Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - May 28, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
God told me that he was going to Only take the Good atheists, and leave all the people that didn't use their brain down on earth to rot in hell

And you got to believe it when it's God talking
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
May 28, 2013 - 06:57pm PT
Any of you fans of the Gifford Lectures?

Wednesday Steven Pinker, evolutionary psychologist, will give the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh centering on his latest book, Better Angels of Our Nature.

Best part: It streams live at this web page:
http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/humanities-soc-sci/news-events/lectures/gifford-lectures
squishy

Mountain climber
May 28, 2013 - 07:36pm PT



Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 28, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
MH2. Your protestations basically answer your own questions, through not like you would have it. And when you tell me what I should and should not do, can you get a feeling that, like Cintune, part of your mind is revolting to the fact that the discursive mind is not being fed in this conversation, and that this is simply forbidden. Note also that while people claim to have some interest in this subject, and that everyone with ANY experience in this arena has said it all starts with practice, not a single person has make one move in that directly, but rather they are entirely content to try and noodle the topic from known terrain, expecting me to toss out some tangible nugget to persuade them off their island. How are you not made curious by such an unadventurous take on the whole shebang?

I would be curious to know by what route you came to your conclusions that "presence" is a mind of unconscious, all-or-nothing phenomenon. I CAN tell you with 100 percent certainty that so long as you are fused to your evaluating mind, you will have a very low amplitude of presence with anything but - the evaluating mind. That's why we call it "awareness fusion." There is not a detached or free "self" that is present with what arises in consciousness, but rather just a conditioned self (with a small "S") who experiences most everything extruded through your let brain.

What that means, and I sometimes forget it here, is that by and large I am not addressing people who are present to the vast array of themselves and the external world, but am basically tangling with a slew of discursive minds demanding answers according to their own criteria, and only by way of that criteria. And when challenged to go a step further, the joking, flaming and so forth kicks in because there is no other game but the quantifying. Everything else being baloney or "predictable." You are betting against your own potential in this regards.

But again, the discursive mind will make no effort to move away from itself, that's why the work is so counterintuitive. Your mind will be screaming at you for ages till you simply let it rattle on. Only at that point can you start to understand that you haven't really been present to anything but the screaming in your ear. What you wake up to is not "The break that refreshes." And it is only your discursive mind that believes there is no limitation to symbolically representing or describing ALL mental terrain. I'd be interested in hearing what experiences you have had that convince you of this.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
May 28, 2013 - 09:15pm PT
What's really amusing is that anything you can possibly say is,
by your own definitions, going to be solely understandable to this
bugaboo you call the discursive mind. Hoist by your own petard, really.
And, understanding this, I've long since given up on gleaning any
"tangible nuggets." I mean, what's the point of even trying to
comprehend what you're on about unless I go find some sangha to
plonk myself down and tune in to all that sweet, sweet, unborn
contentlessness?

But turnabout is fair play. Care to tell about what got you into
this in the first place? All the awesome adventures you've shared
with the community-at-large over the years, yet you seem to imply
that this revelation of the mind tops them all. That might be a
better lure than, to paraphrase Jogill, "lecturing from a
position of arrogant superiority."
jogill

climber
Colorado
May 28, 2013 - 10:24pm PT
That's why we call it "awareness fusion" . . . etc

Is it just me, or does anyone else perceive
that these pronouncements are a religious
tirade against a reasoned existence? After all
this time I have more respect for go-B, whose
efforts at prosylitizing are honest and
undisguised.

Religion: A doctrine or custom
accepted on faith (Webster)

And there are some of us who have walked
an alternate path and who have found a
kind of enlightenment or a different
experience that we appreciated but that
did not require a total abandonment of reason.
I (we?) feel insulted by this constant
demeaning of science and discourse in favor of
speculative metaphysics. Or Zen doctrine.
We are constantly told that the "most important"
or "fundamental" or "basic" or . . . aspects
of existence lie beyond our naive sciences
and must be sought by cleansing the mind of
its rattling inner discourses and ascend into
a realm of pure consciousness . . .

Says who? Go back and look at that
video of the martial arts master "throwing"
his students. Now think of a Zen master
whacking his student into enlightenment.
I do not intend to denigrate those practices,
but I do not think they necessarily lead to a
greater appreciation of reality.

