Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 12, 2013 - 11:07pm PT

(I am not the first person on the planet to look at the enlightenment project and rational-mental scientific endeavors as stories, dramas, and interpretive scripts and schemes. Other post-modernists in the academy have made these arguments decades ago, although they've been a bit more incisive, critical, and articulate than I've been here.)

Yes. But what if you were to to step outside of this zone and really listen to what Mathew, Mark,Luke, John and Paul said. (and I don't mean The Beatles). Without the scientisism.

I can't understand how any smart person wouldn't condown the meanings of these words.
Unless they just give them up to as fiction?
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:18am PT

If it were completely experiential its advocates would explain it once and not keep grinding on it.

Exactly! That's. Why it's soo hard to prove being a christian in a court of law. That's what this thread has taught me.. That's why naively I thought everyone would want to hear what was so exciting to me. And when the terms that describe ur own experiences are only found in the bible. It's only other Christians that can appreciate those experiences. And without that experience one is not open to hear that language. But without that language one cannot understand their experience...
Quite the kanundrum. For some
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 13, 2013 - 05:11am PT
Many Christians will never believe this but there are plenty of people in this world who have never read the Bible, indeed many of them aren't literate, or they have been raised in a totally different religion, who know exactly what Christians are talking about concerning God and faith and a meaningful life of virtue.

Spiritual and religious experiences are part of the human potential just like understanding science is part of the human potential. There are plenty of scientists who will tell you that you can't understand science without the language of math and that is true at a certain level. Likewise, Christianity or any other religion can not be understood at a certain level without a certain common vocabulary and theology. Meanwhile, the human ability to observe their surroundings and draw logical conclusions or to search for religion and spirituality is there for everyone at some level.

It seems contradictory to me to say that Christians believe in an infinite God and then seek to declare limits on the ways that God can be understood. Likewise it's very finite and limited thinking to tell us that when a Christian experiences light it's from God, and when others do, it's the devil and delusion. That comes across as human centered, not God centered.

In fact, one of the greatest ironies of the post 9-11 world so far, is that instead of convincing people of the truth of either Islam or Christianity, the confrontation between the two religions each claiming to have the truth because their two different scriptures say they do, has created atheists faster than any reason or logic has ever done.

Christians wish we could have their experience. I could wish that some of you had met Nichiren Buddhists as I have, who explain that they used to be wife and child beating alcoholics until saved by Buddhism. This is often accompanied by tears and the person pleading to please follow their example because they know nothing but the truth of Buddhism could have turned their lives around. Of course a person neither for or against Buddhism will understand that something turned their lives around but many interpretations are possible.

Many on this thread would argue every human has the potential to reach inside and change themselves and that those Buddhists are as deluded as the Christians and Muslims. Another interpretation is that God works with all willing peoples and cultures. Some theologians would argue that a person never has to have heard the name of Christ to have encountered him. Similarly, I've heard Buddhists say when I explained Christianity to them, that they had no idea that Buddha had appeared in my land under a different name. Still others believe that Christ and Buddha were the same person appearing in different times and circumstances.

The whole issue is a lot more complicated that God vs atheists, or science vs religion, or Christianity vs other religions, or God vs the devil. That's why Christians don't win converts here, not some perverse desire of the people on this thread to avoid the truth which is supposedly standing before us. What we see is a person standing before us claiming to have the truth.

Some people get angry at religious truth claims, while I just note that I've heard such claims from the practitioners of many religions, large numbers of whom live a more Christian life style than the average Christian, and many of whom have had similar internal experiences, including conversion experiences. Personally, I wish everyone well in their life journey including Christians, but I'm not on the same theological path and not because I haven't thought about it or had my own experiences.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 13, 2013 - 05:48am PT
Personally, I wish everyone well in their life journey

Good metaphor and sentiments.

Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
(Pierre Delanoe, John Lennon, Gilbert Francois Leopold Becaud, Paul Mccartney)
MH2

climber
Jun 13, 2013 - 08:24am PT
MikeL,

You seem to be talking about or looking for truth, complete understanding, perfection, and certainty. I am willing to settle for the best answers we can get at the moment, and have the expectation that we can learn more, but I make no claim about how far science can go. Yes, scientific understanding is provisional. It changes if new evidence requires change. Science does not tell us the complete truth. It only gives us an idea of how far we can trust what we know.

However, to call science nothing more than a story full of beliefs that are false does not do it justice. You go too far when you say that our current understanding is false. Remember that science only makes statements about what happens in specific circumstances. Science can be called incomplete but if you call it false you should be able to give better evidence than you have so far.

