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Micromegas

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About Micromegas

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  1. Micromegas

    Sydney Subs Still Standing

    This might interest you Freako:
  2. Micromegas

    Any Bible scholars around?

    Yes interesting about the trinity, but as I understand it all three parts represent one consubstantial thing, god and his place as the sole omnipotent being in the universe, whereas binaries belong to those of use who have suffered the fall and must deal with them in praxis, woe is us, god save us. Yes, look, I know very little about this but I would like to know more. I suspect there are some very important historical and contingent factors around the spread of monotheistic or Abrahamic religions, then the spectacular rise of Christianity, then some of its various branches (and of course its horrific effects as a colonial device). Something about the timing must have been right, the rise of farming was way back but certainly moving from hunting/gathering to cultivation must have been massive (as the genesis myth states - you must now tend to the land), Greeks had already transformed mythology into a historical and philosophical system so some abstract reasoning required to form representational statements was in place, Rome was expanding, Jesus may have been a very gifted historical personage. Once initiated in the form of monotheism, the idea of a supreme being is entirely enticing, you could almost not avoid having it as (in Kant's terms) a regulative ideal. Before the rise of science the mind would I suspect have been drawn naturally toward it.
  3. Micromegas

    Any Bible scholars around?

    Yes, good clarification. I would situate the genesis myth in the trajectory from the polytheism of mythology to the abstract representational systems of the Abrahamic religions, viz. monotheism. Monotheism has more chance of becoming dogmatic as opposed to the pure forms of mythology (not weaponised mythology like used by the Nazis). So the reprogramming required for a proper convert could be extreme since the monotheistic god claims all of experience founded on a concept of original sin. My suspicion is the adam and eve story is laying groundwork, predominantly for the age of theodicy, linked to ecclesiastical control. It also sets up basic binary oppositions not present in polytheistic religions, paradise/exile from paradise, man/woman, duty/freedom etc. But to get to the monotheistic god that claims all of what can occur, including the need to be redeemer of men, the narrative must first pass through the prism of mythology, since both historically and conceptually it was born out of an older mythological system: you could not go straight to a decree over men, call forth from them some obedience because of an original mistake, if you had not first established that man had 'fallen' and was in need of divine support, so a narrative in the form of a myth must be inserted, which replicates, but moves away from, the foundations of earlier religions. But the type of fall so prominent in adam and eve is simply not present in most of the world's mythology, nor the simple oppositions of binary thinking, esp. good and evil, though there are no doubt quite strict prohibitions on forms of behaviour in, for example, new world mythologies. I don't know because granted I am not a bible scholar (i'm certain however there would be extensive material on this), but the early myths of the bible are surely the framework for demonstrating god's omnipotence and what it is grounded on, man's need of Him, i.e. that god is the only one who could reconcile binary problems, especially that of good and evil that arose through the misdeeds of adam and eve. Having been convinced through a familiar literary device (the myth) that one has 'fallen', and having now entered an irreconcilably binary world, one would then look to some type of redemption or guide for clarification on how to live (which is what myth contributes to in all its forms), so the myth sets up the problem, solved by the godhead, later by the Holy Trinity, whose omnipotence is extracted out of the myth and then held over it as a representation of possible salvation. (It has become apparent to me over the last few years that binary thinking is massively problematic for 'programming', and equally impressive for corralling people into systems of thinking, and it surely is not merely a metaphor that computer programs run using binary code.) More prosaically the myth is simply another manifestation of the theme of culture from nature, which exists so fundamentally in myth, religion, and science, which must be just a natural problem for the mind to think up - but in monotheistic religion it is the concept that culture also meant an 'original sin' or loss of a state of innocence that can be so problematic for those indoctrinated but then seeking to get out of that situation. The gender thing is an interesting angle Cimi, but in the Islamic version, adam and eve share equal responsibility for being evicted out of the garden.
  4. Micromegas

    Any Bible scholars around?

