Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Jul 31, 2013 - 10:12pm PT
Take a look at this then tell me you think there is a god that gives half a sh#t about this corner of the universe….



The man made god theory fails again

MH2

climber
Jul 31, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
All that you're aware of, ever, is your consciousness.


I get the feeling that, for some people, all their consciousness is aware of is themselves.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Jul 31, 2013 - 11:34pm PT
Take a look at this then tell me you think there is a god that gives half a sh#t about this corner of the universe….

God created you to give a...

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

...HOOT!
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Aug 1, 2013 - 11:13am PT
MH2:

Priceless! Good one!! Busted out laughing. Now I have coffee all over the place.
MH2

climber
Aug 1, 2013 - 12:10pm PT
That's the spirit, MikeL. Just twisting a statement slightly can change the whole sense of it. For example, I saw part of your post as, "All you are ever aware of is YOUR consciousness." That seems do-able for an infant, and probably pretty well describes my own first year-and-a-half, until my younger sister showed up. Then my next younger sister and then my brother. I learned I wasn't the only consciousness and learned it well. I know this isn't what you meant, but...

I read that René Descartes had an older sister and brother, but Descartes was a genius and ordinary thinking is not to be expected from him.

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 1, 2013 - 12:11pm PT
The Dennett thing was interesting to me because he presents the almost unheard of combination of physicalist/reductionistic approach while pursuing a top-down strategy. That is, working from the macro on down. The error here, IMO, is the idea that the "truth" is happening at some other level than where we are, that we are the determined and mechanical production - not in part but mostly if not entirley - of more "fundamental" and of course measurable physical stuff.

I really enjoyed Dennett's passage about how most everyone considers themselves an expert on consciousness and that trying to change their minds about this or that is basically impossible. Look at poor Ward on this thread, who has himself conned into believing that non-discursive excursions are in fact life-threatening, eroding our ability to act in a crisis. Try talking the fellow out of that whopper.

But like Mike said, listening to the Dennett's labored breathing, I think a physical is in order. I feared he might drop right there on stage.

JL
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Aug 1, 2013 - 01:12pm PT
Look at poor Ward on this thread, who has himself conned into believing that non-discursive excursions are in fact life-threatening, eroding our ability to act in a crisis. Try talking the fellow out of that whopper.

This is only a part of the general question I raised before as to whether the practice of attaining Largo's "no-thingness" has any effect on one's normal everyday life. Does it sharpen your abilities in logical analysis? Does it dull these abilities? Does it improve artistic talents? Does it have any effect?

I've read of practitioners of Eastern religions reaching nirvana or samadhi or whatever one calls them, and then returning to their normal lives as better persons, with more compassion for their fellow voyagers.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Aug 1, 2013 - 04:07pm PT
...believing that non-discursive excursions are in fact life-threatening, eroding our ability to act in a crisis....

Probably depends whether the crisis happens to arise when one is out there in non-discursiveland or not.

I am observing myself being devoured by a tiger... Well, that's distracting....

But maybe not too far off in regard to the famous Vietnam protest scenes of Buddhist self-immolation. The ability to completely master one's reactions can delegitimize any immediate crisis.

MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Aug 1, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
MH2:

You should know that your statement . . .

I get the feeling that, for some people, all their consciousness is aware of is themselves


. . . was particularly funny for me in two ways. The first way was obvious; the second way was rather ironic.

#1: The grand, grand majority (99.9%) of the population is completely pre-occupied with themselves, their beliefs, values, etc. Of course, some people seem more so than others, but in the last analysis, it seems that everyone of us are all that we can think about or from. This is immensely funny when one sees it happening. It seems childish in a comedic way to see adults do that. (Think of "I love Lucy.") Largo keeps pointing to this in his own way. Discursive mind is obsessive and self-oriented, and powerful.

#2: The implication of the description that I wrote earlier, and the way that you responded to that description, are identical in meaning. All that a person's consciousness CAN be aware of, is, indeed, themselves, as there is no other. Now, I didn't go quite that far in my earlier post because I thought it's an over-the-top idea for this audience. (I mean, how crazy is the Idea that the external world IS only YOU?) But You did, MH2, and I thought it was very funny (in an ironic way) for YOU to do so.

Most depth psychologists (Jung, Neumann) would simply say that the external world is a psychological projection of the unconscious. Spiritual sages take that idea to the end of the line: they say that the material world is in fact a spiritual projection of the self, period, end of story. All there IS, is self. All of reality is simply One Self (Atman --> Brahman).

