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Book details
  • SubGenre:Mind & Body
  • Language:English
  • Pages:358
  • eBook ISBN:9781667838977
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667838960

Human Faith Within a Conscious Biosphere

by Dale Segrest

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"Human Faith Within a Conscious Biosphere" describes consciousness as the system that operates the biosphere. As readers will discover, consciousness is not a single essence. Consciousness came with creation; humans and other sentient beings just participate in it. Individual participation in consciousness enables individuals' needs by engaging the biosphere. Faith is what we think we know for sure, and it is not limited to religion. It supports essential social systems. Evolution of language was humanity's greatest advance in participation in consciousness. Human language is the basis for human thought; words are abstractions that individuals internalize for abstract thinking. Language empowered the collection of knowledge into what the book describes as consensus reality. Consensus reality grows as it passes from generation to generation, and human participation in consciousness grows along with it. This book explains all of that, and much more!

The following are some of the key ideas developed in the book:

  • Consciousness caused the evolution of human ability to think. It did not evolve in the human brain, or in any other organism. It is the system that operates the biosphere, and induced evolution of the animals who participate in it.
  • The major step forward for humans was development of speech and language, about 100,000 years ago. Development of language required the effort of groups of humans. But individuals internalize language, and it forms the basis for conceptual thinking.
  • Language empowered humans to collect information and transfer it from person to person and from generation to generation. The book uses the term “consensus reality” to describe the ongoing, increasing collection of information.
  • Language involves abstraction. While Aristotle focuses on the physical things that are “abstracted,” Plato focused on the abstractions themselves—the nonphysical.
  • Faith is what individuals think they know. It is built from, and it builds consensus reality. Faith is the individual and collective human effort to understand their total environment—the biosphere.
  • The nonphysical parts of reality are just as important as the physical parts. Social systems like law, morality, economics and religion totally depend on nonphysical essences. Because the essences are not physical, and cannot be “measured” or “computed” science cannot deal with them.
  • Writing developed six or eight thousand years ago. It enabled humans to collect, transmit and store information outside the human mind, and this development explains what Karl Jaspers called the Axial Age. It laid the foundation for establishment of all the institutions on which civilization depends.
  • Consensus reality—collected knowledge—is the incomplete “reality” with which the human mind deals with the biosphere. It is imperfect, but it is the best that any culture can do to understand reality. There are multiple cultures, and multiple consensus realities.
  • The biosphere supplies the needs of individuals. Individuals differentiate themselves from everything else in the biosphere, in order to function as individuals. The differentiation establishes the “self,” and participation in consciousness enables individuals to satisfy needs in the biosphere. The human social environment is the most important part of the biosphere for the satisfaction of individual needs.
  • Human participation in consciousness includes both perception, in which the senses deal directly with the biosphere, and the conceptualization (that arises largely from language), that allows humans to assign meaning and interpret the things that they perceive.
  • We are now into a new “axial age,” the age of electronic participation in consciousness. That new form of participation in consciousness has already had, and will continue to have a tremendous impact on the way humans think.
About the author
Dale Segrest was born in rural Macon County, Alabama, in 1942. After completing a small, rural public school at Shorter, Alabama in 1960, he attended Huntingdon College, a Methodist Church–related liberal arts college, in Montgomery, Alabama, where he majored in chemistry and minored in mathematics. Core curriculum courses in religion and philosophy instilled his lifelong love of philosophy. Dale studied law at The University of Alabama, completing a degree with academic honors in 1967. He practiced law in Montgomery until 1983, although he, his wife, Betty, and their sons Philip and Mike had moved back to Macon County in 1970. Dale became an Alabama Circuit Court Judge in 1983 and continued in that office until 2001. While serving as judge, he completed a masters degree in judicial studies at the University of Nevada at Reno. He resumed law practice in 2001. Dale's first book, "Conscience and Command", dealing with legal philosophy, was published in 1994. Writing that book, Dale realized that law is a social system that depends on the faith of the culture for its power. After its publication, Dale began a study of faith and consciousness, and has worked continuously on that project to produce the present volume.

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