The New "Religion Vs Science" Thread

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High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jun 4, 2018 - 10:40am PT
"For the record, you have self-identified as a postmodernist. Correct?" -me

MikeL wrote,
I am not a postmodernist, per se...

Are you not self-identifying as a postmodernist here? in the following post dated 2jan2017...

"Enter the postmodern, artistic soul.

Postmodernism has always been cultural and aesthetic. The postmodernist tends to seek and find enchantment in life. Postmodernists’ interests concern a sense of fashion, often focusing on images, styles, tropes, etc. The individual is encouraged to become fragmented, rather than conform to one monotheistic being or another, or to act with consistent reasons in every moment. Instead, we would rather transcend all monotheisms and live each moment without the “dominance of any one regime of truth.” We see no one lifestyle—only living to the thrill of the current here and now. Postmodern subjects (i.e., me) hence becomes de-centered, groundless, and polytheistic (seeing gods and goddesses in everything). I see the individual (me, others that I know well) embedded as products in discourses and practices, but not necessarily centered in them. (Life is messy.) Postmodernists place value on being interesting rather than right, and we place high value on paradox, contrast, counter-intuition, relevance, and indeterminancy." -MikeL

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1593650&msg=2925776#msg2925776

There's more as I recall. But it's a busy day.

...

This should be interesting...
The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/business/dealbook/review-the-book-of-why-examines-the-science-of-cause-and-effect.html


Everyone knows the crow of the c*#k causes the sun to rise. Don't they?

...

The Defeat of Reason, Tim Maudlin

"People are gullible. Humans can be duped by liars and conned by frauds; manipulated by rhetoric and beguiled by self-regard; browbeaten, cajoled, seduced, intimidated, flattered, wheedled, inveigled, and ensnared. In this respect, humans are unique in the animal kingdom."


"Einstein was the great anti-positivist. His position is often called realism, but a better name is perhaps common sense. Einstein believed that there is a real, objective, mind-independent physical world, and that the goal of physics is to describe that world. Mere prediction, no matter how precise, is not enough: explanation is the goal."

"Becker sets up the Solvay showdown skillfully. In the conventional story, Einstein, once the radical, has aged into a conservative who cannot abide the idea that God plays dice. Desperate for determinism, he challenges Bohr with a thought experiment designed to show the untenability of Bohr’s contention that you cannot do better—even in principle—than probabilistic predictions. The necessity of probabilism was encoded in the Heisenberg uncertainty relations, which assert that the better one can predict one aspect of a system (e.g., its position), the worse one can predict another (e.g., its momentum). Einstein’s thought experiment comes as a shock, but after a tense night Bohr hits on the solution and refutes Einstein with his own brainchild: the general theory of relativity. A showdown for the ages. Einstein, defeated, drifts into crankhood, never more doing significant physics."

"Here Becker begins his exposé. He shows that every single detail of the standard account of the Solvay Conference is untrue. Einstein was not concerned with saving determinism. His example was not designed to refute the uncertainty relation. And most critically, Bohr did not win, he lost".

http://bostonreview.net/science-nature-philosophy-religion/tim-maudlin-defeat-reason

https://www.amazon.com/What-Real-Unfinished-Meaning-Quantum/dp/0465096050/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528243637&sr=8-1&keywords=adam+becker+what+is+real

...

Isaiah Berlin
A Message to the 21st Century

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2014/10/23/message-21st-century/
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Jun 4, 2018 - 11:11am PT
Everyone knows the crow of the c*#k causes the sun to rise. Don't they?

Yes, it's every bit as ridiculous as the notion that the sun rises.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jun 11, 2018 - 12:47pm PT
Speaking generally, has anyone besides me noticed how much religion has taken a back seat to science and politics and social media just in the last ten years? in America?

(I mean, apart from the guy-leader in Christendom a few weeks back who requested his followers gift him $30M for a jet for his missionary work.)

Talk about trends. Trending quickly. Wow. Anyone who pays attention to this sort of thing can't help but be stunned by the changes, the evolution, that's underway.

...

This is an excellent trailhead and trail into what I'm talking about right here...