    Like toby, i'm interested in problem here as well - are you trying to improve biblical exegesis or remove some type of 'programming' altogether? This is intriguing in its own right.
  5. Micromegas

    Gimli's Beezness

    epic man. a few years ago a bee saving man came a removed a colony from inside our wall, was super interesting (now another colony is forming in a different wall!). Are you saying a colony of bees was living on a lawn and you just lured them into a box? some of the photos make me feel quite strange to look at, alien world!
  6. Micromegas

    Check out what my neighbour has in her yard!

    Interesting. I don't think that's sausage but the fact that it terminates is unusual, maybe it got damaged in a heavy frost or something one year. That's a nice plant you have there. long form tbm is not in my entourage so I don't really know what it looks like, but that looks standard tbm to me (because of the spine clusters). should through a pup soon.
  7. Micromegas

    Check out what my neighbour has in her yard!

    that's an interesting plant. Could be a very well grown 'sausage plant' (which terminates like this one has done at the top of both columns), and the shade is giving it the really frosty look (in hard grown conditions it does not have that quality), but it might be something new. value? sausage plant is pretty common around the place, so maybe $100 bucks whole plant tops. But if it's something new and the frostiness is a trait and not a product of growing conditions, more, maybe $1 per 1cm... I am however leaning toward a shade-grown sausage plant.
  8. Micromegas

    Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

    first one looks like a different kind of mesembryanthemum which you get at nurseries, comes in purple, yellow and orange flowering varieties and though rampant garden plants (esp. purple variety) do no get into the bush much... second one looks about right but i wouldn't want to be guaranteed on for consumption. unlike the other m. the ice plant is a fairly widespread weed in coastal areas, just above tideline/foreshore dune area along many SA (and other Australian) beaches. also grows inland but very easy to find at the coast.
  9. Micromegas