My own experiences led to an apparent
separation of "I-consciousness" and
physical body, but I am willing to entertain
the notion that that entity is a remarkable
illusion. But to pronounce that it MUST be an
illusion shows a closed mind conditioned by a
thousand years of meditative practices that may
very well have led to false conclusions. When
someone tells me "no - they lead to the truth!"
I think: religious disciple.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - May 28, 2013 - 10:27pm PT
Credit: Dr. F.

What about minerals, do they have an after life?
We know they have souls, Werner said so

Does God make sure they reincarnate into a new advanced mineral after they get melted down in the inner earth, and then reform into a new crystal a billion years later?

Does anything live forever?
Living things don't, we know that, why would they live on after they die?
Who said they do, God, or some story, or a book?

Why should anything live past death, the word death means that the living thing has died, right?
There is absolutely zero proof that there is life after death,
obviously, it's just a pipe dream made up by man of hope and salvation, because without life after death, there is No purpose to life

It's just a meaningless exercise in futility, that is the final word on the nothingness that so many seek.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 28, 2013 - 11:28pm PT
John, I'm not suggesting a "total abandonment of reason," and when I hear these accusations I don't personalize them, because I know that it is nothing but the discursive mind revolting at the suggestion that there is terrain that it simply cannot penetrate. It is also a kind of default that anything that does not square with the discursive mind must, perforce, be a veiled shot at smuggling "God" into the equation. That is simply not the case. It's worth noting that these positions and reactions are very persistent in this conversation. And the discursive mind by its very nature is jealous of it's hegemony. It will not give up control.

Metaphysics? Speculation? God? Beliefs? Where have any of these made their presence known in what I am talking about? With something that has no content, what are you really taking issue with save the injunction that there are realms that you simply cannot access via quantitative thinking. I have no delusions that the discursive mind will feel outraged at this claim. That's is exactly how it works.

I also think people are reading into this conversation a kind of hierarchy of importance that is not there. It's really quite simple. If you want to know about physical reality, the western science is the proven route. If you seek meaning, Western philosophy and letters is worth a look. If you want to probe your experience, being, and the unseen, you have to take a special route. There simply are no exceptions.

Cintuine wrote: Care to tell about what got you into this in the first place?

-

Sure. I was made curious about the workings of my mind, and how whatever I could call "me," I could also view it from a distance, something I first experienced when dealing with intense pain from a bicycle accident. I woke up to the concept of awareness being qualitatively different than a mirror function or simple self refraction. Or the brain "experiencing itself," and that kind of forked-tongued jive. When I went to look into this stuff the only people who understood what I was talking about - at least what I could find back then - were so-called Fourth Way schools, with roots in Sufism. These were almost cultish, and I wanted no part of that. Eventually I found Zen (around 18) because there was a Zen Center with an old Japanese master up at Mt. Baldy. He said to just shut my trap, sit up straight, keep my eyes open and listen till I died. Maybe things would get clear. The curtain would drop the moment I stopped listening and starting thinking or talking about it. I I wanted to learn about myself, I had to stop talking to myself (thinking about myself) and start listening. That was the start of it. With
Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi, an old time Renzai Zen ball buster.


All the awesome adventures you've shared with the community-at-large over the years, yet you seem to imply that this revelation of the mind tops them all. That might be abetter lure than, to paraphrase Jogill, "lecturing from a position of arrogant superiority."


I would wager that your feeling that I am being an "arrogant authority" is hooked up to your fundemental position of scientism, which believes whole heartedly that there is nothing science cannot reach, that there is no limitation to that inquiry, that ANY conscious experience can be described in whole, and so forth. This, to me, is a remarkably arrogant and ignorant position, and at times I have rallied against it just to pull some strings, knowing how easily the discursive mind can get outraged, especially if it's authority is questions. It's like Hal on 2001. The reason I always challenge people to mention to us what experiences they have had to lead them to what are crazy summations of the work they don't understand, is that I known that have no experience at all in this realm. that they are just guessing, or are believing they have arrived at the same understanding though a reasoned approach.

So I'll just toss it out there again: We know that the evaluating mind doesn't believe that it has any primary limitations to investigate reality. That much said, what do YOU believe are the limitations of pure or practical reason, and why? And what experiences have you had to make you believe so?

JL
MH2

climber
May 28, 2013 - 11:54pm PT
And it is only your discursive mind that believes there is no limitation to symbolically representing or describing ALL mental terrain. I'd be interested in hearing what experiences you have had that convince you of this.