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain.
David Eagleman


https://www.amazon.com/Incognito-Secret-Lives-David-Eagleman/dp/0307389928/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528747809&sr=8-1&keywords=Incognito
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 11, 2018 - 01:08pm PT
One of the cruel myths purported here and in other places is that technology is is some way our redeemer, that once "superstition" is supplanted with a revised set of facts and figures fashioning a "real" and modern view of reality, and of modern man, we are good to go.

The recent spike in suicide rates tell quite a different story (for any of us who favor quantifications).

Credit: Largo
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jun 11, 2018 - 01:29pm PT
One of the cruel myths purported here and in other places is that technology is is some way our redeemer...

So I'm not one of these purporters; or purveyors.

One of the cruel aspects of Nature is that adaptation, evolution by natural selection, is unforgiving; it's a hard row to hoe.

Science shouldn't be impugned for describing this process, many think. Nor general education either.

We're being tested, no doubt. Just how committed are we to sciescence (gain of knowledge), to science (as means to this gain), to education (in particular, to an true and authentic understanding of human functioning at all scales)?

What's unsettling: What might very well emerge out from the other side of all this - after any number of ecological boom and bust cycles - is a Homo superbus replacing Homo sapiens. Who can say?

If anything's the culprit, it's nature, imo, not science. When science is doing its job it's "just" reflecting/depicting nature/reality "as is".

How humanity adapts will be our fate.

...

re: 1 suicide rates 2 spikes in suicide in middle aged


Food for thought: 1. In light of modern understanding, maybe a myth/custom that needs re-evaluating - and is being re-evaluated - is the desire/habit to live decades past retirement age/ years and years past the onset of the doldrums. 2. Maybe letting go sooner wouldn't be such a horrible concept/thing if modern Western culture wasn't so socialized (so acculturated) to the alternative? if more Westerners were naturalists instead of theists (just the way the trend is currently going)?

In my eyes, it is most fundamentally nature - along with its underlying rule set - that is the culprit here - insofar as there is one. As others have said, we are living things, souls or spirits or sentient beings, along for the ride... participants, players, prisoners, passengers... whatever your preferred term or take.

And who's to say Anthony Bourdain, as smart as he was, didn't have this view? and who's to say he wasn't of the view that he's simply had enough, seen enough, and that quitting while you're ahead is not the same thing as quitting?

I think our age is challenged by these Big Life Questions more than any other and I think they won't be going away. I also think our future is more unpredictable than ever. Which at times is so damn scary I'm surprised we are not all bipolar.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Jun 11, 2018 - 01:50pm PT
I liked your response HFCS.

One of the cruel aspects of Nature is that adaptation, evolution by natural selection, is unforgiving; it's a hard row to hoe.

Science shouldn't be impugned for describing this process, many think. Nor general education either.

I would add: Nor should science be considered outside of or immune to, natural selection.


What's unsettling: What might very well emerge out from the other side of all this - after any number of ecological boom and bust cycles - is a Homo superbus replacing Homo sapiens. Who can say?

I think it is fairly certain that something different will emerge from homo sapiens, given time.

If anything's the culprit, it's nature, imo, not science.

Saying nature is the culprit of natural selection (with respect to the outcomes of science or any other natural process) is akin to saying physics is the culprit that explodes stars and assigns gravity. :)

science is doing its job it's "just" reflecting/depicting nature/reality "as is".

ie identify and understanding the cards we are dealt, insofar as possible.

How humanity adapts will be our fate.

It will be their fate, not ours. :) Ours is already cast. I've learned to abandon 'we' when it comes to 'them.'

DMT
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 11, 2018 - 02:31pm PT
If anything's the culprit, it's nature, imo, not science. When science is doing its job it's "just" reflecting/depicting nature/reality "as is".
---


Except "as is" is not, at bottom, what we observe. Boiled down - since reductionism is the method of choice in both the internal and external investigations - all that we see and measure is comprised of energy quanta that bursts in and out of existence sans cause and from nothing at all. There is no fundamental "stuff" upon which our observable world rests. No foundation, no material.

My take is that human harmony derives from our seamless connection to the whole damn thing and everyone in it, and the more we trust technology to provide that connection, the more people will keep killing themselves. And that's not likely to change with "new data." There is not time in history when a person can avail themselves of more
more scientific information, or has a more accurate understanding of the material world. That information, as I see it, is in the service of mankind. When misguided people place faith in information as an end it itself, or as a map to understanding humanity, the map and the info can in many cases be a fatal compass per who we are and what makes life worthwhile.

