Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 13561 - 13580 of total 22774 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 23, 2013 - 08:03pm PT
The more that I think about this vast chasm of difference that Largo has created for us, between the objective and the subjective, I'm coming to the conclusion that it doesn't even exist.
-


I have noticed that you have systematically refuted almost everything that I have said without saying what is it you are dismissing. I have tried to be as clear as possible, borrowing examples and metaphors from wherever it seemed likely that they might serve to convey slippery ideas. I have repeatedly said that form (stuff) is emptiness (no thing), and that forms ARE emptiness.

So it seems wonky when you say I am purporting a vast chasm between subjective and objective. To get there you must ignore the very words I have just said fifty times - that these are aspects of one seamless reality, invisible as are the heads and tails of one coin. Where you quite possibly loose yourself is in failing to recognize the qualitative difference between heads and tails. In fact, you must travel a massive distance into that dualism before the thing resolves into a conscious awareness sans duality, which no one can maintain for long.

Since we all live in an inescapible subjective bubble, we know and experience reality via the subjective with no exceptions, ever. The interesting thing here is that while we can assign various biological markers to subjective experience - as I used to do in Neurofeedback, qEEG studies and so forth - none of these can ever provide proof that our subjective experience, which is our very mode of existence, even exists.

The challenge to prove we have experience is a meaningless question in experiential terms, and for anyone doubting it, professional help is always indicated. Of course said proof will never be forthcoming because we can only seek it in the wrong place, in objective functioning. That's like trying to prove "tails" by studying "heads."

Are you getting this? The tricky part is in trying to hold two polar facts in one mind - what is and is not there. It is similar to Object Constancy in psychology, but on an ontological level.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 23, 2013 - 08:08pm PT
Ed:

Although in no way predicting time travel, hasn't Bell's Theorem (and supporting experiments) provided a view that time may not be a limiting factor in certain situations? That is, that time could be experimentally irrelevant? Or, . . . that spooky things can occur (e.g., information transmitted) instantaneously irrespective of distance?



Now . . . . . . speak . . . . . . verrrryyyyyyyy . . . . . . slowwwwllllllllyyyyy . . . . . . . and . . . . . . simply.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 23, 2013 - 08:12pm PT
In John Bell's words:
Theoretical physicists live in a classical world, looking out into a quantum-mechanical world. The latter we describe only subjectively, in terms of procedures and results in our classical domain. (…) Now nobody knows just where the boundary between the classical and the quantum domain is situated. (…) More plausible to me is that we will find that there is no boundary.


Taken from Wikipedia; Bell, JS, Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics: Introduction remarks at Naples–Amalfi meeting., 1984. Reprinted in Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics: collected papers on quantum philosophy. CUP, 2004, p. 29.


All of us seem to reside in a classical world. Some of us are looking out onto other worlds from there.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 23, 2013 - 10:08pm PT
the best way to resolve it has to do with Largo's "Hilbert Space" which is where quantum mechanics is calculated on objects that are not physical, the so called wavefunctions... which provide a metric (which is the norm of the wavefunctions) that we associate with the probability of an event happening.

The interesting part of this, for our discussion here (not the time travel) is that Hilbert Space need not be a "realistic" theory... that is, we can calculate in it to very high precision the outcome of experiments, but that it (Hilbert Space, and all that) need no be in one-to-one correspondence with the real world.
--

When I use the term "Hilbert Space" I'm simply wrangling the term as an example of our ability to contrive an interpretive method that "works" in a practical and reliable way. Because the map is not the territory (undifferentiated flux), said Hilbert Space is not real, and it might not even correspond to something that is real in any fixed or objective way. In the esoteric realm nobody cars because it's all ungraspable anyhow, since at best the map relates to something that itself is impermanent.

The most radical kind of spin off I've heard per this whole notion came from a scientist in the recovery movement, where they always encourage members to seek conscious contact with a "God of your own understanding."

