Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 28, 2012 - 01:10pm PT
Largo

You said:
“The call is that anyone pointing out these gaps in our understanding is merely being ignorant, that the data is not in just yet but soon, surely in the next decade, we can "explain" how these things happened and were "created," that while we know there is gravity, there simply MUST be a graviton because there must be a physical cause for everything, excepting the big bang, and that sort of had a physical cause - Marlow's primordial acorn. “

Answer:
Have you read what I wrote about Big bang earlier? I ask because your speculation about Marlow’s view of Big bang as some kind of truth is wrong. I am not enthusiastic about repeating my points.

You said:
“And Marlow, you are "poor" because for all your pondering and mulling and conceptualizing, your awareness has remained fused to the stuff of experience, as your discursive mind has continued to grind on it, whereby apparently lost on you is any curiosity for or grasp of source, meaning much as you have enjoyed the trees, the experience of the forest - as greater than the sum of its trees - regrettably remains lost on you, poor Marlow, just as M. Miller's dowdy monks, in that dystopian junker, A Canticle for Leibowitz, remain dazzled by memoribilia ("trees"). “

Answer:
Once more your conclusion is wrong. As you see, I am curious about what’s going on in your mind, how your mind creates meaning to you about what’s going on in Marlow’s mind. And I see how your mind jumps to wrong conclusions that you could have avoided if you had paid attention to the data (what Marlow has written). You show me no data, just conclusions from the top of your ladder of inferences. I think this is a possible peculiarity of the way your mind functions - my hypothesis is that you have got a low scientific, high judgemental mind.

You said:
“"Project," in the psychological sense, means to introject my thoughts onto someone else and define that person accordingly. In fact I have tried to deconstruct your jabberwocky (some of your examples are funny and ingenious and it's remarkable that you are not a native English speaker) and my sense of your approach is yet again one who has real problems with the proverbial "unseen" and lumps it all in with priestcraft and snake oil. “

Answer:
As you have seen from my answers above, what you have done is just to “introject (your) thoughts onto someone else (Marlow) and define that person accordingly”. You keep on doing this all the time directed at people you see as opponents. I don’t know if it is a conscious strategy of yours or if it is just a “necessity” of yours having it’s origin in some personality trait. Possibly both. Acting this way, you are more of a polemicist and priest than a man wanting dialogue. If you had interest you could use this understanding of your communicative skills as a starting point for ethical reflection upon the way you communicate. In my view you pretend to be communicating while you are in reality preaching. In my view you are having a monologue, while Ed is trying to achieve a dialogue.

You said:
But if you have an honest admission of your own world view differing enough from the party line, I'd certainly be game to hear all about it.

Answer:
From what you have seen above I think you are the one having the clearest party line, almost as distorting of other peoples views as Fox news. You are acting like an old priest or schoolmaster who is not conscious about his own ignorance.

But for sure you’re a free man. You can decide to make a fair try to change or you can carry on at your polemical auto-pilot. It’s your choice.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 28, 2012 - 01:20pm PT
Ed

I am not taking it personally in the way that I am being upset or angry in any way. I am just taking "mind" seriously - trying to show how the mind operates. Do you find this to be a problem or disturbing? I could delete the post as easily as I wrote it.

Edited: Ok, maybe I should then reflect upon why I don't think I am taking it personally. ;o)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 28, 2012 - 01:36pm PT
Marlow, I am going to flame you every time out because your are an easy mark because you take it all too seriously. Did it ever occur to you that I am intentionally assuming an evangelistic - sartorial tone simply to sound pompous and to c*#k around with this material. I never even revise this stuff. I'm just mostly free associating. Now when you hit your stride with that faux professor tone, you simply cannot expect not to told not to return to your corner with the pointy hat because it's not all that serious. And by the way I have the greatest respect for Ed and all the others and I know that here I will be accepted as a peer and also will be given no slack at all. that's the rules of this game and I find it great fun and I learn a lot. However attempts to invite you to actually say what you mean or believe or whatever are only contered with tedious blue wind from your pie hole per my personality disorders - as though I am not aware of the effect my words are having. I know your kind so well that having not mentioned your name in a month, I knew for an absolute fact that all I had to do was mention "Marlow's acorn" and you'd jump up like a dragon and set the table right with well reasoned arguments and sober sounding dross.

