Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 20, 2013 - 11:34am PT
As for Oklahoma, we used to be a pretty cool state, but in the last few years the Republicans have taken all houses of government and are now doing whatever they want.

On the upside, Sharia Law is banned. We can also carry loaded guns around without a permit as long as they are in the open.

They are also dismantling the state agencies and installing a good old boy system that it took us decades to get rid of.

OKC is home to many of the largest domestic oil and gas exploration companies, and is full of science. We are all shaking our heads in disgust at what is now going on. If you want to relocate, Oklahoma is OK other than the stifling heat. The people are nice and there is enough climbing to keep you going.

Just don't come if you have kids. You don't want them to grow up here.

I can't believe that I am saying this, but yes, the Governor and Legislature is batshit crazy uber right Limbaugh drones, and they can do whatever they want now.

Use Oklahoma as an example of what happens when the no-science party takes complete control.
WBraun

climber
Feb 20, 2013 - 11:39am PT
a popular interpretation of this commonality is that the spiritual domain is some universe place outside of the individual that is taped in to by the individual

That's not popular and completely false.

You're still trying to completely and ultimately "guess" the whole thing.

There's absolutely no doubt you are doing that .......
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 20, 2013 - 12:23pm PT
Ed, respectfully, do you have some specific comments in response to my struggles to understand what is happening at the molecular and sub-atomic particle level?

i.e. sub-atomic particles are 'thoughts' postulated by 'creative spiritual energy' and molecular persistence is created by encrypted motion patterns at the electron shell level...which we don't have the physical instruments to see...

i realize these would probably be considered pseudo-science unworthy of your attention...but can you tell me why and what is wrong with this line of reasoning from a scientific perspective?

i would really honor your response, because i have been thinking about how to understand this for a long time...

(and because i will claim to have seen it...)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 20, 2013 - 12:49pm PT
i.e. sub-atomic particles are 'thoughts' postulated by 'creative spiritual energy' and molecular persistence is created by encrypted motion patterns at the electron shell level...which we don't have the physical instruments to see...

Of course I would have them (some specific comments) but this is "Bad Cops On Vacation Month" - so you're spared. ;)

.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJckLUkh9q0
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2013 - 01:00pm PT
Base
we went over this before
They have no definitions,
Why?
Because we can refute them
as soon as they say what it is, we will be able to prove them wrong

I tried to define God, or get a definition of God from someone.

As soon as I tried to define him, they cried foul, and said I was too restrictive, or this and that

It's a never ending goose chase for the gold at the end of the rainbow

They have nothing to say or offer, it's just around and around using fancy words that hopefully fog our understanding enough so they can fit their God into it.

Supposedly this God does everything and is everywhere, yet they can't even tell us a single thing he has ever done, or tell us a single place to look for him.

And Enlightenment!!
It's just another wild goose chase, no one makes it.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 20, 2013 - 02:53pm PT
Dr. F,

Since JL and Werner are fair and generous partners in this discussion, I want JL to explain this in very simple words to us.

I've been trying to get it for over a year, and wish that SOMEBODY would give a convincing argument for Spirit or Soul, or whatever is along those lines.

Of course we haven't found anything like this from a material, or what I would call Nature, it requires extraordinary evidence. Even if that evidence is of a circumstantial nature I would like to hear it.

What I don't want to deal with are any links to Creationist websites, whose Geology pages are at a third grade level and were written to fit the biblical accounts. When it comes to Earth History, which is my area, they are downright foolish. Klimmer posted a few links like this, and I admit to reading them now and then just to understand where all of these people are coming from, but to force all that we know about Nature into the first two pages of Genesis just doesn't work. Period. End of story.

I'm not interested in it from a religious view, which I'm bored of, but JL approaches it from a non-religious view, or so he says, and I have no reason to doubt his experiences.

Ed's explanation above is consistent with my viewpoint, but I want to hear the other viewpoint that JL is always trying, and failing, to even explain, in small words that I can understand, what Spirit is.

He started out his What is Mind? thread with an immediate attack on science, calling it "Scientism," a word that I'm not familiar with. Then he calls us gross materialists, and frankly, I don't think he means to play nice when he uses those words, which do nothing but set up a characterization of how inquisitiveness works so that he can attack it. Call it Straw Man or Weasle Words if you want to get into debate, but I cringe a little when he uses those words.

