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Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group Message Board › HUMANIANITY: The Most Important Religion

HUMANIANITY: The Most Important Religion

Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,881
Introduction:
Throughout much of Western philosophical thought there has been an overt and/or underlying set of problems that have produced polarities of thinking, such as idealism vs. realism, but never to my knowledge any satisfactory conclusion. These problems have long been called "the "mind-body problem" and the "free will vs. determinism problem," or referred to in some similar manner. They are actually problems associated with some of our species' most difficult issues (involving major decision-making). I wish to solve these problems, and believe I have. See if you think I have.

The "mind-body problem" has to do with what the connection is between the two, including the issue as to how it can be that one may influence the other, especially when the physical sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.), that have made great strides in understanding how the body (including the brain) works, use formulas that contain no variables having to do with the mind. And the "free will vs. determinism problem" has to do with how, if everything in the universe occurs according to causal laws, we are able to make decisions, when what we do was already bound to occur anyway.

I wish, however, to be somewhat more specific about the nature of these problems before giving you my solutions. And it will be crucial that, in order to have adequate understanding, we will need to use words with specific, agreed-upon meanings for the purpose of this discussion. (There is much misunderstanding related simply to individuals using the same words with different meanings.)

By "world" we will mean everything that exists, consisting of entities and their tendencies to interact. "Entity" will mean anything to which we can or could assign a name, or noun, such entities often being referred to as "things." The concept of "entity" will be discussed in greater detail later in this presentation.

(By "imaginary world" we can mean everything that exists only in imagination, referred to as "imaginary entities" or "imaginary things," and contrasted with what is often called the "real world." And we will recognize that there will be at times disagreement as to whether a certain particular entity is in the "world," or "real world" or in the "imaginary world," that is, "exists" or "does not exist." Thus, we can say that some entities "exist" and some do not. This issue will become clearer as the presentation proceeds.)

Almost everyone agrees that the world (real world) exists, and that it contains entities we can sense, including stars, planets, gravity, light, dirt, water, air, plants, and animals, including humans, and also entities we can't sense, including molecules, atoms, electromagnetic force fields, electrons, neutrinos, quarks, gluons, etc. These entities are generally considered part of the "physical world," studied by the physical sciences.

But almost everyone also agrees that the world contains minds (especially, or maybe only, of humans), which in turn contain sensations, perceptions, concepts, thoughts, feelings, wishes, memories, fantasies, motivations, drives, aspirations, ideals, intentions, decisions, etc. These entities are generally considered part of the "mental world," studied by the psychological and social sciences. Three terms related to (but not necessarily identical with) "mind" are "consciousness" (or "conscious awareness"), "soul," and "spirit." All three are associated with some controversy, which I believe this presentation may resolve.

So the world, that which exists, is considered to be made up of "physical" entities and "mental" entities. We generally consider that there is a certain amount of interaction among some of these entities, in that some seem to influence others, such that we have developed the concept of "causation." Almost everyone considers that physical entities have causative influences on each other (heat causes chemical reactions to occur faster), and that mental entities also have causative influences on each other (certain thoughts or perceptions cause fear or anger), but the problem I am addressing has to do with whether physical and mental entities have any causative interaction with each other. Can something in the mind cause something in the physical world to happen, and/or vice versa, and, if so, how?

And there are additional aspects to the problem, having to do with the origins of the physical and mental world. From within science, the idea has arisen, with much evidence supporting it, that the physical world that we see around us came into being about 13.8 billion years ago, perhaps in something like a "big bang," and it has been operating since then according to a set of rules, or "natural laws." Somewhere along the line, however, this "lifeless" physical universe began to develop within it additional entities, opaque, invisible "minds," at least some of which have been attached in an unclear manner to entities within the physical world, these minds seeming to have some additional effect on the physical entities that goes beyond the rules according to which the physical entities had been interacting with each other. There have been other scenarios imagined, also, such as that the physical entities and the minds came into existence at about the same time. How, when, and why these minds came into existence has been a question that has never been answered to the satisfaction of everyone, or even the majority of people.

Of course, other scenarios have been imagined also. But again, no scenario has been imagined that seems believable by almost everyone, despite the fact that probably almost everyone, from ancient times until the present, has given it some thought.

