Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Oct 27, 2013 - 12:24pm PT
THE SOLID ROCK

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain:
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand

—Edward Mote



Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.


Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”



Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.



1 Peter 2:4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,

“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”

8 and

“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”

They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.



...On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is choss!
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Oct 27, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
If you drop out of the religious / spiritual veins of practice, you could just as easily find yourself attracted to music, painting, science, martial arts, business, photography, metal working, taxidermy, baking, climbing and any other endeavor that allows you to lose yourself into moment of raw experience. It is then that you can find what and who you are. There's no need to find deities or Gods, principles or laws of the universe, or interpretations of this or that. What you are--all that you really are--is what you get. And it is more than more than enough. It's like a kiss on the cheek from a child at night--perfect!

I kind of agree with this. I've been a pathologic sense searcher for my entire life. If there is anything to be gained, and I'm not saying that there is, I would just say that it is not losing yourself or finding yourself. It is noticing yourself or rather things, feelings, and experiences. The richness of experience is a very deep well. I can think back to others like me, my bros and cohorts.

Trust me. I've put in a ton of effort on this. I go nuts if I can't have something to learn or do.

Sometimes you need to sort of jump off of the high dive to notice the depth of experience, and exactly how much the human mind can take without collapsing into a sobbing heap.

I've spent all or parts of 5 summers up in the arctic, mostly alone. That one year when I was out for 8 weeks hiking across ANWR and back alone was interesting. When I got out, I was what they call "bushy." The roar of ATV's and people in general was almost intolerable for several weeks. Even the tiny bush village where I came out was too loud. Fairbanks was a full on sense assault. I couldn't stand the noise.

When I got home, I would go outside and marvel at the stars. The sun had never set on me.

I wish everyone could feel what I've felt. If I could turn it into a drug, or make a mental DVD that people could plug into their own senses, I would be a very wealthy man.

I have a funny story. I came out in this tiny Indian Village where I could get a ride on a small commuter plane to Fairbanks. I ran into a guy who I had seen up there often. He was taking photographs for a book and roped in some big names to write chapters. I almost punched Peter Matthiessen in the nose the day I hit the village and ran into him.

There are two types of experience. The quick ones like soloing something or jumping something, or some other "acute" experience.

The other type is the long experience, like doing a big wall, hiking 500 miles alone, or some such stuff.

They take different types of minds to handle.

Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Oct 27, 2013 - 02:18pm PT
Well that would be interesting to explore. How many here are into the acute experiences and how many into the endurance experiences? Personally I prefer the endurance category and it does indeed co-relate with long term meditation as an interest.

I do know what Base is talking about in regard to endurance isolation and sensory overload. After I had finished spending 6 months walking 500 miles up and down across the Himalayas, I experienced it also. I saw many other people along the way but the colors were drab as they were poor and it was mostly winter, and there was no electricity or media. When we got back to Kathmandu which can be an overwhelming kaleidescope of sights, sounds, and smells at any time, it felt like we had taken a psychedelic drug, the contrast and effect on our senses was so great.

sullly

Trad climber
Oct 27, 2013 - 03:36pm PT
If you drop out of the religious / spiritual veins of practice, you could just as easily find yourself attracted to music, painting, science, martial arts, business, photography, metal working, taxidermy, baking, climbing and any other endeavor that allows you to lose yourself into moment of raw experience. It is then that you can find what and who you are. There's no need to find deities or Gods, principles or laws of the universe, or interpretations of this or that.

I disagree. Yesterday I read Sophocles' Antigone and am taking a course covering Ulysses. The years I spent at Catholic institutions gives me insights into both works. Joyce pokes fun at the Church and Bloom (Jewish protagonist) is baffled by a mass. Antigone overrides the laws of the city in favor of the laws of the gods.

I believe in a high power sometimes; sometimes I don't. It doesn't impede my relentless pursuit of the arts.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Oct 27, 2013 - 04:18pm PT
Sully, I don't think it is an and/or situation. Experience is nigh infinite in its scope, and many spiritual people were great climbers, explorers, whatever.

I like including things like cooking, metal work, whatever in the equation. I've always had more hobbies than I could handle. I see exactly what MikeL is talking about. It doesn't have to be something intense. Just something that soaks up your attention completely.

Jan,

Do you think back to that slog fondly? Mine was a lot of work, but I can't believe that I was so lucky to be able to do what was essentially just a big backpacking trip. It changed things about me. My perception of some ideas, for example.

I really wish that everyone could do a long trip like the one you are discussing. It is like an inner pilgrimage. You don't realize that you've changed until you get home and everything is either stupid excess or just not a big deal.
FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Oct 27, 2013 - 05:11pm PT
You don't realize that you've changed until you get home and everything is either stupid excess or just not a big deal.


Yeah....but you DIDN'T change.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 27, 2013 - 06:17pm PT
Yeah....but you DIDN'T change.
--

What is your understanding about how a person "changes."
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Oct 30, 2013 - 02:41pm PT
re: "the religion of peace"

Here it is, in no uncertain terms...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV710c1dgpU

Thank you, YouTube.

