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sagiXsagi

Perfecting the art of being offensive to make a point

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****this is propably gonna be an experimental and drunkey way to blow some steam - I have done it before, to open up in a psychoanalytical way in SAB crowd. cheers to all the old- timers here. ******

 

I am not sure where exactly this starts for me. But I suppose that it begins when I realise the world is full of shit. For example I remember me praying to god, lol, honestly, cool stuff.. I am amazed I remember. a hardline atheist would not tell you - he would supress and forget. not me. I cant cheat.  If you become an atheist in ~12 like me, you have to make up a different system of thought.. Like Bukowski said, us atheists - and I say especially us early bloom atheists - we have to answer the "big questions" outselves, as there is none metaphysical reality except the individual reality for the radical atheist.. 

 

Yeah It propably started with atheism- or something aroung there.. My lawyer dad said I should become a lawer and he had various tricks to escape when I argued passionately aboutr a subject.  Also in the same time, or a bit later , I was regarded a raver in my school. I had by then made a scheme to create an image to project to the school enviroment.. I was the kid that drew rave symbols with modelist paint on his Doc Martens and had a generally cool but awkward presence... I realise now I realised from early on that if you act in a strange way but support it, or in some way, justify it, then you have got your audience, peoples attention... 

 

atheism was propably a full time job for me back at some point .. I was a shy boy. especially around girls and even more if I liked them... my debating skills that I never stopped developing was the ever present path of what it was for me to become such a character...  ~13 then... when all of your friends in the neibourhood are christian believers and you are a great rhetor, then I think I only did the obvious, used my skills to challenge the existence of god and by that I grew my first bit of social confidence . And I did a fucking good job right there 13 year old with kids of the same age with me - without ever reading a debunking-encyclopedia of stupid scientifists..  me and simple logic arguements.. 

 

so there I am realising that I can be the center of attention, even with lots of girls present, when I took on a debate about the presence of god! This forms a base of how you can provoke reactions from somebody if you challenge some soft spot of his. I realised people had soft spots. Religion was on of them... 

 

Later still a teenager I made an "old looking voodoo box"  and planted it in a spot in the neibourhood so the religious grannies found it and be freeked.. it happened.. lots of gossip - the materials ended up to the local priest supposedly to exorcise them !!

 

All these hapen while I have no fucking idea of what dada, surrealism, situationists are, I am 14 year old but I have developed a style which changes as I am teenager. 

 

Through rave music I have developed a taste for dark and the weird even back there. I had also developed an interest in psychoactive substances and mainly ecstacy, as the rave songs I was listening to were refering to this kind of shit.  So I am at a point where I am more interested in ecstasy at 14 than pot and nowhere near to really try and find or get to it.. It was later at 17 y.o. when I first smoked pot. 

 

I never realised how this controlled burst offensive manipulation system is a life long work, and how it developed as a defense to my social shyness... I am 39 now and only the recent years I came to untwirl it. It was never a conscious decision to be cynic and badass rhetor and to debate people so as they let up their defences... But it fucking happened..  

 

So gradually I am becoming the most perfect trolling machine long before it was an internet term.  after 15 I am startin having the first complaints I was too much sarcastic -from my friends. This never stopped. I talked a lot with my friends but as some points I was harsh and cynic bastard.. Maybe I was starting to get tired of bitching about how unfair life was to people that didnt do anything to try to change it.... 

 

I never paid really attention to the people arround me telling me about me being sometimes very rude offensive. I knew I was - I suppose I thought I was mostly right to be like that... I was a person people - my friends- knew they could come to me and talk...   A couple years ago a long time friend , told me "man, watch it , you might get beaten by some random guy you argue"  and I told him " its lots more possible to get beaten by someone I know"  .. the same guy, my friend, some years ago, in a gathering, in a drunk mode, he said to me: you know whats cool about you ?? you might be nuts and weird yourself, but you're the dude that anyone can come and start a serious conversation about anything... 

 

I have propably lost this over the years.. I am so fiercefully agressive, that people are scared of me. A couple years ago I made some jokes about it - but in the present I am not finding this very funny: people being scared of you because of what might come out of your mouth... It might be 'funny' because this kind of behaviour is causing situations to happen, and I knew I am a humanist and only argued about stuff, so I did not think it was such a big of a problem - especially when it was the characteristic that was a sceleton of my growing character...  and, why hide it, it was one of the main internal powers that made me "cool" . it was real , I owned it, and it made an impact on people so why the heck would I think it is a bad thing ? 

 

fast forward to present, I have interpreted this shis in many ways,  including my natal astrological chart - I always missed the long time friends that slowly were becoming more distant to me due to this behaviour and my whole behvariour - but I was well awere I knew about it , some had warned, I was aware that friends can become more distant for no particular reason - so there you go I had none to blame from my self for my friends gradually getting away.. I was not particularly bitter though - because I knew they all had a point!   I didnt think I was right in the harsh behaviour. I just developed a thing for completely rejecting the notion of "remorse".. its propably a radical atheist thing. I never believed in it and I still think like that. remorse is a theological term and a radical atheist cannot pay attention to this shit.  

 

the whole context of remorse never made sense and it doesnt make sense for a hard atheist. you cannot turn the time back except from these awesome timeline-shift sci-fi movies, hehehe... 

 

I guess I had a notion for getting things to the extreme - my parents were always mild people, my mom very critical of her mom, a strange suicide hidden also in the mom part of the family that only one seemed to care about when I learnt it was a suicide... 

 

A good, suburban lets say home from southern greece... my father is a romantic and very sensitive guy.. later - ratehr recently I learnt we have a cultivation thing in the family tree... cant imaging why my parents didnt tell me earlier, not even when I started to try to become a plant grower part- time. 

 

Things is - I am soon becoming 40, this sagittarius x sagitarius , I am still the same deal. Its not really important when I had my psychedelic awakening and epiphanies but the start was done in around 20 y.o.  I will always remember when I returned home after the first blotter trip I had .. It had gone bad for 3/5 of the company,  half a blotter each, that must have been super potency, 3 of us had a bad trip and us 2 that were into it thought it was pretty strong, (of course the bad trip and mood of the other 3  affected us when were were all 5 together in the tali of the experience) ... I returned to my hometown and was somewhat uptight- I remember how we ate with bg apetite, and talked with my parents that day, this hadnt happened ever before, to talk for so long in the mature way...before we had much conflict , we could not make a decent dialogue - maybe I was too much of a punk in the mentality???  my first acid use then is a bookmark for the type of communication I had with my parents, I reguarly shared almost all kinds of stuff, except the overly obcsene... I can say that other things might play a role in such a thing, but that 1st one time, yeah, it had one definate good result: it made me wanna communicate with my parents.. perhaps other people as well.. 

 

 

Some people talk about large doses - some people have told me in past - in this forum that I am a pussy that I didnt take enough.  well I nver believed in "if in doubt double the dose"  because it depends on the type of doubt.. 

 

I really believe in the "if you get the message , hang up" thing, though ... 

 

I think I have reached the end of this ramble...  but I will end it aboslutely egocentric.

 

WIth the danger of being taken as a manic shcizophrenic 

I really thing I am a unique individual in a series of ways 

I will try to express it.. please remember that my natal chart is full of fire signs, aries, leo, and of course sagittarius... also scorpio, pisces, virgo, carpicorn... 

 

0. I was born mid/low class, and my life had been quite fine. Contrary to lots or most of my friends to want to try psychoactives, I was not en escapist. It did not ever feel that I took drugs to cope with reality.. it was mosty curiocity. when we did start to smoke pot, their escapism both annoyed me and affected me negatively. When we had a wonderful experience last day, all friends smoking, the next they they were bitching "we dont have any pot today, damn, etc"  . I was not like that . But it gets to you after some time... that how laws fuck up the intake of a perfectly safe plant compound. .. by making illegal and a myth... 

 

 

 

1. its unique I think, I at 40 tend to be the same strange- the same kind of strange you were younger only more experienced  - I dont seem to have changed - it seems I am still a punk, in the "punk - being yrself" vain of course, as I was never a 'proper' dressed punk. its not really usual to have such a strong sense of honesty and cynicism above all , and then delve in philosophical subjects even in the most extreme examples of huma behaviour.  I am not the same kid that first watched Hellraiser II at 14  with the volume almost at 0 because because I was fucking blown by what I was seeing - but I had to watch it!   Remember my parents were the types that talked polite and shyed away from most controversy - my dad was more a people's guy though , I copied - I think several phrases he said to people in restaurants and cafes.  what I am trying to say is that I am the same kid I was in 15, the dude at 20, 21, 22, 25,  28,  32, 36, and now yeah... only now I know a lot of stuff I didnt know before...  stuff have happened.... but I am the exact continuity of what I was before.. A fucking curious kid that ecentually wanted to learn about it all. 

 

yeah yeah... I dont have a girlfriend these days nor a kid. so I am relatively free. 

 

2. I had it in my mind for years , that becoming a homo universalis, that is a person with a greater encyclopedian knowledge that is not limited to a single gnostic clade.. I didnt really tried to become that , I only thought that indeed this is the most awesome thing to be, to make an all-around worldview.  There's an an awesome saying "careful where you look to, because you are going to go where you look"  or something like that.. Well it seems that becoming a homo- universalis was not an easy thing to do - if you try to do it in philosophy, I mean to find the core of it all, it is so fucking diffucult- especially if you have not a lot of life experience!  but I tried it and was fierceful... 

 

So I was always bold about stuff I was into , and I am really thinking I am really fucking close to what you would call a H.u.  - and I am only 39, huh??  heheh man, lots of egoism in my personallity, so glad I am super sagittarius so I can be as sarcastic I want to my own egoism. 