So all of these issues are what this presentation is about. I hope to provide answers that anyone, who gives adequate consideration to the presentation, can accept. However, I know from what I went through in writing this that reading it superficially, so as to get a "general impression," will not accomplish any sense of confidence in what is written or feeling of good understanding of it. It will probably have to be read more than once, with some rereading of paragraphs during any one reading. Understanding of these issues will involve the development of new networks of enhanced neuronal connections in the brain, such development always being a gradual process that is accomplished through substantial repetition. That is what had to happen for me.


Todd W.
user 104073922
Columbia, SC
Post #: 35
Bill,

I respect the years of work on your book "Mind-Body Problem book" and do sincerely applaud your works, not an easy task. Can you grant me the request to avoid the use of reference of your "very well written book" as I will not refer to any books I have read as premise or a foundation to our discussions. As a University of South Carolina undergraduate studies includings Graduate studies at USC in Columbia SC, I have read more books, articles and sat in on more lectures than I can count.

I am more interested in a one-on-one discussion with you and this forum on topics of one's choosing. I will surely offer response and discussion that the forum may ponder and we may all learn from - collectively.

Therefore I refer back to my previous question due to my lack of knowing "your" definition, and ask to know this without "us" referring to any writings or in a book format as a foundation. I am simply asking what the term "world" is to you and I will respond to what the "world" refers to me. Fair enough? Btw, the term "world" definition is somewhat murky - agreed.


""I use the following, or something like it, in the parentheses:
“(beliefs about how the world is, was, and/or will be, including what is likely to happen or have happened)”
This is to be contrasted with “ethical beliefs” (about what I, you, we, or they should or should not do).""

Can I first ask for your definition or your use of "world" as in the above?

Thank you for your understandingsmile



Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,882
I do plan to quote from what I have written if it answers questions or helps to explain. You certainly don't have to read the book, and I have indeed given in the quoted material how I am using the word. However, it is important to realize that the word does have a murky meaning, and that the mind-body problem does exist as an impediment to clarity of thought when we are trying to talk about very basic issues. Also, you said that you do wish to discuss philosophical issues to gain greater understanding, so I was simply pointing to that which I thought would add more depth to our discussion. Also, this discussion is not just for you and me, but for anyone interested, and I put in references to what some may be interested in exploring further. You are welcome to do the same. Also, the context in which a sentence occurs is often very important in understanding the sentence, and I am trying to include that context. But I do not intend just to tell you to go read a book rather than giving an answer the best I can. So here is the answer quoted again from what I have quoted above, to which you can refer for its context.

By "world" we will mean everything that exists, consisting of entities and their tendencies to interact. "Entity" will mean anything to which we can or could assign a name, or noun, such entities often being referred to as "things."
The word "world" is not necessary to the meaning of "existential beliefs." Existential beliefs are beliefs about what exists, has existed, and/or will exist, and about what is likely to happen or have happened. They are to be contrasted with ethical beliefs, about what should or should not be done. There is much that I have written about the problematic term "exists," also, but I don't know whether going into that much depth right now would be helpful.

Now can you clarify for me why you have asked me that question? Do you believe you have a better definition of the word when it is being used for our purposes? And do you believe I have made clear the meaning of "existential beliefs" as I use the term?

Examples of existential beliefs (linguistic models of them):
The floor I am walking on is solid.
This food will relieve my hunger.
If I do this I'm likely to get caught.
People will admire me if I do this.
Eating meat causes arteriosclerosis.
The earth is a sphere.
There is a deity in the volcano that likes virgins.
Hydrogen and oxygen combine to form water.
Columbus discovered America.
It will rain tomorrow.
Einstein was right.
Einstein was wrong.

Examples of ethical beliefs:
I should get something to eat.
I should buy this item.
I should not buy this item.
I should not kill.
People should not kill each other.
You should leave me alone.
We should have a democracy.
Everyone should study science.
We should find a virgin for the volcano god.
You should read my book on the mind-body problem.
Todd W.
user 104073922
Columbia, SC
Post #: 36
In regards to quoting from your book - understood.

""Now can you clarify for me why you have asked me that question? Do you believe you have a better definition of the word when it is being used for our purposes? And do you believe I have made clear the meaning of "existential beliefs" as I use the term?""

Yes I can after your clarification because the word World is a tricky one.

""By "world" we will mean everything that exists, consisting of entities and their tendencies to interact. "Entity" will mean anything to which we can or could assign a name, or noun, such entities often being referred to as "things."""

Let me say that if we were to replace the above word "Entity" with the word "Finite", would help shed light to the above. Not a better definition but simply a different perspective and just mine. Entity and finite are close in definition yet do differ in meaning. I think that a entity is a result of a finite because a entity can be a any "thing". Your thoughts?

