Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 16161 - 16180 of total 22761 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Boulder climber
Jul 1, 2013 - 09:23pm PT
It would be super, I think, if you "molst" guys and girls started your own thread - then this one could carry on - with a reinvigorated breath of fresh air - in the vein of religion and science in politics. Just a thought

You've got to be kidding. A thread of three? Jan still has a lot to offer, but Tom and I described our experiences in short order without droning on and on and on . . . Little more to be said. I'll remove the monkey wrench so you can throw your weight around some more.

A breath of fresh air? You still must contend with the dreadful remnants of "What is Mind?"
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jul 1, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
For the record, you threw no monkey wrenches. (At least as far as I could tell.)

The Original Monkey Wrench in these here Works knows who he is.


Seriously, if there really was a God backing the Catholic Church, would you want anything to do with Him?

Just today...



re: Islamic Reformation

Yeah, it's at hand, and it's a big deal, esp for women...


Jul 1, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
Bitch, bitch, bitch. What a bunch of girls.

Try lifting a little weight, will ya? Tom's right. It's a boring as hell in here sometimes. Cross a couple of synapses, point out an error in reason or data, and help create a dialogue. Instead, people want hard definitions, easy answers, and make glib catcalls from the bleachers. ("What? You mean actually DO Something?!?") I get wise asses like that every quarter. They are the males smirking in the back row cruising their Facebook pages.

It's not a question of balls. It's a question of heart.

Jul 1, 2013 - 10:08pm PT

A reasonable interpretation. I've heard that explanation before. I've heard similar comments about bushido, too--that it was not pure.

I don't think, however, that somehow invalidates Lao Tzu's insights about civilizations, societies, leadership, followership, morality, and everything else that makes up conventional life. The mahasiddhas were also bohemian hippies, you know, and without them, the highest forms of Tibetan Buddhism would still be a dream hidden in termas somewhere.

One has to get over what one thinks is practical, personal, and social. Trying to balance the demands of the mystical with the demands of the practical is likely a lose-lose proposition. There is no "we." There is only you. Forget the "we." When you find you, you'll know what to make of the other you's that seem to be out there.

Compassion is not what it appears to be. It is not some mawkish sentiment to be a good person. The fourth noble truth may itself have been developed simply for crowd control (right speech, right action, right thoughts, etc.). Being awake is not being a saint. Sainthood or being a yogi comes from being awake. There is nothing needed to become awake--just stop doing everything that is stupid.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jul 1, 2013 - 10:56pm PT
I agree that Laotze's philosophy is a very valuable antidote to what passes for "normal" life.

One of the more intriguing aspects of Taoist thought for myself, is its connection to nature as well as art, literature and poetry. Chinese herbal medicine, earthquake prediction based on careful observation of animal behavior as well as acupuncture and other energy manipulations, also came out of Taoism. The list of Chinese inventions using the Taoist principle of yin and yang are quite impressive, everything from gunpowder to the compass.

By contrast, we in the West, have endured 500 years of antagonism between religious and philosophical thought opposed to science and vice versa, a trend that some like fructose, think we are still not pursuing rigorously enough.

Jul 2, 2013 - 08:31am PT


It was established quite some time ago on this thread, in large part through input from Ed, that the discursive mind is the same thing as (self) consciousness and that it depends on language. Also known as the Left Brain.

By contrast, the other major mode of the brain is the unconscious or subconscious which relies on situational awareness and symbols, music, movement, and meditation rather than language. Also known as the Right Brain.

I spent a lot of effort at that time on the thread to note that one's self and consciousness will be very different depending on the structure of the language one speaks while the unconscious mind, more rooted in biological processes, is more universal. This whole conversation we've been having, is reliant for example, on the inflective structure of Indo European languages. It is not possible to think or talk like this in Chinese or Tibetan for example.

Right brain meditation systems (and art, dance, and music) take one back, I believe, to a more archaic brain function common to all humans. It represents the Homo sapiens mind before the invention of language, before the tower of Babel so to speak. Of course not everyone would agree with this theory.

via Marlow

here's more Beckett:

ďIf there is one question I dread, to which i have never been able to invent a satisfactory reply, it is the question what am I doing.Ē


a simple invitation to investigate ones awareness and the process of discursive thinking

Most here are only talking


I was trying to back it up to the fundamentals, such as a clear explanation of the discursive mind.

