The New "Religion Vs Science" Thread

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okay, whatever

climber
Jul 16, 2018 - 08:30am PT
I can't remember who wrote this... Auden? Bertrand Russell? Neither sounds quite right... but it's a wise view, to me: "To live smoothly is to hold to a course of decency but not idealism". Of course, we all may have different ideas of what decency and idealism might mean, when dealing with human dilemmas and conflicts, but I still like the basic idea. Though I'm pretty sure that I know what decency is (and I'm not talking about clothing or lack thereof, obviously, but rather the way we treat each other, animals, and the planet), at age 64.

okay, whatever

climber
Jul 16, 2018 - 08:57am PT
And Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961), a Swedish economist who was the second Secretary General of the United Nations, wrote this in 1925:


I am being driven forward
Into an unknown land.
The pass grows steeper,
The air colder and sharper.
A wind from my unknown goal
Stirs the strings
Of expectation.

Still the question:
Shall I ever get there?
There, where life resounds
A clear pure note
In the silence.

He was complicated character... an agonized, questioning Christian... who died in a plane crash in Africa in 1961. His book "Markings", which collects prose and poetry both, is well worth a look at.

"Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose".... "the more things change, the more they stay the same".


Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jul 16, 2018 - 09:11am PT

"In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards."

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."

"To teach how to live without certainty and yet without being paralysed by hesitation is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can do for those who study it."

"Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate."
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 16, 2018 - 10:58am PT
Communication and media channels are neither knowledge nor wisdom.

Many years ago there was a media expert by the name of Marshall McLuhan who never tired of announcing " the medium is the message." You would be well-advised to read his works. I've always thought McLuhan to be a rite of passage into the times we live in.

At any rate, MikeL you appear to be hopelessly trapped in an essentially classroom-driven project to reconcile what you see occurring in the contemporary world with a wisdom tradition gleaned from years of personal absorbion and investment in lotus-position veins of behavior. It is vaguely reminiscent of early well-intentioned forays, in popular culture of the time, at setting up a sort of on-going dialectic between Eastern mysticism and Western rationalism.

A more unproductive endeavor is hard to imagine occurring today, even with the unsettling spectacle of saffron-robed monks tapping away on smartphones.

I would imagine that you’re most interested in “facts.” Others might be interested in what is on other people’s minds.

Oh yeah I am a sort of Spockian caricature ready to announce the above comment of yours has a probability of being 67.482 % correct.

Depending upon the environment I might find myself in at any given instance,I might be very interested in " what is on other people's minds." Most of the time however I am interested in facts, of the broadest sense-- it being the moment to moment default condition of human life, and even of insects. Otherwise just imagine going around, as it were, always hyper-interested in what others have on their minds. Geez Louise.

As for the amount of information available contemporarily, you only need to look at the growth of the number of publications in any field or across all fields of study. It’s been an explosion. When folk get overwhelmed by the amount of information (rather than its quality) put in front of them, after a while, they shut down and do not look or proceed further. They come to rely upon heuristics, instead. (That might constitute wisdom, also.)

Most people are utterly unaffected in their daily lives by the volume of information to which you refer. Moreover, ordinary people don't get overwhelmed by amount over quality-- the distinction,as regards this subject, itself is artificial, needlessly befuddling, and hopelessly cliched-- cooked up by self-justifying elitists who see themselves as traditional gatekeepers and high priests over the undifferentiating herd-like masses. It is the habitual posture of the teacher who thinks when looking outward his gaze is directed within, or vice versa.

Just for the record I don't consider you one of these ravenous elitist. I do accuse you of perhaps sharing the same temperamental flaws. No doubt traceable to your professional life.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jul 16, 2018 - 09:14pm PT
MikeL: "After all your experience, what do you think you understand about your life, the narrative or story of your life? These kinds of things come from “life reviews” in later years."