<finite definition copy & paste<
1. having bounds or limits; not infinite; measurable.
2. Mathematics .
a. (of a set of elements) capable of being completely counted.
b. not infinite or infinitesimal.
c. not zero.
3. subject to limitations or conditions, as of space, time, circumstances, or the laws of nature: man's finite existence on earth.

With this being said, let me show example to the below of what I think would be finite or a "thing".

Examples of existential beliefs (linguistic models of them):
The floor I am walking on is solid - finite (measurable)
This food will relieve my hunger - finite (measurable)
If I do this I'm likely to get caught - thing (no measurement)
People will admire me if I do this - thing (no measurement)
Eating meat causes arteriosclerosis - finite (measurable)
The earth is a sphere - finite (measurable)
There is a deity in the volcano that likes virgins - thing (no measurement)
Hydrogen and oxygen combine to form water - finite (measurable)
Columbus discovered America - thing (no measurement)
It will rain tomorrow - thing (no measurement)
Einstein was right - finite (measurable)
Einstein was wrong - finite (measurable)


Examples of ethical beliefs:
I should get something to eat - finite (measurable)
I should buy this item - finite (measurable)
I should not buy this item - finite (measurable)
I should not kill - thing (no measurement)
People should not kill each other - thing (no measurement)
You should leave me alone - thing (no measurement)
We should have a democracy - thing (no measurement)
Everyone should study science - thing (no measurement)
We should find a virgin for the volcano god - finite (measurable)
You should read my book on the mind-body problem - will leave this one alonesmile

How does this apply to this definition of world and humanity? I think dependent on how finite humans interact with other humans including non human finite's will determine how humanity exists in the short time that a human is in the finite.

I understand your definition of "world" and thank you for your time to clarify. My thought process is all that exists in the world is what we know "finite" and what we don't know. Every thought requires an action. The human finite is the "as is" so the outcome actions from human thoughts is the never ending measurement of co-existing populations.

My perception.
Todd W.
user 104073922
Columbia, SC
Post #: 37
added for finite clarification;

I think there are two categories of Finite that I should mention;

1 - the finite human is created
2 - all other finite is built by the finite human

As true with the two categories of finite, both will return back to the dust and return back to the dirt.

My thoughts.

Any other thoughts in the forum I would be very interested.
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,883
Todd, you and I have quite different lexicons. My impression is that you use common words with somewhat atypical and unclear meanings. As you know, in what I write I try to be as clear as possible as to what I mean, so that others will understand what I am trying to convey. Perhaps you too have defined and explained your words elsewhere in ways that can be understood, and quoting those definitions and explanations would be great.

The words I am having most trouble understanding are “finite” and “measurement.” Also, I think we have different meanings for “objective,” though I can’t tell for sure.

It seems to me that you are using the word “finite” as a noun rather than an adjective, which is its usual nature. You seem to juxtapose, or compare, “finite,” an adjective, with “thing,” a noun, and also “entity,” a noun. You seem to be saying that certain things are either a “finite” or a “thing.” So if you could clarify this issue it would help our effort to communicate.

When you use “measurable” or “measurement,” it is not at all clear what it is that is to be measured. For instance, you say:

“I should get something to eat - finite (measurable)”

What is it that is measurable?

The list of statements was a list of existential and ethical propositions that modeled existential and ethical beliefs, as I use the terms “existential” and “ethical.” Does your adjective “measurable” refer to the sentence? What is the variable that is being measured? Is it the strength of the ethical sense (motivation) that accompanies the ethical belief?

Why would you say:

“It will rain tomorrow - thing (no measurement)”

What is it that you are saying is unmeasurable?

To help you understand in what ways I think differently from you, I will quote the chapter from the Mind-Body Problem book entitled “Objective Model: Measurement.” Needless to say, some of it (e.g., the “Objective Model” and the “Subjective Model”) will not be understandable without reading the preceding chapters, but I believe most of it will be easily understandable and relevant to our discussion. Then, if you will clarify the above issues I will be able to follow what you are saying. Hopefully the material in the chapter will help you to see more clearly what I need clarification for. Thanks!

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,884
(Continued from previous post)
OBJECTIVE MODEL: MEASUREMENT

The key concept in this whole presentation of the difference between the Subjective Model and the Objective Model is that of "objectivity," which will now be extended some.

