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Topic: About... Serendip


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Year: - Current postings - 2000/2002 - 1998/1999 - 1997 - 1996


Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: NEW PHILOSOPHY
Date: Wed Jan 14 17:22:20 EST 1998
Comments:


NEW PHILOSOPHY

On the eve of a new century we tend to ask ourselves which has been the outgoing century's foremost contribution to the advancement of humanity. To our mind come several names, such as that of Einstein, who added his physics to the classic one of Newton, opening a whole new world of discoveries and applications of impressive magnitudes.
The name of Freud has lost its luster for reasons related to controversial issues. Yet there is no doubt that his contributions to the knowledge and understanding of the personal unconscious' realm projected candid, albeit not necessarily engaging, vistas in the area of psychology and psychopathology, drastically influencing the arts and every day's life.
Fleming and Salk are two of many names associated with revolutionary contributions to health. Life span has been extended, quality of life vastly improved, gerontology advanced, and euthanasia given ever more sophisticated tools; theology has had a field day expanding its musings about the sanctity of life, whatever the constraints. The relationship between AIDS, for one, and a drastically modified ecosystem of pathogenic organisms, awaits the coming century for its clarification.
Watson and Crick discovered life's chemical blueprint. So many minds contributed to the deciphering of the genes and their roles, culminating in the recent cloning of an adult mammal, that pages would be needed to just print their names.
The attainments of the NASA and other august bodies in the exploration of the universe are legion. Grounds have been detected to believe in the uninterrupted expansion of the universe forever and ever. Still, who gave the flick that started the Big Bang remains the unsurpassed whodunit.
Just continuing the present description would demand a lot of typing. I must make my point: Science and Technology have been the winners in the 20th century!
Yet I have left unmentioned one aspect of the advances in science, which is, the exploration of man's mind.

We, the humans, explore and discover, because we can think and put in words the results of our thinking. Only we --of all living organisms, culminating in the most closely related primate, the chimpanzee-- can boast of being able to prove that we can think about thinking, i.e., of meta-thinking. Without that capability, we could not have thought about organized, deliberately directed research, and of setting up experiments to discover the laws of nature.
Therefore, why not consider that the most important advances of this century have been the fruits of research aimed at exploring the human brain, in what respects to its most sophisticated manifestation? Which is the mind , as we so call the capability of thinking --be it in unconscious, subconscious or mainly conscious-- manner. Realizing that thinking is absolutely dependent on memory, the discovery that memory is made of specific ('thinking') proteins has opened the road to the 'soul' of the human being. We can now say with confidence, "We may not be entirely determined by our genes, but certainly we are what our proteins dictate."

Have I left something outside of this introduction? Oh, yes, the INTERNET! The greatest power on Earth in almost every realm, channeled its existentially- driven thinking through its pentagonic nerve center with a view to improving emergency communication channels, and the serendipitous result was making a virtual village out of most earthlings' dwellings...
And then an enterprising professor of biology of a renowned College and University creates an Internet site and welcomes me as a contributor to its Forums... After due time I posted:

ABOUT...SERENDIP

Serendip endeavors to serve as an interface between Science, Philosophy, and the Layman. Its platform is composed of Brain, Mind and Thinking. Its Medium is the Internet.
Its symbol, a circle containing a spanning triangle containing an inverted spanning triangle.


The three branches of mind's creations are Theology, Philosophy, and Science. They came to being when suddenly, at a given stage of evolution, a benefic mutation conferred to the most developed primate at the time a gene producer of a very special 'thinking' protein. This molecule, directed by its chemo-electrical properties, took its place in the hologram-like cerebral setup for conscious memory and thinking. The vast amount of digital data stored in that real-virtual array with its sub arrays and the interconnections with unconscious percepts-and-emotions memory arrays, were suddenly enriched by man's capacity for self-consciousness and other-consciousness. And, of course, for the consciousness of Nature and for thinking about one or more Creators or Gods.

Theology was thus born, and Hesiod consecrated it in his Theogony. Later on, Thales realized that Nature has its own laws, which are not subservient to the gods' caprices. Philosophy was now born, and soon the trio of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle lifted it to heights undisputed, only widened.

But Aristotle's mind felt not cozy in only mental gymnastics; no, he gathered the existing body of knowledge, classified it and added more of his own, thus imposing order and furthering intellect's reaches; his were the first tentative steps to Science. It was the 17th century which witnessed the minds of Galileo, Descartes and so many others develop experiment as the life-giving embodied spirit of science as we understand it now. Technology became its flamboyant offshoot, wagging hubris undeterred.

Philosophy defined the limits of theology, while science limited philosophy. Only man's intellect will limit science's scope. But in the realm of philosophy, frontiers had to be defined, too. And it were thinkers who spoke of positivistic, empiric, logic and analytic approaches to the subjects of human interest, who disavowed abstruse metaphysical philandering, paving so the way for Language to become the foremost object of Philosophy, and rightly so, because language is at the vertex of man's intellect (a word referring to mind's thinking and meta-thinking capacities).

Theology, then, might as well be defined as the area of thinking where man has to rely on faith and on a sublime sense of intuition, to reach conclusions which he won't be able to substantiate. Contrastingly, philosophy deals with areas of thinking about realities evident to all, yet not submissive to measure and even less so, to quantification.

Moral and ethical obligations, as defined by Revelation, were therefore entirely entrusted to theology's guardianship, while moral and ethical constraints, as defined by men in given societies, guilds and groups, were willingly adopted by philosophy; the Law, then, whether positive or natural, developed as one of philosophy's several departments.


What would be the scope of the NEW PHILOSOPHY? Firstly, it is actually a New Western Philosophy, with no aspirations of competing with time-honored Oriental schools of thought. More critically, it will start as a philosophy to be developed by individuals who have access to the Internet and, specifically, by Serendipians.
An effort should be directed at integrating in some measure the three branches of the mind's creative urge. In truth, as a contributor to the Forums, I have had the rare opportunity of superposing the opening paragraph of Genesis on the opening paragraph of a different version of the Universe's creation, to wit, the one posited by the physicists under the name of Big Bang. ('Entropy and the Big Bang.') In a similar vein, I plan to delve on other three quasi-universal themes present in Genesis; firstly, on God's Names. This theme touches on existential questions, which are themselves part theology, part philosophy. It touches also on history, at the time of Hellenistic influence in the Land of Israel; an attempt will be made to rationalize both the ineffable property of God's Name and the imposition of total circumcision, as nationalistically motivated.

The second theme will be a Freudian-Jungian interpretation of 'Jacob's Ladder Dream,' the intention being to make it comprehensible as representing part of an adolescent biological makeup, craftily rendered in Genesis by Jewish sages possessing a mind touching on Freudian and Jungian unconscious. The core of such interpretation I have exposed in the short contribution 'On Survival,' for which a recent scientific publication served as the motivating force.

The third theme will be a comprehensive interpretation of Adam and Eve's Paradise story, with a view to understanding a basic anxiety of women, culminating in ancient times in a 'therapeutic' act which may explain the significance of Cain's story.
Parts of this theme I have also broached here in Serendip forums. But then, quite recently I discovered in 'Paradise' a mother lode for analyzing 'original sin' in a completely contemporaneous way, whereby it can be understood that such 'sin' is actually a parable of man's (woman included, of course) natural quest for Cartesian doubt and for empirically acquired knowledge, both forerunners of the Scientific Method.
Likewise, the great divide of Creationism vs. Darwinism will be understood as expressing an ancient reality, therefore calling for a rational approach to the chasmic differences between human intellects.

Thus, the New Philosophy is to be developed by people who profess mainly philosophic-scientific interests and who accept Darwinism as an unquestionable branch of science.



Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: GOODNESS REVISITED
Date: Thu Jan 15 05:19:41 EST 1998
Comments:

GOODNESS REVISITED

Some time ago I posted an essay on:

GOODNESS, BADNESS and EVIL

In the trail of the NEW PHILOSOPHY, the same essay is reproduced below, with an addendum on the evolutionary differences between badness and goodness, stress being laid on the social useful role of the latter.


Evil appears to be a mysterious, 'satanic' force, fighting in a manichaeistic chessboard as the 'dark'army against God's supreme creation called 'goodness.' Not long ago NEWSWEEK published a long, well researched essay on EVIL, yet it missed the real explanation. Also, nowadays a book has appeared on the roots of war, one of the manifestations of 'evil.'
For that reason, I felt compelled to analyze critically the complex subject of GOOD, BAD, and EVIL. Let me start by saying that until a thinking creature called Homo sapiens was developed by evolution, those moral concepts did not exist. In fact, for that very same reason, there could not exist EVIL, which one may safely qualify as a concept signifying BADNESS of extreme degree.
How am I going to define GOODNESS? There cannot exist Goodness if there is no Badness. Were Goodness and its apparent opposite created simultaneously at 'The Beginning?' That manichaeistic concept, influential on some Jewish groups like the Essenes (who lived before Mani) and subtly passed on to some Christian tenets, was and is a commodious way of 'understanding' and therefore accepting the harsh realities of the otherwise incomprehensible 'mysterious ways of God.' Thus the resulting longing for the Messiah, or The Second Coming, or the Mahdi.

The amazing thing is that 'badness' was 'created' first, when the second life form evolved. The first one, a microbe of the genus "archaea," lived off the energy provided by heat and from minerals, so that he was not 'bad.' Comes then a second organism, and both 'discover' that ingesting the other is useful, whether for symbiosis or just to use its digested molecules as nutrients. This latter development gave rise to the first 'badness,'if we care to judge the act of sacrificing another living form according to Nature's dictates. It should become clear that without that behavior there would have been no evolution and no Man to enact moral laws. Therefore, badness is an integral attribute of the creative instinct.
After thinking Man established moral laws, the axiological definitions became as follows: A human act is Bad when it infringes upon the accepted rules of behavior determined by a society. When this act is excessively BAD, we use the qualifier EVIL. As an example, surviving by means of cannibalism of cadavers is not considered even BAD, while live cannibalism is called EVIL, except in the case of true Cannibals.

So, what is Goodness? It is not the opposite of Badness; it is acting above the minimum dictated by Society rules of behavior. Goodness is Man's invention. Badness is Nature's creation. In fact, Entropy --Nature's tendency to disorder-- is counteracted by the energy obtained by varied means, many of which are revolting, like war. But it is Man who decides and teaches what is revolting in his society.


The following paragraph is to be added:

New evidence obtained from sociological studies of chimpanzees indicates that they empathize with the suffering of their fellow individuals, to the point of manifesting their enthusiasm when a stressful situation is overcome. Other animals --the dolphin, especially-- protect their wounded, to the point of self-sacrifice.

Thus, even though badness was primordially essential for evolutionary self-advance, goodness would appear to have evolved at a later stage, as useful to the advancement of the species. It was later on that man codified the societal rules for the containment of evil manifestations and for the furthering of goodness.



Name: Jacob Ghitis,M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: COPROTS
Date: Thu Jan 15 19:30:31 EST 1998
Comments:

THINKING and the COPROTS

To QUIURIUS:

Your recent e-mail message has prompted me to edit parts of my reply to you, for Serenipia purposes...

