Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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MH2

climber
Jun 12, 2013 - 09:02pm PT
"No comment necessary" is a comment, and it reveals prejudice as much as any comment does, Jogill. If you use words, you expose beliefs. Try "not communicating" with any word(s). You might as well say what's on your mind.


Communication among humans takes many forms, not all of which are available, here. Perhaps jogill would have made a quizzical face if you could have seen him. I remember saying to BASE104 that a personal meeting and discussion with Largo would probably convince him of Largo's sincerity better than all the words Largo has written on this thread. We get many clues beyond words about what someone is thinking and feeling: skin color, facial tension, eyeshine, voice tone, a hand on the shoulder or elbow, etc.

Here, we must infer some of what the other person is trying to say.

Perhaps I was not clear enough in my attempts to respond to MikeL. Here is how it began:


Thanks for the article / url. According to depth psychologists, in every age, man projects the state of the development of his consciousness onto the universe, and the reflections of the projection is then perceived as a verification of the projection. Insidious reification.

How difficult would it be to break that cycle / process? Is it possible to see things as they really are (whatever that might be)?


Almost everything tells us that we are small, insignificant, separate individuals--with obvious, reinforcing, and socially confirming perceptions--living in a vast and immensely complex external universe that arose from cyclic prime causes.

What a story. I suppose it could be stranger, but as stories go, it's highly inventive and perhaps overly complex. What genre would one put it in? Romance? Tragedy? Comedy? Irony? Science fiction? A slice of life? Multi-plot? Anti-plot?



When MikeL says, "What a story," I must guess what story he is talking about. From my reading of other posts of his, I guess that he is talking about the story of science and our current picture of cosmology and possibly other branches of science. Science has romance, tragedy, comedy, irony, fiction, slices of life, and many plots, but science does not fit into any of those genres, unless you are Procrustes. It is like asking, "Is light a wave or a particle?" The question can't be answered at the level it is asked.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 12, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
If it were completely experiential its advocates would explain it once and not keep grinding on it.




I 've always thought the " grinding" was a notable feature because the advocates were essentially " one note Johnnies".
From the Urban Dictionary:
1. One Note Johnny

Someone who constantly talks about the same thing over and over again as if they had no idea that they were notorious for talking about the same thing over and over again.

Now I know that it's our fault entirely -in that our empirical minds, endowed to us by millions of years of evolution ,are at fault here.
Who would have thought that the rational mind would be an inherent liability when confronted with experiences that put nothingness at the center of sought- after consciousness.?
splitter

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Jun 12, 2013 - 10:30pm PT
Ego?
ego - preoccupation with self, pride, arrogance.

humility - opposite of ego.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 12, 2013 - 10:48pm PT
Ward, my sense of you is that you equate separating from your discursive mind, even an inch, and even for a moment, as a kind of half-cocked self-betral.

The interesting thing is that most of the people afraid or put off by the notion seem to imagine they could do so with ease if only they wanted to, that if they understood the "point" of wasting all those hard-earned evolutionary eons on "nothing," detaching from the diesursive mind would be easy money once they DECIDED to do so. If you only knew. That bad boys hangs on like grim death.

Ward, what I think is happening is that you are fixating on the part of the game that disturbs or affends your rational mind, or which you don't understand at all, and have missed all of the other aspects that have been disscussed here beyond emptiness. We could say that science is a one pony show of quantifying, but this would hardly be accurate.

Again, if you are pleased with the progress you have made in the internal realms, by whatever path you have taken, good on you. And if the terrain laying beyond the discursive is of no interest to you, that is strictly your affair. And if you are convinced, for lack of experinces that would prove to you otherwise, that the whole non-discursive shebang is malarky, so be it.

As Herman Buhl said in Lonely Challenbge: Tastes differ. I don't much care for shellfish. So it goes.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 12, 2013 - 11:37pm PT
Ward, my sense of you is that you equate separating from your discursive mind, even an inch, and even for a moment, as a kind of half-cocked self-betral.

My guess is that here you might be trying to get me to declare or reveal some kind of state of mind that would allow you to pro rate my convictions in this matter.
Okay I'll bite.

I am an artist. A musician, primarily, although I am a poet and a prose writer. I am acquainted with those realms of action, and experience , that feed my expression. These states of mind , while not necessarily qualifying as that which I have variously defined as "non-discursive " ,nonetheless involve approaches that can hardly be characterized as being participated in by someone who is afraid of disengaging from his strictly evaluating mind. If I want to write a tune that expresses my inner feeling ,in a way that creates an ambient environment that reflects that expression , with all the accommodating detail, with all the simpatico intended to communicate in uncommon ways, then I must consider a line of thought and action in which my rationalizing judgement is always tempered by intuition and the non- rational. And vice versa.
In fact , art is the final melding of intuition and rationality. Nothing is more rational and yet more intuitive than a piece by Mozart, Beethoven , or Bach.
Any artist who strays into those crazy regions of discovery, running it out big time ,and leaves behind the tether of rationality (and eschews the balance ) is asking for mucho grande trouble on the choss pile of life.
I come from a tradition that dynamically infuses many ways of thinking,of various forms of conscious and unconscious intent.
I am not a one note Johnny.
MH2

climber
Jun 12, 2013 - 11:53pm PT
Unfortunately, I find it easy to understand what you say, Ward Trotter. Our evaluating minds have gotten the best of us once again.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:52am PT
I would warn against considering non-discursive explorations a kind of side-armd snub against retionality, or in some wise the equal of searching for God by some other name. This is simply the baggage we carry into any kind of internal work. Like thinking it is all about fuzzy feelings, or any feelings, or beliefs, or faith, or ideas, speculations, hopes, spiritual prowess, or God.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:54am PT
Okay.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 13, 2013 - 01:19am PT
. . . science does not fit into any of those genres.


Why doesn't it?

According to literary criticism, it certainly could be. Into perhaps all of them.

I don't think you have the ability to use the same lens of evaluation that you use on things that appear to be non-scientific to you.

I've been around the block a couple of times with Ed on this, and he said that it was acceptable to admit that truth is not the end-all, be-all in science--predictability, parsimony, and empirical testing were, though.

This means that science is not sure-footed when it comes to The Truth. Instead, science takes a provisional ("as if") stance. Ed was ok on this, too. That means you can't be absolutely sure. You believe you have strong empirical, logical, rational bases for belief. But in the last analysis, you don't and can't know for sure with scientific means and method alone. (Ed was happy with that, and I demurred. Hey, when there are no problems--you're done.)

The complaint against religion, god, and other mythical views here on this thread has been that none of it (religion, god, etc.) can be known for sure. Granted. They are other examples of unrestrained beliefs again, although now supported with other "evidence" and methods than scientists rely upon.

I've taken a radical stance. I say there is no order or coherence (nihilism), nothing is graspable, there is nothing that one can know for sure other than "I am" (solipsism), experience / consciousness solves all problems (no problem really exists since all is within consciousness), and Reality is almost the opposite of what IT appears to be. We are deluded. There's no proof of any of this that I can provide to anyone.

Each point of view presents a story. Not one of them can be proven to others. Each of them makes claims based upon different kinds of data and different methods.

My point was that all of these stories are fantastic if we were to dramatize them. They are all just stories. They are all just beliefs. As such none are special, privileged, or particularly credible outside of their own constituency. As beliefs, they must all be false.

(I am not the first person on the planet to look at the enlightenment project and rational-mental scientific endeavors as stories, dramas, and interpretive scripts and schemes. Other post-modernists in the academy have made these arguments decades ago, although they've been a bit more incisive, critical, and articulate than I've been here.)
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 13, 2013 - 01:47am PT

We get many clues beyond words about what someone is thinking and feeling: skin color, facial tension, eyeshine, voice tone, a hand on the shoulder or elbow, etc.

That's the thing though, you can sum up everything In science with just words!

Looking back to school days,, the science teachers were the most staunch people on campus.
They always had the same face on. They made seem sooo droll. Who would want to be like them if they weren't happy? I'm sure it's changed now.. People are in love withh their iPhones.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 13, 2013 - 02:07am PT

(I am not the first person on the planet to look at the enlightenment project and rational-mental scientific endeavors as stories, dramas, and interpretive scripts and schemes. Other post-modernists in the academy have made these arguments decades ago, although they've been a bit more incisive, critical, and articulate than I've been here.)

Yes. But what if you were to to step outside of this zone and really listen to what Mathew, Mark,Luke, John and Paul said. (and I don't mean The Beatles). Without the scientisism.

I can't understand how any smart person wouldn't condown the meanings of these words.
Unless they just give them up to as fiction?
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 13, 2013 - 03:18am PT

If it were completely experiential its advocates would explain it once and not keep grinding on it.

Exactly! That's. Why it's soo hard to prove being a christian in a court of law. That's what this thread has taught me.. That's why naively I thought everyone would want to hear what was so exciting to me. And when the terms that describe ur own experiences are only found in the bible. It's only other Christians that can appreciate those experiences. And without that experience one is not open to hear that language. But without that language one cannot understand their experience...
Quite the kanundrum. For some
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 13, 2013 - 08:11am PT
Many Christians will never believe this but there are plenty of people in this world who have never read the Bible, indeed many of them aren't literate, or they have been raised in a totally different religion, who know exactly what Christians are talking about concerning God and faith and a meaningful life of virtue.

Spiritual and religious experiences are part of the human potential just like understanding science is part of the human potential. There are plenty of scientists who will tell you that you can't understand science without the language of math and that is true at a certain level. Likewise, Christianity or any other religion can not be understood at a certain level without a certain common vocabulary and theology. Meanwhile, the human ability to observe their surroundings and draw logical conclusions or to search for religion and spirituality is there for everyone at some level.

It seems contradictory to me to say that Christians believe in an infinite God and then seek to declare limits on the ways that God can be understood. Likewise it's very finite and limited thinking to tell us that when a Christian experiences light it's from God, and when others do, it's the devil and delusion. That comes across as human centered, not God centered.

In fact, one of the greatest ironies of the post 9-11 world so far, is that instead of convincing people of the truth of either Islam or Christianity, the confrontation between the two religions each claiming to have the truth because their two different scriptures say they do, has created atheists faster than any reason or logic has ever done.

Christians wish we could have their experience. I could wish that some of you had met Nichiren Buddhists as I have, who explain that they used to be wife and child beating alcoholics until saved by Buddhism. This is often accompanied by tears and the person pleading to please follow their example because they know nothing but the truth of Buddhism could have turned their lives around. Of course a person neither for or against Buddhism will understand that something turned their lives around but many interpretations are possible.

Many on this thread would argue every human has the potential to reach inside and change themselves and that those Buddhists are as deluded as the Christians and Muslims. Another interpretation is that God works with all willing peoples and cultures. Some theologians would argue that a person never has to have heard the name of Christ to have encountered him. Similarly, I've heard Buddhists say when I explained Christianity to them, that they had no idea that Buddha had appeared in my land under a different name. Still others believe that Christ and Buddha were the same person appearing in different times and circumstances.

The whole issue is a lot more complicated that God vs atheists, or science vs religion, or Christianity vs other religions, or God vs the devil. That's why Christians don't win converts here, not some perverse desire of the people on this thread to avoid the truth which is supposedly standing before us. What we see is a person standing before us claiming to have the truth.

Some people get angry at religious truth claims, while I just note that I've heard such claims from the practitioners of many religions, large numbers of whom live a more Christian life style than the average Christian, and many of whom have had similar internal experiences, including conversion experiences. Personally, I wish everyone well in their life journey including Christians, but I'm not on the same theological path and not because I haven't thought about it or had my own experiences.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 13, 2013 - 08:48am PT
Personally, I wish everyone well in their life journey

Good metaphor and sentiments.

Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
(Pierre Delanoe, John Lennon, Gilbert Francois Leopold Becaud, Paul Mccartney)
MH2

climber
Jun 13, 2013 - 11:24am PT
MikeL,

You seem to be talking about or looking for truth, complete understanding, perfection, and certainty. I am willing to settle for the best answers we can get at the moment, and have the expectation that we can learn more, but I make no claim about how far science can go. Yes, scientific understanding is provisional. It changes if new evidence requires change. Science does not tell us the complete truth. It only gives us an idea of how far we can trust what we know.

However, to call science nothing more than a story full of beliefs that are false does not do it justice. You go too far when you say that our current understanding is false. Remember that science only makes statements about what happens in specific circumstances. Science can be called incomplete but if you call it false you should be able to give better evidence than you have so far.

Yes, there are many ways of perceiving and understanding what our brains present to us. I do not hold one up as better than others. If you want a bridge built to carry a train you should get a structural engineer rather than a musician. If you want music to dance to, go with the musician. Different modes of understanding have developed to apply in different situations.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:28pm PT
I think that the few of us who are rooting for people to take a flyer into the non-discursive are at bottom, thinking: If they only knew.

The hardest part of the initial foray is comking to understand that all our ideas about what the work is about are simply ideas, and the work itself is not an idea, but a radical opening and acceptance of where we are, right here, righ tnow, befor our conditioning tells us so.

The ungraspable element is what throws everyone. No exceptions. Learing that the discursive need not apply here is not "placing limits on science," but simply understanding that not every tune can be played on a violin.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:44pm PT
MH2:

It's not a complex notion that I'm presenting here. It's not like I'm presenting a terribly complex puzzle. I mean there's only one piece, you know? How hard can it be?

Once I finish grading these technical reports in front of me, perhaps I'll write most of what I see. In the meantime, perhaps this will do.

Any model (theory, concepts, framework, abstraction) presents a highly summarized notion, further poorly articulated by words. A so-called thing under investigation (gravity, electricity, leadership--whatever thing you want to talk about) is always far more complex than any model makes it out to be (parsimony). In the simplest sense possible, this means that the model is not quite true. (The map is not the the territory.) Furthermore, nothing ever finally gets resolved--hence the provisional as-if nature of "things". We never get to the bottom of anything.

"Not quite true" is, in my book, a synonym for false.

By their very nature (essence), all models are stipulations of what things are. But since we can't actually pin anything down concretely once and for all, that makes any model a belief.

You can now put the two together.

Have I made a mistake in logic? Do I misunderstand or mis-portray science? Am I being somehow unfair in my analysis? Does the notion of "story" contradict the actual practice of science in the academy?

. . . to call science nothing more than a story full of beliefs that are false does not do it justice.

I can't see that any view does Reality justice, MH2. That's exactly the point.

That doesn't mean that science isn't useful and fun.


How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.
(Niels Bohr)
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
This whole discursive/non-discursive mind thing is a complete false dichotomy, but I've got better things to do than to try to explain it here.
MH2

climber
Jun 13, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
This whole discursive/non-discursive mind thing is a complete false dichotomy, but I've got better things to do than to try to explain it here.


Now that is The Truth!
MH2

climber
Jun 13, 2013 - 02:01pm PT
"Not quite true" is, in my book, a synonym for false.


You prefer the excluded middle. If a proposition is not true then it must be false. You are a classicist. Quantum mechanics would not be your cup of tea.



edit:

From my perspective science does not care what things are. It only describes how things behave. There is a degree of consistency in the scientific descriptions of reality that beggars your claim that it is a collection of false beliefs.
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