What is called the discursive mind on this thread seems to me to be that voice in one's head, English in my case, so I do not think or talk like a Chinese or Tibetan.

Or do I?

I see lots of what looks like guesswork on this thread. I'm up for that.

What is thinking? Is it that voice in your head? Can you see your thoughts or otherwise sense them before you hear them? These are the questions to which there is no satisfactory reply for Beckett.

Here is a way to frame the questions: You are a system too complicated to describe in brief. For now, let us just say that you get input from what is around you, you process that input and compare it to memory, and you produce output. What you perceive as 'the discursive mind' is part of the output. All of what I would call 'the thinking' has already happened.

Almost all 'thinking' is sub-conscious. The elaborate use of language by humans has led to an illusion that we think in words. Words are just arbitrary tokens. Words are only the output of thinking, not the process. That voice we hear in our head is the precursor to signals that could be sent via motor axons to our vocal apparatus. You can see activity in premotor areas of the brain which control the vocal cords, mouth, diaphragm, etc., when a person is thinking. That activity is the so-called discursive mind.

The above is not meant to explain thinking, either discursive or other. It is only intended to put a different light on the questions quoted above.

Yes, I am only 'talking.' That is what we do, here. Away from here we may do other things.


Some weirdness enters the picture because words can also be an input to the system. But where do they go after you hear them?


Thanks to Ward Trotter for his cool common sense, and humor.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jul 2, 2013 - 08:40am PT
A Catholic, a Baptist, and a Secular Humanist Walk Into a Soup Kitchen...


"The unstated premise is that religion is the most reliable way to organize people to help others."

Times are changing. Currently it's something of a briar's patch. But new secular organizing principles are arising every day, along with organizations. "A watched pot never boils."

Trad climber
Jul 2, 2013 - 10:22am PT

I took a lot of exception to the original article in Time written by Klein. A friend of mine and I volunteered in Moore for four days. Neither of us are religious. We wound up volunteering out of a Baptist church near the area. I guess all the other volunteers there (nearly all hardcore Southern Baptists) just assumed that we were of a like mind. They never asked and we never brought it up.

It was really strange to be with them as they took every opportunity to prostelyze to the victims. Sometimes it was amusing to watch but sometimes it was a little uncomfortable and emberrassing. There was definatly a promotion of their belief.

One thing I took away from that whole experience that I still think about was the preacher from that church telling me that God chose the path of the tornado to veer to the south of his church so it could be spared for the relief effort. When he was telling me this I was standing there looking towards the neighborhood next to his church that God must have decided the tornado should hit. It was was the neighbors where the Plaze Towers Elemntary school was located. That school was full of kids and was nearly completely obliterated. So basically he said that God made a decision to have the tornado hit a school full of kids rather than an empty church building. There's something wrong with that way of thinking.

I've asked several of my Christian friends what they think about his comment. Some agree with him totally, some think he is insane. The division was pretty predictable based on what denomination they were from.

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 2, 2013 - 10:32am PT
^^^ No one knows Gods mind! If he says he does, ask him to show it to you in the bible.

Easy as that!

Good Job! For the volunteer work.
sandstone conglomerate

sharon conglomerate central
Jul 2, 2013 - 10:44am PT
death: the condition you were in before you were conceived. you'll have the same memories.

Sport climber
Jul 2, 2013 - 10:59am PT

Billie Whitelaw
Dr. Christ

Mountain climber
State of Mine
Jul 2, 2013 - 11:38am PT


Sport climber
Jul 2, 2013 - 11:42am PT
Soon it's Christmas

Fede Finn & Funny Boyz - Julesne og Godter

Jul 2, 2013 - 03:15pm PT
Dr. F,
I posted some links and a song in a thread classic metal.
If you get time take a look at them.

I have some questions. Was the secret the Shroud?
It appears the Shroud appeared after and around the time
copyright law expires. Was copyright law a derivative?
The siege lasted 9 months. Was this the beginning of 9
month school years?

