Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 17001 - 17020 of total 22768 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Sep 13, 2013 - 09:32pm PT
What do you mean when you say that agreed-upon reality is indicated by labels, etc.? Do you mean simply that we must communicate somehow if we are to look for agreement on what happens and why? The need for some kind of language seems unavoidable.

(Apologies, MH2. I'm way out of town, and I'm grading.)

Werner really provides the definitive answer. It's all God, the absolute, ultimately spiritual.

Conventionally, labels and models and theories posit things in the universe, MH2. That fine for just talking among ourselves, but we then take those "things" seriously and concretely. We believe "things" (e.g., chairs, countries, people, anger, democracy) exist independently, statically, definitively.

I've tried to point out that "things" can't be found. No thing is real. Things just Seem to be real, and that seemingness is supported and reinforced at every turn socially, psychologically, linguistically, and cognitively in so many ways. Labels, frameworks, models, abstractions, categories, etc. are all placeholders for conceptualizations.

"There is a label, so it must refer to something!"

Find it definitively, once and for all, finally, without exception, under all conditions, with boundaries, within a bounded context, with final precision.

The closer we look at anything, the more it appears to slip away from our grasp. It's only when we talk about things generally that we appear to agree what we are talking about.

Can we use words to talk? Sure, no problem. Should we take our words to represent the universe properly--concretely, seriously, as referring to things that have independent, never-changing state of existence?

No. We're only pointing with words and concepts, and what we are pointing at doesn't really exist.

"You will not apply my precept," he said, shaking his head. "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
("The sign of the four,"--Sherlock Holmes)
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 14, 2013 - 08:08am PT
MH2

Hehe... a smoking spider... as we both realize it could be poisonous... the spider... the smoking... until we know... That's knowledge. And, yes, WBraun could be...
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Sep 14, 2013 - 10:55am PT
Experiences aren't Everything. But they provide a doorway to pristine awareness of the natural state.

Whatever is experienced is not mental. What one experiences is not a mental event but arises as the state of pure and total presence. Whatever arises is like a dream image which cannot be grasped.

Do not obsessively characterize internal or external entities as credible, apart from being mere objects from one's point of view. If non-conceptual clarity can be allowed to arise, one can cultivate its uninterrupted continuity and allow openness and clarity to unite. What then appears will often seem unreal; dreams will appear lucid; and waking life will seem like a dream. Talk will begin to sound incoherent and in-determinate to one.

This notion I'm pointing to is neither shamatha (quiet nonconceptuality) nor vipassanya (getting insights). What I'm pointing to is being fully present in experiences--not as objects--but as radiant clarity of the natural state. For example, when anger arises, it arises as an energetic manifestation of clarity, as the energy, as fresh awareness of the particulars of a situation. Anger can be seen and experienced, but the particulars of the situation are not longer irritating. Anger is seen and allowed to self-liberate. All "things" can be experienced like this.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 14, 2013 - 12:05pm PT
Whatever is experienced is not mental. What one experiences is not a mental event but arises as the state of pure and total presence. Whatever arises is like a dream image which cannot be grasped.

Everything we know and can observe about experience tells us--- that it is a mental event. Evolution has perfected a brain and a nervous system that dials in the external world for the purpose of survival.

What this means is very simple to grasp actually: the brain uses whatever is at its disposal to effect the outcome intended: the survival of the animal.

The development of concepts, abstractions , ideas , and notions are evolutionary in origin.
They further the goals of biologic survival and are natural and inherent. Abstractions are not antithetical to pure experience, they are a naturally arising augmentation of non-conceptual experience.
Experience that proceeds without concepts are essentially primordial, observed more clearly in organisms that lack a highly developed brain. The purest expression of this level of experience can be observed in unicellular organisms that possess no complex nervous system nor brain to generate concepts and abstractions.

By "concepts and abstractions" I do not mean understanding Einstein or composing a symphony, not in this context. I mean the process of interrelating divergent mental pictures to create an instant strategy of action:
A lone human is foraging for plant food. Suddenly he is aware of a salivating tiger that wants to munch on him.
He instantly reacts by attempting to flee the scene.
His brain has already interrelated the tiger as a killer, a bringer of death, his tribe's enemy, more powerful than him.
He visualizes where he needs to run what he has to do , what direction he must flee, where his tribe is located.