I want some proof or a good theory. A theory is just an idea in this sense. Ideas are always welcome in my camp.

Being uncivil isn't cool. I actually regret those who offended Go-B. He wasn't harming anything, and you can just not read his posts if you like.

That is part of his faith. Try to convert others. He wasn't being militant about it. I think that he was wronged.
WBraun

climber
Feb 20, 2013 - 04:13pm PT
Simple

From now on (next year or more) "watch" when someone (or you) says "I" with real emphasis.

If the person makes a hand gesture for emphasis they will point to their heart and not to their head.

The heart is the seat of the soul for the human being.

Watch when the say they've made a mistake or some other mental thing.

Thy will point to their head (brain) when such a gesture is made.

You can do the experiment.

No religion or anything is required.

And do the fuking experiment for cripes sakes!!!!! LOL

:-)

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 20, 2013 - 04:21pm PT
certainly matters that are usually defined as "spiritual" are entirely contained within the subjective domain... that is, we experience them...


One of the illusions that I had going into a long term meditation practice is that there were human realities that lay outside of my own subjectivity. Slowly it becomes obvious that even the most objective take I might have on any person, place or thing is only perceived as content, by me, as a subject having an objective experience.

The belief that there are real things "out there" is likely a Hilbert Space-like construct and projection of our rational minds, especially the duality of "it" and "me."

These are not easy ideas to experience directly because the mind is always trying to organize things so evaluate, placing reality "out there" for proper study by "me," right here, seemingly separate from "that."

It is truly mind-boggling.

JL
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2013 - 04:27pm PT
It is truly mind-boggling. Yes

So things aren't real???
When you fall off the top of El Cap, you won't get hurt, because it's Not real???
It was just a projection of my mind!!

truly mind-boggling.
and irrational, so it won't help Base nor me



Werner,
I did your experiment and I pointed to my Head, what does that mean, that I live in my brain?
What if I don't have arms, how can I point?
How about after your dead, and you don't need a heart nor fingers, then where do you point?

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2013 - 04:39pm PT
Hey JL
are we having a Fund Rasier for you this Spring at Josh?
I hope it's still on!

I still have the beagle that was found on the Lost Pencil, I'll bring him out
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 20, 2013 - 04:54pm PT
It is truly mind-boggling. Yes

So things aren't real???
When you fall off the top of El Cap, you won't get hurt, because it's Not real???
It was just a projection of my mind!!
-


What I am saying is that what is real is your experience. It is all you can call your own. It is only our mind objectifyng our experience that givesw us the impression that "falling off El Cap" can be something "ourside" of your subjective, 1st person bubble.

jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 20, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
Will we ever get beyond our limitations at grasping certain aspects of “reality?”

Jake, my Corgi, talked be into doing a mathematical model of part of his reality: I solve a series of quadratic equations and write on a blackboard either “R” or “C” – depending upon whether the solutions are real or complex numbers. When I write an R he gets a cookie. Nothing when I write a C. After a while he understands that my model is predictive and that pleases him, for he understands why he gets a cookie. Math works for him, even though he doesn’t quite understand it, nor does he really understand the reality it predicts.

When I was a kid in the late 1940s and Atomic Bombs were in the news frequently, my teachers would describe an atom as being like a big marble surrounded by orbiting electrons that were like BBs. I visualized this perfectly and felt comfortable with it. Then, later I read of QM and was puzzled at the wave-particle duality. I could visualize each (although I don’t think the “waves” are really like ocean waves), but could not construct a mental image of the duality. What lay beneath this fickle posturing of subatomic reality? The law of the excluded middle – an observation arising out of everyday experience – seemed violated somehow.

And what of some mathematicians who claim to be able to “visualize” four dimensions? I’ve never met one of these people, but when I watch the fascinating computer graphic videos of a 4-D object rotating in and out of three dimensions, all I really see are moving lines and curves on a 2-D screen displaying 3-D objects. But then I am old and growing senile and am perhaps without hope of ever gaining this marvelous perception.

