Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 8, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
Yes Jan.
I do have a little understanding about the number 7. But when I was using the "chakra" methods I never coincided it with the bible. I basicly used it for stress. I don't think that term is in the bible is it?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 8, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
What a whirlyjig of ideas, and, like a carousel, when the music stops we remain seated on our favorite wooden horses.


Truer words were never spoken IME. Notice how the discursive mind trance holds us all by the short hairs. What’s more, we put virtue on being IN a trance, never suspecting as much till some earth shattering direct experience shows them as much.
-


I don't think that science is leaving the experiencer/subject out of the equation. Under general anesthetic the experiencer/subject is rendered unconscious. You probably know that from personal experience. This points to the experiencer/subject being a part of the nervous system acted on by general anesthesia.


Those are two important but unrelated ideas. For instance, try and find any ongoing neuroscience investigation that deals with anything but objective processing. In an article in the LA Times last year a leading neuroscientist said they "have no idea whatsoever" how sentience is generated by the brain. So much so that some ae starting to look at the brain as a kind of motem, though details were lacking.

JL

------
PS: DR. ROBERT JORDAN SEZ: On the issue of general anesthesia, some individuals under general anesthesia are able to report details of events occurring in the operating room such as what music was playing and what the operating room personnel said - often to the embarrassment of those present. If nothing can be recalled by the individual under general anesthesia, this cannot be interpreted to mean that the "I" goes away. It may simply mean that the person's ability to pay attention and to remember has been short-circuited. I work with alcoholics who black out and remember nothing of their experience during the black out. Apparently, when a person under acute intoxication blacks out, the neural pathways in the hippocampus and elsewhere, which are fundamental to retaining memories, are not functioning. Nevertheless, they are able to act and think (too much!) like themselves during that period about which they later have no recollection.
MH2

climber
Jun 8, 2013 - 09:48pm PT
If nothing can be recalled by the individual under general anesthesia, this cannot be interpreted to mean that the "I" goes away. It may simply mean that the person's ability to pay attention and to remember has been short-circuited.


That is as good an indication of the physical nature of the self and more specific than just saying the person was unconscious.

People do sometimes recall events that happened to them under general anesthesia. Anesthesia is not an all-or-nothing affair. It can be light or deep. Light anesthesia is preferred to reduce the risk of harmful after-effects.

Compare what typically happens under general anesthesia to what happens when a dissociative anesthetic like ketamine is used. It is definitely possible to mess with the sense of self, and memory, without putting the "I" to sleep.

If acknowledging the primacy of the subjective requires an earth-shattering experience, I'll wait until that happens.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 8, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
If acknowledging the primacy of the subjective requires an earth-shattering experience, I'll wait until that happens.


It can only happen that way because the discursive trance is so strong and so convincing. It really makes the gratest "sense." The brain "creates" the whole show . . . till it comes time to explain the really thorny questions, like the fact that energy cannot be made or lost. But I have learned that there simply is no moving a person off a staunch materialist stance. Only a direct experience can do that. Otherwise it's all just so much talk, whcih is the wheelhouse of discursive.

What's more, the discursive mind is unbelievably beligerent. It reminds of of this conversation, which actually happened:

US Ship: Please divert your course 0.5 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.

CND reply: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

US Ship: This is the Captain of a US Navy Ship. I say again, divert your course.

CND reply: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course!

US Ship: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS CORAL SEA, WE ARE A LARGE WARSHIP OF THE US NAVY. DIVERT YOUR COURSE NOW!!

CND reply: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

JL
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 8, 2013 - 10:35pm PT

. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.

I could go along with Max on all points, except this one.

Even though our mind knows what's the right or wrong path to take for a decision. Isn't it our conscious that try's to steer us in the right direction by conjuring up emotions?

The mind can put together the parts of the Internet. But it's the combined consciousness
of the users that will predict the boundrys of its universe..
Shakespeare
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jun 8, 2013 - 10:39pm PT
I did read that article the first time you referred to it. There have been many works of philosophy and fiction in the past that referred to man's very intelligence as being his downfall in one way or another. Personally I am less worried about the denial behind global warming wiping out the human race than miscalculations involving nuclear weapons.

