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"When Rousseau tells his
reader about the trauma of "those who will unfortunately
live after you," in a way it is our world crueler to us than it has perhaps ever been,
which he is foreseeing.... Claude Levi-Strauss
MAR Week2-3 Scientific
approach towards Paranormal?
A Dead End?
Comment in Carrie Poppy: A scientific approach
to the paranormal
A very misleading title.
Paranormal (synonym: Supernatural), as per most dictionaries has been defined as "impossible to
explain by known natural forces or by science". The definition implies that the scientific
explanation of the world around us is 'normal' and anything that is above, beyond, or contrary
to that is 'para'.
Since by definition, "paranormal" is beyond the scope of scientific investigation, by using an
occurrence wrongly self-interpreted and classified as paranormal, and then the occurrence is
established to be caused by a physical substance, the reader/listener is fooled and deceived into
believing that 1) there is no such thing as paranormal
2) if anyone even thinks that there is anything paranormal, then special teams of scientific
investigators can easily prove that the person is wrong.
The rest of the talk is a pathetic attempt to cover up this deception. Stuff like "I hope there are ghosts
and I will be proven wrong". Madam, if by any chance you do have an encounter with a ghost and are
sure that this time it is indeed
a ghost, I am willing to bet anything that you will never reveal it, and if you do, I will still win by
declaring that by all established scientific norms, procedures and "approaches" you are insane and
need to be be promptly locked up and pumped with drugs.
See I have proved to you (better than you did - yours had a logical fallacy) that the scientific approach
always wins and is always infallible. If nothing else, cleverly changing the meaning of key words
with some theatrics will certainly work.
"It is a rational presupposition of ours that everything has a natural and perceptible cause. We are
convinced of this. Causality, so understood, is one of our ( Western, scientific) most sacred dogmas.
There is no legitimate place in our world for invisible, arbitrary, and so called super-natural forces -
unless, indeed, we follow the modern physicist in his scrutiny of the minute and secret world of the
atom, wherein, as it appears, curious things come to pass. But that is far from the beaten track.
We distinctly resent the idea of invisible and arbitrary forces, for it is not so long ago that we made
our escape from that frightening world of dreams and superstitions and constructed for ourselves
a cosmos worthy of rational consciousness - that latest and greatest achievement of man.
We are now surrounded by a world that is obedient to rational laws."
Please provide what you mean by phenomena, in
contrast to it's counter-concept of noumenal
(ref.Kant). In your ontological world-view and it's assumptions, is every thing, including all
experiences of everybody living or lived, only phenomena that are detectable in nature by
Please provide what you mean by "detectable", in contrast to what is not detectable. Detectable
or not detectable by whom and by what criteria? What would qualify as detectable, and what as
not detectable? Or is everything detectable in your world-view or ontology?
Please provide what you mean by nature. Does "nature" in your world-view mean all that exists
as matter-energy i.e. physical or does it include what philosophers refer to in idealism?(ref to
Plato, Kant, Schopenhauer, Hegel, Kierkegaard). In other words, is philosophical inquiry subject
to scientific examination or is the reverse (can't be both) i.e. what is the extent, validity, conditions
and limits of scientific examination, a subject of philosophical inquiry?
If Kierkegaard experiences "anxiety", or Sartre experiences "dread" (lets leave alone ghosts for the
time being), without any "detectable, natural causes", are those merely phenomenological states of
a neurological disease or a chemical imbalance that can be cured after scientific examination? To be
treated with anti-depressants to extinguish their anxieties?
Please provide what you mean by scientific examination. Is our conversation subject of scientific
examination or not?
Are the meanings of words, or how each one of us attribute meaning to words, subject to scientific
examination or not?
Is it not that to "provide an example of phenomena that is detectable in nature that is beyond
scientific examination" merely rhetorical, tautological?
Further study reference: Concluding Unscientific Postscript.
Since you have not bothered to answer any of my questions, I can only conclude that you can't make
a basic distinction between philosophy and science, and that the only training or thinking to which
you are limited to is science and it's methodologies, which you seem to believe (rather have "faith"
in) covers all of reality.
I have provided you with the standard definition of paranormal,"impossible to explain by known
natural forces or by science".
