Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 15541 - 15560 of total 22344 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Aug 2, 2013 - 01:36pm PT
As though practicing doing nothing at all can actually undermine you ability to function

At 76 I find myself doing this frequently . . . and it does undermine my ability to function.

jstan

climber
Aug 2, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
Guys like Base104 are the problem. Simple.

Early in the 20th century we learned we were sitting on an ocean of pure energy. We used it during WWII and later leveraged it into technical dominance over the entire world. If there was a break through in anything - it was made in the US. The US standard of living went sky high. Now, we read about stem cell breakthroughs - made in China.

People in the US have become habituated to CERTAINTY. That is why religion is so inexplicably big here.

That certainty has left the room.

That's why we went over and shot up Iraq.

That's why people today will believe anything, or say anything, if it gives them a feeling of certainty.

That's why we can't even begin to address QUESTIONS.

No certainty there.

Congress isn't the problem.

We are the problem.

Just read an ST thread. It is all laid out there.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 2, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
As though practicing doing nothing at all can actually undermine you ability to function

At 76 I find myself doing this frequently . . . and it does undermine my ability to function.

-


I don't mean sloth, John, I mean letting go of cognitive attachments and preacicing being very present with your experience, whatever it is, while making NO EFFORT to direct or change anything.

My language was too vague first time around.

But I would just point out the tendency to: Listen to the discursive mind as the end-all authority of EVERYTHING; how the inner prohibition to step outside quantified "knowing" is very strong indeed; and how people want to try and posit the non-discursive in terms they are familiar with (as BASE is attempting to do with his "belief" angle), without actually embracing the non-discursive. We don't have to actually go into the non-discursive. We're already there.

But verily, not step one is taken in the direction of the cool-aid, mojo, juju, haircoat, Nehru jacket, hoserfeather, shuck-and-jive, LOL. Surely we shall perish should we soldier on into the unknown . . .

On this thread, the non-discursive is the new "dark," as we all were once afraid of the dark.

JL
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Aug 2, 2013 - 03:34pm PT
Sorry JStan. That did sound a little preachy.

JL: This entire belief/delusion observation came to me by reading this:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=970221&tn=12500

It has nothing to do with you, but if the shoe fits...
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Aug 2, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
Listen to the discursive mind as the end-all authority of EVERYTHING; how the inner prohibition to step outside quantified "knowing" is very strong indeed;

Up thread in several instances I have sought to connect discursive, rational thought with critical biological,evolutionary exigencies. It would not be much of a stretch to say that rationalizing thought, emerging as a stream of conciousness , transfers the significance and focus of fundamental experience onto the objective flow of external nature.For very good reason.
This is a mandate of survival. Grousing about the predominance of discursive affairs in fundamental human experience is a little like complaining about the tyranny of sex in reproduction.

This is not to say that subjective focus , such as meditation, is not without great value. Up thread I have on a few occasions included links that have scientifically and repeatedly established meditation as a salubrious endeavor. I'll do so again:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/search/?keyword=Meditation

But, Iike all forms of human experience ,this subjective spelunking has all its curtailing limitations.
It contains dark alienating, addictive elements ,no doubt, not often appreciated
I can say this without being a guru on the matter because categorically it is a human activity, and human activities that are characterized by notable,enduring changes in consciousness contain certain pitfalls -when over -indulged in, as a matter of inherency; discursive experience included.

At risk of getting long -winded on this thread. ( I don't like long -windedness)
This gets me to my point regarding the general conjecture about the nature of radical subjectivism.

A hypertrophic reliance on subjective disciplines runs the risk of progressively and subtly decoupling consciousness from the discrete ,objectively-based , stream-o-consciousness of discursive experience required for basic ,evolutionary survival and adaption

The more successful the subjective journeyman is in this regard the further he is put on that high country trail to essentially being able to function only within the confines of his own cave in the Himalayas.
He has become the heroin addict of the subjective.

And yet still, if I were to meet him on that trail, I would , knowing myself, listen to every syllable he decided to utter--even if it were only one.





jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Aug 2, 2013 - 05:45pm PT
. . . rather they let their discursive minds talk them right out of it

I doubt there is much of any internal dialogue going on for most of us about this subject. You have made an interesting and literate case for your explorations but, for me at least, it just doesn't sound very appealing - but perhaps others here are wrestling with it and the discursive mind has prevailed? If so, speak up, please.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Aug 2, 2013 - 06:04pm PT
Wow. Listen to the podcast that MH2 linked to above. It is pretty fun.

