Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 19, 2013 - 01:21pm PT
might be tough to "locate" something as subjective as a soul


returning to my earlier analogy...it's like fish trying to discover water in the ocean


we have no way to perceive it, because we ARE it


we have no way to describe it, because words/symbols are restricted to describing discrete aspects of our limited perceived reality


we can use words/math/symbols to describe some of its properties, but such descriptions are not understanding its basic nature or extent



the words and symbols we try to use are so overloaded with opinions and misunderstandings as to be nearly useless for communication except between people who already share agreed upon opinions...witness the several schools of thought represented in this thread...



communication about it is superfluous, because it is everything and everywhere, including the words and the speakers and listeners



only by quieting all the chatter can you be aware of it



take a deep breath, quiet all thought...




THERE, that's IT...




now do you see?



(oh well...it's worth the try...)




incidentally that is also the way to do a challenging climbing move, so this post is on topic
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
WHY DOES THERE HAVE TO BE A SOUL?

I see no reason for a soul to exist
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
since I have some time
I will present a introduction to plant recovery

This plant would have been dead in another 3 months from slow rot it developed on it's side if I hadn't done anything.
Since it was worth saving, I performed surgery on it, and cut out the rot in a sterile manner,
Now I leave it out to dry for a month, then it gets to go in the soil.
Credit: Dr. F.

This grafted plant grew into the graft stock and crushed it, basically it killed itself, (I guess it didn't have feelings that could control motor functions to save itself)
Credit: Dr. F.
I cut out the dead tissue, but it rotted anyway, and ended up in the trash bin.

This plant was doing good for a couple years, then I put it in a bigger pot, it rotted 3 months later, and not a single cell was left.
This was the Only plant of it's kind on it's own roots in America at the time, and one of my favorite pets.
Basically, I wasn't careful enough when repotting, and maybe watered it to soon, which just points to the obvious, I am responsible for all plant growth or death, They live or die depending on my care. Most of these plants live in a greenhouse, and hence no rain..
Credit: Dr. F.
Trash Bin


Here are some seedling pots
This one is over a year old, and if I died, they would get thrown out so fast
What the heck are you growing there Dr. F?
Dinteranthus pole-evansii, one of the most difficult and slow growing mesembs there are. Just tiny specs, and if one dies, you won't miss it.
Credit: Dr. F.

Here is pot of 2 year olds
Wow!
Credit: Dr. F.

If I can get them to the size of a pea, I can sell them for $6 each
If I can get them this big, then I can get $12 for one.
Credit: Dr. F.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 19, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
I am in the middle of some drudgery work and it crossed my mind that since we get quizzed so much on the material universe, this isn't a discussion until somebody explains the following:

1) Spirit

2) Spiritual

3) Spiritual Universe

Have at it, JL. Use small words that we all know, if you will. Seriously. I'm not trying to be a jerk here.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2013 - 01:49pm PT
Base, add Soul to the question list please
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 19, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
I saw this newsbit about the Higgs Boson. Apparently the universe is going to eventually self destruct at the speed of light.

http://news.yahoo.com/subatomic-calculations-indicate-finite-lifespan-universe-225300183.html

Ed, Help us!

Klimmer, is this the apocalypse? Where do I go sign up for eternal life?

If the Universe ceases to exist, where do the souls go?
MH2

climber
Feb 19, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
There are things we pick up from the context in which we hear about them or experience them. Words help but the feelings may go back to a time before we had writing or speech.


How do you feel when you listen to Bob Dylan? For me his lyrics and his voice invoke a lot of feelings but explanations and attempts to understand what he means seem beside the point. We don't need to understand everything. What we mean by soul is probably one of those things.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 19, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
WHY DOES THERE HAVE TO BE A SOUL?


i don't think anyone who understands the concept is saying that there has to be a soul



I see no reason for a soul to exist

correct...i agree with you...and sympathize with your struggle to understand what we are trying to talk about...




we are all here trying to understand basic concepts for which there are no adequate words...words are just not an adequate tool for the job...words just get in the way of awareness and understanding...cluttering the mind and preventing awareness...


those with some glimmer of understanding are trying to use words to tell you to stop trying to use words...as symbolic representations are inadequate for the job of awareness

once awareness occurs, then one can attempt to use words to describe the awareness

those words communicated to someone who is unaware...finds the words to be babel...