My question is simple: will humans evolve to the point that mental “images” of such exotic concepts become easily accessible and part of one’s normal experience? Or will we always be limited to conceptualizing using mundane observations that we acquire as we grow up? Is it possible to imagine something that is not a combination of everyday common visual observations? If you have taken druggie trips have you seen anything that is not simply a weird conglomeration of ordinary visual images? Do you “see” something you are certain is astoundingly new and not fantastic permutations of normal objects? I’m not talking about mixing of the senses.

When we speak of spirit or soul a similar problem arises.


;>|
MH2

climber
Feb 20, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
It is only our mind objectifyng our experience that givesw us the impression that "falling off El Cap" can be something "ourside" of your subjective, 1st person bubble.


What do you mean "only our mind?" Don't you think it is important that our mind can tell us that falling off El Cap could have a consequence that our subjective 1st person bubble could not protect us from?
Psilocyborg

climber
Feb 20, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
Yes I have had psychedelic experiences way beyond this earthly human reality. Taking psychedelics alone in silent darkness is a much different experience than just "partying" with friends and seeing silly colors. Separate the two in your definition of psychedelic experiences.

I have been given a complete lucid understanding of literally everything spiritual to physical, the meaning of it all, and a zillion other wacky adventures like living multiple lifetimes in complete alien dimensions, or experiencing my future, physical death, madness. I have seen objects that are just impossible creations, insanely ornate objects changing and pulsing in colors and crystalline faces, hard like glass but flowing like ooze that self replicate into even more insanely intricate objects. These are things my brain could not have possibly dreamed up. The psychedelic experience is a direct gift from god.

Most of these experiences the normal functioning human brain just cannot comprehend, so after the experiences all I am left with are fleeting feelings in my heart. But once experienced I just feel like I am no longer seeking those things. There is a saying "once you get the message, hang up the phone"

Many people will never acknowledge these experiences as spiritual. It is a huge blow to the ego that someone can do this after taking a "drug" when they have devoted decades to meditation and spiritual dogma. Those types can continue to persue meditating into eternity, perfecting kundalini techniques....which is all well and good but many end up just chasing their own tail....or their own shadow. And here, now in this world, it is all completely irrelevant. We aren't living this life in the land of blood and bones just to meditate back to the oneness.

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 20, 2013 - 09:53pm PT
Good answer, but that wasn't really the thrust of my question. Have you "seen" in four dimensions, or have you "seen" the particle-wave duality? I threw in the drug stuff as examples of perceiving things that were beyond normal experience, but I am more interested in things on the frontier of science that seem to defy normal logic.

Thanks anyway.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
Credit: Dr. F.
WBraun

climber
Feb 20, 2013 - 10:38pm PT
Dr F -- "I pointed to my Head, what does that mean, that I live in my brain?"

It means you have no soul.

Having no soul means you have no brain ......
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 21, 2013 - 02:23am PT
I haven't attacked science. That's a preposterous stance for anyone to take. All I've said is that quantifying deals with the material world, or left brain phenomenon, and of course, from that perspective, "that" (material) is all there is. When the left or discursive mind goes looking for "something," it quite naturally needs some material thing to grock onto lest we're not talking about any thing, hence the left brain is out of a job sans quantification. So it screams, show me how or what the hell you are talking about with all of this spiritual stuff - meaning produce some proof or stuff my mind can evaluate. But what if you went in the opposite direction, with no demands on finding any thing. If you want to know about spirit, there is no other way in my experience. Trying to wrangle spirituality so our evaluating mind can grock on and define has never, ever produced any fruit. Most everyone decides, based on this, that there is nothing there at all. Very few make the effort into going in that other direction, where no thing shimmers on the horizon.

JL
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 21, 2013 - 02:27am PT
Werner: The heart is the seat of the soul for the human being.

