Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 24, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
When asked what part of this converstaion or debate was Fruity way out of his league, he said: Of this conversation? No area, really.

We can hardly be surprised by this sprectacular claim. The very things that make Dawkins and Harris insufferable narcissists and bantamweight thinkers, has our very own Fruity by the short hairs.

But let's just put Fruity to the test about what he claims to know per Harris, who unknow to Fruity, I know back to front.

He once said that he "wishes to incorporate spirituality in the domain of human reason. He draws inspiration from the practices of Eastern religion, in particular that of meditation, as described principally by Hindu and Buddhist practitioners. By paying close attention to moment-to-moment conscious experience, Harris suggests, it is possible to make our sense of "self" vanish and thereby uncover a new state of personal well-being. Moreover, Harris argues that such states of mind should be subjected to formal scientific investigation, without incorporating the myth and superstition that often accompanies meditation in the religious context."

Drawing on this very tangible passage, Harris has repeatedly said that thinking is not voluntary, or at any rate it is not under conscious control.

Okay, Fruite Cake, explain to me what you believe Harris is sayng here, and describe in your own words how thinking actually occurrs in the creative process. IOWs, I have a problem to solve, like writing a sentense describing something. How does this sentense get written, using terms we can verify for ourselves by way of simply checking our internal process.

JL

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 24, 2013 - 09:00pm PT
HeHeHe, Drf I didn't think you would fall for that bait,hook,weight, and rod!

That's what Jebus would want, low wages for the poor, and big bonuses for the stock holders

I would be interested to know what you think Jebus's world wood look like? since you know what He wants.

Seriously, a vote for more min. wage. Is a vote for more government, more laws, more restrictions, more price inflation, more poverty for the ones that even able to get a min. wage job! It's backwards thinking. There shouldnt be any min. to the wage. So as to bring incentive to undercut by paying in "cash". ALL wages should be taxed, no matter how small.
FörtMental

Social climber
Albuquerque
Aug 25, 2013 - 02:29am PT
Science works because it's performance requires a reasoned proof, workable in spite of ourselves. With time, science, and by extension, commerce, will replace culture, and by extension, religion. There will be cultural festivals, of course, like jungle-themed dances and the yearly Tomaht'allah, where hordes of people run through the streets of the Holy Land and tomato bombs explode randomly, raining red smelly goo on the laughing crowds. Halloween will become the biggest annual festival and people will paint themselves white to look like the legendary, though extinct, caucasoids.

We'll all be dark yellow-gray and speak Espechanglish. When the very last vestige of religion dies, humanity will finally be free of quaint ideas like an afterlife, and messiahs coming to our rescue, and that we are utterly alone, in the only reality there is. Humanity will also know that it's survival requires respecting each other and taking care of our planet.

And that's when the real work will begin; proving Einstein's theory of Special Relativity wrong so that we can get off this fly-speck of a rock and do what humans do best: explore.

-So proud to be an atheist.
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Aug 25, 2013 - 06:40am PT
^horrible picture. And don't forget about evolutionary end of humankind, genetic decline and leaving the face of earth to whatever next species is in the plans...
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Aug 25, 2013 - 07:33am PT
Science works because it's performance requires a reasoned proof, workable in spite of ourselves.

And a reasoned proof works only because the Creator of the world had established the laws of logic/mathematical laws to govern the physical aspects of said world.

science, and by extension, commerce
The latter has nothing to do with the former. Soviet Union would never be able to send the 1st spaceship into the skies if they were somehow, remotely, connected.


WBraun

climber
Aug 25, 2013 - 07:41am PT
Since TIME unmemorable God has proven the atheist as stupid ......

Even the atheists know they are stupid .....
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Aug 25, 2013 - 07:43am PT
Top level scientists (of Physicist, Mathematician variety...) tend NOT to be atheists :) As very smart people always know the limitations of "logic" and "reason" and recognize own limitations.
The lower caliber wannabe know-it-alls (who think simply getting a ph.d in math/engineering from top 50 amerikan school qualifies them) tend to be audacious atheists sometimes... reminds me of one of my computer science professors, who liked to trumpet about "power of the human mind", human controlling their destiny in full, power of human over the world, full on atheist propaganda during every lecture...while poor chap couldn't even get happy personal/love life for himself, suffered miserable marriage followed by divorce and had been alone and very unhappy, seeing a psychiatrist, ever since, for many years, which he usually complained about before going off on idiotic atheist "all power to human" rants....hahahaha. I guess *someone* above had written it in the book of fate for him. And all the "reason" could not change it. No power here.
WBraun

climber
Aug 25, 2013 - 07:47am PT
God is all attractive.