You wrote,

> ...it is rather strange, in view of all the damage that alcohol has done to human beings over the centuries... so little research... a curious lack of scientific curiosity. <

* Jumping to conclusions. No lack of curiosity, just lack of technology. *

> ...how physical brain systems create rational thought. To know what a thing is, is to be able to act appropriately in regard to it, or to know what to expect in the manner of its actions and interactions with other things. <

* The cortex has an extraordinary number of cognition areas. One may lose the capacity to use a sphygmomanometer, even being a doctor, and yet be able to drive a car a long distance. There may be an associated loss of the capacity to know how to read words, even though one recognizes the letters. One may even see the word 'the' and understand its meaning, yet be incapable of pronouncing it normally. Intending to read, the speech may be a garbled utterance. At the same time, the vocabulary may become very limited, with speech narrowed in range, all this with the patient realizing the type of limitation befalling to him, and asking to be listened to with patience and understanding. Yet, he may be able to explain quite appropriately ideas that are well known to him. He will understand well what he hears, and he will ask to be read to, because he cannot understand what he reads. If he tries to transfer to his word processor a couple of lines from a source, it will take him half an hour and the result be gibberish, even though he believed he was succeeding, with great effort.
He will be bewildered and absolutely amazed at what is happening.

Such very unusual phenomena may be entirely reversible, related to transient hypoxia. Some of this happens to alpinists who do not use oxygen as they climb the Everest. But in such cases, the patient is not too aware of the inimical results, because his capacity for analysis continues to be affected under the persistent hypoxia, while in the described case the hypoxia had ceased; only the damaged areas had remained, being fruitfully subjected to analysis by the unscathed cognitive areas.

I should add that the cortex's 'monitoring areas' are constantly 'percepting,' that is, sorting out the colors, shapes, shadows, positions, and more, of every input from the eyes and, similarly, of all the components of other senses' inputs. All this information is submitted to further brain elaboration for its conversion into the output of the conscious information called perception. Simultaneously, there is a constant input of the fact that the brain is capable of perceiving i.e., seeing, listening, and so on. This means that when a person becomes blind or deaf, the brain must be able of continuosly inputting this knowledge; otherwise, the patient will not know that he has become handicapped. Such situation is very uncommon, and it my be difficult to comprehend that a patient is unable to know that he has become blind! Yet, experimental hypnosis can mimic the phenomenon. *

> ... Therefore, learning more about the motor control systems of the brain is an important aspect of learning how brains create rational thought. <

* Nothing doing with motor: all is cognitive. No way finding out how the brain creates thought of any kind. Take this theory: special proteins constitute the cognitive units ("cog-prot units") of an immense array, billions of 'coprots' in a multidimensional real-virtual array. Every input by the senses (percept) is filtered, organized, compared, interconnected, as it traverses this array. The result goes to an area which is the final projection 'screen' for rational perception.
To fully comprehend how the final screen is made conscious, is tantamount to asking what the prime nature is, of matter, of the Universe, and of its Creator, whatever his Nature might be. There is the 'navel'! Even the retina has a navel, a blind spot.

Now take this, Quiurius: An hologram is based on the changed fronts of the initially coherent (one front) laser (monochromatic) light, as it is reflected from the various points of the photographed object, compared with the one-front laser light projected. It would appear that the neurons utilize an anlogous method to compare between memories and present percepts. Feelings are very difficult to theorize about; it seems, though, that they are very influencial in the embedding of memories. There obviously must exist 'cog-prots' related to feelings. Perhaps there is an 'array' of coprots devoted to feelings, with connections to the hypothalamic autonomic neural and neuro-hormonal centers. *

> Just out of curiosity, though, I was wondering about what a man of your logical positivist sentiments would make of Spinoza. Surely you have to admire his character as most every one does, but what about his system of thought? In many ways he was the very apotheosis of everything the logical positivists were against, but he was such a courageous monist and naturalist ---his God was a necessary system of nature that even Einstein found congenial. (Einstein was no positivist, at least in the formal sense, but I think he spoke for many scientists when he said that he believed in the God of Spinoza.) I was just curious what you might make of him. To me, of course, he was the first truly great philosopher of modern times, an exemplar of all that philosophy is or ought to be. But what do you think? Just curious. <

* Agree! Nothing adding to your exposition. As you have realized, I use the term 'philosophy' in the strict sense, but also in the wide sense of 'way' of thinking and acting (cognitive and motor manifestations determined by a set of beliefs). Therefore, I cannot say that Spinoza's writings encompass every thing in those areas... *

Affectively,

Jacobus



Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: GOD
Date: Fri Jan 16 10:10:26 EST 1998
Comments:

IN SEARCH OF GOD

To DAPHNA:

* On Jan 1998 you wrote in your e-mail message to me:

> ... there is an attitude that comes through your writing... <

* Also through my other activities. Problem is, I got used to have only the few friends who do not react the way you do. *

>... as if you are trying to intimidate or embarrass your prey. <

* It is not my intention, but I'm aware of that, and got used. *

> Attitude does come through writing; if it did not, the written word could never be used to write the poem or novel. So, no, I will not delete those lines. <

* OK *

< ... philosophy is the grandfather of all the branches of science. When Thales first stated that all was water, we have not been able to look back. <

* Thales was wrong: all is not water! He also predicted a solar eclipse: he was correct! He was also a mathematician. What he really did was to call the attention to Nature as following physical laws, not god's whims. This opened the way to real knowledge, not theological dictates. He therefore founded the love for knowledge, philosophia. Of course this was the first step for things to come, science being one of them. Aristotle did it when he started classifying the extant knowledge. But real science started with the establishment of strict experimentation, whereby the replicability of the experiment led to fundamentals.

Daphna, it is nice to know about the pre-Socratic, the Socratic and the post-Socratic searchers of truth, ending in our time with those who look for man's existential questions and responsibilities, and with those who say that only realities that can be sensed should be the subject for the search of the true way of thinking, believing and behaving on the crust of our planet. It is my belief that the advances of the recent decades call for a NEW Philosophy, in the Western tradition. I am intent in taking the first step by means of the Serendip forums. *

> The last discipline to officially break away was psychology, the next hopefully will be logic. <

* Breaking away? Science is possible only when measurements can be made. Mathematics, which are not a Natural Science, are the underpinnings of science. Whatever can not be quantified remains within the aegis of 'philosophy' in its loose sense. Psychology became a discipline as it established principles of its own; as it employs more technological advances, measuring changes in bodily manifestations, especially in the brain, the more it tends toward science.
As for Logic, why do you say 'hopefully'? Logic has been a separate discipline for quite a while, yet its principles are overarching for every human endeavor. Logic is the sine-qua-non medium that philosophy and science utilize to act, as water is for biochemical reactions. *

> After having taken a logic course, I would not mind it going its own way. As far away as possible. Perhaps philosophy still has a place in contributing to future knowledge, frankly I am not too sure of that either, but the education you can get from studying phil is immense. All branches of knowledge are touched upon or should be at the undergraduate level. It is a wonderful way to ascertain your interest for higher education or your interests in the work world. But many philosophers and theologians were not writing to be understood by even an intelligent reader, so I must question their reason for writing in the first place and question whether they are worth the time and effort needed to decipher their writings. <

* Daphna, once you grasp the essence of theology, philosophy and science, realizing that philosophy's turf is the immeasurable yet clearly comprehensible, such as language, syntax, rhyme, communicating unambiguously, law, liberty...; that theology is the domain for concepts like God, Creator, soul, hell, heaven..., while science deals with the measurable and capable of being studied experimentally, you will understand that indeed the time has arrived for not wasting too much time reading things passe.

There is now a wonderful opportunity to open new horizons, by integrating philosophy with science and by clarifying theologic concepts. In fact, a question on a forum about the soul I commented by stating with 'absolute' confidence that memory is the soul. I could add here a new idea: a newborn's soul is limited to his inchoate Collective Unconscious. An anencephalic embryo has no soul. *

> Science does not answer the why? that I am asking, science answer the mechanics of the universe, but even after you answer all those whys, you are still left with my why? unless science can as Hawking says "Know the mind of God",(unraveling god's mystery), then we will have to depend on philosophy and possibly theology. Theologians may find phil to be an unwelcome visitor but if some of the research is correct on the beginnings of religion, than the first questions asked were philosophical not religious. I must also question how far science has traveled, from the first "metaphysical musing" of all is "water", we have progressed to the latest "physical science musings" of all is "quarks"(or whatever is the smallest particle or wave of the moment is). We have in physics a lot of theories as yet unproven, not much different than the philosopher who states is theory and then sees if it holds up to the onslaught of criticism from other phils and scientists. ( By the way I much prefer Tillich's "ground of being" to any religious god that has been defined to death.) <

* Daphna, try to edit the above paragraph, making it completely unambiguous.
The moment you stop saying (feeling), 'I much prefer (so and so),' you will have matured. In the meantime you are looking for a guru capable of answering your immature WHYs.

Remember: 1.- YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT BEING THAT HAS BEEN OR WILL EVER BE CREATED. 2.- AND YOUR VALUE IS NIL. 3.- ENDEAVOR TO ADD SOME VALUE TO IT. *

> Yes, there is no evidence for God, but neither is there evidence for no God... To be at the pinnacle, to be able to affect the world the way we do requires a seriousness and a responsibility that we don't exhibit on any regular basis. And yes I must include you in on my generalization, because if you demand that a fresh deck of cards be available for contract bridge or if you eat steak, or if you buy from businesses that are only concerned with their profit margin and have no concern for the environment or their employees, then you are asking that we continue to rape the earth for your benefit. No I am not a rabid environmentalist, but I fully believe that we can maintain a high standard of living without the destruction, even creating a higher standards of living. For that, science is needed. I am a rabid science fiction fan and I am constantly amazed at what yesterday was fantasy is today reality. <

* You are an armchair idealist. That's why you ramble. There are ORGANIZATIONS which are in charge of seeing to it that things be done to improve what can be improved.
Daphna, I see in you a person interested in learning and advancing. In the measure that you have the stuff to do so, I'll be interested in dialoguing and learning with and from you. Why, you might aspire to become a second Hypathia (disregarding the last paragraph of her biography). *

> Thank you for all the feedback, I have enjoyed it tremendously, and my comment on you "superior expostulations" simply has to do with that attitude that comes through on your writing... We have probably entertained everyone enough for now. <

* Yes, of course there is 'fun' in this; otherwise I wouldn't be into it. My attitude is in part dictated by the confidence I have in my output, a fruit of painstaking reading, experimenting, analyzing, erring, learning from my errors. I can devote 10 hours a day to learn bridge and to add something of my own to it. I can devote 4 hours to the analysis of a single hand, until I UNDERSTAND it. *

> P.S. I had to take a Chemistry course this last semester, The professor said that ..my words here... all of the element were noble gas wanna bees. Is there any other purpose in the world for helium except to blow up balloons and be an inspiration for other elements? I also used the terms actual and potential, noble gases being actual, the rest potential, the professor preferred the term stable for noble gases. <

* Yes, the elements are cyclic. There are also what are called 'magic' numbers, which pertain to electron shells. Element 114 is expected to be a very special one because it will enjoy several magic numbers. There are no 'purposes' in Nature: Teleology is out of bonds in science, didn't you know???? Full-shell elements are stable, they hardly intermingle; that's why they WERE facetiously mocked of as 'noble.' It is not a question of name preferences. By the way, you might as well read my poem on the elements, 'Of Quanta and Love'... *

** I hope you'll reply in due time after digesting this (or spitting it out). **

Yours,

Jacobus



Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: New Philosophy: GOODNESS and SOCIETY
Date: Mon Jan 19 17:38:36 EST 1998
Comments:

(NEW PHILOSOPHY)

GOODNESS and SOCIETY

In a previous essay, it was suggested that badness is a creative force of Nature, and that goodness is a product of man's thinking. ("Goodness, Badness and Evil.") Later on, based on recent observations of chimpanzee's behavior, the following theory was proposed. Early in evolution, 'Badness' evolved, since it resulted favorable for the advancement of individual organisms; 'Goodness,' later on, served the formation and furthering of groups, the starting point of societies. ("Godness Revisited.")

