The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

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Raymonda Onwuka 1
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Raymonda Onwuka 1 »

I actually think it is a blend of both. At times I really wonder why we have not been able find the garden of Eden. These times were when I consider it a geographical place. But then considering the fact that this matter is quite spiritual I tend to conclude that maybe the angels in charge of it are keeping us from discovering it.
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Sushan »

Baggett Yoria wrote: April 13th, 2024, 6:50 am According to the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible, the Garden of Eden should not be metaphorical. If it's metaphorical, I will say the event described in it is then falsified. This is because the Bible start the narration of the origin of man from this place. So if we say the Garden of Eden is metaphorical, then the events that reportedly happened in it is metaphorical, and the story of our origin is also metaphorical and can not be used to argue how we originated or conclude that human suffering, as always based on the events that happened in the Garden of Eden, can not blamed on the deeds of Adam and Eve. I have seen some online post that confirmed the existence of the Garden of Eden. It is either we find it out or never say that it's hidden.
Thank you for sharing your perspective on the Garden of Eden as depicted in the book of Genesis. It's clear that you hold a literal interpretation of the biblical texts, which is a viewpoint shared by many. This belief underscores the importance of the Garden of Eden not just as a physical location but as a cornerstone of faith and understanding of human origin and morality in certain religious traditions.

However, there are diverse interpretations among scholars and theologians about whether parts of these religious texts should be taken literally or metaphorically. This debate extends to the Garden of Eden. For instance, some argue that mythological elements in religious texts might serve to convey moral truths or philosophical insights about human nature rather than factual historical events. Such interpretations suggest that stories like the Garden of Eden can provide deep insights into human behavior, ethics, and relationships, irrespective of their historical accuracy.

In your opinion, how do different interpretations of religious texts influence our understanding of them? Can a metaphorical interpretation coexist with a literal belief system within a community? How should we approach such foundational texts in discussions about human nature and societal norms?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Sushan »

Belinda wrote: April 13th, 2024, 7:02 am
Baggett Yoria wrote: April 13th, 2024, 6:50 am According to the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible, the Garden of Eden should not be metaphorical. If it's metaphorical, I will say the event described in it is then falsified. This is because the Bible start the narration of the origin of man from this place. So if we say the Garden of Eden is metaphorical, then the events that reportedly happened in it is metaphorical, and the story of our origin is also metaphorical and can not be used to argue how we originated or conclude that human suffering, as always based on the events that happened in the Garden of Eden, can not blamed on the deeds of Adam and Eve. I have seen some online post that confirmed the existence of the Garden of Eden. It is either we find it out or never say that it's hidden.
The main use of any story including religious texts is to understand the theme. The theme which you call and decry as "metaphorical" is a vastly important explanation why we must take responsibility for ourselves as human beings. The editors of The Bible understood more than today's Biblical literalists!
Absolutely, your point about focusing on the themes presented in religious texts, like the Garden of Eden narrative, rather than strictly on their literal accuracy, resonates with a broader understanding in religious studies and theological discussions. This approach aligns with a hermeneutic method, where the interpretation focuses on underlying messages and moral teachings rather than the factual historicity of the events described.

Historical-critical scholars, for example, often view biblical stories as rich, layered texts that convey truths about human nature, ethics, and the relationship between humanity and the divine through allegorical or metaphorical narratives. This method allows for a deeper engagement with the text that transcends the literal interpretation and considers the socio-cultural context of the time when these stories were written.

The metaphorical interpretation of biblical stories like the Garden of Eden can provide powerful insights into themes of temptation, responsibility, and the consequences of our actions, which are universally applicable regardless of one's religious background. This perspective encourages a reflective approach to understanding one's behavior and the moral imperatives that guide us.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Sushan »

Raymonda Onwuka 1 wrote: April 13th, 2024, 1:54 pm I actually think it is a blend of both. At times I really wonder why we have not been able find the garden of Eden. These times were when I consider it a geographical place. But then considering the fact that this matter is quite spiritual I tend to conclude that maybe the angels in charge of it are keeping us from discovering it.
Your reflections on the Garden of Eden as both a spiritual and a potentially real place bring to light the broader challenge of interpreting religious texts. Throughout history, various cultures have used supernatural explanations to address questions that are difficult to answer through empirical evidence alone. For example, in Hindu mythology, places like Mount Meru are considered sacred and are depicted as real locations, yet they also hold deep spiritual significance that transcends their geographical aspects.

Similarly, in Greek mythology, locations like Mount Olympus were considered the dwelling places of gods. The physical existence of these places is a matter of historical geography, but their depiction in mythology is deeply entwined with the divine and mystical, serving as metaphors for states of being beyond the ordinary.

This kind of dual interpretation—both spiritual and literal—can be seen across many religious and cultural narratives, often making it challenging to definitively categorize these locations as merely historical or purely mythical. The idea of angels guarding the Garden of Eden, as you mentioned, is an example of how spiritual beliefs can be used to explain why certain mysteries remain unsolved, providing a spiritual cushion for gaps in human understanding and historical records.

Engaging with these stories from a metaphorical perspective can offer valuable insights into human nature, ethics, and our relationship with the unknown. It encourages a deeper exploration of the meanings and values embedded within these narratives, beyond their literal interpretations.

What are your thoughts on viewing other religious or mythical stories through this dual lens of historical geography and metaphorical spirituality? How do you think this approach affects our understanding of these narratives today?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

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Belinda wrote: April 13th, 2024, 6:29 am To ease public distrust in experiments on animals ,all laboratories where they use live animals , kennels and cages, their observance of proper euthanasia and analgesia , must be open to unannounced ,and secret , inspections by PETA and Advocates for Animals and other independent reputable bodies. All animals must be euthanised without fail immediately after the first experiment they undergo.
There must be no exporting of animal laboratory businesses overseas where these strict laws don't apply.
The aim of the experiment must be therapy or education---never a commercial aim.