I'm not here to talk about myself. I prefer to see what ideas you get about me from other things I say. I appreciate what posters do share and it will be of help when I get back to my home planet.

; ^ )

To each his or her own.

jogill

climber
Colorado
May 28, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
John, I'm not suggesting a "total abandonment of reason," and when I hear these accusations I don't personalize them, because I know that it is nothing but the discursive mind revolting at the suggestion that there is terrain that it simply cannot penetrate . . . And the discursive mind by its very nature is jealous of it's hegemony. It will not give up control

I appreciate that.

But why do I sense that your reply is patronizing? Perhaps it's an artifact of my discursive mind.

Never mind. It's late.

I hope you are healing well.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 29, 2013 - 02:36am PT
And the discursive mind by its very nature is jealous of it's hegemony. It will not give up control

I don't think it's a control issue at all . And I don't think the " discursive " mind is particularly obsessed with its hegemony as an overriding characteristic.
However I do think that the non-discursive bunker mentality sees it that way , surrounded as it is by the world of science and technology. It is in the inherent nature of the besieged and set -upon to view their assailants as possessing static attributes, so as to configure them as better targets from the crenolated ramparts. It's much easier to hit a frozen ,stationary target than one that is perceived as moving.
Lol.




Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 29, 2013 - 10:53am PT
Largo writes: "I woke up to the concept of awareness being qualitatively different than a mirror function or simple self refraction. Or the brain "experiencing itself," and that kind of forked-tongued jive."

Marlow asks: Why is Largo's abstract-discursive mind leading him astray all the time?
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
May 29, 2013 - 12:01pm PT



Job 1:21 And he said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
May 29, 2013 - 12:16pm PT
Does anything live forever?
Living things don't, we know that, why would they live on after they die?

Dr F,

Living, in the sense of biological creatures, is certainly a temporary thing. An organism is a group of living parts each of which is a group of functioning, but maybe living, parts. Each of those is a group of functioning and non-living parts.

At some point, we can be reduced to smaller groups of living parts that can continue to live. We can have brain death and have machines keep our cells alive. Are we dead? You can take part of us off of the whole and that part can be made to live as a separate thing. Does that detached living part of us have a soul? Is it alive?

Then you can continue to take us apart until there are just molecules of various types. Some might be fragments of DNA and some might be simple like H2O. DNA is not life but in a cell makes complexity possible.

Another step is to take us apart into atoms. Are they the smallest piece of us? They are certainly not alive but they have energy that keeps us alive. Without atomic reactions, there would be no material or energetic universe. Maybe.

When I think about life and spirituality and materialism, I think about the parts. I wonder about how a man can have a soul but not a chimp even though we are pretty much identical in physical structure. We have a bigger brain but that just lets us screw things up more, not less.

As for life after death, my parts will become the parts of a new star or the parts of a new tree. My parts will last as long as the universe lasts. My organization of those parts, just like my personality, is just a temporary state of matter and energy and will be gone until that state of matter and energy happens again. Somehow I doubt that it would happen. But if the universe is infinite then this will all happen again and we will live again. Life after death by coincidence.

Actions that affect others cause ripples though time and those certainly live after our parts have been separated. We certainly have an effect on the future even if we are not consciously part of it.

Dave
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 29, 2013 - 03:20pm PT

I don't think it's a control issue at all . And I don't think the " discursive " mind is particularly obsessed with its hegemony as an overriding characteristic.
However I do think that the non-discursive bunker mentality sees it that way , surrounded as it is by the world of science and technology. It is in the inherent nature of the besieged and set -upon to view their assailants as possessing static attributes, so as to configure them as better targets from the crenolated ramparts. It's much easier to hit a frozen ,stationary target than one that is perceived as moving.
Lol.


That is what psychology calls a "reversal," that is, when you lack the wherewithal to answer a question, simply shuck it back onto the messenger. But of course it will do nothing to further your cause or understanding because you've made no honest effort to understand the question, and once more have rendered another bone-lazy couch potato quip from your thought stream, circuitous and polluted as it is, LOL. You asked for that with your "crenelated ramparts."

