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lol I for one had once argued that ideology is just religion dressed in Reason-tainted hula-skirt:)


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 10:13:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that is wrong. There are ideologies that do not meet the requirements for being considered religions under any ordinary definition of terms. But there are no religions that do not meet the criteria for being ideologies.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 10:42:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The point was, for one, that ideologies, like religions, pretend 1) to explain the world, and 2) to organize society as well as individuals' life, and for two, that, in spite of any pretension to rationality (as opposed to religious mysticism) there always seems to be a fanatical side to ideologies, where no argument is allowed anymore, true believers only are allowed to live, and dissenters (sinners) are smelled from afar, outted and thrown out of 'heaven'.
Mystical god aside, you have it all: The Big Prophet, preachers, priests, martyrs, holy books, myths, ceremonials etc.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 11:31:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The degree of extremity depends on the process and the degree of implied and explicit violence.

NCE is weakly religious but strongly ideological. It relies on a combination of hallucinatory rhetoric, explicit hierarchy and threats of violence for its power - exactly the same tools that religions use.

The only difference between NCE and a religion is that in a religion there are one or more explicit personified god figures who embody herd values. NCE is more sophisticated because the herd values are more abstract - 'freedom', 'liberty', 'growth', etc - and not personified.

But otherwise the differences are minimal.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 12:12:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there always seems to be a fanatical side to ideologies, where no argument is allowed anymore

All ways to view the world involve unprovable axioms. The advantage of formalising your view of the world into a coherent ideology is that it provides you with tools to obtain a clearer view of what your axioms are, and where they are sufficiently contradictory to involve trade-offs (your principles almost always offer contradictory conclusions to some set of policy questions - the question is whether you resolve the resulting trade-offs blindly or consciously, not whether you resolve it).

It also, incidentally, allows you to deconstruct an argument you disagree with and reveal why you disagree with it. And, if the person who proffers it operates within a coherent ideological framework, you can sometimes uncover why he agrees with it, and whether he should, according to his axiomatic principles, agree with it (if he shouldn't agree with it according to his own principles, then you can sometimes convince him by pointing out where he made a mistake in their application).

Mystical god aside, you have it all:

Ah, but mythical gods are what makes religion, well, religious. Religion is the subset of ideologies that involve appeals to creatures and phenomena that there is no empirical reason to believe exist. "Inequality is bad" is an ideological position, but not necessarily a religious one. "God says that inequality is bad" a religious position, and therefore an ideological position as well, since religion is a subset of ideology.

Necessary vs. sufficient conditions...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 04:39:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The advantage of encarnating your view of the world through a coherent religion, is that it provides you with the archimedean reference point, its god-founder, exterior to the system, and so help obtain a purer (since external) view of what your other beliefs and every day life codes are.

"whether you resolve the resulting trade-offs blindly or consciously"

What is blind. Each side in an ideology contest will call the other blind. In the end it resolves to  kindergarten-kind namecalling.

"coherent ideological framework"
Both areligious ideologies and religions usually are so, or at least pretend to be, which ultimately is the same thing.

"whether he should, according to his axiomatic principles"

That would hardly make any sense, except for a rhetorical manoeuver in a public debate.

Religion is the subset of ideologies that...  hmmm. Let us turn it around, for the sake of the exercise: ideology is the subset of religions where there is no irrational (as in, not physically measurable) phenomena involved. You'll say that by taking out the irrational the thing ceases to be a genuine religion, but religious people pretend physicists are simply incapable of measuring the more subtle side of their belief system. A scientist may well say, only exist that what I can measure. We in turn can be allowed more slack. So who knows.

Or, damen und herren, if we have set this point aside, there is no more difference left between religion and ideology. QED.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 09:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The advantage of encarnating your view of the world through a coherent religion, is that it provides you with the archimedean reference point, its god-founder, exterior to the system, and so help obtain a purer (since external) view of what your other beliefs and every day life codes are.

Except that there is no good reason to believe that the god-figure is in any way external to the ideological system that it props up.

"whether you resolve the resulting trade-offs blindly or consciously"

What is blind. Each side in an ideology contest will call the other blind.

I'm not talking about political horse-trading here. I'm talking about reconciling contradictory principles. Even if you were made dictator of the world for life, and had an exceptionally loyal Legion of Doom to enforce your every edict, you would still have to compromise. You would have to compromise with yourself. Because I can guarantee you that there are policy issues where two or more values that you hold near and dear to your heart will indicate flatly contradictory policies.

The discipline of mathematics has spent several hundred years on obtaining a set of axioms that is not provably inconsistent. It requires a great deal of presumption to believe that you can do better without even trying.

"whether he should, according to his axiomatic principles"

That would hardly make any sense, except for a rhetorical manoeuver in a public debate.

Au contraire, it makes a great deal of sense. Unless you believe that you always reason flawlessly from your (unstated and, since you lack an ideology, largely unexamined) core values? Again, the presumption inherent in this assumption is simply staggering.

Let us turn it around, for the sake of the exercise: ideology is the subset of religions where there is no irrational (as in, not physically measurable) phenomena involved.

But a set of beliefs that do not involve the supernatural are not a part of the set "religions." Since it is not a part of the set, no set it is part of can be a subset of the first set.

Necessary versus sufficient conditions.

Or, damen und herren, if we have set this point aside, there is no more difference left between religion and ideology.

And if you set aside around 4 % of the expressed genes, there is no more difference between humans and chimpanzees.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 28th, 2010 at 12:06:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"there is no good reason to believe that the god-figure is in any way external to the ideological system that it props up"

this is what the system says about itself: "I am driven by the laws from a God which I don't describe otherwise than by what It does to me"; take, say, the commandments; they just FALL from ABOVE straight onto those stone tables.