Mike, I caution against this sort of remembrance of things past. It doesn't normally bring joy and wisdom to mull over errors in judgment and mistakes of youth and middle age, and really not much is gained in dwelling on enjoyable past experiences. Look forward and not backward. Have a project that keeps you attached to the future and the world of the living.

Just a thought.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jul 17, 2018 - 07:38am PT
okay, whatever & Marlow . . . +1. Some very nice choices. I am old enough to remember a bit about Dag Hammarskjold. An enlightened economist.

Ward,

Your reductions of character are humorous, and at times offensive. You have few ideas about me, and that’s your right.

I read McLuhan, and I taught at UWO in Canada, where McLuhan (and every other Canadian of note) were lauded as giants and heroes.

One doesn’t have to simply look at academic publications to see the explosion of “information” these days. Consult the library of Congress.

jogill,

Thank you. I appreciate what you seem to be pointing to.

It’s difficult to say in 25 words or less, but what I’m trying to point to is an aesthetic rendition that is personally constructed about one’s own life. What have been your life’s lessons? What character have you become? You are unique, no doubt, and that’s worth celebration, imo.

We don’t know where we’re going unless we know where we’re at; and we can’t know where we’re at unless we know where we’ve been. There should be no notion of “heaviness” in the process, at least that’s not what’s been reported from psychologists who consult seniors.

“The world of the living” (as you put it) seems to show up differently in different eras and stages of life. The repertoires that lead to contentment are different when one is an infant, later a child, then an adolescent, then in early adulthood, etc. up to the last phase when one passes on. I do not think it is morose or pessimistic to say that one needs to make friends with one’s own inevitable demise, and that happens in all sorts of ways (physically, mentally, emotionally, psychically, etc.). It’s an old saw that the more one embraces death (groks it), the more one appreciates life. ONLY looking forward may miss many important stages of life, and the understanding that comes with them.

Again, for me, it’s an aesthetic sense of being I see. Aesthetics, in the classical sense of beauty, is not all prettiness. There is a sense of poetry, as I see in what “okay, whatever” and Marlow wrote.

Be well.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2018 - 04:22pm PT
Your reductions of character are humorous, and at times offensive. You have few ideas about me,

Didn't mean to be offensive.

You mean I have few valid ideas about you? But I like how you left off such qualifiers-- it adds a certain style.

BTW what in the hell are " reductions of character"

Is that anything like a reduction sauce in cooking?

I don't think I can reduce you by the judicious applications of heat. Nor would I want to.

Youre a good dude MikeL.
I have a deep respect for you, despite never having met you face to face.

Carry on.
WBraun

climber
Jul 20, 2018 - 05:29pm PT
Marlow -- ".... and wiser people so full of doubts."

Wiser people are very intelligent and have very little doubt.

Wise intelligent souls are extremely rare on this planet in this day and age, especially in the western materialistic countries.

Those full of doubt are the brainwashed gross materialists with no intelligence.

Wise living entities are not doubtful like the clueless materialists .....
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 20, 2018 - 09:37pm PT
Most people are utterly unaffected in their daily lives by the volume of information to which you refer. Moreover, ordinary people don't get overwhelmed by amount over quality-- the distinction,as regards this subject, itself is artificial--


The overwhelming flood of data sans context and substance has been linked to the staggering increase in the suicide rate across America. I suspect it also draws from people's enmeshment with and the AI cyber world which further isolates folks from their organic source, their roots as living creatures. But the overwhelming tsunani of data, mediated or not, digested nor not, has failed to deliver as a replacement for some felt sense for the transcendent, however you might define and locate something greater than yourself.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jul 21, 2018 - 08:12am PT
Ward,

Thx. Back at ya, my friend.

Largo: . . . something greater than yourself.

Take away all that apparently can be accounted for by genes, parenting, socialization, culture, institutionalization, etc., and we still end up with a great deal of unexplained variance in each and every person’s apparent uniqueness. (I’m referring to scientific studies, here: studies of twin pairs, Harvard’s 50+ year cohort studies, etc.) At the very earliest of ages, we see remarkable differences showing up. There seems to be something about each and every one of us that goes beyond beyond skills, personality, and experiences. No one else is like me or you.

