There are degrees of discipline and rigour. As an example, if you have a peak experience and feel like you have communed with God, do you believe those impressions implicitly or wonder about possible alternative explanations? The latter is relatively rigorous and the former is the grasping of the first beautiful possibility.Greylorn Ell wrote: ↑Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:17 pmPersonally, I don't think that "intellectual rigour and discipline" exist. (I worked in high-tech engineering, astronomy, physics, and even a bit of biochemical development.) Real scientists are just a bunch of young men having fun with idea exploration, and mostly winging it. The IR & D bullshit only comes into play when they go to school and come away with a Ph.D.Greta wrote: ↑Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:07 amHe's referring to DAM claiming that there is nothing - that nothing exists and this is all an illusion. Then, with probing, he finds there is naught but consciousness. Some more probing and now the story is that there is nothing but consciousness and concepts. As he noted, the list is growing. Next we are hoping to add three French hens, or maybe five golden rings?
Otherwise, I agree with your criticisms because there's plenty of over-certain suggestions being made about that which no certainty is possible. Basically it's a failure of intellectual rigour and discipline. It's easy enough to add qualifiers when airing one's speculative views about the great unknown questions of existence but some prefer to game their ideas as promotion.
For the record, my intuition tells me that the Earth and other complex cosmic bodies could quite possibly be conscious, but a different kind of mind to animal consciousness. However, proving an intuition is a whole other matter. Even the ancients knew that intuition wasn't enough, that we need to question ourselves as well as others.
Somehow that lesson seems to be getting lost in this climate of "fake news", where bluster and gamesmanship are more highly regarded than hard-won knowledge.
Your insights regarding the potential of cosmic-body consciousness fit my personal theories. If you are like the new-agers who've promoted consciousness notions, you'll probably think that animals are consciousness, and if so, I disagree-- with occasional non-general exceptions.
What is your best definition of consciousness?
By "animal consciousness" I was including humans. The supposed gulf between humans and other animals was created because H. sapiens out-competed (and often ate) their nearest hominid cousins. Dominance as a group species meant being able to develop culture instead of wasting time, effort and opportunity trying to evade predators. Thus, the gap created when the last Neanderthal died became wider.
As for the planet being conscious, it's fanciful. I feel more confident about making the case that the planet is a living entity not just "a rock" than a conscious one, but are no doubt different kinds of consciousness.
I like to think that the flow of water, magma, molten rock, sand etc is like the flow of consciousness, with river channels being equivalent to electrical signals following the conditioned channels of our neurons. Maybe.
One aspect Part of this came after wondering why we wake up after sleep as ourselves rather than starting again as a blank.