Yes, there are many ways of perceiving and understanding what our brains present to us. I do not hold one up as better than others. If you want a bridge built to carry a train you should get a structural engineer rather than a musician. If you want music to dance to, go with the musician. Different modes of understanding have developed to apply in different situations.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 13, 2013 - 09:28am PT
I think that the few of us who are rooting for people to take a flyer into the non-discursive are at bottom, thinking: If they only knew.

The hardest part of the initial foray is comking to understand that all our ideas about what the work is about are simply ideas, and the work itself is not an idea, but a radical opening and acceptance of where we are, right here, righ tnow, befor our conditioning tells us so.

The ungraspable element is what throws everyone. No exceptions. Learing that the discursive need not apply here is not "placing limits on science," but simply understanding that not every tune can be played on a violin.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 13, 2013 - 09:44am PT
MH2:

It's not a complex notion that I'm presenting here. It's not like I'm presenting a terribly complex puzzle. I mean there's only one piece, you know? How hard can it be?

Once I finish grading these technical reports in front of me, perhaps I'll write most of what I see. In the meantime, perhaps this will do.

Any model (theory, concepts, framework, abstraction) presents a highly summarized notion, further poorly articulated by words. A so-called thing under investigation (gravity, electricity, leadership--whatever thing you want to talk about) is always far more complex than any model makes it out to be (parsimony). In the simplest sense possible, this means that the model is not quite true. (The map is not the the territory.) Furthermore, nothing ever finally gets resolved--hence the provisional as-if nature of "things". We never get to the bottom of anything.

"Not quite true" is, in my book, a synonym for false.

By their very nature (essence), all models are stipulations of what things are. But since we can't actually pin anything down concretely once and for all, that makes any model a belief.

You can now put the two together.

Have I made a mistake in logic? Do I misunderstand or mis-portray science? Am I being somehow unfair in my analysis? Does the notion of "story" contradict the actual practice of science in the academy?

. . . to call science nothing more than a story full of beliefs that are false does not do it justice.

I can't see that any view does Reality justice, MH2. That's exactly the point.

That doesn't mean that science isn't useful and fun.


How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.
(Niels Bohr)
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jun 13, 2013 - 09:51am PT
This whole discursive/non-discursive mind thing is a complete false dichotomy, but I've got better things to do than to try to explain it here.
MH2

climber
Jun 13, 2013 - 10:56am PT
This whole discursive/non-discursive mind thing is a complete false dichotomy, but I've got better things to do than to try to explain it here.


Now that is The Truth!
MH2

climber
Jun 13, 2013 - 11:01am PT
"Not quite true" is, in my book, a synonym for false.


You prefer the excluded middle. If a proposition is not true then it must be false. You are a classicist. Quantum mechanics would not be your cup of tea.



edit:

From my perspective science does not care what things are. It only describes how things behave. There is a degree of consistency in the scientific descriptions of reality that beggars your claim that it is a collection of false beliefs.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jun 13, 2013 - 11:03am PT
"This whole discursive/non-discursive mind thing is a complete false dichotomy, but I've got better things to do than to try to explain it here."

Finally near the arrival, the beginning.

I'll go tell the cat.

MH2: Great, that's great - my compliments to Jake!
MH2

climber
Jun 13, 2013 - 11:08am PT
Jake says arf!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jun 13, 2013 - 11:17am PT
This is a cat!
No, no, it isn't. I'm just being rude to the ten-masters.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 13, 2013 - 11:40am PT
Now that is a cat with some rather excellent muscle and bone development in the front legs. This is a cat that climbs a lot and gets plenty of exercise . Note the triceps on that front leg.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:05pm PT
Jake says arf!



I told Jake Corgi (who lives with us) about this and he says arf! also.


;>)
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:14pm PT
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:16pm PT
This is patently absurd; but whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities. (Bertrand Russell)

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. . . . Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth. (Mahatma Gandhi)

Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object. (Albert Camus)
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:26pm PT
Science is a way of doing thing. A vampire would be a magical creature that lived while being dead but you could still use science to predict that a stab to the heart will kill it. You can still use science to discover that a werewolf only shows up when there is a full moon (if you didn't know it already from the movies).

The idea that there are boundaries to science is absurd until there is something in the world that followed no rules and has no patterns and yet is not random.

If God has a plan and the plan has not changed then it would be easy to use science to measure it and evaluate it and predict things from it. Not knowing it doesn't make it outside of science for science is supposed to deal with things we don't know. That's the idea.

It is only when the thing in question follows no rules that it is beyond science. It's okay if it doesn't follow the rules that we currently know about. We'll eventually find out those other rules. Or maybe we won't but that does not mean that a thing follows no rules just because we cannot figure them out.