    Feeling slightly stoned after smoking mopacho

    By mapacho you mean nicotiana rustica? It is of course used as a potentiating plant in the amazon to assist in the communication with other plants and their spirits. Placebo is an option. Or, mapacho is quite strong and is not normally inhaled, there's no reason it couldn't produce a more pronounced psychotropic effect than n.tobacum. Maybe smoking it straight let you see its effect unmediated by weed? 5-30mins is about right for the psychotropic effects of smoked very strong tobacco (30 mins on the long end).
  10. Sorry for taking a while to get back to this. I think at this point there is not too much I can add. Not because there isn't more to add but because I don't know exactly what that would be that wouldn't lead into more and more dialogue - which is not itself a problem but just a function of time and application. Truth be told, I appreciate your point of view and it matters not to me at personal level what sort of veracity it has, since I can see the reach of your insight and the quality of your personal integrity on the matter. Mostly I am impressed by your ability to see and to clarify the differences between out epistemic projects. I am a student working on a sort of, historical-critical philosophy of mythology, and I do that theoretically so yes I am more or less trying to do what you have stated under "WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO DO". What connection it has to my personal life is hard to discern at times and if I were pressed for an ontological position of my own I would have trouble to define one and I never grew up with one either in any respect. My entire project is to account for plural (life)worlds as each objectively constituted. This has to do with a long time I spent studying shamanism. The personal-psychological aspects of that tuition caused me untold problems which I have very slowly jettisoned, but the idea that what shamanism really constituted was a window into an alternate 'lifeworld' (say, for example, of the Amazonian Indians) remained always cogent for me, but to really understand that, in more than the spirtualised-mystic sense, requires an epistemological basis. This is why I turned, quite late, to philosophy, and reading philosophy properly has been a seminal moment for me. My general position is that we inhabit a 'world' of multiple or plural symbolic-sensual universes. These are not individual subjective universes but intersubjective forms (viz. cultures), each with its own objectivity and coherence, sets of principles, rules, laws, sensual experiences etc., but which all relate back to some fundamental and basic 'architectonic' or structural process (of human understanding). Taken together, these form a total horizon of knowledge. The question begins then, with: 'how does one have cognition of objects - 'what is the ground of that in us which we call representation to the object' - and ends with the plural expressions of contingent history. A 'transcendental' process becomes manifested in a time-and-space determination (here transcendental is not meant mystically, but indicates there are process relating to knowledge of objects that arise prior to and independent of empirical experience). The (empirical) time-and-space determination for all cognition at the most general, is 'nature' as systematic field of experience, but the functional schematic of what constitutes nature will alter according to the cultural-historic form through which it is manifest. Thus, nature is the product of God with a capital G (Abrahamic religions), nature is a composition of many gods with small gs (polytheistic religion, viz. myth), nature is a product of evolution of physical processes (scientific materialism), nature is a cycle of suffering/Samara (bastardized Eastern rendering) and so. These can be broken down into ever smaller intersubjective groups (nature is the product of Mohammad, nature is composed of the Greek pantheon specifically, the universe is heliocentric, etc.)... Nature is always historically over-determined; we could never say what it really is. But at the same time nature must always be approached through one or the other of these forms such that we could have social practice (life itself). This is at the heart of it, my concern about atheism, which holds a firm proposition (there is no god) to be true, over against what I see as a plural universe (of actual, not merely imagined, sensual-symbolic forms), in addition to philosophically determined limits to what can be known absolutely: no single form could be absolute and we have no access to that sort of knowledge (of the realm of pure, unmediated objects). So ultimately my position is about understanding the ground of the relation to objects and how this emerges in history - of which myth I believe is perhaps the most critical target to understand - and is fundamentally about tolerance. If there were a single light which could shine pure truth it has long been refracted into many colours through the trajectory of history and culture. ... This thread popped up during an intense period of ideation for me. My position is neither complete nor properly articulated and this will take some more considerable time and researching; it would not be hard to throw spanners into what I have written above, since it is a sound-bite that elides a significant body of an incomplete total philosophy. It is a theoretical project which I consider, in which my own personal orientation is very hard to denotate. This is an unusual and often uncomfortable situation to be in but this ironically a product of my personal experience, that I would unwittingly experience multiple life worlds within my own subjective field (so be careful what you ask for, kids). For what it is worth, I appreciated the opportunity to write some stuff down because there were parts of my ideas I needed to work through and some areas of significant deficiency which have be shown to me, which is great (there was on here some years ago a thread entitled 'what is god'. At this time I made a massive, 7,000 word post about 'what is god', which I have since removed, I think you were peripherally involved in that thread. I was largely but not entirely wrong at that time, but more to the point, I had a very negative and cynically-oriented philosophy. But that post represented the start of an intense process for me and this perhaps fits into that general trajectory; I would say, this process is yet to really mature)... I could not possibility go back now and address all the points that have been brought up, since I am working on many of them independent of what I am writing here and it would be too difficult to express it in this particular medium, and, certainly, I do not yet have the expressions I need to be clear about it, which is to say, there are errors and problems that will need to be resolved. But anyway, again, I appreciate the effort you made to articulate and be clear about your position. It was quite interesting to see 'logical atheism' thought out in detail. You have said many interesting and insightful things. Do I think it is philosophy in the technical sense, no, but it is a well articulated and consistent personal philosophy for sure. And, awesome mate, not to lose sight of the 'soft' stuff!