Political horse trading. Sometimes reconciliation cannot be, by definition: ideologies are supposed to explain the universe; they cannot compromise, by their very nature. You are blind for not feeling the spiritual touch at the mass; they are blind for believing such obvious fruit of some ancient people's imagination.

Math axioms. Just what they are. Picking a set of colours and painting lines that go with each other is no indication of some valid epistemology. Might be - or not. Building up big-bang theories, then adjusting math variables so that it 'works together' is a genuine show for what philosophical value science actually carries.

Staggering. I'm saying that proving the other wrong by his own arguments is of no interest other than WIIIINNNING the debate. As a principle, it may only prove he's just less astute a debater than yourself. It's not an epistemologically correct way. I have never discussed myself here btw.

Set of beliefs of which we withdraw supernatural. My reply is in text :) My conditions for setting the magic aside were twofold: one, the personification is a human habit, there is no point to focus on the fact that religions use more or less human figures; set this aside for later; two, the big issue is whether there is a spiritual world or not. Or religions pretend it is unmeasurable; I could add, maybe it's a matter of scientifical progress. Before we thought thunder was sent by Zeus, so my supposition is not aberrant. These two considered, there is no difference left between ideology and religion.


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Oct 28th, 2010 at 12:47:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"there is no good reason to believe that the god-figure is in any way external to the ideological system that it props up"

this is what the system says about itself:

What the system says about itself is internal to the system and therefore cannot, absent independent external evidence, be used to establish that a postulated agent is external to the system.

Political horse trading. Sometimes reconciliation cannot be, by definition: ideologies are supposed to explain the universe; they cannot compromise, by their very nature.

Do you have a problem with reading comprehension? I am not talking about reconciling different ideologies. I am talking about reconciling inconsistencies between your own values.

Building up big-bang theories, then adjusting math variables so that it 'works together' is a genuine show for what philosophical value science actually carries.

Yeah, yeah. Come back when you've solved a tensor equation or two and we can talk about how general relativity models cosmological observations. Maybe that will actually be interesting. Hearing you mouth off about a model when you can't even read the notation, though... not so much.

I'm saying that proving the other wrong by his own arguments is of no interest other than WIIIINNNING the debate.

That's an interesting attitude, for what it betrays about your regard for intellectual honesty.

As a principle, it may only prove he's just less astute a debater than yourself.

A formal logical argument does not depend on your sophistication. It's either true or it isn't. So if I can offer a contradiction between what you claim are your values and what you offer as your policy prescriptions, then I have proven that at least one of the following is true: a) You have not presented your actual values honestly and completely. b) You have not presented your policy honestly and completely. c) You have made a mistake or an unexamined trade-off in deducing your policy from your values. d) I have made a mistake in my demonstration of a contradiction.

I have never discussed myself here btw.

Oh, but you have. You have claimed that you do not have an ideology. Which, as far as I can tell is perfectly true.

This is not, however, praiseworthy. It means that your values, as far as they have been presented here, appear to be a jumbled mess of shallow slogans and ad hoc policy recommendations, with no overarching narrative other than fitting within the Conventional Wisdom of the Serious People. The Serious People, on the other hand, do have an ideology. And by not developing an ideology of your own, you leave yourself vulnerable to adopting theirs by default.

the big issue is whether there is a spiritual world or not. Or religions pretend it is unmeasurable; I could add, maybe it's a matter of scientifical progress. Before we thought thunder was sent by Zeus, so my supposition is not aberrant.

Supposition is not aberrant, but it is unwarranted. Absent evidence of any consistent effects of the spirit realm, it is not reasonable to suppose that it exists. And absent any plausible mechanism for how the spirit realm works, it is not reasonable to suppose that it is a plausible explanation for any unexplained phenomena (which, inasmuch as physical reality is concerned, are largely reserved for the subatomic and interstellar length and time scales anyway - a rather small magisterium for a deity to inhabit).

These two considered, there is no difference left between ideology and religion.

And four percent of the genetic code considered, there is no difference left between chimpanzees and humans.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 28th, 2010 at 09:07:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"What the system says about itself is internal to the system"

When the system does not say a thing as to where its Maker comes from, it is obvious the said Maker is fundamentally exterior to the system.

"I am talking about reconciling inconsistencies between your own values"

When was that the topic under discussion again.
Let me remind you my point: I am arguing that religions and ideologies belong to the same category, in spite of some striking differences such as those concerning supranatural beings.
Forging yourself a way out in your usual sophistically sophisticated manner again ? :)

"So if I can offer a contradiction between what you claim are your values"

have not discussed my values here, sorry; this is getting boring.

"You have claimed that you do not have an ideology. Which, as far as I can tell is perfectly true.
This is not, however, praiseworthy. It means that your values, as far as they have been presented here, appear to be a jumbled mess
"

Have you made a fixation on my humble person? Get a hold of yourself, man.
Back to the topic pls: ideologies = religions.

"absent any plausible mechanism for how the spirit realm works, it is not reasonable to suppose that it is a plausible explanation for any unexplained phenomena"

I tried to reduce the problem of distinguishing ideologies and religions to the existence of a spiritual world. But pay attention here, I did not actually claim it exists.
My point was: IF it exists (for instance, in a way similar to that described by the string theory), then it takes all that awful magic out.
If it doesn't, and Colman is correct in calling them delusions (not impossible; humans do have a propensity to idealistic stories and personification of things), then, since all the contesting parts are only existing in human imagination, we can safely disregard them and focus on the fundamentals, ie, religions and ideologies are basically the same thing.