What does objectivity, as being used in this presentation, mean? It means, first, independence from any one individual's perceptions and/or beliefs. It is therefore independent of the subjective experience of any one person. But then upon what IS objectivity BASED? What brings us beyond our own subjective experience and our own subjective model of that subjective experience in such a way as to provide extra value? Let us first review.

First and foremost it is agreement. To the extent that there is not agreement, then, without there being any additional criterion for legitimization of belief, there is nothing to distinguish between one subjective model and another.

The extreme of this criterion of objectivity would be agreement on the part of everyone. To the extent that that agreement has not been achieved, then the model of "reality" falls short of maximally demonstrating objectivity. Note then that complete objectivity is a goal to aim for, not something that can be proclaimed as having been achieved. For instance, everyone might indeed agree currently, but that does not mean that such universal agreement will continue. (Please note that in this presentation, "everyone" should not be taken literally; it generally means "the vast majority of those people in a position reasonably to have an informed opinion.")

And since it is possible, therefore, for everyone to agree and still be wrong, additional criteria of objectivity are desirable.

Those additional criteria have been attained by the development of "rationality," the rules of logic and the rules of evidence, that "everyone" has agreed improves the likelihood of accuracy of the model. And that accuracy means the ability of the model to predict what will happen (in general or in response to doing some particular thing). (Improvement in the ability of the model to predict is the added value provided by "objectivity.")

That is why science (which is specifically committed to the rules of logic and the rules of evidence) is currently the source of the greatest amount of objectivity.

One might ask why we should view science as more objective than general or even current universal agreement, and also why objectivity beyond simply general or even current universal agreement should be valued. There is one specific answer:

Science has demonstrated its capability by enabling us to do that which no other method of legitimating belief has enabled us to do.

Science has enabled us to do that which, before the development of science occurred to any great extent, would have been considered "miracles." And these "miracles" are essentially the ability to predict accurately, i.e., to predict accurately what will happen and especially what will happen if we do certain things. And it is this ability to predict accurately that enables us to do such amazing things.

But even outside of science, there is objectivity that is acquired simply by paying attention to the beliefs of others (as linguistically modeled by them), such that one compares them to one's own. So the effort to achieve objectivity involves at the very least paying attention to the ideas of others, as expressed by them, and attempting to arrive at agreement, by convincing the other(s) or by being convinced by them, or by jointly coming up with an agreed-upon "third alternative." And that process has come to involve, to an increasing extent, the use of the rules of logic and the rules of evidence, or "rationality," recognized increasingly by us as a way of arriving at more accurate beliefs.

It is noteworthy, again, that philosophical postmodernism, the idea that there is no particular value in agreement (my summary statement), represents a move away from objectivity. Postmodernism has helped us to allow each other to express opinions that are different without our getting so upset, even to the point of killing each other, but it does not foster in-depth exploration of difference of opinion in an effort to arrive at agreement. "What is true for me may not be what is true for you, so let's just agree to disagree and move on." The added value of this method of legitimization of belief is, instead of increased ability to predict and therefore to do, increased comfort and joy, and security of group membership.

Now to continue to extend our concept of "objectivity," a fundamental concept that is a part of objectivity as it is being used here is "measurement." Measurement, in turn, is related to predictability.

Measurement results in the ability of two or more individuals to agree, including the scenario in which those two or more individuals may be the same individual but at two or more different times. Thus measurement is a procedure designed to achieve as much as possible agreement among everyone forever. This is why it is a central concept in the more general concept of "objectivity."

First, measurement is a procedure (a repeatable act or series of acts designed for a specific set of situations). It may or may not involve equipment (such as a ruler or a detector). The individual engages in a procedure and observes the result. If this is a measurement, then the individual has some degree of confidence (belief) that anyone (others or self) carrying out the same procedure again will observe the same result. Confirmation of this belief is accomplished by self or other(s) indeed engaging in the same procedure and reporting "yes" or "no" as to whether the same result has been obtained.

Let us take an example. You use a ruler and measure the length of an object, finding it to be, say, 3½ inches long. And let's say you are going to make use of that information to do something important. Now suppose you measured it again and got 2 inches, and again and got 5 inches. Would you be able to complete your project? What is crucial is that the measurement be the same each time. You have to be able to count on it, meaning that the result has to be predictable.

