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Do atheists ever post on religious forums?
Posted: 20 September 2013 07:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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TimB - 20 September 2013 06:03 PM

“Optical delusion” is an odd combination of terms. If “optical delusion” is defined as “seeing things as you want them to be, rather than as they are”, then with a bit of poetic license, I think we could give Einstein some slack, here, as he only asserted that it is a “kind of optical delusion of consciousness”. (italics mine)

Here, the plot thickens.  smile

We do not need to do that at all (give Einstein some slack). He was clearly very specific. What he wrote was twisted to mean something else. Consider this:

From your quotation

We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness.

This is not synonymous to:

He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

“A kind of optical delusion of consciousness” is not synonymous to “a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness”.

By breaking up what he wrote into two sentences, and omitting the word his, it gives the impression to the reader that he considered consciousness as a kind of optical delusion. Hence, my comment.

Very devious

But what he wrote was that the experience of separateness is a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness which was real to him and not a delusion.

If anything, this is indicative of what was written can be so easily twisted to mean something else which is absurd and therefore it implies the author is naive or inane.

Be wary of the subtle twister. cool grin

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Posted: 20 September 2013 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Here are a few subtle twists which change the entire meaning of a simple declaration.
Instead of God saying, “I am that I am” (translated from the original Hebrew writings), the new bibles subtly changed the quote to read, ” I am who I am”.

IMO, the proper translation should be “I am that, I am” . To me that is the only way this sentence would make sense.

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Posted: 20 September 2013 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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Write4U - 20 September 2013 09:02 PM

Here are a few subtle twists which change the entire meaning of a simple declaration.
Instead of God saying, “I am that I am” (translated from the original Hebrew writings), the new bibles subtly changed the quote to read, ” I am who I am”.

IMO, the proper translation should be “I am that, I am” . To me that is the only way this sentence would make sense.

And as David Steinberg quoted Moses as saying, “Thanks for clearing that up.”

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Posted: 20 September 2013 11:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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At least, here is a prison in it:

The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole.

Albert Einstein, Religion and Science, first published in the New York Times Magazine on November 9, 1930 pp 1-4, reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, Crown Publishers, Inc. 1954, pp 36 - 40, also in in Einstein’s book The World as I See It, Philosophical Library, New York, 1949, pp. 24 - 28.
I read it in German translation in Hans-Peter Dürr, Physik und Transzendenz, pp 67-70. So I assume he really wrote this… wink

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Posted: 21 September 2013 02:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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kkwan - 20 September 2013 07:57 PM

By breaking up what he wrote into two sentences, and omitting the word his, it gives the impression to the reader that he considered consciousness as a kind of optical delusion. Hence, my comment.

Only to the superficial reader, kkwan…

Even in the ‘adapted’ quotation it is clear that it is about the illusion that ‘We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest’, not that consciousness itself is an illusion. You try to put the error in the quotation, instead of your understanding.

Take care.

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Posted: 21 September 2013 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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TimB - 20 September 2013 06:03 PM
kkwan - 20 September 2013 09:14 AM
TimB - 20 September 2013 01:02 AM

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe … We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty… ”  Albert Einstein

Consciousness is definitely not a “kind of optical delusion”.  cheese...

 

“Optical delusion” is an odd combination of terms. If “optical delusion” is defined as “seeing things as you want them to be, rather than as they are”, then with a bit of poetic license, I think we could give Einstein some slack, here, as he only asserted that it is a “kind of optical delusion of consciousness”. (italics mine)


Einstein was saying he was a determinist, which is apparent in his other writings.

Lois

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Posted: 21 September 2013 08:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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Lois - 21 September 2013 07:27 AM


Einstein was saying he was a determinist, which is apparent in his other writings.

Lois

Maybe so, but that’s not all he was saying.  Otherwise, he could have just said “I’m a determinist.”

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Posted: 21 September 2013 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Yeah, but Einstein’s first language was German, and in that language no sentence is complete unless it has at least a hundred words in it, and no paragraph is acceptable unless it’s made up of at least fifty lines.  smile

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Posted: 21 September 2013 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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GdB - 21 September 2013 02:54 AM

Only to the superficial reader, kkwan…

And you are never a “superficial” reader, GdB?  smile

Nevertheless, why did whoever changed Einstein’s writing do so when what Einstein wrote was clear and succinct?

Let’s analyze the totality and implications of the changes.

This is what the changer wrote:

We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness.

This is what Einstein wrote:

He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

1. Why break up Einstein’s sentence into two sentences? I have explained the ramifications of doing that in my last post.

2. Why change the indexicals “he”, “himself” and “his” to “we”, “ourselves” and “our”?

From http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/indexicals/

Philosophers have several reasons for being interested in indexicals. First, they wish to describe their meanings and fit them into a more general theory of meaning. Second, they wish to understand the logic of arguments containing indexicals, such as Descartes’s Cogito. Third, they think that reflection on indexicals may give them some insight into such matters as the nature of belief, self-knowledge, first-person perspective, and consciousness.