The surest way for this to backfire, I've been told, is to try and reckon what that God IS, even while outsiders will swear (based on no direct experience) it is a thing (the rational mind can do no other), a fuzzy feeling, a psychological crutch, a fiction, a head trip, ploy, myth, or most commonly, the power of believing - which is entirely wrong. You've simply guessed what something is, giving it magical properties, and then claimed that it isn't so, as defined by your very own self.

The interesting thing is that so long as the person makes no effort to define or quantify or figure out God, the idea has worked wonders for millions of intractable drunks, and not one can tell you what God is. The idea that there seems to be some force out there in some way our command or behest, which can be approached through a spectacular array of maps and methods and images, is anathema to many religious folk who insist "God" must conform to a biblical prototype. The fact that God doesn't, at least in the real world of Boston bombings and suffering of every ilk, leaves many to write the whole business off as bunkum. But then, they were trying to make something work according to someone else's understanding, and there's little to suggest this ever works.

JL
MH2

climber
Apr 23, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
If I am talking about a map, is it okay to say that the territory is the map? You know, if I am talking about the map, not the territory? Except they are the same in this case?
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
The surest way for this to backfire, I've been told, is to try and reckon what that God IS, even while outsiders will swear (based on no direct experience) it is a thing (the rational mind can do no other), a fuzzy feeling, a psychological crutch, a fiction, a head trip, ploy, myth, or most commonly, the power of believing - which is entirely wrong. You've simply guessed what something is, giving it magical properties, and then claimed that it isn't so, as defined by your very own self.

I've argued against this characterization by you many times
I will let God be anything possible, any not thing or thing, any definition or non-definition

God has to be something, and you can define him/her as anything you want, and if you want to call him Not-a-thing; fine,
that's not the point, the point is if God exists or not.

if God doesn't exist, then your point of what god isn't has no substance.
WBraun

climber
Apr 23, 2013 - 10:44pm PT
There is NO theory in "real" ever ......
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Apr 23, 2013 - 10:50pm PT
I use the terms in everyday conversations in much the same way I talked to my nieces and nephews about The Cat in the Hat--or the same way Jingy, Dr. F, and Cintune talk about myths and religion (sans the scorn).

 Not sure I should be on this list…. I'm just a simple guy trying to live a life, much like the anyone else…

Plus, I'm not sure I can say I am as scornful as others (not that I find anything "scornful")….. honesty to/understanding of my anti-religion stance and the unease I find myself with when others feel the need to let their spiritual garbage all over… it sometimes gets the better of me. And this seems to be the place on one of the taco for it…

MikeL - Poignant argument/discussion/post… I only wish I had half the brain power it takes to post up something as engaging and elegantly written.

Thank you



the point is if God exists or not.

 I have to contend that there is no god.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:36am PT
'I have a map of the United States... Actual size. It says, "Scale: 1 mile = 1 mile." I spent last summer folding it. I also have a full-size map of the world. I hardly ever unroll it. People ask me where I live, and I say, "E6".'


Ego you have an accurate map, meaning it serves its purpose. The act of living, your crib, the United States, are not part of some independent objective reality, but are mental overlays superimposed on the flux, like the X/Y grid we use to calibrate a map.

Per Craig's angle, he's simply not getting that the entire God thing is not about trying to prove existence for the divine as one might prove, say, that no three positive integers can satisfy the equation an + bn = cn for any integer value of n greater than two (that might be bungled). God is ungraspable as a quantifiable or knowable thing. The entire point is to learn how to harness the energy, not chart it out on graph paper, otherwise known as a fool's pursuit.

Put differently, by lyricist Oscar Hammerstein:

Who can understand it?
Who can tell you why?
Fools give you reasons.
Wise men never try.

I'm not wise because I keep trying, LOL.

JL
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:05am PT
Know wonder you have so many posts here....you've mixed politics and religion and that is a big NO, NO.