But seriously, if you really believe the discursive mind battles a control battle for your attention, then decide for yourself that you will set it aside for, say, half an hour, and will experience your life minus discursive intrusions for that puny duration. Just see how fast your monkey mind will follow directions and do as you say. In fact you will immediately experience that you are "besieged" by that mind, and try as you might, the discursive mind is likely to do the thinking for you even as you try and prove that you are in control. So in fact you have it exactly bass-akwards per the control issue, having had no direct experiences that might show you otherwise (meaning your only info stream is the discursive mind itself - is it any wonder that you're all turned around in that regards? Of course not.).

For the lack of having even these most fundamental experiences, which can make these simple facts obvious for all, the conversation keeps looping around on a level where people like Ward continue thinking that I'm actually guessing here, or using my discursive mind to render vain pronouncements that demean sound reason and sober science. Perhaps the most mistaken notion is that the discursive mind is the best way to acquire empiracal info on consciousness. No one who has EVER studied the topic at depth, except those studying objective functioning, has ever said as much.

JL
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
May 29, 2013 - 03:28pm PT
John said:

scientism, which believes whole heartedly that there is nothing science cannot reach, that there is no limitation to that inquiry, that ANY conscious experience can be described in whole, and so forth.

wow John, I am really taken back by this statement of yours

"science" is simply the application of the "scientific method"

science does not have emotion, or anthropomorphic beliefs

seems you kind of have it in for some reason to denigrate the very science that has vastly improved human life since the introduction of agriculture and communal living

go ahead and attack the individual human scientists if they venture away from pure science and support personal positions you don't happen to agree with, but leave the actual theory, fact finding, testing, and constant peer reviewed criticism out of the attack?
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 29, 2013 - 03:46pm PT
very science that has vastly improved human life since the introduction of agriculture and communal living

What I find interesting is how in recent times (last few hundred thousand years) human evolution has been intertwined with technology. The most obvious example is the reduction in size of the digestive system, which corresponds to the invention of cooking, that makes digestion easier. Also the crowding of humans into communities placed a very high premium on intelligence, particularly the ability to predict the behavior of others, so brain size increased as a product of densification. I suspect the invention of clothing is why most of us (neanderthal stonemasters not included) aren't covered in hair like other mammals. It's not like we evolved, then came civilization and all of technology.

For hundreds of thousands of years, man carved the exact same design for a hand axe, that was use to butcher animals, that were cooked over a fire. What's odd is that those two technologies didn't lead to any others for thousands and thousands of generations. They kept making the exact same axe for hundreds of thousands of years with not a single bit of ingenuity. You can also see animals using tools (look at the weird things ants can do, the leafcutter ants bring leaves back to the nest to grow fungus on them to eat) but they seem to instinctively do it also. But at some point a threshhold was crossed, and man became able to creatively manipulate his environment. Not just copy a tool that had been the same for 100,000 years.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 29, 2013 - 03:51pm PT
the conversation keeps looping around on a level where people like Ward continue thinking that I'm actually guessing here, or using my discursive mind to render vain pronouncements that demean sound reason and sober science

Au contrare mon frere , I don't consider your pronouncements as demeaning to reason or science. I' m Ward , not these other dudes. You were hip hopping to a lot of blank assumptions. I have my own outlook.
I don't consider your approach as lacking profundity and validity. I do however consider your polemic directed against empiricism worthy of opposition and examination.

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 29, 2013 - 04:04pm PT
I do however consider your polemic directed against empiricism worthy of opposition and examination.
-

That's cool. What I am actually trying to rally you guys to try is a direct empirical method. What you are fighting for, believing that I am setting up a polemic, is in fact an indirect method extruded through your rational mind. Lacking experiences otherwise, you would perforce believe that any empirical info not arrived at through your reasoning would be hooked up to furry feelings, God speak, and jive.

But go back to the matter of being controlled by your discursive mind, and try and shut it down for even a minute. This should show you somethinig.

And to get some feeling about how jealous and reactionary the discursive mind is, look at what Norton just said. I never denigrated the discursive mind. I use it all day long. And who would dis science. I only asked what Norton and others felt was the limitation of the scientific method, and just that question alone triggered a kind of volatile reaction and outrage usually seen by jingoistic folks backing some third-world dictator. How dare I ...

But also notice that NOT once has ANYONE offered any comment about any fundamental limitation to quantifying. Not once. That IS scientism.

JL
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 29, 2013 - 05:17pm PT
But also notice that NOT once has ANYONE offered any comment about any fundamental limitation to quantifying.

As opposed to the fundamental limitation to 'statelessness'? And isn't this just another rephrasing of your commentary on the limitations of causality chains?
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