Bold added by me.

By doing that, Einstein’s intention and meaning in writing the sentence is perverted by the changer.

1. Einstein’s singular perspective has been converted to a general multiple perspective.

2. Einstein’s “his consciousness” has become “consciousness”, a universal.

3. Why not follow through consistently by writing “our consciousness” in the 2nd sentence instead of “consciousness”? The meaning then would be clear-cut and unambiguous unless it is intentional not to do that by the changer.

The two sentences as they are written have a flip-flop meaning, a linguistic illusion analogous to an optical illusion.

It could be interpreted as:

1. If we experience that, it is a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.

Or:

2. Our experience is a kind of optical delusion of consciousness which implies consciousness is not real at all.

We are not sure what the changer means. It could be 1 or 2. Or is it 2 or 1? Problematic and confusing. Perhaps that is what the changer intended to convey to us, subtly. Devious, misleading and mischievous indeed.

Whether it is 1 or 2, the doubt of what is consciousness is planted in our minds.

OTOH, we are not in doubt wrt what Einstein wrote because the meaning is clear and unambiguous.
Also, a person’s consciousness is considered as primal and not subject to doubt.

Even in the ‘adapted’ quotation it is clear that it is about the illusion that ‘We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest’, not that consciousness itself is an illusion. You try to put the error in the quotation, instead of your understanding.

Why “adapt” at all when Einstein wrote so clearly? Just quote Einstein verbatimsmile

No, the “adaption” is not clear as explained above.

There was a deliberate error in the changer’s quotation in not writing “our consciousness” in the 2nd sentence. Why is it so?

It is a travesty of what Einstein wrote and the intention of the changer is suspect. 

Q. E. D.?  LOL

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Posted: 22 September 2013 02:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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In either reading, it did not occur to me to consider an implication that Einstein was referring to consciousness as a delusion.  I assumed in both cases that he was saying that our experience of separateness is the delusion. 

BTW, I can’t figure out why he used the term “optical” delusion, rather than just “delusion”, unless he was just trying to say it in a way that would not tend to turn people off.  (It might be difficult for people to accept that we are deluded, but less difficult to accept that we are subject to optical illusions.  Anyone who has seen optical illusions, knows from subjective evidence that we are subject to sometimes see things not as they actually are.  Delusions OTOH involve believing something rather than seeing something.)  Or perhaps he was saying, in a short hand way, that the delusion of separateness that we have is analogous to an optical illusion, but is a natural product of our consciousness, just as optical illusions are a product of our visual perceptual and visual processing abilities.

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Posted: 22 September 2013 03:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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TimB - 22 September 2013 02:27 AM

In either reading, it did not occur to me to consider an implication that Einstein was referring to consciousness as a delusion.  I assumed in both cases that he was saying that our experience of separateness is the delusion. 

BTW, I can’t figure out why he used the term “optical” delusion, rather than just “delusion”, unless he was just trying to say it in a way that would not tend to turn people off.  (It might be difficult for people to accept that we are deluded, but less difficult to accept that we are subject to optical illusions.  Anyone who has seen optical illusions, knows from subjective evidence that we are subject to sometimes see things not as they actually are.  Delusions OTOH involve believing something rather than seeing something.)  Or perhaps he was saying, in a short hand way, that the delusion of separateness that we have is analogous to an optical illusion, but is a natural product of our consciousness, just as optical illusions are a product of our visual perceptual and visual processing abilities.

IMO, Einstein said precisely what he meant to say. To be “delusional” is a completely different thing from experiencing an “optical delusion”. IMO, he addressed both the illusionary properties and the psychological effects of observing reality (what we see).

From http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/illusion,

il·lu·sion, noun
1. something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.

2. the state or condition of being deceived; misapprehension.

3. an instance of being deceived.

Psychology,
4. a perception, as of visual stimuli (optical illusion)  that represents what is perceived in a way different from the way it is in reality.

5. a very thin, delicate tulle of silk or nylon having a cobwebbed appearance, for trimmings, veilings, and the like.

and,

de·lu·sion,  noun
1. an act or instance of deluding.

2. the state of being deluded.

3. a false belief or opinion: delusions of grandeur. 

Psychiatry,
4.  a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact: a paranoid delusion.

I have a suspicion this statement was a result of his discussions with David Bohm.

[ Edited: 22 September 2013 04:05 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 22 September 2013 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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Write4U - 22 September 2013 03:59 AM
TimB - 22 September 2013 02:27 AM

In either reading, it did not occur to me to consider an implication that Einstein was referring to consciousness as a delusion.  I assumed in both cases that he was saying that our experience of separateness is the delusion. 