My mental picture of the next suicide victim is the person with their phone jammed in their face, living their life 3rd person, enmeshed as they are to a digital version of reality. The map has become their life. We're lucky enough to have climbing and the outdoors to fit back into the rhythm of things. Many are not so lucky.

Much of this derives from our intentions. If our intention is to discover as much of the truth about ourselves as we can, both internal and external investigations seem to boil down to nothing at all. If that nothing turns out to be everything as well - little as that might lake logical sense to us at first blush - then getting jiggy with it might be Nature's challenge as Fruity stated.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jun 11, 2018 - 05:07pm PT
HFCS: "For the record, you have self-identified as a postmodernist. Correct?”

To wit, I answered that I don’t consider myself a registered postmodernist, but then again, I’m favorable to many of the positions taken by people who write or talk in that vein.

What specific ideas, values, or norms of behavior do you want to talk about?

I sense that you believe people who share postmodern sentiments are wrong, stupid, ignorant, or evil?
ATG

Big Wall climber
Santee, CA
Jun 11, 2018 - 05:22pm PT

My mental picture of the next suicide victim is the person with their phone jammed in their face, living their life 3rd person, enmeshed as they are to a digital version of reality. The map has become their life. We're lucky enough to have climbing and the outdoors to fit back into the rhythm of things. Many are not so lucky.


This echoes a conversation I attempted with my soon to be 16 year old son. His grades are horrible and it boils down to internet addiction.



Suicide is an unimaginable crime.

Also, I think you masterfully explained in a super stealth way how a relationship with God, whatever that is, is necessary.

Forgive me if I am wrong. I offer this opinion in the same fealty to you as a icon that a cat brings a mouse as an offering.

Many people lose out on a relationship with God because mainstream religion usually fails to address the supernatural. We talk about a " God shaped hole " in our hearts and minds most who have rejected religion walk around with. It's a dull ache that no amount of booze or drugs or carefree climbing with risk of certain death can cure. It is being compounded, as you said, by people being conditioned to embrace phony relationships delivered over technologies that pretend to make us connected while isolating us emotionally.


Climbing taught me to value simple things, like being stuck in traffic.
A relationship with God and an acceptance of life after death has taught me to cherish every second, but not fear the forever dark.


I read through your post a direction for people to consider God.


I'm sure others will have a different take away, but I say, testify.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
Jun 11, 2018 - 05:25pm PT
It would be interesting also, to see a similar map showing various drug addictions, the other main way our society gets through the day.

I think it is a mistake however, to project the American malaise on the rest of humanity. We are particularly susceptible to this kind of ennui because of our combination of individualism, competitiveness and technology. Other advanced countries have abandoned organized religion more or less but they still have intact families, a sense of belonging to a social class, more benign work conditions and benefits, more of a common culture, and a couple thousand years of civilization which is present as a daily reminder in their architecture and smaller, more walkable cities.

We in turn have destroyed all those props, mistakenly thinking that getting rid of all social constraints would make us freer and therefore happier. In the words of the '60's song, freedom means nothing left to lose.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jun 12, 2018 - 07:31am PT
MikeL, first things first. (1) Does your post above which I quoted from you - from your post of jan 2017 (see link) - express your stance/view re postmodernism or not? (2) In this piece are you not self-identifying as a postmodernist?
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jun 12, 2018 - 07:42am PT
Yes, Jan, that would be an interesting metric and comparison to make.

I guess I’m going to get dinged again by HFCS for being postmodern, but it can’t be all bad. As we seem to look over history, we might see that our consciousness is evolving. The problems we must deal with don’t seem to really go away (they seem to morph into more sophisticated issues), but the (our) species has, for the most part, finally separated the individual from the collective philosophically or ideologically, and now must learn how to live in peace with others individually. It’s a conundrum that challenges our beliefs and values. We want to be individualized, yet we see that to be efficient, effective, and harmonious, we must tweak our autonomy and will with each other to find peace.

The so-called younger generation (ala, millennials, and that next cohort coming of age) has found some “solutions” of their own to the conundrum, even though from our point of view it looks dysfunctional. I think they value community far more broadly and far less strictly than we do. At least that’s what I think I saw from my students. I didn’t find them very political, and their philosophies seemed to be more laissez faire than any I or my cohort took to heart. They seem to be more tolerant of differences than we are, and they seem to be much more globally oriented than nationalistic or locally oriented. It’s not all bad.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Jun 12, 2018 - 07:45am PT
It’s not all bad.

