Viewing a history listing
Do you ever push back the frame of "logic" or "rationality" (or maybe it's not even pushing it back, just opening it up) to ask yourself about the real nature of "life" on a grander scheme?
I was watching Cox explain that if one electron were in the room at the Royal Institution, the next nearest electron would be on the coast of France. and that given the size of electrons (and we won't even go into bozons and other ons) a molecule, or a cup of water would be likened to a galaxy or even a universe by comparison.
An electron could not even "see" a human, much less have any concept that said human is breathing, talking, walking, reproducing and all those things. Our sense of time, rather the scale on which we live our time, is fixed within a framework we can understand. minutes, days, years, centuries.
But in my stranger moments, I start to wonder if suns could be alive, if the galaxy or something that we can't even consider casue we are not in its same scope, could be alive, and we would never know it, cause their lifetime is billions of years, thier size, like a body to an atom.
I know it sounds stupid and/or waxing poetic, but I was reading the "what is life" section, and I really leaves me curious. Native Americans will tell you that rocks and mountains and the earth itself are alive, but cannot be conscious of us, because they do not live in the same scope. And now I think of things so small, they must "think" (mind you, they do not have brains, i know, i know) the universe they inhabit is reality.
There is a reason, i think, Carl Sagan choose to get stoned once and a while. sometimes you have to just step back and say, with every bit of mind blowing awe, "fuck".
In short, yes.
But as for what life could be, it could be anything depending on what you recognise as life. If you can point to it and say "life", then it's life. But that doesn't therefore mean it has unalienable rights and whatnot - for that you have to state specific properties that are relevant to what you want to do with it. In your Native American view, which is nice and poetic of course, you wouldn't say that a rock has the right to "life, liberty and property" - because it doesn't posses the features that make "life, liberty and property" meaningful to it.
We should never be as generic and general as trying to shoehorn things into "alive" and "not alive" because there is no reason that the universe should kowtow to our opinion that way.
I don't think you need to get particularly new-agey to think about it and perhaps get your mind blown by possibilities. Perhaps it is "alive", as indeed scope limits our understanding a lot so we might not be able to observe the properties of life in a way we'd recognise any more than a single individual cell could recognise our emergent consciousness. Perhaps, although I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Of course, I think this works best if we keep the hardcore rationalist hat firmly on to think about it. Because if you think "ah, but the world is alive!!" you get a woo-flavoured Gaia Hypothesis that's meaningless because you haven't quite figured out what you mean by "alive" yet and are simply triggering you "life" category without triggering the properties... on the other hand, if you think that emegent properties can appear on larger scales, think China brain, then we have some really interesting possibilities to the universe we can explore.
Also, obligatory: http://xkcd.com/505/
Oh, believe me, I know. I want to take some of the things I've heard at philosophy/theory of mind seminars and add the words "dude" and "like, man" to the end of sentences and see if people can distinguish between them and pothead/New Age gibberish.
I wrote this last night, but the system crashed on me. Joy!
Anyhow, for me, neb, science actually makes me more poetic. Law, language, and daily cleaning are very pragmatic and rather drole. I can discuss how topic based sentences have 1st order translation issues, or read about meta langauge in a paper and say "yea, cool". But to think that the yellow ball of sun, rising, is soooooo fucking big, that we can see it from millions of miles away, and it throbs so hotly that it keeps us nice and toasty kinda just blows me away. Then to star at the stars and realize I'm actually seeing into the past -- that some of those stars are virtual newborns when I'm seeing their images (and that the've lived 8 billion years since I'm seeing them) just makes me giggle with the poetic side.
Sadly, my writing is competent, and that's about it. Staring out at the stars demands Whitman "Carol of the Words" ability, not just "competent".
There is a reason, i think, Carl Sagan choose to get stoned once and a while. Now, remind me, what was it you were saying about Carl Sagan's views on "spirituality" being a counterexample to the link between dope and "spiritual experiences"?
I'm saying he defined spirtuality as something distinct about how he saw the universe. He also did pot. The two are not connected. he enjoyed his pot. He enjoyed staring up at the stars. You like putting yoru ideas into other people's heads. It's amusing to watch.
The two are not connected. What, then, is the reason that he "choose" to get doped up?
Peer pressure. He thought it made him look cool :-)
If you're going to try to claim spiritual experiences are solely the product of drugs, you could at least pick one of the serotonergic psychedelics like LSD or something.
peyote will give you dry mouth... i think its the drums that really do the mystical deed, though.
more like [this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtDnkPUePdQ] for hours... and hours... endlessly. while you are stoned. and it's hot. very very hot. and quite quickly your brain goes nuts. I don't think I needed the peyote to get that effect. the heat and music and fasting were enough.
Pardon me, but: (1) cannabis has seen extensive entheogenic use, and (2) I never said that dope was the only cause of "spiritual experiences." Other attested causes are schizophrenia and epilepsy.
LOL. good to know you are so well read up on the subject. Your arrogance is often betrayed by your words.