I am talking about, not seem to do so, of experiences of people (some examples I have already provided),
but just how is it that you propose to "measure the experience"? In case you haven't noticed, experiences
are narrated, and are not "measurable" even by the narrator, and all the narrator can say is what he/she
thinks of/interprets those experiences, what emotions were there, and so on. But how are you even going
to "measure" the narration, let alone "measure" the experiences of others?
There is a huge body of literature since antiquity about paranormal or supernatural experiences.
Typically you will find that these experiences are not repeatable, and hardly ever under "controlled"
It's obvious that you have never had an out-of-ordinary experience which was not "detected" as
"naturally caused", so you are holding on to fallacy of "since I have had no such experience, it's not
possible, or it's just hallucination".
All religious experiences (note: not religious beliefs) are called paranormal or supernatural, because
the narrator typically relates those experiences to non-physical, or metaphysical forces or entities.
You can open the door of investigation on them and launch a crusade against them, but Dawkins has
already done that and made millions out of it and is running a cult of his own.
There is also a huge body of published literature about OOB (Out of Body) experiences, and you can
take your scientific approach to those who have narrated their exp. and measure how far they have
You can try to force scientific methodology over every aspect of human experience and will end up
with negative results, and that is the History of "scientific approach" towards paranormal and
supernatural - zero tangible results. No scientific approach or methodology will EVER be able to
"detect" or objectively verify even whether there is anything paranormal or supernatural. I find it
an exquisite cosmic joke actually ..... all such efforts, resources leading nowhere, going nowhere -
Since out -of body experiences are also very rare unless "induced" by psychedelics, and not "naturally"
common at all, the results indicated of one of 140 having experienced anything like OOB can also be
easily categorized as an aberration arising out of the physical condition of stress leading to delirium
or hallucination. Now thats the scientific approach for you.
I can put it in million different ways, but it seems you WILL not get it, that: (that's your Will - it's
also an undetectable "supernatural" or metaphysical force (ref Schopenhauer)
The only framework for studying, comprehending and articulating on the metaphysical, paranormal,
supernatural and so on, is Philosophy of the Artistic kind - not even Analytic Philosophy. But even for
that any person has to have some stimulus (at the very least - curiosity) generated by at least one such
experience. Again as in Art, there is no clear methodology that can serve as guideline. One is entirely
on one's own resources.
In OBEs the perceptual field of the person is in synthesis mode, similar to that in dreams but different
(yet again very different in lucid dreaming), as the person has not gone to sleep. This mode of perception
is not as such necessarily related to Spirit, although the consciousness of the person may encounter in
that state non-physical entities of the benevolent or malevolent kind. Whereas in a genuine religious
experience, the Spirit of the person is always involved and in interactive fusion with other spirits or
the Spirit at large.
When we talk about non-physical entities or realms, the difficulty is that concepts about
non-physicality is very contrasting to physical concepts, and yet we have to borrow from the physical,
as analogies, because our minds have been constructed mainly by interactions with the physical world
of sense perceptions and acquired from the social systems. Thus for example the physical concept of
spatial location doesn’t apply to non-physical, since it is not spatially located ( like typically people say:
where is it?).
In OBE’s the spatial location concept collapses because the perception is not “located” in the
physical realm, but then the objective observer would say --- it’s still happening in the confines of
the brain, and so it goes in a merry go round and so this is not comprehensible to those who take
an objective, scientific approach.
All experiences do tend to leave a memory trail, but not all experiences remain in conscious memory,
but it seems they are there in the lifetime of the being, at least sub-consciously – my understanding is
that memories are in the non-physical realm.
How does that work? - no one "knows" since it is beyond human capability and potential to "know" -
it's the "unknowable" realm and should be mapped as such to avoid confusion.
I have provided so many sources ... it seems you are on a tangent of your own without even bothering
"And why should I have to be asking for this information? Shouldn't all this be well known by now?"
... apparently you have not been reading anything outside of scientific literature. Your teeny weenie
universe is such narrow, stuffy place with a dead end and no exit.
Oh but they are not consistent ... and that's the important point of reason why scientific methodology,
or analytic and systematic philosophical approach won't work... but I have explained this to you so
many times in so many ways that I can conclude that you WILL not get it.
In the non-physical realm, outside and inside can't be specified like a box having an inside or outside -
what happens after the experience is not reintegration but interpretation by the rational faculty of the
mind. If you insist: Outside should be understood as the physical, social environment, and inside
should be understood as mind, psyche, spirit.
