Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Sep 18, 2014 - 10:53am PT
Ward,

That was a nice post above in your response to Mike.

Mike, among all of our Buddhist friends, seems to take the most extreme position. Almost as far as our religious friends here. Everything seems to be subjective to him, while it seems clear now, after all of this bickering, that our minds can operate on both subjective and objective levels, for lack of a better word.

Humans, since at least our parents, Homo Erectus, have almost universally been consumed by the meaning of it all, and even today, most humans look towards a supernatural source in an attempt to nicely package the answers to all of the great questions which our existence implies.

This rigid Spiritism needs to bend a little to accommodate even simple scientific knowledge.

This is a big deal. During the last Presidential election, a meaningful fraction of the conservatives openly said that they didn't believe in evolution. Evolution is a fact. Only it's mechanisms are debateable. The planet was scoured for fossils in the last century, and paleontology presents a very clear and objective truth. I suggest a short walk down the mall to the Smithsonian, for the answer to where we came from, but they are walking through life with closed eyes. Evolution is so blatant that it cannot be ignored.

Although we view the world subjectively through our imperfect senses, we have been able, by using a rigid method, to arrive at objective truths about what is outside of ourselves, nature.

We are still able to enjoy our subjective lenses through which we see the world: things like beauty. Perhaps there will some day be a clear neuroscientific understanding of something like beauty. I hold things such as art to be grand accomplishments, while at the same time being totally aware of its entirely subjective nature.

It seems safely subjective for the present, anyway.

Neuroscience will almost certainly supply objective answers in the future.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:01am PT
This debate between science and the humanities is an old one. I can’t imagine that most wouldn’t agree that each are primarily important and that the liberal arts are/ will be vital to processing knowledge science reveals to us. I think what M. Arnold said so long ago still holds true in large part.

“Let us therefore, all of us, avoid indeed as much as possible any invidious comparison
between the merits of humane letters, as means of education, and the merits of the
natural sciences. But when some President of a Section for Mechanical Science
insists on making the comparison, and tells us that ‘he who in his training has substituted
literature and history for natural science has chosen the less useful alternative,’
let us make answer to him that the student of humane letters only, will, at least, know
also the great general conceptions brought in by modern physical science; for science,
as Professor Huxley says, forces them upon us all. But the student of the natural
sciences only, will, by our very hypothesis, know nothing of humane letters; not to
mention that in setting himself to be perpetually accumulating natural knowledge,
he sets himself to do what only specialists have in general the gift for doing genially.
And so he will probably be unsatisfied, or at any rate incomplete, and even more
incomplete than the student of humane letters only.”

As long as the self and its experience remain a mystery the liberal arts will remain a necessity.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:07am PT
Paul,

I think that the humanities will safely survive, even if they are understood objectively, and the mystery evaporates.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:18am PT
Here I sit on ergonomic, thermoplastic, pneumatically adjustable chair (~yawn~), with my cup of shade grown fair trade organic coffee I had shipped to my doorstep courtesy of a fully integrated land/sea/air logistical system (~sigh~) and worldwide fiber optic network enabled by a lightening fast e commerce engine (BO-ring!), reading about a new blood test that diagnoses major depression and predicts the efficacy of certain drug free treatments like rational emotive therapy (such cute little puzzles!), while my friend M emails me that she's excited she'll be getting the latest water proof insulin pump - half the size of her current one - so she can go swimming without fear of blacking out and drowning (oh...puhleaze!). And what's this? A new telescope that will survey more distant supernovae in one hour in an effort to understand what 68% of the energy of the universe is than was surveyed the 3 years necessary to discover the universe's expansion was accelerating? Such trivial pursuits! I mean, WHERE'S THE BEAUTY?
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:25am PT
"This debate between science and the humanities is an old one. I can’t imagine that most wouldn’t agree that each are primarily important and that the liberal arts are/ will be vital to processing knowledge science reveals to us. "

This from the guy who doesn't appreciate the beauty of modernism. Hint: It's not all Brazilia, pal.