  11. That's quite good. Quite remarkably, I think the problems, similarities, as well as the notable gap between our "philosophical" thinking is clear enough to be productive. I have a rejoinder; but I also have to spend some time digging up leaking septic system with a small excavator > some existential shit.
  12. I had more of a think about this. I think we got a bit stuck on the words “dogmatic” and “atheism”. I put that line in my original post as a hook, intentionally, I knew I’d regret it! Truthfully I don’t think you are “dogmatic”. You have a firm position on the (non)existence of god, which is to hold to something surely, is in a technical sense dogmatic, but to hold you to this technicality would be pedantic on my part. Instead, I will admit it is generally a sound critical position that you have, being based on scientific materialism (despite your claim that it isn’t), where you have also integrated, although not new thoughts about the function of religion, at least thoughts that you appear to have come to through your own critical thinking. Many of those thoughts you have on religion I tend to agree with and are critically valuable, some are soundbites, others could not be substantiated in argument (I’ve tried with some of those), and are basic opinions. For me, the existence or not of god is one of the most problematic and least helpful philosophical questions, precisely as you say, because the notion “god” is so poorly defined and serves so many different functions. It is at least conceivable, I think, that there isn’t a god, and that one might base a philosophical system on this notion. This works precisely because you can, as you have shown, semantically translate the concept “god” into some other functional entity that is easier to deal with. This new entity, loosely defined, is easy enough to justify out of existence. So personally I kept up the pedantic argument because I didn’t appreciate the tone of you last post and for argument’s sake, but theism/atheism is not, I believe, the most fruitful area of debate (again, because of the semantic contamination is you will), and we ought not to get too stuck and I ought not to be too pedantic about the word “dogmatic” and "atheism". Roughly, I can accept your logical atheism as a somewhat critically held position. But this is not all, of course, for god is the least of the philosopher’s trouble. An articulated system must deal with these following questions, which are similar to the god/no-god debate but actually far more perplexing. A number of these questions show up the boundary of what cognition can have as an object of knowledge much more clearly than god ever could. I have arranged them into two groups: those I believe philosophy/humanity can answer, and those which I believe it cannot. So “logical atheism” being a philosophical system which has erased “god”, but can it also account for the following: CAN ANSWER OR RESOLVE What is time What is space How is the continuity or unity of self maintained in the span of an individual life Does the universe have a beginning or is it infinite Does the universe have a boundary Is matter infinitely divisible or is there an absolute simple substance What is the structural and historical relationship of mythology (to religion) to science Why does nature obey laws What constitutes objectively valid judgements CAN’T ANSWER, CAN RESOLVE What is consciousness Does the unity of self continue into a another form of experience not related to bodies as such (is there an afterlife) To round it out, the most import of these for our god/no god debate are those about the boundary or the beginning of the universe (and potentially that about the afterlife). For it is absolutely impossible (in my personal critical position) to conceive of an infinite or a bounded universe: the mind simply cannot work this out and obtain a stable position choosing one of these two options. But there is a resolution to this antinomy which I stated earlier and why I put it in the “can answer” section. To hold that the universe had a beginning or was infinite would be to be dogmatic (in the soft, technical sense), rather than critical, because actually this “problem” does not allow either outcome. If “god” were semantically precise I believe it would be a question of this type, with a resolution through critical epistemology and not through inference (which is how you have obtained your position). However, I think with semantic translatability and the general weakening of the religious traditions, the non-existence of god is far easier to conceptualise than, say, the beginning of the universe or its infinity, and therefore could be the basis for a conceptual system or model. Anyway, I am not expecting answers to these, that would take far too long. I just wanted to tie off saying, I can see the elements of critical thinking in your logical or radical atheism (materialism), and that it is not really dogmatic but only technically so, and I was being pedantic for reasons of my own. But what I mean by critical epistemology is that one cannot think only about god but must also be able to tackle questions like those above, develop them into a unified system, and this has to be somewhat complicated simply to be accurate. I’m nowhere near to completing this project myself and may never be, my field of research is actually mythology, how it appears in cultural forms, its historical contingency and its functional architectonic and constitutive role in experience. Now, I could not think at all critically about mythology if I reduced it to “just fairy tales” and little did I anticipate studying mythology would demand an answer to such questions as: does the universe have a boundary. But, truly, it does! God, or gods (polytheism) and their actuality (or not) is necessarily involved in there too.