"Naturally, this new nominalism (scientific) promptly claimed universal validity for itself in spite
of the fact that it too is based on a definite and limited thesis colored by temperament. This thesis
runs as follows : we accept as valid anything that comes from outside and can be verified. The ideal
instance is verification by experiment. The anti-thesis : we accept as valid anything that comes from
inside and cannot be verified." .... C. G. Jung
What you want has been attempted scientifically with modelling the human mind as an organic
computer, but I doubt even the work of one of your peers will make sense for you : John C Lilly.
Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer. and his interpretations/ narratives
in The Centre of the Cyclone.
If that is what you get of our discussion so far, then those are your beliefs from a learned narrative
of Scientism, which you have adapted, and are regurgitating here without any thought or construct
of your own.
I have provided you with umpteen references of well known philosophers and reasons why your
Scientism belief system is utterly incapable of EVER finding anything about the paranormal.
I have also explained to you that the interface between the physical and the paranormal/supernatural
is the Mind/Psyche of an individual existing being, and since you as an existing individual have
clearly never had any experience beyond the ordinary and mundane, and given the narrow belief
system on which you have total faith in, in your case "we" are left to conclude that you will never
have any experience or understanding or even inkling of what the paranormal/supernatural is. But
then who is to know what fate has in store for you - the same mundane humdrum for the rest of your
life or something extra-mundane.
I don't need to attack you, (it's you who started personal attacks) merely exposing your ignorance, and
the domain of ignorance of your religion of Scientism.
I am having a wonderful time in this discussion and learning more about the scientistic archetype
than ever before, so please continue. (Moderator ends discussion here)
MAR 14 On METAPHYSICS (disc. on Soul)
Comments in EdX: DartmouthX: DART.ICE.01X
Question Reality! Science, philosophy, and the search for meaning
Metaphysical concepts cannot be dealt with by the scientific methodology - science deals with
the physical, quantifiable and measurable, and scientific methods fail totally in a discourse on
metaphysical qualities - only art and philosophy are the proper domains of dealing with qualities.
The basic premise of inquiry however is valid: that humans, which are not purely physical "beings"
have "qualities" that machines, which are purely physical "things", cannot have.
Here is an example of the kind of discourse about soul:
"For the body which is moved from without is soulless; but that which is moved from within has
a soul, for such is the nature of the soul. But if this be true, must not the soul be the self-moving,
and therefore of necessity unbegotten and immortal?" ... from speech of Socrates (Plato's Phaedrus)
Is logic wholly within the domain of scientific methodology?
Logic is used in philosophy too, without being seized wholly by the scientific methodology, and
in dealing with metaphysical concepts, the parent domain of logic i.e. reason is also very useful,
though I wouldn't go as far as to say indispensable. But the usefulness of reason is secondary to
experience and intuition, which are primary because reason needs some basis - some grounds,
premises, assumptions on which to function, and these are either acquired through social
programming or originated within through experience. Basically, the ontology on which one is
working or operating on has to be first clear. If your ontology is based upon materialism then
how is reason going to work on metaphysical concepts?
As I understand it, logic is not only an indisputable part of scientific methodology, but also the
basis as well as indispensable part. Again this does not mean that the counterpart of reason,
which is intuition, is not useful in science.... rather Einstein considers it primary (surprised?):
"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a
society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift"........Albert Einstein
"After all, the validity of not a few metaphysical assertions (eg existence of angels) is a matter of
faith rather than logical reasoning."
The word "faith" is a social term that is properly applicable to those who have had some experience
of metaphysical entity/entities, and want to convince another interested person about these, but has
no other way to articulate it.
Originally such experiences were expressed as open ended stories, (open to the interpretations,
efforts of the listener) but became diachronic mythologies, and then religions in civilizations.
A proper communication technology or metaphysics (set of linguistic tools about non-physical
entities) never developed (and it is extremely unlikely that they will), and so I say that Art is the
only domain left for any such discourse. The rational attempts by Socrates and Plato couldn't
develop further... and others like Kant, Schopenhauer, Hegel' s attempts to construct "systems"
on a rational basis flopped, whereas Kierkegaard asserted that such communication were
metaphysics is involved, is antithetical to rational "systems", giving rise to "Existentialism".