Now if you can produce some relevant thoughts on this (preferably without recurring to jabs about my values etc), please do so; otherwise, forever remain silent! :)

"Come back when you've solved a tensor equation or two"

Now you've actually hit the nail on its head. I used to be an expert in all that differential geometry stuff, way way back in my uni years. Okay, maybe not an Expert, but I did have a way around manifolds. Yet tensors, I never really liked, dunno why.

Oh well.


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Oct 28th, 2010 at 09:37:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"What the system says about itself is internal to the system"

When the system does not say a thing as to where its Maker comes from, it is obvious the said Maker is fundamentally exterior to the system.

No.

Whether an entity is internal or external to the system of though depends on how much external evidence there is to support the supposition of that entity's existence. If all the reasons to believe that the entity exists at all are internal to the ideology, then the entity is internal to the ideology as well.

"I am talking about reconciling inconsistencies between your own values"

When was that the topic under discussion again.

That's the topic under discussion because that's the main value that ideology provides.

Let me remind you my point: I am arguing that religions and ideologies belong to the same category, in spite of some striking differences such as those concerning supranatural beings.

Of course they do, in the same sense that chimpanzees and primates belong to the same category. Chimpanzees form a subset of primates, which is in turn a subset of vertebrates. This does not mean that primates and chimpanzees are the same story.

"So if I can offer a contradiction between what you claim are your values"

have not discussed my values here, sorry; this is getting boring.

The rhetorical "you." That is a concept that appears in French as well, so I am quite certain that you have encountered it before.

"You have claimed that you do not have an ideology. Which, as far as I can tell is perfectly true.
This is not, however, praiseworthy. It means that your values, as far as they have been presented here, appear to be a jumbled mess"

Have you made a fixation on my humble person?

That would require your humble person to actually exist. Can we please see a little more of it in the future?

(for instance, in a way similar to that described by the string theory),

What does string theory say, in your own words?

My point was: IF it exists [...] then it takes all that awful magic out.

If it exists, it would involve a whole new branch of physics. We can say with some confidence that such a development is exceedingly unlikely in this day and age.

If it doesn't, and Colman is correct in calling them delusions [...] we can safely disregard them and focus on the fundamentals,

The fact that religion, ceteris paribus, grants wider latitude to faith-based arguments than secular ideologies is a fundamental fact about the way religions work that sets them apart from other forms of ideology.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 28th, 2010 at 08:00:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tried to reduce the problem of distinguishing ideologies and religions to the existence of a spiritual world. But pay attention here, I did not actually claim it exists.
My point was: IF it exists (for instance, in a way similar to that described by the string theory), then it takes all that awful magic out. (ValentinD)

If it exists, it would involve a whole new branch of physics. We can say with some confidence that such a development is exceedingly unlikely in this day and age. (JakeS)

Jake -

I don't know what day and age you're living in... but

  1. find it amazing that you sincerely contest the existence of a spiritual dimension

  2. there exists a branch in the Sciences called "Contemplative Science" that acknowledges the scientific approach that is rooted in the spiritual

  3. - while I don't know/understand - quantum physics, it's an area often cited to scientifically back or explain certain spiritual phenomena. It may not happen the other way around, i.e. quantum physicists are probably less interested in showing where their findings border on the spiritual.

It is such a pity (for yourself and the debate) that you cannot even move away from your formed beliefs by one inch.

Newton:

Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds beasts & men have their right side & left side alike shaped (except in their bowells) & just two eyes & no more on either side the face & just two ears on either side the head & a nose with two holes & no more between the eyes & one mouth under the nose & either two fore leggs or two wings or two arms on the sholders & two leggs on the hipps one on either side & no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel & contrivance of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom & the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside an hard transparent skin, & within transparent juyces with a crystalline Lens in the middle & a pupil before the Lens all of them so truly shaped & fitted for vision, that no Artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light & what was its refraction & fit the eys of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These & such like considerations always have & ever will prevail with man kind to believe that there is a being who made all things & has all things in his power & who is therfore to be feared.

If Newton's reflections are true, it does indeed change the understanding of science.
And it should.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 04:42:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lily:
If Newton's reflections are true, it does indeed change the understanding of science.
And it should.
Newton was also an alchemist and as a result more than 90% of his purportedly scientific writing is hogwash.

So I don't know why it should.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 04:53:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since you consider 90 % of Newton's writings "hogwash", here's some Einstein for you:

every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a SPIRIT vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.

I want to know how GOD created this world. I'm not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.

(emphasis by me)

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 05:40:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isaac Newton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In his Hypothesis of Light of 1675, Newton posited the existence of the ether to transmit forces between particles. The contact with the theosophist Henry More, revived his interest in alchemy. He replaced the ether with occult forces based on Hermetic ideas of attraction and repulsion between particles. John Maynard Keynes, who acquired many of Newton's writings on alchemy, stated that "Newton was not the first of the age of reason: He was the last of the magicians."[38] Newton's interest in alchemy cannot be isolated from his contributions to science; however, he did apparently abandon his alchemical researches.[5] (This was at a time when there was no clear distinction between alchemy and science.) Had he not relied on the occult idea of action at a distance, across a vacuum, he might not have developed his theory of gravity. (See also Isaac Newton's occult studies.)


Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 05:47:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Had he not relied on the occult idea of action at a distance, across a vacuum, he might not have developed his theory of gravity.

Maybe there isn't all this much wrong with alchemy after all.