Whereas I was just funning, Marlow, and that, more than anything, is what makes you "Poor Marlow." It's not personal. It's entertainment. And you're the star now. So start barking.

And you didn't even give me any credit per the mind boggling ingenuity of "Marlow's Acorn," that little chunk of primordial shizat which was present at the beginning of time. Or that's what they say. Maybe you can tell us where Marlow's Acorn came from, seeming there was no "before" for the acorn to be "borned" or to develop or whatever. It was just there, apparently, much as the matter just does gravity.

Help a brother out here, Marlow. Ha det moro med materialet, min venn.

Now it's climbing time . . .

JL
MH2

climber
May 28, 2012 - 01:36pm PT
JL

Have fun with it.



Ed

Enjoy this thing that is definitely yours



jogill

It is fun to play with in its mathematical embodiment.



Ed

the tensor field representation of gravity from Einstein's theory would imply massless spin-2 bosons.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 28, 2012 - 01:40pm PT
Just to help you out Largo. I was not talking about your personality disorder. I was talking hypotetically about your personality. I promise to show you more of your non-thing unconscious mind later. Du vet - troll sprekker når de bringes ut i sola. Lol...

Good climbing!
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
May 28, 2012 - 03:05pm PT
Reason #3 to reject Christianity when choosing a religion:
Horus, Thor, Jupiter & Zeus are considered to be fictional characters. Jahweh is no different.
WBraun

climber
May 28, 2012 - 03:17pm PT
Already they've been rejected, the dog and Marlow.

Not because of Politics, God and Religion or Science, yep none of them.

Only because you're just plain stupid .....

Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
May 28, 2012 - 03:27pm PT
May 28, 2012 - 03:05pm PT
Reason #3 to reject Christianity:
Horus, Thor, Jupiter & Zeus are considered to be fictional characters. Jahweh is no different.


Malemute,


I know you'll never accept it at this moment. Perhaps not now, but maybe one day in the future when you catch-up, then you will.

One day we all will know with certainty, no faith any longer required.

Yes, to modern man the GODs of old are considered to be fictional, but not to the Egyptians, the Vikings, the Romans, the Greeks.

Perhaps they were real?

Watch History Channel's Ancient Aliens, they even suggest this as a possibility.

The Good Book explains it. The Fallen Ones, The Fallen Angels. Read the Book of Genesis and The Book of Enoch.

The offspring of Fallen Angels and man were the Nephilim. They were giant and had GOD like abilities. Could these be the "mighty men which were of old, men of renown" that were worshipped as GODs as spoken of in The Bible?

Could very well be. It explains so much.


Gen.6
[1] And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
[2] That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
[3] And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
[4] There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.



There is but one GOD above all other self-appointed GODs: YHWY, and his son Yeshua.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
May 28, 2012 - 05:30pm PT
Personally I think the Scientific Story... as manifested in such works as...

 Cosmos, by Carl Sagan
 Dawkin's anthology
 a college senior science major's book shelf
 Ursula Goodenough's Sacred Depths of Nature

... is beyond the average man's ability to grasp. At least through the middle of the 21st century.

Sad, by some measures.

But then again, cultural evolution is a work in progress.

.....

Might soon be time to speciate. Peak oil, relocalization, population crashes, bottlenecks, geographical isolation, the natural law of "birds of a feather flock together" - over the next 500 years - might help with further speciation.

But this is too long-term for some to think about.

.....

But I for one (unlike E.O. Wilson) do hope H. sapiens evolves some way or other into H. superbus. That would be super.
WBraun

climber
May 28, 2012 - 05:45pm PT
Dawkin's admitted he could not be sure that God does not exist.

If you really knew.

Then would understand that it's actually impossible to be an atheist.

God is also within the heart of every single living entity as paramatma .....
jogill

climber
Colorado
May 28, 2012 - 05:48pm PT
My head swims amongst the plethora of ideas and beliefs expressed here. I feel compelled, once again, to add a tadpole of mathematics with a pretty picture to calm these stormy seas. Ed, zero is in any math system I ever want to contemplate ( I'm kind of pleasantly stuck in classical complex analysis, with no desire to wander). Below, are four of my self-generating contours in the potential field of -Cos(z) , each seeking union with the same attractor, like pilgrams flowing to Mecca. They want only to merge with the object of their affection. Bless them, for they know what they wish for.