 

I dont think I am great. I think I am a great philosopher!   

thats my philosophical motto - because most people think that philosophy is knowing history of philosophy - philosophy for me is loving to getting to know. being curious about stuff.. really wanting to know... and - to me- philosophy is not something you read, but its something you do 

 

so yeah, I think being or tending to be a homo universalis means you really want to know about how things work. all around. not only a single field 

 

 

3. I am so fucking honest - pathologically honest. There must be something into it. I mean biological.. I mean body giving me chemical gifts because I persue knowledge - or maybe its just egotistical make belief that flows the chimical - point is, honesty is something I believe... I dont believe in much else... Most people dont care about truth, but some of us rare ones might be truth fetischists . You might think -again - I am a schizo, but I quite believe I am one of the most fucking objective people on earth... the most objective you would ever get to know in an average life.... too fucking objective...  

so there it goes - where's the line?? and whats the score with those that still dont understand and promote big doses with classic psychedelics... ?

 

it cant be done with psychedelics... psychs dont say shit - unfortunately, the people that should take it dont, so we are not doing much in the "cause" 

 

psychedelics - and life itself- is about an equilibrium. you dont take psychs for simple thrills, not if you're wise..

 

I have thought about all of these shit so much, and now 

I am interested and knowledgable about a bunch of other things 

thing is

 

I am just an idiot 

and life is a path 

 

its the only one!! and the point is you must be able to hold to moments.

life is moments 

 

lucidity, consciousness, etc, big deal... what do you want?  you want big enlightment?? 

start with your selves . dont be afraid to get to the thing that hurt you. 

 

things that hurt us shape us

 

not everyone is ready to come up to the big debate about existence! 

then again I am a lucky one who speaks on the safe side.

 

humanity is a circus. I am just a clown 

follow what is within and develop it 

build on what you're good at,

then reflect 

 

ciao and peace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I like your rants sagi.

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hehe, its definately intensively honest, so that's always interesting. One might think I am a narcissist , but its a risk I am willing to take :)

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nice 'ending' :)

 

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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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On 24/08/2019 at 3:26 PM, Micromegas said:

 

the dedication to dogmatic atheism is curious for a polyglot.

 

I can definately argue that I am not a dogmatic atheist, I am so different to the usual types of atheist you might think of.  But I like to define my self as a radical one. A la douglas adams. Things that separate me from your typical and often dogmatic atheist are: 

 

1. I dont believe all religions are the same, I dont believe religions (any religion) is necessarily harmful. Its often a helping hand in the human's existential crisis, I get that. Some religions, I like more, in the vein they are 'truer' , while others I dont like at all. 

2. God needs a defininition. If god is earth, the whole,  the individual, even... the truth, then count me it - I might decide I am a theist too!   

3. I oppose scientifism, the atheist typical dogma, replacing religious with scientific dogmatism. 

4. I am not anti-theist or anti-god. I might used to be when a teenager, but not really after being 20  years old. 

etc.

 

Anyways, I understand how theists (and even agnostics) can have difficulty grasping the notion of atheism, having difficulty to accept a person is so definately rejecting of any god notion. I get it.  You cannot understand how it is to live and grow up without god from a young age (I believe its also very difficult to someone who decides to become an atheist at age 35 or 40 or 55).

 

So my dedication is not to "atheism" , but to truth, my truth, that is. I couldnt be an agnostic even if I wanted. Living without god is the only way I know. But contrary to most atheists, I regard myself really open to religion and what it means for our species and origins and future. I am still interested in this, this debate hasnt ended, in fact its one of the most exciting + important things that happened in our species: making up religion-like  social constructions. 

 

So there you go, where the fuck do you find such an openminded type of atheist mentality? I think I am more open minded to religion than most theists, and contrary to the super-atheist, I claim to understand what's the use and need of religion by humans. 

 

Anyways, this can be a long discussion and we can make it if you like. 

 

But I am also interested in the statement "the dedication to dogmatic atheism is curious for a polyglot." - why do you think those things are related? language and atheism/dogmatism? 

 

 

 

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re-reading my rant (sorry for the mistakes) I recognize there's a definite anti-religious tone in some of the text...  but dogmatic atheism? nope, the dogma of many atheists  is scientifism, which I opposed hence I am not the type easily liked in atheist circles. the right word is radical - radically atheist. there's no god. there's only a religious spirituality thing in our brain. its strange not more people talk about this "god module" .  Monotheistic religion?  I dont like at all. 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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My friend you are complicating things needlessly. People learn to recognise notions and concepts by imitation and comparison. That is the basic machanism way we preceive and interpret life experience. 

 

Its not by chance that every kind of idealism (basically a form of religion itself)  more or less reject many of the basic characteristics that make us human beings, like the importance of individuality, talents, our animal nature, the notion of objective reality.  Religious idealists, Marxists, Anarchists, Ecologists, Humanists, many of those people have forgotten the ideas they supposedly represent and have turnt it in a dogma. 

 

And you are saying I am dogmatic because I state "your imaginary friend definately doesnt exist?". Come one, this has been argued so much - I was doing that stuff when 13-14. Why should anyone disprove crazy ideas? Religion exists, its a historical phenomenon. Gods do not. How am I dogmatic? would you be dogmatic to say a fictional character with supernatural qualities from a fair-tale does not exist? would it be dogmatic to say film superheros do not exist and are fiction? That's exactly what God is. Fiction. 

 

I dont know if this has anything to do with the trend of using quantum physics to make up philosophical bullshit, but many idealists, theists, new-agists etc ALWAYS want to say something along the lines "nothings exists. what we observe might be a lie, objective reality does not exist. What we perceive with our senses is an illusion" . You know the drill you make several of these type of claims in your post. But you know making false and illogical claims like these dont make me a dogmatic..  I am just a materialist. From where I am watching you talk, you are the one that rejects the notion of reality and logical intelligence to leave room for your transcedent spirituality. 

 

How can you parallel the natural world which we study and understand in pretty much unique ways today, and some of it we understand quite well, there have been amazing breakthroughs in science the last 10 years, and we know more than ever about ... well almost everything, how can you parallel natural history and natural sciences (the hardest sciences)  with the "taxonomy of gods and religions" ? Dude this is so wrong. 

 

Anyways, I can dig this term, transcedence or transcedent spirituality. Sorry I am not getting into this philosphical jargon more, but to be honest, I dont really see some point there. It sounds like mumbo jumbo to me. Like some people that try to play it philosophical and try to tell you "maybe we can pass through a wall.... maybe the wall isnt there.... because..... quantum physics " :P 

 

We should be talking about WHAT is god in its millions of different definations. We should be talking about what role proto-religion played in the formation of civilisation. 

 

I get why people need to be theists. I get it, but I dont need to. It seems I was lucky on this. You think I am losing my critical ability, that I am dogmatic because I am certain in what god is and what isnt. You know what? Dawkings claimed we cannot be sure about the non-existance of god, and that its scientifically innapropriate to claim it with certainty. Dawkings said this because he is a dogmatic himself and an extreme scientifist. He believed that absolute claims are wrong scientifically. Of course this became a meme in the atheist community because many atheists which didnt regard Dawkins a prophet of truth were strongly opposing this ridiculous notion. Who? Dawkins, one of the most known hardline atheist!!  What a funny world! 

 

So I get why people need to believe in god. I get why most atheists need to replace religion with scientifism. I get why many neo-atheists (people that became atheists later in their lives) can be on the fanatic side. You know why? I think its because they are angrier. They feel cheated and oppressed by the notion of God and religion in general. They spent too much time believing in this crap. 

 

Anyways, the notion that "we cant know anything" you are trying to argue doesnt seem like its trying to illuminate things. If all our perception and objective-subjective reality is a lie, then what's the point to argue at all? if everything is nothing and something might be nothing or everything , then there is no meaning at anything. We need an individual point of view to calibrate our "system" of perception and analyze. 

 

Natural history, geology and biology tell us a different story. We are in the position to argue where and how life on the planet started. We are in the position to have great insights about the origins of out own species. We have insights about how different groups of organisms evolved and shaped through habitats and climate and through several major catastrophic events that changed the face of earth. 

 

Astronomy lets us having some understanding of how matter behaves in the large scale. Quantum physics (microcosmos) amazed people by behaving in a completely different way. But zooming in or zooming out should not take the attention off from where life thrives , which is on this planet at the scale of regular physics and normal sizes. 

 

So I dont need think I am dogmatic, since a see religion as one of the most important aspects of proto-civilization. I believe that forms of proto-religion is the cornerstone of humankind. Without collective belief in fairy tales of various kind, there would not be human civilisation. We would be some kind of chimp. 

 

Still you claim that existance of god or not cannot be proven - seriously?  .. proof?? I dont think these kinds of arguments stand a chance with any typical atheist. This is the regular fare of debate, and you sure have read and done it elsewhere. You talk about whether the universe is infinite or finite. What's the universe by the way?  The "whole"? 

 

You know, theists of various degree and type, all stand in awe in front of the universe, or the out there, or the "whole". And this awe produces transcedent feelings, some kind of cosmic spirituality . And they try to present this as an arguement to us atheists: "so if there is no god, what about space? what about all this unknown around us, all those wonders?"  They reckon, if you dont believe in god then you must have some explanation about everything in the cosmos. 

 

But I am not like that - atheists cannot be like that. We can play hypothesis in our minds to test new ideas but we can also say "well, I dont know"  and its fine. And you know, it's not so interesting to me, the universe and whether its finite or something. I dont see how its really relevant. There are many questions but which are more relevant? well thats largely depends on the individual.  Maybe its pointless to seek answers where there are none. Its fascinating sure, a place for stories and myths and gods..  The unknown might be an "arguement"  to prove transcedence is a universal quality of people, but to me its just another segment in peoples existential crisis. The unknown forces people to create stories - because that what people are, animals that tell stories. And its generally accepted that fear of death or awe in front of death is the root of it all. So its a natural thing that humans do. 