From the English wikipedia entry on "alchemy"

Up to the 16th century, alchemy was considered serious science in Europe; for instance, Isaac Newton devoted considerably more of his writing to the study of alchemy (see Isaac Newton's occult studies) than he did to either optics or physics, for which he is famous. Other eminent alchemists of the Western world are Roger Bacon, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Tycho Brahe, Thomas Browne, and Parmigianino. The decline of alchemy began in the 18th century with the birth of modern chemistry, which provided a more precise and reliable framework for matter transmutations and medicine, within a new grand design of the universe based on rational materialism.

[edit] Alchemy in traditional medicine
Traditional medicines involve transmutation by alchemy, using pharmacological or a combination of pharmacological and spiritual techniques. In Chinese medicine the alchemical traditions of pao zhi will transform the nature of the temperature, taste, body part accessed or toxicity. In Ayurveda the samskaras are used to transform heavy metals and toxic herbs in a way that removes their toxicity. These processes are actively used to the present day.

These last lines further show that the spiritual realm's consistent effect is used in Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.

And, sure enough, IT EXISTS.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 06:10:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
These last lines further show that the spiritual realm's consistent effect is used in Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.

Only if by "the spiritual realm" you mean those folk traditions that accidentally happen to work - as opposed to the arbitrary dietary and behavioural codes that comprise most of folk tradition.

I note that chemistry offers a far more parsimonious and general explanation for these effects.

I also note that chemistry makes predictions that are different from what Ayurvedic and "Traditional" Chinese "Medicine" (which is not actually medicine and was actually, in its currently recognisable form, promulgated by Mao as part of the Great Leap Forward - making its traditional foundations somewhat questionable). I further note that in the cases where Ayurvedic and "Traditional" Chinese "Medicine" make different predictions from modern chemistry, chemistry has always been proven right, and Ayurvedic and "Traditional" Chinese "Medicine" wrong.

Every. Single. Time.

So if that's your best example of consistent effects of the spirit realm then I'll stick with what actually works, thank you.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 08:49:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I do not prefer Einstein.

Einstein was so horrified by the philosophical implications of the quantum mehcnaics he helped invent that he completely disowned it. Most of Einstein's work after 1930 was on his Unified Field Theories which, unfortunately, completely and deliberately ignored 1) quantum mechanics; 2) the wealth of experimental data on subatomic (particle) physics.

As a result, the last 25 years of Einstein's work are pretty much useless since they are deliberately disconnected from empirical findings.

In that vein, Einstein's General Relativity is associated with one of the most astonishing displays of arrogant platonism I know, namely:

Then I would have felt sorry for the dear Lord. The theory is correct.
  • As quoted in Reality and Scientific Truth : Discussions with Einstein, von Laue, and Planck (1980) by Ilse Rosenthal-Schneider, p. 74
  • When asked by a student what he would have done if Sir Arthur Eddington's famous 1919 gravitational lensing experiment, which confirmed relativity, had instead disproved it.
Why do you have such a penchant for argument by authority? Do you think name-dropping great physicists about whom you demostrably know very little does anything to bolster your arguments?

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 05:53:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Why do you have such a penchant for argument by authority?"

LOL

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 06:13:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, really, why?

Einstein is no better guide to the truth of the universe (such as it is) than anyone else - and was, at best, only religious in the very weakest sense: he was probably a non-believer. Newton was largely fruitbat. You can cite their mathematics, you can cite their results, that's useful (though both have issues with their maths if I recall correctly - Newton's formulation of integrals is less than entirely rigorous). Their opinion on spirituality, baseball, soccer or beer is not privileged.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 06:22:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then you can take people like Stephen Hawking who once said that in the future our societies would genetically screen people like him out of existence. He seemed to think that would be a positive development, which is surely understandable if his degenerative neurological disease has made his life miserable. But if he had been genetically screened out the world presumably would have missed his work on black holes and cosmology, unfortunately. Though fortunately, we would also have been spared his advocacy of eugenics.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 06:27:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Knock yourself out.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 05:57:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's put it this way: I have much deeper respect for people who seem to 'err' on the spiritual side (difficult to prove/disprove the 'error') than for those who claim it would NOT EXIST to begin with because the mind cannot fathom it and its existence might cause great confusion.
There's no bigger error and no greater confusion than in the claim of its non-existence.

 

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 06:24:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So no matter the crackpot theory that people come up with, it gets special treatment because it's Spiritual? Its not like the non-existence of gods is a new thing, The arguments have been solid for 500 years more than Christianity has been in existence. Its not that the mind cannot fathom it, its that the arguments that are claimed to support it are extremely unconvincing.

To my way of thinking there's no bigger error than to claim existence through wishful thinking and excuse for immoral action as you're going to be forgiven later

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 08:54:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi ceebs!

I had announced that I would make myself more clear as to the logic and structure of what I have found in faith.

I've decided not to go there, for the moment. I don't give every "crackpot theory" special treatment just because it's "Spiritual". Migeru, Colman and JakeS seem to question the mere existence of a spiritual realm to varying degrees. That's why I cited from various sources that speak of a reality beyond scientific materialism.

It is impossible to begin a debate about something anyone may have found 'on the other side' if you're confronted with people who stand behind a seemingly locked door.

I don't fear egg on face, but comprehension is only possible if those who ask are willing to detach from rational certainties and allow for the reality of 'impossibilities'.

For as long as certain 'devil's advocates' find pleasure in laughing off the seriousness of our unseen reality, they will have to remain limited to their ignorance.

If you're sincerely interested in digging deeper, let me know. We could continue the debate on a private blog.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 09:22:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
comprehension is only possible if those who ask are willing to detach from rational certainties and allow for the reality of 'impossibilities'.