Peace, Craig, and thinking of you. lynnie

Edit: May you and yours and your cacti live long and thrive.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:08am PT
Erdos was viewed with suspicion by the FBI for many years because he had communist views. When he visited Colo State University over 40 years ago he was hosted by my advisor, Arne Magnus, and Arne was contacted by the FBI before the visit and grilled about his guest.

The good ol' cold war . . .

jogill's arrow has to be described in a 6-dimensional space of position and momentum, at least in physics

Ok . . . I must have forgotten that from my year of physics at Georgia Tech in 1955. Describing the path, instantaneous velocity and position, etc. from elementary calculus seemed so simple!

;>)
MH2

climber
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:52am PT
Who can understand it?
Who can tell you why?
Fools give you reasons.
Wise men never try.


I know people whose Aunt is their Uncle and vice versa.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 24, 2013 - 02:32am PT
Fools give you reasons.
Wise men never try.

I like:

Fools rush in
Where wise men fear to tread



"Fools Rush" Tahquitz

The line, from Alexander Pope, is actually " Fools Rush In, Where Angels Fear to tread"
But I changed it. Lol.
Like Hammerstein did.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Apr 24, 2013 - 09:37am PT
Its always easier to see the absurdity of the religion after the fact....


But how is it possible this guy had a church at all.... and with people watching the whole time...


WBraun

climber
Apr 24, 2013 - 10:51am PT
Why do you keep putting up stupid sh!t like this Jingy?

It's just plain garbage and is your baseline of what you "think" is religion.

It isn't anything except garbage, but that's what you're attracted to.

You're like a fly who lands on garbage and claims this must be it.

Your vision and knowledge is so tiny and limited.

You're just like them, the preacher of garbage ......


BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 24, 2013 - 11:47am PT
Yeah, Jingy. No Memes or youtube videos that constitute an ad hominem attack. That is lowering the level of discourse.

Crazy day today.
MH2

climber
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:43pm PT
A look into a discursive mind at work

I was watching my screensaver, photo dissolving into next photo every six seconds. An old man in a rowboat in the marina, then purple crocus with dew and a sense of impending significance (maybe rising coffee level), and then sunburst through cloud.

I thought what it would be like to be up there above the cloud like the sun, looking back down at the photographer. It seemed a disorienting thought, considering the usual locating of self in the head, and considering I was the photographer, but by no means a new feeling. From movies we know what it feels like when the camera pulls back from an intimate scene, sometimes pulling waaaay back.

But what would it have been like for people born before books and movies and schools? Did they imagine looking back at themselves from great distance? How about if they had climbed to a high place and looked back into the valley where they lived.

Then I remembered my friend Bryan Burdo telling me about cleaning a route in the Cascades. Alone on a big rock face, wire-brushing, he suddenly saw himself as he would look from a great distance, a lunatic dwarfed by miles of rock and trees around him. But Bryan's dad was a Boeing test pilot and flew a small plane and Bryan knew well how that landscape looked from high up.

How about if you pulled the camera further back. A lot further.

I remembered early days with small computers, using simple programs to make random 2-dimensional patterns. It strikes you that the shape of the pattern wouldn't change with scale the way the shape of an ant would have to change if the ant got bigger. The random pattern could be the size of a universe instead of 8.5 by 11 inches.

Must the universe be randomly ordered? If it wasn't then the guiding principle that physics doesn't change with location would be suspect.

But then a perfectly regular pattern wouldn't change as you made it bigger, either.

So one must be careful. There is math and then there is mathematizing.


All those thoughts, if I can call them that, came and went fast, with not much input from my language chip, to borrow a phrase from Largo. I had to go back and pull them from memory and convert them to readable form.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
JL,

I still will put forward the notion that while you can search for no-thing, I can search for some-thing.

Both take rigorous approaches, both take a lot of effort, and both take a lot of thought.