Buddhists are constantly telling us that we need to take great care of our lives, especially if we have what they call “a life of leisure” (time, resources, a manageable attention span, intelligence, no horrible physical impediments, etc.). Living-*all of it*—should serve the purpose of waking up.

I don’t know if any of you saw the movie “Wind River” with Jeremy Renner and one of the Olson girls, but in a scene in the movie, Renner (the protagonist) tells an Arapaho friend that he shouldn’t stuff his feelings after his daughter has been found murdered. At first, his friend appears to be stoic and quixotic in front of investigators, but later he breaks down in the presence of his friend, the protagonist. The protagonist tells him that he needs to take the pain and live with it, be in it as it shows up, otherwise he won’t be able to live with or be able to review all the memories of his experiences of his daughter. I played this movie to my wife last night, who lost a best friend yesterday to a portfolio of illnesses. Lisa, my wife, hid in a closet and cried and cried. I think she wants to put on a strong face with everyone (even with me) about such things. (Personal intimacy is not my wife’s strongest suit.) After watching the movie, I tried to explain to her that THESE are the very moments when we can see how things really are, if we don’t run away or hide our eyes. These are the times when we can wake-up a little more.

How life teaches us seems to be backwards from how we teach folks in school. In school, we first teach lessons, and then we expect folks to apply those lessons in situations. In life, we get the the ourcomes, and then we (maybe) come to learn the lessons. (Induction, I guess.)

Sorry for waxing poetic and philosophically today. The airs here at our house is a little sad and raw. (It’s a good thing, I think.)
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 21, 2018 - 05:31pm PT
The overwhelming flood of data sans context and substance has been linked to the staggering increase in the suicide rate across America. I suspect it also draws from people's enmeshment with and the AI cyber world which further isolates folks from their organic source, their roots as living creatures. But the overwhelming tsunani of data, mediated or not, digested nor not, has failed to deliver as a replacement for some felt sense for the transcendent, however you might define and locate something greater than yourself.

This paragraph deserves this month's award for being the most overqualified to be unpacked.

Similar to my response to MikeL up thread, I find it necessary to strongly stress that a surfeit of data, per se, more often than not makes scant difference to human society in general at any given moment. And certainly in and of itself does not contribute to a high suicide rate.

Moreover, it matters little what the nature of this data happens to be-- devoid of content or of the transcendent. This data is just that, data. Most of it exists without current application--which means that we have no idea what its ultimate impact or philosophical nature might turn out to be. Again, most of it just lies there like dad's old lug wrench out in the garage.

It doesn't overwhelm anyone and its foundational nature is not one that can or should be overwhelming and failing to deliver. Who do you know sits around being compromised by raw data and does not exercise inherent abilities to adjust,filter ,and discriminate against the so-called tsunami-- most of which goes by undetected by the vast majority of people.

which further isolates folks from their organic source, their roots as living creatures.

But here you've swerved into something worth contemplating. Disconnecting humans from natural processes is central to the effects of technology. We are just beginning to grasp the deleterious impact upon our mitochondria (the energy organelles within our cells) of man made electromagnetic fields, and the tremendous effects encountered by circadian disruptions, especially blue light exposure during night hours.

I've talked about all these things for a couple years on this site and have sited numerous reports and studies. Anyone can research the material out there-- it is voluminous and growing daily.

One of the better clearing houses of information is available on Dr. Jack Kruse's Facebook page. Go to the posts.

https://m.facebook.com/drjackkruse/posts/?ref=page_internal&mt_nav=1

Good luck.


High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 22, 2018 - 01:16pm PT
re An example of motivated reasoning?

This from Roger Penrose, in an interview (30 sec bit) from A Brief History of Time (1991)...

