruistic and selfish behavior we see in individuals and populations, as genes are the selfish operators in nature, not individuals. Dawkins constantly tells people not to misconstrue his idea for an advocation of selfishness (as is the case with cynicism; as you were drawing parallels between cynicism and Dawkins' gene idea).
3.) You spun out casuistry, saying that the gene's selfishness, in your mind, equated to the individual's selfishness, despite the gene often compelling the individual to sacrifice itself for the longevity of the gene (like parents sacrificing themselves to ensure the survival of progeny).

And, yes, you're completely missing the concept. Dawkins obviously says that selfishness in genes often gives rise to selfishness in individuals, but there is an enormous departure from "cynicism" (as you nastily described it) in that often altruism rises in the individual as well. You're saying that altruism is actually egocentrism in disguise, which is to misconstrue the definition of "altruism"--genuinely selfless motivation for helping others. This we do observe, of course. Dawkins allots a good portion of his book discussing various examples of altruism in nature.

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Well said.

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buildit
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby buildit » 22 May 2015 03:18

But from what you are saying you imply the gene itself is making some sort of intelligent decision. All genes do is pass on expressed traits. If those trails allow you to reproduce the trait can be carried forward and influence another generation but your description sounds like a anthropomorphism of the abilities of DNA. I hope you are just poorly describing the idea from your laymen's point of view and a more articulate description in his book is more enlightening. :?
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby deschainXIX » 22 May 2015 20:57

It's not really difficult to understand. Personification is a device used here to describe the "selfish" mechanism in nature, the component upon whom natural selection operates. Cynicism itself is a term used in the humanities, whereas this scientific term is used to indicate conditions in nature that would produce what is considered "egocentrism" or "selfishness"--if one wanted to distinguish between the two terms (I wouldn't indulge in such anthropocentrism), fine. (Dawkins actually expressed ironic contempt of the enduring assertion of the humanities in the realm of science in his book.) But one of the most elementary points in biology is that organisms are composed of molecules upon whom the laws of chemistry and physics operate naturally. Once we have replicators that have distinct characteristics, we can have selection, and once we have selection we can have "selfishness":

Naturally, genes that are codes for effective "survival machines" are selected for, against those that code for ineffective progeny-producers and present-generation ensurers. Primarily and tertiarily dogmatic supplies and products are the components of the selection. In other words, the gene "aims" (or perhaps "is aimed") to create prime conditions for its own replication. I know you probably still don't understand, and perhaps Summerlander can explain it better, if he read The Selfish Gene.

The point is that individual organisms are not intrinsically selfish, as cynicism would hold. We observe altruism as well--how does cynicism explain this? And Dawkins obviously acknowledges this, and wrote a whole book explaining that genes, not individuals, are the intrinsically selfish operators in nature. Remember that I'm just clarifying what Dawkins' thoughts are for you; I'm not necessarily defending them (although they are correct). If you think the theory is flawed, take it up with him, not me. And what I mean by that is, actually give his work a look rather than preemptively saying his work is cynicism in order to somehow lend your own lazy, unoriginal thoughts credit. Anyone who pays attention to the syntax of an argument will see you're shifting the argument from what Dawkins' argument is to whether or not it is viable, without any resolution or change of energy. :D

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Well said.

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buildit
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby buildit » 23 May 2015 03:08

In other words, the gene "aims" (or perhaps "is aimed") to create prime conditions for its own replication.

Doesn't it make more sense to say the genes which provided the traits which increased the likelihood for individuals to survive and reproduce are the ones which get passed on?

The point is that individual organisms are not intrinsically selfish, as cynicism would hold. We observe altruism as well--how does cynicism explain this? And Dawkins obviously acknowledges this, and wrote a whole book explaining that genes, not individuals, are the intrinsically selfish operators in nature.

That matches what I've heard in his online videos and you were much clearer, well done. :D But I would suggest that the underlying principal being survival and successful breeding means that the selfish traits carried by the genes which produce expressed characteristics only increase the likelihood of altruistic behavior. To become altruistic the individual must perceive a benefit from their actions even if the benefit is on a scale that includes improving society such that the environment or culture of the population is a better place for survival or breeding potentials. In my mind to suggest otherwise would mean symbiotic relationships like bacteria in the gut is an altruistic behavior.


