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  • I'm really looking forward to this lecture, not like I wasn't looking forward to the other ones,

  • but the stories that I want to cover tonight, one of the things that just absolutely staggers me about them,

  • especially the story of Cain and Abel (which I hope to get to) is, like, it's so short. It's unbelievable.

  • It's like ten, eleven lines.

  • There's nothing to it at all.

  • And I've found that it's essentially inexhaustible in its capacity to reveal meaning, and I don't exactly know what to make of that.

  • I mean I...

  • I think, you know, because I said I was going to take as

  • rational an approach to this issue as I possibly could, I think it has something to do with

  • this intense process of condensation across very long periods of time. That's the simplest explanation.

  • But I'll tell you, the information in there is so densely packed that it really is--

  • it's really-- it's not that easy to come up with an explanation for that. Not one that I find fully compelling.

  • I mean, I do think that the really old stories (and we've been covering the really archaic stories in the Bible so far)

  • I think that one of the things that you can be virtually certain about is that everything about them

  • that was memorable was remembered, right, and so in some sense

  • And this is kind of like the idea of Richard Dawkins idea of memes, which is often why I thought that Richard Dawkins

  • if he was a little bit more

  • mystically inclined he would have become Karl Jung, because their theories are unbelievably similar. The similar of meme and the similar of arch...

  • the idea of archetypes of the collective unconscious are very, very similar ideas except Jungian ideas-- far more profound in my

  • estimation well it just is he thought it [through] so much better. You know

  • Because Dawkins tended to think of memes sort of like a mind worm you know something that would infest a mind and maybe multiple minds

  • But he never really took I don't think he really ever took the idea with the seriousness it deserved

  • And I did hear him actually make a joke with Sam Harris the last time they talked about the fact that that

  • there was some possibility that the

  • Production of memes say religious memes could alter evolutionary history, [and] they both avoided that topic instantly

  • They had a big laugh about it men decided they weren't going to go down that road

  • and so that wasn't fair that was quite [interesting] to me, but

  • these

  • Is the the the density of these stories I do really [think] still is a is a mystery it

  • Certainly has something to do with their absolute

  • [their] in their impossibility to be forgotten [you] know and that's actually something that we could be tested empirically

  • I don't know if anybody has ever done that because you could tell

  • naive people two stories even equal length right one that had an archetypal theme and the other that didn't and then wait three months and

  • See which one's people remembered better and be relatively straightforward thing to test

  • I haven't tested it, but maybe I will at [some] point, but anyways, that's all to say that. I'm very

  • Excited about this lecture because I get an opportunity to go over the story of Adam and eve and the story of cain and Abel

  • And I [hopefully] [manage] both of those today, and maybe we'll get to the story of Noah and the tower of babel as well

  • But I wouldn't count on it not arthur eight we've been not at the rate we've been progressing if that's okay

  • That's that's no problem. It's there's no sense rushing this [alright]. So we're going to go before we go that before we do that

  • I want to

  • Finish my discussion of the idea of the psychological significance of the idea of God, and I've been thinking [about] this a lot more

  • You know because of course this lecture series gives me the opportunity and the necessity to continue to think and you know it

  • Certainly is the [case] so the hypothesis that I've been developing with the trinitarian idea is something like

  • That the trinitarian idea is the earliest

  • Emergence in image of the idea that there has to be an underlying cognitive

  • Structure that gives rise to consciousness as well as consciousness itself and so what I would suggest

  • Was that the idea of God the father is something akin to the idea of the a priori?

  • structure that that gives rise to consciousness

  • You know that's an inbuilt part of us, so that's our structure. You could think about that as something

  • That's been produced over a vast evolutionary time span

  • and I don't think that's completely out of keeping with the with the

  • With the ideas [that] are laid forth in Genesis one at least if you think about them from a metaphorical perspective

  • And it's hard to read them literally because I don't know what you know. There's an emphasis on day and night, but

  • The idea of Day and night as as 24-hour diurnal. You know

  • daytime and nighttime

  • Interchanges [that] are based on the claw on the earthly clock seems to be a bit

  • Absurd when you first start to think about the construction of the cosmos so just doesn't seem to me that a literal interpretation

  • is

  • Appropriate and I mean it's another thing that you might not know but you know many of the early church [fathers] one of them origen

  • in particular stated very clearly this was in 300 ad that these ancient stories were to be taken as as

  • Wise metaphors and not to be taken literally like the idea that the people who established

  • Christianity for example were all the sorts of people who were biblical [literalist]. It's just absolutely historically wrong

  • [I] mean some of them were and some of them still are that's not the point

  • Many of them weren't and it's not like people who live 2,000 years ago were stupid by any stretch of the imagination

  • And so they were perfectly capable of understanding what constant you know what constituted something approximating a metaphor and also knew that

  • fiction in some sense

  • Considered as an abstraction could tell you truth that nonfiction wasn't able

  • Wasn't able to get at lets you think that fiction is only for entertainment

  • And I think that's a very that's a that's a big mistake to think that so

  • Alright, so here we go

  • so yes

  • so with regards to the idea of God the father, so the idea is that

  • In order to make sense out of the world you have [to] have an a priori cognitive