Tissue cultures must be used as much as possible and animal laboratories must not be allocated tax and investment advantages over tissue culture laboratories.


Animal breeders where experimental animals are bred and reared must likewise be inspected, and no experimental animal must be transported overseas or for more than a mile away from the laboratory. The public must be encouraged under expert supervision to visit the animals , photograph them, keep them company , and pet them as appropriate.


The British public's general attitude to animals is entrenched in the popular culture and words alone will not suffice to communicate and address these concerns, nor should they.

The conversation may seem to have turned away from the original question of the Garden of Eden. The justification for the turn is that man no longer is a child of nature as in Eden, but now that man is exiled from Eden he himself has to shoulder the role of God.
Your suggestions for enhancing transparency and ethical practices in animal research are compelling and crucial for advancing public trust. I think your approach could serve as a robust framework for maintaining the delicate balance between scientific advancement and ethical responsibility.

One aspect that particularly stands out is the idea of engaging the public more directly with the research process. This could indeed transform public perception, making the research process less opaque and more a part of a communal ethical oversight. However, the feasibility of such regular, open access might raise logistical and biosecurity concerns that would need careful management.

Moreover, while the idea of limiting animal transport and ensuring stringent euthanasia protocols are morally sound, they might also impose significant operational challenges that could affect the pace and cost of research. These are not insurmountable, but they would require thoughtful implementation to ensure that they support both the welfare of animals and the scientific integrity of the research.

Your vision of a more ethically conscious research environment aligns with a broader societal move towards greater accountability in science, especially in fields involving genetic and neurological exploration like Neuralink. It’s a vision that rightly demands rigorous scrutiny not just of the scientific methods but also of the moral foundations upon which such research is built.

What do you think are the main hurdles in implementing these policies more widely? How can we balance these necessary ethical considerations with the need to foster innovation in medical research?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Belinda »

Sushan wrote: April 16th, 2024, 6:17 am
Belinda wrote: April 13th, 2024, 6:29 am To ease public distrust in experiments on animals ,all laboratories where they use live animals , kennels and cages, their observance of proper euthanasia and analgesia , must be open to unannounced ,and secret , inspections by PETA and Advocates for Animals and other independent reputable bodies. All animals must be euthanised without fail immediately after the first experiment they undergo.
There must be no exporting of animal laboratory businesses overseas where these strict laws don't apply.
The aim of the experiment must be therapy or education---never a commercial aim.

Tissue cultures must be used as much as possible and animal laboratories must not be allocated tax and investment advantages over tissue culture laboratories.


Animal breeders where experimental animals are bred and reared must likewise be inspected, and no experimental animal must be transported overseas or for more than a mile away from the laboratory. The public must be encouraged under expert supervision to visit the animals , photograph them, keep them company , and pet them as appropriate.


The British public's general attitude to animals is entrenched in the popular culture and words alone will not suffice to communicate and address these concerns, nor should they.

The conversation may seem to have turned away from the original question of the Garden of Eden. The justification for the turn is that man no longer is a child of nature as in Eden, but now that man is exiled from Eden he himself has to shoulder the role of God.
Your suggestions for enhancing transparency and ethical practices in animal research are compelling and crucial for advancing public trust. I think your approach could serve as a robust framework for maintaining the delicate balance between scientific advancement and ethical responsibility.

One aspect that particularly stands out is the idea of engaging the public more directly with the research process. This could indeed transform public perception, making the research process less opaque and more a part of a communal ethical oversight. However, the feasibility of such regular, open access might raise logistical and biosecurity concerns that would need careful management.

Moreover, while the idea of limiting animal transport and ensuring stringent euthanasia protocols are morally sound, they might also impose significant operational challenges that could affect the pace and cost of research. These are not insurmountable, but they would require thoughtful implementation to ensure that they support both the welfare of animals and the scientific integrity of the research.

Your vision of a more ethically conscious research environment aligns with a broader societal move towards greater accountability in science, especially in fields involving genetic and neurological exploration like Neuralink. It’s a vision that rightly demands rigorous scrutiny not just of the scientific methods but also of the moral foundations upon which such research is built.

What do you think are the main hurdles in implementing these policies more widely? How can we balance these necessary ethical considerations with the need to foster innovation in medical research?
I am sorry to not have any compromise to offer but I am so appalled by present vivisection practices that I can't compromise.

As for Neuralink, do you think that it's ethically sound for people to offer themselves as guinea pigs ? Already we use human guinea pigs to research the common cold .Or is Neuralink such that human guinea pigs' freedoms would be at risk , so that there is a difference in kind, not a difference in degree, between using human guinea pigs for the common cold on one hand, and using human guinea pigs for Neuralink research on the other? How could scientists be entrusted with such potential for political power? I suspect it's a difference in kind, and I am trying to think of some precedent. Can you think of a precedent for a civilised society disallowing brainmind control?

I understand a patient with Parkinson's disease or something similar was treated successfully with a Neuralink device. Presumably this was with the patient's informed consent.

Death is irreversible in common practice and so there is a comparison between the choice to die (doctor assisted dying) and the choice to potentially compromise one's freedom with a therapeutic Neuralink device.
Lobectomy took away patients' freedom, and is now rightly condemned, whether or not the patient had consented before the surgery. If there is anything that defines human nature it's freedom together with its obverse, responsibility.

