Consciousness: Science And Technology Free Essay

Exceptional Human Experiences

The issue of exceptional human experiences is begging to be brought out at the beginning of the chapter. This is presented in the context of various experiences that are not a usual phenomenon to many for instance Hypnotic regression and psychic visions in the human mind. The nature of exceptional human experiences is depicted to be changing its self The relevance of the exceptional human experiences has raised questions as to their actual meaning especially on belief and the supernatural phenomenon.

There are people who dismiss them to be lies that result from the brain’s unwanted products and psychic problems that need attention from doctors.

The second thing is that the supernatural tries to disapprove of science. That specifically, material science is wrong and should incorporate the paranormal. This is because paranormal is used to justify the occurrence of exceptional human experiences.

Naturalists believe that the experiences are normal and they do not connect them to God or another supernatural world.

Out of the body experiences

This refers to the perception of the world outside one’s physical body for instance having a feeling that one has moved out of his body and is able to function properly without it. People encounter these experiences in various places, at various times, and when participating in various activities. OBEs have many things in common for instance relaxation, reduced input in senses, and interference with the image of the body. These experiences have been studied to last for short durations of time. They cannot be compared to dreams. This is so because the ability to see and hear can be said to have been clearer than they normally. There is also an incident of them seeing the paranormal.

These experiences have an impact on people who go through them by changing their attitudes and beliefs. In fact, this is a positive change because their fear of death declines substantially.OBEs are common to some extent because they can be seen in 15- 20 % of people during their life. Some people have experienced them during childhood and have developed habits to control them.

Even though OBEs have demonstrated paranormal tendencies and the capacity of being absorbed, they are not associated with mental illness. Though they can be intimidating at times, they have no relationship with psychopathology and therefore cannot be considered to be symptoms of people suffering from mental disorders.

The process of inducing OBEs has so far undergone transformations from the days of astral projection to the modern experiments on relaxation and imagery exercises.

Drugs also play their role in inducing these experiences for instance psilocybin, DMT, and mescaline. The drugs have been known for their feelings that separate and cause floatation.

Concerning OBE s and consciousness, some people hold the view that they are independent of one another. Researchers of the 19th century think that there is a temporary separation during some of the experiences but permanent separation during death.

Theosophy holds the view of the existence of several bodies; physical, astral, and etheric such that consciousness can separate from physical but still remain connected via a silver cord. This is termed astral projection. Such theories present dualism and have problems for instance the issue of detecting the astral body if indeed it is physically in contact with the physical body has not been successful. To escape the dualism problem parapsychologists have described them as mere imaginations. Various experiments have been performed using animals, humans, and other sorts of detectors but there has never been a success in detecting the astral being.

OBE s have found an alternative explanation using psychology. Psychoanalytic theories describe them as a dramatization of the fear of death. Most psychological theories start from the point where there is disruption of sensory input and body image with the cognitive coming in to try to construct a new body image. It is the body image that has been linked to OBEs.This has been suggested by studies that utilize brain stimulation.

Near-Death Experiences

There is a belief that cuts across culture, religion, and ages that people who die undergo a number of consistent experiences. The term was coined by Richmond Moody after interviewing about 50 survivors who were very close to death. Near-death experiences are not caused by medication because they tend to be less complicated and can even be found in people who feel like they can die any second for instance mountaineers.

NDE has been characterized by hellish features and most people who have attempted suicide have reported positive NDEs and are unlikely to attempt suicide again. People have willingly reported NDE s in an event to spiritually help others. There is a difference between NDEers and those who have not had NDEs. The NDEers tend not to fear death unlike the others, who are more spiritual and accept others more.

There is something to learn about death and unconsciousness as a result of NDEs.This is especially in connection with the life after death hypothesis. NDEers describe clear states of consciousness but this is not possible with a flat EEG. The second thing concerns the existence of the paranormal which includes people having oversight in a distance.

Cases of the paranormal are very important in the sense that they tend to disapprove the materialist and functionalist theories. It is important to note that the cases have been doubted to be true because of the lack of records to demonstrate the exactness of the situations that made people believe that they are paranormal. Both natural and artificial attempts have been made to understand better the NDE s but there has been no success.

A good example of a natural attempt is the dying brain hypothesis.

Mystical experiences

They concern what has been described as cosmic consciousness by Richard Maurice. This is above the simple self-consciousness that is even found in animals.

Mystical experiences concern the life and order of the universe and have several characteristics. Firstly is that they cannot be described in words, they are noetic in nature, their transiency, and they are passive such that they cannot be induced into order. The mind, therefore, finds itself in obedience once a mystic begins. Conflicts arise between religion and science when authentic mystic experiences result due to the effect of some drugs.

Supernatural and paranormal explanations are not widely accepted because of a lack of evidence even though they are popular. Material science has been argued to be ignorant of spirituality and should therefore explore other realities and consciousness beyond the physical world. Many mystics tend to disagree with paranormal notions as to be off the track. Those who believe in Buddhism think that those who acknowledge, miracles and faith healing are just but victims of superstition.