It would appear that evolution, by means of genetic mutations, conferred advantage to early organisms that happened to develop the capability of interacting with their equals. That bacteria exchange genetic material, is an indication of an early manifestation of sociability. Ants and bees manifest this banefic, continuously evolving genetic print, at a much higher level of development.

The point I intend to make now is that these two natural phenomena, the egotistic impulse for personal advancement, and the altruistic one for group benefit, shaped the history of humanity.
Although minor nations disapeared as a result of conquer and dispersion resulting in assimilation, empires were dismembered as a consequence of changes in the egotistic vs. altruistic' balance, favoring the former. Witness the decadence of the Roman Empire that preceded its fall. Its citizens shunned army service, which fell in the hands of mercenaries. The previously mighty, reliable army --the underpinning of state security and continuity-- degenerated, as the societal cohesion relaxed into personal and parochial interests. The stage was set for the destruction of the State and of the Nation by invaders.

A unique situation, where the State perished yet the Nation survived, has puzzled and confounded the western world. While the ancient northern Kingdom of Israel was dismantled, both as a State and as a Nation, the southern Kingdom of Judea was destroyed as a State, yet the Judaeus --the Jews-- persisted as a Nation, for they kept the Torah and Jerusalem in their minds and hearts, wherever they dispersed.
Their state was small and would have fallen anywise in the hands of a powerful conqueror; however, it could have been preserved, if not for the imbalance created by the egotistic parochial and personal interests wheighing down the altruistic national interests.

Of special relevance is what appears to have been a determinant in the destruction of the Jewish State and yet also, later on, in the preservation of the Jewish Nation. This determinant was made up by the overzelous self-appointed keepers of the Torah's commandments (the Mosaic Law).
Societal integrity was rived by the interests of minority religious denominations, resulting in internecine warring and overall disintegration. Yet the descendants of the zealots were precisely those who kept alive the religious flame that welded the dispersed Jewish Nation.

Still, the creation anew of the Jewish State was the final step of a long-evolving historical process which culminated in the wake of the Dreyfus Affair. An assimilated Jewish news reporter gave the push to non-religious idealists, who went forth and created the State of Israel.
Once the state was firmly established, descendants of the original zealots formed diverse religious establishments, which are political off-shoots of the body basic for the preservation of the national character. They are now finding themselves accused of exploiting their political clout to impose religious interpretations and also for parochial gain, thus sowing again the seeds for a new destruction of the State!

Perhaps a NEW PHILOSOPHY could help bring home fundamental realities. To wit, firstly, that evolution created a brain capable of both thinking and meta-thinking, and, as a corollary, a human society which developed when --and as far as-- 'goodness' allowed it.
Secondly, that Nature doesn't judge the acts of men; no, Nature unthinkingly punishes men's mistakes, whether wilfully commited as acts of 'folly,' or innocently, as a result of insuficient or inadequate information.
That is, "things don't 'go wrong,' they just happen." Bad things can threfore happen to good people, too.

The New Philosophy limits itself to the study of realities which are not within the province of Science, i.e., non-theological subjects that are not submisive to measurement or experiment.
It doesn't judge nor offer counsel.



Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: LINGUISTIC COMMUNICATION
Date: Mon Feb 2 16:39:07 EST 1998
Comments:


(NEW PHILOSOPHY)

LINGUISTIC COMMUNICATION (I)

A personal overview. What one talks or writes about and how

Communication is essentially a purposeful exchange of information (dialogue). Information is most commonly conveyed by means of language. Language is by and large better understood through clearly spoken or written words. One talks or writes in sentences. A given sentence may be:

a) Essentially true ("He knows to write").

b) Essentially false ("Nobody ever learns to write").

c) Non-sensical ("One flew writing a koo koo").

d) Abstruse ("The writer's soul is divinely inspired").

Only the essentially true sentences will be considered, for the other kinds do not provide clear information, being therefore unsuitable for linguistic communication. A useful name for an essentially true sentence is alethic. Suppose you say, "John is a good fellow," and somebody contradicts you, saying, "No, John is a rascal." Your sentence may not tell the truth, yet it is alethic --as it might be true. Compare with an essentially false, non-alethic sentence, "Everybody is always happy." Nobody in his sane mind can deny the absurdity of such a proposition, nor can he deny the alethic quality of saying, "Somebody is happy sometime." Therefore, we shall consider only alethic sentences, whose contents can be of one of four kinds:

1) Sentient, 2) Axiological, 3) Intellective, 4) Existential (Ostensive).

1) Sentient subjects .- Comprising three kinds: a. Exteroceptive, b. Interoceptive, c. Affective.

2) Axiological subjects .- Comprising four kinds: a. Deontic, b. Telic. c. Intrinsic. d. Aestethic.

3) Intellective.

4) Existential or Ostensive.

1a.- SENTIENT:- Exteroceptive

Referring to impressions perceived by the senses: "This is a tall mountain," "This apple tastes sweet," are examples. The more a dialogue is based on exteroceptive impressions, the less mentation it requires, resulting in an inversely proportional arousal of human interest. Conversations of this type are called "phatic" --serving an inane social function. More than a dialogue, --a communication between individuals-- it becomes an insipid exchange of perceptual information.


Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: FORUM TOO LONG
Date: Mon Feb 2 17:10:21 EST 1998
Comments:

THIS Forum takes a long time to download, even worse for those who lack ISDN. I 've suggested to Paul and Bogdan to create other Forums, like PHILOSOPHY and NEUROSCIENCE. Readers would find advantage that way, according to their interests. None of the two has deigned to answer.

I'll quit this Forum. My next postings on LINGUISTIC COMMUNICATION will appear in BIOLOGY!! It is not too cluttered.


Name: Bandicote
Username: cootecom@powerup.com.au
Subject: Help for a NEWBIE!
Date: Fri Feb 6 20:56:18 EST 1998
Comments:
Is anyone out there willing to help a Newbie, (both a Internet Newbie & a Psychology Newbie)who is just about to begin the study of Psychology at University? If so, I look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Bandicote
Name: J. Ghitis
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il


Subject:

BRANDICOTE ASKED FOR HELP


Date: Thu Feb 19 15:38:29 EST 1998
Comments:

To: *** BRANDICOTE ***

Did you receive my e-mail with a lot of information on your help request? If you did not, please let me know. If you did, please let me know if my efforts in your behalf gave fruit. Yours,

Jacob Ghitis, M.D.


Name: Mary Macomber Leue
Username: MarySKOLE@aol.com
Subject: Usage of this space
Date: Thu Mar 19 10:01:53 EST 1998
Comments:
I have just discovered BMC online, and am thrilled! My next move was to discover what if any space there might be for my particular bent. Not easy as it might sound! I am a desktop publisher of books (not many, and not terribly commercially-oriented - might there be a category of "expressive- ness?" - for the purpose of seeking out colleagues based on compatibility in life-paths?). Since 1985, I've been editing and publishing a quarterly journal of alternative education, entitled SKOLE (in Greek letters) now anthologized in 3 volumes entitled Challenging the Giant - and, since 1995, a second quarterly journal entitled The Journal of Family Life, a Quarterly for Empowering Families. The categories of participation in this exciting outlet called Serendip, as far as I can discover (and I may well be wrong) are either through following the data etc. available through one of the disciplines offered OR through establishing one's own line of musings via this forum, which seem to me to have no possible discernable consequences in the active world of societal decision-making - which thereby relegates them to a chat category, the value of which is largely entertainment or argumentation to no real purpose! At 78, I've become increasingly intolerant of this way of filling one's remaining years. I have a friend, John Taylor Gatto, who travels the world's lecture circuits like Jeremiah, warning that our children are already lost to us and that, barring major changes in society's ways of destroying their minds and spirits within the next decade at the most, the human race is destined for very bad times indeed! John wears two watches to remind himself how short is the time remaining to us! Dear Jecques-Ives Cousteau told us, at the Rio summit, that we hafd 30 years before irreversible changes in the earth's biological makeup would begin to occur. That was in the 80s. Why are we wasting our lives engaging in such narcissistic chit-chat which has NO RELEVANCE to the real world??? Hey, if you feel like challenging this pygmy, I won't ignore you, but, I warn you, I won't engage in an infinite regress of argument for its own sake! You know the story of the two Irishmen engaging in fisticuffs on the road and along comes a third Irishman. "Well, well," says he. "Is this a private fight, or can anyone join in?" Argumentation may temporarily relieve your sense of futility, but beyond that, it is of no value, and can become counter-productive as a draining off of the life energy it takes to begin to institute change. Love, Mary Macomber Leue, BMC '40
Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: TO MARY SKOLE
Date: Sat Mar 21 01:32:45 EST 1998
Comments:

MARY,

I'll work on a reply. It will appear in the Brain and Behavior Forum. This one is too cluttered, as I pointed out, and I visit it occasionally.

Jacob


Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: RETURNING TO ABOUT...
Date: Tue Mar 24 23:00:11 EST 1998
Comments:

This page has become again a pleasurable site to visit and to post. Thanks are due to Paul and Bogdan!

I shall continue here on the subject of NEW PHILOSOPHY. I intend to fulfill promises, such as presenting my interpretation of Jacob's "Ladder dream," "God's Name," "Adam and Eve." I pretend also to write on Paradoxes.

I've been thinking about a term appropriate for the "study of thinking." There seems not to exist anyone. Perhaps "Thinkology." I'll return to this subject."


Name: Hamnet
Username: Hamnet@hamnet.com
Subject: Plants (electrical conduction?)
Date: Mon Apr 20 16:07:05 EDT 1998
Comments:
Hello, I'm wondering if SOMEONE might know SOMETHING about electro-chemical conduction in plant cells? Do some types of PLANT CELLS actually conduct electricity? Hamnet
Name: Amanda
Username: amanda_osorio@hotmail.com
Subject: philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience
Date: Wed Apr 22 08:55:57 EDT 1998
Comments:
Hello, I am just writing to ask about a few things. I am going to go into University soon, but I am at a loss for how to do my major. I have extensively studied philosophy, and I absolutely love it. Yet, I wanted to to school to become a psychiatrist. I know that one has to go to med school to become a psychiatrist, yet I also want to do a double major with psychology and philosophy. I am a beginner, yet I have already studied some Freud, Jung and Beck. Still, I don't know as much as I would like. Any suggestions? Help! Thanks! Amanda
Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: To Hamnet and to Amanda
Date: Wed Apr 22 15:20:54 EDT 1998
Comments:
To Hamnet: All electrical energy in cells derives from chemical reactions.
Electrical conduction is essential for fast signal transmission in the motor area (neuromuscular). Since I doubt you'll get an explicit answer here to your question, which is not within the province of About...Serendip, I suggest to look up plants that manifest motor activities in their leaves. Let us know about your findings.