 

For me, there's no more awe inspiring thing than the complex but clearly patterned and self-regulating system on earth, life + this planet. There's nothing more amazing than watching these deep-in-the-ocean systems that are filled will life in the total dark, at the bottom of deep oceans, that are more and more discovered these days and it is hypothesised that the first ecosystems on earth must have looked like these and maybe that's where and how life it self jump-started! 

 

By projecting my place in my species in all this mosaic of creatures on earth, I am having transcedent feelings about the whole, about life, about the "meaning of it all" .  This is one segment of my transcedent spirituality, and in ways it resembles the psych theist spirituality in that nature. Its the idea of how the individual connects with the rest of the natural world , how he identifies with the chaotic but patterned life circles and systems. Its a system that doesn need any gods  - but some religions are really close to my "thinking" in ther tendency to put natural world in the center. 

 

Its reasoning with knowledge of every gnostic field , an hierarchy of sorting out facts from fiction and speculation, sorting the most important (for me) type of knowledge, and the less important or trival shit. It's recognizing the importance of the individual at the center, contrary to the typical "egoism is a bad thing" common with religious people and most idealists. 

 

We are bombarded by a 1000 sources that egoism, individualism is a bad thing. How could one solve his issues, if not by understanding his self? Can resolution come from some collective mumbo jumbo? no, human individual is not an ant. And it has to go through onelself. 

 

" is there a way to fully hypostatize spiritual ideas into concrete objects "

 

you are already trying to do it. what is marxism, what are religions, what is post-modernism if not spiritual ideas trying hard to become more concrete? 

 

But I think, no we cant. Not concrete objects. I think that trying to define transcedence with jargon philosophical terms presents a problem. Like I said earlier, people learn by imitating and comparing. So we can compare different types of spiritualities, we could make a taxonomic system to class them. That's how we will learn more about trascedence and why its important to people. Some , more than others.

 

There's a notion that egoism, reason, logic are miasma in this "field" of thought 

 

how is a definite belief in the absence of god serving your critical thinking?"

 

I am an individualist. I didnt try to be a radical atheist, but by 12 years old I was sure it was a fairy tale. I didnt try to use atheism to be cool, instead I realised that argueing about my thoughts gave me social confidence. There was something really "awe inducing" and even trasnscedent to a degree to challenge people's well rooted beliefs. Honestly, I couldnt grasp people believed it such stupid shit just because they were raised like that and because the believed priests are good folks or whatever. I found myself in a place I didnt need those kind of religious (and other types of) conventions, and I set me self free from them by instict, slowly but steadily. But there was no a single doubt, ever, since day one. 

 

I reject the notion of god because its poorly defined! The definite belief in the absence of god is validated by the fact that each individual will give you different definition(s) of god and other theological terms. Each religion has a different taxonomy and hierarchy of gods. 

 

What is god(s) if not a general term for characters from religious mythology, presented in a way they look more than just fairy tales ?  

 

So, I claim that I know what god is through its millions of definitions. God "exists". As an idea. With a huge diversity, I mean some people's gods are totally different from some other peoples gods. Some gods are more similar.. Perhaps religion exists as a function of our brain. Perhaps as an antidote to existential crisis. And definately because we are conditioned to believe in 'it'. 

 

God is a bit like the word love.  Everyone mean something different with it. Some kill out of love, some hate out of love. It's a problematic word. In greek we have αγάπη, αγαπω  (love, I love, in a more general term)  and we have ερωτας, ερωτευομαι, ερωτευμενος (falling in love) .. Its really difficult to talk about a concept with an unclear definition. 

 

Its really simple. There is not god. Its an invention due to ... reasons.. People are like this, they create religions - and as the old religions influence fades away, people tend to explore other types of "religious" thought and other types of idealist dogmatism.  We dont really need the notion of god to discuss the god question really. And you cant really forget that easily the gods of monotheist religions. They're real cunts!

 

In that sense , the absolute belief there is no god stems from the fact that all religious related phenomena are man made. Nothing supernatural about them. Nothing supernatural in general. There was never an evidence of a god, other than man made stories about it. 

 

It really doesnt help liking religion being born in a christian country.. Other religions are way cooler, from ancient greek religion to hinduism buddism and of course all kinds of shamanism and modern new-agism etc.  God is just a character of some mythologies. Maybe the worse of them, the most oppressive +conservative  of them

 

How it helps my critical thinking? Well it makes sure I dont spend time terrorising my self spiritually and ethically, and instead of accepting the religious teaching, making up my own. I dont think it can go more anti-dogmatic, loosing religious thought at 12 and having to make you own worldview from scratch.. 

 

I can accept that we might could do better conversations if we had better vocabulary for theological and religious terms. But religion is such a controversial subject. Some people are rather indifferent (mostly agnostics, I would guess) but some feel really strong about it. 

 

You know, agnostics, are practical atheists, but deeper they are slightly or mild theists that are too afraid to reject the notion of god. Many people are baffled or disturbed by radical atheism. they say "that cant be, what do you believe in? you have to believe in something"  I say sure, just not to an imaginary friend. An agnostic thinks smartly: I live like an atheist, but I dont claim I am one. so if there is a god, he will propably not punish me in the afterlife. :P 

 

You ask how it helps with my critical thinking. It helps in that I can identify the irrational and really dont have to spend any time with it, unless to "play"  , or mock or provoke.. Or because its pretty interesting when people tell you crazy shit! 

 

Sometimes I claim I have an intergrated lie-detector in me.  In the past I wanted to experiment with a truth serum with tropanes. But never gοt on with this...  

 

Anyways, eliminating God from the equation, you can study the phenomenon better. It is a human thing. Gods or entities dont interact with you. And if something interacts with you, its you or some other part of the self or some archaic memories triggered from a large dose of mushrooms of something.. There are no outside entities. So if you decide that theres no single reason why you should leave some small doubt about it, you throw away so much worthless shit. 

 

And sorry to talk like that, they are worthless for me, as an individual, but they are useful in understanding people. There is a logical quality when you are an atheist. Not always, but most of the times. This is what you win by being a radical atheist. Not having to deal with irrational stuff. Be more objective. Make you own rules. 

 

I say how can you be a sharp critical thinker and NOT be an atheist ?  But at the same time I can get it. It can be a separate part of you. You can be logical in your life and irrational or post-modernist or existantialist or (why not) marxist  in your spiritual life.  There so much existential crisis in humans today. I get it. But that doesnt change my opinion on gods existance or not. People need to believe in shit collectively, and thats what it is. 100% man made. 

 

Anyways, I like that this has gone full blown - existential religious - transcedent talk.  Ciao

 

Edited by sagiXsagi

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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).

 

 

Edited by Micromegas

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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.

Edited by Micromegas

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DISCLAIMERS (to help find the base, where we "come" from) 

 

1. PHILOSOPHY.  You are right that my thinking is (almost?)  completely coming from inference (a new word for me, you make me use the translator which is something I normally use when I read hard science articles and papers!). I didnt mean any disrespect for you wanting to present your ideas with right semantics, technically well. The this is I had a hard time understanding, but from what I understood, you are being analytical for a lot of "non-issues" in my opinion. I will explain. I come out as a person deeply interested in philosophy, but, what I am interested in is not the same philosophy other people mean. My philosophy is something that a person does. Philosophy is something that I do, not something I read. Something I practice, not something I know. I claim I am a good philospher, not because I think I am right, but because the "unity of my self  and opinions/worldview"  , "unity of the world and and self"  is consisent, is "well described", is a 'good' system!  Other people's philosophy is  usually some plain "history of philosphy" or some half-understood parroting of some famous philosopher or neo-prophet. They are into philosphy = they have read big philoshers. Lots of times I am told I am using the wrong semantics talking with people that have read this or that form of philosophy.. You know what? I have read almost no philosphy. Only Stirner, and very little of Nitsche.  I really dont believe that philosophy needs fancy wording or any new words for that matter. Sure, if you feel existentialism or whatever draws you, sure you should go on and read and learn the special terminology, but you cannot demand people to know the terminology. In few words, I believe you should be able to talk about your philosophical ideas simply. I think you should be able to abstract them in a few sentences. And I also think famous or not so famous philosophers are useful as a means to describe ones philospophy, to refer to. Like bookmarks, though, not like all-knowing gods.  So my approach in philosphy is somewhat DIY.  Like Max Stirners book title, my philosophy is my very own. Sure I have a touch of Stirner, but I am not a Stirnerist! I had these ideas about egoism before I read Stirner.  And I had this absolutist provocative tone before I read the little Nitsche I read.  I need my ideas to be able to be told in a simple way and understood by a person of average intelligence. 

