ITT we discuss non-fiction books we're reading or have read - this can include philosophy i guess.
I'm gonna start with this one that i recently purchased, and it's probably one of the most depressing books i've read. It just reminds you that all of our motivation in life revolves around satisfying the most primitive part of our brain - the limbic system.
We're all essentially just drug fiends without being aware of it.
Without these chemicals being bombarded throughout our neural pathways in order for us to chase whatever the fuck we make out as an ideal - we would not exist. The only reason a scientist endeavors to cure whatever illness or invent whatever new technology - is all in order to feel a steady rush of serotonin that arises once he's reached a point where he's comfortable with his status within society, to feel accepted, respected.
Whats the difference between that scientist and a junkie on the street chasing the next dose of heroin to shoot up his cock?
The scientists reward is a more steady, long lasting drug release, whereas the heroin lasts for a shorter period of time, but while it does; it's so much better than the steady flow of serotonin.
Depressing right? Life has no meaning.
But it is, and because this book isn't some technical, detailed textbook, doesn't mean it's invalid. It gives you a decent overview of how the brain works.
The only reason you're against 'pop'this or that is because of a deeply routed neural pathway that immediately activates in your brain because it's such a common consensus on the internet.
'The supposed smart people say that pop-science books are dumb and plebeian, therefore i'm going to adapt that view to make me look smart!'
See, i learned something. Go take your pills and up your serotonin because clearly you're quite the miserable creature.
>not being a mystic
don't be sad. there are more things in heaven and earth op than are dreamt of in your philosophy
The mono amine theories of depression are pretty well disproven; the guy who invented the serotonin theory of depression disproved it within a generation, about a generation before you were born, OP. You're reading outdated fan fiction.
It's artificial meaning - a survival mechanism.
Go ahead and delude yourself into thinking that life has meaning.
The only meaning you derive from any activity is because you wanted to feel a surge of dopamine flow through your system, or whatever drug of your choice is.
I'm not saying drugs don't feel good, it's just that feeling good means nothing while you're not feeling good. It's just a distraction to keep you from thinking about how superficial everything is.
This thread isn't just about the OP - i said that you can post whatever non-fiction book you've been reading and say something about it.
But while no one else is contributing, then my book is the topic of discussion - stop complaining like a little girl.
Not just experience, absolutely everything that's ever happened to you, in experience, thought or feeling, is just neural activity.
It IS purely chemical interaction though, there's no such thing as love and happiness in anything but a materialistic sense. Trying to apply philosophical significance to such notions is purely another chemical interaction within your mind.
I don't feel like dying right now. I'd first like to see you say something meaningful that contributes and furthers what has already been said in the thread, but i'm guessing you just want to throw around insults like a little girl.
Burden of proof? You claimed that what i said wasn't scientifically accurate, so what is your reasoning behind saying that? Seems like you are the one having a lapse in thought.
The book i display in the OP is the source of my reasoning. Give me a source that disproves what's said in the book and i'll consider it.
You shittin' me son? Do you even science? This is like common fuckin' knowledge in the biological world. It's almost hard to link you a peer reviewed paper because there are none done on it anymore it's been scientific fact for the past like 50 years. Just even slightly educate yourself on Neuroscience. And if you're going to try and suggest that it's not just chemicals, then you go ahead and show some proof there's any other factors at play, you're the one asserting a completely unsubstantiated claim not I.
How is neuroscience supposed to tell us anything about phenomenal experience when its methodology excludes any ability to make statements about phenomenal experience from the beginning?
I know this board isn't /sci/ but like c'mon, this debate shouldn't even be had, we can accept that our purely chemical thoughts are something quite amazing and go enjoy some goddamn literature with them.
You're talking to two people. I claimed that the conclusion you came to based on the science is bullshit. Not that neurochemicals don't exist or dictate emotions. You made an extremely final conclusion based on the limited understanding we have of how the brain works.
You are making a leap of logic from a source. This is a debate on your flawed arguments drawing instead than the fact itself. See: >>6256971
The first post (Meaning is created) does not contradict the novel you're using. It is against /your/ logic drawn from the source. This is what they're criticizing you for. You are looking at a 'fact' (We are driven by pleasure and our lives have no inherent meaning) but your argument lies only in that. Others are making another argument drawn from the same fact (We are driven by pleasure, our lives have no inherent meaning) but they're drawing their own conclusions (... But we can create meaning). Your fallacy is in your refusal to argue outside of one nugget of information.