Look at all those young males. Shows the hard work ahead for civilization, I think.
FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Oct 30, 2013 - 03:00pm PT
What is your understanding about how a person "changes."

Ultimately by actions "on the ground", so to speak. If, through some experience, you become "changed" but go about your life on the same trajectory, to an observer, nothing has changed. Ultimately, that same observer has to be yourself. There's a lot of truth to the notion that a person becomes "who he is" by the age of 8. But that's my opinion.

Then there's Xeno's paradox regarding predestiny, but that's just silly-speak.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Oct 30, 2013 - 03:19pm PT
A change of the heart is a change.

Moving objects around in the world (actions, "on the ground") is no change. It's like moving deck chairs on the Titanic.

Zeno (not "Xeno") was a lot smarter than you think. He found ungraspable and unsolvable (2000+ years later) paradoxes that people still can't solve. They are unsolvable as long as you make assumptions that are held by consensus reality.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Oct 30, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
In response to jgill, I can see why modern observers might think that meditation was developed as an Asian escape mechanism. However, I believe the historical roots are different. I think rather, meditation was the product of a moist tropical climate with a food surplus which enabled people to have the leisure to ask deeper questions about life.

If you look at Asia historically, it has always been richer than the West with the exception of the past 500 years. Likewise, the rise of Asia again, now that it has started to recover from western colonialism, is surprising to us, but not to the Asians. They see themselves as merely reclaiming their heritage and traditional economic role in the world now that their resources belong to themselves again. For example, 25% of the GNP of Great Britain for over 200 years, came from India alone, and it was the British who forced opium on China with their battleships, not something the Chinese brought on themselves.Early European travelers the from the Polos to the Jesuits marveled at how wealthy India and China were compared to Europe.

In reply to Base104, I can't really think of how my life was changed by my experience of trekking 500 miles across the Himalayas. For me, it was a continuation of my research and before that Outward Bound and climbing, more demanding to be sure, but basically more of the same.

Meanwhile, it is chiefly memorable to me as the best combination ever, of intellectual pursuits and physical ones, something I usually have difficulty combining, especially in the West. I do always, when I am out in the field, tell myself, that I will never again complain about food and accomodation in the modern world for example, but alas, a few months later, I always do.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Oct 30, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
. . . an Asian escape mechanism . . .


I'm glad that Jan offered an answer. It's also my experience that Asian leisure means the opportunity to truly develop and evolve. If you were born into a life that has some leisure, you are compelled to do something important with it . . . like, . . . Pay Attention!

When I saw Base's post, I was tempted to comment but thought that discretion would be better than jumping into the breach once more with an exhaustive attempt. Suffice to say that most everything--from culture to business to climbing to having children--are all escape mechanisms to avoid thinking about that one certain fact of life that faces all of us.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Oct 30, 2013 - 08:19pm PT
I think rather, meditation was the product of a moist tropical climate with a food surplus which enabled people to have the leisure to ask deeper questions about life (Jan)


Interesting. I learn something every day. A little like the leisure of the ancient Greeks that gave rise to western civilization?


He [Zeno] found ungraspable and unsolvable (2000+ years later) paradoxes that people still can't solve. They are unsolvable as long as you make assumptions that are held by consensus reality. (MikeL)

This is an interesting assertion, Mike. Care to expand? Most mathematicians have little concern over the infinite/infinitesimal scenarios. I've even written a short informal paper demonstrating the Arrow statement. However, some philosophers maintain these paradoxes remain unresolved, whereas the general population isn't even aware of Zeno's pronouncements (and could not care less).


HFCS, thanks for that video. Unbelievable.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Oct 30, 2013 - 09:08pm PT
The wealth of the Greeks was based on war and trade which also brought about slavery, whereas Asian wealth is based on the fertility of the land and social systems that maintain peace (many would argue passivity) which allows efficient exploitation of that fertility.

Ironically, Asia's present overpopulation is a measure of its agricultural success. More food allows more children to survive. Their numbers and food requirements then bring about an intensification of agriculture (made possible by a monsoon climate) which in turn encourages more children. Having their wealth taxed away by colonial powers also encouraged more children to make up for the lost wealth.

500 years ago Asia was not overpopulated, and now that it is urbanizing and industrializing, the population growth rate is declining dramatically in almost every Asian country.



Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Oct 30, 2013 - 10:28pm PT
The fact that Asia, especially Eastern Asia, until recent times, was a vast and very fertile geographic cul-de- sac, explains a lot.

Because countries like China were relatively self -sufficient ,with diverse and abundant plant resources , tended to preclude frequent wars of outward conquest . It also presupposed not much in the way of interaction with other races and cultures ; again until quite recently.

