Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 21341 - 21360 of total 22398 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Apr 4, 2014 - 02:19pm PT
Some form of rapid (over 1 to 2 generations) depopulation seems inevitable, given the irreversible damage global warming and factory farming is already doing to the world's breadbaskets. Violent or voluntary? Probably a mixture of both, but, increasingly, my optimism is fading. It's hard to imagine a more violent century than the last one - but then, we weren't fighting for the survival of the entire species last time around, either.

A more primitive lifestyle? Probably more of a level loading to a simpler lifestyle - the middle class in America continues to erode, Indians and Chinese meet us somewhere in the middle, the wealthy further ensconced in their high security enclaves. As for Africa - well, good luck Africa.

This is extrapolating current trends into the future - the crudest form of prediction. It's becoming painfully clear that climate change is going to bludgeon us sooner and more soundly than many imagined - and certainly too quick for our politics to respond in any kind of preemptive way. Under these conditions, I can't really see where another green revolution will come from - the challenge seems insurmountable WITHOUT global warming. Even if we did come up with high tech soooper efficient foodiculture, it would likely be far too capital intensive to replace what we've got now.

In short, we're becoming victims of evolved traits that no longer serve us quite as well in this rapidly changing environment. We chose to change the rules - now we're going to have to live by them.



paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Apr 4, 2014 - 03:17pm PT
Is it always the plight of the former believer to carry into secularism the ingrained certainty of apocalypse?

Though on the surface shedding faith is a relatively easy process, its vestiges remain in camouflage.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 4, 2014 - 03:31pm PT
Is it always the plight of the former believer to carry into secularism the ingrained certainty of apocalypse?

I think apocalyptic thinking ,in general, transcends monotheistic millenarianism---it has instead become a recurring, stable feature of modern life; both in its deliberative and faddish forms.

In fact, one could make the point that a low level of apocalyptic thinking is a good thing---provided it doesn't get out of hand , endemic, and refexive.
It may even produce its exact opposite--a totally unsubstantiated cheeriness--which could function as a type of social immune response. LOL
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 4, 2014 - 03:36pm PT
It's only a matter of short time before the majority of nations are using resources at the rate we are. By then everybody will have the bomb or a nother scientific way to take out entire populations. With this progression WILL come a lack of resources. Here inlies the survival of the Baddest. This all perpetchulated by mans ego of power and greed. Has nothing to do with religion. China and Russia I'm sure will be at the top of the heap. Jus look at what Russia is doing today over water.

When will men learn that force does not teach children anything, but rebellion?
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 4, 2014 - 03:43pm PT
Then again, we've gotten past:

"Why did this happen?"

"Oh, the gods must be pissed."

Or some of us have, anyway.

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 4, 2014 - 03:49pm PT
Or some of us have, anyway.

Yes ,those of us that are a light unto the world.LOL
MikeL

Trad climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 4, 2014 - 03:52pm PT
Bruce Kay: bloody scientists. Always running around determining sh#t.

All except that they really don't, Bruce. Scientists hypothesize, theorize, construct variables and constructs, and then measure them with standards that they also make-up. A close inspection of the process shows there is little there there. Almost no final determination is within anyone's reach. Everything is wide open for endless interpretations--if that's what you're about.

(I wish more people here knew about how scientific research actually gets done. Tvash, for example, has an inflated view of "evidence" and its power. What is "evidence" . . . but perceptions that a consensus or a community thinks mean something.)

The typical response to this criticism is that people "know" one thing or another close enough to reality because they can reproduce an outcome consistently. But, this, too, simply points to theories about what constitutes knowledge, understanding, cause-and-effect, time, space, objects, and what not. All of those things are theories-in-application, and if anyone taught a person about theory, he or she would have heard that theories are parsimonious, generalized expressions that have become provisionally accepted as "truth." They offer workable or productive solutions to intellectualized "problems" (. . . and where do problems come from?). Problems and solutions are interesting and amusing, to be sure, as most puzzles are, but to look at a photograph and claim it is the object of the image it captured is to take the representation as the real thing, (a reification). They are just partial models of an indescribably infinite and intractable experience we call reality.