This sentiment about millennials drives me round the bend. To anyone uttering it I say, take a good long look in the generational mirror before casting stones on another generation (that hasn't even come into it's own yet).

DMT
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jun 12, 2018 - 07:51am PT
Hi, HFCS,

God, you’re going to hate this, but what I write is not what I am. Things change, especially my mind. What I write appears to be a reflection or an expression of what I am or “where I’m at,” at the moment. I suppose that means that I am inconsistent and unsettled. I’m not unhappy about that.

If it seems to define for you who and what I am, then say that I am this or that. I’m simply asking for a clearer statement or declaration of your concerns.

In my view, I cannot be defined, and I try to apply that to everyone and everything. If you want, that is one postmodern view that I resonate with. (It’s also a spiritual notion from many more mystical traditions.)

What is it that YOU want to say about postmodern ideas or sentiments, other than what you’ve read of others? What in postmodernism do you have meaningful issues with?

It might be best to talk about specifics rather than these broad categories like “postmodern” or “conservative” or “intellectual” or “religious” etc.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 12, 2018 - 09:08am PT
Most people I have observed who take issue with post modernism (as though it were a fixed doctrine, and it's not), is that it denies any traces of a classical understanding of the world. The idea that facts don't perfectly correspond to some permanent underlying reality simply fizzles a literalist's fuses.

The contention that NOTHING can be fully explained or explained in any way without referring to either what it does or how it effects its neighbors, that even the best information is equivocal, that no one knows anything for sure - these seem to be deal breakers to those needing to be "right" is some definitive way. A polio vaccine woks, right. That means postmodernism must be wrong. That seems to be the thinking.

Add to this the daffy doublespeak and forktounged writing of more than a few post modernists - models of bullshit writing in my opinion - and there's much to carp about, some of it rightly so. Hearing Searl talk about post modernists is hilarious.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
Jun 12, 2018 - 12:55pm PT
It seems to me that anthropologists were the first post modernists as we had concluded 125 years ago that cultures were relative and had to be measured by their own standards and in regard to their own adaptations for survival, rather than arranged in the linear hierarchy of the time with western colonialism at the top.

Social Darwinism was the explanation at the time and justification for empires, but by using the most extreme examples, anthropologists were able to get some of their ideas across. An Eskimo or Inuit living in the arctic has very obvious constraints that people in more moderate climates do not. Therefore, the proper attitude is respect for the fact that they can even survive under such circumstances rather than asking why they didn't paint the Mona Lisa while resting in their igloos.

Probably because we have enough science in our social science, we were able to convey these ideas without the belabored prose of the later post modernists.Later, philosophers made it all much more complicated, in part because that is the nature of the French language compared to English and most of the early in depth post -modernist philosophers were French.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jun 12, 2018 - 07:26pm PT
Jan: anthropologists were the first post modernists as we had concluded 125 years ago. . .


At least. Here is one view of a history of ideas around this notion.

Science emerged with an increase in exploration, experimentation, and philosophy (Bacon, Descartes). (The earliest scientists were also hermetic.) Diderot’s Encyclopedia privileged reason, order, classification, and extolled scientific and commercial views. The machine became the metaphor of the project. Its biases were utility, engineering, mechanics, and technology. All privileged science as means to the truth. Economic freedom was conducive to prosperity (but wide freedom leads to fragmentation—an inchoate seed of postmodern concerns).

With the world as a machine, everything would be predictable and preordained. But new political and economic thinking were introducing chaos. By the 1700s, religious revivals challenged the beliefs and confidence in reason and science. Sensibility emerged: natural and instinctive, human emotions would complement reason. New ethnographic models argued that “noble savagery” exhibited a goodness that was natural in Man; Man did not need civilization, education, reason, or science to be good. Together sensibility and noble savagery combined to make romanticism. Looking at Nature in this new way, highlighted the unattainable (where it was the pursuit that mattered) and intuition (Kant). Next came idealism, nationalism, socialism, and utilitarianism.