JL, i may brush up on the doctrine of impossible defense
for usage against Iron Maiden. There are allegations against
the Pope. I need to see written law showing a obligation of
the Pope. I need to know by these laws what the Pope breached.
After I need to know who assigned fiduciaries were, and I need
to see records for the accounting.

Hebrews 1:3
Jul 2, 2013 - 07:16pm PT
It takes more faith to believe in nothing...

Why Does It Matter What I Believe? Part 2

...and nothing from nothing leaves...
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 2, 2013 - 07:24pm PT
Dr. F,
I posted some links and a song in a thread classic metal.
If you get time take a look at them.
Sorry, I hate Metal
I used to call myself a Musical elitist snob, because of my special tastes in only quality music
my music of choice was what I called critics oriented rock

I'm kind of got out of the music scene after I got married, and my wife cut me off of my $150 per month music habit.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jul 2, 2013 - 08:43pm PT
MH2, I like your ideas about the thinking process. While engaged with what you had written, two expressions came to my mind to describe the brain - gerrymandered and gerryrigged. Gerryrigged because it is the product of a long evolution with multiple systems evolved at different times and glued together somehow by mats of overlapping neurons and gerry mandered because not all the same thinking universally uses the same parts of the brain. Rather, it is more flexible than we thought, though why some people can rewire it easily after an injury and others can not remains unknown.

I agree that most brain functioning is unconscious but I'm not sure you could call all that thinking. To me thinking is a deliberate act though not necessarily with words. I don't see words unless they are written down, but I do hear them silently in my head when deliberately thinking. I can read English without pronouncing each word but I have to say them aloud in my mind when reading a foreign language.

It would be interesting to see brain scans of someone speaking as opposed to someone reading. I would guess auditory vs visual would be involved. Does anyone know? Probably both involve motion centers. As a throw back example in evolution we know that a person memorizes more efficiently when they move their body while reciting what they are memorizing. Dance obviously came before speech. It would also be interesting to see a brain scan of English speakers versus Chinese speakers. I'm sure the fact that so many Chinese have perfect pitch compared to Indo-European speakers means they process speech somewhat differently in their brains thanks to the tonal nature of their language.

When I am aware of thinking without words, I visualize my situation. I see my mind as a kind of white cloud with nothing in it but thoughts trying to press in on the perimeter. It takes a lot of focus on the empty center to prevent a verbal thought from intruding. I can not do it without making a silent monotonous sound like hmmmmm, ommmmmmm, ahhhhhhhh.

As for where words go, in my brain at least they seem stored not by logic but by geography. When I wanted to remember a word or idea for a test I would first envision an open book and whether I read about it on the left facing page or the right, whether it was at the top, middle, or bottom of the page and then suddenly the answer would come. I would be interested in how others retrieve such information.

And what would a brain scan look like of a mind trying to remember a name for example over hours or even days while engaged in something else and then suddenly it comes to mind?

I do think (!) there is a place for self introspection of the mind/brain to more efficiently enable us to devise ways of measuring it. The subjective is definitely important for devising objective measurements.

Jul 2, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
To me thinking is a deliberate act though not necessarily with words.

Nice, Jan.

Surely deaf people think too, and blind deaf people. Audible words are what most of us learn first, but deaf people can learn to read and write. Blind deaf people learn braille. Words as most of us use them aren't the only possibility.

Maybe thinking is deliberate but maybe it is not. There does not seem to be any one small place in the brain which is the command and control center. If a group of people votes on a decision, is the decision deliberate?

I like to call everything the brain does 'thinking.' It isn't what most of us mean by the term, but as you say, there are no clear borders or boundaries in the brain. Almost any part can influence almost any other part.

I like to picture thinking as a dance with 10 billion dancers. There is coordination but independent movement, too. And a lot of whirling.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jul 3, 2013 - 08:46am PT
Seven myths about education...


The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jul 3, 2013 - 12:28pm PT
Whereas we used to believe life on earth constituted but the tiniest imaginable speck in the history of the universe, this latest research shows that itís not even a speck. Itís not anything at all, really. Statistically speaking, itís nothing.

Messages 16161 - 16180 of total 22761 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews