Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Apr 1, 2014 - 01:32pm PT
I was going to cite the recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Embrace the Unexplained, but bookworm beat me to it.

The author starts out discussing three examples of the unexplained regarding human consciousness.

The first is from Mark Twain, the second from an unknown woman, the third from Immanuel Swedenborg.The story concerning Mark Twain involved a dream about the death of his brother down to details about what he was wearing what kind of coffin he had, and the color of the flowers in the casket, all of which came true when he went to view his brother's body some months later.

The second described by a forensic pathologist, concerned a woman who dreamed her husband was standing beside the bed, apologizing for running off the road into a ravine and being killed. She called the police and told them where to look, and they found the body.

The third is a well known case involving Swedenborg giving dinner guests in Gotenburg a block by block account of the spread of a fire in Stockholm 50 miles away, which happened after later investigation, just as he had recounted. In the first case, Twain, fearing ridicule, waited 16 years to publish. In the second case the woman had no academic career to protect and so told investigators who relayed the story. In the third case, no less than Immanuel Kant marveled in a private letter about the clairboyant abilities of Swedenborg, but mocked Swedenborg in public.

The article then goes on to point out that such experiences only occur in extreme situations and that's why they are not replicable in scientific laboratories, and that it is the fault of humanists as well as scientists that they have let definitions of reality be governed by the everyday easy explanations fostered by mechanistic science.

One may argue that we have enough problems to solve that science can address, without worrying about the extraordinary, but it is wrong to represent the ordinary as all of reality. It is comforting to do so, since humans like certainty, but that doesn't mean that's all there is.

And before you jump to criticize, read the article first.

http://chronicle.com/article/Embrace-the-Unexplained/145557/
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Apr 1, 2014 - 01:33pm PT
Kindly point out one single fact, one cold hard material fact that is undeniably indisputable by everyone.

gravity

Fatty is always wrong

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Apr 1, 2014 - 01:34pm PT
Most people on the religious/spiritual side are overconfident when it comes to their own beliefs.

Some people on the scientific side are overconfident when it comes to their own beliefs.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 1, 2014 - 01:38pm PT
The increasing validity of the multiverse theory certainly opens up new possibilities in the understanding of sentience, that just might prove the woo-sayers to have been intuitively correct on some matters, but also dead wrong on others. As always, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 1, 2014 - 01:46pm PT
Most people on the religious/spiritual side are overconfident when it comes to their own beliefs.


It's dangerous to conflate religious with spiritual. You are doing that, Marlow, which doesn't make it any more real or authentic than lumping biology in with Catholicism. They are following radically different roads.

Religion hinges on doctrine, and all that entails. Spiritual practices, at least those commonly practiced in the west, are not belief-based. Many spiritual people are, by common definition, atheists.

JL

not applicable

Trad climber
devon
Apr 1, 2014 - 01:52pm PT
There is no certainty here is not even certainty of your own existence or of the universes existence, you keep faith to a minimal, you assume you exist everything else you question and not accept any thing as fact until your standard of evidence is satisfied. Reading something in a book wrote hundreds of years ago should not be satisfactory, nor is seeing a divine being. after all what is more likely you're hallucinating or that god exists? Low standards of evidence and the fear of un-certainty is what makes people believe in god.

N/A
WBraun

climber
Apr 1, 2014 - 01:54pm PT
Many spiritual people are, by common definition, atheists.

Largo has that 100% right ....
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Apr 1, 2014 - 01:58pm PT
DMT: Can't see her. Can't smell her. Can't touch her. Can't hear her.

Atoms? Gravity? Concepts? Abstractions? Freedom? Trust? Democracy? None of these must exist either.

I feel gravity every day, duh. I touch atoms ALL THE TIME. I mean - all- the - time. I celebrate freedom (such as it is, predetermined and all). I invest in trust. I don't think democracy exists in our universe though.

DMT
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:00pm PT
Kindly point out one single fact, one cold hard material fact that is undeniably indisputable by everyone.

Do you think this makes some kind of convincing point?

It doesn't.

DMT
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:08pm PT
Most people on the religious/spiritual side are overconfident when it comes to their own beliefs.

Why is this?
Whether or not you might believe a born again Christian , for instance ,is false in their thinking doesn't preclude the very real experience they are undergoing. This experience is based upon faith--- the validity of that experience is thus continually reinforced by the originally deep and transformative relationship they have passionately established with what they see as eternal truths embodied in a being that transcends the diktat of the physical world.