I spent all morning searching the relationships of different rocks over multi state and multi basin areas. Everything was a 3-dimensional cube in my head that my mind could pick up, roll around, examine, and understand. I was asking questions.

It has taken a long time to reach the level of proficiency that I have reached, but I constantly learn new things. I was having some trouble with a certain play and spent an hour on the phone this morning with an expert who was willing to share some info that will never be published. I now understand the hypothesis that he is working. We test our hypothesis by drilling a well, and even if there is no oil or gas, each well is a data point that is filled with information.

Publications in Petroleum Geology are widespread, of course, but much of it lies in an individual mind or a group of minds who are working the same problem. It may never see the light of day.

It is ideas, it is thought experiments, it is understanding things like thermal maturity anomalies and how that relates to migration into certain overlooked zones. It is all about relationships. For instance the string of Devonian Shales that stretch from SW Texas to SE Canada were all deposited during the same anoxic setting. What does that mean? It correlates to an extinction event. What does that mean? How does permeability limit the migration of fluids with relationship to things such as capillary pressure at great depth? Where is the storage space?

It isn't easy.

North America did not resemble current North America during the Devonian. There are periods when continents all came together and sutured, such as Pangea, but that much Continental Crust created a heat flow problem, much as a blanket, and the mega continents will then separate with vast tectonic events. I know what the shoreline looked like during every time period going into the deep past. I understand the climatic and tectonic relationships as they are recorded in Sequences. It is like a Rubick's cube, and I am constantly tweaking it to understand the Big Picture.

I wish that I could publish, but the best reservoirs of knowledge reside in those who have worked a couple of decades since post grad work.

I still read at least one thesis each day, but the real wealth of knowledge is in private hands. This is a science with huge economic importance, and giving your answers to competitors just isn't done in capitalist countries.

What I am saying is that we work very deeply in thought, and dismissing it as scientism is downright insulting.

The search for knowledge is one of the greatest human pursuits, and your parsing and judgement of differing types of knowledge is way off base. You have to look at human knowledge as a complete and vaporous "thing" for lack of a better word. It spans huge spectrums, and to separate these mental efforts is creating a false dichotomy. It is full from one end to the other. From the external ruler to the internal search for meaning.

It is all thought. I know that many of you strive to reach a state of non-thought, and I admit that it is difficult to do, but what is the point other than happiness?

Happiness is a great thing and a worthy pursuit, but that is the arena that I see you and MikeL operating in. I think in terms of very real things with very precise qualities, but this is not so different from the work of a carpenter or a plumber. They have amassed an amount of practical knowledge. I take that information and look for connections and relationships, or even the lack thereof. There is no limit, yet, although many people assume that there is a limit to knowledge. If there is, we haven't reached it yet.

However, this has nothing to do with happiness. That is the arena that I see MikeL exploring. The entire point of Buddhism is happiness. You would have to be an idiot to think that the search for happiness is not a worthwhile pursuit, not suited at all to measurement.

I am saying that we are on the same side of the coin. The other side of the coin is willful ignorance. I see this a lot in religion. With religion you have a set of answers to many questions. There is no new knowledge. The hard core Christian does not pursue truth because he has limited his truth to a simple book, the Bible.

That is the point where you have all knowledge given to you in a handbook.

Questioning, thinking, understanding, it is all something that we are all doing here. There is no dichotomy of knowledge here. It is just the pursuit of knowledge.

MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
Thanks, Ed. I think I got some of that. Good explanation. I'll have to re-read your explanation a few times for better comprehension.

Some good posts here, and some kind words and respect. Kudos.

(Busy day today for me.)
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Apr 24, 2013 - 03:09pm PT
Why do you keep putting up stupid sh!t like this Jingy?


 Maybe, just maybe its a clear window into the mind of the deeply religious.

Just like I've heard "We are no better than the worst among us".

Think of it as a mirror for the true believer
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