Now if you look real, real closely, each time you measure the object you may come up with a slightly different result. But if the results are only slightly different from each other, you can still do your project. Those differences would be measurement error, that is a recognized phenomenon and poses no problem, because those tiny differences will make no difference, or if they will, then the measuring procedure will be improved so as to make the project possible. Essentially, you will be able to say that the length of the object is 3½ inches or close enough to it not to make an important (significant) difference.
(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,885
(Continued from previous post)

But now suppose you got unpredictably different results, as mentioned above. Would you say that you had successfully measured the object? Successful measurement means measurement the results of which can be relied upon. And that means the results are reproducible. And that means that one can predict the outcome of the measuring procedure, no matter when it is done or who does it. It means that if the measurement is different at two different times, then the length of the object, for instance, can be confidently assumed to have changed, and that others would find the same thing and agree with you.

The ruler is the result of agreement. It is a device that gives predictable results not just for you. Others have used it (or copies of it) and have found that it is reliable, that it produces results that are predictable, independently of who uses it.

If you devise a new method of measuring, how will you and others develop confidence in it? You will use it over and over in a situation in which the results should predictably be the same (or different as predicted), and others will do so also, always seeing if the results of the measurement are what are predicted. The more times that the results are as predicted, the greater confidence is produced in everyone that the measurement procedure is an accurate one.

If your measurement method is sufficiently similar to one that is already agreed to by others, and is described in such a way as to make that clear, then others will probably not need to demonstrate for themselves that the method works, unless perhaps it produces results that seem strange to them.

But the whole idea here is that measurement involves predictability for anyone using the procedure, the prediction being that there will be agreement among people as to the results. And this is why measurement serves to enhance objectivity. It is based upon agreement, if not among people in general then at least between oneself at one time and oneself at another time, and/or among those who most use it. So the most objective measurements involve confident agreement on the part of everyone who is knowledgeable and involved.

And measurement can result in numerical results that are on a scale all the way down to a binary scale of "yes" and "no," and therefore expressible as a "0" or a "1." So when you ask someone whether it is raining outside and he or she looks and tells you "yes," he or she is performing a measurement which you can confirm by going through the same procedure and seeing if you come up with the same answer. You may have the belief that it is not raining outside, but when another person says it is, you will question what was probably a belief in your Subjective Model, and develop a belief that is more accurate because it is more objective, that is, not only based upon agreement with others but also confirmed by measurement, and is therefore part of your Objective Model (as well as, now, your Subjective Model, if you go see the rain for yourself).

So measurement is simply an extension of the concept of the development of objectivity, based upon agreement and upon reproducibility (ability to predict) .

Please note that objectivity is not the same as accuracy or correctness.

What we mean by accuracy, or correctness, is that the belief in question leads to predictions, or would lead to predictions, that turn out to be what actually happens, or would happen.

Objectivity is simply a way of increasing the likelihood of accuracy or correctness.

A general way of thinking about these concepts is to regard all "evidence" as consisting of the results of "measurements," and the rules of evidence as having to do with the principles guiding the methods of doing those measurements and the principles guiding the interpretation of the results of such measurements.

The act of "looking to see" can be considered measurement, and the results considered evidence, though the rules of evidence, if usable, would enable one to have much higher confidence in the interpretation of the results of "looking to see." (Most of the time, however, we have to be satisfied with not being able to use the rules of evidence, because there is no way to involve others in the effort, or to involve repetition of observation under varying conditions, at least to the extent accomplished in carefully done experiments.)

The confidence involved in "looking to see" is primarily a phenomenon in the Subjective Model, rather than in the Objective Model. Measurement is carried out as a part of the development of the Subjective Model, as we learn through repetition of experience what to expect, and the results of such measurement are therefore evidence supporting beliefs within the Subjective Model. But it is the addition of the rules of evidence that contributes so much to the effectiveness of measurement and therefore to the recently exponential development of the Objective Model.

So progression toward objectivity is one produced by the symbolic (primarily linguistic) sharing and comparing of beliefs, the use of the rules of logic to identify inconsistencies, and the use of the rules of evidence applied to the results of the use of measurement. And the payoff is increased ability to predict and therefore to do, with consequent reduced risk of making of mistakes.

But there are problems that arise in this effort toward objectivity, and those problems are what this presentation is about. We now need to look more closely at how we go about this modeling behavior.

Todd W.
user 104073922
Columbia, SC
Post #: 38
Bill,
Let me give a shot at my use of the word finite that may clarify. My use of words is exact to its meaning less any opinion or perspective. I use Websters as the most trusted definition of words first as a noun then in adjective format for clarification, again per Websters. I do not think that words have two meanings but some folks will have their own opinions as to a word's original meaning and I'm ok with that. I used the word finite as a adjective to the above examples you gave.