To Amanda: Please rephrase your questions in the most precise way. However, your quest appears to be too personal. Please remember that we are basically concerned with matters of general interest to Serendipians.


Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Date: Sun May 10 17:11:22 EDT 1998
Comments:


THE NEW PHILOSOPHY

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT REASSESSED

There is a lull on Serendip's forums, preventing me from applying the 'Interdialog' method in the developing of further themes on the NEW PHILOSOPHY. As result, I've decided to post the following letter, sent to -- but not published in-- Newsweek, commenting on the article devoted to the current expansion of Pentecostal 'revivalism' in the USA, the Holy Spirit being the central theme.

****************

"Living on the Holy Spirit" (April 13) is informative, not instructive. Jehovah, His ChosenPeople, and the Torah (Moses' Holy Writ) composed the original Trinity. The Hebrew God communicated with His People by means of the Torah.

Iconoclastic Jews sought to convert this parochial Jehovah into a universal God. One Jew, Jesus (Jehoshua,' meaning 'Jehovah saves') was made to displace the whole of the Chosen People. He was theologically invested with the 'Letter' ('Word') of Moses' Holy Writ: this Word became Jesus' 'flesh.' The 'Spirit' of the Torah (the Teaching, the Law, the Way, the Guidance) became the Christian 'Holy Spirit.' This evolution took time and introduced an enigma, solved only by faith.

There are 574 references to 'Spirit' in the whole Hebrew Bible ('Old Testament'). Few refer specifically to a 'Spirit' associated with Jehovah, or with Elohim (God, in Hebrew, whose 'Spirit' guided the Creation from Chaos), or with the Sanctity (Spiritus Sanctus in Latin, from the original --Biblical-- Ruach Hakodesh). This latter 'Spirit' (very loosely rendered as 'Holy Spirit') eventually acquired a very specific connotation: Jehovah's bestowal of prophethood, a word deriving from roots meaning 'to foretell' (God's forthcoming punishment or redemption), while the original --Hebrew-- 'navih' derives from ' vocal expression.'
This is understandable, as language is essential for intellective communication. The prophets became Jehovah's (the Hebrew God) 'witnesses,' i.e., His speakers.

I'd suggest that the Christian 'Holy Spirit' refers to God's and Jesus' means of communicating with Women and Men. Being 'hit' by it, however it is understood or unconsciously interpreted, would be tantamount to receiving the Holy Word from the Divinity. No wonder it is manifested by a dramatic physical and emotional effect. The manifestation of the "gift of tongues" is thus very clearly part and parcel of lenguage as the means of godly communication.

Still, all the above is not enough to help interpret the whole phenomenon of astounding pentecostal revivalism renewal, which obviously has much to thank the technological capacity to fly from far away and to spread the word to enormous gatherings.
After all, gurus creating convulsive trances in 'domino' fashion by a flash of their hand is no fresh news. What is really new is the knowledge that there is in the brain cortex a zone that might be referred to as the 'crime and punishment center' or 'moral area.' The owner's (not only humans) center links her/his acts with the corresponding reactions of mentors, at infancy. It thus becomes the node for 'moral conscience.' A few studies have shown that murderers who were raised in moral environments evince an underdeveloped 'moral area.'

The possibility exists that an 'overdeveloped' area feeds its 'victim' vague-to-clear chronic guilt feelings. If a liability to enter a deep hypnotic trance is added to it, the therapeutic effects of the 'hit' should be scientifically understandable.



Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: On DOSTOYEVSKY's seizures
Date: Sat Jun 6 15:30:10 EDT 1998
Comments:

THE NEW PHILOSOPHY


PSYCHOGENIC SEIZURES

To CHARLES:

(My American and Christian friend)

On September 1997 you wrote,

You've written so MANY things that I found both interesting and provocative! You have the heart of a philosopher, I do believe.

Indeed, I like to think as clearly as possible, looking at the whole picture.

There, my dear Jake, is the rub! How do we know what the important details are, and what's just background and window dressing. I too consider myself a "big picture" person. But it's so damnably hard to sift through the veritable flood of information that we're exposed to, and decide what's really relevant to understanding "the truth", and what simply leads us down the rabbit trail.

Charles, you respect my opinions, I very well know. I dispose of enough time to read a lot of selected information and I have lived and studied enough to have created a sort of 'mental browser' which allows me to get a rather approximately valid judgment of the 'truth.'

I've just about concluded that human intellect alone is of little value in this regard. There are just too many possibilities!

Hardly do I find something that challenges dramatically my worldview and 'conceptions.' Yet I feel flexible enough to realize and accept whenever I am proven wrong, and ready to change radically points of view and the nature of my conceptions.
Therefore I have no anguishing doubts about the 'truth.'

I've ALWAYS had a fascination with the human brain, but of late, I've become particularly interested in the findings of recent studies of the incredibly complex role that chemicals, in exquisitely small amounts, play on thinking and emotion.

I am very much glad to read this. This is basic stuff!

I read a couple of days ago a most interesting quote by Dostoevsky (undoubtedly a misspelling), the famous Russian novelist. He was afflicted with epilepsy.

You will find incredible the following: in 1951 (46 years ago) I came to the conclusion that Dostoevsky (I prefer Dostoyevsky, but both are correct) suffered from psychogenic epilepsy. I am adding below a document on him, prepared at this moment for you. Here I will give you a preview of what appeared to be my correct assumption:

I treated a sixteen-year-old boy who suffered from seizures. My impression was that there was a psychic determinant to them. I did something unprecedented: with hypnosis I returned him to the instant before his 'attack' and told him to tell me what was happening during it. His story was so reminiscent of Dostoyevsky's characters, that I just went straight to the patient's mind. With psychoanalytic treatment directed to the ambivalence toward his stepfather, the epilepsy stopped. I did not need hypnosis for that. (Reader: For a detailed description of the subject, you might wish to read Divorce And The Unconscious.)

Dostoevsky related that in the moment just before a "fit", as he called it, he experienced the most sublime feeling of happiness and well being that it defied description. He said that whether this state lasted a second, a day, or a month, he couldn't say. But, he said, as far as you "healthy" people, I wouldn't trade this experience for all the pleasures that this life has to offer. Most interesting!

It figures, since by unconsciously enacting the fantasies of parricide and other 'evil' acts, without consciously knowing it, i.e., guilt-free, he enjoyed two realms: the infantile of getting what he desired (the Oedipal killing of the father), and doing it with no guilt nor punishment.
He could not compare his 'happiness' with that of 'healthy people,' could he? (Reader: You might wish to read Semantics of the UNCONSCIOUS)

Jesus was crucified by the pre-determined plan of God. Jesus is quoted as having said, no one takes my life, "but I lay it down of myself". And even if the Jews of Jesus day had been "guilty as sin", what right does ANYONE have to persecute their descendants, who weren't even born until centuries after the fact? I get angry in this country when, simply because I'm white, I'm somehow "guilty" because I might have had an ancestor who owned an African-American as a slave.

Have you read The Last Temptation of Christ? (By Kazansakis). There is some psychological belief that crucifixion was sought after, in order to make a stronger impact. Thus, Jesus was expected to succeed in death when there had been failure in life. Have I told you that I have been taken to the Police, hands grilled in front or behind my chest (as I 'chose') because I desired to know how it feels, but mainly in order to make my point in the present climate of police brutality and judges' haughtiness prevailing nowadays in Israel? (It hurts behind, and it is quite unpleasant when you end up in jail).

Jake, I appreciate very much your candor and honesty in what you write. If we can't express ourselves with reasonable candor, then we're probably wasting our time in writing. I hope that you NEVER feel like you should have to "beat around the bush" in expressing what you believe, or in critiquing what I write as my beliefs. That's what keeps this exchange so interesting for me!!!

Charles

That's why I enjoy our conversations!

Jake

From ENCARTA. In green, my stress; in red, my comments.

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Mikhaylovich (1821-81), Russian novelist, one of the greatest of all novelists, who penetrated the human mind and heart with exceptional insight and whose fiction has had profound influence on the modern intellectual climate. Born in Moscow on November 11, 1821, Dostoyevsky was the son of a former army doctor. He had a gloomy childhood…....

Dostoyevsky was sentenced to four years of hard labor in Siberia and to serve afterward as a common soldier. The stresses of this period brought on epilepsy...., from which Dostoyevsky suffered the rest of his life....

His reading, limited to the Bible, led to the rejection of the Western-inspired atheistic socialism of his youth. Christ's teachings became for him the supreme affirmation of the ethical ideal and of the possibility of salvation through suffering. The brutality of the hardened criminals, alternating with displays of courage, generosity, and sensitive feelings, deepened the writer's insight into the complexity of human behavior.... He described his own unconscious conflicts.....

In Crime and Punishment, probably his best-known work, a poor student, Raskolnikov, commits murder ....to rid the world of a human parasite and to help his indigent family; but his main motive is the testing of his right as an extraordinary individual (as he conceives himself to be) to transgress moral law. ....Tormented by guilt and isolation, he confesses and is spiritually redeemed....

The Brothers Karamazov, considered one of the masterpieces of world literature, is the most powerful artistic expression of Dostoyevsky's psychological insights and philosophical and religious views. It is plotted as a gripping murder mystery; concerned with the tragedy of patricide.......

The three protagonists—metaphysical symbols of body, mind, and spirit of the modern human being—engage in passionate debate, revolving around themes considered in the author's earlier works: the expiation of sin through suffering, the need for a moral force in an irrational universe, the struggle between good and evil, the supreme value of the individual and freedom. The ultimate question is raised of how one is to live and what one is to live by—to which only fragmentary answers are given. ....

This was his terrible problem: he did not know how to 'live,' because of his fragmented (schizoid) 'soul,' mind, unconscious.
But the main point is that the interpretation given by the encyclopedist on the brothers is wrong! The three brothers Karamazov are actually the different components of his own psyche, debating, among others, his ambivalent feelings toward his dead father. He developed psychogenic epilepsy. During the seizure's unconscious period he enjoyed deeply giving free rein to fantasies that had been struggling to appear openly. His great happiness caused by the seizures was due to unconscious fantasies of murdering his father, and probably of killing to rob for his gaming sickness. He was thus free of guilt and omnipotent.

The symbolic creation of worlds where heroes, pervaded by the tragic sense of life, search for truth and self-fulfillment....endows the novels of Dostoyevsky's last creative period with a timeless and universal quality. Dostoyevsky anticipated modern psychology by his exploration of hidden motives and intuitive understanding of the unconscious...., manifested in the irrational behavior, psychic suffering, dreams, and lapses into insanity of his characters...



Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject:
Date: Mon Jun 15 17:15:13 EDT 1998
Comments:
THE NEW PHILOSOPHY


SECOND INTERDIALOG WITH SPIRITUS

ON BRAIN, MIND, AND SEROTONIN

To SPIRITUS:

On 17 Oct 1997, we continued our dialog, and you permitted me to post it at Serendip. I'm doing that now...