  • Structure that was something that immanuel kant as I said last time

  • put forward as an argument against the idea that all of the information that we

  • Acquire during our lifetime [is] a consequence of incoming sense data and the reason that kant objected to that and he was

  • Absolutely right about this is that you can't make sense of sense Data without an a priori structure

  • You can't extract from sense data the structure that enables you to make sense of sense data

  • It's not possible, and that's really being demonstrated

  • I would say Beyond the shadow of a doubt since the 1960s and the best

  • demonstration of that was actually the initial failure of artificial intelligence

  • because when the AI people started promising that we would have fully functional and autonomous robots and artificial intelligence back in the

  • 1960s

  • What they didn't understand and what stole them terribly until about the early 1990s was that it was almost

  • That the problem of perception with a much deeper problem than anybody ever

  • Recognized because like when you look at the world you just see well look there's objects out there and by the way you don't

  • Objects you see tools just so you know in the neurobiology. That's quite clear

  • You don't see objects and infer utility

  • You see useful things and infer object so it's actually the reverse of what people generally think but the point is is that

  • Regardless of whether you see objects or useful things when you look [at] the world you just see it

  • And you think well seeing is easy because they're the things are and all you have to do is like you know turn your head

  • And they appear

  • And that's just so wrong that it's it's almost impossible to overstate

  • Like the problem of perception is staggeringly difficult and one of the primary reasons that we still don't really have autonomous robots

  • so there were a lot closer to it than we were in the

  • 1960s because it turned out that you actually have to [have] an embodied you have to have a body before you can say it and

  • Even more importantly you [have] to have a body before you can see

  • Because the act of seeing is actually the act of mapping the patterns of the world [onto] the patterns of the body. It's not

  • Things are out there you see them then you think about them, then you evaluate them

  • Then you decide to act on them and then you act. [I] mean that you could call that a folk idea of

  • Psychological processing or a perception it's not that is not how it works like your eyes for [example] map

  • One of the things they do is map right onto your spinal cord for example

  • They might right onto your emotional system

  • So it's actually possible for example

  • For people to be blind and still be able to detect facial expressions

  • Which is to say you can with someone who's cortically blind so they've had their visual Cortex

  • Destroyed often by a stroke they'll tell you that they can't see anything

  • But they can guess which hand you put up if you ask them to and if you flash them pictures of Angry or Fearful

  • Faces they show skin conductance responses to the more emotion laden faces

  • And it's because imagine that the world is made out of patterns which it is then imagine that those patterns are transmitted to you

  • Electromagnetically you have to light and then imagine that the pattern is duplicated on the retina

  • And then that pattern is propagated along the optic nerve and then the pattern is distributed throughout your brain and some of that pattern

  • Makes up what you call conscious vision, but other parts of it

  • Just activate your body so for example when I look at this when I look at this this

  • whatever it whatever it is a

  • Bottle that's words, huh?

  • You know when I look at it

  • Especially with intent in mind as soon as I look at it the pattern of the bod of the bottle

  • activates the gripping mechanism of my hand and

  • Part of the action of per Sortie the active perception is to adjust

  • My bodily posture including my hand grip to be of the optimal size to pick that up

  • And it's not that I see the bottle and then think about how to move my hand

  • That's too slow

  • It's that I use my motor motor Cortex to perceive the bottle and that's actually somewhat

  • Independent of actually seeing the bottle as a conscious experience

  • so

  • Anyways, huh the reason the reason that I'm telling you that [all] of that

  • And there's much more about that that can be told

  • Rodney Brooks ['is] someone to know about he's a robotics engineer who worked in the 1990s and he invented the Roomba

  • among many other things so he's a real genius stuffed guy and

  • He works was one of the first people to really

  • Point out that

  • to have to be [able] to have a

  • machine that

  • Perceived well enough to work in the world

  • That you had to give it a body and that the perception would actually be built from the body up rather than from the abstract

  • cognitive perceptions down and so

  • well

  • and that that turned out to be the case and bird rooks boiled all sorts of weird little machines in the

  • 1990s that didn't even really have any central brain but they could do things like run away from [light] and

  • so they could perceive light that their perception was that act of running away from right and

  • So perception perception is very very very tightly tied to action in ways that people don't normally perceive

  • Anyways, that's all to say that you cannot perceive the [world] without being embody and you know your embodied in a manner

  • that's taken you roughly three and a half billion years to pull off right there's being a lot of death as a

  • Prerequisite to the embodied form that you take and so it's taken all that trial and error to produce something like you that can interact

  • with the complexity of the world well enough to last the relatively paltry 80 or so years that you can last and

  • So I think about that as this may be wrong, but I think it's a useful at least it's a useful

  • Hypothesis, I think the idea

  • God the father is something like the birth of the idea that there has to be an internal

  • Structure that out of which consciousness itself arises that gives form to things and well

  • And if that's the case and perhaps it's not but if it's the case it's certainly reflection. It's a reflection of the kind of

  • Factual truth that I've been describing now

  • and then like I also mentioned that I kind of see the idea of

  • Both the holy Spirit and those also of christ and most specifically of christ in in the form of the word

  • as

  • the active consciousness that that structure produces and uses not only to to

  • Formulate the world because we formulate the world at least the world that we experience