Powder wigs, indeed. On a stick, in this case.

jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:27am PT
But look closely and you might see that science changes nothing in external reality (MikeL)

You have hit a sort of bizarre jackpot here, Mike. Bottom of the barrel.

Try meditation to counter ebola.


;>\
MH2

climber
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:27am PT
Mike, you can change "totally unknown" to "ungraspable." (JL)



This could be more apt language than 'empirical', 'data', and 'peer review'. I admire Largo for not making any specific claims for the benefits or purposes of meditation. Meditation may improve health or give spiritual support but those are not the motivation for the practice and are too often offered by people after your money. On the other hand, it would be fun to have one of those peer review sessions recorded and transcribed.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:57am PT
"I think that the humanities will safely survive, even if they are understood objectively, and the mystery evaporates."

I couldn't agree more... but about this idea that art, and I assume you mean beauty as well, is "entirely" subjective, I would disagree.

Ex: Inspiration Point in Yosemite is not called "What do you think about this point?"

Why?

Why do the science folks see the arts and their appreciation as "entirely" subjective and yet desire to find out through some scientific project a "neuroscientific" basis implying some kind of objective reality in that realm?

Ah yes Brazillia, masterful creation of scientific progress and primary example of Modernism: the city as machine for living. I see you there in your plastic chair with your insulin pump. I'd much rather live in Florence.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 18, 2014 - 12:06pm PT
This could be more apt language than 'empirical', 'data', and 'peer review'.


Actually, it's not. Your struggles with "empirical," "data," and peer review" are tied to your emperience of having instrumentation attached to those terms, and for the lack of same, you believe there is no verity or accuracty without them. However once you start consciously using your awarenesas/focus/attention AS an instrument, then the terms that are giving you trouble come into focus ina new and clear way. Otherwise, everthing is going to be seen through the discursive goggles, which leads to your conclusion every time.

Per the peer review, it would not be something that would make logical sense to you because it is all about demonstrating your insight, not describing it. This is simply not a nut you can crack by thinking about it - something few believe on this thread.

And try curing ebola sans sentience. Good luck with that.

JL
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Sep 18, 2014 - 12:21pm PT
Perhaps the Italians might teach you come riconoscere il sarcasmo, Paulo.

For every Brazilia there is a Fallingwater. This is what happens when we try new things. Some things are flops. Others, masterpieces. Some things stand the test of time, others do not.

Welcome to the creative arts.



MikeL

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 18, 2014 - 12:23pm PT
Ward: . . . something as crucially and profoundly intrinsic to human development and history as science and technology.

Ward, think about it. Everything is crucially and profoundly intrinsic to human . . . yada yada. Anything made, imagined, observed, discussed, or considered. It's all a part of our development. Singling anything out particularly from the rest of reality is a conceit and biased. How would one measure anything as to what is profound and intrinsic? It's all profound. And none of it is profound.

Look, I'm not the first person on the planet who ever said that culture (and ALL of its trappings) are diversions to help people avoid the most obvious truth. (Look out, here comes Werner and Locker.) Death.

I mean we must stay busy, we must produce, we must be effective, we must be efficient. And for what purpose?


Base, this is hardly rigid spiritualism.


Jgill: Try counter anything, and you'll find that the anything won't budge--meditation notwithstanding.


(Gotta run to the airport to pick up one of those faculty-lounge nihilist. :-) Cheers, Ward.)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 18, 2014 - 12:25pm PT
Evolution is so blatant that it cannot be ignored.

So, too, our completely mechanistic nature.

Which is a cause for some to feel bad.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Sep 18, 2014 - 12:36pm PT
"Perhaps the Italians might teach you how to recognize sarcasm, Paul."

Now that's a possibility, but in Brazillia you will definitely learn the meaning of Modernism.

