Anthropomorphism

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Anthropomorphism

Postby Parodite » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:49 am

From the free dictionary:

Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena.

We discussed the problematic anthropomorphic God enuf, so I'd like to extend the discussion a bit to how we look at the world in general, notably the natural world.

There seem to be lots of anthropomorphic projections in any documentary on animals, plants and evolution. Intelligence and intent are "seen" everywhere. The Intelligent Creator-Watchmaker with Beard on Cloud might have (mostly) expired... but the features of intelligence and creation have not expired really: they have been moved and are now projected on the process of evolution and animal behavior.

The introduction of "random process" doesn't really help to counter general anthropomorphism; concepts like randomness or chance belong to the same anthropomorphic family as intelligence or intent. As in the other discussion where "evil" is defined as "the absence of light", here "randomness and blind chance" can be defined as "the absence of intelligence and intent". Two sides of the same conceptual pancake and the pancake is an anthropomorphic one all the same.

It is a bit of a cliffhanger; since we cannot but look at the world through our human eyes... it has to be an anthropomorphic world. But if we want to understand the world better it might help to at least try doing the impossible. :)
Outside, away from the noise, grows a flower.
User avatar
Parodite
 
Posts: 4191
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:43 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Simple Minded » Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:56 pm

I prefer the term "interpretational flapjack" to "conceptual pancake...." ;)

A subset of "we cannot but look at the world through our human eyes," I suspect, is that most view the culture they experienced during their formative years as "normal," and anything different as "extreme" or "wrong" or questionable.

Most are comfortable with a "normal" level of pain or function in their lives, "better" is not only subjective, but difficult to sell.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP81Je7APoQ
Simple Minded
 
Posts: 6394
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:56 pm

I don't know where you are heading, but insistence on a time generated narrative and on pattern seeking are two of the most common anthropomorphic qualities. The idea of free will is certainly anthropomorphic as well.

Also, true randomness is surprisingly difficult to achieve. The existence of randomness may be anthropomorphic in that it rejects the inhuman idea that the world moves in unalterable and pervasive waves or cycles.
“Christ has no body now but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks among His people to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses His creation.”

Teresa of Ávila
User avatar
Nonc Hilaire
 
Posts: 3997
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:28 am

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Parodite » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:10 pm

Simple Minded wrote:I prefer the term "interpretational flapjack" to "conceptual pancake...." ;)


Even better! :)

A subset of "we cannot but look at the world through our human eyes," I suspect, is that most view the culture they experienced during their formative years as "normal," and anything different as "extreme" or "wrong" or questionable.


Indeed. Like somebody once observed: there is no such a thing as an unconditioned mind.
Outside, away from the noise, grows a flower.
User avatar
Parodite
 
Posts: 4191
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:43 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Parodite » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:26 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:I don't know where you are heading, but insistence on a time generated narrative and on pattern seeking are two of the most common anthropomorphic qualities. The idea of free will is certainly anthropomorphic as well.


I need more caffeine I'll try later. :)

Also, true randomness is surprisingly difficult to achieve.


Randomness also needs a tight strickt yet sexy definition, or set of definitions depending on context.

The existence of randomness may be anthropomorphic in that it rejects the inhuman idea that the world moves in unalterable and pervasive waves or cycles.


Have to think about that.
Outside, away from the noise, grows a flower.
User avatar
Parodite
 
Posts: 4191
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:43 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby manolo » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:02 am

Folks,

I'm thinking of Tom Nagel's piece, 'What is it like to be a bat?'.

Alex.
User avatar
manolo
 
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:46 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Simple Minded » Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:08 pm

manolo wrote:Folks,

I'm thinking of Tom Nagel's piece, 'What is it like to be a bat?'.

Alex.


Alex,

Asking humans what it is like to be a bat is like asking an American or a European what the other place is like. They will tell you what they think, but is the information worth obtaining? :P

I hear Heaven is nice this time of year, but Hell not so much.