Now you're just special pleading. There are many impossibilities out there. Should we take them all equally seriously? If not, what criteria do you propose to discriminate between them?

My mind is very much open. It just has a dress code.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 09:48:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your scientific-material dress code is your veil.

You'd have to take it off.  

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 10:59:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
find it amazing that you sincerely contest the existence of a spiritual dimension

I don't.

I just want you to provide some actual evidence that I need to take it seriously. I do not confirm or deny the existence of fairies either, but that does not cause me to throw salt over my shoulder whenever I spill something to chase away fairies.

there exists a branch in the Sciences called "Contemplative Science"

No, that's a branch of the pseudo-sciences where the language of neurobiology is abused to provide justification for religious dogma, in much the same way that you abuse quantum mechanics in your immediately following paragraph.

More generally, "contemplative science" is scholasticism, not science. Sitting around on your ass and contemplating does not science make. Science requires data and predictions. You have to make non-trivial predictions, ahead of time, that are distinguishable from existing theory and which come true more often than would be expected from random chance.

while I don't know/understand - quantum physics, it's an area often cited to scientifically back or explain certain spiritual phenomena.

I do understand quantum physics, and it doesn't.

quantum physicists are probably less interested in showing where their findings border on the spiritual.

That's because quantum physicists usually don't like misrepresenting their results. (As an aside, very nearly every physicist in this day and age is a quantum physicist. You simply can't do modern physics in most areas of enquiry without a reasonable understanding of quantum mechanics.)

It is such a pity (for yourself and the debate) that you cannot even move away from your formed beliefs by one inch.

I can and I regularly do. But only when presented with a model of the world that makes superior predictions or makes the same predictions but is more parsimonious.

You provide neither here.

Can it be by accident that all birds beasts & men have their right side & left side alike shaped

No, that is not by accident. Bilateral symmetry was established very early in animal evolution (it wasn't inevitable, though. There were perfectly viable species at the time that displayed trilateral symmetry, so apart from an accident of evolution, you would be wondering why all beasts and men have their back, right and left sides alike shaped.

Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes

Evolution from a common ancestor.

If Newton's reflections are true, it does indeed change the understanding of science.

Newton's reflections reflect mostly Newton's ignorance of biology and his failure to understand the weak anthropic principle. The former is forgivable for Newton (somewhat less so for you), since he lived a couple of centuries before biology existed as a coherent scientific pursuit. The latter is just sloppy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 08:38:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lily:
- while I don't know/understand - quantum physics, it's an area often cited to scientifically back or explain certain spiritual phenomena.

I know, it is often cited. Actually that was one of the reasons I choose to study physics. A couple of years I actually got to read the quantum physics. Not that anyone was blocking me, university lectures in Sweden are in general free to just walk in and take a seat in the back - but there is a couple of math and physics courses that are really needed to understand what is being said. And was I disappointed when it turned out that the citings are way off.

Quantum physics is counterintuitive in many areas, but that is mainly from our intuitive understanding being based on our scale of the world. Quantum physics describe the subatomic world in the same way as Newtonian physics describe most of our own world: in mathematical formulas, formulated to match the measured data. To reach a model fitting the subatomic world some assumptions about the world had to abandoned, and those thought processes spun off some interesting thought experiments. But the model itself is as devoid of any spirit as other physical models.

Still, having the description allows for construction of some pretty cool tech, my favorite is perhaps Quantum Teleportation, that is cool despite not being a solid foundation for building mass transit on.

In the 18th century electricity was the cool thing and was quoted as support for different religious theories. Daredevil scientists did things like listen to the sound of electricity (aouch), and writers constructed even more daring scientists that could use electricity to create life. As it has since become commonplace it is more likely to be claimed as a cause for illness then pure spirit. With luck, the citations you mention will go the same way.

Unfortunately, my whole reasoning rests on you trusting me. If you do not, then I have to recommend that you study physics and tell us what you find.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 02:19:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"If all the reasons to believe that the entity exists at all are internal to the ideology, then the entity is internal to the ideology as well."

Yes, but this was also our angle of discussion.
To put it more clearly: someone who adheres to a religion, usually disposes of an absolute reference point, his god, which, to him, is exterior to anything else - physical world, the society around him, even the dogma of his religion. He has this by the very nature of the religion.
To you, of course, this is not true, but it is not you who matters, because you, JakeS, are absolutely irrelevant to a faithful person. Religion-wise, of course :)

"That's the topic under discussion because that's the main value that ideology provides"

Not at all. You also say further down that I made my ideology clear before. I might have said things here and there, but that has absolutely nothing at all to do with this discussion. I dare you prove the slightest ideological influence of my arguments. Maybe you're one of those who believes everyone is always inside some ideology because that is the human nature. I for one don't believe that to be true, so do bring forth your proof, or forever remain silent! :)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 11:09:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To put it more clearly: someone who adheres to a religion, usually disposes of an absolute reference point, his god, which, to him, is exterior to anything else

That is a problem with his understanding (or lack thereof) of the structure and nature of his belief system, not a statement about the reality of the structure and nature of his belief system.

You also say further down that I made my ideology clear before.

No, you have made your beliefs very clear through your policy prescriptions. Those beliefs don't rise to the level of consistency and coherence I expect from an ideology.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 12:41:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The advantage of encarnating your view of the world through a coherent religion, is that it provides you with the archimedean reference point, its god-founder, exterior to the system, and so help obtain a purer (since external) view of what your other beliefs and every day life codes are."

this is the origin of this thread, and it is about the personal view of the faithful, not about some objective reality.

the last part of your post is a completely useless ad-personam, for which you are awarded a 2.

cheers

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 08:30:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It does not provide him with an external reference point. It just allows him to pretend that his internal axioms are more valid than the internal axioms of any other ideology.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 08:13:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"If all the reasons to believe that the entity exists at all are internal to the ideology, then the entity is internal to the ideology as well."