All these experiences are conceptual, serviced by memory and learning. The tiger has not killed him , not yet, but he is an abstraction that represents death. The path through the jungle where the man must run is conceptual, and becomes crucially useful only inasmuch as it can be instantly abstracted from the rest of the environment.

Abstractions and concepts arise out of a need by the brain to process and integrate experience to maximize the imperative of survival.
Conceptual" mental" experiences are not inferior, illusory, nor antithetical to forms of experience that are primary, non-conceptual , and non-integral.

W.T.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Sep 14, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
I found this of interest.





Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late!
1.3003464000@web181603.mail.ne1.yahoo.com

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

In light of recent events--terrorists attacks, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school .
The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with, 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it. No one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and Respectfully,

Ben Stein
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 14, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
Whatever is experienced is not mental. What one experiences is not a mental event but arises as the state of pure and total presence. Whatever arises is like a dream image which cannot be grasped.

Everything we know and can observe about experience tells us--- that it is a mental event
--

Ward, what kind of honest attempt did you make to try and understand what Mike was saying? One thing you can be sure or - he's not guessing.

My impression is that your response was a kind of knee-jerk retort from the level of your experience and knowledge, which says to you that all of this occurs at the level of material (mental), or stuff. Drop below and see for yourself, losing along the way the belief that "below" is a mental phenomenon, as well as the question that "what else could it be but mental?" That's the point in dropping. To find out "what else."

But don't go here unless you want to find out. Otherwise, it's all mental, right?

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 14, 2013 - 02:04pm PT
Ward, what kind of honest attempt did you make to try and understand what Mike was saying? One thing you can be sure or - he's not guessing.

My impression is that your response was a kind of knee-jerk retort from the level of your experience and knowledge, which says to you that all of this occurs at the level of material (mental), or stuff. Drop below and see for yourself, losing along the way the belief that "below" is a mental phenomenon, as well as the question that "what else could it be but mental?" That's the point in dropping. To find out "what else."

What do you mean by "honest attempt"?
This has nothing to do with honesty or what I need to do.

MikeL made a post about what he considered the nature of experience ---and I disagreed .
I don't have to do anything or prove my honesty in any way.And I don't have to meditate or start checking out new books at the library, or walk around the block to establish my bona fides in being able to weigh in on this subject.

I will reiterate. I consider what you have termed "below" as a primal level of unicellular consciousness.
This blank, non-conceptual level of experience has been around a lot longer than the more complex higher brain functions.
This is precisely why you guys are numbed by its glow and its primordial rapture .
You are convinced you've uncovered a more authentic experience.
And you have, in a way.

Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Sep 14, 2013 - 04:55pm PT
For the Christian, the self and the self's creator is all that there seems to be. They are likely to say "This world was made for humans and we have a duty to use it all for what it is worth before the creator takes it away".. which, I know for certain, no religious type would ever say out loud with those words in that order with that intent…. but you have to agree… it seems that this is their mindset.

I don't think this is so. World, solar system, galaxy, universe and what ever else is out there that we have not yet figured out or found is all most certainly not "made for us" or even with "us" in mind….

We are all the same form of energy that started this universe spinning. That began this life-cycle for everything. We are not all that matters. As I see it nothing matters but what we make of it.

Food for thought

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 14, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
Ward, out of one side of your mouth you declare that you have no need or desire to do anything new to understand anything Mike is saying. If you ask Mike, he will make it perfectly clear that what he is saying is the result of many decades of applied technique. He didn't arrive at his conclusions by accident, and you can't get there by accident any more than you can know physics having never done the work. Imagine simply skipping over studying the course work, then declaring to the world that you need not show any bona fides "to weight in on the subject."

Well, of course you don't, but insofar as what is being said is not an idea or a speculation, by virtue of what, exactly, are you drawing your conclusions? Thinking about it?

And your description of a "blank" conscious field has no bearing whatsoever on what we are talking about. How did you arrive at this idea of a "blank mind?" Sounds like someone got poleaxed. Is that what you imagine happens in meditation - you lean to draw a blank?

Mercy . . .

JL
MH2

climber
Sep 14, 2013 - 10:14pm PT
No thing is real. Things just Seem to be real


What is the difference between being real and seeming real? Why do you capitalize 'Seem'?
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Sep 14, 2013 - 11:40pm PT
Ward, I tried writing something clearer to you, but at the moment, I can't seem to do it very well. When I try, I end up making the ideas more concrete and serious than what they are, which is a contradiction to the very ideas I'm trying to communicate. Ha!

