Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Dr. F.

Trad climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 14, 2013 - 11:13am PT
Credit: Dr. F.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Dec 14, 2013 - 11:14am PT
Jan stated:

Norton-

We've been over this ground before. Some studies have found that prayer works, others haven't.

Norton-

Wikipedia has a pretty interesting article on prayer with references to scientific studies and the various objections raised to them.

Jan, I have now carefully read the wiki pages on the efficacy of prayer per your suggestion and I can find absolutely NO study or properly controlled experiment that concludes that prayer "works"

in fact what i find is that the actual physical act of slowing one's heart rate such as through meditation, yoga, and yes prayer IS beneficial directly for the practitioner, and again that there are no verifiable "effects" or "outcomes" that change anything other than the personal experience of mental or physical health of that individual


so IF prayer works as jan has said multiple studies prove, then it works for the individual's benefit, and very clearly does nothing to prove that any kind of communication with a spiritual being is either taking place or resulting in any measurable effects

thus, prayer is neither a proof nor a disproof of a "god"

and in my view referencing prayer as "working" any differently than yoga or being quiet clearly does not hold water and more importantly can and does lead to countless highly negative outcomes throughout history and I am talking about the delusion of the expectations of prayer

I look forward to hearing from those who disagree
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Dec 14, 2013 - 11:17am PT
Not sure if this is going to be understood….

There is only one reason people use have for religion… The one thing we all share.

You will tell yourself anything to avoid the single most unknown of unknowns (even the idea that there is an unknown after life is kind of assuming death didn't just happen, so we don't know what happens)

Take a step back from the big questions, step back from everything, create some distance, perspective.

Life begins, middles, then ends. Simple story






I find no need to tell myself the stories. I am an Atheist.

When you religious types drone on about your beliefs, your faith, your understanding of jesus and god I tend to see it for what it is…. Just another story this person is telling themselves. To me, it seems a complete waste of time, serving no purpose other than to waste my time and theirs.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Dec 14, 2013 - 11:17am PT
Thanks Jan.

So a person, not to call anyone out but as you say, there is give and take in this thread... Dr F for example, or HFCS, these science farts, could be standing in a lab or out on a field trip or reading a dry peer reviewed paper on star formation or some sh#t like that ;) or expounding on atheism here on the Taco and at the same time be deeply spirtual?

Is that right? That pondering star formation from a scientific view point can be a deeply spiritual experience?

DMT
Dr. F.

Trad climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 14, 2013 - 11:18am PT
I couldn't agree with you more Norton


I do Zen Succulents.
it's deeply spiritual realm only achieved through hard work, sacrifice and being able to withstand the heavy duty "Warm fuzzy feelings" that I get all day long!
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Dec 14, 2013 - 11:50am PT
Now we are getting somewhere.

1. No higher power is needed to be a spiritual person.

2. Prayer does not change reality for anybody else but the prayer, meaning it a subjective experience.

3. Spiritual experience is a self induce state of intoxication. Through meditation/prayer we induce our body to produce hormones that make us "high".

If you haven't yet, please read a book by Doug Robinson, "The Alchemy Of Action".

WBraun

climber
Dec 14, 2013 - 12:05pm PT
. No higher power is needed to be a spiritual person.

Spiritual is by its true nature a higher power over the gross material nature .....
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Dec 14, 2013 - 12:11pm PT
Sure Werner, I can accept that. I 'know' this... sometimes I'm pounding down a trail, tired, whacked in the brain and thinking only of a warm bed and ending the misery.

But other times, and fairly frequently for me at that, I am wandering the halls of nature, contemplating it all, examining the details, noting things such that I am able. I might be thinking of other things at once, much like a runner or a climber might be thinking of a BLT as they 'do their thing.'

I know this is a deeply spiritual activity for me. I know when I am open to it, when I am doing it? I am tapping into a higher power. I don't need to ascribe the source in order to agree with your simple statement. I can say yes, and leave it at that.

Cheers
DMT
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Dec 14, 2013 - 12:28pm PT
Norton-

One of the conclusions I've come to as a result of participating in this thread is that science is never going to be successful at either proving or disproving the existence of God. I'm still reluctant to give up on the reverse - that a more modern form of the world's religions can integrate science into their various theologies.

I myself was raised with no religion though I got good solid Quaker ethics from my mother. My paternal grandmother was a Christian scientist however, and I was exposed at an early age to both the good and bad aspects of relying on prayer. I concluded as a young child that her religion needed more science and more common sense and less guilt and dogma. She ended up in the hospital time after time with asthma (oxygen tent only - no meds). When she collapsed and turned blue, somebody not of that faith would luckily call an ambulance. I can also remember my atheist father fuming that every time this happened and we had to rush to the hospital thinking this was the end, she was imposing her religion on us. I also saw healings that I can not explain, with her and her friends and some of the Tibetan Buddhists I've known.

DMT-

I've said several times on this thread that I think we in the West have way too limited a view of what spirituality is (thanks religion!). If you read up on the four types of Hindu yoga you will find that the yoga of intellect and knowledge is one of the main paths. Obviously, most people on this thread follow that path.