I say "brainmind" because this is occasion to apply the Spinoza ontology of dual aspect monism.
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Belinda »

Baggett Yoria wrote: April 13th, 2024, 6:50 am According to the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible, the Garden of Eden should not be metaphorical. If it's metaphorical, I will say the event described in it is then falsified. This is because the Bible start the narration of the origin of man from this place. So if we say the Garden of Eden is metaphorical, then the events that reportedly happened in it is metaphorical, and the story of our origin is also metaphorical and can not be used to argue how we originated or conclude that human suffering, as always based on the events that happened in the Garden of Eden, can not blamed on the deeds of Adam and Eve. I have seen some online post that confirmed the existence of the Garden of Eden. It is either we find it out or never say that it's hidden.
The Creation story in Genesis is a separate story from the story of the Garden of Eden and the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
I find the Creation story in Genesis to be pure poetry, and I wonder if you could think of it as beautiful poetry that inspires feelings of awe and worship. Do you really need to think of Genesis as science?
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Sushan »

Belinda wrote: April 17th, 2024, 2:49 pm
Baggett Yoria wrote: April 13th, 2024, 6:50 am According to the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible, the Garden of Eden should not be metaphorical. If it's metaphorical, I will say the event described in it is then falsified. This is because the Bible start the narration of the origin of man from this place. So if we say the Garden of Eden is metaphorical, then the events that reportedly happened in it is metaphorical, and the story of our origin is also metaphorical and can not be used to argue how we originated or conclude that human suffering, as always based on the events that happened in the Garden of Eden, can not blamed on the deeds of Adam and Eve. I have seen some online post that confirmed the existence of the Garden of Eden. It is either we find it out or never say that it's hidden.
The Creation story in Genesis is a separate story from the story of the Garden of Eden and the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
I find the Creation story in Genesis to be pure poetry, and I wonder if you could think of it as beautiful poetry that inspires feelings of awe and worship. Do you really need to think of Genesis as science?
I appreciate your viewpoint of treating it as poetry rather than scientific fact. Indeed, I approach religious texts, including the Bible and Buddhist scriptures (I am a Buddhist), from a logical and philosophical standpoint, rather than as a devotee. This approach allows me to appreciate the deep philosophical teachings within Buddhism and other religions while maintaining a critical eye towards the more mythological aspects that may not align with scientific understanding.

I agree that religious texts can inspire awe and serve as profound meditations on life and existence. Viewing these stories as poetry rather than literal history can enrich our understanding and appreciation of them, without conflicting with a scientific worldview. This isn't about dismissing or discriminating against any religion; it's about finding a personal way to reconcile faith with reason, which is a journey many of us are on, regardless of our religious backgrounds.

I'd be interested to hear how you, and others, find personal meaning in these texts while navigating the interplay between faith, poetry, and science. How do you balance these aspects in your own exploration of religious narratives?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Sushan »

Belinda wrote: April 17th, 2024, 2:18 pm
Sushan wrote: April 16th, 2024, 6:17 am
Belinda wrote: April 13th, 2024, 6:29 am To ease public distrust in experiments on animals ,all laboratories where they use live animals , kennels and cages, their observance of proper euthanasia and analgesia , must be open to unannounced ,and secret , inspections by PETA and Advocates for Animals and other independent reputable bodies. All animals must be euthanised without fail immediately after the first experiment they undergo.
There must be no exporting of animal laboratory businesses overseas where these strict laws don't apply.
The aim of the experiment must be therapy or education---never a commercial aim.

Tissue cultures must be used as much as possible and animal laboratories must not be allocated tax and investment advantages over tissue culture laboratories.


Animal breeders where experimental animals are bred and reared must likewise be inspected, and no experimental animal must be transported overseas or for more than a mile away from the laboratory. The public must be encouraged under expert supervision to visit the animals , photograph them, keep them company , and pet them as appropriate.


The British public's general attitude to animals is entrenched in the popular culture and words alone will not suffice to communicate and address these concerns, nor should they.

The conversation may seem to have turned away from the original question of the Garden of Eden. The justification for the turn is that man no longer is a child of nature as in Eden, but now that man is exiled from Eden he himself has to shoulder the role of God.
Your suggestions for enhancing transparency and ethical practices in animal research are compelling and crucial for advancing public trust. I think your approach could serve as a robust framework for maintaining the delicate balance between scientific advancement and ethical responsibility.

One aspect that particularly stands out is the idea of engaging the public more directly with the research process. This could indeed transform public perception, making the research process less opaque and more a part of a communal ethical oversight. However, the feasibility of such regular, open access might raise logistical and biosecurity concerns that would need careful management.

Moreover, while the idea of limiting animal transport and ensuring stringent euthanasia protocols are morally sound, they might also impose significant operational challenges that could affect the pace and cost of research. These are not insurmountable, but they would require thoughtful implementation to ensure that they support both the welfare of animals and the scientific integrity of the research.

Your vision of a more ethically conscious research environment aligns with a broader societal move towards greater accountability in science, especially in fields involving genetic and neurological exploration like Neuralink. It’s a vision that rightly demands rigorous scrutiny not just of the scientific methods but also of the moral foundations upon which such research is built.

What do you think are the main hurdles in implementing these policies more widely? How can we balance these necessary ethical considerations with the need to foster innovation in medical research?
I am sorry to not have any compromise to offer but I am so appalled by present vivisection practices that I can't compromise.

As for Neuralink, do you think that it's ethically sound for people to offer themselves as guinea pigs ? Already we use human guinea pigs to research the common cold .Or is Neuralink such that human guinea pigs' freedoms would be at risk , so that there is a difference in kind, not a difference in degree, between using human guinea pigs for the common cold on one hand, and using human guinea pigs for Neuralink research on the other? How could scientists be entrusted with such potential for political power? I suspect it's a difference in kind, and I am trying to think of some precedent. Can you think of a precedent for a civilised society disallowing brainmind control?

I understand a patient with Parkinson's disease or something similar was treated successfully with a Neuralink device. Presumably this was with the patient's informed consent.