----


MH2, I capitalize words to emphasize them (rather than other ones). Ever hear of an amphiboly? In the sentence, "Eat Your Soup," one can communicate different meanings depending upon which word is emphasized.

(i) EAT your soup (quit playing with it).
(ii) Eat YOUR soup (not your sister's).
(iii) Eat your SOUP (not your ice cream).

-----


Ron:

After teaching ethics this summer to students in a Masters of Finance program, I found it very difficult to get them to declare explicitly what they thought business ethics is or should be. Not only did they not want to take a stand, they didn't think it was anyone's right or ability to say what others should or should not do. To them, only if something was illegal, was it unethical. Like the good rationalists they thought they were, they tended to defend the assumptions of economics (profit-maximization and serving self-interest) as "right" instead.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 14, 2013 - 11:49pm PT
Surprising science
http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/09/this-insect-has-the-only-mechanical-gears-ever-found-in-nature/
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 14, 2013 - 11:50pm PT
Ward, I tried writing something clearer to you, but at the moment, I can't seem to do it very well. When I try, I end up making the ideas more concrete and serious than what they are, which is a contradiction to the very ideas I'm trying to communicate. Ha!

That's cool man...take your time ...I haven't got a train to catch.

Hey ,for the record I made this post asking you to check-in back on Sept. 7

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=834799&msg=2220615#msg2220615

Largo:
You either haven't read my posts on this matter or you have unfortunately reverted to your trademark chronic guessing again--- in order to make your unconvincing responses more convenient and trouble free, I suppose.
LOL
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Sep 15, 2013 - 06:36am PT
Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be,
as long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.

When we've been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun,
we've no less days to sing God's praise
than when we first begun.

by John Newton

photo not found
Missing photo ID#321319
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Sep 15, 2013 - 09:31am PT
Taking one step further than any devout christian….

Just now step is all that separates the christian from the atheist….




Even you can wrap your head around that… can't you?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 15, 2013 - 09:49am PT
But Ward, you never told us about that "blank mind" you apparently cooked up in your spare time. What gives with that? Have you ever achieved it? How, and what's it like?

JL

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 15, 2013 - 10:42am PT
But Ward, you never told us about that "blank mind"

I didn't cook it up , I learned it from you, Largosteen, amongst other sources.
If a person has not actually experienced a particular brand of experience ,the next best thing would be the observations of those who have--- in the form of willy-nilly ad infinitum comments brought hither to this campfire.
I don't have to actually experience heroin addiction to know it is not something for me, and to note its key aspects. Even better would be the conveyed learning of an ex-addict capable of delivering the skinny on addiction.
Either way I learn just about as much as I ,in my judgement , need to learn .

How many times has Largo characterized the subjective, non-discursive experience as consisting of " nothing"--- of being unattached to things, to ideas, to thoughts.( Blank=nothing.)
Relative to the discursive the non-discursive sounds pretty blank . Don't you think?
Or is there a frat party of experience going on in there? An Animal House?
Lets just hope John Belushi doesn't show up.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 15, 2013 - 12:26pm PT
( Blank=nothing.)

Nope.

As I said, you'd do better to ask questions.

No-thing does not refer to lack of content, it refers to the lack of hard, defining characteristics or qualities we normally equate with people, places and things. It's what reality is sans labels, sans categories, sans differentiation by words and logic and so forth. It's the space between words and thoughts.

Maybe that will help. Never said this stuff was easy, especially if you're of a mind insisting that you need not do anything to be qualified to serve up said bona fides, based on what we're not entirely sure.

JL

go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Sep 15, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
Your everlasting summer, you can see it fadin' fast
So you grab a piece of somethin' that you think is gonna last
Well, you wouldn't even know a diamond if you held it in your hand
The things you think are precious I can't understand...



Isaiah 25:1 O Lord, You are my God;
I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name;
For You have worked wonders,
Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

Philippians 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.


MH2

climber
Sep 15, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
MH2, I capitalize words to emphasize them


Thank you, MikeL. If you had capitalized ALL the letters of the word 'Seem', then I would have understood.


How do YOU, MikeL, tell the difference between what is real and what SEEMS real? Or do you?
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