It depends where you're looking from - not from the viewpoint of our discussion. To put it more clearly: a religious person disposes of her own absolute reference point, her god, that is by definition exterior to physical world, society, or any dogma. That god is in fact The principle exterior to her universe and constitutes the axiomatic core of her existence. A Living Being (according to the faith, hein), the god being personified, it ressembles the religious person and since the comparison goes both ways, also lifts her to his own height. This is the very purpose of religion, philosophically speaking.
Certainly, from the point of view of JakeS, far from being external, or absolute, the god belongs to the religion. But for the religious person, JakeS and his viewpoints are absolutely irrelevant - religiously speaking, of course :)

"That's the topic under discussion because that's the main value that ideology provides.

Not at all. My personal beliefs are my own, private, and my values and the few ideological points I defended in the past are absolutely not relevant to this discussion. I am putting forth some thoughts that don't reflect any kind of influence or political or religious leaning.

"That would require your humble person to actually exist"

I shall try to answer that question by actually adding some value, beyond what anyone could find on the internet (and with the secret hope that you'll answer for me :) ).

"grants wider latitude to faith-based arguments than secular ideologies is a fundamental fact about the way religions work that sets them apart from other forms of ideology"

If you track those faith-based arguments back a bit, you'll end up to the god, and, particularly, to the question of the existence of a spiritual universe.
On the other hand , try and take another look at those maths axioms, you'll see they can be seen that way too.
And if you're still not convinced, look closer at how ideologies make their way from library rats down to the masses, you'll see how ideological principles become articles of faith.


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 12:13:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a religious person disposes of her own absolute reference point,

No. She just believes that she does. That's not, quite the same thing.

That god is in fact The principle exterior to her universe and constitutes the axiomatic core of her existence.

Hence, internal to the system. Axioms are inherently internal to the system built upon them - if they could be proven by reference to external facts, they would cease to be axiomatic.

And if you're still not convinced, look closer at how ideologies make their way from library rats down to the masses, you'll see how ideological principles become articles of faith.

This effect is precisely due to the fact that most people have never bothered to formulate a coherent ideology for themselves (or educate themselves on the existing ones). That leaves them unable to articulate the reasoning behind a policy prescription, beyond the fact that that's what the Conventional Wisdom says.

The value of ideology is precisely that it allows you to distinguish between policy prescriptions that are axiomatic (inequality is bad) and policy prescriptions that are consequences of your axioms (progressive tax rates are good).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 12:52:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a religious person disposes of her own absolute reference point,

No. She just believes that she does. That's not, quite the same thing.

That's a point of view from behind the scientific-materialistic veil.

You also JUST BELIEVE that only what you can measure and prove would be real; you FREELY CHOOSE to give credit to the measurable only.

Your measurables are as absolute as the believer's 'reference point' - only that yours is more limited (which is just my personal opinion and not absolute).

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 01:29:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You also JUST BELIEVE that only what you can measure and prove would be real;

No. I just believe that if something is unmeasurable even in principle, I don't need to pay it any great attention, except as a sort of idle diversion of the mind.

"Is this useful?" is a much more interesting question than "Is this real?"

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 05:00:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words:

You also JUST BELIEVE that only what you can measure and prove would be real;
by Lynch on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 10:34:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did the drawings of the Aurignacian culture 32,000 years ago directly assist in killing aurochs, OR were they self-motivational?

Actually I think they were the beginnings of cultural algebra: where something that cannot be explained (yet) is symbolized. The main problem imho with religions is that the symbols have been venerated, instead of completing the algebraic formulation.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 11:05:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
venerated and especially personified.

it remains that more recent religions such as buddhism have reached a level of sophistication difficult to explain this way.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 08:45:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have a better way of determining what's real?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 03:26:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you ever tried to "measure" love. Is it real?
by Lynch on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 06:17:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 06:41:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends what you're talking about when you say "Love"

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 06:53:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're not answering the question. Do you have a suggestion for a way to judge what is real and what is not that is superior to parsimony and predictive power?

Oh, and you're making a category error. Love is a state of mind, not a statement about the external physical reality. It only has to be true for one person to be said to exist. Deities, on the other hand, are typically statements about physical reality. Which means that they have to be true for everyone.

It is similar to faith: If you have faith, then faith must exist as a state of mind. This does not imply that the object of your faith actually exists. Similarly, one could imagine, for instance, that a person frequenting an internet site could fall in love with a wholly fictional persona created by another user of the site. The love, being a state of mind, would be no less real for the fact that the object of the love did not, in fact, exist.

Now, if you are fine with reducing your deity of choice to a purely personal and subjective experience that does not necessarily have any more applicability to my life than my love has to your life, then I have no particular quarrel with your god. But if you make arguments that rely on your god as their premise, then I will feel free to point out that those arguments are inapplicable to anybody who happens to not agree with your personal, subjective faith.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 09:49:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"It only has to be true for one person to be said to exist. Deities, on the other hand, are typically statements about physical reality."

more precisely, statements about a spiritual universe and its impact in the physical world.
i have once read a line of a philosopher on angels, saying more or less that the access of the humans to the spiritual world is conditioned by their faith and their will to access it - the absence of the two would imply that for that person it is as if no spiritual world existed. not sure if this is in line with what the main religions dogma, but from the p of v of a believer it does have its logic re your remark.