As the Freemasons say, to be one ask one. The Buddhists say much the same thing......
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP81Je7APoQ
Simple Minded
 
Posts: 6394
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby manolo » Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:42 pm

Simple Minded wrote:
manolo wrote:Folks,

I'm thinking of Tom Nagel's piece, 'What is it like to be a bat?'.

Alex.


Alex,

Asking humans what it is like to be a bat is like asking an American or a European what the other place is like. They will tell you what they think, but is the information worth obtaining? :P

I hear Heaven is nice this time of year, but Hell not so much.

As the Freemasons say, to be one ask one. The Buddhists say much the same thing......


SM,

As I understand it, Nagel was arguing against materialist reductions and leaving the door open for a form of Cartesian dualism. If I can't know what it is like to be a bat, how can I know for sure what it would be like to have someone else's toothache? Nagel might say that I would just be 'me' imagining what someone else's toothache is like from my own experience. The argument against Nagel is solipsism, but .......

Alex.
User avatar
manolo
 
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:46 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby noddy » Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:05 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:I don't know where you are heading, but insistence on a time generated narrative and on pattern seeking are two of the most common anthropomorphic qualities. The idea of free will is certainly anthropomorphic as well.

Also, true randomness is surprisingly difficult to achieve. The existence of randomness may be anthropomorphic in that it rejects the inhuman idea that the world moves in unalterable and pervasive waves or cycles.


true randomness is a mathematical concept, which doesnt mean much to the real world, as its happy to ignore math philosophy.
noddy
 
Posts: 5456
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:12 pm

noddy wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:I don't know where you are heading, but insistence on a time generated narrative and on pattern seeking are two of the most common anthropomorphic qualities. The idea of free will is certainly anthropomorphic as well.

Also, true randomness is surprisingly difficult to achieve. The existence of randomness may be anthropomorphic in that it rejects the inhuman idea that the world moves in unalterable and pervasive waves or cycles.


true randomness is a mathematical concept, which doesnt mean much to the real world, as its happy to ignore math philosophy.

It's one of the axioms of statistics. That's real world relevance.

There are also cultures who do not believe in randomness but prefer to believe in luck, fate or destiny. That is clearly a human trait, and so anthropomorphic.
“Christ has no body now but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks among His people to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses His creation.”

Teresa of Ávila
User avatar
Nonc Hilaire
 
Posts: 3997
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:28 am

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby noddy » Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:44 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:
noddy wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:I don't know where you are heading, but insistence on a time generated narrative and on pattern seeking are two of the most common anthropomorphic qualities. The idea of free will is certainly anthropomorphic as well.

Also, true randomness is surprisingly difficult to achieve. The existence of randomness may be anthropomorphic in that it rejects the inhuman idea that the world moves in unalterable and pervasive waves or cycles.


true randomness is a mathematical concept, which doesnt mean much to the real world, as its happy to ignore math philosophy.

It's one of the axioms of statistics. That's real world relevance.


i see statistics as a tool that limited creatures use to navigate the real world, they are useful but tragically simplistic, crude hammers instead of actual knowledge.

Nonc Hilaire wrote:There are also cultures who do not believe in randomness but prefer to believe in luck, fate or destiny. That is clearly a human trait, and so anthropomorphic.


hmm, the words that come out of the mouth holes and the actual behaviours are so disparate - god helps those that help themselves (tm) is a reality short circuit on claims of fate/destiny/luck.

ive always found this study interesting.

Humans are famously “risk averse” for gains. This means that if someone offers us a smaller, guaranteed amount of money (or some other reward), we prefer that to an uncertain but larger amount. For example, given a choice between $50 and a coin flip for $100 or nothing, people usually pocket the $50. But we’re “risk seeking” for losses. If the coin flip is between losing $100 and losing nothing, we’ll choose to gamble rather than just handing over $50. The same thing is true when people choose between a larger gain and a smaller one, rather than a gain and a loss, Ludvig says.