A less popular view is that mystics are in agreement with science. This is in line with insights such as immortality is now and not in the future, that the universe is one, and separate self is an illusion. To demonstrate the validity of these insights then it calls for the elimination of dualistic thoughts in them. It remains therefore to the evolved human brain to determine specific features of OBEs and NDEs

The last view concerns the fact that is biological beings are not capable of seeing the truth or if indeed there is no truth to be seen, then the mystical world and experiences shall always prevail.

Application

The theory of dualism which was covered in class has been presented in chapter 24. This is the theory that explains two different entities, mind and body which are distinct and cannot be used to explain one another. This is specifically in the Out body human experiences. People claim to have perceived a different world out of their physical. This is a demonstration of dualism because indeed the physical world cannot be used to explain the perceived world because of the two and different entities. This claim asserts the existence of a second body outside the normal physical body. It is like a duplicate of the normal physical body. This is consistent with the common-sense view that the human being exists both in body and form as agreed by most religious views. The body which is the physical aspect resembles the soul which is the nonphysical component and it is the one perceived to be existing in the other world according to those who hold the view.

The theory of Deductive physicalism has also been applied in this chapter. Questions arising on the validity of paranormal and supernatural claims especially what they say about the nature of the self and consciousness have responses that relate to mental states as being mere brain states. One of the responses has treated Exceptional Human Experiences as inventions or lies and uninteresting by-products of the state of the brain.

This is in agreement with the theory that was covered in class asserting that minds are just states of the brain.

According to Socrates the Soul is freed from the body in eternity contemplating the external truths. This is evident with the Outside body Experiences theory which claims that consciousness can leave people’s bodies and can survive death. That during life, when people have Outside Body experiences such as traveling clairvoyance their spirits separate temporarily from their physical body. That it is during death that the spirit completely comes out of one’s physical body and the two end up in permanent separation.

Conscious realism as a theory has also been highlighted in chapter four. This is because according to Psychoanalytic theories, Outside Body Experiences are not realities but rather they are a kind of drama demonstrated by people who fear death. The theories try to explain the occurrence of Outside body experiences to be resulting from the disruption of body images or the sensory input. This agrees with the conscious reality theory which is actually a redescription of the results from science. Behaviorists as learned in class are people like Watson who held the opinion that religion is just a conditioned behavior that lacks intrinsic meaning. This has been applied with the mentioning of the paranormal claims where people claim to be seeing things from distant in Near-Death Experiences. It is a fact that most of the people who have revealed the Near-Death Experiences end up being more spiritual depict their religious nature and they are unable to provide explanations as to why they underwent such experiences. This demonstrates the nature of religious believes that people hold that lack intrinsic meaning in themselves. These claims also bring out how religion portrays human beings to be irrational and guided by emotional disturbance as mentioned by Ellis, one of the humanistic psychologists. They assert that the only way to overcome emotional problems is by not being religious. It is indeed after going through Near-Death experiences that some people end up being religious and have so many problems that are related to their emotional life. It is important to note that without the Near-death experiences being treated in a religious manner then emotional problems cannot arise. It is the religious aspect that brings in the supernatural and paranormal situation and ends up causing more harm emotionally.

The functionalism theory asserts that the properties of the psychological state are not the same as the properties of a physical state. This is well explained by the mystical experiences which have certain characteristics that are not consistent with the physical state. For instance, ineffability is a characteristic of mystical experience and of which it is the exact opposite of a physical state. Therefore the chapter can be considered to be a very good application of the theories that have been learned in the lectures.

References

Blackmore S,J, (1991) Near –death experiences; in or out of the body;Skeptical inquirer 16,34-45

The Advantaged And Disadvantages For People In The Modern Civilized World

Introduction

The history of mankind is full of different levels of development when people improved their lives using different innovations. The modern world is full of different computerized innovations which help people to live in the world. On the other hand, the civilization creates a lot of inconveniences, if not to say the damages, for people, such as environmental pollution and other consequences which are caused by the innovations. Taking the examples of Egypt and the Near East, it is going to be described the advantages and disadvantages for people in the modern civilized world.

Advantages

The innovative technologies, connected with the computerization of the world industry provide a lot of advantages: the quick spread of information and the facilitation of industrial workers are not all advantages that improve people’s life. Taking the example of the Near East, where a lot of old cities are situated the innovative technologies helped to provide “the running water and other sanitary devices” to the old houses what is not so easy (Hourani et al 439). The other advantages which can be mentioned and are very important for the Near East are the protection from natural elements and chaos as the civilization make people more organized from the point of view of their education and the point of view of the law structure. It is not a secret that Egyptian civilization is considered to be the oldest, and medicine and mathematics began their development in Egypt. The development of innovative technologies and computerization helped people all over the world to be successful in these spheres of life.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages are, first of all, the environmental pollution which is felt through global warming, which was created by people who used the natural resources unreasonably and now have to pay for this. The lack of water in some regions of Egypt or the bad quality of water, which is caused by climate change and pollution, add some problems to the health of people who live in the bad climate conditions (Hopkins et al). In addition, it could be mentioned that civilization brings relations that are based on money, and it is impossible to provide a good financial position in all countries. Being rather a poor country, Egypt cannot allow itself the rise of the people’s quality of life as the economical situation is rather unstable. Living in ancient times, Egyptians were the most powerful civilization, and the capitalist relations in the world made people review the priorities and put stress on other issues. The other disadvantages of civilization are that people destroy the natural inhabitants of the living beings by enlarging the cities and lands for innovation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, living in a civilized world brings both relief and damage, as the innovative technologies which are the main in the modern world by relieving the life of people make the damage for them. These damages are seen in the economical life of some nations and the level of their development, the environment destroying which is caused by the innovative progress. The advantages are also great, that is the developed system of water supply and sanitary devices. The medical knowledge, which helped.to save lives of lots of people using computer diagnostics, and the innovations, which relief the life of people, are also the advantages of the modern world. It is time that will show what the modern world has brought us, the advantages or disadvantages.

