Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 15, 2013 - 09:37pm PT

I can prove it to myself. There is No doubt. I imagine that everyone hear can prove it to themselves without any effort. It's the only thing that is self-obvious.


I was hoping that you had a proof. What you are talking about is more in the nature of an axiom. You take it to be self-evident. It is not a proof. There is more than a scintilla of a doubt as to its truth if you can only prove it to yourself! Please show your work.


An Axiom in it's usual usage means the starting point of a reasoned argument or proposition. Ergo you are considering Mike's statement, in terms of him "proving it" to himself, in terms of a discursive, or noodled conclusion, when what he's talking about is a direct experience - like a rock falling on his head. What's more, I bet your "sceintilla of doubt" is based on you believing that self-proof is catagorically inferior to a measured proof. How would you know otherwise if you have no such experiences? In fact no such quantification in really viable within the subjective world so you're asking for something that belongs to the external world - and does quite well there, to boot.

The real question, the imporant question is: By what means do you arrive at this self-proof? You are entirely correct in distrusting this. That's the starting point to find out.

JL

Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jun 15, 2013 - 10:03pm PT
From a subjectively intuitive standpoint, how is the objective result of mass and impersonal gravity crushing the self with the theoretical rock, resolved ?
MH2

climber
Jun 15, 2013 - 10:12pm PT
when what he's talking about is a direct experience


He seemed to be talking about Descartes' cogito ergo sum; I think therefore I am. The one and only thing Descartes claimed he could be sure of. It is in the view of some later philosophers an overstatement. You can be sure that something exists but you cannot be sure that that something is or includes an "I". You have the intuitive impression that there must be an "I" but you have no proof. Or do you? I would love to hear it.

Again, terms as 'proof', 'I', and 'consciousness', require some kind of definition before we try to decide whether statements which use those terms are true, false, undecidable, improbable, probable, or outright ridiculous. You can say whatever you wish, but MikeL was making statements about truth. He may be 100% certain that he exists, but it begins and ends there and does not prove that he does. The trick is in what it means to be him. He may think he knows, but does he really?
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jun 15, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
The fact that MikeL is alive proves he exists. If he wasn't, he wouldn't...
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 16, 2013 - 06:59am PT
John, I take it back. You're right, and I'm wrong. I don't think your writing is harsh.


Since we seem to be relying upon consensus-based ideas of truth (ala Cintune) on this thread, may I please see a show of hands ("me" or "not me" will do) of those readers who know or even just believe they are not conscious? If anyone has "proof of their work" for MH2, would you kindly show it? And for those of you who favor the Excluded Middle, would you say something like . . . "neither conscious nor unconscious?"

(Baby steps.)
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 16, 2013 - 07:37am PT
MH2

climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 07:48am PT
The fact that MikeL is alive proves he exists. If he wasn't, he wouldn't...


However, philosophy also exists and for René Descartes being alive was not good enough evidence of existence:

//In his Discourse on the Method, he attempts to arrive at a fundamental set of principles that one can know as true without any doubt. To achieve this, he employs a method called hyperbolical/metaphysical doubt, also sometimes referred to as methodological skepticism: he rejects any ideas that can be doubted, and then reestablishes them in order to acquire a firm foundation for genuine knowledge.//

Initially, Descartes arrives at only a single principle: thought exists. Thought cannot be separated from me, therefore, I exist (Discourse on the Method and Principles of Philosophy). Most famously, this is known as cogito ergo sum (English: "I think, therefore I am"). Therefore, Descartes concluded, if he doubted, then something or someone must be doing the doubting, therefore the very fact that he doubted proved his existence. "The simple meaning of the phrase is that if one is sceptical of existence, that is in and of itself proof that he does exist."

Other philosophers have objections to Descartes' proof:

First of all, his argument, if looked at carefully, begs the question by assuming that an "I" exists before making that conclusion. Even unchanged, that statement assumes that an "I" exists in order to think before concluding that an "I" exists. An argument that simply assumes its conclusion is valid before actually making that conclusion loses considerable validity. Soren Kierkegaard, a great existential philosopher, was an early objector to Descartes' "cogito ergo sum" that pointed out this logical fallacy.