So yes, I still see animals as selfish (cynical) even if I agree that the root is to be attributed to genetic imprinting.
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Summerlander
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby Summerlander » 23 May 2015 03:22

@ deschain:

I couldn't agree more with what May Sarton said. No wonder in Christianity Satan sells the tree of knowledge with his luring pitch despite God having forbidden its fruit! I had a feeling that Christopher Hitchens, being the maverick that he was, would provide a professorial account of the pragmatic application of contrarians -- contrarians as needed -- which is redolent of bravery, intelligence, uniqueness and independence. In this sense, being a contrarian has its uses and in hindsight you didn't misrepresent him so much. I can see now how it can be argued that we need more contrarians as an antidote to the abject prostration of the pious by religious dogma. Thanks for clarifying the Hitch's position and I will soon read the book after I'm done with Karl Pilkington's "The Moaning of Life." (Now here's a funny and adorable cynic!) :-D

Indeed, even if Dreyfus had been a bete noir at the time, Emile Zola served as the prime example of an influencial contrarian nobly encouraging others to combat all forms of discrimination -- not just anti-Semitism. Orwell busied himself with the fascists in Spain and the misrepresented Marxism of Stalin. Far too many people seem to think that an idea is worth pursuing because it's ubiquitous. Somehow it doesn't enter the minds of the sheepish herd that the current unanimity could be amiss. And yet, quite a few are enamoured with conspiracy theories!

@ Buildit:

Of course the friarhood of Mendel did not rob genetics of its authenticity. Whoever said it did? (It's sort of ironic that he is mentioned by Dawkins, alongside Darwinism, as the biologist denies Lamarckism in "The Selfish Gene" -- if you had read it you would know.) Genetic function is a fact that Mendel, as a scientist, happened to rightfully uphold -- insofar as he could -- and his religionism was simply irrelevant. The same goes for Newton who did some serious work as regards classical physics when he wasn't dawdling with alchemy. You could have mentioned the apparently seamlessly scientific Francis Collins -- former head of the Human Genome Project -- who decided to embrace Christianity having been numinously transfigured by the sight of a frozen waterfall. This was his personal sign from God. Do you perceive Collins's reason for prostrating before the Almighty to be dianoetic (let alone legitimate)? And how is this relevant to scientific enquiry? :-)

The problem is not what Isaac Asimov said, Buildit. Apart from the irony that you quoted a renowned atheist, what he said was actually valid. But it is your interpretation of his quote that is problematic and fallacious. Asimov's statement does not predicate the stagnation of scientific disciplines for our benefit, nor did he further an urgency to raise erudition in the world as a solution to keep up with discovery and novelty. He merely made a poignant observation. You took that out of context and used it to support your anti-scientism. (You remind me of Rupert Sheldrake.) :-P

And yes, Buildit, 'in all likelihood' when it comes to God's nonentity because His absence is quite striking if not telling. (I hope you know the kind of probability that the quoted phrasal idiom alludes to.)

Moving on to "The Selfish Gene"... When are you going to admit that Deschain schooled you there instead of pretending that he is wrong or belying the subject of evolutionary biology? We have already established that a genetic unit is only 'selfish' in the sense that it is preserved by natural selection over generations. Kin altruism, for instance, may play its role in immortalising certain genetic combinations in the evolution of a species. There is a reason why Dawkins wishes he had listened to the senior publisher Tom Maschler when this one suggested that the book should be titled "The Immortal Gene." It would have been less confusing.

When it comes to Dawkins, you appear to be ignorant of most of his ideas.The expressiveness and recessiveness of genes; genetic coding for embryology; phenotypes; extended phenotypes; and let's not forget memes! The end result determines how the creature is likely to fair in the world. Don't make assumptions about his literature -- read it! His scientific and philosophical kernel is worth digesting as it's extensive and expansive. You should stand corrected (by Deschain) instead of trying to save face by watching pertinent Youtube videos at the last minute as a means to mask your ignorance in the hope to dissemble your previous solecism.