Our personalities might live on after out body dies and since we all seem to have that ability in us, according to the religious spiritual people, there seems to be some predictability in it. Some sort of rule that says that all humans have a soul. Maybe all dogs do not. It's still a set of rules that can be analyzed and that's science.

Maybe the arguments here should be less about what is and what is not in the realm of science since all things are in the realm of science. The argument should be about how some people want to try to find the cause and effect of things and learn about how things work and why they work and some people want to try things out without caring about how or why. The non-scientists are happy without explanation but that is not a flaw of science.

Meditating to gain spiritual enlightenment is science. It's an experiment. It's an attempt to do something to get an outcome. Only when it ends up being random and completely unpredictable would it be outside of science and then what good would there be in it? Meditate and have random sh#t happen? That does not sound like enlightenment at all.

In the end, the arguments on this thread are about some of us assigning a probability to things based on what we can figure out, predict, and share with others. Some other people assign probabilities to things based on some sort of gut feeling or desire and based on what others tell them regardless of what can be reproduced, predicted, and shared with others in a physical sense.

Dave

P.S. I am now worshiping John Frum. The cargo will be here soon.

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:52pm PT

exactly what Christians are talking about concerning God and faith and a meaningful life of virtue.
A virtueous life certainly has its rewards. So far, my understanding in being a "Christ follower"
has everything to do with loving God with all ur heart and mind first, and second to love thy brother as thyself. Those are the "rules". I've been meditating on this since you posted. I feel like God took me to John 8. When the scribes took the woman caught in adultery to Jesus
looking for judgement. They said, the Law of Moses says she is to be stoned to death. Jesus ignored them. When they persisted. Jesus said, those of you without sin start throwing. They all left. Jesus was alone with the woman, and asked her, "where are those accusers of yours?
Has no one condemned you? She said "no one, Lord" and Jesus said to her, "neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
Here Jesus makes no reference to the sin of adultery. Only to the fact that she caused her neighbors to condemn her thus commiting murder in their hearts. This is the sin I believe Jesus told her not to repeat. Now do I think adultery is ok? Of course not! It's NOT very virtue ish. But we all break the Law everyday. And are easily forgiven through the blood of Christ.
Doing "good" deeds and leading a virtue ish life is a sign of Good faith. But it's not what Jesus taught to get into heaven..
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 13, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
The idea that there are boundaries to science is absurd until there is something in the world that followed no rules and has no patterns and yet is not random.
----


This is a common misconcetion, believed heart and soul by those who haven't yet discovered how attention works - from the inside. I charted out a pretty easy to understand version of how the discursive might must, without exception, narrow it's bandwidth, so to speak, to concentrate on one thing, excluding others, in order to quantify. In other words, science and quantifying and discursive reasoning itself is exclusionary by nature and demand. We cannot quantify a quality without borders because there are no limits, no shape, no dimension, no edges for our numbers to relate; and even if are talking about relations, those relations pertain to forces, amplitudes, energies exerting influence on the whole. This underscores Kurt Koffka's original phrase, "The whole is other than the sum of the parts." The discursive mind says this is strictly impossible. This is the stanard external view.

The mistake many make is in assuming that techniques that work on specific things on the outside will work with the very same effect on the borderless qualities (the whole) we find on the inside.

Again, he says: The idea that there are boundaries to science is absurd until there is something in the world that followed no rules and has no patterns and yet is not random (ins word, is not mechanically determined). All this author would has to do is get started on some interior work, be instructed to detach from all content, and over time he would discover "somethng in the world" (actually in his own experience) which is exactly as he described, starting with raw awareness itself. But without the internal view of things, such talk is indeed "absurd."

H said: Meditating to gain spiritual enlightenment is science. It's an experiment. It's an attempt to do something to get an outcome. Only when it ends up being random and completely unpredictable would it be outside of science and then what good would there be in it? Meditate and have random sh#t happen? That does not sound like enlightenment at all."

"Meditating to gain spiritual enlightenment" is part of the baggage that most beginners must give up to make any headway in the internal realm. This is simply dragging into the work a "goal" that your discursive mind has decided makes the most sense and that will insure a positive outcome. Again, a very common mistake for beginners in the work, likewise believing that some thing, random or otherwise, is the aim. This is looking at meditation as a kind of task-oriented gig aimed at an outcome. Never works. It's also instructive to see this poor dood attempting yet again to say, What you're really doing here is science, it's just that you don't know it, and you don't know that you're doing it poorly as well. So listen up and I'll set you straight."

As mentioned 100 times, it would be interesting to hear about this person's direct experiences with the work to learn by what means he arrived at his conclusions. 1,000 to one it's speculation based on external methodologies.

JL
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