Works Cited

  1. Hopkins, Nicholas S. Mehanna, Sohair and Salah el- Haggar. People and pollution: cultural constructions and social action in Egypt. American Univ in Cairo Press, 2001
  2. Hourani, Albert Habib. Khoury, Philip Shukry and Mary Christina Wilson. The Modern Middle East: a reader. London: I.B.Tauris, 2004.

Essay Voice-over

“Hills Like White Elephants” By Ernest Hemingway: Problem Of Choice

Introduction

People usually appear before the choice: whether to do this or not, whether to go there or not, whether to stay with the person or to leave him/her. Analyzing the story “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway and imagining the conclusion of the story, three main developments may have been, which are supported by the communication of the characters and the plot development. The three main choices of the situation development: Jig may make the abortion, and remain with the American, she may have the abortion and leave the man, and the third way of their relationships is that she will not make the abortion, having won the man over, according to her opinion.

Three main developments

The supportive elements of the first variant, Jig will make the abortion, but will not be satisfied with this her decision and her life will be connected with the American, may be found in the conversations and behavior of the story characters (Hashmi, 2003, p. 72). The American tries to assure Jig that “It’s really an awfully simple operation… it is not really an operation at all” (Hemingway, par. 40). These words just contribute that Jig is not willing to make an abortion but she will follow the man’s recommendations. Even choosing the drinks Jig is supported by the man’s opinion, he chooses that they are going to drink beer, he chooses that they will drink a new drink with water and some other sings. The impression is that Jig is directed by the man and has not had her own opinion. Moreover, Jig seems to be not only unwilling but also without any desires and aims in her life. Being pregnant, she does not think about her own future and her child, she just listens to the American and his desire to get rid of a child.

The situation may turn that Jig will have the abortion and leave the man (Hashmi, 2003, p. 72). The pointer of this way of relations development is that they are different. Jig is a romantic person, she manages to see the elephants in the hills, while the man sees nothing and even does not try to support his couple, does not try to make her pleased and satisfied in such a difficult period for her as abortion. She listens to him, but she may also show her character. An example is their quarrel, “You started it… I was being amused. I was having a fine time… I said the mountains looked like white elephants… I wanted to try this new drink” (Hemingway, par. 31). Jig is dependent on the man’s opinion, but their life together seems quite unreal. The everyday quarrels seem to be the common affair, as Jig is rather quickly shifted from the quarrel to the dwelling upon hills. Such life is not for Jig, as being a romantic and imaginative person, she needs the same man near her, she needs the person, who will also admire the hills, and see something unreal there just for fan, as she does. The American is absolutely different, he is rude and does not want to support Jig in such a complicated time for her.

The third way of the relationship is that Jig will not make the abortion, having won the man over (Hashmi, 2003, p. 72). This is the best variant, to my opinion, and the most appropriately fits the story development. Jig does not really love the man and his attitude to her is the same, but she smiles at him. Why? If it is not love, so what is it? The man said he would bring the bags over the other side of the station, and she smiled at him. When he returned she also smiled at him. What was this? This was the inner consideration that she is able to win him over, as he will always return to her. She knew it, so it may be firmly concluded that there is a hidden superiority of Jig over the man and there is the possibility for her to avoid the abortion and to make him stay with her, loving and subdued. The smile is one of the main reasons, why it may be concluded that inside her, Jig is able to be dominant, that she is able to conduct as she wants, the abortion is meant, and to make the man stays with her. This is not noticed at first sight, but the facts are seen. The man goes to the “other” (Hemingway, par. 103) side of the platform, but then still returns, without any calling of Jig.

Conclusion

In conclusion, three possible variants of the development of the relationships were offered: Jig will make the abortion and remain with the man, she will make the abortion and leave the man, and, the most realistic in my opinion, she will keep the child and the man, being won over, he will stay with her. Hemingway offered the story to the reader without the conclusion in order to give the reader the opportunity to think over the possible development of the situation and imagine the end of the story.

Works Cited

Hashmi, Nilofer. ’Hills like white elephants’: the jilting of Jig.” The Hemingway Review 23.1 (2003): 72-83. Georgia: Georgia Southern University. Print.

Hemingway, Ernest. Hills Like White Elephants. Web. 2009.

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