BTW, I can’t figure out why he used the term “optical” delusion, rather than just “delusion”, unless he was just trying to say it in a way that would not tend to turn people off.  (It might be difficult for people to accept that we are deluded, but less difficult to accept that we are subject to optical illusions.  Anyone who has seen optical illusions, knows from subjective evidence that we are subject to sometimes see things not as they actually are.  Delusions OTOH involve believing something rather than seeing something.)  Or perhaps he was saying, in a short hand way, that the delusion of separateness that we have is analogous to an optical illusion, but is a natural product of our consciousness, just as optical illusions are a product of our visual perceptual and visual processing abilities.

IMO, Einstein said precisely what he meant to say. To be “delusional” is a completely different thing from experiencing an “optical delusion”. IMO, he addressed both the illusionary properties and the psychological effects of observing reality (what we see)...

 

Thanks for trying to clear that up for me.  But I still don’t get it.  He didn’t say illusion.  And optical doesn’t fit as a definer of a delusion.  When I say, “I see myself as separate from the universe.”  I am not talking about optically seeing that. I am not even saying that I am visualizing myself as separate.  I am saying that I conceptually believe that I am separate from the universe. IOW, I am deluded (not “optically” deluded).  It seems to me. to be a real reach to put the term “optical” together with the term “delusion”.

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Posted: 22 September 2013 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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TimB - 22 September 2013 01:54 PM
Write4U - 22 September 2013 03:59 AM
TimB - 22 September 2013 02:27 AM

In either reading, it did not occur to me to consider an implication that Einstein was referring to consciousness as a delusion.  I assumed in both cases that he was saying that our experience of separateness is the delusion. 

BTW, I can’t figure out why he used the term “optical” delusion, rather than just “delusion”, unless he was just trying to say it in a way that would not tend to turn people off.  (It might be difficult for people to accept that we are deluded, but less difficult to accept that we are subject to optical illusions.  Anyone who has seen optical illusions, knows from subjective evidence that we are subject to sometimes see things not as they actually are.  Delusions OTOH involve believing something rather than seeing something.)  Or perhaps he was saying, in a short hand way, that the delusion of separateness that we have is analogous to an optical illusion, but is a natural product of our consciousness, just as optical illusions are a product of our visual perceptual and visual processing abilities.

IMO, Einstein said precisely what he meant to say. To be “delusional” is a completely different thing from experiencing an “optical delusion”. IMO, he addressed both the illusionary properties and the psychological effects of observing reality (what we see)...

Thanks for trying to clear that up for me.  But I still don’t get it.  He didn’t say illusion.  And optical doesn’t fit as a definer of a delusion.  When I say, “I see myself as separate from the universe.”  I am not talking about optically seeing that. I am not even saying that I am visualizing myself as separate.  I am saying that I conceptually believe that I am separate from the universe. IOW, I am deluded (not “optically” deluded).  It seems to me. to be a real reach to put the term “optical” together with the term “delusion”.

Perhaps this may help.
Optical delusion: When you see things as you want them to be, not as they really are. It is a psychological “mind set”. This allows for infinite sets of imaginary scenarios

Optical Illusion: An optical illusion (also called a visual illusion) is characterized by visually perceived images that differ from objective reality.. IOW, we are unable to state with certainty if what we see is really there as we see it.

But in physics there is no expression of “optical delusion”, it is a state of mind and part of psychology. OTOH, an optical illusion is a process where the brain processes accessible information incorrectly. It is in fact a limitation imposed by the brain and science recognizes this phenomenon and proposes various possible physical models, depending on what is known by falsification.

And here is the crux, an optical delusion is a “personal certainty” not subject to skeptical analysis (certainty of faith), whereas an optical illusion is a “false perception” and is subject to skeptical analysis (scientific investigation).

[ Edited: 22 September 2013 04:11 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 22 September 2013 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Write4U - 22 September 2013 04:01 PM

...And here is the crux, an optical delusion is a “personal certainty” not subject to skeptical analysis (certainty of faith), whereas an optical illusion is a “false perception” and is subject to skeptical analysis (scientific investigation).

I appreciate your effort and patience, but I think that the word “optical” is erroneous when used to define the delusion of which Einstein was speaking.  A “mindset” is not a visualization. A belief is not a visualization. I mean you could visualize something you believe, but in terms of delusionality,  it is the belief that is the delusion.  If I have the belief or the “mindset” that I am separate from the Universe, then I am deluded (not “optically deluded”).  If I could also visualize myself as separate from the Universe, I suppose that could be an “optical delusion”.

But I don’t seem to have the faculty to visualize the entire Universe with myself outside of it. I could conceptualize that I somehow exist outside of this Universe and that I am somehow only a projection into this body and Universe.  I could even believe that to be the case (and thus likely be deluded) but I would not know what that would look like.  Hence it seems in no way to be “optical”.

[ Edited: 22 September 2013 04:48 PM by TimB ]
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Posted: 22 September 2013 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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For example, I could believe that I (the true me) is an immortal essence, or soul.  This would be a delusion (unless of course we really do have souls). But it could not be an “optical” delusion, as I cannot seem to visualize what my soul would look like.

[ Edited: 22 September 2013 05:01 PM by TimB ]
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