But what IS it? How DOES it work? What does it MEAN?

Don't know.

It's fun to argue about it here and in the journals, but in some deeply ironic sense, it seems a little silly to cognitively assess El Cap from a distance when one could be climbing on it.

I get paid to teach folks stuff, and I seem to do that pretty well. But in the last 5-7 years, it's become so cognitive, intellectual, theoretical for me. It seems so divorced from the doing and being in Whatever This Is. I think Largo and Tom and Werner and BB and Paul and Marlow have a sense of this. (Sorry if I left anyone out.)

My teacher says that thinking and interpretation are no different as any other experience (e.g., doing, being). He says thinking / interpretation are only one kind of energy or channel of What This Is. I am now just beginning to see that for myself. LOL.

These days I walk into my classes with an agenda, but then throw the agenda out for the improvisation of wu-wei (the action of non action). Seventy-five minutes later, I walk out of the classroom, boards full of diagrams and writing, with students following me to ask me questions and talk. Something apparently wonderful happened for them. Me? I think: What the hell just happened? How did I do whatever I did? What Did I do? (I really don't know, and it's wonderful.)

Vladamir Horowitz has been filmed playing in Russia, and while his countenance makes him look like an gentle old man sitting peacefully on a park bench, his hands are doing the most amazing things on the keyboard. When asked what he is doing, he says he is simply watching his hands play.

It's questionable that we really need all the "cold cognition" (a cognitive science term for the discursive mind) that we nurture and elevate. I'm finding I don't need it as much as I initially thought. Letting go and experiencing "experience" in its raw form (it's just my consciousness without elaboration) is indescribably full and captivating. I find my experience within something unbelievably immense and intelligent.

It's not Csikszentmihalyi's "flow," either. My being does not have to find itself in a precise balance between challenge and skill to experience this kind of pristine awareness, nor does it show up as an achievement in "Western individuality." What I'm trying to point to is surrendering to something that is immensely large and intelligent. One almost feels like a puppet in a script already written. I'm just playing my part, without anxiety or concern, around others. There is a subtle sense of navigation in life that appears dignified and effortless.

But, hey, . . . maybe it's just me.

It's a dance. I'm hardly doing anything; IT's doing me.


P.S. I have three classes back to back this quarter that just started, and I'm kinda busy these days. But the thread has been interesting when I've been able to look in on it.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 4, 2014 - 04:10pm PT
All except that they really don't, Bruce. Scientists hypothesize, theorize, construct variables and constructs, and then measure them with standards that they also make-up. A close inspection of the process shows there is little there there. Almost no final determination is within anyone's reach. Everything is wide open for endless interpretations--if that's what you're about.

Absolutely astounding to me that anyone alive in modern times could reflexively think in a such a consistent manner that can only be identified as the deliberate practiced habit of professionally applied obscurantism.

With all due respect.
jstan

climber
Apr 4, 2014 - 04:25pm PT
Almost no final determination is within anyone's reach.

Your use of "almost" indicates you think there exists at least one thing capable of your final determination.

Tell us what that is.

Edit:

Not only does apocalyptic thinking seem Western, it seems peculiarly American

WWII was pretty apocalyptic. The new world was the only area spared destruction and instead was rewarded with unparalleled profits. The next one offers every promise of being very different. If we naively feel we will once again profit, we probably will be quite disappointed. It will be made even worse by now much more limited natural resources, worldwide.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Apr 4, 2014 - 04:35pm PT
Run with it! I wanna hear all about what ole Tvash thinks about science, religion, and Putitang - you name it, when I get back.