What is there to unlock? Why do you complicate your life?
You don't have schizophrenia and if you had you would not change things by unlocking something that is not locked but faulty. You appear to be playing with chance. I am not criticizing nor analyzing, only trying to clarify what you say in an enigmatic way. You are not battling against yourself. But the battle is not going to help your self if you don't know what, why, and how. You might simplify matters if you devote your time to find out, rationally, why you are so sure you have to battle. The 'true me'(the self) is very complex, due --among many other reasons-- to the intangibles of changing circumstances.

I think that once again we are agreeing on the same points here, but simply choosing incongruous words with which to do it. The only point I really had there, was that all learning comes from experience, so a strong desire to learn almost tautologically equates to a strong desire to sample from all of life's experiences. To limit experience is to limit learning. (Whether this is 'good' or 'bad' is a moral --and, I believe, personal-- decision...).

Too sweeping! Mostly we learn vicariously, by using our senses passively: reading and listening. A strong desire to learn leads mainly to a house of study, to books and the like. Desiring to learn by 'sampling' life's experiences will teach the limited input you get from it. Pleasant, certainly can be, and if you waft through it unscathed, it may be a source of delightful memories and practical lessons. Please enlighten me on a 'sampling' experience which furnished you with essential applicable knowledge, in the strict sense of the concept. I must insist on Linguistic Analysis to convey alethic ideas capable of meaningful dialogue.

I left serotonin alone for now to discuss this.. This line of reasoning comes from 'experimental' (experiential?) evidence I gained while conducting mind experiments into the nature of what I call the 'Belief Tree'. Without boring you with too much detail, I essentially perceive that most people that we would consider of 'normal' mental health, are anchored to a definite belief structure with which they identify themselves, e.g., "I am a Christian", "I am a Jew", "I am an engineer", "I am a good person."

Experimental, indeed. Experiential too, since you were the subject. Where from did you get the credentials for experimenting scientifically? People fixated on a given immutable personality are not normal; they are rigid and cling to it for protection against anxiety, the latter being the key existential determinant of their apparently irrational behavior.

If this structure is not challenged significantly in any way, it gains strength and becomes a consistent 'ground plane' from which this person may act comfortably and securely. Problems for this person only arise if this structure is challenged in some significant way. If the structure is too 'rigid,' it may not withstand change without breaking entirely. If the challenge is to a subconscious or "core belief" -- it is usually responded to with some form of primal 'fight or flight' mechanism.

Well put! Compare with my words immediately above: yours are the same ideas, expressed in plain language, employing quotes instead of pompously saying: 'people who appear to be within the range of mental normalcy,' or saying 'core belief' instead of 'fixation.' Using the terms 'subconscious' and 'unconscious' is fraught with dangers, since they are quite different in meaning. 'Fight or flight': correct, and they are the mechanisms of response to the anxiety aroused by the challenge you mention.

So, after spending our entire lives building this belief tree (which basically consists of a series of interrelated decisions, with 'generations' of decisions based on parents' and grandparents' decisions etc.), what happens, if we successfully challenge and overthrow one (or more) of the fundamental (core) beliefs near the top of the tree? The answer is, that all childhood beliefs not anchored to another unchallenged 'sibling' belief, potentially become invalidated, or at very least, warrant reexamination. Hence we have 'puberty blues', 'midlife crises', 'menopause', and a whole range of other 'change of life' psychological illnesses. So, what does this have to do with schizophrenia and ego-states and their like?

"...building this belief tree..." Are you sure? Isn't the tree being built without our being aware? How can we challenge-- and less, overthrow--- unconsciously created fixations? What I'd like to add is that perhaps a "Low Serotonin Mental Status" has much to do with the liability to falling into psychoneurotic personality problems. This is a rather new concept of mine, I believe, which would lead to early diagnoses and supplemental preventive measures. As for adults now, supplements after correct diagnosis might prevent the 'blues' and other mental suffering related to 'transition states'.

Well, if you hadn't already guessed, a strong ego results from firm identification with one of these core beliefs (and hence, with its associated 'siblings').

'Strong' applied to the ego is not the correct adjective. Preferably, 'robust.' There is a contradiction here, since a 'core' belief is actually an abnormality, termed 'fixation.' A robust ego allows for flexibility.

Multiple ego states result from changing identification with different core beliefs. If the change is high up in the tree and the associated 'siblings' are quite unique to that particular branch (i.e., there are no, or few, cross links to other branches), then we might see the kind of drastic behavioral swings we associate with 'multiple personality' phenomena (I'm loathe to blanket them with the word 'disorder'). At a smaller scale we all shift beliefs regularly on a daily basis, as we 'change hats' to suit our situation, 'Doctor', 'Father, 'Husband', 'Teacher', 'Pupil', 'Judge', 'Lover'....

A 'strong' ego actually doesn't identify with a given personality. Such identification is a defense mechanism. An unconstrained --robust-- ego automatically adopts the 'hat' required for the given circumstances. I would think that the basis for 'multiple egos' is biological, with special life circumstances creating the problem, which then can be psychoanalytically reversed, although the biological basis remains.

Good points! I shot all this from the hip (so to speak) and it did turn into more of a rant than I intended...It was supposed to be a simple description of a human response structure that I have observed, but the act of describing it was not as simple as I thought! Perhaps I should replace the word 'strong' with 'stable' (relatively 'constant/unchanging'). People who tend to have most of their answers already decided upon and to do things 'by the book' (at least their own edition of it, anyway), are perhaps the sort we may refer to as 'narrow-minded'.
I'm happy with your definition of unconstrained ego, though it was not what I had meant by 'strong', but what I believe to be the 'ideal'. A situation where we do not hang blindly by a single set of universal beliefs but rather intelligently, adopting changing beliefs that are appropriate to each situation as it arises.
Nature's shining model is evolution and change, so why do so many of us strive to be static?

'Strive' together with 'static'? An oxymoron!

TO BE CONTINUED... In the mean time: Spiritus, would you be willing to rewrite your ideas, in case you tend to accept some of my observations? Another point: I believe you have not been specific on what you do for a living at the present; it is related to engineering, and yet your intellect is tuned to matters of the mind! If you are not happy and are financially independent, what about studying medicine at this 'late' age, to become an expert in mind matters, vulgarly called psychiatry?


THE NEW PHILOSOPHY


SECOND INTERDIALOG WITH SPIRITUS

ON BRAIN, MIND, AND SEROTONIN

To SPIRITUS:

On 17 Oct 1997, we continued our dialog, and you permitted me to post it at Serendip. I'm doing that now...

What is there to unlock? Why do you complicate your life?
You don't have schizophrenia and if you had you would not change things by unlocking something that is not locked but faulty. You appear to be playing with chance. I am not criticizing nor analyzing, only trying to clarify what you say in an enigmatic way. You are not battling against yourself. But the battle is not going to help your self if you don't know what, why, and how. You might simplify matters if you devote your time to find out, rationally, why you are so sure you have to battle. The 'true me'(the self) is very complex, due --among many other reasons-- to the intangibles of changing circumstances.

I think that once again we are agreeing on the same points here, but simply choosing incongruous words with which to do it. The only point I really had there, was that all learning comes from experience, so a strong desire to learn almost tautologically equates to a strong desire to sample from all of life's experiences. To limit experience is to limit learning. (Whether this is 'good' or 'bad' is a moral --and, I believe, personal-- decision...).

Too sweeping! Mostly we learn vicariously, by using our senses passively: reading and listening. A strong desire to learn leads mainly to a house of study, to books and the like. Desiring to learn by 'sampling' life's experiences will teach the limited input you get from it. Pleasant, certainly can be, and if you waft through it unscathed, it may be a source of delightful memories and practical lessons. Please enlighten me on a 'sampling' experience which furnished you with essential applicable knowledge, in the strict sense of the concept. I must insist on Linguistic Analysis to convey alethic ideas capable of meaningful dialogue.

I left serotonin alone for now to discuss this.. This line of reasoning comes from 'experimental' (experiential?) evidence I gained while conducting mind experiments into the nature of what I call the 'Belief Tree'. Without boring you with too much detail, I essentially perceive that most people that we would consider of 'normal' mental health, are anchored to a definite belief structure with which they identify themselves, e.g., "I am a Christian", "I am a Jew", "I am an engineer", "I am a good person."

Experimental, indeed. Experiential too, since you were the subject. Where from did you get the credentials for experimenting scientifically? People fixated on a given immutable personality are not normal; they are rigid and cling to it for protection against anxiety, the latter being the key existential determinant of their apparently irrational behavior.

If this structure is not challenged significantly in any way, it gains strength and becomes a consistent 'ground plane' from which this person may act comfortably and securely. Problems for this person only arise if this structure is challenged in some significant way. If the structure is too 'rigid,' it may not withstand change without breaking entirely. If the challenge is to a subconscious or "core belief" -- it is usually responded to with some form of primal 'fight or flight' mechanism.

Well put! Compare with my words immediately above: yours are the same ideas, expressed in plain language, employing quotes instead of pompously saying: 'people who appear to be within the range of mental normalcy,' or saying 'core belief' instead of 'fixation.' Using the terms 'subconscious' and 'unconscious' is fraught with dangers, since they are quite different in meaning. 'Fight or flight': correct, and they are the mechanisms of response to the anxiety aroused by the challenge you mention.

So, after spending our entire lives building this belief tree (which basically consists of a series of interrelated decisions, with 'generations' of decisions based on parents' and grandparents' decisions etc.), what happens, if we successfully challenge and overthrow one (or more) of the fundamental (core) beliefs near the top of the tree? The answer is, that all childhood beliefs not anchored to another unchallenged 'sibling' belief, potentially become invalidated, or at very least, warrant reexamination. Hence we have 'puberty blues', 'midlife crises', 'menopause', and a whole range of other 'change of life' psychological illnesses. So, what does this have to do with schizophrenia and ego-states and their like?

"...building this belief tree..." Are you sure? Isn't the tree being built without our being aware? How can we challenge-- and less, overthrow--- unconsciously created fixations? What I'd like to add is that perhaps a "Low Serotonin Mental Status" has much to do with the liability to falling into psychoneurotic personality problems. This is a rather new concept of mine, I believe, which would lead to early diagnoses and supplemental preventive measures. As for adults now, supplements after correct diagnosis might prevent the 'blues' and other mental suffering related to 'transition states'.

Well, if you hadn't already guessed, a strong ego results from firm identification with one of these core beliefs (and hence, with its associated 'siblings').

'Strong' applied to the ego is not the correct adjective. Preferably, 'robust.' There is a contradiction here, since a 'core' belief is actually an abnormality, termed 'fixation.' A robust ego allows for flexibility.

Multiple ego states result from changing identification with different core beliefs. If the change is high up in the tree and the associated 'siblings' are quite unique to that particular branch (i.e., there are no, or few, cross links to other branches), then we might see the kind of drastic behavioral swings we associate with 'multiple personality' phenomena (I'm loathe to blanket them with the word 'disorder'). At a smaller scale we all shift beliefs regularly on a daily basis, as we 'change hats' to suit our situation, 'Doctor', 'Father, 'Husband', 'Teacher', 'Pupil', 'Judge', 'Lover'....