The heart is ball of muscle which rhythmically contracts to pump blood. Other organs keep working for awhile after a heart stops. Why aren't the lungs, liver or kidneys the seat of the soul? And why would an ephemeral soul need a seat? And how is it that you've come to know this to make such a claim? Last, get constipated and tell me your large intestine isn't the seat of your soul.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 21, 2013 - 03:08am PT
Ed Hartouni Trad climber Livermore, CA Feb 20, 2013 - 11:06pm PT

//Ed, respectfully, do you have some specific comments in response to my struggles to understand what is happening at the molecular and sub-atomic particle level?

i.e. sub-atomic particles are 'thoughts' postulated by 'creative spiritual energy' and molecular persistence is created by encrypted motion patterns at the electron shell level...which we don't have the physical instruments to see...

i realize these would probably be considered pseudo-science unworthy of your attention...but can you tell me why and what is wrong with this line of reasoning from a scientific perspective?
//

not sure I understand you comments well enough to respond...
let me answer it from an entirely different direction. Your proposed model of the world is that the physical universe is created out of the spiritual universe. I'm not sure what the "spiritual universe" is, but let's go with it for now.

somehow, the spiritual universe interacts with the physical universe... it has to "touch it" (I'm using a metaphor) to engage in the act of creation, you talk about thoughts interacting with molecules for instance.

yet the behavior of molecules, and everything else in the physical universe, can be explained without resorting to the spiritual universe... at least so far as we know. and there are not phenomena in the physical universe that require the existence of the spiritual universe.

but of course there is much we do not know, but the what we do know is rather constraining, it's not all going to be thrown out in a moment by some other super insight... science is not just a set of facts but an understanding of how all those facts come together.

a universe can be constructed in which all of what we perceive to be as "real" was made that way, not by physical processes but by some supernatural force. obviously we cannot understand how this could happen, but that is one of the nice things about such constructions, we are unable to understand how it could happen, it requires something beyond nature.

those are reasonable models of the universe, but they are relatively sterile, they do not produce new knowledge...

one can have the impression that we discover things in science, but that supposes something to be discovered. science, and mathematics, is relatively open ended, that is, we produce more of it in response to asking questions about what we know, and trying to understand those things we don't know.

what astronauts see when cosmic rays pass through their eyes, is the Cerenkov radiation that is produced in the fluid, enough light to be noticed, they don't see the actual cosmic ray itself. In some ways, that is how we "see" all the subatomic particles, by their interactions with bulk matter for which we create some artifice to detect. your electron microscope, for instance.

the quantum mechanical "problem" is not that we are denied knowing the actual state of a system, hidden from our view, behind which everything is deterministic... quantum mechanics tells us that there is no such thing... and that is a testable hypothesis... John Bell did the most to make this testable... Bell didn't agree with the now popular "interpretation" of quantum mechanics... you can read the Wikipedia piece.

These interpretations of quantum mechanics raise a interesting and important point that I've made along the way... that they may not correspond, one-to-one, with the "reality," what we require theories to do is to predict the outcome of experiments.

We develop intuition by building models and making analogies, an important part of that is knowing when your model or analogy no longer applies.

Were does the spiritual enter any of this, but through the mind of a single individual.

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/10/obituaries/john-stewart-bell-is-dead-at-62-physicist-tested-particle-actions.html

Ed, thank you very much for your thoughtful reply, which i think very neatly describes the crux of some of these discussions.


1) Spirit

2) Spiritual

3) Spiritual Universe

i think the challenge in defining these terms is at several levels:

one level is that these terms have been so overloaded by the interpretations of various philosophies as to render them highly questionable at best, which is why some have abandoned these terms for some others

another level is that words are just not adequate for describing something to a person who doesn't share the personal experience being described

another level is that a person who experiences profound spiritual awareness may not know how to relate to a person lacking such awareness without insulting their intelligence and sense of well being



the best way i have been able to describe these terms is by using an analogy with water, which i find somewhat useful if not perfect

consider a quiet pond of water, as an analogy for a 'spiritual world' with a shared creative potential throughout its extent

now touch the surface of the pond and create a swirl, a small vortex of energy that is literally wrapped up in itself...that is a soul or self or I...still a part of the pond, but wrapped up in self-awareness separate from the larger extent of the awareness throughout the pond...this is the effect created by the business of the mind/brain activity

in order for this swirl to regain a level of awareness of the broader extent of the pond requires calming the swirl...quieting the mind/brain activity


now in this same pond add fish, frogs, turtles, lily pads, bikini girls, etc...now try to calm the mind and expand awareness...

oh, and add all sorts of noise and stirred up mud and chemical pollution...

...and note the nature of the challenge...



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