Even stupid atheist is attracted.

In a negativity way,

Stupid atheist has no good brain .....
FörtMental

Social climber
Albuquerque
Aug 25, 2013 - 07:57am PT
Battling Superstition, Indian Paid With His Life
photo not found
Missing photo ID#317798
Manpreet Romana for The New York Times

PUNE, India — For nearly three decades, an earnest man named Narendra Dabholkar traveled from village to village in India, waging a personal war against the spirit world.

Police officers removed a banner bearing the image of Narendra Dabholkar near the spot where he was shot in Pune, India.
If a holy man had electrified the public with his miracles, Dr. Dabholkar, a former physician, would duplicate the miracles and explain, step by step, how they were performed. If a sorcerer had amassed a fortune treating infertility, he would arrange a sting operation to unmask the man as a fraud. His goal was to drive a scientist’s skepticism into the heart of India, a country still teeming with gurus, babas, astrologers, godmen and other mystical entrepreneurs.

That mission ended Tuesday, when two men ran up behind Dr. Dabholkar, 67, as he crossed a bridge, shot him at point-blank range, then jumped onto a motorbike and disappeared into the traffic coursing through this city.

Dr. Dabholkar’s killing is the latest episode in a millenniums-old wrestling match between traditionalists and reformers in India. When detectives began putting together a list of Dr. Dabholkar’s enemies, they found that it was long. He had received threats from Hindu far-right groups, been beaten by followers of angry gurus and challenged by councils upholding archaic caste laws. His home state, Maharashtra, was considering legislation he had promoted for 14 years, banning a list of practices like animal sacrifice, the magical treatment of snake bites and the sale of magic stones.

In the rush of emotion that followed Dr. Dabholkar’s death, the state’s governor on Saturday signed the so-called anti-black magic bill into force as an ordinance. But Dr. Dabholkar never put stock in sudden breakthroughs, said his son, Hamid Dabholkar, as mourners filtered through the family’s home. “He knew this kind of battle is fought across the ages,” he said. “The journey we have chosen is one that started with Copernicus. We have a very small life, of 70 to 80 years, and the kind of change we will see during that time will be small.”

At Police Headquarters in Pune, the crime branch’s reception area was decorated with a painting of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh, bedecked with garlands of fresh flowers and a revolving, multicolored flashing light. There was a slight smell of incense. The lead investigator in the Dabholkar case had been working until 4 a.m., the inspector on duty said, so he would not be in until noon. “Round-the-clock,” he repeated, reassuringly, when asked about the inquiry’s intensity.

The killers left behind a few pieces of evidence. Surveillance cameras show two men lurking around a bridge for nearly an hour before intercepting Dr. Dabholkar on his post-yoga morning walk. Friends and family described threats Dr. Dabholkar had received over the years from hard-line Hindu organizations.

The founder of one such group, Sanatan Sanstha, noting that he did not condone the killing, did not bother to feign sorrow over Dr. Dabholkar’s death.

“Instead of dying of old age, or by surgery, which causes a lot of suffering, the death Mr. Dabholkar got today was a blessing from God,” the leader, a former hypnotherapist now known as His Holiness Dr. Jayant Athavale, wrote in an editorial in the organization’s publication, Sanatan Prabhat.

With his unfashionable glasses and mild smile, Dr. Dabholkar fell into his region’s tradition of progressive social movements. An atheist, he quit practicing medicine at 40 to devote his life to activism. The room where he worked was bare but for a framed quote from Mahatma Gandhi. His wife, Shaila, recalled that her family had offered her an array of young men they considered marriageable, and she had chosen him for his idealism.

“We thought only about society, and that was what we spoke about,” she said. “Even though we were married, there was nothing like romance, or anything like that. Both of us were patriots of idealism. We wanted a good society.”

He was active on many fronts, from women’s rights to environmentalism, but the guru-busting received the most attention. A German scholar who wrote a book about Dr. Dabholkar’s group, the Committee for the Eradication of Blind Faith, described a traveling road show in which activists lay on beds of nails, set coconuts on fire and told crowds, “Just remember, miracles can never happen.”