Self-generating contours terminating at an attractor in the -Cos&#40;z...
Self-generating contours terminating at an attractor in the -Cos(z) field
Credit: jogill
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 28, 2012 - 05:57pm PT
But then again, cultural evolution is a work in progress.


Cultural evolution would also include you reading up on ethics, a branch of philosophy that's been around for 1,000 years and which draws from any and all sources to derive a workable moral philosophy. Most all modern folks in this discipline are not religious and deluded by Abrahamic dogma in any way. To your apparent loss, Fruity, there is nothing to suggest, in the real world, that technology and objective knowledge of the universe has any positive effect on curbing man's aggression, which is and has always been the challenge.

Your belief that science will somehow solve these longstanding ethical problems is not something new nor yet at any time effective. We can easily see why. The belief issues from the mistaken idea that superstition and so forth is the culprit. But it's aggression.

JL
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
May 28, 2012 - 06:01pm PT
Cultural evolution would also include you reading up on ethics

Oh, if you only knew, my friend.

Start with the Moral Landscape, by Sam Harris. Try to approach the subject using the Scientific Story as a basis. Not easy.

Then you might see that this actually brings us to at once common ground and a quandary we might both agree exists.

The difference is... pardon the mixed metaphor... I think it is a crux we can pull through. We can. We can do it. Given time, experience, trial and error, etc. While others do not think it is doable.

Attitude is everything.

.....

re: aggression

You would find it significantly reduced per capita if somehow (a) we could retain our current understanding of how the world works, how life works, how we anthropes work; (b) we lost nine-tenths of our global population but not our resources; (c) we gained 10 times the growing space, each of us.

Also, current aggression rates are a mere 1-2 murders per 10k primates. Go ahead, say it again: 10,000. A community of 100,000 primates getting it on and only 10 -20 killings (if that, if memory serves) per year. !! Now many would call that a pretty peaceful population and a pretty non-aggressive goings-on - if not a highly respectable development of nature esp given our violent evolutionary past.

.....

re: depression
re: depression vis a vis aggression

This is the 800 lb boogeyman in the room. How's this monster going to be dealt with over the next couple centuries? Esp in a climate of science and technology and tradition and the American Dream. This is what I'd like to know. Is it more than a wee-bit scary to think through the many possible scenarios? yes.

Today we are living far outside the climate and circumstances in which our ancestors evolved. Far outside the bounds for which our constitutions evolved. Because of technology. Certainly we must pay for this.

We can't all be alpha males. We can't all be the gold-medal winner. It's not nature's way. We can't all live to 70-100 years, 30 -60 years past the point females stopped looking at us, it's not nature's way. We can't expect drugs to get us through this crux, to be our long-term solution, and not expect serious by-products if not collateral damage from this. It's not nature's way.

The more we veer from nature's way, the more we have to pay. This reflects our evolved makeup and circumstances.

Depression is one of these costs. Especially later in life. How will our species decide to deal with it? A generation out? Four generations out? How should it? Will pill technology continue to be a lead solution?

.....

On a happier note...

 the next transit of Venus will occur next Tuesday, and will be visible, at least for a while before sunset, across the United States.

 the word on the street is that our beloved Princess Kate across the pond might be with child. Finally...

 the youth don't get depressed, it's in their makeup (incl hormones) not to.

Life goes on.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 28, 2012 - 08:02pm PT
Per Harris, Thomas Nagle does a pretty decent deconstruction of Harris, who has a certain glibness but enters areas above his pay rank with the tired old saw that others, lacking his scientific insight, are traversing the moral terrain in bare feet, so to speak, while Sam, by his own reckoning, is roped up with hard hat, boots and crampons and is out to REALLY cover some ground. The fact that he is traversing an old route with nothing new is lost on him, but that doesn't keep him from continually stepping on the rope.

Harris' insights on how our thinking works, how thoughts arise mechanically and unbidden, is very insightful. His moral philosophy - not so much, drawing as he is from a dry well.

Says Nagle:

The true culprit behind contemporary professions of moral skepticism is the confused belief that the ground of moral truth must be found in something other than moral values. One can pose this type of question about any kind of truth. What makes it true that 2 + 2 = 4? What makes it true that hens lay eggs? Some things are just true; nothing else makes them true.

Moral skepticism is caused by the currently fashionable but unargued assumption that only certain kinds of things, such as physical facts, can be “just true” and that value judgments such as “happiness is better than misery” are not among them. And that assumption in turn leads to the conclusion that a value judgment could be true only if it were made true by something like a physical fact. That, of course, is nonsense.



Harris is arguing for a moral code based on a reductionism back to basic physical facts - especially neuroscientific measurements - believing that these facts are grounded in "truths" more authentic and reliable than a code based on moral values. This misfiring on Sam's behalf is why he is said to be asking of science what people used to ask of religion, when in fact that, insightful as he can be with consciousness, he doesn't seem to even understand the fundamental challenge of moral philosophy.

JL
MH2

climber
May 28, 2012 - 08:34pm PT
What makes it true that 2 + 2 = 4? What makes it true that hens lay eggs?


Well that discredits Nagle.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 28, 2012 - 10:46pm PT
Some miscellaneous thoughts here.

Malemute: Horus, Thor, Jupiter, Zeus, and Jahweh weren't different gods, but different understandings of one universal idea and aspiration. We don't condemn early scientists who weren't quite right, instead we note that they were pioneers in the field. Why not accord early religions the same respect?

Fructose: Thanks for the reference to Goodenough's book. I've ordered it and a couple of others along those lines. I'm thinking I might make up a book list ranging the whole spectrum of thought on the subject, to give to interested students in biological anthropology.

The problem with a pantheistic outlook it seems to me, is that it doesn't really offer much guidance in the realm of ethics. As Largo points out, the problem is aggression and other human failings. Yahweh may be obsolete as a god concept, but the people who inhabit the Old Testament are still relevant to the behavior we see today. The bigger challenge I think is how to inspire a new ethics. The only way I personally can think of at the moment is to appeal to a new kind of human exceptionalism based on our greater intelligence, numbers and power.

Ed: I was very struck by two statements of yours.

"In fact, the very act of engaging here is to explore just what my beliefs are, and to try to make a more precise accounting of where they come from.

no don't delete anything... it's not disturbing to me in the least, I take it personally too sometimes. But when I do, I try to exam why. Usually it leads to interesting revelations in my own thought".

I agree with these and note that they are very close to the Vipassana school of meditation in Buddhism. Supertopo as a spiritual path? Losing one's ego in the debate between science and religion? The ongoing koan of idea exchange? Now those are interesting ideas - to me at least!



paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
May 29, 2012 - 12:53am PT
Ethics are apparently natural to human interaction as a necessary, facilitating social phenomenon. God is the invented authority lending efficacy to those natural human notions in the remarkable number of belief systems our species has produced.

When Thomas Jefferson says, "We hold these truths to be self evident..." he states an abiding natural truth: the source of morality we hold as the salvation of humanity is a product of the human mind and not the dictate of a sacred text.

The invention of God serves/has served only the inherent knowledge of man in his relation to his fellow beings.

If understanding, wit and knowledge are the criteria, then we have no greater Gods than ourselves.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
May 29, 2012 - 06:05am PT
Reason #4 to reject Christianity when choosing a religion:
The inquisition. "Do what the church tells you or you will be tortured"
The 1% use various means to control the 99%. Religion is one of those ways.
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
May 29, 2012 - 06:27am PT
Malemute,

The "church" you refer to here was the Catholic church. Their main focus was labeling Protestant Christians as heretics and torturing them, yet current day Protestant Christians get labeled as the instigators and culprits of the "The Inquisition"...not so, and rather ironic(imo)!!
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 29, 2012 - 07:23am PT
HFCS,

The best book that I have read, that covers most of the topics on this thread is:

"The Demon Haunted World," by Carl Sagan. Anyone who likes science, and wants to know the pitfalls in science, is well advised to read it. Much of it is about junk science, although he does apologetically skewer religion.

He also admits to the longings that spirits can provide. He just can't find any evidence of their existence.

As for MikeL and Largo, they don't really fit into the blind religion category from what I can tell, especially MikeL.

Meditation has always been interesting. It doesn't requre belief in anything supernatural to be a Bhuddist. I can't see any problem with that.
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