...with all due respect to you...
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 19, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
i went through a long period in my study of Artificial Intelligence, when i struggled with trying to understand how it is that people can convey so much information to each other in conversation, when the I/O rate is so pedestrian in comparison to computers

and yet we have such a struggle to correctly capture concepts in a computer that is capable of high speed logic and information capture and transfer


when i finally figured it out, i felt pretty dumb that it took me so long to understand



i realized that we aren't just using the words to transfer information

in face-to-face conversation we are using words as a shorthand reference to large bodies of common experience in the world

if you lack a common experience base, or worse yet conflicting views of the world, then words are not good tools for sharing understanding


for example, if you meet someone for the first time at a party and they ask you about recreation and you mention rock climbing...

if they respond being afraid of heights and not wanting to approach a ladder...then you can guess your conversation regarding rock climbing will be very limited

however if they respond having done NIAD...then you may be off and running for an interesting evening of conversation...

you share a common experience base that can be discussed and manipulated with an economy of words...

with the other person, you would have to do a great deal of describing and overcoming misunderstandings that would probably be quite frustrating to both of you...

i started calling these things 'experiential models' and focused most of my subsequent professional career on how to capture and share these

NASA now calls this professional field 'Model-based Systems Engineering'
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 19, 2013 - 03:23pm PT
when i first started thinking about 'experiential models', i started by looking around to see how we capture these


after a while i concluded that we don't


and worst yet, we think we do (which stops the learning process cold)



Example:

You pick up an interesting novel and start reading it...the words string along from page to page and you are captured by it into a world of the author's devising...hence you share the author's model of this fictional world

However:

a good novelists knows about shared common experiences, such as hailing a cab, entering a building, standing in line for airline security, etc...and builds a fictional world using an economy of words based upon knowing the target audience for the novel

once that fictional world has been built in the readers mind, then the plot can be unfolded in interesting ways within the readers imagination


But, if the reader does not share or know about all those 'experiential models' assumed by the novelist, the plot falls dead and the book is uninteresting to the reader



Another example:

you hire a fresh physics PhD staff member, and invite them into a spacecraft technical design meeting as a way of introducing them to the working team

at the meeting the discussion rattles along about thrust vector control, hypergolics valving, control moment gyros, ablative nozzles, etc

after the meeting you tell the new staff member that now they understand the overall system, you would like them to look into pogo effects in the thruster supply lines...

within a few days you realize they don't have a clue...all the verbal discussions didn't resonate with the staff members experience base, and you have to start over with a tour of the space museum...

Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Feb 19, 2013 - 03:41pm PT
Tom,

is not the word "soul" a purely modern human creation to define the essence that goes on after physical death, assuming it does?

is it fair to assume that your personal belief in a soul is pretty much the same as your own belief in life after death?

let's say that your zygote was born around 10.000 years ago and your entire socialization was based upon not words but gestures and utterances, and therefore the very concept of afterlife or soul never entered your consciousness

and it never occurred to you that death was not final, and nothing of you went on

would you then agree that you, back then, existed the same as any mammal or plant in that you were born, lived, and died, and that was it.....end of story?

if you can imagine that, then would you consider that it is only human "arrogance", hubris, or really strong wishful thinking, that is behind the very concept of a soul?
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 19, 2013 - 03:52pm PT
Death is a big part of exotic plant culture, and the way we deal with death is ...
ready for it...

THE TRASH BIN

But I have more plants, I have seeds, I have cuttings... a new plant will fill the spot of the dead
It' my own little "Wonderland of Rocks" in my Garden, First Ascents around every corner

compost my beloved???
Wrong

No. 1 reason not to:
I don't want rotting plants crawling with bugs anywhere Near my living plants. The possiblity of having disease spread is too high.

2) I don't want to see my beloved rotting in a pile of other trash.

3) Out of Sight, Out of Mind


Dr. F, i think we are all finding your work with plants to be very interesting, and the views that i have about your work might be rather suprising to you if we were to get together sometime in your green house

(how about a sequestered compost pile at least?)

I do recommend reading Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set) [Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier] on Amazon.com


granted that you are not raising your plants for a food supply, none-the-less interesting reading about inter-relationships, communication, and mutual support within plant communities

Edit:

some of your challenges with these plants are probably due to trying to raise them in jail separate from all the other members of their community
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Feb 19, 2013 - 03:54pm PT
if you can imagine that, then would you consider that it is only human "arrogance", hubris, or really strong wishful thinking, that is behind the very concept of a soul?