“The rationalists do not shy away from challenging and provoking the gods, deities and spirits, ridiculing the people capable of controlling black magic and deliberately doing the most inauspicious things,” the scholar, Johannes Quack, wrote in his study “Disenchanting India.” “Some villagers told me that the rationalists would live to regret such behavior.”

Recently, Dr. Dabholkar had focused much of his energy on the anti-black magic bill, and he was frustrated that politicians were slow to embrace it. Shruti Tambe, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pune, said it had run into various roadblocks — a rise in conservative thought among middle-class Hindus; the vested interests of castes that specialized in certain rituals. Then there was the difficulty of providing a legal definition of superstition. The list of banned activities grew shorter and shorter over the years, and now includes 16 items, among them “to perform magical rites in the name of supernatural power” and “to perform so-called black magic and spread fear in society.”

“What today stands as the draft legislation is a much mellowed-down position,” she said. “It is a slippery area that we are talking about — what is faith, and what is blind faith. There is a very thin line dividing it.”

Far-right Hindu groups were vehemently opposed. Shambhu S. Gaware, a spokesman for Sanatan Sanstha, who offered an interview after repeated phone calls, said early versions of the bill banned practices that cause bodily injury — which, he said, could be interpreted to include traditional fasting. Though many provisions have since been removed, the act is still vaguely worded and could be applied to legitimate religious practices, he said.

“This is just an attack on Hindu dharma,” said Mr. Gaware, a mechanical engineer.

The days since the killing have been tense for Sanatan Sanstha. There have been calls to ban the group, which has no official membership, since 2008, when people linked to it were convicted of bombing theaters. Mr. Gaware said investigators questioned eight of Sanatan Sanstha’s local members immediately after the killing, and have a list of 70 members they plan to interrogate. He said the members had cooperated fully.

“Dr. Dabholkar was not a believer in God, and we are strong believers in God, so there is always a clash between our thoughts,” he said. “But we do not believe in violence. Whatever our differences with Dr. Dabholkar, we always choose legal means to oppose him.”

The police have begun questioning the leaders of criminal gangs in Pune, in hopes of identifying the crime’s mastermind, and are tracing more than 1,000 motorcycles with plate numbers similar to the assailants’, The Times of India reported Saturday.

In Pune, meanwhile, the secular and the spiritual strain against each other. Boys and men stopped at the spot on the bridge where Dr. Dabholkar was shot, fixing their gaze at the grayish stain on the cement. Rohit Shindey, 21, said that as a child, he had believed in “all the things in our religion that they would do that was rubbish, like babas and predictions.”

Then, he said, Dr. Dabholkar gave a speech at his school. “He told us: ‘I am not saying there is no God. Believe in God. But do not keep any superstitions in your heart. Only God is in your heart,’ ” Mr. Shindey said.

Not 50 feet away, Kumar Shankar was offering palm readings in the same spot where he has worked since 1987. He sat cross-legged and barefoot, in a vest of rough homespun fabric, and was not especially bothered by the challenges of secularists. A reading was 60 rupees, about $1.

“The Constitution of India has given us freedom of expression,” he said. “Many people say God is not there, but many more believe in God. Many people do not believe in spirits. Many people believe in spirits.” To charges that he was exploiting that belief, he said, “If you go to a doctor, will he treat you for free?”

Mr. Shankar had heard about Dr. Dabholkar’s death, and about the sudden progress of the new legislation. He shrugged off the idea that it would have any effect on him. “No, mine is a science,” he said. “This is palmistry! Numerology, palmistry, astrology, these are sciences! The law cannot ban them.”
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Aug 25, 2013 - 08:03am PT
This very same CS professor felt that when--not if, but when--a self-improving computer is finally created (since the power of reason/science is unlimited and this happens to be one of the subjects of computer science research), the outcome will be these super-computer/s (that can evolve and improve self), having much higher reasoning, computational, abstraction, etc power than human, will eventually kill off entire humankind--and this was a good thing.. Ironically this might be true...as this MIGHT be the "back up plan" (of whoever created humans and allowed them to design computers).