Death is irreversible in common practice and so there is a comparison between the choice to die (doctor assisted dying) and the choice to potentially compromise one's freedom with a therapeutic Neuralink device.
Lobectomy took away patients' freedom, and is now rightly condemned, whether or not the patient had consented before the surgery. If there is anything that defines human nature it's freedom together with its obverse, responsibility.

I say "brainmind" because this is occasion to apply the Spinoza ontology of dual aspect monism.
Thank you for the insightful ideas.

When it comes to medicine, both clinical and research, ethics should be strictly adhered to regardless of the situation's severity or value. Whether it's research on the common cold or brain-related issues, ethics should carry the same weight. However, in phase IV drug research, the entire population may be subjected to research, often without explicit consent. If a patient provides fully informed consent for a procedure, it can be argued that it is the individual's right and an exercise of their free will. However, certain practices, such as euthanasia, may not be allowed in some regions despite informed consent due to various legal and ethical reasons. These situations invite complex discussions and are challenging to resolve definitively.

Regarding the question, "How could scientists be entrusted with such potential for political power?" my understanding, influenced by the movie "Oppenheimer," suggests that it is not the scientists who ultimately make these decisions but rather the politicians. From what I've observed, politicians often cannot be trusted, making it risky to entrust scientists with significant power in a world driven by capitalism and moral ambiguity.

Reflecting on Spinoza's theory of dual aspect monism, or "double aspect theory," in the context of medical conditions affecting brain function and projects like Neuralink, I see these conditions as disruptions in the natural connection between mind (the mental) and body (the physical). Elon Musk's work could potentially restore or facilitate this connection.

Your concerns about the ethical implications of using humans in high-stakes medical research are valid and echo widespread reservations. History shows us, such as in the CIA's MKULTRA program during the 1950s and 1960s, where mind control experiments conducted without consent caused significant harm. These instances highlight the need for stringent ethical standards in research, especially involving brain-computer interfaces. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... xperiments)

In response to your query about a civilized society disallowing brainmind control, while no specific prohibitions may explicitly ban such practices, the foundational principles of medical and research ethics—non-maleficence, beneficence, and autonomy—should theoretically prevent such abuses by ensuring research does not harm participants, potentially benefits them, and respects their autonomy. (https://www.technologyreview.com/2016/1 ... d-control/)

What do you think? How do you think we can enhance these ethical safeguards to better protect individuals in such advanced research fields?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Belinda »

Sushan wrote: April 18th, 2024, 4:15 am
Belinda wrote: April 17th, 2024, 2:18 pm
Sushan wrote: April 16th, 2024, 6:17 am
Belinda wrote: April 13th, 2024, 6:29 am To ease public distrust in experiments on animals ,all laboratories where they use live animals , kennels and cages, their observance of proper euthanasia and analgesia , must be open to unannounced ,and secret , inspections by PETA and Advocates for Animals and other independent reputable bodies. All animals must be euthanised without fail immediately after the first experiment they undergo.
There must be no exporting of animal laboratory businesses overseas where these strict laws don't apply.
The aim of the experiment must be therapy or education---never a commercial aim.

Tissue cultures must be used as much as possible and animal laboratories must not be allocated tax and investment advantages over tissue culture laboratories.


Animal breeders where experimental animals are bred and reared must likewise be inspected, and no experimental animal must be transported overseas or for more than a mile away from the laboratory. The public must be encouraged under expert supervision to visit the animals , photograph them, keep them company , and pet them as appropriate.


The British public's general attitude to animals is entrenched in the popular culture and words alone will not suffice to communicate and address these concerns, nor should they.

The conversation may seem to have turned away from the original question of the Garden of Eden. The justification for the turn is that man no longer is a child of nature as in Eden, but now that man is exiled from Eden he himself has to shoulder the role of God.
Your suggestions for enhancing transparency and ethical practices in animal research are compelling and crucial for advancing public trust. I think your approach could serve as a robust framework for maintaining the delicate balance between scientific advancement and ethical responsibility.

One aspect that particularly stands out is the idea of engaging the public more directly with the research process. This could indeed transform public perception, making the research process less opaque and more a part of a communal ethical oversight. However, the feasibility of such regular, open access might raise logistical and biosecurity concerns that would need careful management.

Moreover, while the idea of limiting animal transport and ensuring stringent euthanasia protocols are morally sound, they might also impose significant operational challenges that could affect the pace and cost of research. These are not insurmountable, but they would require thoughtful implementation to ensure that they support both the welfare of animals and the scientific integrity of the research.

Your vision of a more ethically conscious research environment aligns with a broader societal move towards greater accountability in science, especially in fields involving genetic and neurological exploration like Neuralink. It’s a vision that rightly demands rigorous scrutiny not just of the scientific methods but also of the moral foundations upon which such research is built.

What do you think are the main hurdles in implementing these policies more widely? How can we balance these necessary ethical considerations with the need to foster innovation in medical research?
I am sorry to not have any compromise to offer but I am so appalled by present vivisection practices that I can't compromise.

As for Neuralink, do you think that it's ethically sound for people to offer themselves as guinea pigs ? Already we use human guinea pigs to research the common cold .Or is Neuralink such that human guinea pigs' freedoms would be at risk , so that there is a difference in kind, not a difference in degree, between using human guinea pigs for the common cold on one hand, and using human guinea pigs for Neuralink research on the other? How could scientists be entrusted with such potential for political power? I suspect it's a difference in kind, and I am trying to think of some precedent. Can you think of a precedent for a civilised society disallowing brainmind control?

I understand a patient with Parkinson's disease or something similar was treated successfully with a Neuralink device. Presumably this was with the patient's informed consent.