It is that very arrogance and hubris that keeps most from being able to consider such outrageous things as the lack of a spirit and the lack of a soul. Asking a person to put aside their arrogance is like asking someone to discard their sense of touch.

Dave
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane ~:~
Feb 19, 2013 - 03:55pm PT
Credit: splitter

spirit = fellowship with God

soul = will, emotions, intellect

body = physical world. senses/hands, feet, voice
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 19, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
Norton, this is an interesting analysis and line of questions, thank you.

And to qualify that I am not trying to set myself up as any sort of ultimate arbiter who understands everything. This forum is one of the first places where I am sharing my own personal musings and levels of understanding on some of this. I do have some experiences and awarenesses that are interesting to examine in the light of this discussion, and in the presence here of some of the people who I most respect in life.

Feb 19, 2013 - 12:41pm PT
Tom,

is not the word "soul" a purely modern human creation to define the essence that goes on after physical death, assuming it does?

Perhaps in a sense, but not really; as discussions along these lines seem to go back as long as we have any human record...a fact which is very interesting to consider just on its own. The part that seems to be a purely modern human creation is the idea of a dead mechanistic universe inhabited by a few recent anomalies of discrete individualistic entities possessing a mysterious spark called self-awareness. To me that concept (which is basic to several modern religions and including atheism) represents the height of hubris and barbarism.

is it fair to assume that your personal belief in a soul is pretty much the same as your own belief in life after death?

I can't really say yes to this, as the question sort of misses the point. It's not exactly that I believe in life after death. It's that I believe that all the universe is alive and possesses a sense of purpose. Just as water experiences phase changes from ice to liquid to steam, so also with what we 'modern' contemporaries consider to be 'living bodies': new born, vital, dying, dead, rotting, earth, rock, etc. whether plant or animal.

let's say that your zygote was born around 10.000 years ago and your entire socialization was based upon not words but gestures and utterances, and therefore the very concept of afterlife or soul never entered your consciousness

Well to start, 10,000 years ago is not really a relevant time period, as many creatures currently live somewhat as you describe; and humans go back at least hundreds of thousands of years. And there are plenty of creatures on this planet who are as aware and intelligent or more so than humans, such as whales, dolphins, and birds, using complex ancient languages. Modern humans are largely distinguished not by intelligence or self-awareness, but by moral decay and by the speed with which they are wiping out all living creatures. The human insane philosophical understanding of individualistic superiority is what allows this extreme moral decline destroying everything. And this obsession with maintaining a viewpoint of individualistic superiority is reinforced by an inability to confront the evil acts of the self. It is very hard to expand ones awareness beyond 'self' when any expansion of awareness brings one up against confronting the effects of ones evil actions against other entities. It is much easier to say these other entities are inferior or unable to feel, thus providing justification to inflict pain, suffering, and destruction upon them.

and it never occurred to you that death was not final, and nothing of you went on

would you then agree that you, back then, existed the same as any mammal or plant in that you were born, lived, and died, and that was it.....end of story?

Technically I somewhat agree with what you are saying here. But that is only a partial level of understanding. You are describing the life cycle of what we call a living body. You are overlooking the creative energy and dedication of purpose that can inhabit a body. You can call it a soul or "A Strange Loop", or any other word or symbol that suits your purpose.

This sense of creative energy and dedication of purpose has driven me through a whole series of 'lifetimes' that i can remember with considerable clarity.

if you can imagine that, then would you consider that it is only human "arrogance", hubris, or really strong wishful thinking, that is behind the very concept of a soul?

Yes, I agree with you on this, particularly the strong wishful thinking part.

You see, this 'wishful thinking' part, or better termed 'purposeful creative energy' is what drives the universe into creation and action!

I don't know a more polite way of responding than to say that your level of reasoning is technically correct, but your level of awareness and understanding leaves room for additional learning...

As is true for all of us...

WBraun

climber
Feb 19, 2013 - 06:14pm PT
soul = will, emotions, intellect

No

The soul is the actual life force of the individual living entity.

In other words it is the actual individual living entity itself.

The soul is not a man made idea, word or any such material invented fabrication in the fertile minds of mental speculators.