"I think I would say that the universe has a purpose. It's not uh... it's not uh... somehow just there by chance. I think it's... yeah. So, it's, it's... Some people, I think, take the view that the universe is just there and it sort of runs and runs, and it just sort of computes and we happen somehow by accident to find ourselves in this thing. But, uh, I don't think that's a very fruitful or helpful way of looking at the universe. I think that there is something much deeper about it."


Has a ring of so-called "motivated reasoning" to me.

I tried to find this clip on youtube, no luck.

...

Yuval Noah Harari: '21 Lessons' from data, meditation to AI and 'Black Mirror'

http://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2018/07/20/yuval-noah-harari-21-lessons-from-data-meditation-to-ai-and-black-mirror.html
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 25, 2018 - 09:51am PT
"Jordan Peterson should stop repeating the canards that morality must come from God and that 20th-Century tyrannies were atheistic. He needs to learn the concept "humanism." Fine analysis by Matt Johnson in Quillette." -Steven Pinker

https://quillette.com/2018/07/23/the-peculiar-opacity-of-jordan-petersons-religious-views/
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Jul 26, 2018 - 01:49pm PT


1927 Solvay Conference

http://www.eoht.info/page/Epicenter+genius
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jul 26, 2018 - 09:07pm PT
Is that _really_ Schrodinger in the middle of the back row?

I have his cat, and would happily return it to him, but I'm not sure whether he's alive or dead. And...

...wait a minute. I can't find the damn cat. I thought I had it locked up in a small box, but...
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Jul 27, 2018 - 05:00am PT
The overwhelming flood of data sans context and substance has been linked to the staggering increase in the suicide rate across America. I

Citation, please.

DMT
Mark Force

Trad climber
Ashland, Oregon
Jul 27, 2018 - 06:10am PT
I have his cat, and would happily return it to him, but I'm not sure whether he's alive or dead. And...

...wait a minute. I can't find the damn cat. I thought I had it locked up in a small box, but...

Nice.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 27, 2018 - 12:07pm PT
Moreover, it matters little what the nature of this data happens to be-- devoid of content or of the transcendent. This data is just that, data. Most of it exists without current application--which means that we have no idea what its ultimate impact or philosophical nature might turn out to be. Again, most of it just lies there like dad's old lug wrench out in the garage.

It doesn't overwhelm anyone and its foundational nature is not one that can or should be overwhelming and failing to deliver. Who do you know sits around being compromised by raw data and does not exercise inherent abilities to adjust,filter ,and discriminate against the so-called tsunami-- most of which goes by undetected by the vast majority of people.


Ward, sometimes it pays to put your thinking cap on, lest the meat and potatoes of the drift rushes past your own self.

It's interesting to see someone who tries to parse out data as some stand-alone commodity, while in the real world the tsunami of data and info bombards us continually, and most of it goes undigested. So of course it's not the data in isolation, like a wrench in your pappy's garage, rather the means by which we engage it, which is the issue.

The slapdash way people typically process information, as though info-stimulation equals mental health and intelligence, has in my opinion so fractured people's ability to settle and connect authentically with most anything that the more people surf for fresh data, the more isolated they become.

For example, I can't tell you what a shock it comes to people who we get in our writer's symposiums who are accustomed to blathering in blogs and fail to understand that narrative story telling requires a much more connected and nuanced engagement then dashing off jazzy sound bites on their Facebook page or me-myself-and I blog platforms. Data stimulation is the new heroin, and we're surrounded by junkies. The earmark of this surfing is a glaring lack of substance.



High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 27, 2018 - 03:27pm PT
Jan and others,

It would be the greatest irony if a fiction and the culture that derived from it turned out to motivate the pursuit of truth more than actual truth itself.

Were that the case though, and high culture crashed and burned because of it, Sapiens could hardly be "blamed" for it. Seems to me the right response then would be: It was fated all along. Not only written in Sapiens DNA and its environment but written in nature's underlying ruleset.
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Jul 27, 2018 - 03:46pm PT
Is that _really_ Schrodinger in the middle of the back row?

Heisenberg is the one whose picture should be blurry.
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