  13. There are some good points in there. I am familiar with these lines of thinking as general products of reflective thought. Whether through inattentiveness or poor use of expression on my part, overall you misinterpreted what I said to such a degree it would take excessively long to explain it in a different and perhaps more intelligible way. On the point of dogmatism, it is quite simple. The idea that god definitely does not exist is dogmatic according to the definition. You say multiple times you definitely know god does not exist and you're defensive about it which gives some clue to its substantive nature for you. I don't accept or reject the existence of god (it actually doesn't matter to my philosophical system) and Kant's transcendental idealism says nothing about things being an illusion or humans having a lack of objective knowledge. His entire corpus really was about knowing when we have cognized our experience objectively and the particular human form this cognition takes. It is a common misrepresentation to equate transcendental idealism with skeptical idealism (the form of idealism you take affront with), and sure the terminology is confusing, but Kant went to great lengths not to be a skeptical idealist and equal lengths not to be a materialist/empiricist. This blend of two diametrically opposed philosophical systems is what makes his philosophy so rewarding but also so difficult to grasp initially, since most people are in either of the two camps (you are clearly a materialist, which I admit is a defensible position in many important respects). The Neo-Kantian Marburg school went one step further and gave secure grounds (I believe) to non-scientific thinking so long as its knowledge claims can be demonstrated to conform to structural laws and have a substantive basis, which myth, at least, certainly does. There are many truthful judgements we can make about reality, but the absolute existence or not of god simply is not one of them, for how could this ever be given as an object of intuition constituted objectively? Ultimately it is easy to have metaphysical opinions, almost everyone does. It is reason's vocation to have higher ideals like god or the systemicity of nature, and these ideas act regulatively and prompt further opinions of varying types depending on the original position of the thinker (and they also act regulatively in building up a greater knowledge of the revealed systemicity of nature, such that science discovers many undeniably objective and actual a posteriori facts about nature, or taxonomic classification according to myth, which has cohesiveness according to principles etc.). Collections of opinions are important but ultimately (if one wishes to think critically), it must be asked: how are these to be grounded in such a way that it might be said one has arrived at sound cognition? Your opinions are sophisticated and contain genuine insight in places, but are they grounded in a critical epistemology? ("logical atheism", viz. materialism, I admit is somewhat close but would lack rigor i suspect if you really attempted to justify such claims as "There are no outside entities", "archaic memories", "God is just a character of some mythologies", " just fairy tales", "Perhaps religion exists as a function of our brain" using logical atheism as the theoretical ground - you would end up with a loose collection of opinions you derived from a personal certainty there isn't a god. These are, my friend, rather elementary thoughts, despite the personal intelligence and alacrity it took to have them. It matters not for now exactly which are likely to be correct and which are not: it needs to be kept in mind what would be the substantive basis of such claims if one really tried to express them as more than an opinion.) It's quite obvious to me most people find my approach disagreeable since everything must be put through a reducing valve for what can count as objectively constituted knowledge, and true there is an element of complexity. This ultimately is a response to slowly asking the question of myself, what is actual or not in the visionary state, for some parts were surely actual and others not, and on these grounds I am neither a skeptical idealist or a materialist. No doubt this can make me a poor conversationalist! But don't be scared of complexity. Unnecessary and poorly thought out complexity I agree is a problem, but while even the most complex system can be reduced to a metaphor, meme or soundbite, the groundwork usually will need to contain a methodological and cogent complexity. Think what you would really need to do to make "God is just a character of some mythologies", which is a provocative thought (and to which accuracy I make absolutely no comment, for that is not what is at stake here), into a demonstrated theoretical proposition and not merely a dogma (unsubstantiated knowledge claim).
  14. I use the word "dogmatic" above in the soft sense (without political or other agendas attached). You definitely believe there is no god. (btw Richard Dawkins wrote a whole book about the "god" particle and it attained a general level of popularity a few years back. I would go so far as to say the "god particle" is a modern meme) Now, personally I like your overall approach and it seems oddly familiar in a number of respects, both in our life trajectories and our way of thinking, but if you believe that god absolutely does not exist then you have obtained a dogmatic position, and you are accepting on faith what cannot be demonstrated to knowledge. I say this because I hold, broadly, to Kant's system of transcendental idealism. In this system god is merely an "idea of reason" which is regulative for what we find in experience (e.g. nature by design, teleology, or moral imperatives). Man's search and belief in the systemicity of nature is also an "idea of reason" that regulates our search for universal laws of nature; but nature is not a "thing in itself" and like god its complete systemicity could never be given to knowledge. Constitutive of experience are the forms