 

2. SCIENCE, SCIENTIFICAL METHOD, PROOF & SCIENTISM

 

Most atheists are of the hard scientific types. I was amazed when I got in an atheist forum and realised why atheist have had such a (bad) name. Scientism is an extreme form of "belief" in science,  which is virtually dogmatic, thus religious.  Scientifists (thats what I call them) abuse the system (phenomenon - mechanism of action - proof) and break our balls playing protector of science or something when we want to discuss something out of the box or something that is not yet the consensus, or some alternative theory.  Thing is this is really common in atheists, and I am totally not like this. Science is supposed to help us figure out the world, the principles are there from the ancient greek amd they are pretty simple. We dont need to call spanish inquisition every time we wanna discuss something. A reall good example is astrology..  There's a really typical , identical I would say reaction from scientists, either agonstics when they are faced with astrology. Immediately they ask about proof and more importantly the mechanism of action. I say "are you nuts? what mechanism? I dont know, there's no theory about this.. proof?? proof about what??  The dudes are happy to delve in the debunking mode about some "phenomenon" . The most logical would be to say, what phenomenon? being some edvidence, indication of what this phenomenon  (this technique) does/ predicts...  Then after some talk, I understand the dude does not wanna know about what the phenomenon is supposed to be - he just wants to play the debunk game which is really overdone in astrologyand reject it . More talk and I see the majority also reject the Briggs-Meyers personality tests which are based on questionaires. When a sceptic talks to me about natal astrology, I want to talk about the phenomenon, the supposed phenomenon, what could be there, what logical even explanation.. But the majority dont bother and STILL, go on with the debunking nevertheless.. Which I find quite irrational and epistemologically wrong.. If you dont feel a hypothesis (the phenomenon, natal astrology predicts some characters traits of the individual)  is even remotely plausible, why bother with mechnism of action and proof? Astrology is a good example where I am very different to the typical scientifist atheist. But in the long term I saw that regadless atheism , scepticisicm. Most people dont want to discuss character traits in general. Many idealists and most humanists dont want to believe there are different qualities, talents , pros and cons lets say, per individual. And they dont like it because it messes with their ideological soup. Existantialists in particular, might be very angry at the ideas that stem from natal astrology. 

So I am radical atheist as I am radical anti-scientism.  Science and scientific methods should not be used to opress and confine a discussion or arguement. If you think an idea is ridiculous, why the heck would you go into dis-proving ? why the heck would you be going into a mechanism of action?? If you think one idea is ridiculus, the funniest thing to do is hypothesise its true and wonder about the consequences if it indeed were true. Just for the sake of it.  Do these absurd ideas take us somewhere? 

 

So I have my own brand of rationalism as I have my own brand of philosophy. and they are both inferencial.

 

3. MORE DISCLAIMERS

 

What gnostic fields are really science? I mean real science. Definately not theology. I am of the opinion (not the only one) that science and theology are different things. And I tend to think the same about philosphy. Philosophy is not a science!!  History, now history is a science! And there is history of religions and history of philosophy.. But religion and philosophy is self?? nothing to do with science.. we can use science to study them deeper.  You know by now that for me its biology, chemistry, geology, engineering are the real sciences.. sociology is not a science! anthropology is.  And so on.. 

 

 

---------------------------------------

ok I am now ready to start my rant!! 

 

For what it's worth, me the radical atheist, has talked more about the notion of god, than you the agnostic. Yet, you accuse me for being certain, 100% that the notion of god is useless to me.. I claim there's a point in certainty... psychedelic, meditative, psychotic experiences produce religious and transcendent experiences.  If you see a person you know your whole life in a signle isolated psychotic episode, man, what an experience!  you can see the presence in the persons eyes and intensity.. Or when that psychotic person in the uni, next lab, had a little break, talked a bit to his voices, and sweared me..  Think of how people saw these phenomenons just some years before. 

 

From teenage anti-theist , I became pretty indifferent soon. From the teenage hobby to go full on there's not god mode, after a while, it was a closed matter for me.  And it was boring to me. I was amazed to find some atheists were reading  the bible and the like to be able to argue better with christians, to beat them in their own theology... Then with the interest for the natural occuring psychactives, the interest sparked again. For me there was an obvious connection between some religions and psychoactives.  I immediately started lokking at religion differently, there were much different religions from the stupid one I knew , dominant in my country. Religions were really different from one other.. They were not all the same stupid shit.. It was different.  

 

It was interesting to me that atheists didnt like my hypothesis and tease about the relations of the religious state of mind to the the psychotic mind or the mind of someone on psychedelics or someone after long meditation, or someone after prolongued drumming session and the obvious parallel. At first it puzzled me, why would they not like it?? Deep down I thought, they might think "this idea might give the theists arguments"  . Indeed. I too thought that this idea can give theists arguements and and interesting notions about what "god" is. what religious states is. Then I saw all kinds of different theisms, new-hippism, neoshamanism, psychedelic theism, and even, damn, tryptamine theism - you know who this is, yeah its mc kenna.. What an idiot. 

 

I love something from McKenna. Its really known I think.. Its about the notion of going to fish - he is talking about the psych experience, but it works for lots of stuff. He says, the guys get on the boat, and go fishing, with nets... they dont want to fish for huge fish that with drag them and possibly drawn them. they dont want to catch tiny fish, which would pass through the net , they want to catch medium fish to bring ashore to the others.. He paralels the fish with ideas. And he says, the little fish are ideas like "your little finger fits in your nostril"  LOL . 

 

I like this paralel... I was going to get to your questions later but it fits here... It also fits to what I was saying in a previous post about an hierarchy in life. From the dosens thinkgs you have to do each day, chosing the 1,2,3 most important ones ..  you cant deal with everything.  You cant beat the system by OCDing on it!  You have to be able to choose, to make decisions that will make your life better - simpler.  I think simple is a part of my philosophy.. Its simple because its about me - and philosphy is about oneself first and for all. A point-of-view thing. 

 

Given the title, I will risk sounding rude and arrogant and give a rate to your question a la Mc Kenna style .  rates are deep, regular size, trivial 

 

What is time - deep

What is space - regular 

How is the continuity or unity of self maintained in the span of an individual life - regular - deep? dunno strange and interesting

Does the universe have a beginning or is it infinite - trivial 

Does the universe have a boundary -trivial

Is matter infinitely divisible or is there an absolute simple substance - very trivial , trace (pun intended) 

What is the structural and historical relationship of mythology (to religion) to science -regular to deep 

Why does nature obey laws - does not make sense, rephrase :P

What constitutes objectively valid judgements - I think also need rephrasing

 

What is consciousness - regular - similar to what is god , what is love, what is hate etc. 

Does the unity of self continue into a another form of experience not related to bodies as such (is there an afterlife) trivial

 

So, there you go, more and more, my "erasing god" was working perfectly all along. no contradiction or whatsoever..  I admit my strong atheism prevents me from seeing anything that feels impossible and metaphysical to me with a lot of open mind. mumbo jumbo and made up stuff will always be that.. 

 

There is a big point to be made here, about the importance of strong atheism, because we started off like this.. Being an atheist means - like I said in preious post, you have to answer the big question yourself and maybe stick to unknown to a couple of them. So there's that. But it also offers lots of advantages.  It simplifies things a lot!   Well it did to me. I have read a horror story of a recovering theist. It was natural to me.  I see it as a blessing. You care only about one life - and you 'd better make the best of it!  Death is not so scary if you see it how Epicurous said it:  "when you are alive he is not there, and when he comes, you are gone ".  You are not scared about unnatural stuff. You have to make you own morality though.. This is true. Thats what  I strongly believe, unlike other atheists, that religions are not alla unnessasary, and not all harm..  people need a morality.. we are propably going through the transition from traditional religious schemes to more transcedent froms of religious expression right now, as we speak .  the form of religion is changing, and god is propably dead or slowyly dieing, like nitsche said.

 

Man, I cannot get this through to you, but, lots of these questions, if you are a materialist, dont really make sense..  I dont claim that your questions or THE big question in life is of no importance to me - I am pointing out that these exciting bits we find thrilling, either as existential dilemmas, or exciting new fields of knowledge , are at large very subjective as to their important to each. 

 

And its only natural to consider ones own interest important 

Nowadays I am drawn by other questions, but I will make up some jsut for the sake of it

 

1. Homo naledi DNA, more skeletons of denisova, more finds in the "genus Homo - sapiens origins"  adventure... Which I wonder why are there not making tales and movies out this shit yet :P 

 

2. Why do why scratch? its not really known, there are some theories, but its not really well studied.. What does it stem from.. 

 

3. How does  Natal astrology assign to other "similar" systems ?   Why atheists like I-ching? 

 

4. Are there alien beings of similar or more intellegence as we in the universe??  could that be that we are the only ones, by a fucking coincidence???   

 

and this #4 , hell yeah, its a good one...   I wonder how come it didnt pop at your questions. 

 

So, I  dont play it immune to existantial crisis. It's just that I experience it like a philosophical path, and enjoy it. If you are an atheist, things are simpler: you are afraid of death  and the consequences of your actions.. thats it. If you are religious you add to that that you are afraid of god. That's fucked up because nobody knows whats god. Especially the god of big dominant religions.  Not being afraid of god is really unexpectedly cool in many  ways.. When I was a kid, people looked me like alien while I was just being logical to tell them, "gods nonsense, there are not such things, when did such thing happen to you " .. Later people looked at me like alien when I told them I pick wild pushrooms and told me "wow! careful! they are poisonous"  - that was before picking mushrooms became a thing in greece. 

 

 

(some bit left, have it plain, sorry for the segmented structure of this, but you said you liked the rat style so there you have it) 

   in a way , IMO, religion or trascendent spirituality, are both kind of similar. Theology and Philosphy have different languages, but they have some common ground.. Then you have religons that are more like philosophies (buddism) and the things get blurred..  Now this could make an interesting diagram :) 

 

 

Well, look, 

 

WHAT I THINK YOU ARE TRYING TO DO

 

man what you are trying to do , I think, I wanted to do years ago. I intented to do it, I had it as my big goal. 

 

You talked about the structural and/or language  thing about knowledge. I dont know If I am getting this right but you are trying to  - wanting to chart man's own preceedure of learning. how he processes data, how memory works, the whole deal.  that a whole fucking lot man.. just this.. a lot.. or you are trying to define in a "philosophically scientific and fine way"  the concept of concept. how we chart knowledge.. you want to chart what you thing is an important part of civilasation. 