Death is irreversible in common practice and so there is a comparison between the choice to die (doctor assisted dying) and the choice to potentially compromise one's freedom with a therapeutic Neuralink device.
Lobectomy took away patients' freedom, and is now rightly condemned, whether or not the patient had consented before the surgery. If there is anything that defines human nature it's freedom together with its obverse, responsibility.

I say "brainmind" because this is occasion to apply the Spinoza ontology of dual aspect monism.
Thank you for the insightful ideas.

When it comes to medicine, both clinical and research, ethics should be strictly adhered to regardless of the situation's severity or value. Whether it's research on the common cold or brain-related issues, ethics should carry the same weight. However, in phase IV drug research, the entire population may be subjected to research, often without explicit consent. If a patient provides fully informed consent for a procedure, it can be argued that it is the individual's right and an exercise of their free will. However, certain practices, such as euthanasia, may not be allowed in some regions despite informed consent due to various legal and ethical reasons. These situations invite complex discussions and are challenging to resolve definitively.

Regarding the question, "How could scientists be entrusted with such potential for political power?" my understanding, influenced by the movie "Oppenheimer," suggests that it is not the scientists who ultimately make these decisions but rather the politicians. From what I've observed, politicians often cannot be trusted, making it risky to entrust scientists with significant power in a world driven by capitalism and moral ambiguity.

Reflecting on Spinoza's theory of dual aspect monism, or "double aspect theory," in the context of medical conditions affecting brain function and projects like Neuralink, I see these conditions as disruptions in the natural connection between mind (the mental) and body (the physical). Elon Musk's work could potentially restore or facilitate this connection.

Your concerns about the ethical implications of using humans in high-stakes medical research are valid and echo widespread reservations. History shows us, such as in the CIA's MKULTRA program during the 1950s and 1960s, where mind control experiments conducted without consent caused significant harm. These instances highlight the need for stringent ethical standards in research, especially involving brain-computer interfaces. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... xperiments)

In response to your query about a civilized society disallowing brainmind control, while no specific prohibitions may explicitly ban such practices, the foundational principles of medical and research ethics—non-maleficence, beneficence, and autonomy—should theoretically prevent such abuses by ensuring research does not harm participants, potentially benefits them, and respects their autonomy. (https://www.technologyreview.com/2016/1 ... d-control/)

What do you think? How do you think we can enhance these ethical safeguards to better protect individuals in such advanced research fields?
The only enhancement I can think of is assuring every patient or experimental subject of her right to refuse and request as she wishes. In clinical settings there is often a general lack of adequate communications between patient and staff. It's traditional for the patient to defer overmuch to medics, and 'white coats 'generally , and the medicalised and computerised decor make hospitals, and perhaps laboratories too, intimidating places .Ref . Milgram experiment.

The double blind experiment is safe only as long as the experimental subject is secure in her own faith that the human is the first and only ethical consideration at every turn of the experiment, and this includes the subject herself. I guess the subjects in the Milgram experiment still have hurt feelings.
There is an existential power imbalance between the 'white coats' and the patient for obvious reasons, and most medics know this and act compassionately. In experimental settings the power imbalance is less obvious and for the experiment on humans to be ethical the power balance must be equalised.
There is a precedent in the general culture . Already in the arts we have audience participation, a welcome innovation that may in time extend even to religious sects.

A large part of communication is linguistic. Plain English is much to be desired. I don't mean absence of explicit technical terms such as names of diseases and names of drugs, but lucidity and conciseness together with ordinary courtesy. Communication is where education and therapy meld.
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Sushan »

Belinda wrote: April 18th, 2024, 7:04 am
Sushan wrote: April 18th, 2024, 4:15 am
Belinda wrote: April 17th, 2024, 2:18 pm
Sushan wrote: April 16th, 2024, 6:17 am

Your suggestions for enhancing transparency and ethical practices in animal research are compelling and crucial for advancing public trust. I think your approach could serve as a robust framework for maintaining the delicate balance between scientific advancement and ethical responsibility.

One aspect that particularly stands out is the idea of engaging the public more directly with the research process. This could indeed transform public perception, making the research process less opaque and more a part of a communal ethical oversight. However, the feasibility of such regular, open access might raise logistical and biosecurity concerns that would need careful management.

Moreover, while the idea of limiting animal transport and ensuring stringent euthanasia protocols are morally sound, they might also impose significant operational challenges that could affect the pace and cost of research. These are not insurmountable, but they would require thoughtful implementation to ensure that they support both the welfare of animals and the scientific integrity of the research.

Your vision of a more ethically conscious research environment aligns with a broader societal move towards greater accountability in science, especially in fields involving genetic and neurological exploration like Neuralink. It’s a vision that rightly demands rigorous scrutiny not just of the scientific methods but also of the moral foundations upon which such research is built.

What do you think are the main hurdles in implementing these policies more widely? How can we balance these necessary ethical considerations with the need to foster innovation in medical research?
I am sorry to not have any compromise to offer but I am so appalled by present vivisection practices that I can't compromise.

As for Neuralink, do you think that it's ethically sound for people to offer themselves as guinea pigs ? Already we use human guinea pigs to research the common cold .Or is Neuralink such that human guinea pigs' freedoms would be at risk , so that there is a difference in kind, not a difference in degree, between using human guinea pigs for the common cold on one hand, and using human guinea pigs for Neuralink research on the other? How could scientists be entrusted with such potential for political power? I suspect it's a difference in kind, and I am trying to think of some precedent. Can you think of a precedent for a civilised society disallowing brainmind control?

I understand a patient with Parkinson's disease or something similar was treated successfully with a Neuralink device. Presumably this was with the patient's informed consent.

Death is irreversible in common practice and so there is a comparison between the choice to die (doctor assisted dying) and the choice to potentially compromise one's freedom with a therapeutic Neuralink device.
Lobectomy took away patients' freedom, and is now rightly condemned, whether or not the patient had consented before the surgery. If there is anything that defines human nature it's freedom together with its obverse, responsibility.