That's the core narrative of the dominator culture. Beyond that there is literature of some
"unscientific, primitive" streams, which is incomprehensible to the dominator culture and so
it doesn't become part of any mainstream or academic discourse.
The crux of sorcery is
assembling meaningful non-ordinary perception and the
crux of a warrior is to be humble.
comment on post in a Castaneda Facebook Group
MAR 8 EdX AI, Simulation etc (Again)
Comments in EdX: DartmouthX: DART.ICE.01X
Question Reality! Science, philosophy, and the search for meaning
How likely is it that we will be destroyed by AI?
We have already developed (not created) technologies that WILL destroy us, forget AI. It's the
inherent "nature" of technology - it is developed for war and destruction and ends up fulfilling
it's "nature" absolutely. The silver lining is that that intermediate to it's mechanistic fate lies it's
creative use by artists.
The "objective truth" (though tragic and sad) behind that is:
All civilizations are eventually destroyed by their own technologies, in every world, over and over,
forever and ever.
(Please no "simulation" stuff is to be inferred - it's a "reality").
There are several works of Art that intuit this realization: foremost is Mary Shelly: Frankenstein,
prophetic stories like H G Wells: War of the Worlds, as also movies like The Terminator, Matrix ....
"Art is a lie that reveals the truth" - Picasso
Only an artist or a creative person is the "real" beneficiary of technology.
Artists like Kubrick, Cameron (film-makers) are good examples where the art of storytelling
becomes exponentially potent in it's reach because of technology.
Beneficiary here should be understood as those who have enhanced their creativity with the
use of technology.
Most historians are not likely to agree with this, because their concern is limited to the events of
the past in this world. I doubt very much if any scientist or technologist (or geek!) would even
accept it as a "truth". Some artists, philosophers or mystics may however.
You see it requires intuitive insight into the "nature" of technology, combined with accurate rational
interpretation. Mere insight may not work, as for example the famous incident of Fermi's Paradox,
whereby the scientist had an insight "where is everybody?", but couldn't figure why other highly
"evolved" intelligences with "evolved" science, mathematics and technology from other places of
the universe hadn't showed up here.
"Objective truth" is independent of subjective qualifications, but has to be "realized" subjectively,
whether qualified or not in a particular manner.
My own qualification of this particular objective truth about technology is that it is terrifying,
sobering and evolved-ego-shattering.
So then : Are we living in a simulation?
(again the next best thing to AI for the geeks & scientists)
Here is a thought experiment:
You are a Simulator, who has designed a simulation to test something. In the context of this
discourse, the characters in the simulation are to be tested to judge or distinguish (and act
accordingly) between real and fake, between good and bad and between right and wrong.
From what is conventionally understood as a simulation, whereby the designer is insulated
or an aloof or unaffected observer, the difference here is that you have devolved yourself
into the simulation's characters.
Would you still call it simulation for you or the characters?
"There is no consciousness without discrimination of opposites. This is the paternal principle, the
Logos, which eternally struggles to extricate itself from the primal warmth and primal darkness of
the maternal womb ; in a word, from unconsciousness. Divine curiosity yearns to be born, and does
not shrink from conflict, suffering or sin. Unconsciousness is the primal sin, evil itself for the Logos"
......C. G. Jung
If it makes you feel better, the "truth" is that you are "living" or "existing"
in "reality" and not in a
simulation, but as Kierkegaard would have said you have to "know" this objective truth,
subjectively - by yourself.
And the cue is: Your own experience is reality, it's what you make of it is what makes it
meaningful. If you interpret it as living in a simulation, then who should care but you, yourself?
Getting tied up in technicalities of words is a culture developed trap, (that's the so called
simulation!), that can be avoided only by one' own efforts - it's a key struggle for an existing
individual who seeks meaning.
The other issue is that the temporal reality is necessarily finite and constrained with limitations
- such as the physical reality (which science deals with). Even the non-physical temporal reality,
of which the "Will" is a "necessary" component is not without limits. Schopenhauer gets it right
(finally) and concisely as: "You can do what you Will, but you cannot Will what you Will."
Implying that Will and fate are deeply interrelated, just as "free" and Spirit are deeply
Now you may be able to logically infer from this what "Free Will" means.