 

Or maybe I am out of my mind.  

 

But I will go on - you want to find a taxonomic universe for knowledge, some system - it might be - it should be complex, maybe like natal astrology.. and this system should make it easier to understand how people learn..  dunno. seem like something neurology would be about. 

 

I dont know now if its realy a taxonomic system or something else... but a taxnomic system of differenent types of knowledge? that definately rings bells to me and that why I am enjoying so much this ... friendly ,  so close to home, clash of philosophical giants , lets say... 

 

SO, I said, I tried, to do it . I had it in my mind a long time. I thought it was possible. I wanted to chart the basis of human being. the most basic needs, tendencies. the basic. I was idealistic back then in some ways ...  I also talked talked about the "core of life" , half sarcastically and half seriously, and the core of life was the point of it all, the point of life, y'know... 

 

In some silly rant with close friends, I saida couple times, "what can you tell me dude, I ve been to the core of life"  in a sense we talked about it all existentially...  a close friend and philosophical comrade went along for some time and the notion of the core of life didnt work very well for him when he tried to carry it alone with said friends, in a debate or something.. 

 

I made a scheme of it, basic needs, I didnt want to make the whole, just the basic, all the common things that exist in all humans, objectively... and later I found there were some similar theories..... 

 

My ambition was to make a more complex  web like map ... to chart "human "knowledge" as you said , to see substance through these links both literally and ontologically or whatever the crap you call what I want to say {needless  rage about not knowing the right semiology) 

 

I wanted to make tha base of all the characteristics of people, a base in which you could build any philosophy, like a paradigm.... A pattern everyone would accept as universal - or something like that... in that pattern I would create my own philosophy... but ... time passed.. I stopped being an idealist in that time and became a mature cynic.  First I realised that my idea had already be done - one form or another... but then I was less and less interested in the project  because I saw it was impossible. people were more complex that I had thought, and not only it was not easy to pass on good , humanist and critical ideals, but some also like to be with oppresive or otherwise strange males as mates. Some , give the right temper, built up and conditions would act up in some amazing scenes - and even be opressive to others to steam off in part of their lives- I was becoming more cynic.  And elitist. gradually but slowly I became elitist.. 

 

I rant a lot. 

 

OK lets say you got the base.. the base philosphy... the basic net what you do with it?? future of humans is impossible to tell... impossible to tell what will hapen.  

 

Most of all, I am knowing more and more as I grow,  and I am the dude that really enjoyes the ride of it...  this is part philosophy and part knowledge...  also depends on how you define the objective and if the objective exists... now that's a good one, but I have "answered" to this one... i have a small theory to explain how the objective is both real and fictional and it the basic factor of us doing anything... that is we live and learn by comparison, and imitating... 

 

like I told you before, yeah, if you switch off god, hey, I dont know if you get that feeling... what is there?? what is there for a watcher of natural history films?? 

 

Life is a fucking cycle!  You dont expect one single way to deal with it, but if you mingle with it a lot, it will reveal itself - its death. Everyone is afraid of death .. thats the main reason of religion and religious feeling.. 

 

LOL, I dont know if somebody has thought this up, but hey, God, is playing us tricks right, we are mortal be he made us believe that there is a second life

 

I also, I have a saying of my own - I am sure some philospher must have said it - it goes like this. 

 

we are not a philosophy.. us atheists , logical atheist, its a good desciption of my atheism and thinking - logical, but its not a philosophy.. its not "something".. consider what sceptics say, "you have the burden of proof - i say its myth"

 

If you think about it - it might be what kind of condolences it can offer to someone, religion that is.. 

And thats some hard shit. 

 

Maybe I speak from a relatively safe place. I hate funerals and I hate christian funerals... Such sad shit.... .I used to say death doesnt scare me.. still believe it for myself- but I dread for the death of a relative... boy !!! hehe, so not so cool after all, mr aint afraid of death. 

 

so death... thats what you start -at  religion, god, you name it..

fuck. so depressing.... 

 

I see how religion is helping with that... wow I am havin really intense insight with the thought of death of my parents, or the future...  

 the big cynic has a soft point. fuck I knew it. like hollywood films.

 

man I love my parents

 

 

 

4.  DUDE I HAVE AN IDEA

 

we should record our texts in audio and overact and do accents and all, and then we could make several edits and collages of it.. crazy .. big project, but it rules. beer mode. 

 

well, not that last part where I opened my heart.... 

 

wow.. sorry for all that... I think thats all for now... 

 

I wont edit a thing, I hope I dont read monsters after I re-check this. 

 

Ciao

Edited by sagiXsagi

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I will not edit this now- but maybe I edit some part later so that it can make sense 

EDIT: some small edits were made 

Edited by sagiXsagi
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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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

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I am sorry I left this hanging. I will reply as some point... 

I am not sure any more which is the point? 

maybe the point is a point of objectivity in a sea of subjectivity and that's what philosophers have been longing to define 

 

 

 

Edited by sagiXsagi
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All good sagi. For what it's worth, I think your insights are very perceptive and valuable. The problem occurs when we try to expand on reductions or aphorisms into a system of thinking as such. I agree about the point being something like working out the relations of "objectivity in a sea of subjectivity" as a reduction of complex fields of relations; therefore the requirement for the definition of such relations, such that a philosophical system becomes sensible.

 

I have a particular project which is my "work" that relates to the relation of myth (as that mode of expression belonging to pre-colonial and pre-literate people; i.e. the archaic not the modern "myth") to science through a specific philosophical framework that favours pluralism in the content of objective phenomenological experience. This is based on my categorical belief that pre-scientific experience was actual. This has required a collection of a certain number of rules for experience that define what is objective and which allow veridical judgments on the constitution of objects/events. I took these rules broadly from the "transcendental idealism" of Immanual Kant and the manner of their modification by "Neo-Kantians" to allow for plurality of objectively valid standpoints (viz. not only science is objectively valid) and thus to explain certain components of varying systems of experience (re: altered states, e.g. the "mythical" systems of experience, also but less so the monotheistic "religious" experience), and also where these systems have gone beyond the bounds of sensibility and claimed truth where no "proof" as such can exist (i.e the "breakdown" of objective conditions, in ideas such as God or the soul, or for science the concept of systemicity, taken either in the sense of positive or negative proof, these are indemonstrable but necessary regulative ideas of reason).

 

Now it has become apparent to me that the myth-science dichotomy is necessary as a referential frame in order to ground my own philosophical judgments about experience; more so if I want to pursue the historicization of myth (which is my aim) through the temporal measurement of time performed by science on events it supposes to have determined as accurate representations of the past. A certain groundwork here must be done even to understand the general expanse of measurable linear time; or what experience would be like if time were not measured but remained immanent, viz. "seasonal", as it remains in the mythical conception; and onward to the variable production of knowledge, such as mathematical equations or, in myth, anthropomorphism or magical affect, to determine the content of any phenomenal event against a set of regular "transformations" or laws. All of this requires very specific philosophical problems about objectivity (and subjectivity). Indeed, I thought I had this worked out to some satisfactory degree until I started to really look into the philosophical implications of relativity theory and quantum mechanics, and if you are interested there is paragraph below that demonstrates the sort of problems i am thinking on and what philosophy can look like. One might reduce the problem to the question: how do I (we) have (or produce) knowledge of nature? The rebound from that reduction is of course quite as complex and related to your own reduction about objectivity and subjectivity.

 

Now, of course, everyone speculates "philosophically" in the broadest sense. Most people will drop it at some point due to the ever increasing spirals of complexity, especially the layers of problems and their annoying sets of terminologies, counter-examples, counterarguments. etc., and just the burden of the thought process and the extent of the available material. I get disheartened and often want to quit. But like I said I chose it for "work" and in general my enthusiasm usually comes around again after working through some type of stubborn problem - and what actual else would I be doing with my time?

 

But in general we need to be happy with a basic reduction that stops our inferences and allows attention to be drawn after nature as if it subsisted in itself; just, as they say, to exist; here in the purely empirical sense of a being in time and space. I am aware, therefore, that after the structural philosophical problems other issues grade off in the realms of morality and ideology, then what we need, and what we want. But this is where pluralism resurfaces again and where we may have trouble if the system is not predicated on sound principles or lacks notable parameters, as myth in its original preliterate form, or science, contain with respect to "truth". Here the mind wanders at its most vulnerable. For reductions (memes) that capture uncritical dogmatisms as aphorisms (such as relate to race, gender, nationhood etc. as supposed components of nature), build up to become productive ideologies in state systems but are removed from any veridical basis. Here myth and science become "weaponised" against their original intent and indeed against their substantive values. Free of balanced and systematic epistemologies we have a tendency to be corrupted by ideology dreamed up only from instinct and power. I suspect this may be a case for the insightful to be somewhat offensive to make a point, to get beyond dogmatism through free and critical thinking, and what was indeed your original point! And I would say, well achieved at that.

 

 

 

Quote

 

Classic quantum mechanics seems to exhibit some of the characteristics that Immanuel Kant described about the relation between phenomenal reality in space and time and things-in-themselves.

As interpreted by Roger Penrose (and now, we see, by Freeman Dyson), quantum mechanics, first of all, posits a certain metaphysical dualism. In the world as it exists apart from observation, matter and energy consist of waves wave.gifthat are deterministically governed by Schrödinger's Equation. The waves have an undoubted physical reality because of the interference effects that can be observed, and because the three dimensional size of atoms is due to the state of their electrons as three dimensional standing waves -- otherwise there is nothing to "fill the space" of atoms, except particles somehow being everywhere at once, which they can't be because in changing directions to get here and there they would radiate energy. (Fields can be said to fill the space, but this only postpones the problem, since fields in quantum mechanics are exchanges of virtual particles.) On the other hand, the square of the wave function gives a probability distribution for where discrete particles may be found once the wave function is collapsed by an act of observation. The wave function thus contains the sum of all possible states of a system until it is observed. This produces the paradox of Schrödinger's Cat, who is both alive and dead at the same time, in just that proportion as each state is probable.