"Science" is just human playing inside the sandbox that was created by much higher "mind"...the "reasoning" and "proofs" can not look outside the sandbox, and they're a part of it.
FörtMental

Social climber
Albuquerque
Aug 25, 2013 - 08:14am PT
OK Tioga....go ahead and base your understanding of atheists on one professor with a crappy marriage. And I'll base my understanding of Christianity on this guy:

the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Aug 25, 2013 - 08:28am PT
I have caught a few glimpses of what goes on behind the curtain (of our current scientific understanding). I wish I could communicate it better. Perhaps with more examination, someday I will be able to, but for starters (and this is all IMO and very left brainish, which I freely admit):

Everything came from the same place and is made of the same stuff. Everything started with the big bang. Was the big bang the true beginning, or is it part of a never-ending cycle where everything comes together at the end into a big crunch / black hole and another big bang happens. Can we ever know? Does it matter? All energy, matter, time, space came from the same place. You, me, El Capitan. We are all manifestations of the same stuff. Of course this stuff has evolved. We and the Earth are stardust. All our atoms were part of another star that created complex elements, completed it's life cycle, and went supernova. As time went on things diversify and evolve. But everything living thing on this planet is related. Every animal some of the same DNA. The great apes are 98% the same as us in terms of DNA. People are all 99.5% the same in terms of DNA. In short everything is more the same than it appears.

Because of relativity we know matter, energy, time, and space, are not the discreet things they appear to use. They are all related. If you start moving really fast or get to the really small size scale reality as we know it starts to change. Like gravity vs. general relativity what we see around us is a good approximation of reality, but there is more going on behind the scenes we have yet to learn.

There is a theory that everything is here because we are here to observe it, but I don't believe that (see Schrödinger's cat). But I do think it is possible that consciousness and higher thinking were probably inevitable. It's a result of the enormous scale of time and place in the universe. Given the billions of years and billions of planets, the conditions for higher thinking had to arise. I've heard some interesting theories for why homo sapiens developed their big brains and it's resulting higher thought processes (basically the smart folks made it through some times of very limited resources using ingenuity and passed those genes down). The only definitive conclusion I can come to is they were are EXTREMELY lucky. The odds of winning a lottery pale in comparison to the odds of being on a planet at the right time for intelligent life. But another way to think of it is we wouldn't be here posting if we didn't happen to be on the Earth in 2013, so we wouldn't exist and worry about it if we weren't here. It's like the chances that you became you, with the millions of men and women that could have created another life, and once they did copulate, the chances that that one particular sperm out of 200 million sperm was the one to fertilize the egg, and it developed into you or me. But as the result of that chance, we are here. So I guess we are all lucky but in hindsight we are who we are and we don't need to worry about us not being here because we are.

At a basal level we all have the same thought processes. Reason and faith and emotion are not unique to anyone (and much of what goes on is not even unique to humans, animals feel emotion too). Everyone feels pain and happiness. I know if I inflict pain or sadness on someone else, they feel it like I would feel if it happened to me and it bothers me (the thoughts in his/her brain are just another manifestation of the thoughts that go on in my brain). If I help or entertain or inspire someone I know what that feels like too (so it is a much better goal to aspire to). I imagine if there are intelligent aliens or God(s) their thought processes would be the same too. And maybe that's the universality we start to grasp when we look outside ourselves and realize we are part of a bigger picture.

So maybe our individual consciousness is all taking place in our brains, but consciousness as a whole transcends the human brain and is a more inherent part of the universe.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Aug 25, 2013 - 08:46am PT

John Bradshaw: Cat Sense

John Bradshaw's fascinating feline study traces the history of the cat from ancient god through persecution to today's most favoured cuddly pal


From the history of cats:

"As John Bradshaw writes in his exceptionally thorough new study of feline nature, Cat Sense: "Cats now face possibly more hostility than at any time during the last two centuries." And Bradshaw knows his stuff about cat persecution in the past. In fact, as fascinating as Cat Sense will be for anyone wanting to understand their cat more deeply, feline lovers of a squeamish nature should be wary of its early chapters, in which we learn for just how long, and to what horrific lengths, the cats of the world have been the victims of superstition and cruelty.

The last really bad time to be a cat was the 1600s, when, along with falling foul of the Salem witch trials and the self-appointed Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins, they were persecuted by the church of Rome, which gave its official sanction towards cruelty towards cats. In the middle ages, many European cities observed a feast-day custom of suspending cats in a basket over a large fire, in the belief that their screams would ward off evil spirits. As recently as 1817, live cats were thrown ritualistically from the bell tower in Ypres (they now use stuffed toys instead) and in 1648 Louis XIV lit and danced in front of a bonfire in Paris whose prime purpose was to burn cats. Even the Egyptians might not have been quite as nice to cats as we think: on one hand, the members of an Egyptian household would often shave off their eyebrows in tribute to a cat who had died of natural causes, but on the other, many of their mummified cats had been killed by ritualistic strangulation."