"purely personal and subjective experience"

that happens to be shared in communities from whose position it is the unfaithful who exercises a subjective choice of not believing. this is a mirror exercise that is endless, which is why there should never be faithful-unfaithful debatesvon faith or philosophy matters. it leads nowhere.    

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 09:05:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that happens to be shared in communities

Many purely subjective personal experiences are shared in communities. That's one of the things being a trooping primate does for you. For precisely this reason, being shared among the in-group is not sufficient reason to suppose that it is part of the external reality rather than an internal ideological construct. For something to be an external constraint, it has to be true for everyone, whether they believe in it or not.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 08:16:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
" That leaves them unable to articulate the reasoning behind a policy prescription, beyond the fact that that's what the Conventional Wisdom says."

I'm afraid a more careful look at the said reasoning might show it as much more axiomatic than the founders and apostles of the ideology would like to admit. and I won't even mention the deceit factor in those reasonings, of which history is quite full.


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 08:41:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course it is axiomatic. All deductive reasoning is axiomatic.

The pertinent question is "how many axioms do you need?" A relevant ancillary question is "how severely do these axioms contradict each other?"

A coherent ideology needs only very few axioms, and mostly they will be sufficiently well aligned to limit conflict between them. An inchoate melange of whatever the Conventional Wisdom happened to be when you formed your opinion on the matter at hand will have a separate axiom for every policy question. And more often than not, most of these axioms will be wildly contradictory.

Ideology simply means answering policy questions from first principles rather than from gut feeling and conventional wisdom. Now, if you are a fan of thinking with your small intestine and following whatever line of propaganda happens to be socially dominant at any given point in time, then you don't need an ideology. Those of us who prefer to think for ourselves, however, find it quite useful to have one, and even more useful when our opponents have one as well.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 08:25:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow!!

You seem to discuss about the inchoate deductive melange of multi-stringed axioms with as sole absolute reference point the objective guts of convential wisdom propaganda Bayesian ideology, ehm, epistemology quantity distribution.... phew!

What degrees can possibly entangle clear thought of presumably intelligent-born and reasonably educated human beings to such extent?!

;-)

It's an interesting experience, though, to try to follow the dispute. :))

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Tue Nov 2nd, 2010 at 09:56:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WHat is the difference between ideologic axioms and religious ones.

Religious answers to policy questions also come from first principles - the religion's. Those are of course just axiomatic as your best ideology's and no more  gutfeelingly, but at least, they come from Up Above :))

(now if by chance what you call gut feeling is phrases of the type I Just Feel Jesus Loves Me, you would not find me loudly disagreeing here; I could just as well call gutfeeling the french union guy crying at the social regression as retirement age goes from 60 to 62 while life expectancy goes up 5 to 8 times more during the last 30 years;

 if OTOH this is about the existence of the spiritual string-universe, then just remember that was my starting hypothesis: I claimed this is the only difference between religion and ideology).

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Nov 2nd, 2010 at 07:33:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a comment to JakeS and yourself further down the thread.
by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 05:29:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The comment is further UP the thread.
by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 05:31:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Relative position depends on your display settings, which are found below all the comments.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 02:24:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To JakeS and ValentinD

JakeS:

I am talking about reconciling inconsistencies between your own values.

JakeS

So if I can offer a contradiction between what you claim are your values and what you offer as your policy prescriptions, then I have proven that at least one of the following is true: a) You have not presented your actual values honestly and completely. b) You have not presented your policy honestly and completely. c) You have made a mistake or an unexamined trade-off in deducing your policy from your values. d) I have made a mistake in my demonstration of a contradiction.

ValentinD

I have never discussed myself here btw.

JakeS identified ValentinD's ideology or something that consists of the absence of the same.
ValentinD clearly stated that he never discussed himself.
HOW can JakeS come up with conclusions about his set of values?

JakeS replies

Oh, but you have. You have claimed that you do not have an ideology. Which, as far as I can tell is perfectly true.
This is not, however, praiseworthy. It means that your values, as far as they have been presented here, appear to be a jumbled mess of shallow slogans and ad hoc policy recommendations, with no overarching narrative other than fitting within the Conventional Wisdom of the Serious People. The Serious People, on the other hand, do have an ideology. And by not developing an ideology of your own, you leave yourself vulnerable to adopting theirs by default.

JakeS draws back on values, a mindset, an ideology possibly adopted from other people.
How can he do that? He perceives ValentinD's SPIRITUAL dimension though there's no proof of what that would be nor was it specifically outlined by ValentinD.
JakeS "felt" Valentin's hidden layer, which is his soul in human - not cosmic - terms.

ValentinD

the big issue is whether there is a spiritual world or not. Or religions pretend it is unmeasurable; I could add, maybe it's a matter of scientifical progress. Before we thought thunder was sent by Zeus, so my supposition is not aberrant.

JakeS

Supposition is not aberrant, but it is unwarranted. Absent evidence of any consistent effects of the spirit realm, it is not reasonable to suppose that it exists. And absent any plausible mechanism for how the spirit realm works, it is not reasonable to suppose that it is a plausible explanation for any unexplained phenomena

JakeS is acknowledges that a spirit realm that doesn't provide evidence for consistent effects DOES NOT EXIST.

But he identifies ValentinD's "spirit realm (expressing in values etc) without any clear evidence.
It is of course possible to show effects both of ValentinD's values and of the spiritual realm at large. Since they are neither consistent nor measurable, it is hard/impossible to pin them down -

But THEY DO EXIST.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 05:26:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS identified ValentinD's ideology or something that consists of the absence of the same.
ValentinD clearly stated that he never discussed himself.
HOW can JakeS come up with conclusions about his set of values?