The act of observation, which collapses the wave function, is conformable to the Kantian act of synthesis, by which phenomenal objects are introduced into consciousness and subjected to the categories of the understanding. Niels Bohr's own Principle of Complementarity was that matter and energy could exhibit wave properties, or particle properties, but never both at the same time. If what Kantian consciousness requires is discrete actual things in space and time, this is exactly what is delivered in quantum mechanics:  Bohr stipulated that observers and their equipment would never be subject to quantum mechanical probability effects. Around us, for Bohr, we maintain a little, discrete, actual, Classical universe.

Kant did not view things-in-themselves as containing the sum of all possibilities, and phenomena all actualities; but this duality is conformable to Kant's metaphysics as to none other. As a contribution to the metaphysics of possibility, the quantum mechanical wave function can easily be seen as complementary to Kant's idea of things-in-themselves, where various kinds of things can happen (like free will) that are not comprehensible in terms of phenomenal reality. Kant would just have to allow that characteristics of physical reality can intrude some depth into things-in-themselves, which he would not have considered -- though we can also handle this by positing an intermediate level of reality, kantqm.gifbetween true unconditioned things-in-themselves and true discrete phenomenal objects -- as Kant otherwise actually does himself for space and time as "pure intuitions." The wave function straddles the classic Kantian boundary, sharing some properties with phenomena, others, as underlying phenomena, with things-in-themselves.

Thus, where Kant would have considered all of phenomena governed by determinism, we now see the wave function as deterministic, while the collapse of waves into particles is random. Although chance in quantum mechanics has often been argued as allowing for free will, a free cause is still a very different thing from a random cause, which doesn't need mind or self or intention. Moral freedom is thus still left among things-in-themselves. Kant himself would have had difficulty placing randomness in his ontology, if he, like Hume, believed that chance violates determinism. Since chance is now part of the physics, it cannot be denied; but it also still remains a different matter from purposive freedom.

Kant's idea that space and time do not exist among things-in-themselves has been curiously affirmed by Relativity and quantum mechanics. In Relativity, time simply ceases to pass at the velocity of light:  for photons that have travelled to us as part of the Cosmic Background Radiation, time has stood still for most of the history of the universe. On the other hand, quantum mechanics now posits "non-locality," i.e. physical distances, and so the limitation of the velocity of light in Relativity, don't seem to exist. This means that although time may apply to the wave function, space may not. The full empirical reality of space is only found among discrete particles and objects.

This curious result is the consequence of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) Paradox, which was intended by Einstein as a reductio ad absurdum of quantum mechanics. If, for instance, a positron and an election are both created from an energetic photon, the conservation of angular momentum requires that one be spinning one way, and the other the other. But the complementary spins are equally probable for each particle. Thus, in quantum mechanical terms, the wave functions of each particle divide without a discrete state being determined. The particles might then separate to even cosmological distances, but as soon as the spin of one particle is observed, the other particle must have the opposite spin, which means that the wave function has collapsed across those cosmological distances and caused the other particle to assume a predictable spin. If this occurs instantaneously, it would violate the limitation of the velocity of light in Special Relativity.

This has now been shown to actually occur on the basis of Bell's Theorem (from John Bell, 1928-1990), meaning that Quantum Mechanics does violate Special Relativity by allowing instantaneous interactions across even cosmological distances. However, once observed, processes must still obey Special Relativity and the limitations of spatial distance, creating the kind of duality described by Kant. Bell himself found this result disturbing, but to Kant it would fit in with his own theory that space is only imposed by the representation of phenomenal objects.

Einstein always objected to quantum mechanics because his metaphysical realism recoiled from the idea that observation would create a different kind of reality than what existed independently. At first Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle could be interpreted as meaning that the act of observation would physically disturb a system in an ordinary and realistic way, but then it soon became evident that strange things were allowed to happen in the wave function that not only could not be observed but could not even be conceived in ordinary and realistic ways. Reality existed in a different way while under observation than it did in itself.

Now, the original philosophical theory which advocated something of the sort, that observation (the synthesis of objects in consciousness) imposes certain forms and rules before things can appear as phenomenal objects, was indeed that of Kant. Einstein and all his contemporaries must have been aware that there was something familiar about the emerging quantum world. The outright anti-realism of Bohr's Copenhagen Interpretation, although the focus of conflict, was only one historical possibility. Kant's empirical realism and transcendental idealism was another. But I have not noticed Kant receiving any kind of notice or credit for a theory that would address some of the paradoxes produced by quantum mechanics, denying the independence of physical reality from the presence of human consciousness. While recognizing the ontological dualism, Freeman Dyson now says (above) that "the way they fit together is not yet completely understood...," without acknowledging that just such a dualism, conformable to quantum mechanics, already exists in Kant's phenomenalism. Since nothing is so characteristic of Kantian philosophy than that dualistic principle, perhaps it is only a matter of time before philosophers pull their heads out of the "post-modernist" hole in the ground and pay attention. Physicists, of course, don't have to care, unless they hear the call of metaphysics as well as physics.

Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved


 

 

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Posted (edited)

Been reading this thread again today. Pretty cool thread!

 

Mm, I dont think that our differences are that great after all, it's quite remarkable that we have at some points in our writings here managed to adress the same issues from different perspectives and using different language each.  I think that's really something! 

I also feel that we had somewhat inverse "philosophical/spiritual" paths in our lives. I am coming from the hard atheist/punk/rationalist  background, you are coming from a more spiritual/shamanic-inspired background. It feels like we are in the process that our 'graphs'  have come closer, maybe even 'crossed', or tending to cross, over time.

 

I feel our biggest difference is how we perceive nature, what definition we have for it. Nature is MY "god", nature just is (its pretty easy to define for me) and it is linked with how life started and also astrobiology and cosmology, it takes the combination of all scientific gnostic fields to come to understand it).  It's a miracle! - kind of :)  

So I am less inclined to see it as anthropocentrically as you do. Yet my more cynic 'atheist biologist', natural-history approach, that seems to suggest anthropocentrism is a big obstacle in managing to see "the whole picture" , in a more "objective"  , non-anthropocentric way, has also many contradictions, because its through MODERN human conditioning, reasoning and of course human culture could we really start talking about all these things.. only recently, actually.. 

 

That's why I am really interested in Homo hybrids, and I see the modern Homo as a continuity (other species or hybrids might definately have left their trace in modern human myths, but I dont know if it has been studied) .. For this reason I am also very interested in specific moments and/or places  in the recent history of Homo sapiens sapiens, f.e. when he first stopped being a food-gatherer and settled, when he first began sailing the seas (hints at the first form of commerce) , certain remarkable ancient cities etc.

 

In a way I am interested both in how humanoids became humans and how early humans became more modern 'humans with civilisation' .  Is there a moment when humans stop being "natural" ??  Thats a nice question to think of... 

 

Definately, the study of myths in a scientific way is a super-interesting, and rather under-appreciated gnostic field.. Maybe at some point, I could suggest some thoughts on this, and maybe share my older preliminary diagrams and patterns of thought in tracking the human gnostic maps and charts (what I thought you wanted to do). 

Edited by sagiXsagi

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Posted (edited)

part2 (after meal) 

 

Indeed there will be lots of problems in studying myth as a tool for understanding aspects of human history and the human "condition".  I feel that any theories will understandably be regarded as mere theories or hypothesis by science because it would be difficult to proove most claims... Yet, there is a spiritual and anthropological interest and value in such hypothesis, especially when they are honest and dont come with new-age conspiracy theory flavour. 

 

A re-occuring concept in our discussion has been objectivity. My short take on it is as following: 

people learn by comparison. The comparison of the 'sensual-symbolic' * (your term) subjective reality and the imaginary 'objective truth'. Comparing the two, we learn, rationalise and make philosophies. In that sense, 'objective truth' is both real and imaginary. It's a landmark, an ideal, a concept never to be reached, but at the same time without its construction we would not be able to understand what is real, and would definately wouldnt be able to do science.

 

So, the imaginary 'objective truth' is a corner-stone of our existance. And it's not even the same for each one of us.. Our 'objective truths' differ and are not fixed. 

 

*you seem to think its one 'universe' that encloses the collective experience, I tend to think it more like its one universe per individual.  

 

Finally, in regards with the quantum physics references, I admit I didnt read the passage, but I think that I know how it goes. I dislike this kind of thing and I dont think it makes any sense..  The main mistake is that these kind of physics apply to the microcosmos..  Our understanding of it are in symbolic language, mathematical and statistical stuff.  It's a whole (irrational) leap of faith to make parallels between the mathematician ways we analyse the microcosmos and our completely different in the principles physical reality or even more our spiritual/conceptual world. Duality is a natural pattern.  And it's only natural (pun intended) to be the commonest pattern in the world..  These theological assumptions are forgetting that mathematics are just symbols, they are simply reading too much in it. To really get what the microcosmos is about, we would have to be as small as a particle. Or at least be able to construct a microcosmos-ship (like a space ship, but really small)  as small as a particle.. NOTE: Even if we managed to make such a small ship to travel into matter and see what its like, the visualisations it would broadcast would be symbolic as well.. It would be made up, imaginary, maybe even wrong.. How can you start to understand that infinite small space is like??  Are there colours in the microcosmos?  There are sure no eyes there that's for sure :) 

 

All these things having being said, I understand the metaphysical appeal of the wonders of the microcosmos.. I simply feel that world is really irrelevant to me.  (like previously mentioned, "whats the smallest particle = trivial to me" , "how big is the universe = equally trivial) 

 

It's interesting though how quantum physics and also cosmology, draw the interest of theists and theistic approaches and theistic/metaphysical parallels.  Even the consensus seems to have a religious approach, less so but still there, in cosmology... Cosmology is much more interesting to me though. These new emerging theories about different types of multi-verses (parallel universes) , OK I find them equally ridiculous and implausible, but they are sure fun to think about and talk about..  