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/25/cat-sense-john-bradshaw-review
Dr. F.

Boulder climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 25, 2013 - 08:47am PT
Seriously, a vote for more min. wage. Is a vote for more government, more laws, more restrictions, more price inflation, more poverty for the ones that even able to get a min. wage job! It's backwards thinking. There shouldnt be any min. to the wage.

This is purely idiotic, based on myths, and patently wrong
apparently just like the rest of your belief systems.

Raising the min. wage creates jobs, and raises the overall standard of living of the entire Nation. There have been numerous studies proving this to be true, and your belief as wrong.
Why would there be more Gov. with a higher min. wage?

Which Countries have no min. wage?, third world countries like Mexico and Somalia

What Countries have the highest Min. wage? The most economically successful countries with a healthy wealth distribution and high standard of living.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Aug 25, 2013 - 08:52am PT
Child

"One rain-wet child on a rail fence
is better than ten angels in the Kingdom of Heaven."
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 25, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
With time, science, and by extension, commerce, will replace culture, and by extension, religion.


Science works in the service of culture (including the culture of mind), not the other way around.

If we were just left with the task of quantifying, as the ne plus ultra of existence, as prescribed above, we would have realized the digital dream of borgs.

For us human beings, sitting around a table, sans tunes, fine grub, some sense of transcendence, love, and all the frivolities of culture thrown on top, just sitting there grinding out equations that we could prove to ourselves were "right" - such a world as this could only be atractive to some dufus with fifty pens in his pockets, who never got picked for the kickball team and who couldn't get laid with a 1,000 dollar bill.

Not a world that many would care to live in, but if you want to closet yourself in a thought bubble, sans culture, have at it. Ain't nobody gonna come looking for you to share the misery - we can easily see why.

JL

A cultured look at Orion
A cultured look at Orion
Credit: Largo
FörtMental

Social climber
Albuquerque
Aug 25, 2013 - 03:20pm PT
Science works in the service of culture (including the culture of mind), not the other way around.

If we were just left with the task of quantifying, as the ne plus ultra of existence, as prescribed above, we would have realized the digital dream of borgs.

For us human beings, sitting around a table, sans tunes, fine grub, some sense of transcendence, love, and all the frivolities of culture thrown on top, just sitting there grinding out equations that we could prove to ourselves were "right" - such a world as this could only be atractive to some dufus with fifty pens in his pockets, who never got picked for the kickball team and who couldn't get laid with a 1,000 dollar bill.

Not a world that many would care to live in, but if you want to closet yourself in a thought bubble, sans culture, have at it. Ain't nobody gonna come looking for you to share the misery - we can easily see why.

This is a poignant reminder that you actually understand little of the natural world around you and the "culture" of inquiry. Moreover, your mode of thinking has more in common with Romantic era English poets that it does with anyone living in a modern world.
Tell us more about how pocket protectors make you feel....
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 25, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
Sorry I don't follow the logic here.

If engineers with pocket protectors were all the rage in our modern world and religion on the run, then why would this thread even exist?

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 25, 2013 - 04:09pm PT
your mode of thinking has more in common with Romantic era English poets that it does with anyone living in a modern world.


Really now. Well a died-in-the-wool empiricist like your own self might want to trot out your wonky social theories with people "living in the modern world."

Just walk up to anyone you meet on the streets and declare to them that science, and by extension, commerce, will in a few short years eliminate the need for all forms of culture as we know it. Music, art, dance, entertainment, sports, jazz, pinball, surfing, bull riding, opera, radio - all gone so we can - what, exactly? I guarantee you that this sad sac prescription will get no play, at all, with anyone who has a pulse, a girlfriend, a dog, a few CDs, a skateboard, a chalkbag, some sense of the transcendental, and a nose for rich viands. But a borg or replicant might find this "mode of thinking" attractive. But not the rest of us - not by a long shot, Homer.

Now go back to your abbacus while the rest of us do some living. I sometimes think that you duffers with the pocket protectors say ludicrous and unstudied whoppers like this because you got passed over in grade school for that dance with sweet Petunia, and it left you kinder sore.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMWGXt979yg

JL
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Aug 25, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
So its come down to pocket protectors?

'Clem, I'm gonna draw m'felt tip on ya, if you don't put that theory in the barn.'

'Flem I got god on m'side and a permanent marker here with your name all over it. I'm gunna mark you up!'

DMT
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