Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 31, 2013 - 08:24am PT
You're a prophet of God, but no one believes you?

Hebrews 1:3
May 31, 2013 - 08:36am PT
Wait a minute...

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.


May 31, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
At this point I would welcome back quantum stuff & flux . . .
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 31, 2013 - 01:36pm PT
Splitter, there's a cure for that, you know. Your views are definitely welcome although in a minority with go-B, and maybe John Long and Werner Braun, but beware. They may try to lure you into a dimension as vast as space, and as timeless as infinity. Into a land of shadow and substance, of things and ideas. The middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition; it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. The dimension of imagination. In fact, you may have already crossed over into it ....

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 31, 2013 - 02:34pm PT
...the 49er end zone.

May 31, 2013 - 04:57pm PT
The Hadza are not big on ritual. There is not much room in their lives, it seems, for mysticism, for spirits, for pondering the unknown. There is no specific belief in an afterlife—every Hadza I spoke with said he had no idea what might happen after he died. There are no Hadza priests or shamans or medicine men. Missionaries have produced few converts. I once asked Onwas to tell me about God, and he said that God was blindingly bright, extremely powerful, and essential for all life. God, he told me, was the sun.

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 31, 2013 - 05:49pm PT
Kathleen Taylor, Neuroscientist, Says Religious Fundamentalism Could Be Treated As A Mental Illness

The Huffington Post | By Meredith Bennett-Smith
05/31/2013 12:21 pm EDT

An Oxford University researcher and author specializing in neuroscience has suggested that one day religious fundamentalism may be treated as a curable mental illness.

Kathleen Taylor, who describes herself as a "science writer affiliated to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics," made the suggestion during a presentation on brain research at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday.

In response to a question about the future of neuroscience, Taylor said that "One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated," The Times of London notes.

“Someone who has for example become radicalised to a cult ideology -- we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance," Taylor said. “In many ways it could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage."

The author went on to say she wasn't just referring to the "obvious candidates like radical Islam," but also meant such beliefs as the idea that beating children is acceptable.

Taylor was not immediately available for comment.

This is not the first time Taylor has explored the mind processes of a radical. In 2006, she wrote a book about mind control called Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control, which explored the science behind the persuasive tactics of such groups as cults and al Qaeda.

"We all change our beliefs of course," Taylor said in a YouTube video about the book. "We all persuade each other to do things; we all watch advertising; we all get educated and experience [religions.] Brainwashing, if you like, is the extreme end of that; it's the coercive, forceful, psychological torture type."

Taylor also noted that brainwashing, though extreme, is part of a the "much more widespread phenomenon" of persuasion. That is, "how we make people think things that might not be good for them, that they might not otherwise have chosen to think."

However, Taylor has also been a voice of caution in terms of the ethics of delving too deeply into the human brain's mysterious workings.

"Technologies which directly scan or manipulate brains cannot be neutral tools, as open to commercial exploitation as any new gadget," Taylor wrote in a blog post for The Huffington Post in 2012. "The brain supremacy offers chances to improve human dignity, but it also risks abuse."

Watch the video below to hear Kathleen Taylor discuss her book Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control.

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 31, 2013 - 07:09pm PT
I agree
it's a state of mind, nothing more
maybe it's a primitive state, like that of a sponge

May 31, 2013 - 07:30pm PT
Largo suggests that if we quieted our discursive minds we could arrive at a state or experience a state similar in some way to that which he himself does. To what extent different people have different meditation experiences, and how much it depends on the person versus the process, can only be revealed or guessed at from what different people report.

JL recently chastised us for being incurious and not even attempting meditation. If I remember rightly, Ed has practiced meditation, and Jan, and Dr. F.

On a math problem we know from reports of people who describe the process and experience that very different approaches can be taken and different mental states entered but that the same answer to the problem will be found by those different people using their different approaches and mentalities. It has been described as leaving the known world, flying through an abstract place, and landing again in a new territory and seeing where it connects to the old.

I think Largo is doing something similar as far as leaving the known world. It may just be that he doesn't get anywhere and isn't interested in getting anywhere in the process.

Somewhere out there
May 31, 2013 - 07:53pm PT
The Problem With Jesus

If he existed at all, the myth goes that the god waited around for many years before lending a piece of himself (jesus) to the people of the earth.
Then the god/jesus spoke the truth to all those in power enough to get himself killed, so, supposedly the god/jesus died.
Only problem is he's back after 3 days, resurrected from the dead, after which he supposedly ascends into heaven… to be by gods side…

So… what exactly did god/jesus give up as the sacrifice for all mankind.

I say it until I'm flesh tone in the face and still I get no really insightful answer… Just the same sad f*#k "You're just too stupid" from Werner….

That's just a one of the many reasons why I feel religion is worth nothing to humanity. And if I hear the age old argument "religion gives people a reason and a way to be good", well then you must be one of those who thinks they need it.

But if you were an authentic "good" person… you would not need religion. It would be who you are.


May 31, 2013 - 08:02pm PT
I think Largo is doing something similar as far as leaving the known world. It may just be that he doesn't get anywhere and isn't interested in getting anywhere in the process

JL is indeed a man of mystery who tantalizes us with clues . . .

May 31, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
thinking over a math problem is also a process
that process also ends up in some state

and a little humor pointed at this thread


Prescott, AZ
May 31, 2013 - 08:30pm PT
...mediation is a process,
that process ends up in some state, you can call it what you want

thinking over a math problem is also a process
that process also ends up in some state

what differentiates the states?