I'm blasting off to Zion in 3, 2, 1...WE HAVE IGNITION.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Apr 4, 2014 - 06:48pm PT
Good point Paul. Not only does apocalyptic thinking seem Western, it seems peculiarly American at this point in time. Benevolent welfare states seem to have displaced such end times anxiety in many countries. Others, such as Japan are so used to multiple disasters in every generation that they don't worry about the next big one but have the confidence that whatever happens, they will overcome it as they always have.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 4, 2014 - 11:30pm PT

Not only does apocalyptic thinking seem Western, it seems peculiarly American at this point in time. Benevolent welfare states seem to have displaced such end times anxiety in many countries

Not sure of ur insinuation here? Don't you consider the Middle East the prophets of Apocalyticism? And has not the free thinking of the US allowed those of us who want to, to observe and question all the political systems that are in place in the world today. Then speak up and step in where there are injustices being had. With openmindedness one can see that either atheist or religious, man has an evil ability. This is what I'm talking about. Not natural disasters. That's chicken feed. I'm talking about the power hungry man using the bullying force of a nation blinded by culture. A little dramatic, but I hope you know what I mean?
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Apr 5, 2014 - 12:26am PT
Oh dear, it turns out we are talking about more than one Apocalypse here. There is the Christian religious one, there is the survivalist, be prepared to defend your bunker against the neighbors one, there's the Apocalypse of threatened nuclear warfare,and then there are the folks looking to re-establish the Muslim Caliphilate, and others just looking for hordes of virgins. No wonder the Japanese are satisfied to just deal with volcanos, earthquakes, typhoons, and tsunami.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 5, 2014 - 03:18am PT
http://ht.ly/2FhU2e

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Apr 5, 2014 - 10:06am PT
Got news for yall, there are Doomsayers in every generation.

Doom, I tell you.

Dwm.

Floods. Fires, Storms. Lightning. Volcanoes. Thermonuclear war. Climate. Asteroids. Supernovas. Plague. Robots. Computer chips. Viruses. Gods. Demons. Scientists. Preachers. Politicians. Generals. Starbucks clerks. Walmart store managers. 2nd hand smoke. Big Pharma. Big Ag. Big Tobacco. Big auto. Big government. Big airplanes. Big pollution. Bug populations. Big DOO DOO.

Guess what? We're all gonna die! OMG!!!!!!!!

I'm not ready to sign off on optimism, sorry. The metaphorical fork is not yet stuck.

DMT
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Apr 5, 2014 - 10:58am PT
Oh dear, it turns out we are talking about more than one Apocalypse here

Apocalypse comes from the Greek word apokalupsis , which means uncovering or revealing.

Nothing to fear here.
WBraun

climber
Apr 5, 2014 - 11:03am PT
DMT -- You forgot about "Big WOO WOO .....

Jackson, Mississippi mayoral candidate Gwendolyn Chapman has gone viral
after a bizarre appearance on WAPT news in which she extolled the virtues of marijuana.

Among those virtues, she said, was weed’s ability to was this it’s to ability to “dissolve radiation and repel it” in case of nuclear warfare.

LOL .....
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Apr 5, 2014 - 12:39pm PT
I'm more optimistic than I used to be, based on our proven trial record of the past 10,000 years. I think when our backs are against the wall, we will up our technology and change our social and cultural institutions accordingly. Unfortunately, many innocent species of non humans are being wiped out in the process, and many humans in the poorest countries probably won't make it either.

Meanwhile, in a stunning turn of events, Putin is now trumpeting Russia as the guardian of Christian values in the face of western decadence.

http://www.creators.com/opinion/pat-buchanan/whose-side-is-god-on-now.html

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Apr 5, 2014 - 03:22pm PT
At a polling station in Kandahar. Women are excited...



Under countless assorted pressures (e.g., from the West), cultural evolution.

http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/completely-disappointed-girls-school-kandahar-could-close-n72241

My kind of progress!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Apr 5, 2014 - 03:41pm PT
Neuroscience vs religious theistic "afterlife"

1299 thumbs up, 10 thumbs down...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDcZkrl-eoY&feature=youtu.be


Those "10" from supertopo, I wonder? ;)
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