You need to think very hard about your question there, it doesn't quite make sense. Neuroscience is foremost concerned with explaining phenomenal experience, and nothing about it's methodology prevents that. I think you're confused by applying greater meaning to quite simple concepts. When you consider the complexity of the human mind, and think of our "phenomenal experience" as something spiritual or external of the material world, then of course it's very hard to explain using the scientific method. But it's neither of those things, you contemplating this topic is in the most simplistic terms, some electrical impulses and chemical stimulations. This is what we can know for sure to be true using real world objective methods external of the senses, otherwise the thing we are trying to explain (thinking) is subject to it's own limitations.
I see, but i already addressed his point.
You can actually address my points if you want.
To decide to attribute meaning to something, what meaning would that be exactly? To my understanding it would mean that, "doing this makes me happy and therefore that means something to me", but that contradicts my original points, since happiness is nothing but chemicals that create the illusion itself.
So i guess you could argue that the illusion itself is the meaning. I guess that's fair.
>You claimed that what i said wasn't scientifically accuracy
I said no such thing
fuck off with your petty judgement bullshit
your neurobabble popcock thread is dumb, go back to reddit or something
Why is it an illusion?
What would be a valid "meaning" in your eyes?
What would be the point of a meaning that didn't come with some sort of positive reinforcement?
I haven't bothered to read beyond your first point, so forgive me if you've already addressed this shit?
Meaning is something that extends beyond what human beings can observe. Meaning is something that may or may not exist--but definitely not something that we as humans can grasp.
Subjective experience isn't meaning--it's neurochemistry in action.
The reason we attribute meaning to things is because of the illusion that our experience of said meaning holds any significant implications. When we enjoy something we are wholly ignorant of the triviality of our experience--we're caught in a haze of chemical euphoria.
The illusion that that means something is an illusion--something imposed on our subjective experience without our control.
There are an infinite number of ways to approach the same phenomenons. It's not that our emotions are illusions caused by chemicals, the chemicals are itself illusions caused by emotions. They are interchangeable and that's why you cannot say "we are just chemicals", in the same way you cannot say that a painting is just paint, even though it is. It is not "just". The danger in thinking through just one way is that you may hinder other more effective approaches to the same issues. So, for example, if I'm sad because someone said something mean, you can tell me it's just chemicals and give me a pill, or you could say something nice and make me feel better (which will also change the chemicals anyway). The greatest blocking here, in my opinion, is that people are still searching for what things "really are", as if the way we handle the world is fake and there is a truest world hidden that needs to be revealed (through religion, science, materialism, idealism, etc). Illusions are not fakes, emotions are not false side products to true chemical reactions, our objectives in life, our dreams and meaningful endeavours are also not false side effects of the true emotions we get when we attain them. Those are all different levels, different perspectives, different words for the very same things and, accordingly, each way to see it serve a purpose and have equal validity and importance given that you can accept them for what they are. Politics, psychology, chemistry, try to solve one with the other and you may find yourself walking a rather long and unrewarding track that will only make you lose sight of the whole. A swoosh of a brush is not the same as pixel art.
>It's not that our emotions are illusions caused by chemicals, the chemicals are itself illusions caused by emotions. They are interchangeable
I'm sorry but your initial premise is simply based on flawed reasoning, and the rest of your post reveals that you're defending your comfort by twisting logic--in order to feel better. Humans do this all the time. People prefer comfort to truth, and clearly, you are no exception.
I enjoyed "The Believing Brain" and "Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)".
The former is about how people form their beliefs (from religion to conspiracy theories).
The latter is about cognitive dissonance, the confirmation bias, and the ways that both affect everyone in a various ways (relationships, careers, etc.).
The flawed reasoning is to favour one over the other, anon.That would be a twist of logic because it pressuposes a difference, or even a choice. When someone says we are just chemicals and another person refutes it, you can look at the object of discussion again and note that everything has a chemical correspondence and thus, it cannot be anything else. But that reasoning fails to account that the "something else" is not an alternative or an addition to the chemicals, but rather a different position on the very same structure. One cannot name an emotion or a reaction that isn't linked to the chemicals, but show me a chemical reaction that leads to absolutely no effects on a person and I'll tell you it didn't happen. They are interchangeable, anon.
why do people get so upset at the fact that our entire experience is caused by chemicals in the brain?
Sure I can understand how some people might find it absurd and depressing, but it's only because you think it is absurd. I mean, to me it's mind boggling that we experience the world through chemicals. It just shows you how weird and complex the world is, and that there's still a lot of things we don't know about. It makes me appreciate nature even more.
