Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 23, 2013 - 09:06am PT
Yes, I am limited by logic
That is all we have as a tool to figure the possibility of how things would work.
We can dream and fantasize about all kinds of things being true, like gods floating around, and a place like heaven. We now know these things are fantasies, not true.


This shows what happens when someone's awareness is fused with the discursive mind - which we need to survive, but which is not our only tool in the box. Note also that Craig's only other option is to have the mind actively "dreaming" up all kinds of other stuff like heaven and Gods. The mind is good at actively pursuing things, but equally good at listening and being receptive to realms not sourced by its own conditioning and biology.

JL

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2013 - 09:11am PT
Down we go into the rabbit hole of listening to things that may exist or not
that we don't really know anything, blah blah blah

but if we let go, we can dream up all kind of possibilities blah blah

Thanks for waking me up JL
But I still believe nothing means nothing.
jstan

climber
Apr 23, 2013 - 09:27am PT
But I still believe nothing means nothing.

As you wish. However it now appears nothing can't be found anywhere. There is always something. Just a minor modification to your previous thinking.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2013 - 09:30am PT
It's just an expression.

when you find nothingness, there is not something, the something that you thought was nothing turns out to not exist.

Just like a "warm fuzzy feeling"
It's the only real "Physical" outcome from all this mental exploration/speculation/meditating/communing with god.

everything else was a mental experience that can only be communicated through talking or writing about the said experience. There are no other physical/materialistic outcomes.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
As you wish. However it now appears nothing can't be found anywhere. There is always something. Just a minor modification to your previous thinking.

Or conversely, nothing can be found everywhere, since neither emptiness nor yet forms exist separately, independent of each other.

Questionably the deepest, or one of the deepest insights in Zen is that emptiness (no thing) equals form (things), and form equals emptiness - exactly.

Where Craig is stuck is one, in judging everyone's experience by dint of his own, then universalizing that into a philosophy he is certain is objective, and second, demanding the kind of "proof" about emptiness that exists only in the world of forms. That's like going to the zoo and asking where the God cage is, and lacking one, declaring the whole thing is just a bunch of fuzzy feelings, lol.

Equating fuzzy feelings to any of this is selfsame as equating them to the Laws of Thermodynamics et al. Limbic system blow-back is irrelevant to what is being discussed.

JL


BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 23, 2013 - 02:22pm 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.

He thinks that he is onto something with his Zen work. OK. That doesn't make it true. He takes a big red pen and crosses out an entire realm of consciousness. This is not a correct description, no matter how many times he goes off on discursive, Hilbert Space, right brain/left brain, or the limbic system.

Even he tries to correlate his experiences with brain anatomy when he uses words like right brain or limbic system. He borrows from physics when he uses words like Hilbert Space.

The thing that links us together is curiosity and thought. I don't think so much in a quantitative sense as in a qualitative sense.

OK. This works like this. That works like that. What is the relationship, if any. I daydream about these things, and every now and then I see something that others haven't. Not often.

Geologists have the reputation of being the wild thinkers compared to the engineers and the geophysicists. We have to be. At any point in time, there are many geologists working the same areas that you are. To understand something first is very difficult. It involves a lot of work. Then you look at the 3 dimensional cube and see something that nobody has, or if they did, they ignored it due to economic reasons in the distant past.

I made most of my money finding zones that others had drilled right through and missed. That involved looking at hundreds of logs each day. At some point the light bulb goes off.

Largo. How do you explain that moment of realization? The moment when the light bulb goes off? It is a heady feeling. If you then find out that you weren't first to discover this, it kind of sucks, but at least you came up with the same idea independently. That just reinforces the prior hypothesis, which is important.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 23, 2013 - 04:44pm PT
Ed asks penetrating questions that my little story in its naivety cannot answer. Actually, I stole the idea from a book by Michael Swanwick. Science fiction authors have tried to reason out the implications of the infamous “Grandfather Paradox” and its variations for generations. Solutions range from asserting that it would be impossible to change (but some say conceivable to influence) history to a many-worlds interpretation – one that I feel has the best chance of surviving the intellectual wars. Incidentally, it seems there is an entire area of philosophy devoted to time travel.

From my perspective, at every “instant” the universe splits into an uncountable number of possible states or universe paths. There seem to be force fields in abundance that influence the choices of paths of which we are conscious. Thus, if it were possible and I were to travel into the past, say 120 years, and kill my grandfather, that would simply create a path different from the one I am on, amidst a complexity unimaginable from human perspective.

I’ve mentioned before Stanisaw Lem’s “Ergodic Theory of History”, in which he hypothesizes that in some circumstances minor variations along the temporal way would not preclude an outcome that is in a sense destined. I look upon the development of Nazi Germany as an example, where in the 1930s were someone to assassinate Hitler the Party or something similar would still develop and wreak havoc. In those times there was a “contractive” factor at work where people and events were strongly influenced by prevailing social thought and minor deviations from recorded history might prove irrelevant.

I have a mathematical model in the complex plane in which over a fixed period of time a sequence of functions carries a point from one place to another (I’ve mentioned this before) operating so that at each chronological step the next member of the sequence pushes the travelling point to a new position. This is a variation on simple iteration, which lies at the heart of chaos theory. Now if there is a kind of uniform “contraction” exhibited by all the functions and if each such individual function has an “attractor” – a point that attracts points around it – and these attractors converge to a single point, alpha, then as intervals of time shrink to zero and the sequence of functions grows without bounds, each function operating at an “instant”, the result is any chosen original point ends up at alpha at the end of the designated time period.

The interesting feature here is that it is immaterial what functions populate the sequence – how the travelling point is moved at each instant - as long as each one has an attractor and the attractors converge to alpha. In a large-scale social setting this means an underlying pull in a certain direction, political or otherwise, may make irrelevant many of the minor details. Of course, there is always the possibility of the exceptional detail derailing things.

Here the hypothetical splitting of universes at each instant is “guided” by a kind of “force”.

When I spoke of my “zeno contours” at some point in this thread, Ed mentioned momentum (lack of) with reference to Zeno’s Arrow and my interpretation of the paradox – no motion at each instant – using the scheme I describe above. Actually, my sequence of functions is simply another way to present the formula from elementary calculus that describes the path of the arrow, determined by initial velocity and orientation. What is in that fundamental formula is there in my process.

Dr. F . . . this is more blah, blah, blah, but I submit it is of sufficient intellectual character to relieve the tedium of much of the debate about the definition and attainment of “nothingness.”
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 23, 2013 - 05:03pm 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 - 05:08pm 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 - 05:12pm 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 - 07:08pm 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 - 07:25pm 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 - 07:25pm 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 - 07:44pm PT
There is NO theory in "real" ever ......
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Apr 23, 2013 - 07:50pm 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 23, 2013 - 09:36pm 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 23, 2013 - 10:05pm 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 23, 2013 - 10:08pm 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 23, 2013 - 10:52pm 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 23, 2013 - 11:32pm 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.
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