This kind of decision making might seem like a stretch for a bird. But even a lowly pigeon has to make choices all the time about where to search for food. The retiree on the park bench with the bag of stale crumbs is a sure bet; following around a child with a tippy ice cream cone is more of a high-stakes gamble.

Yet Ludvig had struggled to recreate human decision-making results in pigeons. The problem, he realized, was that pigeons don’t have the luxury of language. Researchers can explain a gambling scenario to human subjects (“The odds are one-in-three that there’s a new car behind Door Number One!”), but pigeons have to deduce the odds on their own, through trial and error. Rather than teaching pigeons English, Ludvig decided to level the playing field by making humans take a pigeon’s version of the test.

Researchers gathered a group of human subjects and a small group of pigeons. The pigeons did daily testing sessions for about a week. In each trial, a pigeon walked into a testing arena that held a pair of colored doors. After it chose a door to go through, food was dispensed. It was up to the pigeons to learn the pattern: two possible door colors were high-value (orange meant a safe 3 cups of food, and purple was either 4 or 2 cups) and two were low-value (yellow for a safe 1 cup of food, green for a gamble between 2 and 0).

Humans did their trials all at once on a computer screen, with images of colored doors—but like the pigeons, they had to deduce the rules. The reward wasn’t food pellets but a number of points that flashed on the screen after each choice. Researchers told subjects to try to get as many points as possible.

Classic psychology says people should gamble less often when there’s more at stake. What happened, though, was the opposite. By the end of the experiment, when people had figured out the stakes associated with each door, they picked the risky option about 35 percent more often for the high-value door than the low-value one. In other words, they were more likely to gamble for a higher number of points, and to take the safe option for the lower number.


http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/inkfi ... jjHSvx946Q
noddy
 
Posts: 5456
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Simple Minded » Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:50 pm

manolo wrote:
SM,

As I understand it, Nagel was arguing against materialist reductions and leaving the door open for a form of Cartesian dualism. If I can't know what it is like to be a bat, how can I know for sure what it would be like to have someone else's toothache? Nagel might say that I would just be 'me' imagining what someone else's toothache is like from my own experience. The argument against Nagel is solipsism, but .......

Alex.


alex,

The fascinating part to me is the attempt to get past oneself. Often a noble attempt if one is trying to weed out one's bad traits. "I imagine" a bat, a dog, an American, a European, a socialist, a capitalist, etc. experiences the world as, strangely enough, what "I imagine" their perspective to be. If they tell me otherwise, or if I discover otherwise, I can either adjust my pre-conception to incorporate the new information, assume they are misrepresenting their experience/perceptions, or that they are not a true representative of their group as I imagine and define their group to be.

They don't get to decide their group identity, I do. :) Therefore, I am always right, or, so I imagine........

Is anthropomorphism human centric, or just me centric? We all experience life as the center of the universe. Even when we know we can only perceive limited spectrums and frequencies, and the horizon is not very far away.

As a comedian said "I feel like a piece of shite that the universe revolves around."

Thank God for imagination, or thank imagination for God.... :P
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP81Je7APoQ
Simple Minded
 
Posts: 6394
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby manolo » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:06 pm

Simple Minded wrote:
alex,

The fascinating part to me is the attempt to get past oneself. Often a noble attempt if one is trying to weed out one's bad traits. "I imagine" a bat, a dog, an American, a European, a socialist, a capitalist, etc. experiences the world as, strangely enough, what "I imagine" their perspective to be. If they tell me otherwise, or if I discover otherwise, I can either adjust my pre-conception to incorporate the new information, assume they are misrepresenting their experience/perceptions, or that they are not a true representative of their group as I imagine and define their group to be.

They don't get to decide their group identity, I do. :) Therefore, I am always right, or, so I imagine........