You're a dogmatic materialist which is a philosophical rather than scientific position. Just because we understand brain chemicals doesn't mean everything we experience is caused by them. Basing everything on science is silly since science is limited to repetitive phenomena and the vast majority of human existence is completely separate from the scientific method. Materialist reductionism is silly.
It's completely illogical to say there is no meaning by using words and language to convey the meaning that there is no meaning.
Because its a dogmatic and sophomoric idea? Its pure scientism.
>there's no such thing as love and happiness in anything but a materialistic sense.
>Trying to apply philosophical significance to such notions is purely another chemical interaction within your mind.
The funny part is that people don't realize how this doesn't change much, if anything, about love, happiness, or the philosophical uestions related to such things.
I have a thought about this, hear me out:
We are either aware or not aware during our daily inquiries that our experience of the world around us is purely based on a neurochemical basis. Simply meaning that, any motivation we have to do anything, is based on the need to achieve a feed of dopamine, and to extinguish cortisol. Cortisol is the chemical your brain releases to enhance your chances of survival, telling you that what you're doing is incompatible with your need to survive--so we go do something, move around, go read, go to the gym, go smoke weed or drink booze--which makes us feel better. We're only motivated to do things that give us a sense of reward and increases our chance of surviving and reproducing--otherwise we would not do it.
Now, if we're aware that everything we do is based on those things i said above--then meaning becomes a materialistic notion in your mind--the idea of whatever you're doing is reduced to your conscious realization that you're just following instruction your brain is giving you in order to survive and enhance your odds at reproducing, which implies that any deeper meaning to those things becomes obsolete in your mind.
However, if you're unaware of the neurochemistry that defines all of your actions--then meaning becomes real again; it's simply a matter of perspective, a matter of your view on things.
Meaning then is entirely relativistic. There is not objective meaning, but meaning exists--just in a relativistic way. Does that make sense?
>Meaning then is entirely relativistic. There is not objective meaning, but meaning exists--just in a relativistic way. Does that make sense?
Different anon here, the same would then apply to your knowledge about chemicals, leading to a total collapse of reality, which is to say: the knowledge that meaning is chemicals destroys itself.
No, meaning arises when the realization that your experience is dictated by your neurochemistry leaves your awareness.
It's like, the more ignorant you are about the nature of your experience--the more meaning you derive out of life, hence the saying: ignorance is bliss.
Dude, how can you be aware of stuff if nothing means anything? If the fact that everything is chemical means that everything is meaningless, then 'everything is chemical' is meaningless. Wrap your chemicals around it, it's quite simple, really.
I'm gonna try to outline my stance on this as easy as i can.
Things have meaning to you when you're enjoying whatever you're doing, or suffering because of something you don't enjoy.
Meaning is real then, and only then, but only in a relativistic way--you're enjoying yourself then and there or suffering then and there, and at that moment, it means something to you, so i guess it has value, subjective value.
But when you are not experiencing any joy or discomfort, and think to yourself about the biological nature of your experience--then the previous subjective and supposedly meaningful experiences of your past, are reduced to materialistic manifestations of the universe--a deterministic phenomena, and with that being realized, you might experience thoughts of existential nature, and at that moment--meaning becomes obsolete at that time, then and there.
>If the fact that everything is chemical means that everything is meaningless, then 'everything is chemical' is meaningless.
Sure, but truth is truth regardless if it has substantial meaning or not. Truth is just truth.
>Things have meaning to you when you're enjoying whatever you're doing, or suffering because of something you don't enjoy
Oh wow, that really isn't what meaning means.
Also, why should the thought that I'm enjoying myself because of chemicals hinder my enjoyment? Do drug users enjoy their drugs less because they know the fun they're having is just a reaction of chemicals?
>Truth is just truth.
Truth is just the truth of sentences. If sentences have no meaning, they can't be true. There is just us with our jeads full of nonsense, and a world we've grown completely derached from, as our last insight, that we have brains, apparently made everthing meaningless.
Not that it actually does that, but it's what you're saying.
>subscribing to neuromaterialism
I expected better from you /lit/
Do you guys even double aspect theory?
If meaning is something beyond what you can observe, why would this book bother you?
If there was any meaning to life, you'd be oblivious to it anyway.
There'd be no tangible evidence of meaning, whether you fulfilled it or not.
With your concept being that nebulous, meaning is essentially irrelevant.