Dr. F.-

Zen and the Art of Succulents has a nice ring to it. You could probably write a book about it and have a best seller as half the people who bought it would think it was some kind of porn.
locker

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Dec 14, 2013 - 12:32pm PT


"science is never going to be successful at either proving or disproving the existence of God"...


I have the feeling that in time, it will...

Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Dec 14, 2013 - 12:43pm PT
Sorry moosedrool, I only partially agree.

1. No personal god is needed to be a spiritual person. Belief in a higher power, intelligence, or random chance or a beauty and grandeur greater than oneself is. As DMT said, no need to define it too much.

2. Yes, prayer is subjective although small groups of like minded people can be subjective together.

3. Whether spiritual experience is a self induced or Other induced form of intoxication is still pending I think, and probably my greatest question at the moment. On the other hand, even if it is self induced, if it produces a happier nicer person, isn't that another form of spirituality?

And yes, I am reading Doug Robinson's book though it goes slowly because it is so thought provoking in terms of my own experience and musings along those lines.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Dec 14, 2013 - 12:49pm PT
WOW…

Talk about the need to define… I'll play along with my definitions….

1. No personal god is needed to be a spiritual person.


 Cool, you think an atheist can be spiritual, by this definition...

Belief in a higher power, intelligence, or random chance or a beauty and grandeur greater than oneself is. As DMT said, no need to define it too much.

 this is either ignorant or just plain not the case…. No god is needed to be spiritual… check.. belief in a "higher power" is "needed" then to be a spiritual person….uh, no check.

Do you see the slight confusion I may have with how this is shaping up?

I know for a fact that I am not alone on this planet therefore I believe in something bigger and grandeur than myself, so I can be a "spiritual person"….. but I don't believe in a "higher power" which means I would not be spiritual after all. Not to mention what does all of this end up getting the true believer…. Extra anything?

If it's solely for the purpose of the believer, an unquantifiable personal benefit so to speak, then please tell me how this is any different than any other form of Onanism?


Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 14, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
Phot by Jody Langford
Phot by Jody Langford
Credit: Largo

I choose me bristles with pride, yes, I do
A broom for the shaft and a brush for the flue
Up where the smoke is all billered and curled
'Tween pavement and stars is the chimney sweep world
When there's 'ardly no day nor 'ardly no night
There's things 'alf in shadow and 'alfway in light
On the rooftops of Heaven coo, what a sight!
MH2

climber
Dec 14, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
Prayer does not change reality for anybody else but the prayer, meaning it a subjective experience.


Be aware that some consider "subjective experience" to be non-physical.


Prayer can change reality, which the brain of the prayer is a part of, and that change could motivate the prayer to change something in the world around them. Reality is a tangled web and time comes into it, too. The Alchemy of Action.
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Dec 14, 2013 - 01:33pm PT
"science is never going to be successful at either proving or disproving the existence of God"
It's doing very well at negating the bible's claim to being the literal word of a supreme being.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Dec 14, 2013 - 01:40pm PT
Jan stated:

I also saw healings that I can not explain, with her and her friends and some of the Tibetan Buddhists I've known.

Jan, can I assume that you are not ascribing an inability to explain something to the lineal conclusion that any ultimate explanation must therefore be mystical, godish, supreme being like, etc?

I hope so
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Dec 14, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
Norton-

I don't know what the explanation was nor did the doctors on occasion. One thing that seemed to me to be going on was that my grandmother was able to put herself into some kind of a trance and stop an epileptic seizure when she was awake but not when she was asleep. The first time I saw a Nepalese Shaman and a healing ceremony, it seemed to me he was doing the same thing?

Rasputin was always said to have hypnotic eyes and he was able to stop the hemophiliac bleeding of the Russian crown prince and since biofeedback can lower blood pressure, I've hypothesized that Rasputin was able to hypnotize the crown prince as well.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 14, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
Be aware that some consider "subjective experience" to be non-physical.


Granted that most every aspect of reality has a physical footprint, or riffles the matter in it's orbit, so to speak, how is experience itself - NOT the matter you believe "creates" it - inherently physical.

This is a million dollar question no one has been able to answer without conflating the objective with the subjective, the material with the experiential, even though we all know the difference between the two, and even have language for these differences.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Dec 14, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
Expecting or hoping that prayer will allow one to amend samsara constitutes a delusion.

You can't fix samsara.

You guys are focusing on the wrong things. It's understandable.

If you feel the need to pray, pray to that well-spring of inner wisdom and creativity that resides within your being.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Dec 14, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
Jan, thank you for your explanation.



John Long, a couple of weeks or so ago you posted that you were now willing to answer personal questions, to go ahead and ask.

You said that you would answer directly, clearly, and without diversions.

I am hopeful that you will answer what I have asked you a couple of times now.

Are you a Christian, and if not are you are follower of any organized religion?

Do you believe in a god in the traditional sense, as the ultimate creator?

Do you believe in a god in the sense of being the architect, overseer, of human lives?

Do you believe in a god who "keeps score" and rewards or punishes in an afterlife.

Do you believe in any kind of afterlife for you personally, and if so please describe.

I am asking these questions because from your many postings I suspect that you do, but have
been unwilling to come out with it perhaps for consternation of being further questioned, even mocked of ridiculed?

Your answers will help me better place much of what you have said, thank you
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