Furthermore, the false validity "cogito ergo sum" relies on the validity of grammar in metaphysical argument, as noted by Bertrand Russell and Friedrich Nietzche. Why does there have to be a subject that does the thinking and why does it have to be this "I," whose very existence we are contemplating? It is intuitive to think that we are doing the thinking, but what if we do not create these thoughts-what if these thoughts come to us? If that is the case, then we have no proof that an "I" exists.




MikeL has said several times that he will only accept an absolute truth. He recently gave Descartes as an example.




I am not a philosopher. I am happy to go with the balance of probabilities. I am just pointing out that the one thing Descartes and MikeL consider incontestable has been doubted also.
WBraun

climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 07:54am PT
assuming that


but what if we


what if these thoughts


If that is the case

This proves you/they have no clue and are just plain blindly guessing.

This is your so called science, pure guessing.

MH2

climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 08:02am PT
This is your so called science, pure guessing.


Don't bring science in here! We were talking philosophy.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 16, 2013 - 09:06am PT
I Pooh, Therefor I Am
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 16, 2013 - 10:04am PT
Initially, Descartes arrives at only a single principle: thought exists. Thought cannot be separated from me, therefore, I exist (Discourse on the Method and Principles of Philosophy). Most famously, this is known as cogito ergo sum (English: "I think, therefore I am").



This is starting to get at the core of it.


First of all, his argument, if looked at carefully, begs the question by assuming that an "I" exists before making that conclusion. Even unchanged, that statement assumes that an "I" exists in order to think before concluding that an "I" exists. An argument that simply assumes its conclusion is valid before actually making that conclusion loses considerable validity. Soren Kierkegaard, a great existential philosopher, was an early objector to Descartes' "cogito ergo sum" that pointed out this logical fallacy.
Per the above: the “I” was assumed to exist not as the conclusion of a logical argument, rather because psychologically there seems to be a subject experiencing thoughts. An “I” moving through the life cycle, with a name, memories, thoughts, et al.

Why does there have to be a subject that does the thinking and why does it have to be this "I," whose very existence we are contemplating? It is intuitive to think that we are doing the thinking, but what if we do not create these thoughts-what if these thoughts come to us? If that is the case, then we have no proof that an "I" exists.

We don’t create thoughts. They geyser up. We can focus our attention on this or that geyser with increasingly fine accuracy because we have free will over our attention (if developed), but thoughts come unbidden. Even a duffer like Dennett know that much. So ultimately, the last line is somewhat accurate, though not for the reasons stated.
In fact the “I” is simply the experience of observing, meaning there is watching, but no watcher in the normal, bounded sense of the world. The discursive mind can only quantify things with specific qualities, dimensions, functions, etc., and watching and experiencing itself cannot be quantified without defaulting into content – we watched so an so many …..
The conclusion is that the “I” is ungraspable, while all the content IS graspable in a fleeting kind of way.

The problem with these kinds of arguments is that once they go into purely rational terms and are no longer grounded in the experience and processes they are referring to, the cart gets so far ahead of the horse it ultimately is entirely muddled and inaccurate no matter how logical it sounds. To really get at the heart of the above, you’d have to start with the process of thought, and the idea that “thought cannot be separated from me,” and really dig into those terms as they related to the experience they supposedly underscore (thinking, sense of self, et al), divide and then conquer, knowing that the division itself is an abstraction from the whole.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 16, 2013 - 10:29am PT
Instead of I AM = Consciousness (for my busily discursive-minded friends), you may substitute "There is consciousness."

MH2, I can see that you enjoy the argument, but you have no stake in it, do you? Take a position. Maybe you don't know. Perhaps you only have beliefs.

Are you convinced of (your) consciousness or not? It's a pretty simple question. Does it exist or not?

If you have a single scintilla of a doubt about consciousness, then knowledge of anything or any sort would be unavailable to you. Beliefs would be all you have. You know nothing whatsoever for sure.

Probability is another sign for belief.

There is no need for philosophy. It's an empirical question.
WBraun

climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 10:39am PT
"I" is the individual.

Individuality is eternal.

Trying to make it "There is consciousness" is the impersonal mayavadi interpretation originally expounded by Shankaracharya.

Shankaracharya in the end revealed himself it was all nonsense and he was told to preach this nonsense because certain fools desired such nonsense.

Whatever the living entity desires will be given.

Shankaracharya's whole nonsense was completely defeated.

Still this nonsense is very predominate due to poor fund of knowledge .....
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 16, 2013 - 10:50am PT
Just finished another journal article, and I'm convinced that all journal articles should be prefaced with something like this:

WARNING: The scientific results in this study are based upon the less-than-critical acceptance of consensus-based reality. It should be viewed in the same way as religion, mythology, folklore, and superstition.

Science just does not seem to be representing our interests. How many pretty pictures of galaxies do we care about? What real value is the Higgs Bosons particle or the 11th dimension in string theory? Beyond an an amusing IMAX movie or two, what has the space station given any one of us? Science could tear down its own erected walls and get into the real game of life with its studies: like, death, suffering, the meaning of life, our own consciousness--you know, the real mysteries IN LIFE. Untether the space station, quit funding the supercolliders.

I can't see that scientists are our best minds on the planet; instead they are some of the most highly institutionalized (indoctrinated--"doctoral") and narrowly focused people you can find. They have nothing to say about the broadest questions of being. They are hardly the torchbearers of humanity.
MH2

climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 11:00am PT
you may substitute "There is consciousness."


What does the word consciousness signify in your use of it?

The one thing that is incontestable is that something exists.

And that is...

something.


I am okay with knowing nothing for sure. I makes my guesses and takes my chances.


Is 1+1=2 a belief? Is it false? Is it an empirical question?
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 16, 2013 - 11:11am PT
Shankaracharya in the end revealed himself it was all nonsense . . . .

It's all nonsense, Werner. Talking is just talking. No spiritual teacher can possibly say what Truth is, because there's no relationship between words and Reality. Teachers can only point with words and actions. All teachers lie, and they know it. It's all just words, concepts, ideas, mental elaborations. There's no need for any of it. Spiritual instruction is all BS. Look for yourself.

One may become aware of an ultimate reality and a conventional one. Both are, like samsara and nirvana, one and the same. Investigating conventional reality closely can help to expose the other. Look.

You may take a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. It's not even up to the horse. Things just happen. Look closely for yourself.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 16, 2013 - 11:21am PT
Consciousness to me means self-awareness.

"Something?" What thing is that? "Something" looks like a placeholder for "I don't know."

1+1=2 is not an empirical question. It's a math question. Empiricism refers to sensations: taste, touch, feel, etc.

(You ARE saying that you know nothing, aren't you?)
WBraun

climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 11:30am PT
It's not all nonsense.

No spiritual teacher can possibly say what Truth is

You can't say that either because your above statement is asserting/meant as a truth.

You can't just haphazardly spurt out stuff without any scientific method.

Even spiritual knowledge is grounded in the scientific process ......

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 11:50am PT
WARNING: The scientific results in this study are based upon the less-than-critical acceptance of consensus-based reality. It should be viewed in the same way as religion, mythology, folklore, and superstition.

Science just does not seem to be representing our interests. How many pretty pictures of galaxies do we care about? What real value is the Higgs Bosons particle or the 11th dimension in string theory? Beyond an an amusing IMAX movie or two, what has the space station given any one of us? Science could tear down its own erected walls and get into the real game of life with its studies: like, death, suffering, the meaning of life, our own consciousness--you know, the real mysteries IN LIFE. Untether the space station, quit funding the supercolliders.

What an absolutely grotesque misunderstanding of the nature and value of science. If it is a given that science and technology are inherently valueless then how thoroughly worthless is this type of delusional nihilism . About as worthless as a pot metal slug nickel.

Science just does not seem to be representing our interests.

Who is "our" and what are " our interests" . Blatantly contradictory for someone who has just decried " consensus" as if commonly- shared perceptions were miraculously delusional and lacking a logical basis.

us? Science could tear down its own erected walls and get into the real game of life with its studies: like, death, suffering,

Science has done more to address and investigate these issues than all the navel gazers and existential post- modernists in JuJuland, who would still be sitting around picking their bacterial sores were it not for the advances in the understanding and control of real suffering and disease .
Scientists investigate nature. The other day the genome for leprosy was sequenced. What did post- modern existentialist do that day?
Answer: sat around and nursed mood-congruent intellectual grudges.

They have nothing to say about the broadest questions of being. They are hardly the torchbearers of humanity.

. The broadest questions of being are not your home territory either, so don't waste the considerable Herculean effort to carve it out , patrol it, and piss on its boundaries .

With all due respect.
This is not personal with me.


WBraun

climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 11:59am PT
there's no relationship between words and Reality.

That's not true either.

You need more work ....
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