of "pure sensibility", time and space, which do not inhere in external objects but are a priori sensible forms that provide humankind with the ability to be receptive to sensory impression. Once we have obtained sense impression in time and space (matter) we subject these to the constitutive a priori concepts (properly, categories) of the understanding (form), being those of causality, succession and simultaneity in time, extensive and intensive magnitude in space (mass and degree), number and so on. In this way the human comes to cognize objects of experience: tree, chair, triangle etc. according to concepts and manifested in time and space (or with the potential to be, e.g. the empirical concept of "triangle") This is very shorthand but it has two critical aspects: (1) we can have no absolute knowledge of things-in-themselves (noumena) but are always within the world of appearance (phenomena) (i.e. humans are locked into certain knowledge constraints. There may be beings that intuit objects directly but we are not one of those); (2) what constitutes objectively valid knowledge must be an "object of possible experience", which is to say, one must be able to, at least in principle, make the thing an object through the application of concepts within the field of sensibility. Whatever falls outside this phenomenological zone is an ideal or idea of reason and can in no way be substantiated in experience (of cognition) (but continues to have a powerful regulative role). Both god or the non-existence of god fall into this category of being a mere idea, because you can never make this an possible object of experience in the same way you can a tree or triangle. The same is true of the soul, immortality, and the four cosmological ideas: the world is either infinite/finite (has a boundary/has no boundary), has a beginning/has no beginning, has a cause/has no cause, all things are made of simple parts/everything is further divisible (there is no simple part). Now Kant makes some important attempts to resolve some of these antinomies that are revealing in their own right, and particularly in the finite/infinite antimony I believe he demonstrates that we have access only to phenomena and never the noumena: "If the world is a whole existing in itself, then it is either finite or infinite. Now the first as well as the second alternative is false (according to the proof offered above for the antithesis on the one side and the thesis on the other). Thus it is also false that the world (the sum total of all appearances) is a whole existing in itself. From which it follows that appearances in general are nothing outside our representations, which is just what we mean by their transcendental ideality". The overall point here is that the world being finite or infinite could never be an object of cognition (in the same sense a triangle can be), so to hold one of those positions would be dogmatic rather than critical of what we are able to objectively know or cognize. This is why I find dogmatic atheism to be a strange position for a polyglot: for one cannot prove or disprove the existence of god according to the limits of knowledge, thus remains an object of faith alone, so to hold this position to me indicates there is yet more you would need to think about in your philosophy. Now I want to take up your idea of "religious spirituality" and points 1. and 2. in the previous post, which I will now gloss as "culture". Kant provides a rigorous and I believe unsurpassed (if not contradictory in places) critique of knowledge in the Critique of Pure Reason, but those in the Noe-Kantian Marburg school said well, a philosophy of knowledge, yes, but now we need a philosophy of culture. Kant was concerned primarily with scientific knowledge, then morality (second critique), then aesthetic judgement (third critique). But what about the various cultural or structural forms, say monotheistic religion, myth, art? What if these have different ways of constituting objects? Could god become real or not real in a relative sense depending on the constitutive forms one was using to process sensory material? And in my own line of thinking, is there a way to fully hypostatize spiritual ideas into concrete objects such that other non-scientific forms would meet Kant's second postulate: "that which coheres with the conditions of material existence, is actual"; so a "god" could be an actual phenomenological object, say for example, during a ritual event... this much i think needs to be allowed (which is a hangover from shamanic studies for sure). Now, I have not followed this line fully yet and and I'm just starting to gather the material on this point, so I have to break off here. But the point of this last is to suggest that perhaps it is possible that religious forms do have a method of constituting religious ideas as actual objects of experience. But to get to this point I think one must first still reduce our entire cognitive experience down to the field of appearances and this puts inherent limits on what one can know absolutely. This world of appearances becomes a malleable field. Here, I find the best approach is to take at face value what people believe but then apply a critical approach to knowledge in general: when is this "fact" objectively valid? It would appear to me that relative theism or atheism can be constitutively valid when the position has been worked out according to laws applied objectively, but yet, philosophically, never dogmatically proved as absolute; indeed never dogmatic of anything, because the dogmatic leads one into antinomies (by contrast I essentially believe that two things can be true at the same time). The philosophers task ought to be, rather, to resolve antinomies. To put it differently, how is a definite belief in the absence of god serving your critical thinking? It's a complicated discussion for sure which I believe has to do with the structure of knowledge, and never with absolutes like the existence or non-existence of god, which could never be proved (except in the cultural, relative sense). Like I said, I appreciate your general approach and well considered position.
  15. I enjoy the rants also. and agree, the "ending" was top notch (from 2). some parts of that trajectory sound remarkably similar/familiar. the dedication to dogmatic atheism is curious for a polyglot.
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