I'll guess - no-thing?

Actually, I was thinking you could substitute the words "math" and "meditation" with "climbing". Or add the word, as in...

jogill can testify that often when you're working a (climbing) problem you are in a world quite different from the "normal conscious" world...

Altered states.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 31, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
I'll state again that the various meditation systems of several world religions, with the encouragement of the Dalai Lama, have set a goal of coming up with a unified description and vocabulary for every altered state of mind documented in their various traditions.Whether one of these altered states corelates to the altered state of solving math problems, we simply don't know yet.

I think this is where brain scans would be very useful. So far meditator and charismatic brains have been scanned, but not mathemeticians, so that would be an interesting Ph.D. research project for someone. Perhaps, if they were proved the same, this would create more respect for the meditators. I dare say Dr. F. would never accuse a mathemetician out there in an altered state trying to solve a problem, of being in "a primitive state like a sponge".


May 31, 2013 - 09:45pm PT
the whole day might pass with very little or no notice at all...

Here I see some similarity between the mathematician's process and we retirees.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 31, 2013 - 09:46pm PT
In regard to the question that Ed asks, Largo and any other meditator is in a mental state, that's for certain. The question is whether that state is merely that state or
enables one to connect with something else in the universe.

Likewise splitter describes phenomena that are real to Christians but also to people of other religions. Everything he describes I have seen experienced by Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, and animists, and have read about in regard to Judaism and Islam. It seems to me then, that these phenomena represent a human potential common to the entire human race. The ultimate question then becomes - are they self produced somehow, or do they represent contact with something in the universe that is way beyond the doctrines of individual religions or their founders?

I have an interesting book from long ago, that Ed might enjoy also, if he hasn't seen it already. It is written by Lawrence LeShan and titled, The Medium, the Mystic, and the Physicist. The last section of the book gives quotes from all three and you have to guess which of the three said it. Of course anyone familiar with physics will probably recognize those but my undergraduate students in comparative religion classes did not. Anyone reading those quotes however, based on that alone, would conclude that the altered state they enter is all the same. It would be nice to have brain scans to confirm it just the same.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 31, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
Are ya'll trollin' the Largo-Meister?

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 31, 2013 - 10:23pm PT

now if meditation gets you to some state, may Largo labels it "no-thing" but actually, it's just a state like any other state... you arrive there by a similar process

What similar process? What you described was a narrow focuse flow state brought on by concentrating on what likely is a world-class logic or math problem. This is likely flexing the discursive mind to it's limits, and no doubt takes a lot of practive, probably a lifetime.

Meditation is mostly the process of detaching from not only the discursive mind, but also feelings, beliefs, thoughts, memories, smells, desires, and so forth and dropping deeper and deeper into the open void of mind itself. The focus is not on any particular state - all states being impermanent - but on the emptiness (no-thing or no-mind) from which all transient states emerge and fall back into. IME, the notion that you could arive here by some cognitive process is a non-starter since symbolic cognition (words, numbers, etc) is what usually stands between us and emptiness.

What IS similar is the momentary transcendence of the "self" or "I" that our egos fashioned for us. We're usually "bound by self," self-absorbed in our own internal process. We the "I" falls away and there is just presence itself, with whatever is going on, the consciousness is clear and pure as a diamond and people often have so-called boundary experiences. Any kind of intense concentration can produce this selfless state and it's a kind of everyman's contact with something greater than himself (his "I"). Not an experience soon forgotten.

But different kind of meditation bring about vastly diferent brain states. I did a bunch of research on this (EEG, neurofedback and qEEG) in grad school and I'll talk abought that sometime soon. It's intresting stuff.

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 31, 2013 - 10:39pm PT
the notion that you could arive here by some cognitive process is a non-starter since symbolic cognition (words, numbers, etc) is what usually stands between us and emptiness.

So arriving " here" is in every way like arriving anywhere else. The brain's sensory apparatus is made aware not of something , but of nothing. The emptiness is defined by and delineated by the lack of normal cognition and awareness . Without the state of discursive mind there is nothing to compare this other " empty" state to. It is therefore the anti-matter of mind. When normal cognitive states collide with the non- discursive there is mutual annihilation.

Social climber
joshua tree
May 31, 2013 - 11:04pm PT
Jingy that was a very, very good question.

God became man for the exclusive reason to be flesh and blood.
Think of blood. Meditate on blood. What is it? Why is it? IT'S NOT ETERNAL.
Before Jesus; god recommended that if we (man) were to wrong our brother, then we were to
make a "blood" sacrifice. Meaning, to stop a blood flow before it s destined extinction. (mostly
in a animal). The reason for this cannot be clarified scientificlly, or philosophically, but maybe
spiritually. God only knows.
But if man had to sacrifice an animal every time he wronged his brother today, ther wouldn't be any more animals. (my thought).
So god became man to be the ultimate sacrifice for all men. Thru out time.
Jesus bleed 7 different ways upon reaching the cross. To cover ALL the ways man can
rage against his brother. And in understanding these differences, one can pray and call upon the Power of the individual characteristics in which Jesus expelled His blood.
I have personally pleaded the blood of Jesus in prayer towards another individual, and have
witnessed drastic changes in their lives. Without ever mentioning anything ever to them personally.
With only having a concious awareness of another's turmoil, i, (or anyone) has the ability
to plead the blood of Jesus to make an action into a positive light.
For us to resurrect the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and to plead His blood is the most powerful power in the universe. And it should not be discussed lightly.
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