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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 ]

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