Interestingly, Wrights aesthetic comes more from his original fascination with Japanese forms as well as the Arts and Crafts movement here in America. It's only later in his career that the Modernist architects from Europe became an influence.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Sep 18, 2014 - 12:42pm PT
Your reading of Lloyd's influences is, of course, partly bullsh#t. Lloyd apprenticed under Louis Sullivan - dubbed the 'Father of American Modernism', prior to 1900. He developed his Prairie School style prior to his work in Germany and his Japanese influences - completing his first Prairie School house design in 1893, followed by several more before the turn of the century. These works illustrate his experimentation with asymmetrical balance at the sub-component level, bold, horizontal lines, an abandonment of Victorian flourish, and repetitive, angular geometry what would become his signature later on.

LLoyd is best known for his later works after 1930 - Fallingwater, the Usonian houses, etc. These works consolidated all his prior influence, but as his prior work shows, his path to modernism had as much American influence as international.

Your idea that Modernism hailed only from Europe is silliness. There's more to Modernism than Bauhaus. So much more.

Everything derives, at least in part, from what came before it. Einsteins theory of relativity was informed by Bruno, who was informed by Copernicus, who was informed by Plato....

Neither derivation, synthesis, nor collaboration makes the final outcome of something truly extraordinary no less brilliant.

Welcome to the creative arts.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 18, 2014 - 12:53pm PT
Ward, think about it. Everything is crucially and profoundly intrinsic to human

Are you inviting me to accept the frighteningly inevitable: that pro wrestling is on the same level of cruciality and profundity as science and technology!

In this brave new world Andre the Giants consuming of 120 beers in less than 6 hrs. is the rough equivalent of Einstein formulating his famous equation.

Be careful in your airport trip in Seattle---despite the wonderful buildings ,that general area has traditionally teemed with serial killers---whose activities are on a par with research scientists over at Boeing and hip architects poised to redesign postmodern port-a-potties.

Btw Andre the Giant once consumed a case --16 bottles of primo plum wine during a 4 hr. bus trip . I think Hulk Hogan was a verified witness.Andre later went out to perform at several main events before thousands of astounded Japanese, who loved him.

That was a nice post above in your response to Mike.

Thanks Base.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Sep 18, 2014 - 01:07pm PT
Sullivan's primarily known as the father of American Modernism because of his dictate that form follows function, his movement away from the Neo Gothic and his use of interior structural supports.
But his buildings were hardly Modernist in the 20th century sense in the same way that Cezanne introduces reductive abstraction but was hardly a cubist.

It's true about Wright's influences with regard to the Japanese. He would, as I'm sure you know, build a rather large hotel in downtown Tokyo... check it out and you'll see said influence perhaps a bit more exaggerated.

Sorry to say Modernism in architecture does derive largely from the Bauhaus through Gropius to Reitveldt and to the great Mies, perhaps they were silly too.

Honestly, I appreciate being welcomed into the creative arts... it's about time don't you think?
jstan

climber
Sep 18, 2014 - 01:11pm PT
But look closely and you might see that science changes nothing in external reality (MikeL)

M/L:
Do you imagine that quotes such as this have no impact on the care people accord your posts in future? We have to conclude you post wholly for whatever it is you get out of posting. That's perfectly OK. Now that we know what is going on.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 18, 2014 - 01:19pm PT
^^ He is. maybe showing off a little too.

"Maybe read my posts a little closer". HeHe

He reminds me of Data, not Homer. Doh!
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 18, 2014 - 01:22pm PT



High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber

Sep 18, 2014 - 12:25pm PT
Evolution is so blatant that it cannot be ignored.

So, too, our completely mechanistic nature.

Which is a cause for some to feel bad.

How is it so mechanistic when its so adaptive?
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Sep 18, 2014 - 01:29pm PT
I'm so glad you brought the Imperial Hotel up, Paul. Did Wright bring Japan to America, or Prairie School to Japan?

Hmmmm. Looks like quite a bit of the latter to me, but, as always, it went both directions.
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