Contrast that with politics---which is the usual garden variety example of strong "beliefs" in contemporary society, to which Marlow , or whoever made the above comment,is largely accustomed.
Adherents to political or doctrines never quite reach the same level of monolithic faith and belief as religious devotees---hence the constant adaptive reliance on on-going lies and propaganda to enforce cohesion and fidelity.
Individuals within a political ideology either intuitively or intellectually know this---hence the inherent and on-going lack of any real "confidence" in their worldview.
It is thus easy to see why people who make themselves subject to strong political/ideological convictions might regard others as "overconfident"
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:09pm PT
I have no problem with a multiverse full of flying rainbow unicorns, and versions of me who believe in a multiverse full of flying rainbow unicorns, and even a multiverse with versions of me that ride flying rainbow unicorns running from a Very Disappointed Jesus on T Rex-back.

Perhaps the multiverse is like that Star Trek episode where if you can think it, you can have it. That's a lot to ask of a multiverse, I realize, but to briefly revisit the 90's - go big or go home, you know?

After all, to dismiss such a Roddenberrian multiverse is to deny its anything-and-everything-goes potential, and no one wants to be in the schoolmarm's position of denying an entire multiverse the opportunity to be all it can be.

Which it can, because you simply can't get there from here. This is not at all like life after death - clearly a mythical fancy born of the near universal monkey's desire to stay on the scene like a sex machine. While that pesky little fly-in-the-ointment called infinity seems to work against the notion of eternal life, it actually works FOR the It's A Wonderful Multiverse concept.

Of course, you could simply conjure a multiverse bubble with eternal life in it. Then its simply a matter of Multiverse roulette to guess which one we find ourselves in right now.

Such is the multiverse's infinite capacity to confuse.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:12pm PT
You know it's really interesting about Swedenborg and the interest in him in the late 19th and early 20th C. We still have a Swedenborgian church up in San Francisco in the arts and crafts style complete with paintings by William Keith. I think S. exemplifies the transcendental view that deity is readily apparent in nature and a number of artists including Inness and Keith and perhaps to some degree even John Muir through his apparently close relationship with Keith and his great admiration for Emerson were affected by some of Swedenborg's ideas.

Spiritual is sometimes such a loaded word, but there is something so moving about the mountains and nature that Muir wore out the word "glorious" in his effort to describe it.

I remember so many times climbing in the Valley completely absorbed in that effort only to turn and see a view so powerfully beautiful and compelling every other thought beyond that experience was simply arrested. IMHO that was always a spiritual experience and it's easy to see where Swedenborg, Inness, Keith and Muir were coming from.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:21pm PT
I have no problem with the term 'spiritual' when applied appropriately (IMO, of course) to the human spirit and its capacity to appreciate and celebrate life and the world around it.

It is too seldom used in this context for my tastes, however, particularly in our hyper religious society, so I shy away from its use.

It seems to me that proclaiming one's 'spirituality' is too often a thinly veiled proclamation of the (perceived) lack thereof among one's fellows. My experience is that there is zero correlation between vibrancy of one's human spirit and how frequent one proclaims the same.

There may even be a negative correlation there, where chasing bullshit provides a cheap substitute for living life fully in the universe we actually inhabit.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:27pm PT
My experience is that there is zero correlation between vibrancy of one's human spirit and how frequent one proclaims the same... There may even be a negative correlation there, where chasing bullshit provides a cheap substitute for living life fully in the universe we actually inhabit.

Amen. ;)

In Defense of "Spiritual"
http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/a-plea-for-spirituality

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=260413&msg=1192336#msg1192336

http://www.supertopo.com/forumsearch.php?ftr=carnate


.....

O golly, Cintune, I hope we're not losing you to the dark side...
The increasing validity of the multiverse theory certainly opens up new possibilities in the understanding of sentience,

"The increasing validity of the multiverse theory certainly opens up new possibilities." Yes.

In the understanding of sentience? No.

.....

Again, regarding "certainty" it's helpful to distinguish between (a) reasonably certain and (b) absolutely certain.
WBraun

climber
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:38pm PT
It's Absolute certain and 100% proven that God has always existed from time immemorial ....
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:39pm PT
hey, outside of Yos rescue, have you ever expressed yourself above 6th grade? just curious

.....

Imagine the sort of discussions we could have were the woo-pushers - and their lapdog - not present. Blast from the past...

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=972999&msg=1082434#msg1082434
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:42pm PT

It's Absolute certain and 100% proven that God has always existed from time immemorial ....

Yes, not even God remembers...
WBraun

climber
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:43pm PT
As you so have failed on the battlefield of Kurukshetra in the past you have so failed in this future .......
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:48pm PT
now now Braun

you better get back to kissing your Lord Buddha's ass

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Apr 1, 2014 - 02:48pm PT
Yes,... and even God fails ... with necessity...
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