Because Val has a poor memory of previous discussions on the subject. He has, in fact, described his political philosophy in great detail before.

Now, that was some time ago, and it is possible that he has change his political philosophy since then. But it doesn't sound like it has changed in any way that is germane to this discussion.

JakeS draws back on values, a mindset, an ideology possibly adopted from other people.
How can he do that?

Because I have sufficient political schooling to work back from a set of policy recommendations to the principles that underpin them (or don't, as the case may be).

JakeS is acknowledges that a spirit realm that doesn't provide evidence for consistent effects DOES NOT EXIST.

No, I'm saying that it doesn't explain anything. Because if it did explain something, it would produce consistent effects.

But he identifies ValentinD's "spirit realm (expressing in values etc) without any clear evidence.

Not so. Val has previously made extensive policy recommendations. You may have forgotten, which is of course not a crime, but you participated in some of those threads as well.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 08:59:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS is acknowledges that a spirit realm that doesn't provide evidence for consistent effects DOES NOT EXIST.

No, I'm saying that it doesn't explain anything. Because if it did explain something, it would produce consistent effects.

I've just lost a long comment, oh well.

So, you're looking for consistent effects of the Spiritual. How about Planet Earth, the plants and the trees, its rotation, the mountains and the sea, the seasons, sun and moon, the animals and all those INTELLIGENT people!

Is that not some consistent effect? No? BANG!! and it was all there. Ah? That was just a "bang", a very big bang. ---

I say, that who we are is the most consistent effect of the spiritual of all. It doesn't matter that you attribute it to The Great Bang only because you cannot fathom it with your mind. The many `inconsistent' effects of the spiritual are Real but how insignificant are they only because you don't study them because you don't find them logic, because you want them provable. I assume that they're all logic and consistent. It's just that you haven't understood the underlying principles and mechanisms because there is a God who is Much Bigger than that which He created.

You're like a piece of carrot in the vegetable stew that believes it knows everything about gardening because it knows all the other veggies around. There are his friends leek and onion and sweet pea... and you protest as everyone's getting softer - and in the end you'll be eaten up. Such ignorance is the fate of the scientific materialist.

PS: Yes, I've forgotten the details of ValentinD's and your exchanges of the past though the nature of your argument looks familiar.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 10:03:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, you're looking for consistent effects of the Spiritual. How about Planet Earth,

Which part of Poincaré orbital mechanics and stellar evolution fails to convince you of their parsimony and applicability?

the plants and the trees,

Which part of the theory of evolution fails to convince you?

its rotation,

Which part of conservation of angular momentum do you find unconvincing?

the mountains and the sea,

Which part of tectonic plate theory did you find unconvincing?

the seasons,

Which part of Poincaré orbital mechanics did you find unconvincing?

sun and moon,

Which part of the theory of stellar evolution did you find insufficient?

the animals and all those INTELLIGENT people!

Which part of the theory of evolution do you have a problem with, again?

... and, more to the point, what testable predictions does whatever-it-is-you-believe make that are different from what science predicts, and how do you plan to test those predictions?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 10:11:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is just so incredible!!

And where's your theory of love?

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 10:44:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't have one. Neurobiology is rather poorly developed compared to any of the disciplines discussed above.

Love is, at the moment, simply an enjoyable empirical reality. Just as one does not require a theory of gravity to know that rocks fall when you drop them, one does not require a neurobiological understanding of love in order to experience it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 10:48:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can also experience nature and other people without any special theory.

We were discussing the ORIGINS of our existence. Evolution and the other theories cited may explain a lot but not WHY this huge surprise happened or WHO (if) made it happen. In this context, an explanation of love, is as needed as one that explains how what IS, materialised in the beginning.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 11:07:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We were discussing the ORIGINS of our existence.

No, we were discussing your evidence (or not) for the existence of a spirit realm.

Then you cited a string of exceedingly well-understood natural phenomena, for which stringing "goddidit" on the end of a perfectly adequate scientific model is unparsimonious as well as demeaning to God.

Then you cited a poorly understood natural phenomenon, for which stringing "goddidit" on the end of "we really don't know yet" is both unparsimonious and an excellent way of creating a way for future discoveries to disprove your claims about God.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 12:56:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CS Lewis warned about arguing that we can not explain X, thus god caused X. He called it the god-in-the-holes argument.

As I see it, it has two main flaws. The first is that at this pace of progress and expansion of scientifical knowledge it is very possible that an accepted scientifical explanation does exist for X. The second  - the one that is argued by Lewis - is that what you got is a god that will inhabit a shrinking space. Not very godlike.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 02:36:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And even if the space were not shrinking, it would still be demeaning to God to be placed within the confines of what we do not have a good scientific model for. Because in this day and age, that's a surprisingly narrow magisterium. We actually have quite a good handle on how the world works.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 at 04:52:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or otherwise said, the god figure is only an onthological issue, much like Freud's Surmoi. The true point of dissent between religions and ideologies is not the magical persons involved - those are human-kind representations of spirit, and we can decide later whether it is them who are fabricated by our psyche, or it is us who were created by them.
The true point of dissent is the actual existence of an ethereal, parallel dimension, call it heavens if you will; not the mystical figure of Jesus, Moses, Mohamed, Buddha, Amaterasu or whoever else. Those are ideal figures of ourselves. If there is a "spiritual" universe of which ours is just the hardback, then it may well be populated with beings who created us according to their appearance. If not, it is them who were created by our inborn need of heros, to personify and lend authority to our moral systems.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 10:06:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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