I say "brainmind" because this is occasion to apply the Spinoza ontology of dual aspect monism.
Thank you for the insightful ideas.

When it comes to medicine, both clinical and research, ethics should be strictly adhered to regardless of the situation's severity or value. Whether it's research on the common cold or brain-related issues, ethics should carry the same weight. However, in phase IV drug research, the entire population may be subjected to research, often without explicit consent. If a patient provides fully informed consent for a procedure, it can be argued that it is the individual's right and an exercise of their free will. However, certain practices, such as euthanasia, may not be allowed in some regions despite informed consent due to various legal and ethical reasons. These situations invite complex discussions and are challenging to resolve definitively.

Regarding the question, "How could scientists be entrusted with such potential for political power?" my understanding, influenced by the movie "Oppenheimer," suggests that it is not the scientists who ultimately make these decisions but rather the politicians. From what I've observed, politicians often cannot be trusted, making it risky to entrust scientists with significant power in a world driven by capitalism and moral ambiguity.

Reflecting on Spinoza's theory of dual aspect monism, or "double aspect theory," in the context of medical conditions affecting brain function and projects like Neuralink, I see these conditions as disruptions in the natural connection between mind (the mental) and body (the physical). Elon Musk's work could potentially restore or facilitate this connection.

Your concerns about the ethical implications of using humans in high-stakes medical research are valid and echo widespread reservations. History shows us, such as in the CIA's MKULTRA program during the 1950s and 1960s, where mind control experiments conducted without consent caused significant harm. These instances highlight the need for stringent ethical standards in research, especially involving brain-computer interfaces. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... xperiments)

In response to your query about a civilized society disallowing brainmind control, while no specific prohibitions may explicitly ban such practices, the foundational principles of medical and research ethics—non-maleficence, beneficence, and autonomy—should theoretically prevent such abuses by ensuring research does not harm participants, potentially benefits them, and respects their autonomy. (https://www.technologyreview.com/2016/1 ... d-control/)

What do you think? How do you think we can enhance these ethical safeguards to better protect individuals in such advanced research fields?
The only enhancement I can think of is assuring every patient or experimental subject of her right to refuse and request as she wishes. In clinical settings there is often a general lack of adequate communications between patient and staff. It's traditional for the patient to defer overmuch to medics, and 'white coats 'generally , and the medicalised and computerised decor make hospitals, and perhaps laboratories too, intimidating places .Ref . Milgram experiment.

The double blind experiment is safe only as long as the experimental subject is secure in her own faith that the human is the first and only ethical consideration at every turn of the experiment, and this includes the subject herself. I guess the subjects in the Milgram experiment still have hurt feelings.
There is an existential power imbalance between the 'white coats' and the patient for obvious reasons, and most medics know this and act compassionately. In experimental settings the power imbalance is less obvious and for the experiment on humans to be ethical the power balance must be equalised.
There is a precedent in the general culture . Already in the arts we have audience participation, a welcome innovation that may in time extend even to religious sects.

A large part of communication is linguistic. Plain English is much to be desired. I don't mean absence of explicit technical terms such as names of diseases and names of drugs, but lucidity and conciseness together with ordinary courtesy. Communication is where education and therapy meld.
I am sorry for the late response.

Your idea of enhancing ethical safeguards in advanced research by ensuring patients' rights to refuse and request as they wish is essential for maintaining trust and ethical integrity in clinical settings. The emphasis on improved communication and reducing the intimidation often felt in medical environments aligns with the broader ethical frameworks discussed in current research literature.

For instance, studies underscore the necessity of adhering to core ethical principles such as respect, beneficence, and justice in clinical trials (https://ebn.bmj.com/content/20/1/7). These principles demand that all participants' welfare must take precedence, highlighting the importance of informed consent, where participants should fully understand their role and the risks involved (https://ebn.bmj.com/content/20/1/7). This aligns with your suggestion, as ensuring participants are aware of their rights and fully comprehend the information presented to them can mitigate the power imbalances that might otherwise compromise ethical standards.

Moreover, engaging participants actively in discussions about their treatment and research involvement can help address the traditional power dynamics between medical staff and patients, which are often exacerbated by the clinical setting. This proactive engagement is part of broader ethical practices that include rigorous review and oversight, use of plain language in consent forms, and continuous ethical education for staff to ensure they respect and uphold participants' rights (https://ebn.bmj.com/content/20/1/7).

To further protect individuals, it's critical to adopt comprehensive strategies like those outlined in emergency research settings, where the clarity of communication and the context of consent are meticulously managed to ensure ethical compliance despite the challenging circumstances (https://peh-med.biomedcentral.com/artic ... 22-00115-3).

How do you think we can further integrate these ethical practices in everyday clinical and research settings to foster an environment of trust and respect for all participants?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Samana Johann »

Sushan wrote: June 4th, 2023, 11:03 pm This topic is about the June 2023 Philosophy Book of the Month, Killing Abel by Michael Tieman



A central element in many Judeo-Christian narratives is the Garden of Eden. Traditionally depicted as a paradise created by God for Adam and Eve, it serves as the stage for humanity's first act of disobedience, resulting in our exile into the world we now inhabit. The question that often arises is: How should we interpret the Garden of Eden? Is it a historical place, a metaphorical construct, or a blend of both?

In this book, the Garden of Eden is portrayed in a way that invites us to consider these questions. The story is grounded in the Genesis narrative, yet the author's imagination fills in gaps, providing us with a vivid and detailed image of Eden. One particularly intriguing aspect is the precise geographical location of the Garden, which is suggested to be in Eastern Africa.