The notable exception of course was the great Mongol expansion in the 12th and 13th centuries under Genghis Khan and his progeny. This highly mobile ,migratory conquest was similar to earlier expansions by the Hunnic/ Turks in the 6th century , and there is evidence in both cases that fertile natural regimes on the vast grasslands of Eurasia were followed by periods of environmental hardship which initially resulted in driving the proverbial hordes westward towards Europe in search of fatter pickings.
The cold grassland steppes to the monsoon-shadowed north were always more prone to boom and bust cycles, and were environmentally more susceptible to periodic collapses .

In the case of Genghis Khan you find a very mutually beneficial alliance being formed with the Muslim Turkic tribes on the eastern doorstep of Europe.
Were it not for the formidable natural barrier of the Alps these allied invaders would have had a good shot at subjugating Western Europe, and history would have taken a differing course.




Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Oct 30, 2013 - 11:50pm PT
Even in China, the fall of dynasties has been co-related with several years of monsoon failure which precipitated famine and riots.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Oct 31, 2013 - 12:12am PT
There is ample evidence of global environmental disruption throughout history producing the sort of collapse you mentioned in China , but on a much greater scale.

It is now thought that the coup de grace of the late Roman Empire (among many other acute episodic resultants) was probably due to a massive eruption of Anak Krakatoa near Java in the Indonesian archipelago circa 535 AD:

The extreme weather events of 535–536 were the most severe and protracted short-term episodes of cooling in the Northern Hemisphere in the last 2,000 years.[1] The event is thought to have been caused by an extensive atmospheric dust veil, possibly resulting from a large volcanic eruption in the tropics,[2] or debris from space impacting the Earth.[3] Its effects were widespread, causing unseasonal weather, crop failures, and famines worldwide.[3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_weather_events_of_535–536

Perhaps the first of many invasions of Europe from the Eurasian steppes occurred with great ferocity at about this time. In the wake of retreating Roman legions, hordes of starving Huns , Vandals, and perhaps even early Mongol contingents, descended upon Eastern and Southern Europe with unrestrained rapacity, adding immeasurably to the already on-going woes of the inhabitants there.
FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Oct 31, 2013 - 12:14am PT
Jan, if I remember correctly, The Chinese were masters of passive aggressive warfare and the "silent treatment". Given enough time, the Chinese managed to "peacefully" subdue half the civilized world. As for the rest of it, they could have cared less about it. There are written records of 13th-18th century travels to far flung reaches of the planet that generally came back with the same conclusion: don't bother....we got everything here.

But I also remember reading that the Chinese were a hugely superstitious culture. Coupled with hubris, it made for an interesting attitude; how they ever stuck with Buddhism and Confuscianism is a mystery to me.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Oct 31, 2013 - 01:11am PT
Well from the Chinese point of view they were the only civilized people in the world and others just naturally imitated them. In return for admitting that the Chinese had a superior culture, the tributary states got a lot of valuable gifts in return. This profited peripheral groups like the Okinawans very much. The most amazing example of imitation to my mind is the fact that many borderland people adopted tones to non-tonal languages to sound more Chinese.

There were also Chinese who traveled to India, who remarked that it was richer than China both materially and in religion (Fa Hsien/Faxian early 400's AD and Hsuan tsang/Xuanzang 630's AD).

Buddhism was nearly eliminated from China in the 800's by the ruling classes who always favored Confucianism, with its obedience to authority.

As for superstitious, we never use that word in Anthropology. Prescientific is a better term and applies as many have noted on this thread, to a remarkable number of modern Americans as well.Interestingly early western missionaries to China claimed that the upper classes believed in nothing and the lower classes in everything, a description that strikes me as apt in regard to the current American scene as well. The common denominator? I believe it's falling dynasties, theirs and ours.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Oct 31, 2013 - 11:34am PT
Jgill:

I understand that modern mathematics (since 1800s?) have claimed to have solved most or all of Zeno's paradoxes. It's my understanding, however, that the dialogues about Zeno's paradoxes continue today.

I am no mathematician.

If you believe that all of reality is fundamentally mathematical and composed of finite elements, then you can argue against Zeno's ideas formally.

If you argue that reality can be grasped using common sense and direct observation, then Zeno's riddles can lead you to a view of a Single, One Reality not of single elements but One Fact. Zeno's was concerned with pluralists views of his time (that there are multiple objects that objectively exist), and to that extent his riddles apply to our views today.

I've heard from some folks that pure mathematical solutions are not sufficient to overcome Zeno's riddles because mathematics do not appear to be Reality to some. (I also understand that mathematicians don't agree with that claim when they can solve those problems formally.)

Space and time may not be continuums as mathematicians model. Models are models. (I believe that would be my strongest counter-claim, but it looks to be a tautology to me.)

Mathematics may not be applicable to space, time, and motion at all; space, time, and motion may be artifacts determined purely by analytical procedures.

The issue seems to be whether space, time, and motion have infinitesimal parts or not.

(Ok, my brain is tired.)
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