That was not particularly my interest in the article. What i find fascinating is the idea that cultures can "create reality" in one context or another (religion, politics, economics....) that can become a powerhouse that drives that culture forward to all kinds of success, so long as the environment allows it - or that the mythologies inherent it do not conflict too drastically with true realities. I think they are saying that denial becomes imperative to oppose realities to sustain the myth, which the success is percieved to be dependent upon. This is the default because the myths are sacred, while reality sure isn't. Do you think these observations of theirs are accurate across the board?
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 8, 2013 - 10:58pm PT
This is the default because the myths are sacred, while reality sure isn't. Do you think these observations of theirs are accurate across the board

This is also true of rather abstract political and intellectual ideologies. In fact this was originally the operating definition of "ideology " as used by 19 century philosophers like Schopenhauer , Nietzsche, and even Hegel.

I think they are saying that denial becomes imperative to oppose realities to sustain the myth, which the success is percieved to be dependent upon

The " myths " alluded to here are difficult to trace as the epiphenomenon of a collective consciousness like a national culture . They evolve within a complex historical and psychological context and are somewhat evolutionary ; rather than a steady , fixed mythology or fictional narrative.
This is important in understanding that such representative collective ideas that undergird a society are far more inherently systematic and organic in nature and function and are not thoroughly valid nor invalid ,but rather mixed through and through --like a rocky road of truths, half-truths, and falsities.
Furthermore, all societies possess this particular dynamic and the social -political garb it comes dressed in. No generation is going to come along any time soon and by sheer force of sanitizing truthfulness revolutionize mankind to live and think in the absence of some persevering degree of collective myth. The reformers will simply replace the old set with a new set of social fictions, perhaps even worse, more draconian. Wolves in sheepskin clothing- and all that.
We've seen this time and again.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 8, 2013 - 11:32pm PT

Personally I am less worried about the denial behind global warming wiping out the human race than miscalculations involving nuclear weapons.

Either way SCIENCE will be the tool man uses to deconstruct the planet

The ONLY good thing about science is that it fixes the problem that it that it invented.
Einstein
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 8, 2013 - 11:42pm PT
There have been numerous examples of culture whose mythology was so strong, they failed to survive. Here are three from the American experience and clearly there are many more.

The Shakers didn't believe in sex but relied on converts and mostly on adoption of orphans, to keep their communities going. I think there are maybe two or three old lady Shakers left in the world now.

You can also calculate the rate of genetic mutations among the inbred Amish, especially of Lancaster County, and if nothing changes, estimate how many generations until 100% are afflicted and finally the group fails to reproduce itself.

At the opposite end of that spectrum are the Hutterites with the highest rate of reproduction ever known - an average of over 12 living children per couple, whose greatest threat is running out of farmland since their communal life depends on farming. When the Amazon is settled, and there is no land left, they will either have to practice birth control or give up their very healthy communal way of life.

I personally always thought that adequate food was the bottom line for humans until I met many high caste Hindus in a Nepalese village who preferred to drink thin millet soup once a day and sleep through several months of the year rather than participate in a food for work program which they felt was below their caste dignity.

Most cultures do as Ward suggests however, and modify their myths enough to survive.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jun 8, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
Jan - then to what degree does willful denial of reality play with the Hindus , Shakers, hutterites etc. That is, do they deny the fact of malnutrition or statistical red flags about their reproductive rates? Or do they say "yeah we're totally fuked but our dogma is what matters"?

And was the vulnerability always apparent or did certain environmental conditions make the vulnerability insignificant? In other words was there a need to create a state of denial right from the get go?

I think what I'm curious about is the extent of the inherent resistance to change under "external " (reality) pressures. For instance wouldn't you say that the Mormons are not idiots in their ability to "evolve" almost as fast as the world around them. Fortunate for them, their mythology allows for that ability!
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 9, 2013 - 12:05am PT
This is why I prefaced my last post with the term "national culture ".
The reigning mythologies of small groups are only a liability when considered alongside a major dominant culture which presents a massive threat to the cohesion of the small group.
The Amish are having genetic problems not necessarily because of their social and religious myths , but rather their reluctance to adapt to the requirements of the dominant culture .
The Jews in Europe since Roman times were in a similar state but adapted rather well , becoming highly mobile, and willing to tweak their culture to fit the demands of the period and whatever pogrom was afoot. Their collective mythologies and customs remained largely intact.

The Amish would have no incest problem if they inhabited the landscape on their own. Or, like the Jews in old Europe , willing to travel, as it were.
They would understand the need to bring new blood within their group and would do so under their own terms. This is not possible in modern America.

We demand of these small groups to get with the program and start worshipping the Kardashians instead of Jehovah, or else their survival is in jeopardy.

At the opposite end of that spectrum are the Hutterites with the highest rate of reproduction ever known - an average of over 12 living children per couple,

The " demographic transition" might take care of the Hutterites very high birth rate. Hopefully , for their sake , and the Amazon's, before a catastrophic limiting factor intercedes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_transition



Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jun 9, 2013 - 12:17am PT
not necessarily because of their social and religious myths , but rather their reluctance to adapt to the requirements of the dominant culture .

But is this because their myths are sacred and inviolate, regardless of how "threatening" the dominant culture (or changing climate or what have you). So in that case it is very much due to the myths. Then the easiest defense mechanism (to keep your head from exploding) is to deny that the external threat even exists, despite the fact that it is staring you in the face.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 9, 2013 - 12:44am PT
But is this because their myths are sacred and inviolate, regardless of how "threatening" the dominant culture (or changing climate or what have you). So in that case it is very much due to the myths. Then the easiest defense mechanism (to keep your head from exploding) is to deny that the external threat even exists, despite the fact that it is staring you in the face.

Now, now. Lets not confuse apples and oranges here. The climate change controversy has very little if nothing to do with the subject we are discussing.

The fact that the dominant culture, or any certifiable external threat to small human groups that may jeopardizes the survival of that group ,is no small dismissive matter.
The long history of our species has been spawned in an environment full of menacing threats to our survival. Scientists can now identify several genetic bottlenecks Homo sapiens transitioned through in our history. It is thought that we may have been reduced to just a few hundred individuals at one time in northeastern Africa ,due to severe climate change. The new world was originally inhabited by perhaps only 3 main prehistorical migrations over the frozen land bridge. All of the native people in the Western Hemisphere derived from perhaps just a few thousand , or even just a few hundred individuals.
The myths these earlier humans employed to explain the physical universe were of high utility in their struggle for survival. These beliefs cemented the group and gave meaning to the clan and its relationships ,and were living references to the external threats that raged all around.

Suddenly, seemingly overnight, these sustaining myths are " too strong". They have become archaic and therefore useless and are even "denials" of something. The " truth" presumably.
We have to go a little further in understanding what's going on here.

This is not to say that it is not significant to point out the extant groups that are currently in trouble ,and are at the rather more inflexible end of the spectrum of adaption , as Jan identified.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 9, 2013 - 01:38am PT
Obviously the Shakers preferred extinction to violating their sexual taboos. They were also done in by technology as better hygiene and medical practices meant there were fewer orphans to adopt as time went on.

In the case of the Amish, Hutterites, and Hindus, I would say their demographic problems are so recent, they haven't realized their extent or figured out yet how to adapt. The Amish also suffer from a small founder population and bad luck with genetics, being descended from just a few hundred immigrants a couple of centuries ago. The Hutterites should be having similar problems based on a small founder population but their founders seem to have had better genetics.

The Hindus had a food surplus and enough land only three generations ago. Exponential population growth means that the population can double for many generations and not be noticeable until the final doubling which fills all available land. Sub Saharan Africa is currently about the only place where population growth rates are not yet falling so people do catch on.

If religious groups have a tradition of ongoing revelation, then they are in a much better position than those who believe it happened already once and for all. Mormons are a good example of that, as is the form of Buddhism that the Sherpas of Nepal follow.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 9, 2013 - 01:58am PT
If religious groups have a tradition of ongoing revelation, then they are in a much better position than those who believe it happened already once and for all. Mormons are a good example of that, as is the form of Buddhism that the Sherpas of Nepal follow.

Excellent point. What do you think is the correlation between revelatory religious customs versus relatively static.ones and adaptive success?
Is it because these revelatory groups are conditioned to embrace their relationship to change as an on- going dynamic that usually leads to a better outcome?


In the case of the Amish, Hutterites, and Hindus, I would say their demographic problems are so recent, they haven't realized their extent or figured out yet how to adapt. The Amish also suffer from a small founder population and bad luck with genetics, being descended from just a few hundred immigrants a couple of centuries ago. The Hutterites should be having similar problems based on a small founder population but their founders seem to have had better genetics.

I think the Hutterites, and I am guessing, have had more opportunity to intermix with various other isolated groups in their area. They are an indigenous population with long established contact with similar tribes of generally more congruent customs.
The colonial Amish are isolated due to a relative scarcity of congruent groups in their neighborhood. The Amish lifestyle is not attractive to potential non- congruent incoming outsiders.
By contrast the Hutterites might be more attractive to the contiguous groups in their neighborhood, and to non-congruent outsiders.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 9, 2013 - 06:00am PT
The Hutterites are a German speaking group who are very similar to the Amish in many ways except they are a little more colorful, live a communal lifestyle and use more modern machinery.

Here are some interesting stats from Wiki on the two groups.
The Amish came to America 225 years ago with 200 founders, have an average of 7 children per family and currently number about 249,000.

The Hutterites came 125 years ago with 400 founders and number 45-50,000. Their birthrate in 1954 was over 10 and in 2010 it was only 5.

So the question is whether half the time in country and twice as many founders is the reason for the lesser rate of mutations among the Hutterites or the superior genetics of the founder population or most likely both?

I was very surprised to see the demographic transition in an agricultural society. However, they are having a hard time founding new colonies to accomodate their population growth in Canada where most of them live as the gas and oil exploration in the prairie states has driven the prices of real estate so high, thus some have started migrating to the Amazon.
MH2

climber
Jun 9, 2013 - 09:38am PT

US Ship: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS CORAL SEA, WE ARE A LARGE WARSHIP OF THE US NAVY. DIVERT YOUR COURSE NOW!!

CND reply: This is a lighthouse. Your call.



Have you seen my boat?







So far it just bounces off lighthouses.

Maybe you are thinking of Coral Princess, here.

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 9, 2013 - 10:15am PT
I have made it perfectly clear, as has Mike, and to some extent, Jan, that content, including some mysterious, independent "mind," is not the golden fleece here, but nothing at all, emptiness, the ungrapsable geyser of experience, which all amount to the same thing.

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 9, 2013 - 11:14am PT
The Hutterites are a German speaking group who are very similar to the Amish in many ways except they are a little more colorful, live a communal lifestyle and use more modern machinery.

I don't know what made me think of the Hutterites as an indigenous Amazonian tribe. LOL
I'll blame it on the 2 am hour.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 9, 2013 - 11:33am PT
which didn't happen, it's a common problem that "facts" are stated as so, and then one goes on to develop a story, not only a story, but apparently a whole philosophy, from it, here it is used as a parable of the "arrogance" of the discursive mind...


The reason this appeared as "true" was that I didn't cut and past the joke correctly. If you want the "true" status of the ship/lighthouse, look at this: http://www.snopes.com/military/lighthouse.asp

The screwy thing, Ed, is that to my way of thinking, scientism +is the ultimate arrogance, because at it's base it is totaly distrusting of all but those who think the very same way as you do. It ends up being a kind of cult of mind, where the only authority comes from within. It's a new kind of fundamentalist religion of a sort, believing that it has no blind spots and no quantatative limits - and this is plainly absurd.

But what is most obvious of all is your painstaking effort to undermind whatever I say with a fulsalage of belittling, disparaging, myth-busting comments inteneding to portray me as fashioning a word view from imgination, from stuff I simply make up out of whole cloth, noit from the exper4inces I have from practice, which you liken to white magic or relaxatikon exercises.

The reason I have not taken you seriously is that you have done absolutely none of the work required to do anything but speculate about subjective adventurs, while either insisting that you have arrived at the same thing by way of discursive thinking - which is hilarious - or that only physical investigations are real, or whatever. I have rarely seen anyone who bogarts there ground so zealously while making no effort to learn or even understand what anyone is saying but your own peers, as though Mike, Jan and I are simply deluded idealists just making sh#t up.

And while you might laugh at the idea that the discursive mind is jealous and beligerent, if we were to look at your unwillingnes to consider any other perspective but your own, my claim has about all the empiracle evidence it requires to be accepted as a plain and simple fact. You're stuck in a perspective. You have virtue heapd on being stuck, you have no "evidence" to convince your rational mind to back off, you do not accept that the rational mind is a deterrent to certain investigations, and you're not going to budge, but rather insist on telling me and others what our experience "really is."

That much you have made evident, and that, by any definition seems beligerent, but strangely, "rational" to your POV.

But as I have said all along, what I really believe is at play here is scientism, and any heretic who would question the all-knowing, all-reaching bredth of the discursive mind must be ridiculed and boondoggled with the unconscious promise that the discursive will never, under any circumstances, be abandoned for one second. That, I know for a proven fact, is your unconscious terror driving all of this.

This is what meditation is all about: dying to all that you believe and cherish, every time you sit down. Ed insists that what we find is all made up, is "revealed wisdom," is blarney on par with wampum and horesfeathers. And as I have asked all along: On what direct experience with these practices are these evaluations based? Or if the truth be told, Ed is simply guessing, while insisting that we really don't know one damn thing.

As he said: What isn't physical? Well, how fare are you wiling to go to find out the answer to that question? Do yu really WANT to know, or are you simply giving lip service to the question?

JL
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