By the 19th Century, it was difficult to think of progress as a function of reasoning. The Enlightenment collapsed with the French Revolution to reveal almost unparalleled human violence and irrationality. Great thinking now argued that improvement was driven by impersonal forces of nature, history, economics and biology (mechanized by science and technology). Unfortunately, all could be adapted for evil purposes. Still there was a belief that science could reveal truths, comfort, food, and the means to health. In addition, the 19th Century was also a hotbed of ideals of revolutionary nihilism (Nietzsche), racism (Darwin and Spencer), imperialism, and terrorism (Most, and Von Clausewitz). It was hoped that with the dawning of the new Century, there would finally be a place for an age or reason and progressiveness.

Unfortunately, the first 10 years of the 20th Century brought almost nothing but confusion and chaos intellectually and philosophically.

From 1900 to 1910:

—Poincare showed that scientists have their own agendas; hypotheses were selected in advance of data. It was naive to suppose that hypotheses are determined by the experiments that preceded them; they are determined by the prejudices and agendas of scientists.
—Bergson argued that time is a construct, not a set of successive moments.
—James looked for a justification of Christian beliefs and for American philosophy. He said that propositions are true if they are useful.
—Saussure said that language doesn’t function as a signifier of reality. Language is a matter of usage. Meaning is conveyed by a result of associations triggered by a sequence of words. They don’t tell anything about anything but themselves. (Derrida would become famous with this idea many decades after.)

By 1910, the great thinkers would argue that there was no fixed space or time, scientific claims are unreliable, the basic matter of the universe is inexplicable and unreliable, truth is relative, and language was divorced from reality.

The intellectual chaos continued after 1910.

—Freud, said humans struggle against repression, looking for escapes from their feelings of guilt. None were immune.
—Boas claimed that indigenous people are not merely savages; they share the same kind of mind as others do. People think differently because they have different traditions, society, and environments. (As Jan noted) anthropologists sought to respect cultures on their own terms.
--Bohr (and Heisenberg) advanced the idea (popularly interpreted) that one cannot observe matter without being implicated in the results of the observations.
—Godel argued that maths and logic are not commensurate systems. In any closed system one will always arrive at self-contradictory results.
--Kuhn wrote that major changes in scientific consensus arise due to paradigmatic shifts, not due to the availability of new data.
—Chaos theory presents a model of reality whereby some effects can issue from causes so small and so remote that their links are untraceable.
—Wittgenstein, continuing with Saussure, opened the chasm between words and realities farther by showing that people cannot communicate anything to others completely, fully, or accurately.
—Marxism and capitalism presented big failures in their utopian visions: they led to oppressive societies, to economic failures, and to terrible conflicts (WWI and WWII).
—Heidegger said that economic rivalries and short-sighted materialism fragment societies; human beings must fight alienation. Indeed, individuals across the board feel dissatisfied and socially uprooted.
—Sartre said Man was freedom itself, that he is nothing but what he makes of himself. He said there was no other justifiable ethic.

During the 20th Century, there arose a disillusionment with science, paralleled by a disillusionment with politics. People are flummoxed in the chaos and seem to need an intelligible, habitual, mental universe to give them ground under their feet. The emergence of globalization (interpenetration of cultures) has not helped the matter any bit. It’s led to a multicultural and pluralistic world.

Post modernists did not create much of they ideas they talked about. Much had already taken root years, decades, and maybe even centuries before (we could go back to the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, but then this would be a *very* long missive).

Let’s be a bit clear that intellectual and human history is not one long set of events sequentially lined up like dominoes in a row. Postmodernism is a regeneration of some ideas that others have presented or implied quite some time ago. Postmodernists have tried to knit those ideas into a single view, but they have failed. The ideas are too fragmented.

In my view, the only thing that postmodernism has added to the dialogue about life and reality is a playful sense about itself. The play is art.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 12, 2018 - 09:08pm PT
all that we see and measure is comprised of energy quanta that bursts in and out of existence sans cause and from nothing at all

My weakly emergent postmodernist disagrees:



(Believe it or not, this appeared a few months ago from an infinite composition of complex functions. Maybe my computer is trying to tell me something)
WBraun

climber
Jun 12, 2018 - 09:17pm PT
LOL ......
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jun 13, 2018 - 08:03pm PT
jogill: Maybe my computer is trying to tell me something)

Ha-ha. Good one!

Maybe everything that appears in front of you is “showing you something.”

(Don't go running off generating interpretations.)
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