This portrayal stirs a fascinating philosophical debate. If we accept the Garden as a real geographical location, what does it mean for our understanding of the Bible and its teachings? How does this affect our conception of the divine and the human condition? On the other hand, if we see the Garden as purely metaphorical, what lessons can we glean from this metaphor?
What's called garden of Eden, or paradise, should be recogniced as higher realm of the sensual world, good Sushan.

Maybe an overview of the *(zugangzureinsicht*org/html/ptf/dhamma/sagga/loka_en.html) realms of existences* is useful.

One factor of right view (note that all have to. be taken in faith at first place to be able to develop mind in a way it can be seen for oneself) is "there are spontaneously born beings" (e.g. heavens, refined realms of existence).
One who denys refined existence wouldn't make. efforts to reach such, wouldn't act skilful. Acting unvirtouse, one's way up is closed.

It's *(sangham*net/en/tipitaka/sut/mn/mn.060.than) a safe bet*, for this and for the next world and beyond.
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Belinda »

Sushan wrote: April 28th, 2024, 4:02 am
Belinda wrote: April 18th, 2024, 7:04 am
Sushan wrote: April 18th, 2024, 4:15 am
Belinda wrote: April 17th, 2024, 2:18 pm I am sorry to not have any compromise to offer but I am so appalled by present vivisection practices that I can't compromise.

As for Neuralink, do you think that it's ethically sound for people to offer themselves as guinea pigs ? Already we use human guinea pigs to research the common cold .Or is Neuralink such that human guinea pigs' freedoms would be at risk , so that there is a difference in kind, not a difference in degree, between using human guinea pigs for the common cold on one hand, and using human guinea pigs for Neuralink research on the other? How could scientists be entrusted with such potential for political power? I suspect it's a difference in kind, and I am trying to think of some precedent. Can you think of a precedent for a civilised society disallowing brainmind control?

I understand a patient with Parkinson's disease or something similar was treated successfully with a Neuralink device. Presumably this was with the patient's informed consent.

Death is irreversible in common practice and so there is a comparison between the choice to die (doctor assisted dying) and the choice to potentially compromise one's freedom with a therapeutic Neuralink device.
Lobectomy took away patients' freedom, and is now rightly condemned, whether or not the patient had consented before the surgery. If there is anything that defines human nature it's freedom together with its obverse, responsibility.

I say "brainmind" because this is occasion to apply the Spinoza ontology of dual aspect monism.
Thank you for the insightful ideas.

When it comes to medicine, both clinical and research, ethics should be strictly adhered to regardless of the situation's severity or value. Whether it's research on the common cold or brain-related issues, ethics should carry the same weight. However, in phase IV drug research, the entire population may be subjected to research, often without explicit consent. If a patient provides fully informed consent for a procedure, it can be argued that it is the individual's right and an exercise of their free will. However, certain practices, such as euthanasia, may not be allowed in some regions despite informed consent due to various legal and ethical reasons. These situations invite complex discussions and are challenging to resolve definitively.

Regarding the question, "How could scientists be entrusted with such potential for political power?" my understanding, influenced by the movie "Oppenheimer," suggests that it is not the scientists who ultimately make these decisions but rather the politicians. From what I've observed, politicians often cannot be trusted, making it risky to entrust scientists with significant power in a world driven by capitalism and moral ambiguity.

Reflecting on Spinoza's theory of dual aspect monism, or "double aspect theory," in the context of medical conditions affecting brain function and projects like Neuralink, I see these conditions as disruptions in the natural connection between mind (the mental) and body (the physical). Elon Musk's work could potentially restore or facilitate this connection.

Your concerns about the ethical implications of using humans in high-stakes medical research are valid and echo widespread reservations. History shows us, such as in the CIA's MKULTRA program during the 1950s and 1960s, where mind control experiments conducted without consent caused significant harm. These instances highlight the need for stringent ethical standards in research, especially involving brain-computer interfaces. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... xperiments)

In response to your query about a civilized society disallowing brainmind control, while no specific prohibitions may explicitly ban such practices, the foundational principles of medical and research ethics—non-maleficence, beneficence, and autonomy—should theoretically prevent such abuses by ensuring research does not harm participants, potentially benefits them, and respects their autonomy. (https://www.technologyreview.com/2016/1 ... d-control/)

What do you think? How do you think we can enhance these ethical safeguards to better protect individuals in such advanced research fields?
The only enhancement I can think of is assuring every patient or experimental subject of her right to refuse and request as she wishes. In clinical settings there is often a general lack of adequate communications between patient and staff. It's traditional for the patient to defer overmuch to medics, and 'white coats 'generally , and the medicalised and computerised decor make hospitals, and perhaps laboratories too, intimidating places .Ref . Milgram experiment.

The double blind experiment is safe only as long as the experimental subject is secure in her own faith that the human is the first and only ethical consideration at every turn of the experiment, and this includes the subject herself. I guess the subjects in the Milgram experiment still have hurt feelings.
There is an existential power imbalance between the 'white coats' and the patient for obvious reasons, and most medics know this and act compassionately. In experimental settings the power imbalance is less obvious and for the experiment on humans to be ethical the power balance must be equalised.
There is a precedent in the general culture . Already in the arts we have audience participation, a welcome innovation that may in time extend even to religious sects.

A large part of communication is linguistic. Plain English is much to be desired. I don't mean absence of explicit technical terms such as names of diseases and names of drugs, but lucidity and conciseness together with ordinary courtesy. Communication is where education and therapy meld.
I am sorry for the late response.

Your idea of enhancing ethical safeguards in advanced research by ensuring patients' rights to refuse and request as they wish is essential for maintaining trust and ethical integrity in clinical settings. The emphasis on improved communication and reducing the intimidation often felt in medical environments aligns with the broader ethical frameworks discussed in current research literature.

For instance, studies underscore the necessity of adhering to core ethical principles such as respect, beneficence, and justice in clinical trials (https://ebn.bmj.com/content/20/1/7). These principles demand that all participants' welfare must take precedence, highlighting the importance of informed consent, where participants should fully understand their role and the risks involved (https://ebn.bmj.com/content/20/1/7). This aligns with your suggestion, as ensuring participants are aware of their rights and fully comprehend the information presented to them can mitigate the power imbalances that might otherwise compromise ethical standards.

Moreover, engaging participants actively in discussions about their treatment and research involvement can help address the traditional power dynamics between medical staff and patients, which are often exacerbated by the clinical setting. This proactive engagement is part of broader ethical practices that include rigorous review and oversight, use of plain language in consent forms, and continuous ethical education for staff to ensure they respect and uphold participants' rights (https://ebn.bmj.com/content/20/1/7).

To further protect individuals, it's critical to adopt comprehensive strategies like those outlined in emergency research settings, where the clarity of communication and the context of consent are meticulously managed to ensure ethical compliance despite the challenging circumstances (https://peh-med.biomedcentral.com/artic ... 22-00115-3).

How do you think we can further integrate these ethical practices in everyday clinical and research settings to foster an environment of trust and respect for all participants?
I hope your absence from these pages has not been due to ill health, and you are okay.
Thanks for all the research you have done in the interim. I've not read it all! However I have read some of the last link to the BMJ.

My sole comment bears on the section about how to impart the information to the participant whoever they may be. It's about the Fuzzy Trace Theory. As I understand it the FTT devolves into a choice of two methods: communicating the verbatim facts, or communicating the gist. If one renames the former 'explanation' and renames the latter 'description' the choice of language becomes a little easier. The participant should therefore be offered a description(gist) of the research, or of the clinical treatment, and subsequently be offered an explanation (verbatim) if they request it . The explanation can avoid a lot of jargon but include further gist type material to enhance what already has been offered. A fully explicit explanation would intimidate most people including me, but no participant need be patronised unless they are to a degree demented, dying, or very young.

Regarding the phrase "Fuzzy Trace" I understand the phrase refers to how short term memory and knowledge of explicit fact deteriorates after a short while, whereas general gists are much more easily connected with well-learned concepts. The implication is you do better to present a description rather than a full explanation . The polite offer of explicit facts upon request keeps the treatment or the research ethical.
Last edited by Belinda on April 28th, 2024, 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Sushan »

Samana Johann wrote: April 28th, 2024, 5:59 am
Sushan wrote: June 4th, 2023, 11:03 pm This topic is about the June 2023 Philosophy Book of the Month, Killing Abel by Michael Tieman



A central element in many Judeo-Christian narratives is the Garden of Eden. Traditionally depicted as a paradise created by God for Adam and Eve, it serves as the stage for humanity's first act of disobedience, resulting in our exile into the world we now inhabit. The question that often arises is: How should we interpret the Garden of Eden? Is it a historical place, a metaphorical construct, or a blend of both?

In this book, the Garden of Eden is portrayed in a way that invites us to consider these questions. The story is grounded in the Genesis narrative, yet the author's imagination fills in gaps, providing us with a vivid and detailed image of Eden. One particularly intriguing aspect is the precise geographical location of the Garden, which is suggested to be in Eastern Africa.

This portrayal stirs a fascinating philosophical debate. If we accept the Garden as a real geographical location, what does it mean for our understanding of the Bible and its teachings? How does this affect our conception of the divine and the human condition? On the other hand, if we see the Garden as purely metaphorical, what lessons can we glean from this metaphor?
What's called garden of Eden, or paradise, should be recogniced as higher realm of the sensual world, good Sushan.

Maybe an overview of the *(zugangzureinsicht*org/html/ptf/dhamma/sagga/loka_en.html) realms of existences* is useful.

One factor of right view (note that all have to. be taken in faith at first place to be able to develop mind in a way it can be seen for oneself) is "there are spontaneously born beings" (e.g. heavens, refined realms of existence).
One who denys refined existence wouldn't make. efforts to reach such, wouldn't act skilful. Acting unvirtouse, one's way up is closed.

It's *(sangham*net/en/tipitaka/sut/mn/mn.060.than) a safe bet*, for this and for the next world and beyond.
Thank you for your thoughtful interpretation and the references, which enrich our understanding of Buddhist cosmology and the Dhamma's practical applications.

Your description of the Garden of Eden through a Buddhist lens—as a metaphorical higher realm within the sensual world—provides a compelling perspective that invites us to consider the existential dimensions of myths and spiritual teachings across cultures.

It's intriguing to explore the parallels you draw with the concept of Right View and the implications of believing or denying certain existential realms. This reminds us of the pragmatic approach used in the sutras, where actions and beliefs are seen not merely in terms of doctrinal correctness but also for their practical impacts on ethical living and spiritual progress.

Given the texts you cited, I am particularly interested in discussing how these views on realms and existence might inform our actions within our communities and interactions with the environment, especially in times of global uncertainty. How do you see these teachings guiding us in addressing broader social and ethical challenges today?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: The Garden of Eden: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Sushan wrote: June 4th, 2023, 11:03 pm This topic is about the June 2023 Philosophy Book of the Month, [url=https://forums.onlineboo**/shelves/book.php?id=393098]Killing Abel by Michael Tieman[/url]



A central element in many Judeo-Christian narratives is the Garden of Eden. Traditionally depicted as a paradise created by God for Adam and Eve, it serves as the stage for humanity's first act of disobedience, resulting in our exile into the world we now inhabit. The question that often arises is: How should we interpret the Garden of Eden? Is it a historical place, a metaphorical construct, or a blend of both?
I cannot believe that in the 21st C anyone would bother to ask such a question.
You might as well ask about the exisence of Rivendell
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