That you (of all people, sorry) ended up implying that meaning, was, . . . well, kinda funny to me. I don't laugh at you, my friend. It's just one of those things that stunned me as funny when I read it. No sleight intended. Your comment was Very Wise.

Reality works in such strange ways. Even if you didn't have the intention, your comment flipped me upside down momentarily.

It's not the same thing, but that kind of irony is similar to how you can count on kids to tell you the damnedest things or what's really there in front of you because they haven't yet been fully socialized or institutionalized. (Anyone old enough to remember watching Art Linkletter's "Kids Say the Darnedest Things"?)
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Aug 1, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
God is Now Here — I
Psalm 139
When we humans try to figure out the nature of God WITHOUT checking the truth of Scripture, there's no telling what we'll come up with! Pastor Greg Laurie helps us get back to who God is, as described by God Himself!
http://www.harvest.org/radio/listen/2013-08-01.html?autoplay=1

http://www.harvest.org/pdf/gregs-notes-a-new-beginning-teaching-outlines_23/god-is-now-here_1091.pdf
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Aug 1, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
Anyone old enough to remember watching Art Linkletter's "Kids Say the Darnedest Things"?

Oddly reminiscent of this thread.

So, it seems that Largo's search for "no-thingness" or his studying consciousness from the inside out has no bearing on one's normal life. You don't become a more competent logician, nor a more original scientist, nor a more prolific artist, nor a greater humanitarian. You still are prone to make the same mistakes in life and hopefully are not more susceptible to predators as Ward has conjectured. You are not in the material sense wiser and more effective and efficient in your thinking and your actions. You have simply left the room for periods of time and dwelled in some sort of baseline reality, seeing through the shabby tapestry of the material cosmos.

Well, perhaps that explains why most of us are not "adventurous" and excited about opening our minds to the non-discursive.
MH2

climber
Aug 1, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
MikeL,

Are you claiming to be an expert on EVERYTHING since your own consciousness is all that there is and you know more about that than anyone else?
MH2

climber
Aug 1, 2013 - 11:53pm PT
jgill,

An older post from Ed Hartouni. Probably not an instance of a thinker who practiced emptying his mind and more likely a reference to the hypnogogic state you mentioned, but some interesting details on how a mathematician viewed his conscious and subconscious mental activity, and who knows what he meant by, "unconscious work?"



It is certain that the combinations which present themselves to the mind in a kind of sudden illumination after a somewhat prolonged period of unconscious work are generally useful and fruitful combinations... all the combinations are formed as a result of the automatic action of the subliminal ego, but those only which are interesting find their way into the field of consciousness... A few only are harmonious, and consequently at once useful and beautiful, and they will be capable of affecting the geometrician's special sensibility I have been speaking of; which, once aroused, will direct our attention upon them, and will thus give them the opportunity of becoming conscious... In the subliminal ego, on the contrary, there reigns what I would call liberty, if one could give this name to the mere absence of discipline and to disorder born of chance."

-Henri Poincaré Science and Method 1914


http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1593650&msg=1606686#msg1606686

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 2, 2013 - 12:44am PT

if one could give this name to the mere absence of discipline and to disorder born of chance."

This is the bottom line ^.

But ALL the rest was really good



Norton; ur not even on-deck. Let alone in the batters-box
and don't you already have 3 strikes?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 2, 2013 - 01:29am PT
I would just point out, again, that there is an enormous amount of guessing about what occurs during non-discursive forays and the consequence - but no one is taking even the first baby step to find out for themselves, rather they let their discursive minds talk them right out of it. Listening to that voice saying "Hell no, you'll die," or get nothing out of it, is the linchpin of the discursive trance. As thogh practicing doing nothing at all can actually undermind you ability to function, this despite a recently cited article by neuroscientists saying the exact opposite thing occured.

As Dennett mentioned in his lecture, you can't talk people out of their ideas per consciousness because everyone considers themselves an expert on the subject, even having never made a concentrated effort to explore the subjective in a systematic, and prudent way, the way we might approach any subject to which we seek knowledge and proficiency.

And what Mike was saying about us all being "bound by self," I once heard a really wise man say, "I might no be much, but I'm all I ever think about."

LOL.