Is anthropomorphism human centric, or just me centric? We all experience life as the center of the universe. Even when we know we can only perceive limited spectrums and frequencies, and the horizon is not very far away.

As a comedian said "I feel like a piece of shite that the universe revolves around."

Thank God for imagination, or thank imagination for God.... :P


SM,

The argument from solipsism takes the "me centric" view a little further, as it reveals the notion that there may not be anyone else but 'me'. I type into this website assuming that the replies are more than AI. Perhaps the total of my experience is like this, which is of course the base of the brain in a vat experiment. I can say that my experience is evidence that others exist, but I have no evidence other than that experience to back up my claim.

All this has an amusing connection to Rand's philosophy, if she existed?

Alex.
User avatar
manolo
 
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:46 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Simple Minded » Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:31 am

manolo wrote:
SM,

The argument from solipsism takes the "me centric" view a little further, as it reveals the notion that there may not be anyone else but 'me'. I type into this website assuming that the replies are more than AI. Perhaps the total of my experience is like this, which is of course the base of the brain in a vat experiment. I can say that my experience is evidence that others exist, but I have no evidence other than that experience to back up my claim.

All this has an amusing connection to Rand's philosophy, if she existed?

Alex.


sorry buddy, I can't help you when you're swimming in the me stew..... but if you're comfortable, just enjoy the soak, so warm and relaxing...... ahhhhh.... chicken or beef..... who cares, the little bastards were just going to manufacture CO2 anyway...... this position on the food chain feels so good.......

Based on the different interpretations of those who claim to have read her works, I'm pretty sure Rand only existed in the mind of those who thought they were reading her, but perhaps even then it was mere assumption on their part.

If someone say they saw Bigfoot or an ET, do you believe them. I usually do. But those who have professed to read Rand are different. I put them in the same category as those who claim to talk to god. There are so many gods out there..... how do you know which ones to trust? Do any of them have your best interests at heart? Maybe in the long run, but when your focus in only a few decades, it don't feel very comforting.

back to anthropomorphism..... I wonder, what is it like to be a Rorschach ink blot....... :?

Still waiting on that R1, but if that ante is too high, I'll settle for a TRX850 or an SZR 660... ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP81Je7APoQ
Simple Minded
 
Posts: 6394
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby noddy » Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:22 pm

fwiw

the anthropomorphism of our religions is one of the early triggers of disbelief for my poor little head full of galaxies and the universe - millions of billions of planets and we are the center ? i think not.
noddy
 
Posts: 5456
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby manolo » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:20 pm

Simple Minded wrote:sorry buddy, I can't help you when you're swimming in the me stew..... but if you're comfortable, just enjoy the soak, so warm and relaxing...... ahhhhh....


SM,

There is a character in 'The Matrix' who wants to be plugged back in. He says "Make me someone important, like an artist."

Lovely irony in there.

Alex.
User avatar
manolo
 
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:46 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Parodite » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:21 am

manolo wrote:The argument from solipsism takes the "me centric" view a little further, as it reveals the notion that there may not be anyone else but 'me'. I type into this website assuming that the replies are more than AI. Perhaps the total of my experience is like this, which is of course the base of the brain in a vat experiment. I can say that my experience is evidence that others exist, but I have no evidence other than that experience to back up my claim.

All this has an amusing connection to Rand's philosophy, if she existed?


Maybe not only to Rand, but also to God as the Ultimate Solipsist, the One Mind that dreams all of reality. Maybe a projection of our own sense of solo-ism and as such a solution per "How to sell your problem succesfully to others"? Ponzi was not just a bad idea perhaps.

Btw... to be created "in the image of God" suggests we are indeed Instances of the Solipsist One or ISO, an uncompressed exact sector by sector copy/image of an optical disk. And then there was light. I think we have a case here. Better Call Saul.
Outside, away from the noise, grows a flower.
User avatar
Parodite
 
Posts: 4191
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:43 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby manolo » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:43 am

Parodite wrote:Maybe not only to Rand, but also to God as the Ultimate Solipsist, the One Mind that dreams all of reality.


