Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Jun 20, 2013 - 12:54am PT
Can you give an example of two things that do meet directly?

Sure. Everything that's in my mind right now. All occurring phenomena. Think of what goes on in a dream. Everything in the dream meets directly there in the dream.

Phenomena are no where, they don't have existence, and yet there they are together (as it were) in dreams and illusions. All phenomena are equal, manifest yet not existent--e.g, emotions, concepts, thoughts, perceptions, etc. You can't find, grasp, delineate them. Reach out and take hold of your subjectivity or experience or consciousness. Empirically, it doesn't seem to be there, does it? But it's not the sort of thing that can be doubted. If you perceive it, it's there.

Your idea that there are objects and that one has direct access to them so that they can be known as facts, using your paradigm, . . . mmmmmm, no, I don't think that will wash if I stay in your paradigm. Using your paradigm, you can't say that you can feel your hands. If you can't even say that you can feel your hands, then what can you say about any other object in your universe?

Your paradigm has too many unresolvabilities. My paradigm works much better. Much simpler. No loose ends. Nothing unexplained. No paradoxes. No conundrums. WYSIWYG.

(Of course, it's seems freaking nuts, but so what?)

Jun 20, 2013 - 01:12am PT
It does not need a formal theory or to be told what a fact is.

Oh yes it does.

What does any word in your sentence mean? Get that, er, . . idea, . . .across to someone who has never acquired language. The fact that you can write a line means you're using concepts that others consensually agree to. What is a word but a concept? Any and every concept presents a model or a theory or a framework.

Look, I can see that you're bothered by the idea that all beliefs could be false, as opposed to others that would be true. Another word for belief is assumption, or even imagination.

What and where would you be if you gave up all assumptions, all imagination, all beliefs?

Imagine simply being ("being") in that space. It's a space without space. What manifests in that space is a display of the mind, just phenomena--empty phenomena. Just like watching a movie or a TV show; there, but not really existent.


Jun 20, 2013 - 01:27am PT
What and where would you be if you gave up all assumptions, all imagination, all beliefs?

Dead stone .......

Jun 20, 2013 - 01:38am PT
The outlooks and institutions of the hunter gatherers, pastoralists, horticulturalists, agriculturalists and industrialists are all quite different.

Jan, you might have misunderstood me. When I referred to this writing of yours, I was trying to point out that the structures of consciousness of different eras would likely present completely different world views than the mental-rational one that the vast majority of civilized societies use and assume today.

For example, primitives in clans probably saw Nature and self as largely undifferentiated--where things happened magically, where there was no sense of cause and effect but more of association among events, where accidents are meaningful, and emotional affinities are the defining characteristics among all things. In clan-based primitive societies, everything is related to everything. It's all Nature. Man merges with Nature, has nature, or lives in a trance with nature ("participation mystique"). Magical rituals manipulate objects in the world, and they are the ways Man approaches what is otherwise terrifying, powerful, and awesome.

Clan-based society (Magic Man) is but one possible era for significantly different structures of consciousness and different paradigmatic world views. That was what I thought you were referring to.

What I was saying about it, is that people of the current era (mental-rational) structure of consciousness cannot readily see through to that "state of being." One cannot explain another structure of consciousness readily to another because consciousness cannot be explained at all. Consciousness can only be lived.

Jun 20, 2013 - 01:43am PT
consciousness cannot be explained at all.

Then why are you trying to explain it?

But you are wrong.

It can Be explained.

Not every word and sound vibration that exists is material .....

Jun 20, 2013 - 02:21am PT

You talk about my paradigm as if you know what it is. It isn't clear to me that you know what your own paradigm is. What is your paradigm? How do you know that things "meet directly" in your consciousness? Because it feels that way? Why could they not be meeting across synapses?

What we say here is only a rough guide to what we think and feel. When you speak of reality being analogous to a movie on a screen it reminds me of watching home movies on an old projector back in the 60s. One time, part of the scene was blue sky. The action up to there had been dull but suddenly a dot appeared in the sky. It grew quickly and erratically. My young mind first thought, "Flying saucer!!" Then the blue sky exploded to white and there was a bad smell. A frame of the movie had got stuck and the projection light had burned through the celluloid.

Reality doesn't show that kind of behavior. Reality is consistent. Physics exhibits invariant properties that, to date anyway, do not depend on which human observer is looking at them. Humans are not like that. Humans are idiosyncratic. Humans can show the kind of behavior the movie projector did. Humans are part of reality but I would not depend on any one individual's ability to subsume all of reality into any paradigm.

You go your way. I'll go mine. We probably agree that no harm is done by having different views.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 20, 2013 - 11:06am PT
Physics exhibits invariant properties that, to date anyway, do not depend on which human observer is looking at them.

For starters, what physical process can you ever point to that you have come to know other than by observing? It is most logical that "things" occur separte from the observer, but we have no proof of this because thre is no proving anythikgn without observation. What's more, yu have essentially described a classical take on physics, with it's tidy fixed laws, but "reality" for a reductionist/physicalist is a matter of fundamental properties and elements that "cause" the higher order functins and that means the quantum world. And down there, the observer is often given a fairly significant role. To wit:

The Copenhagen interpretation is one of the earliest and most commonly taught interpretations of quantum mechanics. It holds that quantum mechanics does not yield a description of an objective reality but deals only with probabilities of observing, or measuring, various aspects of energy quanta, entities that fit neither the classical idea of particles nor the classical idea of waves. According to the interpretation, the act of measurement causes the set of probabilities to immediately and randomly assume only one of the possible values. This feature of the mathematics is known as wavefunction collapse. The essential concepts of the interpretation were devised by Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and others in the years 192427.

At some level, I am told, we are only dealing with energy, which we can know only by it's effects, not the "stuff itself."

Now you guys can weigh in about how wrong this all is . . .


Jun 20, 2013 - 11:11am PT
You're not wrong, JL. Energy is mysterious. You only observe its effects. We know a lot about it, though.


If MikeL wants to know what a radically different paradigm looks like, he could make a study of quantum mechanics. If that is too worldly, math has structures which "tell stories" that refer to no physical objects we know of.

Jun 20, 2013 - 02:57pm PT
// Facts are constructions. Facts are objectivized sensations / perceptions. They're reifications //

Good to see that things are moving again.

reifications . . . love that word! Right out of the metaphysical lexicon. Those of us who believe there is a physical reality, even though our perceptions of it are imperfect, find such language entertaining and at some minimal level, provocative. Keep up the good fight, spiritualists . . . move this thread along.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 20, 2013 - 03:01pm PT
move this thread along.

Yes,yes...you guys are the indigestible fiber in the large intestines of this thread.


Jun 20, 2013 - 03:09pm PT
Keep up the good fight, spiritualists

There's nothing to fight about.

In true reality there's nothing really material at all.

Everything is spiritual.

We call material only because it's manifested temporarily.

The lab coats are bewildered by this temporary manifestation ......

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 03:37pm PT
I know of several sub atomic particles that were predicted by mathematics. They were later discovered.

Einstein worked out Special Relativity. It's first test was by using photographs of solar eclipses, which showed that light passing close to the sun was "bent."

Something such as the relative nature of time was later proven as well. His equations were entirely correct, and you can thank him for a functioning GPS system.

Everything around you is a result of applied science, which leads to technology. EVERYTHING around you is a result of technology unless you take a walk in the woods. Even then you will be breathing molecules which entered the atmosphere due to manmade processes.

You can turn inward all that you like and claim success easily. This has been the case throughout human history. You can even create your own religion if you are extremely charismatic and delusional.

Interesting thoughts:

The atmosphere of the Earth used to be heavy in CO2. After the evolution of cyanobacteria, free molecular oxygen began to accumulate. Oxygen is a highly reactive molecule, and if all life ceased on Earth, it would be chemically bound within a relatively short time span.

That is one of the signatures to use when searching for life on other planets. Oxygen is a direct indicator of life as it exists on Earth. It has basically replaced the ancient CO2 atmosphere, and today CO2 levels are quite small. Plants that breathe CO2 have adapted over time to lower CO2 levels. If you care to consider the matter, adaptation and evolution are powerful but inevitable ideas.

The LHC at CERN was built to study subatomic particles such as the Higgs Boson, which I know is predicted by math.

Meditate the Golden Gate bridge. Then build it. This I would like to see.

Be careful about making statements about science unless they have been vetted by the carpool first.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 03:41pm PT
You're not wrong, JL. Energy is mysterious. You only observe its effects. We know a lot about it, though.

Please clarify this statement. You don't have to go into difficult detail, just explain what is mysterious about energy?

Ice climber
the ghost
Jun 20, 2013 - 03:43pm PT
Meditate the Golden Gate bridge. Then build it. This I would like to see.

Mystics: Build the Golden Gate bridge with your mind alone & I'll be impressed; until then I'm not.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 03:52pm PT
reifications . . . love that word! Right out of the metaphysical lexicon.

Indeed Master Gill.

This thread has been bombarded by language that is very slippery.

Qualia was first. You can look that one up and it is nothing special.

I really do want a definition of some of the words being used.

I know that the "discursive mind" is the current paradigm in psychology these days, and has replaced in part cognitive theories.

John has never owned up to his teachings until dragging us out for months. I heard that he had gone back to school to study psychology, I believe, and his interest in Zen goes back who knows how long. The rest of us are quite open about our interests and education, but John has never given us definitions. He drops strange words on us without helping us to understand it.

This has really been the basis of my discomfort with John since the beginning of the thread. He holds his experience close to the chest, and is more interested in arguing and punishing everyone far more than he is trying to educate.

After watching this go on for three years, the only conclusion that I can arrive at is that he gets his kicks doing this. All other participants have been more than open.

I just wish he would come down from his thin air and try to explain and teach others rather than berating them.

Werner, you are much like Go-B. I understand your spiritual nature because I have been very close to spiritual people throughout my life. I have no problem with it. Your statements are completely sincere.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 20, 2013 - 03:53pm PT
Yeah, speaking of mystics, self-deception, inflations of all stripes and manner... and woo woo...

It's not limited to this thread...


I bet this teacher guy had a flair with words, too.


re: The Brain is Not the Mind

(Remind you of anyone around here? lol)


Thank the Fates for the internet!

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 04:19pm PT

I'm not ripping religion. It is their choice and as long as nobody gets hurt, I don't mind. I don't discourage anyone. What MikeL and Largo are doing is important. If nobody really immersed themselves into the nature of the mind, there would be a hole in mankind's knowledge. The only problem is that it is a sample size of one, and there is no empirical way to prove it. That has been the nut of science bashing since Galileo first looked through the telescope.

If a number of people arrive at the same conclusions, then it becomes more valid in a sense, as long as they remain open and skeptical of their experiences. There are many neurological topics, such as love. We all know that it is real, but HOW it works is still a little mysterious.

I really wish that we had a hot neuroscientist here. They could rip us apart on both ends of the discussion of mind.

I do think that this thread, whose title is everything vs. science, has been deeply lacking in science lately.

Fossils are a hoot with the fundamentalists. Go to some of the creationist websites. People actually believe this stuff despite purposeful manipulation and cherry picking of the empirical evidence to suit their pre-designed keyhole of their deified universe.

They can't have it both ways. Anyway, you are a scientism ridden, discursive strapped, materialist maggot like me.

See you at the relativity rally tonight? I'll be there late. I am going to drive fast this afternoon.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 20, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
HFCS... I'm not ripping religion.

I know. What the hell is wrong with you, get with the program!


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 20, 2013 - 04:39pm PT
BASE now says, what's the mystery about energy? Really?

A passage:

In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity which comes in many forms, such as kinetic energy, potential energy, radiant energy, and many others. This is a major topic in science and technology.

The question "what is energy?" is difficult to answer in a simple, intuitive way. In the words of Richard Feynman, "It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge what energy is. We do not have a picture that energy comes in little blobs of a definite amount."

In other words, while we can vigorously measure all manner of effects and voltages and so forth or energy, we have no idea what energy is other than by what it evokes. It is very similar to emotions, which, to use the imprecise (non-numerical) languare of psychology, is energy (E) in motion. Try and get your head around what an emotion really is. Wew can know a sensatin in our leg, say, or a thought in our head. But emotions are only known by their effects (sadness, anger, joy, etc.) They have no substance, though their effect can impinge heavily on our bodies.

I think BASE is suggesting that energy and the effects (measurements) of energy are the very same. The challenge here is that this leaves energy itself with no physical footprint in and of itself, meaning (according to my car pool buddies) yo ucan find no material aspect to energy, only the voltage etc. said to come off of "it," while there being no "it" there at all, in he normal physical sense.

I would also like to hear BASE's definition of qualia, and how he might defend it as being "nothing special." Not in a "beter than" way, but in terms of qualitative difference between subjective experience (qualia) and ANY OTHER THING in the known universe.


Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 04:40pm PT
OK. Largo.

Give us a history of your background. That would help us understand what you are saying.

I only ask that you speak honestly. Don't consult your carpool.

I am an exploration geologist with 25 years of experience with sedimentary rocks. I understand their depositional environments, history, ages, you name it. I know a lot about the last billion years of Earth history.

I'm also a rabid reader regarding any science topic.

My favorite book is Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which has nothing to do with science. The language is incredibly beautiful.

The movie ain't too bad either.

So please explain your background. It would help a lot. You switch your terms around willy nilly, and with your writing background, it seems to me that you have purposely strung us along. You could have been a good teacher on this thread.
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