JL
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 2, 2013 - 02:01am PT

And what Mike was saying about us all being "bound by self,"

Meh! i couldn't gergitate that one. I don't ever remember my Greatgrandma May, or my Grandma Lena EVER say me or I.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Aug 2, 2013 - 11:42am PT
When I am working, I never think of myself. I don't even "chatter" about myself in the background.

Sure, when I have a free moment and take a break, then my noggin starts yacking about whatever it pleases, pretty much without any control.

Not when working, though. I step into a different world of rocks and their relationships. This involves looking at the geophysical logs of every well and then fitting them together into this four dimensional cube. It is like playing rubick's cube for your entire waking life. Not only can I not talk to anyone while working, if the phone goes off, I can't pick it up or I will lose my place in thought, so I grab a pen and write a short note to self so that I can pick back up where I left off. I place this scribble to the left of the keyboard or I will never be able to find my place again. It takes extreme concentration.

It is incredibly focused work, and the squiggly lines don't even look like squiggly lines to me. I just see the quantitative rock properties.

When you guys start to make blunt statements about the mind, I'm always mindful to think it through myself if I possibly can. I must understand something to accept something.

Belief has absolutely nothing to do with truth. Belief is actually the easiest way to step into a delusion.

From where I stand, after living a long life of working these problems, is that I must account for every data point in my solution. I cannot dismiss anything. Geologists who do that often drill stupid dry holes. Meaning that there are dry holes and there are stupid dry holes, the latter because someone wanted to BELIEVE that a data point was bad, or go to great lengths to ignore it. There is actually slang for this: "Story wells."

Having to work these problems has made me incredibly skeptical, and if I go over to the political thread, or the Obama Benghazi thread, I am utterly amazed at both the stupidity of quite normal people, but also this:

People WANT to believe. People believe all kinds of crazy garbage. Just go look at what they say. I'm absolutely amazed at the ability of humans to engage in self deception, and it is almost always self deception fully devoted to somehow increasing their personal feelings of value or superiority. Do you really think that the Nazi's considered themselves evil? That is just a nice case of self deception on a large scale.

When we step off into this world of pure ideas and zero substance (yeah, I meant to use that word), then it is not much different than all of those others who want to believe. They want to believe in their version of whatever so badly that they ignore that one or twenty data points that would steer them towards a less pleasant, but correct, position.

We deceive ourselves quite readily and quite happily.

I see it often in the oil business. A well comes in making 500 bbls/day, which is quite good for onshore, especially if it is a cheaper vertical well. If the zone is too thin to store a lot of oil, then it will deplete and its production rate will fall rapidly.

I can do some very simple math to define the recoverable oil in place. A reservoir rock has a certain thickness and a certain amount of pore space. I can sit there and flat out tell the guy that the well will lose money, but they want to believe that roar going into the tanks.

Why is that? Why do people have this overwhelming need to believe in happy outcomes despite simple facts that prove they are not?

I see this on this thread. People want to believe. They need no evidence. The story is sufficient.

It blows my mind.

edit: please do not snip and cut this post and place it out of context. What I am conveying is very simple and clear.
MH2

climber
Aug 2, 2013 - 12:37pm PT
There is a new hypothesis about why people deceive themselves. It says that if evolution happened to produce a creature intelligent enough to realize it was inevitably going to die, then that creature would lose part of the interest in living necessary to having the best chance of survival and it would be less likely to pass genes along to a new generation. However, if the brain of the intelligent creature also happened to be good at denial then perhaps the creature could ignore the pessimistic assessment and get on with its life. If you don't like calling it denial you could call it optimism.

http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2013/06/19/the-evolutionary-power-of-denial/index.html
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Aug 2, 2013 - 12:55pm PT
Everyone knows that the house has the odds, but gambling flourishes.

It is easy to count the hits and ignore the misses. Self delusion is human nature for some reason.

Why is it the norm rather than the exception?

Why do we do it at all?
MH2

climber
Aug 2, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
The hypothesis predicts that we have brain circuitry specifically devoted to self-deception/denial/optimism. We do it because it is in our nature to do it. If the hypothesis is correct there will be people who have had the denial module knocked out by some form of brain trauma, or some such, or some researcher will find the subsystem somehow, or we will run up against the very real difficulty of understanding how complex the brain is and carry on trying to understand it anyway. Hard to see how this denial hypothesis can fail.


edit:

I did listen to the interview on CBC Radio with the author of the new book on the possible evolutionary significance of denial and he has carefully treated many of the questions and objections that come up.
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