<finite websters copy and paste<

fi·nite adjective \ˈfī-ˌnīt\
Definition of FINITE

1 a : having definite or definable limits <a finite number of possibilities>
b : having a limited nature or existence <finite beings>
2: completely determinable in theory or in fact by counting, measurement, or thought <the finite velocity of light>
3 a : less than an arbitrary positive integer and greater than the negative of that integer
b : having a finite number of elements <a finite set>
4 : of, relating to, or being a verb or verb form that can function as a predicate or as the initial element of one and that is limited (as in tense, person, and number)
— finite noun
— fi·nite·ly adverb
— fi·nite·ness noun

I prefer the use of finite in regards to world because boundaries exist. A simple example or adjective of finite is it can be counted (measured) to an exact sum. This holds true for the finite human - boundaries. Again, when boundaries are in place, a word is less vulnerable to perspective and subjectiveness. In other words "it is what it is".

The word entity is a noun and I know by definite is a result of a finite. Why do I say that? Entity is most commonly use as a organization (as a business or governmental unit) that has an identity separate from those of its members. The original organization was a result of a finite human. Therefore, a human will never and has never been an entity due to the obvious fact that a human is not a thing or a noun.

Now that we know finite has boundaries and those boundaries will be measured, you're Einstein example is excellent.

Please allow me to show an example of finite and entity - your book, The Mind Body Problem.
finite;
There are three total books. book one contains 167 pages with x words, book two contains 78 pages with x words and book three contains 128 pages with x words, written by the finite human WILLIAM V. VAN FLEET, M.D. Measured and true.
now entity;
The content, context and words in the three books are entities by the finite human named Bill Fleet.

“I should get something to eat - finite (measurable)”

The measurement is that your stomach is growling.

“It will rain tomorrow - thing (no measurement)”

Can't be measured until tomorrow.

We do differ on objective and subjective, pretty obvious but making progress I think. Your written “Objective Model: Measurement”; my impression is that the words absolutely make no sense to me and is extremely abstract from finite words meaning. Seems to be all opinions and all perspective including having no boundaries therefore impossible to measure. And I am very sure with measure that any previous chapters would help. Yet I am very OK with that as we all have our own individual human perspectives.

One final example of your written above;

"" If your measurement method is sufficiently similar to one that is already agreed to by others, and is described in such a way as to make that clear, then others will probably not need to demonstrate for themselves that the method works, unless perhaps it produces results that seem strange to them.""

The above paraphrase as example seems to impress on the ability or choice of a human to measure. The use of the words "probably" and "perhaps" suggest the writer is unsure and doesn't know. This one paraphase also implies and impresses or suggests that the reader agree with other humans measurements. My impression to this is the fact that if I was told to agree with others measure and don't bother with my own human measure, my mind would react with a thought of "let's follow the leader" a game played as a child.

Your thoughts?
Todd W.
user 104073922
Columbia, SC
Post #: 39
Bill'

Would please elaborate on the below posted by you on 8/31/13?

""And there are additional aspects to the problem, having to do with the origins of the physical and mental world. From within science, the idea has arisen, with much evidence supporting it, that the physical world that we see around us came into being about 13.8 billion years ago, perhaps in something like a "big bang," and it has been operating since then according to a set of rules, or "natural laws." Somewhere along the line, however, this "lifeless" physical universe began to develop within it additional entities, opaque, invisible "minds," at least some of which have been attached in an unclear manner to entities within the physical world, these minds seeming to have some additional effect on the physical entities that goes beyond the rules according to which the physical entities had been interacting with each other. There have been other scenarios imagined, also, such as that the physical entities and the minds came into existence at about the same time. How, when, and why these minds came into existence has been a question that has never been answered to the satisfaction of everyone, or even the majority of people.""

The underlined is a repeat to my previous post and lead me to the question are your books fiction or non-fiction?

What is a "big bang" and where did it come from and what or who continues to operate it?

And may you please define "natural law" in your above context?

<copy and paste below>
I ask this because Plato does not have an explicit theory of natural law. Aristotle strongly emphasized the distinction between "nature" on the one hand and "law" on the other. The Islamic Scholar Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī understood "natural law" as the survival of the fittest.

I ask you please clarify for my understanding.

Thank yousmile
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