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

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 2, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
The more successful the subjective journeyman is in this regard the further he is put on that high country trail to essentially being able to function only within the confines of his own cave in the Himalayas.


If you were honest about this you would posit this as a belif. As is it doesn't reflect anything but the life of an anchorite, or a 3rd world dude who can live in a cave. Not remotely what I am talking about here.

Modern dharma practice is all about eliminating the line between esoteric practice and the most mundane aspects of living in the here and now. Carrying wood. Hauling water buckets. These activities are the very same. But not in the way you are thinking, Ward. As mentioned, thinking is what gets you in trouble here.

What do you imagine is the cost of overindulging the discursive, of never turning off the rational mind and just letting it grind endlessly on whatever comes up. There is a price to pay here, and what do you suppose it is?

Again, what is your understanding about how the discursive actually works in terms of focus and awareness? If you're addicted to it, you must know it well. Kindly explain your understanding.

JL
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Aug 2, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
To Those Who Love God
Scripture states that, “All things work together for good to those who love God.” But what about those who do not love God? The doctrine of providence teaches that God is in control of the universe, so how does this claim affect unbelievers?


http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/those-who-love-god1/
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Aug 2, 2013 - 09:54pm PT
What do you imagine is the cost of overindulging the discursive, of never turning off the rational mind and just letting it grind endlessly on whatever comes up. There is a price to pay here, and what do you suppose it is?

Let me sort of go through this once more.

What we have come to call the " discursive" on this thread is the default consciousness of biological humanity.
It is not an elective form of experience . It is the endowment of countless eons of evolution.
It is paced, timed , and calibrated precisely to the ebb and flow of nature in the raw: rough, repetitive, uncompromising, compromising, ineluctable, crude, demanding, ruthlessly calculating and endlessly quantifying .

The discursive mind is the software function of the meat brain. It is the program that has driven our survival. It is like the spleen, or the lungs, or the prostate. Therefore it is proudly available to every affliction known--real or imagined, organic and inorganic.
It's addictions, weaknesses, and shortcomings are legion.
It has a bad rep. Sometimes usually bad PR. Open to being replaced by every tin foil hat redeeming pretender to the throne of general consciousness to come down the pike.
But it belongs to us--we humans...and we owe it a debt of gratitude; strange and inscrutable as that may seem.

The discursive mind comes with the package Humana.
It is the mental equivalent of our birthday suit.
Stark, unadorned, ugly, but sometimes beautiful.
And functional.
And has withstood the test of time.
And has served us well.
With it we have measured the stars.

And yes it grinds away. Like the sun does every day...grinding its passage through an endlessly mysterious universe.

jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Aug 2, 2013 - 10:13pm PT
I don't mean sloth, John

Oh! Cruel!


But you nailed me, JL!

;>)
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 2, 2013 - 11:01pm 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.

I guess if one doesn't believe in a spirit or soul, this would be their conclusion?
My brain understands most things about nutrition, and what's good and bad for the body.
But I still eat pop-tarts cause I love-em!

Seems oblivious our emotions over-rule our logical thinking brain.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 2, 2013 - 11:08pm PT
Ward, you talked about terrain far too broad to qualify as discursive, and at the same time you ducked the primary questions: Kindly describe, in tangible terms, how the discursive operates, and two, what do you think is the price of over-indulging your thinking muscle?

A kind of quasi-poetic, rambling philosophical rant only vouchsafes the fact that the general process of the discursive, in the broadest possible strokes, is lost on you.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Aug 2, 2013 - 11:39pm PT
A kind of quasi-poetic, rambling philosophical rant only vouchsafes the fact that the general process of the discursive, in the broadest possible strokes, is lost on you.

Hahahaha

What a piece of work you are Largo.
Hahaha
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 3, 2013 - 12:48am PT
Hey, Ward, you have posited yourself as a defender of the qualitative camp, a hero for the discursive. It only follows that you should deleniate what you mean because that's what science does - it provides a basic rational structure that we can verify by way of empirical means.

That much said, what is the discursive mind, and what are some of it's functional aspects as you understand it?

Asking such a question does not make me a "piece of work," it means I now putting on the quantitative tam-o-shanter and asking, "Just what are you refering to and how does it actully operate at the meta-level, at the level of conscious thought/experience?"

