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DeathForBlitzkrieg
A Dead Man's Robe

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:23 pm
Posts: 2136
Location: Austria
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:53 pm 
 

caspian wrote:
1) Just read the bible and forget the rest.


caspian wrote:
[I've always felt Kierkegaard's Works of Love and Fear and Trembling to be absolutely stunning works of philosophy that have the advantage of being definitely christian, while still being fantastic works of philosophy that are very defensible and basically just being super logical, super rad things.


That's contradictory. Is there any reason not to read the collected utterances of Jesus, his followers and others before that (tell me, why don't you adore the Hebrew Bible?) like you read the works of Plato, Soctrates, Epicurus, Cicero, Seneca, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Satre, ..., ..., ...? There is no justifictation to regard any contributed discourse by any historical person higher than any other by default (e.g. the bible). Have you considered to study Christian theology, caspian? ;)
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Napero
GedankenPanzer

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 8558
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:11 pm 
 

I'd suggest the same as caspian. Read the bible, put some serious thought into it, and at >90% probability, you'll be an atheist when you finish it.
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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
Posts: 3867
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:20 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Nahsil wrote:
A sense of wonder

You don't need "spirituality" to experience this. At all.

Quote:
and maybe even the "oceanic" feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself that Freud talks about are not things for the weak and gullible.

Actually, they kinda are, at least in the way spirituality entails it.

Quote:
"Spirituality" doesn't have to be anti-reality or anti-critical thinking. "

By definition, it does. Sorry.

Expedience wrote:
I don't like Carl Sagan much. He's a good science educator but never steps outside the scientific paradigm to examine science and faith on their own merits, which means his belief in reason and logic as sources of truth is not much different from the religious faith he condemns. Every book of his I've read has said the same thing a hundred different ways.

That's because faith has no merit whatsoever as a source of truth. Science and logic prove themselves time and time again, whereas faith goes nowhere. Also, the whole "faith in science is the same as religion lol" meme is beyond stupid, the worse kind of false equivalence.


As I said, semantics.

"The term spirituality lacks a definitive definition,[1][2] although social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for "the sacred," where "the sacred" is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration.[3]"

Yes, the sacred, which has nothing to do with anything anti-reality. Even the 'experience of God' that people have during religious experiences, psychedelic experiences, whatever, is "within-reality" and "conforms" to natural law, it's just natural law that we don't fully understand. And before you respond with how that's anti-critical thinking, no, it's just that we don't fully understand how the human brain works, and no, I'm not using that as an excuse to come up with nutty metaphysical postulations. Obviously the 'experience of God' has nothing to do with any kind of external subject imposing or introducing itself to a human subject, but the *experience itself* is real and can be mapped based on neurophysiology, although the field of psychology of religion/spirituality/wonder/sacredness/transcendence/whatever you want to call it is young.

Spirituality is a metaphor, a linguistic (mis)label, for real, subjective human experience. And the "numinous experience" in all its varieties, whether they be connection with nature, a feeling of union with a monotheistic God, or others, are all fundamentally similar. The experience is real; the interpretation is problematic.

Also, I'd encourage you to read some philosophy of science. Empiricism has worth and I do agree that it correlates with and has some foundation in reality, but Kuhn's discussions about paradigms of scientific thinking are based on reality as well. Scientists think they're totally objective and "just observing the facts," but it's not that simple. Philosophical presuppositions will always color empirical and scientific observation, from WHAT they're looking for to HOW they're looking at it.
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Expedience
Veteran

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:22 am
Posts: 3767
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:32 am 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Expedience wrote:
Yes, valid provided we accept the metaphysical premises underlying them. Which is like saying Christianity is valid because truth is divine revelation, and the Bible's existence confirms the truth of God.

Not even close. Science and logic are the only paradigms that have proven themselves time and time again and that have contributed something worthwhile to human knowledge. Science is also the only methodology that is self-correcting in face of new emerging evidence.


It is self-correcting because it fits the new evidence within its own paradigm. It cannot do otherwise. It is impossible in a science experiment for nature to reveal itself in any other way than in scientific terms. So how can science be self-correcting? The frame of reference is fixed, and never questioned.

Nietzsche sums it up well:
Quote:
Whereas the man of action binds his life to reason and its concepts so that he will not be swept away and lost, the scientific investigator builds his hut right next to the tower of science so that he will be able to work on it and to find shelter for himself beneath those bulwarks which presently exist. And he requires shelter, for there are frightful powers which continuously break in upon him, powers which oppose scientific "truth" with completely different kinds of "truths" which bear on their shields the most varied sorts of emblems.


One of those powers could be the spiritual, which science has been reframing in its own terms for centuries.

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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 9806
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:03 pm 
 

Quote:
So how can science be self-correcting?

Because it always has been? :facepalm: A good example is the theory of humours vs germs.