A 'strong' ego actually doesn't identify with a given personality. Such identification is a defense mechanism. An unconstrained --robust-- ego automatically adopts the 'hat' required for the given circumstances. I would think that the basis for 'multiple egos' is biological, with special life circumstances creating the problem, which then can be psychoanalytically reversed, although the biological basis remains.

Good points! I shot all this from the hip (so to speak) and it did turn into more of a rant than I intended...It was supposed to be a simple description of a human response structure that I have observed, but the act of describing it was not as simple as I thought! Perhaps I should replace the word 'strong' with 'stable' (relatively 'constant/unchanging'). People who tend to have most of their answers already decided upon and to do things 'by the book' (at least their own edition of it, anyway), are perhaps the sort we may refer to as 'narrow-minded'.
I'm happy with your definition of unconstrained ego, though it was not what I had meant by 'strong', but what I believe to be the 'ideal'. A situation where we do not hang blindly by a single set of universal beliefs but rather intelligently, adopting changing beliefs that are appropriate to each situation as it arises.
Nature's shining model is evolution and change, so why do so many of us strive to be static?

'Strive' together with 'static'? An oxymoron!

TO BE CONTINUED... In the mean time: Spiritus, would you be willing to rewrite your ideas, in case you tend to accept some of my observations? Another point: I believe you have not been specific on what you do for a living at the present; it is related to engineering, and yet your intellect is tuned to matters of the mind! If you are not happy and are financially independent, what about studying medicine at this 'late' age, to become an expert in mind matters, vulgarly called psychiatry?


THE NEW PHILOSOPHY


SECOND INTERDIALOG WITH SPIRITUS

ON BRAIN, MIND, AND SEROTONIN

To SPIRITUS:

On 17 Oct 1997, we continued our dialog, and you permitted me to post it at Serendip. I'm doing that now...

What is there to unlock? Why do you complicate your life?
You don't have schizophrenia and if you had you would not change things by unlocking something that is not locked but faulty. You appear to be playing with chance. I am not criticizing nor analyzing, only trying to clarify what you say in an enigmatic way. You are not battling against yourself. But if you are, then the battle is not going to help your self if you don't know what, why, and how. You might simplify matters if you devote your time to find out, rationally, why you are so sure you have to battle. The 'true me'(the self) is very complex, due --among many other reasons-- to the intangibles of changing circumstances.

I think that once again we are agreeing on the same points here, but simply choosing incongruous words with which to do it. The only point I really had there, was that all learning comes from experience, so a strong desire to learn almost tautologically equates to a strong desire to sample from all of life's experiences. To limit experience is to limit learning. (Whether this is 'good' or 'bad' is a moral --and, I believe, personal-- decision...).

Too sweeping! Mostly we learn vicariously, by using our senses passively: reading and listening. A strong desire to learn leads mainly to a house of study, to books and the like. Desiring to learn by 'sampling' life's experiences will teach the limited input you get from it. Pleasant, certainly can be, and if you waft through it unscathed, it may be a source of delightful memories and practical lessons. Please enlighten me on a 'sampling' experience which furnished you with essential applicable knowledge, in the strict sense of the concept. I must insist on Linguistic Analysis to convey alethic ideas capable of meaningful dialogue.

I left serotonin alone for now to discuss this.. This line of reasoning comes from 'experimental' (experiential?) evidence I gained while conducting mind experiments into the nature of what I call the 'Belief Tree'. Without boring you with too much detail, I essentially perceive that most people that we would consider of 'normal' mental health, are anchored to a definite belief structure with which they identify themselves, e.g., "I am a Christian", "I am a Jew", "I am an engineer", "I am a good person."

Experimental, indeed. Experiential too, since you were the subject. Where from did you get the credentials for experimenting scientifically? People fixated on a given immutable personality are not normal; they are rigid and cling to it for protection against anxiety, the latter being the key existential determinant of their apparently irrational behavior.

If this structure is not challenged significantly in any way, it gains strength and becomes a consistent 'ground plane' from which this person may act comfortably and securely. Problems for this person only arise if this structure is challenged in some significant way. If the structure is too 'rigid,' it may not withstand change without breaking entirely. If the challenge is to a subconscious or "core belief" -- it is usually responded to with some form of primal 'fight or flight' mechanism.

Well put! Compare with my words immediately above: yours are the same ideas, expressed in plain language, employing quotes instead of pompously saying: 'people who appear to be within the range of mental normalcy,' or saying 'core belief' instead of 'fixation.' Using the terms 'subconscious' and 'unconscious' is fraught with dangers, since they are quite different in meaning. 'Fight or flight': correct, and they are the mechanisms of response to the anxiety aroused by the challenge you mention.

So, after spending our entire lives building this belief tree (which basically consists of a series of interrelated decisions, with 'generations' of decisions based on parents' and grandparents' decisions etc.), what happens, if we successfully challenge and overthrow one (or more) of the fundamental (core) beliefs near the top of the tree? The answer is, that all childhood beliefs not anchored to another unchallenged 'sibling' belief, potentially become invalidated, or at very least, warrant reexamination. Hence we have 'puberty blues', 'midlife crises', 'menopause', and a whole range of other 'change of life' psychological illnesses. So, what does this have to do with schizophrenia and ego-states and their like?

"...building this belief tree..." Are you sure? Isn't the tree being built without our being aware? How can we challenge-- and less, overthrow--- unconsciously created fixations? What I'd like to add is that perhaps a "Low Serotonin Mental Status" has much to do with the liability to falling into psychoneurotic personality problems. This is a rather new concept of mine, I believe, which would lead to early diagnoses and supplemental preventive measures. As for adults now, supplements after correct diagnosis might prevent the 'blues' and other mental suffering related to 'transition states'.

Well, if you hadn't already guessed, a strong ego results from firm identification with one of these core beliefs (and hence, with its associated 'siblings').

'Strong' applied to the ego is not the correct adjective. Preferably, 'robust.' There is a contradiction here, since a 'core' belief is actually an abnormality, termed 'fixation.' A robust ego allows for flexibility.

Multiple ego states result from changing identification with different core beliefs. If the change is high up in the tree and the associated 'siblings' are quite unique to that particular branch (i.e., there are no, or few, cross links to other branches), then we might see the kind of drastic behavioral swings we associate with 'multiple personality' phenomena (I'm loathe to blanket them with the word 'disorder'). At a smaller scale we all shift beliefs regularly on a daily basis, as we 'change hats' to suit our situation, 'Doctor', 'Father, 'Husband', 'Teacher', 'Pupil', 'Judge', 'Lover'....

A 'strong' ego actually doesn't identify with a given personality. Such identification is a defense mechanism. An unconstrained --robust-- ego automatically adopts the 'hat' required for the given circumstances. I would think that the basis for 'multiple egos' is biological/, with special life circumstances creating the problem, which then can be psychoanalytically reversed, although the biological basis remains.

Good points! I shot all this from the hip (so to speak) and it did turn into more of a rant than I intended...It was supposed to be a simple description of a human response structure that I have observed, but the act of describing it was not as simple as I thought! Perhaps I should replace the word 'strong' with 'stable' (relatively 'constant/unchanging'). People who tend to have most of their answers already decided upon and to do things 'by the book' (at least their own edition of it, anyway), are perhaps the sort we may refer to as 'narrow-minded'.
I'm happy with your definition of unconstrained ego, though it was not what I had meant by 'strong', but what I believe to be the 'ideal'. A situation where we do not hang blindly by a single set of universal beliefs but rather intelligently, adopting changing beliefs that are appropriate to each situation as it arises.
Nature's shining model is evolution and change, so why do so many of us strive to be static?

'Strive' together with 'static'? An oxymoron!

TO BE CONTINUED... In the mean time: Spiritus, would you be willing to rewrite your ideas, in case you tend to accept some of my observations? Another point: I believe you have not been specific on what you do for a living at the present; it is related to engineering, and yet your intellect is tuned to matters of the mind! If you are not happy and are financially independent, what about studying medicine at this 'late' age, to become an expert in mind matters, vulgarly called psychiatry?



Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isracom.net.il
Subject: MOVING AWAY
Date: Fri Jun 19 10:21:40 EDT 1998
Comments:
I'm moving to sabranet/, Chat forum, devoted to the subjects I like.
Name: Jake
Username:
Subject:
Date: Fri Jun 19 10:26:12 EDT 1998
Comments:
Unnecessary underlining, due to regression to primitive posting facility, corrected!
Name: Sabran
Username:
Subject: The inner side of a "new philosopher"
Date: Wed Oct 7 11:52:13 EDT 1998
Comments:
You are invited to discover what's underneath the litany of words of Serebsip's intensive contributor, Jacob Ghitis.

It isn't brains, behavior, or exchange of new ideas.

It is this kind of posts, signed by him and by his other aliases:

***** line deleted by webmaster ******** Go see for yourself at:

http://www.sabra.net/SABRABoard/society/

You can learn there more about human behavior.


Name: test
Username:
Subject: test, ignore
Date: Wed Oct 7 20:20:20 EDT 1998
Comments:
test test
test test

Name: AH
Username: gekowalk@aol.com
Subject: Serendip
Date: Wed Oct 14 05:27:23 EDT 1998
Comments:
Not to avoid jumping into a river of advanced thought, I would like to share my feeling of Serendip. What are we about, searching for the unknown and the undiscovered? Where are we searching, out there or within? Are we searching the physical world or the metaphysical? What are we searching for? We are like crayfish at the river bottom reaching out for chance floating tidbits of information and serendipidous discovery. When we find it, ahhh, such joy. The idea that it is new, hadn't been thought of or brings benefit to our fellows turns the wheels of our ego. Yes, these discoveries, fit for a prince, bring joy and deserve honors.

I like the topics and plan to learn more about my brain, behavior and limits. Yet, I may find the limits I have set upon myself influence my behavior. To improve the behaviors I can imagine stimuli. I shall be a prince of creation and master of my body and mind. When I reach that place will I find Complete Joy? No, I shall not. The Universe is infinite. There will be other worlds, all of which I have seen, in this one.