 

That's it for now, hope all's good... 

Edited by sagiXsagi

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Fuck man that's awesome. I respect your ability to articulate these things.

 

I pretty much agree with everything you've said there.

 

Quote

 

Mm, I dont think that our differences are that great after all, it's quite remarkable that we have at some points in our writings here managed to adress the same issues from different perspectives and using different language each.  I think that's really something! 

I also feel that we had somewhat inverse "philosophical/spiritual" paths in our lives. I am coming from the hard atheist/punk/rationalist  background, you are coming from a more spiritual/shamanic-inspired background. It feels like we are in the process that our 'graphs'  have come closer, maybe even 'crossed', or tending to cross, over time.

 

 

You're right about this and I agree it's really something. Mind you I never factored punk into the equation. I was enjoying punk back in my ayahuasca days!

 

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I feel our biggest difference is how we perceive nature, what definition we have for it. Nature is MY "god", nature just is (its pretty easy to define for me) and it is linked with how life started and also astrobiology and cosmology, it takes the combination of all scientific gnostic fields to come to understand it).

 

That's very perceptive and again I think you're right. Personally nature is somewhat my "god" as well. But philosophically I think certain sets of presuppositions have already gone into this that are, as you say, anthropocentric. For me, subjectively, nature may be "god" but objectively I am certain the system of nature (for humans) is always constructed. If it were not, there would be no explanation for the different "natures" of myth and science, than to select one as objective (more true) and the other subjective (less true) (also there is the question of how animals experience nature).

 

Another way of looking at it is if you express nature as a biological system or based on elementary particle physics, it ends up getting "constructed" quite differently. I am not doubting there is an an "independent", "world of nature", only that human cognition cannot perceive it. As such, I do maintain nature is a human construct or mediation. But as for validity of that statement? Well obviously I think its demonstrable from a philosophical point of view, but opinions differ and I appreciate you picked up on the difference.

 

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Finally, in regards with the quantum physics references, I admit I didnt read the passage, but I think that I know how it goes. 

 

Yes, I do think you know how it goes generally. People misuse quantum physics all the time to make irrational claims about macroscopic reality, when as you correctly say, quantum mechanics is concerned with the microcosmos. But the passage I quoted was not one of those. The main problem of quantum mechanics for philosophy is that it definitely problematises causality and, in the complementarity principle (Neils Bohr), suggests we are unable to visualize both the necessary properties of a thing simultaneously (the wave-particle duality problem). This upsets science's original mechanical model of nature (Newton) as well as philosophy's concept of causality as an a priori facet of knowledge (idealist philosophy) or a permanent attribute of the cosmos (realist philosophy). Einstein himself had a very hard time with this, and he'd already made some significant "philosophical" changes to time and space in the relativity theory. The destruction of the rule of causality and the wave-particle problem has some major implications, even if it only occurs microscopically. Quantum mechanics suggests to me the exact type of cognitive "structuring" I am suggesting for nature. Mankind must always "translate" the unknown, absolute properties of X into a "classical" system of nature where rules can be obeyed and things perceived as definite objects. But at the very basis of things (microcosmos) there may not be any "rules" as such, but largely uncoordinated, unstructured matter (Chaos in the Greek sense).

 

 

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I simply feel that world is really irrelevant to me.  (like previously mentioned, "whats the smallest particle = trivial to me" , "how big is the universe = equally trivial) 

 

Yes, interesting. I would suggest it is not so much what is smaller or larger in the universe that is important. I agree the actual answer to this question is "irrelevant". It is our ability to speak of such things where speaking is an act of production and objectification. The indeterminacy of the largest and smallest is about the mode of observation being used to operate the world. Cosmology, quantum mechanics, mythology, all end up in the same place, an inability, or rather a productive attempt, to penetrate to the "thing-in-itself", which reflects these well-expressed truisms:

 

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people learn by comparison. The comparison of the 'sensual-symbolic' * (your term) subjective reality and the imaginary 'objective truth'. Comparing the two, we learn, rationalise and make philosophies. In that sense, 'objective truth' is both real and imaginary.

 

 

 

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It's a landmark, an ideal, a concept never to be reached, but at the same time without its construction we would not be able to understand what is real, and would definately wouldnt be able to do science.

^^ awesome line this one.

 

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So, the imaginary 'objective truth' is a corner-stone of our existance. And it's not even the same for each one of us.. Our 'objective truths' differ and are not fixed. 

 

Absolutely, and as you say this is how we can "do" science. The danger being that some of this positions we think up become dogmatic and dangerous.

 

And this:

 

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That's why I am really interested in Homo hybrids, and I see the modern Homo as a continuity (other species or hybrids might definately have left their trace in modern human myths, but I dont know if it has been studied) .. For this reason I am also very interested in specific moments and/or places  in the recent history of Homo sapiens sapiens, f.e. when he first stopped being a food-gatherer and settled, when he first began sailing the seas (hints at the first form of commerce) , certain remarkable ancient cities etc.

 

In a way I am interested both in how humanoids became humans and how early humans became more modern 'humans with civilisation' .  Is there a moment when humans stop being "natural" ??  Thats a nice question to think of... 

 

 

Is really awesome man. I spend a lot of time on the "culture from nature" problem myself, it is at the heart of all great mythological systems this fundamental transition. I don't think you can find the single point where the transition occurred. But it is necessary to think that it occurred. The homo hybrids is a very interesting take on this. 

 

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Indeed there will be lots of problems in studying myth as a tool for understanding aspects of human history and the human "condition".  I feel that any theories will understandably be regarded as mere theories or hypothesis by science because it would be difficult to proove most claims... Yet, there is a spiritual and anthropological interest and value in such hypothesis, especially when they are honest and dont come with new-age conspiracy theory flavour. 

 

So true. The reason I spend so much time on science is actually to improve what I am able to say about myth. For me myth and science are both systems of symbolic construction (of nature especially) that link back to a certain structure of human knowledge that can never really penetrate directly to things-in-themselves or get properly outside of itself. If we knock one of these forms down as false, all the others are also in trouble (although we can find the parts of each which are false).

 

As Ernst Cassirer has said, if we consider all the forms of knowledge (science, myth, religion etc.) "from the point of view of a system of cultural forms [and] if these forms as a whole really do constitute a systematic unity, the fate of any one of them is closely bound up with that of all the others". Personally, I am convinced myth and science are systematically related, both in their structure (but not content) and perhaps more importantly in their historical emergence. It is important to note here I mean more precisely New World myth. The mythology of the Old World already went through some structuring processes by being committed to writing over multiple generations (Hesiod, Ovid, etc.).

 

But in sum I think you really nailed it, so to speak:

 

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Yet my more cynic 'atheist biologist', natural-history approach, that seems to suggest anthropocentrism is a big obstacle in managing to see "the whole picture" , in a more "objective"  , non-anthropocentric way, has also many contradictions...

 

This is the crux of it. Very good. I think of this problem as a "transcendental loop". The conditions of thinking the world always return back to themselves. Anthropocentrism is indeed the "big obstacle" but it is also the thing that makes the world knowable to mankind. We are back again to culture-from-nature. We may be doomed to inhabit anthropocentrism until such a time as we really, if ever, "break through".

 

Very clear and perceptive thoughts Sagi.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank for your kind words. I think its a really awesome discussion, and its kind of funny, considering the thread title..  Like you wrote in some other thread, facebook is not good for such discussions, but forums definately are. 

 

Some quick thoughts.... 

 

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I am not doubting there is an an "independent", "world of nature", only that human cognition cannot perceive it.

maybe its human inability to preceive it or grasp it on the whole, that results in so many different and wrong religious/theist/spiritual models. Wrong in that its never universal and differs vastly from person to person and from culture to culture. 

Or maybe we have to "let go" to hope we could perceive it some day. 

 

RE: Quantum mechanics + stuff. 

you additional arguements about how causality changes dont matter at all. Its still wrong. Its still about microcosmos .  Its not so weird microcosmos functions in a totally different way that we cannot understand, hence the tons of mathematics...  I cant help that all this stuff are coming from people that are pissed off at science and found a new way to challenge atheistic , rationalistic, materialistic  philosophies that are on the rise in the modern world .. But I dont find anything worth of depunking there, in the same reason I wont go into details in the bible to prove to a theist that there is no god. 

Philosophically and politicaly, these kind of neo-theists are my enemies. Maybe more so than the old-skool theists and preachers. 

 

You parallel of myth and science (Ernst Cassirer  quote) , is very interesting, as you put it. I will think a bit more on that. 

 

Also interesting, is what you call ""transcendental loop"  

 

ciao for now...  (will propably revisit these points) 

 

 

Edited by sagiXsagi

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Hey Sagi, it has been a good discussion.

 

I'm definitely not "wrong" about quantum mechanics. That is a funny thing to say after this whole conversation about dogmatism.

 

It's actually very hard to be "wrong" about QM, except in the mathematical sense. For example it is possible to carry out "wrong" Schrodinger equations to collapse the wave function, i.e. the maths can be wrong. But when it comes to interpretation on the consequences of QM, not even scientists agree. Einstein did not like it at all (“God does not play dice with the universe”). I think you probably need to read more before you dismiss the implications. Try out authors such as Dirac, Bohr, Heisenberg, Weinberg, who wrote good works on their development of aspects of quantum theory, and philosophers like Bitbol or Cassirer.

 

There are three ways to interpret QM non-mathematically. I'm going to mash this up a bit because I am not an expert on QM and I haven't worked my way through the literature properly yet.

 

(1) as a set of propositions and discoveries about nature than can be used in a literary way to construct metaphorical statements that build connections between microscopic and macroscopic behaviour. This is the usual approach and usually where things go "wrong" because microscopic behavior is applied the macrocosmos without a critical understanding of QM. Nevertheless, some of these metaphors do good work, e.g. because of the indeterminacy of the quantum state, QM reintroduces "free will" into nature where the classical system (Newtonian/Classical mechanics) articulates a completely deterministic universe.

 

(2) as a demonstration of the structure and history of science and the limit (or advance) of its knowledge. Classical mechanics, which was "correct" until to about 1900, showed that, if you knew all the conditions of a state of an object, it is possible to determine all its past and future states (Newton's three laws). From this, science developed the concept of a fully deterministic universe ruled over by magnitude (measurement, quantity, force) and causality (cause and effect based on interacting magnitudes). Thus, classical mechanics can predict the past and future orbits of planets. But when QM entered the microcosmic realm, it didn't work this way. Classical mechanics suggested electrons would travel around nuclei in orbits, like planets around stars, that would be possible to predict, i.e. would be deterministic. Thus turned out not to be the case. In QM one can see either the position of a particle, or a wave of particles; or, one can find location/position or one can calculate momentum. One cannot have both! (which one could have in classical mechanics). To find the position of an electron travelling around a nucleus a photon (beam of light) is fired at the electron. As the light bounces back, the position of the orbiting electron is detected. If one bounces enough photons off enough electrons one gets a superposition of states where an electron might be in its path around the nucleus. This is the wave function, and it is solved by the "Schrodinger equation", whereby one calculates the probability of an electron being in a particular place. As the equation is executed, the wave function "collapses" into a single, known state, of position. This, of course, cancels out momentum. The double-slit experiment is probably the best for seeing this wave/particle duality problem.

 

But there is more. When you shoot a photon at an electron, the mass of the photon relative to the electron is so high, that it moves the electron, so, even though you know the position of the electron, because the photon nudged it, by the time you have your results, you no longer know where the electron is! This the observer effect in QM where the measuring observer participates in the outcome of the experiment. This is not the case in classical mechanics (macroscopic world).

 

But there is still more. As an electron orbits a nucleus it makes "transitions" between energy states, where it is either more or less closely bound to the nucleus (nearer or further from the nucleus). It jumps between orbits around the nucleus. Scientists are aware of this transition of the electrons because this is what causes radiation, of which the attempt to explains was the genesis of the quantum theory. As atoms decay, the loss of energy caused by electrons transitioning between states in their orbits causes radiation. Now, the jumps the electron makes in its transition is controlled by the "quantum of action", which is where "quantum mechanics" comes from. The quantum is Planck's constant: h = 6.62607015×10−34 Joules - very very small. This is the smallest amount of action that can be determined by scientific instrumentation, below the Planck length it is not possible to understand what is going on. The importance of this is that the transitions that the electrons make (or any other microscopic thing, photon etc.) cannot be strictly observed. Only their different states can be observed in integers of the planck length, never the transition between the states. That is, causality breaks down. We cannot see the path of the transition because is occurs in values smaller than planck's constant. It is a very bizarre thing not to be able to say if an object (electron) is going to transition, and how. This was the purpose of Schrodinger's cat... The cat is in a box with a atom and a hammer that will break a glass vial containing poison. If the atom decays, the emitting of radiation will trigger the hammer to release the gas to kill to the cat. The point is: science cannot say whether/when/where an atom will decay with certainty because the potential decay can only be confirmed on observation because the actual transition (from non-decay to decay) cannot be witnessed. So, until you open the box, you don't know if the cat is alive or dead, which means, until you work out if the atom has decayed, you can't say whether it will or won't decay, because the transition is hidden. There is absolutely nothing like this is classical mechanics. Thus Niels Bohr says "The quantum of action has become increasingly indispensable in the ordering of our experimental knowledge of the properties of atoms. At the same time, however, we have been forced step by step to forego a causal description of the behaviour of individual atoms in space and time, and to reckon with a free choice on the part of nature between various possibilities to which only probability considerations can be applied".

 

So, the consequence to science is this: the deterministic classical universe that held since Newton shows not to be the fundamental property of nature, but rather there is an area of indeterminacy at the bottom of things, as well as a problematic interference of the observer with the results of experimentation. To overcome this, physicists use the principle of superposition and probability equations using the Schrondinger equation. This means you calculate all the probable locations where a particle might end up, using the quantum of action in the calculations, which makes the wave function. When you do the equation, the superpositions resolve into a single result, a position, which, as I have already said, is no longer where you know it was because your observation has distorted it. Now, you might still say this has no bearing on classical mechanics, but the general idea in science now is that classical mechanics (macroscopic world) is just a "special case" contained with the equations of QM. QM is used to do all sorts of practical things in the macroscopic world, like making atom bombs or working out the age of the universe and the earth. For example, the radioactive decay of uranium, calculated using quantum equations, is how we believe the earth to be four billion years old.

 

Thus, Bohr again:

 

  • The quantum theory is characterized by the acknowledgement of a fundamental limitation in the classical physical ideas when applied to atomic phenomena. The situation thus created is of a peculiar nature, since our interpretation of the experimental material rests essentially upon the classical concepts. Notwithstanding the difficulties which, hence, are involved in the formation of the quantum theory, it seems, as we shall see, that its essence may be expressed in the so-called quantum postulate, which attributes to any atomic process an essential discontinuity, or rather individuality, completely foreign to the classical theories and symbolized by Planck’s quantum of action 
  • [Heisenberg] remarks… that even in the case of macroscopic phenomena we may say, in a certain sense, that they are created by repeated observations [but]… in the[se] classical theories any succeeding observation permits a prediction of future events with ever-increasing accuracy, because it improves our knowledge of the initial state of the system. According to the quantum theory, just the impossibility of neglecting the interaction with the agency of measurement means that every observation introduces a new uncontrollable element. Indeed… the measurement of the positional co-ordinates of the particle [e.g. by shooting photons at an electron] is accompanied not only by a finite change in the dynamical variables [momentum, velocity], but also the fixation of its position means a complete rupture in the causal description of its dynamical behaviour [i.e. we can see where the particle is, but not how it got there], while the determination of its momentum always implies a gap in the knowledge of its spatial propagation [you cannot have position and momentum simultaneously]. Just this situation brings out most strikingly the complementary character of the description of atomic phenomena which appears as an inevitable consequence of the contrast between the quantum postulate and the distinction between object and agency of measurement, inherent in our very idea of observation. 

 

Now, point (3) is about what QM says about the structure of knowledge in general, and is an epistemic or philosophical problem.  If you are in the Copenhagen group (Copenhagen Interpretation), like Niels Bohr, shit is weird. I am in this camp. If you are in the realist camp (and I suspect you are Sagi), like Steven Weinberg, then the results of QM still reflect a coordination between experimentation and the macroscopic world without too much problem (I am still following up on this point). Both of these might have valance, but I doubt either of them are "wrong".

 

The philosophical aspect interests me most. In my post on January 3rd, I have already posted a comment on this and won't go into it any more. Interestingly, the Theory of Relativity is also incredible perplexing for philosophy. More so, I think, than QM.

 

*

 

To conclude, QM is relevant in a number of ways to our macroscopic world. (1) Because of its metaphorical import. (2) Because of its position in the history of science, of which classical mechanics is now the special case of quantum mechanics (i.e. elementary particle physics is based on QM); (3) both scientifically and philosophically the fact that the microscopic world does not behave like the macroscopic would is bizarre beyond belief. I find our inability to observe the transition of states at values smaller than the quantum of action to be fascinating; the quite obvious limit to our knowledge and what this says about cognition in general is also significant (no absolute knowledge). This limit to our knowledge continues to impose huge barriers to our understanding, e.g. the beginning of world is blocked to vision by the Planck epoch/era a period of time equivalent to the Planck constant, in which absolutely no one has the faintest idea what happened, suggesting all the major forces in the universe were combined (strong and weak electromagnetic force, gravity and ??) ruled over by some so far unspecified "quantum gravity". This point links to my earlier comments about the "antinomy" between the question of the beginning or infinity of the universe, and that however we answer this, it will be only a regulative statement. And finally there is the problem of observation (Schrodinger's cat), as well as the fact modern technology of great import is often based on quantum equations, such as atomic clocks which allow satellites to account for time dilation (given in the theory of relativity) so that the GPS system remains accurate (without the clocks keeping this precise time, GPS would be out by about 11km per day due to satellite time being fractionally slower than for an observer on earth); supercomputers and scientific instruments; radioactive decay dating and other chronometric dating applications. In actual fact Planck's constant allowed scientists to understand the composition of the the universe by allowing interpretation of spectroscopic data... this all bear fundamentally on macroscopic problems.

 

Well, anyway, as Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynmann once said, "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics".

 

And I don't, but I'm certain it has considerable implications, not only in the history of science but in understanding knowledge in general. If at the very bottom life is indeterminate and affected by our measurement of it, it is only a small step to argue that other "symbolic forms" can produce their own coherent concepts about phenomena and to see a structure of knowledge in which there is an inherent inability to obtain an absolute metaphysical cognition.

 

 

 

Edited by Micromegas
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