Quote:
One of those powers could be the spiritual

"could be", worthless weasel words. You, nor anyone, has no way of knowing. Ergo, it's useless in terms of knowledge.
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Markeri, in 2013 wrote:
you can debate the actual date that metal began, but a fairly agreed upon date is 1969. Metal is almost 25 years old
Extreme_violence wrote:
Why Iron maiden is there? It's very far to be metal than a lot of some metal band.

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Expedience
Veteran

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:22 am
Posts: 3767
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:58 pm 
 

This discussion is turning into a series of misunderstandings, not surprisingly since the questions aren't simple. Nahsil is right, you really should read up on the metaphysics and philosophy of science. Kuhn is decent and more generally I recommend Heidegger's Introduction to Metaphysics and the essay Science and Reflection.

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Napero
GedankenPanzer

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 8558
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:21 am 
 

Yeah, I guess he has a philosophical point there, but eventually it boils down to science being the foundation of our way of living and the method we have achieved our current technological degree, and spirituality being that funny feeling.

We could run an experiment to see the value of each. Someone who thinks spiritualism or whatever is worth as much as or more than science, which Nahsil seems to think if you read his post with a skewed pair of eyes, goes a week without internet, cell phones, microwave oven, flights, a car, canned foods, electricity, AC, etc., and I could, as a proponent of science spend the same amount of time without communion, horoscopes, confession, prayer, tarot, monastery, fortune telling, anyone checking my aura and whatever, church/mosque/synagogue, and whatever you people see fit, and we'd see which one holds more practical value. Which, eventually, is what matters. You could perhaps try and guess which part of the experiment gets repeated every month.

I don't mind people having their own personal mumbo-jumbo, as long as it has zero effect on me. I've written that many times in the past here. But the fact remains, all ideas are not of equal value.
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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
Posts: 3867
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:05 am 
 

Personally, I find worth in "spirituality," and I think that it's an important psychological development in terms of evolutionary psychology (I wrote a fun paper on the evolutionary origins of religion/spirituality), but only forms that can find consonance with "empirical reality," because reason and intellect are important as well. Stuff like Taoism, like a lot of Hinduism and Buddhism.

I'm a pluralist so I tend to try to find the value in both sides of an issue whenever possible. Even crap like monotheism can have worth, as long as it's cleaaaaaaarly seen as symbolism/mythology.

Percy Shelley wrote that humanity's external and technological mastery had developed at a far faster rate than its emotional/intrapersonal/interpersonal development, and that's the core issue here for me. Whether you believe in humanistic values or not, and whether you agree with Stanislav Grof or not (he's pretty out there, transpersonal psychology is something I'd like to like but have a hard time swallowing):

"In the last few decades, it has become increasingly clear that humanity is facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions. Modern science has developed effective measures that could solve most of the urgent problems in today's world--combat the majority of diseases, eliminate hunger and poverty, reduce the amount of industrial waste, and replace destructive fossil fuels by renewable sources of clean energy. The problems that stand in the way are not of economical or technological nature. The deepest sources of the global crisis lie inside the human personality and reflect the level of consciousness evolution of our species." - Stanislav Grof

I'm not suggesting that "spirituality" is the only way to get people to be less shitty human beings, far from it, but I've actually reviewed psychological literature, multiple studies, that showed that people who'd had "religious experiences" on psychedelics tended to be more conscientious, less materialistic, etc. Those may not be valuable things to all of us, but they are to me. Also correlation and causation can get mixed up--maybe those hippie folks are the ones who gravitate toward taking psychedelics, but I think it's probably more than that. It has potential (the "numinous experience," not psychedelics, they just triggered a psychological phenomenon). Interesting research, I've got the studies if anybody's curious.

Nice wikipedia blurb about numinous experiences:

"Noted atheists Christopher Hitchens, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris have maintained that the idea is not necessarily a religious one and expressed their views on the importance of separating the numinous from belief in the super-natural.[2] For example, when one experiences awe and fascination with natural phenomenon such as majestic landscapes, night sky or deep appreciation of fellow human creations such as art and engineering marvels. At times like these a feeling of the numinous would be capable of overwhelming the mind and body, yet it would not necessarily to be interpreted as supernatural or of divine origin. According to these views, the very fact that one feels inspired by such encounters extends the depth of feeling of the numinous and makes accessible a real sense of humane solidarity with ourselves and with our natural world. Christopher Hitchens perceived a degree of absurdity in what he considered the cheapening of a real-world experience through divine dilution and the assumption that humanity is incapable of such depth of feeling without a super-natural cause. Hitchens maintained that the admiration of moral courage in others (often a powerful source of numinous feeling) would similarly be cheapened by the spurious use of 'divine permission'.[3]"

I'd agree. The religions and spiritual systems that I'm most intrigued by are really pretty secular in the sense of not endorsing nutty fairytale/supernatural stuff, and also tend to be congruent with empirical observation.

Sorry, I like this stuff.
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