Life Driven Purpose, pg 67

Nov 21, 2016

“Reason is not a thing. It is a function of the brain. Our brains have a hugely complex new layer, or set of layers, that have evolved to the point where we now have the ability to use language and to think more broadly about behavior. We can think about our thoughts. We can think about thinking about our thoughts. We can think about other people thinking about us thinking about their thoughts. (This is sometimes called Theory of Mind.) We can deliberate, compare, anticipate, contrast, imagine, and prioritize. We can run “what if” scenarios. We can refrain from acting and wait for more information. (That is one of the functions of the frontal lobe, which checks our actions in social settings. It is what keeps you from burping loudly at a wedding or funeral, for example.) We can investigate, read, and ask for help. We can search our memories for consequences to similar situations, past lessons, previous mistakes.”

–Dan Barker, Life Driven Purpose, pg 67


Discuss!

7 comments on “Life Driven Purpose, pg 67

  • “Reason is not a thing. It is a function of the brain.” –Barker

    Reason is not something one should refer to as IT. This THING we call reason is a function of the brain.

    Identical statements.

    Read great philosophers like Hume, Kant, Locke, and Schopenhauer. (Then read Barker, if you want to.) You may never what you’re missing.



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  • The Frontal lobe may also cause one to refrain from unnecessary sarcasm.

    Science has said that the Frontal lobe does not fully mature until one is in his or her early thirties. However, recent conversations with conservative voters and candidates suggest that it may never fully mature. One candidate, forty years older than the maturation point, will burst into random name calling after hearing of the slightest amount of criticism regarding his abilities. The other candidate, nearly the same age, has proven to be able to check her responses and even offer a more reasonable discussion.
    So, the layers of which the author speaks, may be there for everyone but their presence alone is not enough. In addition to time needed to mature, they may also require proper nutrition, proper training and the proper environment to practice what they have learned. Perhaps the environment was the culprit in the case of the conservative candidate.



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  • William Strech #2
    Nov 23, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Science has said that the Frontal lobe does not fully mature until one is in his or her early thirties. However, recent conversations with conservative voters and candidates suggest that it may never fully mature.

    The brain matures in the teen years to develop the formal operations of reasoning skills, but, ideological or religious indoctrination – particularly in the forms of faith-thinking by assumption, instilling fear of doubt, and coaching in the use of fallacies and compartmentalised thinking, can retard development. – Probably to the extent that some never develop mature reasoning skills.
    Environment certainly plays a part, as logical reasoning is a learned skill at a particular developmental stage, and not simply an instinctive response.



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  • The brain may have all it’s parts, but the tuning will take many more years to fully function properly, even in the right environment. Anyone who has taught High School or college can make that verification.



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  • 5
    fadeordraw says:

    Can we get off promoting “Dan Barker, Life Driven Purpose”, it’s really pedantic, not revealing and as mentioned last week, who would buy this book based upon the paragraphs so often provided. “Our brains have a hugely complex new layer, or set of layers…” well which is it? And I have no faith that Dan is gonna tell us the existential implications of the lay or set thereof. I apologise is I’m offensive but can the bar with these RD paragraphs for discussion be raised, considerably. As mentioned, paragraphs from Harari’s Homo Deus should stimulate discussion.



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  • You want inspiring? Here you go:

    “It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.”

    I expect the source of this is common knowledge on this website, or I hope it is, but for the record:

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/converted/pdf/1861_OriginNY_F382.pdf

    Chapter XIV Conclusion,
    On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life), published on 24 November 1859,



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