It's not a theory but actual scientific fact.

The soul is a spiritual atom smaller than the material atoms.

This is why the modern material scientists can not see the soul for it is out of the range of their material instruments.

Not everything can be seen by matter alone.

No religion is required to understand the nature of the spiritual soul.

The symptom of the souls is consciousness spread all over the body.

Every living entity is an individual soul covered by the material body as its dress.

According to ones developed consciousness an appropriate body is given.

The soul is permanent and indestructible from all material elements and energies.

The soul in the human body resides in the heart.

Medical science, accepts that the heart is the seat of all energies of the body
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Feb 19, 2013 - 06:15pm PT
Tom said
It's that I believe that all the universe is alive and possesses a sense of purpose.

interesting comment

can you elaborate?

to me the word purpose kind of assumes a controlling force behind an action or creation

are you suggesting that the universe has such?

and that it cannot just "be" whatever it is, without ?
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 19, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
"It's that I believe that all the universe is alive and possesses a sense of purpose."

interesting comment

can you elaborate?

to me the word purpose kind of assumes a controlling force behind an action or creation

are you suggesting that the universe has such?

and that it cannot just "be" whatever it is, without ?

Yes, I think the 'spiritual universe' can just be and doesn't need to do anything.

However this 'spiritual universe' can 'dream' or 'dream things up', as in creative thought.

In this sense the 'dream' or 'things-dreamed-up' is the physical universe, sort of a play ground for creative thought potential.

The idea that there must be a 'someone' doing this is the basis for the concept of 'God'.

To state that the entire physical universe is 'alive' is a reference to 'the-spirit-that-moves-though-all-things'; or the pervasive field of creative thought that we perceive as the physical universe.

I don't think it is quite correct to think of a controlling force behind creation.

I think of it more as a 'primordial soup' of creative thought potential

In this sense I find it rather amusing and not inconsistent that I can both believe in Darwin and 'creationism'.

i have tried to address this in several ways before:

Feb 18, 2013 - 01:01am PT
the 'physical universe' is an invention of the 'spiritual universe' (or whatever you may choose to call awareness or source energy)

the observed local integrity of the 'physical universe' is dependent upon local agreements

these local agreements are locked in place by very sophisticated encryption at the level of thought particles moving in high-speed complex patterns to form molecules, and thus maintain the integrity of 'masses' in the 'physical universe'

(sub-atomic particles are thoughts...a bit like lego blocks)

these encryption patterns are designed in such a way that only an unencumbered awareness can pass through them to non-distructably influence the physical molecule

any mental encumbrance will block passing awareness through the encryption patterns

The above is based upon my personal observations rather than any work I have done for NASA or DOE or other research organizations. I know just enough of a physics to embarrass myself, so my descriptions are based upon direct observations rather than a technical understanding of what I perceive.

If you can accept the idea that 'something' or as JL prefers 'nothingness' creates the universe, then the first level of creation is through particles that we call sub-atomic particles. I observe that these are thought particles that can be directly influenced if you wish by another thought.

The next step in this thought creating is to establish persistence of particles. This is done by heavy thought particles (a molecular nucleus) trapped inside a rapid swarm of lighter particles trapped in orbital electron shells.

I have worked with electron microscopes to photograph individual molecules, specifically DNA. However those are static shots of heavily manipulated material. My observations here are based upon viewing molecules directly with inner vision.

(It's not all that much of a stretch when you realize that astronauts on Station regularly see cosmic rays as streaks in the dark with their eyes closed.)

The interlocking patterns of electron shells create a rapidly moving matrix that makes it impossible for an encumbered awareness to penetrate the maze and effect the thoughts holding together the molecular nucleus.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 19, 2013 - 06:53pm PT
. . . since we get quizzed so much on the material universe, this isn't a discussion until somebody explains the following:

1) Spirit

2) Spiritual

3) Spiritual Universe


I'm thinking you're think that "explaining" 1-3 is an exercise much like explaining the physical universe, where words relate to quantafible people, places or things, in other words, to stuff we can know and to some extent, make clear (make "it" assume some recognizable or tangible form).

Is that what you're wanting for an answer? 1, a spirit, is this and that, with these properties, et al.

JL
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 19, 2013 - 06:53pm PT
Credit: TomCochrane
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