Name: Robert
Username: slc@clove.net.au
Subject: Space Like Concepts
Date: Mon Jan 11 12:15:22 EST 1999
Comments:
Dear Internet Correspondent, Re: The Principles of Research (Einstein, A. - 1918) I am sorry to disturb you. I have written a paper concerning the ideas and opinions of Einstein, Jung, Darwin, Freud, Eccles, Barbato, Oz, James, Spinoza, Descartes, Kepler, Plato, Socrates, Homer and Marcus Aurelius, More ... and more. The paper concerns Einstein's 1952 statement about the relativistic field theory. The paper may be of some passing interest.. Abstract: Summary, in part: A paper concerning the (spatially) illimitable superior spirit of superior mind relative to the human race (as defined by Einstein from time to time - and for all time) linked to the theory of the autonomous state (as described in medicine and physiology by Sir John Eccles) and the idea of subconscious (as discussed in psychology by James, Freud and Jung) together with the shadowy doubt expressed (in evolution) by Darwin such that, as Einstein said, philosophically, Descartes was close to the truth. Einstein also stated the idea in physics - hence the relativistic field theory and those space-like concepts contrasted with the psychological sphere (as discussed in Relativity and the Problem of Space, 1952) where neither the quantum theory nor the modern theory of evolution holds otherwise: and where the theory (of Einstein) answers the eternal riddle (concerning the Olympic fields of Plato and the earthly lineage) which was posed by Einstein in 1952, which, it is suggested, was a path known by the ancients (as discussed by Einstein) and where the Principles of Research (as defined by Einstein in 1918) were followed by psychical thinking (as defined by Einstein in 1945) such that Einstein may well have been really serous when he was A) photographed (at least twice, once at home and once at work) with the word 'Revelations' in the vicinity of his right hand, and, B) later, when he spoke about the stars, the back door and the kitchen sink. --------------------------------------------------- The paper also concerns Einstein's assessment of the relative state of para-psychology. The paper is located at: http://clove.net.au/~slc/open1.htm I hope the paper is of some use. Kind Regards Rob PS. If you were to think the paper has any merit at all could you pass the idea along - I mean the idea intuition works. However, you may have to wisper. Please excuse the spelling - I am a little dyslexic - or however you spell that word.
Name: anonymous
Username:
Subject: Testing
Date: Sun Jan 17 12:27:22 EST 1999
Comments:
/testing 2
Name: anonymous
Username:
Subject:
Date: Sun Jan 17 12:28:50 EST 1999
Comments:

Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isdn.net.il
Subject: ALCOHOL AND DI'S DEATH
Date: Thu Feb 4 03:18:40 EST 1999
Comments:
DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY -Jacob Ghitis- ALCOHOL AND DI's DEATH

DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY


Interdialogging with DAPHNA:

On ALCOHOL AND DI's DEATH

DAPHNA, on 18 Dec. 1997 you posted in Serendip Forum:

I shall not insult your intelligence by trying to explain why I felt insulted, it is, as you know, purely a subjective feeling, one I chose to feel.

Laura, I post in Serendip both for pleasure and for learning. If somebody benefits from my writing, I can call it a value added. Polemic is out of the question, except when it is conducted on a platform appropriate for mutual benefit. You might have noticed that some of my posts are tinged with humor and some are poetry, although related to Serendip's main raison d'etre (brain, mind and thinking).
Therefore, feelings -being subjective-- are of interest only as a matter for educated analysis. I shall limit myself to question your presumed ability of 'choosing' subjective feelings. As for "insulting the intelligence," it is just a cliche.

...Stephen Hawking realized that...(Do you) know...(of)...any other physicists who have been on the best-selling lists...?

I'd suggest reading my letter to Charles Krauthammer, posted as "On Time and Space.

...As to your alcohol theory..., if the liver is damaged so that it cannot process ethanol as quickly as a healthy liver...,those brain things...(neurons)...have more alcohol to deal with ...if so, is it possible for them to be overwhelmed to such a degree that impairment of the body's reactions are compromised?...An individual imbibing...a weight/height equivalent amount of alcohol and..a healthy liver..could be 'legally' drunk and still...in command of his reflexes...

There are two variables involved: the alcohol blood level and the neurons' capacity of 'destroying' (catabolizing) alcohol. The net result of alcohol intoxication therefore depends on their interplay. The constant is the amount of alcohol imbibed per weight of the individuals. Variable degrees of liver damage will result in variable blood concentrations, thus variably taxing different individuals' neurons having equal detoxyfying capacities. With inequal capacities, the result will be in favor of the better endowed.

Is there any way for medical science to ascertain this, possibly clearing persons of DWI's whose reflexes are not...(necessarily)... impaired...(correlatively) with...their alcohol...levels?

This is precisely what I advocate in my post! It is possible to develop methods for that end, applicable to surviving drivers.

...Is it possible that the driver of Di's vehicle, in spite of having drunk a considerable amount of alcohol,...was...'in control of his reflexes' to the same degree of a...sober person?

On the basis of existing knowledge, it will be found that a few individuals possess a genetic enzyme variant in their neurons, which provides them with up to ten times the regular capacity for destroying alcohol. This will explain their unusual immunity to alcohol effects. Perhaps Alexander the Great was a famous case in question.

And do we really want to complicate the issue of drunk driving by this information?

Science manifests an inherent 'perverse desire' for complicating life, parallel to the inherent 'badness' that allows evolution. (As explained in my post "BADNESS.")


Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isdn.net.il
Subject: ALCOHOL INTOXICATION
Date: Thu Feb 4 03:23:10 EST 1999
Comments:
DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY -Jacob Ghitis- ALCOHOL INTOXICATION

DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY


ON ALCOHOL INTOXICATION

Alcohol Levels in Neurons

Originally posted in SERENDIP Forum, 18 December, 1997

From a recent issue of Science I obtained the following information, derived from experiments with laboratory mice:
Neurons devoted to alertness, memory and learning, possess an enzyme capable of rapidly inactivating ethanol, the common drinking alcohol. Mice made deficient in such enzyme suffer from alcohol intoxication manifestations at much lower alcohol levels.

From that information it is permissible to offer the following hypothesis.

1.- We have known that when ethanol enters the body, it is catabolized by an enzyme present in liver cells. Low levels of that enzyme result in higher blood and tissue alcohol levels.
2.- What has been discovered now is that when alcohol penetrates the neurons, it is catabolized by a second, different type of enzyme.

Therefore, measuring alcohol blood levels will provide a datum on the combined result of both ingestion and of thedisposal of alcohol. Yet the important information, namely how much of it is present at the neurons, is not gathered at all.

As a corollary, only very low blood alcohol concentrations can provide negative information, while the presence of 'significantly' high blood levels does not provide the positive information about neuronal intoxication!

If so, then in the absence of an immediate test for neuronal alcohol levels, only an immediate examination performed in a specialized laboratory --for testing alertness, memory and learning at standard alcohol ingestion doses-- will be capable of testifying to the significance of the blood alcohol levels present at the moment of sample withdrawal...

Should the driver perish in an accident, more significant than blood alcohol levels will be an intelligent analysis of the driver's overall behavior. High alcohol blood levels will pale against a history of responsible behavior in situations that demanded alertness, memory and immediate learning of road dangers.

If the reader is unwilling to accept this postulate as valid, let him explain. If he is willing, what would he opine about the responsibility of the person driving the car that crashed with Princes Dianne dying inside it?


Name: anonymous
Username:
Subject: GAME OF ANALOGIES
Date: Thu Feb 4 03:28:43 EST 1999
Comments:
DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY -Jacob Ghitis- GAME OF ANALOGIES

DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY


THE GAME OF ANALOGIES

INTRODUCTION

Consulting a dictionary and an encyclopedia, you will find definitions and explanations on the subject of analogy. My impression is that those to follow are far clearer and more comprehensive.
If a pair of things look or behave similarly to another pair, it is said that the two pairs resemble by a given attribute. But the pair 4:8 is said to resemble the pair 8:16 by way of ratio. On the other hand, a native calls his country 'motherland' by way of simile, for the country is like a mother to her child.

ATRIBUTE, RATIO AND SIMILE are the bases on which analogies stand. In metaphor, one word or phrase are utilized for rhetoric purposes, being therefore literary devices, as when one says, "Her emerald eyes," to indicate that her eyes are green and brilliant. Simile, per se, is another rhetorical device, where the accessory word like makes the difference with metaphor, as in: "Her eyes are like emeralds." No pair comparison is involved in these two cases.

One famous analogy states: "If one finds a watch, one concludes that there is a watch-maker; therefore, if there is a world, there must be a world-maker." The proposed analogy in these pairs is by attribute: a watch has the attribute of being made; an analogous attribute is ascribed to the world. However, since the existence of a world-maker has not been demonstrated, this analogy remains hypothetical. Not so with Galileo's postulate that as Jupiter has satellite moons, so the planets are Sun's satellites. This postulate was eventually proven as being true. Again, this analogy is by attribute: Jupiter's attribute of having satellites is analogous to Sun's attribute of having planet satellites.

Most significant analogies are by attribute; they serve as the principle of postulates, to be tested scientifically. They are frequently exploited --wrongly-- in order to 'make a point.'
It should be clear by now that analogies compare a pair of objects or concepts with another pair, to find a possible parallelism. This principle was enunciated by Aristotle in his tractate TOPICS, where he wrote that likeness is present when A is to B as C is to D, or when A is in B as C is in D. Analogy tests are employed in psychometric evaluation, as when the subject has to complete the following: {Day - Light}_ {Night - ......}, where the answer is 'Darkness.'

When my children reached the age to understand the concept, we spent some time playing the 'Game of Analogies,' whereby I offered a pair of objects or concepts as the model and three pairs as samples, one of which had to be chosen as the most analogous, explaining why so. The three samples were made to appear in some way analogous to the model --the important point being to find a fundamental basis for the choice. Take the following example: the model is: {White ball - Red ball} ; the samples are: 1.- {Red cube - White pyramid} 2.- {Black cube - Green cube} 3.- {Red table - White table}.
The first and third samples share the same colors as the model; not so the pair of cubes. Yet, color is a superficial attribute, compared to shape. Since two balls are present in the model, I expect twin objects to be the choice for analogy, therefore I choose the cubes, since table is not a geometrical form. Had I written 'sphere' instead of 'ball' would have facilitated the choice, because not all balls are spherical. I decided to make the choice more difficult, leading to argumentation about ambiguity, one of the central themes of Language, on which I shall delve in other essays.

A number of analogies will be presented, with the corresponding explanations about the choice of samples. The reader is not expected to agree with my choices, being welcome to present his own arguments as email or comment. I do expect that the readers will be stimulated to consult dictionaries and encyclopedias. They might be pleasantly surprised to realize how much they have learned while having fun, and how their reasoning has improved.
At least I did.


Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isdn.net.il
Subject:
Date: Thu Feb 4 03:33:45 EST 1999
Comments:
DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY -Jacob Ghitis- I AM ANGRY

DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY


I AM ANGRY

I'll Not Conquer My Anger!

I will not conquer my anger at those who cheapen the word Holocaust to further their venomous interests wrapped in sweet lies.

I will not conquer my anger at him that ordered the killing of our children and continues doing so after receiving a cheap Nobel Price.

His hands are tinted with Jewish blood.

Neither will I conquer my anger at those who exploit sages who spoke about conquering anger, conveniently forgetting that other sages spoke about crushing the head of a poisonous snake!


Name: Jacob Ghitis, M.D.
Username: ghitis@isdn.net.il
Subject: ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE
Date: Thu Feb 4 03:38:01 EST 1999
Comments:
DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY -Jacob Ghitis- ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE

DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY


Interdialogging with Mike:

ON ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE

MIKE, on June 20 1998 you asked me,

Jake, what is the main difference between Man and other creatures?
It cannot be thinking, because other animals think too. It cannot even be your "meta-thinking" because this is still thinking.
So what is it, Jake? I mean the most profound, intrinsic and undeniable?

And another question: Is it possible that a part of the Universe be more powerful, or potent, than the rest of the Universe combined?

Mike, the capacity to meta-think is the capital difference! Because it embodies the EMERGENT that made H. sapiens the pinnacle of Evolution!
I can only add a crucial fact, and a thought .