I don't see how Deschain implies that the gene itself is intelligently deciding anything. This is what you implicated with your irrationality earlier, Buildit. Deschain's message was perspicuous enough: Genes can cause selfish as well as altruistic behaviours in individuals. You are either reading too much into what was said (as though Deschain implied genes are conscious agents) or you're deliberately misrepresenting his explanations and hoping to flim-flam him into thinking he wasn't coherent enough with your casuistry. :-)

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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deschainXIX
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby deschainXIX » 23 May 2015 15:43

If that's what you think, buildit, fine. You're a cynic like Summerlander said. Just don't try to bring Dawkins down to your level; Dawkins is no cynic, he's a scientist, and as I've demonstrated you misrepresented his views. That's all.

"To become altruistic the individual must perceive a benefit from their actions even if the benefit is on a scale that includes improving society such that the environment or culture of the population is a better place for survival or breeding potentials."

It certainly isn't on such a large scale for most organisms. Altruism does not necessarily denote benefiting an entire species. It is simply some behavior that benefits an individual or population other than the individual doing the benefit. Like a bird calling a predator away from the rest of the flock, at the risk that the predator will be able to perceive its location and kill it. Dawkins provides many other examples in his book. This is becoming circular.

But I'm sorry... did you say that symbiotic relationships are altruistic? Oh, my. Let me define a few terms. Symbiosis: a mutually beneficial relationship between two organisms. Altruism: one helps another in a way that doesn't simultaneously help oneself or is actually disadvantageous to oneself. I don't think I need to point out the problem here.

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Well said.

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Summerlander
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby Summerlander » 23 May 2015 18:38

It took a semantic iteration from Deschain to finally snuff out that derisory -- and persistent! -- oxymoron of yours, Buildit. Get "The Selfish Gene." PLEASE! :-D

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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buildit
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby buildit » 24 May 2015 16:53

So with a lot of weekend travel I had time to listen to the online version of the Selfish gene. Since you obviously like to simply twist my words to mean what you want them to say, as you did with my comment about symbiotic relationship of bacteria in the gut, I'll just say Dawkins doesn't back up what you say. In fact he says' he anthropomorphizes genes for the purposes of illustration.

The point is that individual organisms are not intrinsically selfish, as cynicism would hold. We observe altruism as well--how does cynicism explain this? And Dawkins obviously acknowledges this, and wrote a whole book explaining that genes, not individuals, are the intrinsically selfish operators in nature.


Several times he explains the personification of genes is for illustrative purposes only. So he is only attributing selfishness to genes to clarify the roll of evolution in the deterministic progression of the traits carried forward by DNA. Human altruism is in fact attributed for the good of the gene and is why he attributes the selfishness to the gene. This is a personification so in reality the selfishness is ours, the cynicism is ours. Dawkins says' in his first version "let us teach altruism" because even he had issues separating the vehicle from the operator. This is all fine and well for illustrative purposes.
Look at the cost benefit model he uses to account for altruistic behavior. While he acknowledges that individual organisms do not necessarily calculate this for their actions the accounting predicts what we see in nature. If it is to the benefit of the individual then that is the course followed weather it is feeding young or letting a runt die. We follow self interested nature that cost benefit analysis confirms.
Unlike a computer whose base programming can't change animals can alter their behavior on the fly based upon perceived benefits. The genes base commands predetermine an animals instinct but intelligence can over ride that. So being selfish by the nature of the base instructions from our genes doesn't mean we cannot find value in altruistic behavior and change. I might argue that intelligence has evolved because it allows for vessels to overcome genetic predisposition for selfishness finding better ways to ensure their genes are passed on.

In the end I found it a boring book with few insights not widely discussed and accepted already in many naturalist and genetic fields. It is a product of its time, where Jane Goodall was still wowing the world with insight into primate behavior, breaking down human preconceptions of our primate cousins being less like us than we would otherwise admit.

Here is the link to the audio book-->
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drCcUbP79AU
Is Lucid Dreaming the brains preparation for the next step of human evolution when we can escape the corporeal bond of our bodies?


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