Wikileaks and Extraterrestrials (General)

by dhw, Friday, October 14, 2016, 14:23 (494 days ago) @ BBella

dhw: Delighted to see, though, that he reckons God gave autonomy to the beings of the universe, and let them develop individually. Nothing about preprogramming or dabbling there. (NB You can’t have autonomy if you are preprogrammed.)
DAVID: Twisted his words: "allowed them to develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one. " Sounds like implanted rules to me, for individual development and perhaps evolution.

“Autonomy”: Freedom to determine one’s own actions, behaviour etc. (Encarta) How can this possibly mean that the actions and behaviour of individual organisms, from bacteria to weaverbirds to fake vipers to monarch butterflies, are determined by God’s preprogramming and/or dabbling? If you disagree, please give me your own definition. I take “internal laws” to mean the limitations within which organisms can develop: e.g. elephants can’t fly and sparrows can’t live underwater. However, as there is already a degree of ambiguity in the rest of his statement (which is probably a translation anyway), perhaps you’re right and it’s all just a bit of a muddle.

BBELLA: Maybe not preprogramming, but he does seem to be saying that internal laws, or what may be the morphic fields, were given in the beginning as guidelines of existence, and then autonomy.

David also likes to refer to “guidelines”, but if an organism is autonomous, it takes its own decisions. The only guidelines would then have to be limitations. If we equate autonomy with free will in humans, we can only take decisions within the limitations imposed on us by our nature and our environment. If I am in a prison cell, I cannot decide to fly away into the forest.

BBella: Sounds very similar to what we are currently discussing with morphic fields. Very full and interesting quote.
Dhw: Yes, he lays emphasis on the individuality of beings, which ties in with my own emphasis on individual morphic fields. But there is an odd switch from creating beings to giving being to all things. Two very different concepts. Beings suggest living things, but all things includes non-life. Is he dabbling with panpsychism, or just being waffly?
BBELLA: I think the last of his sentence answers your question: the creator gave being to all things. All things are being. The word "being" could be interchanged with existing. So the pope is saying that existence was given to all things - according to the internal laws that he gave to each one.

So far so good. The atheist might say that whatever exists is subject to natural laws.

BBELLA: These internal laws could be the morphic fields of each thing that exists. Matter and energy make up the "fullness" of all that exists, but it is only by the existence of the memory of the morphic field (internal laws) that allows what IS to be what they ARE. If the morphic fields did not exist within space, the universe would be nothing more than tiny scattered molecules of matter - if that

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish “morphic fields” from the term “information”, and as with that much misused noun, one has to differentiate between non-active existence and active use. Matter and energy are full of information, i.e. their component parts and properties, and the actions they can and can’t perform. These are what make what IS to be what it IS. Call them morphic fields or internal laws or the laws of nature or whatever you like – they provide the framework within which all things exist. If they were different, the universe would be different. Do they just happen to be that way, or did some conscious force (a god?) determine the nature of the information? This for me is where the problems begin. The moment we focus on consciousness and on living organisms (which is what I understand by the Pope’s “beings”), we switch to the users of information, and it is the users of information that can DELIBERATELY create or add to the store of existing information. They are collections and collectors and users of information, whereas inanimate matter is a collection of information (unless you believe in total panpsychism) which is, so to speak, at the mercy of its own properties and those of other collections, whether animate or inanimate. That is our subject on the other thread, which I will try to answer tomorrow. (I am struggling to keep up at the moment!)

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