Parodite,

There is a beautiful poem by Rilke, in which he wakes in the night and thinks of taking God a drink of water.

Alex.
User avatar
manolo
 
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:46 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Parodite » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:36 pm

manolo wrote:
Parodite wrote:Maybe not only to Rand, but also to God as the Ultimate Solipsist, the One Mind that dreams all of reality.


Parodite,

There is a beautiful poem by Rilke, in which he wakes in the night and thinks of taking God a drink of water.

Alex.


Me don't think it is a bad thing to make God in some anthropomorphic image. Can even be good. It is only bad ("bad") when fantasy is confused with non-fantasy. Socialized delusions can cause loads of disruption in human relationships.
Outside, away from the noise, grows a flower.
User avatar
Parodite
 
Posts: 4191
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:43 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Parodite » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:53 pm

I'm with the creationists when it comes to observing structure and function in the plants and animal world. At least... when I keep on my anthropomorphic sunglasses.
Outside, away from the noise, grows a flower.
User avatar
Parodite
 
Posts: 4191
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:43 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:23 pm

1¢ in hardback from Amazon affilliates

Image
“Christ has no body now but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks among His people to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses His creation.”

Teresa of Ávila
User avatar
Nonc Hilaire
 
Posts: 3997
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:28 am

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Parodite » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:19 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:1¢ in hardback from Amazon affilliates

Image


Sounds and looks great. I can also imagine God to feature like a 5 year old kid that starts to learn about the adult world. A God's Tale short animated movie with the voice of Woody Allen as the God kid.
Outside, away from the noise, grows a flower.
User avatar
Parodite
 
Posts: 4191
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:43 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:28 am

Parodite wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:1¢ in hardback from Amazon affilliates



Sounds and looks great. I can also imagine God to feature like a 5 year old kid that starts to learn about the adult world. A God's Tale short animated movie with the voice of Woody Allen as the God kid.

Actually, you are thinking somewhat parallel to the author of the Book of Hebrews. He writes that part of the reason Jesus was necessary was so that God could experience suffering, temptation, etc - all the aspects of humanity God was aware of but could not experience without incarnation. The Orthodox tradition has roots in this. Western Protestantism and RC thought tend to gloss over it.
“Christ has no body now but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks among His people to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses His creation.”

Teresa of Ávila
User avatar
Nonc Hilaire
 
Posts: 3997
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:28 am

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Parodite » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:14 am

Nonc Hilaire wrote:
Parodite wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:1¢ in hardback from Amazon affilliates



Sounds and looks great. I can also imagine God to feature like a 5 year old kid that starts to learn about the adult world. A God's Tale short animated movie with the voice of Woody Allen as the God kid.

Actually, you are thinking somewhat parallel to the author of the Book of Hebrews. He writes that part of the reason Jesus was necessary was so that God could experience suffering, temptation, etc - all the aspects of humanity God was aware of but could not experience without incarnation. The Orthodox tradition has roots in this. Western Protestantism and RC thought tend to gloss over it.

Jesus made quite some effort to emphasize it was not about him but about us. That point was kinda lost from the get go.
Outside, away from the noise, grows a flower.
User avatar
Parodite
 
Posts: 4191
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:43 pm

Re: Anthropomorphism

Postby Simple Minded » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:32 pm

Parodite wrote:Jesus made quite some effort to emphasize it was not about him but about us. That point was kinda lost from the get go.


About 30 years ago, I encountered The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A' Kempis.

I still remember thinking given the choice to imitate Christ (small r, personal internal religion/philosophy) or to worship Christ (big R, Religion/philosophy for public display and marketing), it is interesting to see what one chooses.

What to practice versus what to preach........
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP81Je7APoQ
Simple Minded
 
Posts: 6394
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:24 pm

Next

Return to Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest