Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 28, 2013 - 11:36pm 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 - 07:53am 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 - 09:01am 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 - 09:16am 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 - 12:20pm 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 - 12:28pm 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 - 12:46pm 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 - 12:51pm 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 - 01:04pm 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 - 02:17pm 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?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 29, 2013 - 02:33pm 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?


Look at what you have done here, Fruity. You guys are simply incapable of looking at the question that I am asking without trying to toss it back to me while guessing where I am coming from, and pointing out the imagined limitation of "stetelessness." Fine. The fundamental limitation of statelessness is in quantifying or qaualifying and contrasting discrete bits or qualities, because the game here is The Whole.

That much said: Answer the question - what do YOU see as the fundamental limitation of quantifying? Where does it fall short?

Glib defaults such as, "At the juncture of real science and ju ju" will be written off as scientism. We already know all about that. What's left?

JL
splitter

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
May 29, 2013 - 03:00pm PT


How far is heaven? Only a breath away!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 29, 2013 - 03:08pm PT
Actually, I'd much rather talk about the limitations of 'statelessness'. I mean, other than simply 'experiencing' 'statelessness' - which has no attributes beyond a perspective not rooted the discursive mind - to 'be' it and practice in order to 'arrive' faster and linger longer, what's your point? It's not like there are any 'answers' there by which one might contrast it with the conclusions of the discursive mind. I suppose we all extrapolate our own conclusions about the experience and our reactions on returning again and again to our discursive minds, but that's simply conjecture.

You seem fixated on pointing out what we don't currently know, what we likely will never know, yet all the while (if not eternally) beating around the bush without ever simply coming out and saying / claiming there are other ways to 'know'. I would very much dispute that there is any unique or universal 'knowing' of any kind to be had from experiencing 'statelessness' or no-thingness - it's just a mirror, not a portal.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 29, 2013 - 04:21pm PT
For the record, many of the statements above about the timing of human intelligence are incorrect. Agriculture and denser human habitats did not happen until 8-10,000 years ago and the first urbanized society (more people living in cities than not) wasn't until around 1850 A.D. The human brain size has remained the same for the 190,000 years of Homo sapiens while the brain size of the preceding Neanderthasl was larger than ours. Tooth size has been reduced in the past 10,000 years since the introduction of cooking and agriculture, but it's impossible to measure the actual size of intestines in a fossil. When we lost our hair, is also impossible to say from skeletal remains, but most people think it happened because of the need for cooling on long journeys enabled by upright walking which is at least 4 million years old. That upright walking may have been a response also, to a warm period on earth and drought which made both food gathering and hunting more demanding as the forests became scrub land and then deserts.

The major breakthrough in human behavior happened around 50-60,000 years ago and was probably brought about by the invention of language. Suddenly within a short span of time we see evidence of sophisticated tools, art, religion and so on. Since humans left Africa shortly after, those innovations were then spread around the world. Agriculture enabled a leisure class only 8,000 years ago which then was able to devote more time to the advancement of technology. Humans also invented widespread warfare, prostitution and slavery at that time as land and people became commodities thanks to the new technology. That process has never stopped.
jogill

climber
Colorado
May 29, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
But also notice that NOT once has ANYONE offered any comment about any fundamental limitation to quantifying. Not once. That IS scientism.

How could anyone know if there is a fundamental limitation to quantifying? The process of applying mathematics to nature continues. So this is scientism? Seeing how far the process can go? You've said you are not certain of anything - are you certain quantifying has a "fundamental" limit? Do you choose not to keep an open mind on the subject?
MH2

climber
May 29, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
Agriculture's sudden rise, however, came with a price. It introduced infectious-disease epidemics, social stratification, intermittent famines, and large-scale war. Jared Diamond, the UCLA professor and writer, has called the adoption of agriculture nothing less than "the worst mistake in human history"—a mistake, he suggests, from which we have never recovered.


from

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/12/hadza/finkel-text/1
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
May 29, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
But also notice that NOT once has ANYONE offered any comment about any fundamental limitation to quantifying.

Yea, yea, you all don't know me from...

This whole discussion is a bit unfair and seems purposefully vague, as well as the fact that this is not an easy question to answer anyway. No doubt this is NOT the answer you are looking for.

There are always assumptions associated with any measurement taken. While there are certain basic assumptions made when measuring things such as length, force, and acceleration, quantifying things like a health care experience layers on even more complications (that all human experience can be translated into a basic set of cognitive and linguistic constructs). These quantifications are always interpreted as well. You measure something and it is 12 inches long. It seems obvious; the something, say a stick, is 12 in. The assumptions are in the obviousness of it all. Yet, if you were able to measure that stick while it was moving close to the speed of light while you were not, that 12 inches is only correct in your frame of reference. THIS is an understanding we have now, and hence we could comprehend it if we could manage the measurement. It is the assumptions out of our depth that throw us, because inherently we do not understand them.

I'm going to go back to lurking. But perhaps, Largo might discuss some of his spiritual dealings on New Guinea. Surly these people had at the time some of the least amount of contact with Westerners of nearly anybody. How did you feel about our western ethics and values after dancing their tribal dances? Reconciling western and the range of cultures found on that island has to have been a herculean task....perhaps impossible
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 29, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
I would very much dispute that there is any unique or universal 'knowing' of any kind to be had from experiencing 'statelessness' or no-thingness - it's just a mirror, not a portal.



I would be interested to have you explain your direct experiences with statelessness that led you to believe it is a mirror, not a portal.



And John, I agree that measuring Nature continues, but by Nature I highly suspect that you mean physical or material things. If your experience suggests to you that there is nothing more than physical tings, then quite naturally you will scratch your head at the idea that quantifying should have any limits. But I do think you know that challenging physicalism as an absolute fact, and the suggesting that quantifying might be limited, is enough to be called a heretic amongst most of this crowd.

It's really a mater of perspective. For instance, MH2 challenged me on the idea that there were degrees of presence. Only later did I remember he was a staunch physicalist and so quite natural to that perspective, presence would not be considered in the internal, experiential way, but in terms of brute physicality. And to a physicalist, a thing is either there (present) or not there. Of course I was talking about the degress to which our awareness is unfettered by the intrusions of thoughts, feelings, senstions, and so on, which is MY perspective, no his.

So if you believe that all reality is either physical or can be traced back to physical antecedents, then of course quantifying will be considered to be a boundless tool.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
May 29, 2013 - 07:25pm PT
Here's some interesting quantifying:

http://www.dirjournal.com/info/dunbar-number-human-relationships/

And that's just one example. Whether or not quantifying has limits, well, I dunno how it could, except in the cases of null and infinite sets. I do know that I personally turn off my discursive mind every night for six or seven hours, interrupted by a few bouts of discursive fantasizing that I hardly remember. So maybe we're already hardwired to shut it all down for reasons that, as they say, are still not understood. As for Largo's persecution complex, as I've said already: maybe there's a good reason why Zen is considered a non-proselytizing belief system?
jogill

climber
Colorado
May 29, 2013 - 08:36pm PT
I agree that measuring Nature continues, but by Nature I highly suspect that you mean physical or material things

Actually, I meant anything we are capable of perceiving or conceiving. Including those areas you consider completely outside science. You may very well be correct, but the notions of "unborn" fields, etc. may one day be analytically describable (if they exist) even though that seems like a hopeless flight of fantasy at present. I am not willing to place speculative boundaries on the quantifiable or analytical.

Neither am I a slave to the discursive.

I bet MikeL might have a few thoughts about these things.
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