Put differently (Chalmers):

We have third-person data about consciousness, pertaining to fact and figures and objective functioning, and first-person data about consciousness which is our fundamental data stream and concerns our subjective experience. Per our first person data, how does the process of the discursive mind actually work?

There is no shame in saying - I have no idea whatsoever. There is a lot of shuck-and-jive in pretending to know without being able to explain, in tangible, empirical terms, what and how the discursive actually works in the broad strokes.

If you fail at the latter task, and still defend the discursive as the end-all, one must assume you are a pretender of a kind, defending what you do not understand.

JL
MH2

climber
Aug 3, 2013 - 12:48am PT
True story from today and yesterday


A little ways back MikeL said:

There appears to be no consciousness experts, and there appears to be no conscious entity in existence or imagination that can know more than I AM.


We put this to a test of sorts.


We walked into the SSA office in Bellingham, Washington.


We took a number and when it was called my guide told the person behind the window that I needed to to apply for a social security number.

them: We need proof of identity.

me: I AM.

them: A passport, perhaps?

me: I JUST AM. THAT IS ALL.

them: Do you have your birth certificate?

me: WHAT IS THAT?

them: We also need identity documents from each decade of your life.

me: ALL I KNOW IS THAT I AM.

them: Please fill in this form.

me: Wait a minute. This form is for I WAS!


The SSA did not acknowledge the difficulty of establishing any fact beyond cogito ergo sum. They also did not blink an eye when I pointed out that I could be a brain-in-a-vat, dreaming, a simulacrum, or a temporary arrangement of inanimate matter that just happened to come together in the previous 5 minutes.




The SSA was just like MikeL said:


Seeing reality (in any manner, at any level, in any situation) is an inside deal. No one can do anything for you, and there's nothing that you can DO one way or the other, either.




On the up side, between the border crossings and inching toward the Massey tunnel I can now commit crimes worth two life sentences and get credit for time already served.
jstan

climber
Aug 3, 2013 - 10:02am PT
Sorry JStan. That did sound a little preachy.

When following a logic you have to go where it leads. We are the problem. We vote these people into Congress. They are a reflection of us.

Here is a TED talk coming to the same point from an entirely different direction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o

PS:
I was kidding about Base being a problem. He is just finding the oil people want.

I read something fantastic about the repressed memory days. A newspaper reported that a psychologist who had long been active in divorce proceedings was found to have willfully misled the courts.

They let the people he had helped send to jail, falsely, stay in jail till he had died.

So he would not be embarrassed.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Aug 3, 2013 - 11:19am PT
I don't understand how I am a problem if I point out that humans relish self delusion, but will do almost anything to support some delusions. I don't see how being a skeptic is a problem. If you have a science background and haven't built a pretty thick and skeptical skin, then you may go off into junk science and like it.

I actually wrote a very nasty letter to my congressman yesterday telling him to stop wasting our time by voting down Obamacare for the 40th time. Yep. Every week or so, Congress wastes a day by bringing that up for another vote. Pretty funny because I've only done that a few times.

Largo can probably explain the utter rip off that our current healthcare system is at the moment.

For the tenth time, if you want to learn how to recognize junk science from good science, Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World is a masterpiece. I will pay Largo a hundred bucks, plus a free book, if he will read it.

Does anyone remember when parents or other people were getting tossed into prison based on a psychology fad of bringing out "repressed memories"?

A psychologist could actually convince an adult that they had been sexually molested and then have their parents or day school teacher arrested.

Here is a nice article about it. It gets really interesting when the satanic ritual abuse part pops up:

http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/lof93.htm

At some point these cases were examined closely and many were proven to be false. The scary part is how willing juries were to accept it, and by doing so, falsely imprison people.

The fulcrum of belief is very fragile in the human mind. It takes no effort to believe, simply because you want to believe. If you care about being correct, then you must go the extra mile and attempt to shoot down your most cherished ideas. Basically, belief in itself has nothing to do with reality, which is fixed for all practical purposes.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Aug 3, 2013 - 12:05pm PT
re: "logical implication and conversational implicature"

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/03/arts/colin-mcginn-philosopher-to-leave-his-post.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0
MH2

climber
Aug 3, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
I liked the TED talk by Brene Brown. In my own life I believe that lessons about vulnerability and the worth of self and others became ingrained in schoolyard playground and baseball sandlot experiences. Grown-ups' advice or admonishment just went in one ear and out the other. Family life was an influence too, of course, but just how is hard to say. Brene Brown reminded me why smart wise lucky people do not choose humans as subjects for their academic research.
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