Fact: Genomically speaking, the chimpanzee is our most related species, exhibiting a 99% chromosomal parity. Therefore, it is just that minimal 1% of the genome that separates us. Are you daring to state that there is very little difference between the two species? Obviously, you have not grasped the meaning of EMERGENT!
Only of late are scientists attempting to determine the 1% genes --about 700-- that make the difference. I can bet that a few of them will be the endowers of meta-thinking power.

Thought: Intelligence is defined as the capacity to learn and to understand, right?
Well, we are all agreed that the other animals learn. The dolphin is a startling example. Kittens learn from their mothers the art of chasing mice. And they also learn from them that mice are food! Contrast this learning ability to the inborn --instinctual-- 'knowledge' of the female cats that their litter can me mobilized by grasping them gingerly from their neck's skin. Have you noticed how supple an adult cat becomes when held by you in a like manner?
Well, all of these genetic characteristics of animals show that aside from inborn 'knowledge,' they can aquire learned skills. Wouldn't you agree that all animals are endowed with the capacity to learn? Yet learning is only one of the preconditions for intelligence...What about the second precondition for intelligence, the ability to understand?
If you can offer irrefutable evidence that other animals understand what they do, instinctually or learned, then you can prove that they are INTELLIGENT. Otherwise, you will have to accept that other animals are partiallyintelligent, being able to learn --but not to understand.


Name: J.Gghitis
Username:
Subject: ON ARGUMENTATION
Date: Thu Feb 4 03:43:31 EST 1999
Comments:
DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY -Jacob Ghitis- ARGUMENTATION

DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY


Interdialogging with Mary:

ON ARGUMENTATION

MARY, on 19 March 1998 you wrote in Serendip,

I have just discovered Serendip Forum. My next move was to discover what if any space there might be for my particular bent.

Mary, welcome to Serendip. I am the self appointed host, a veteran Serendipian, by tacit approval from Prof. Paul Grobstein (Paul), the creator and supreme chief. Please read his guidelines. Now I have my own say: We are a select club, accepting only those who are interested in joining. You automatically join by posting just once --ergo, welcome to the club! Kibitzers are also accepted.

The categories of participation in Serendip, as far as I can discover, are either through following the data available,...

Actually, according to Paul's uncomplicated rules, or, if you don't mind, my own, which are there somewhere. Mainly, unambiguous economic language, avoiding the word 'metaphysics'.

...OR through establishing one's own line of musings via its forums,...

Better than musings, their edited results, once approved by self critique.

...which have no possible discernable consequences in the world of societal decision-making ...

No such pretenses here. Our society is modest in its designs. Of course, if you play bridge, you know that the 'Acol' system started in a London club and that by now it is the preferred one in the world...

...thereby relegates them to a chat category, the value of which is largely entertainment or argumentation to no real purpose!

Would you care to write again, after perusing the material available in the forums, please?

At 78, I've become increasingly intolerant of this way of filling one's remaining years.

Till 120, I wish you!

I have a friend who travels the world warning that our children are already lost to us and that, barring major changes in society's ways of destroying their minds and spirits, the human race is destined for very bad times indeed.

I tend to agree with him. I am doing my best to prevent that catastrophe, without becoming gloomy, but rather enjoying life.

Cousteau has told us that we have… ( few)… years before irreversible changes in the earth's biological makeup begin to occur.

This means that we should do our best to get the best of those scant years…

Why are we wasting our lives engaging in such narcissistic chit-chat which has NO RELEVANCE to the real world?

YOU answer that! I do not feel part of that "our lives."

… if you feel like challenging …(me),...

About what?

... I won't engage in argument for its own sake… Argumentation may temporarily relieve… (one's)… sense of futility… can become counter-productive as a draining off of the life energy it takes to begin to institute change.

Well, I'm glad you have finally reached such a far-reaching conclusion! Now you are ready to provide us with the mature fruits of your life experience… And now, Mary, it is my turn to tell you my own philosophical story, heard from my wise brother: An octogenarian was asked what the secret for his young fresh looks was. He answered that he avoided argumentation.
"I cannot believe that; you must be wrong!" was the retort.
He said, "Perhaps…"


Name: J. Ghitis
Username:
Subject: AXIOLOGY
Date: Thu Feb 4 03:48:35 EST 1999
Comments:
DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY -Jacob Ghitis- AXIOLOGY

DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY


ON AXIOLOGY

Value judgments

Many years ago , sitting in judgment of an intern who had behaved unbecomingly, I commented that his conduct had been 'immature.' A colleague of mine, whom I held in great esteem, observed that immaturity is not a valid reason to criticize or judge a human act. I was deeply impressed by his observation, and set out to clarify this subject. My search of the pertinent literature not having been productive, I had to define myself the criteria to describe and specifically criticize a given human act.
I reached the conclusion that there are five criteria, no less and no more, which are utilized all over the world, in all cultures and epochs, for human societies to judge and punish an unbecoming act, as defined by each society to fit the need to protect its functioning, i.e., to keep public order. It became clear to me that an act may be judged by more than one of such five criteria, and that in the case of one of these criteria, the punishment is meted out by the transgressor himself, with no need for the society to intervene. Moreover, the punishment may be as mild as becoming the subject of gossip, which is the simplest way a society has developed to keep it unblemished.
The criteria will be exposed and analyzed here in the briefest possible manner.

1.- Common Sense: This is the simplest of the criteria. For instance, if somebody enters troubled waters with no absolute need (like having the explicit intention of committing suicide), or bets against impossible odds, people will comment that such a person lacks 'horse sense' or that his behavior was illogical. This is the only situation where the culprit punishes himself.

2.- Etiquette, or Aesthetical Behavior: Unpleasant manners, as defined by a given society, give rise to criticism and complaining. As a result, the culprit is shunned by the social circle.

3.- Ethics: Guilds or professional associations, religious denominations, political parties, family circles, political groups, or any other organizations, create their own rules; the members are penalized by that segment of society if they don't follow suit.

4.- Morals: These may differ among peoples of different countries and may change with the passing of time. Even in a given society at a given moment there may be disagreement on a given subject. Killing is considered universally immoral, except in self-defense or in war. Adultery and homosexuality, on the other hand, are variably criticized by different societies, at different times, and even by different groups of individuals within the same society. An immoral act may lead to various types of punishment, depending on its presumed character and gravity.

5. The law: This criterion is the most pervading and important of all five. Many immoral acts-like killing not in self-defense-are considered unlawful, and law-breakers are therefore punished with fines, imprisonment-or worse. And not every unlawful act is immoral, such as passing through a red traffic light. A member of a Mafia group might kill the 'wrong colleague' of another group. He would be criticized by his 'colleagues' as having behaved stupidly-that is, non-sensically. He might have compromised the 'ethical' rules of the Mafia in general or of his own group in particular. Not all members of society at large will judge him as having committed an immoral act, while the legal machinery is liable to prosecute him with variable degrees of zeal, for having committed a criminal act.

This is now the place to remind the reader about the letter criticizing the experimental procedure on abandoned children. As the author of the critical letter had stated that the procedure had been "unethical, to say the least," suggesting therefore that it had even transgressed moral principles, I answered with words that were intended to mean that the experiment had been conducted according to a logic (common sense) scientific protocol, with decorum (respectfully), and according to legal procedure. As for morals, we had actually saved those children from almost certain death and had gone as far as providing for their survival.


Name: J.G.
Username:
Subject: ON AXIOMS
Date: Thu Feb 4 03:52:48 EST 1999
Comments:
DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY -Jacob Ghitis- ON AXIOMS

DYNAMIC-SCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY


AXIOMS

Scientific Truths with on:

Aristotle invented this word, deriving it from Gr. 'axios,' meaning worth. Remember Axiology? Refers to VALUE judgments. The philosopher decided that axioms are those concepts of such worth, that they are essential as the cornerstones of science. He also added that each science needs its proper axioms. Euclid, in Geometry, searched for its proper axioms, like, 'a straight line is the shortest distance...' The Euclidean axioms have been called also postulates, creating a lot of confusion and a vast irrelevant literature. I have chosen, as a philosopher on my own right, to state that analogical thinking is the basis for postulates, which --as such-- need to be proved. Thus one can state: 'I postulate, on the basis of a and b observations, which are analogical to c and d existing facts, that there is a high probability of such and such idea of mine to be true. Now, this postulate of mine needs to be proved or disproved.'

One of Einstein's postulates was that a massive body attracts light. His assumption, quite probably based on analogical thinking, was confirmed. In fact, I really do not know if it was based on analogical thinking. Could somebody give the facts?

Now, each science needs its own axioms, which, 'axiomatically' are considered by all the people to be absolute truths. They may be improved upon, of course, like when quantum mechanics added to Newtonian mechanics. In Biology, a basic science of prime importance in medicine (an applied science) an axiom says, 'Living organisms grow, multiply, and die.'

Therefore, axioms are to be related to as if indeed they represent absolute truths, even though they may be improved upon, because we cannot function as intelligent beings without their support. Consider the following: There are cells that can be made immortal in the lab. Does this mean that the axiom on living organisms is not absolute truth? Remember, I'm reasoning as a DSP developer, attempting to clarify what at present is confusing. Do not demand from me to be a purist! I shall --in another essay-- write about the Truth, the Good, and the Beauty, the three Platonic Pillars, as interpreted by the DSP.


Name: Eunice Davis
Username: edavis@qualitynet.net
Subject: Curiosity
Date: Mon Feb 8 18:33:10 EST 1999
Comments:
I am a professor in Kuwait and I am intersed in "curiosity" from a cross-cultural perspective. As a concept we associate with early childhood education, I am interested in exploring it in a context beyond our Western perspective. I am currently looking at it in a Kuwaiti population of undergraduates. Has anyone considered this concept in their own work or just thought about it?
Name: J. Ghitis, M.D. Phil.
Username: ghitis@isdn.net.il
Subject: TO EUNICE, ON CURIOSITY
Date: Thu Apr 8 18:02:26 EDT 1999
Comments:

Eunice, please contact me on D-SP


Name: anonymous
Username:
Subject: Intellectual Masterbation.
Date: Wed Jun 30 18:01:28 EDT 1999
Comments:
You all need a good dose of Wittgensteinian therapy. Only when people completely lose sight of the meanings of words are forums like Serendip possible. Most of you throw around words like 'mind', 'will', 'thought' etc... like you knew what they meant, but then you violate the simplest norms of their usage. (And contrary to what most of you wish to think, there is very little, if any, evidence that "meaning" means anything other than "usage" - if you want to know what a word means, ask yourself what other words can be substituted for it and you have your answer). I will give an example that should clearly make my point without further comment, although I will highlight with caps what I take to be particularily insightful mistakes in usage: On Sun, Feb 22, 1998, Jacob Ghitis, M.D. wrote (in the Brain and Behaviour form): "...the main stress of the New Philosophy (sic) is placed on the brain, it being THE LOCATION OF THE MIND, whose main OUTPUTS ARE THOUGHTS. It is my contention that meta-thinking (thinking about thinking) is the SUPREME MANIFESTATION of the HUMAN MIND." I can tell right away, Dr. Ghitis, that you have never had any training in philosophy beyond, perhaps, a 2nd year level. The mind is located in the brain??? Heh. I suggest all of you step back and ask yourselves, very seriously, what you talking about.


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