FEB 24 THE LIMITS OF TECHNOLOGY
Comments and replies in
The very concept of History has been perverted, as the learned author doesn't understand that the
concept of "History" is no longer acceptable as an objective, science based set of assertions about
"reality" (of which he has no clue), but is an individualized interpretation of information passed
on about past events through earlier people and their narratives.
All History is interpreted through the lenses of the world-views prevalent in the culture of that
time as well as the biases, interests, motivations, and mindset of the narrator or presenter. Without
acknowledging these biases and lenses, what we end up with is doctrine wearing the mask of a
narrative. The world-view from which he spouts this doctrine is that of material fundamentalism
(or scientism) - in which religion is all baloney, nonsense and delusional.
No wonder, by his own admission, he is completely clueless as to the significance or place of
humans in the world, yet is introduced as the "best person to make sense of what is happening in
the world right now". What an irony!
Immediately he asserts that "we" have lost our story. Which means he has lost his story, (if there
was a worthwhile one to begin with).
The actual story that has gone awry is this: in the "enlightenment age" the narrative that started to
grip the Western mindset was - science (and manifest technologies) was the ultimate tool by which
"we" will conquer, dominate and control nature. This mindset (earlier with organized religion) spread
into the political sphere, whereby every corner of this world was conquered and exploited to fulfill
this narrative. But now this narrative is rapidly unraveling and rather than control nature, this "we"
are losing control over everything, and the pain of that is unbearable to this "we".
Naturally, this interpretation (or History!) is not going to be acceptable to "we" the "Spentians", and
solutions are possible only if "we" first acknowledge "reality".
The last thing that I will ask of you is to replace your narrative with
mine, but my suggestion to you
is to not accept "His" narrative blindly, and more so specially the "we" narrative.
"I must create a system or become enslaved to another man's" William Blake
"We" have already replaced all other peoples narrative with a master narrative that has absolute "faith"
in science and technology. This is the meta-narrative that "we" have to examine closely is all that I am
suggesting. The overlaying of all narratives with one dominant narrative is what "we" have done, and
continue to do do even today, and this "fairytale" has turned into a nightmare for the whole world. The
least you can do is to examine it for what it is. Guess what: it is this "fake news" of the supremacy of the
scientific paradigm that has turned "we" into being inhuman and robotic. Inability to acknowledge this
is a symptom of this "transhuamanism"(devoid of humanity). Science has no "picture", no vision to
offer ... is my point, and if that is not clear to you, then as "we" used to say: Xyz help you. (science won't)
"The dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley" Terence McKenna
"The political system is broken and doesn't work for the ordinary person" is another point that "He"
presents, again not admitting that it never did work for the rest of the world, only for the ordinary
persons among "we" and lasted as long as the world was being looted and plundered by the "we". And
now "we" are worried by rising suicides! The misery, death and devastation caused by the "we" to all
indigenous people of the world and their habitats doesn't figure in "His" scientific equation of History.
How can you have a "vision" for the future without an accurate analysis of the past?
The issue of human suffering has been handled by Buddhism since antiquity and the mantra of
meditation has worked for many "we" also, but offers no intellectual ideas that "we" can appropriate
IS SCIENCE LIKE A CANCER FOR THE HUMAN PSYCHE?
Comment in Reply
You should read more carefully. I said “offers no intellectual ideas that "we" can appropriate or exploit”.
A few of his ideas are simple and profound, but was completely silent on whole areas of Ontology,
Metaphysics, Theology, and specially Meaning. You see, Buddha was not interested or didn’t want to get
entangled in those areas, perhaps because he lacked the will, or he may have had the intuitive wisdom to
realize that the linguistic and conceptual tools were simply not developed to deal with these deeper areas
of human thought. Perhaps you should take a leaf out of his book and not make assertions on which you
are not articulate.
Like Harari, over-confidence in what you think you know is not a good habit to cultivate, unless you are
articulate. A dose of Socratic irony will act as medicine, but you have to take it with gusto, not with
bitterness if you are genuinely on the path of knowledge.
But not to worry, you are in illustrious company, most scientists and almost all “we” are unknowingly in
the same soup.
Most scientists don’t even understand the domain, scope and limits of science. One simple reason is that
there is no “general” scientist as such, only specialists. And even among specialists, there is lack of
comprehension when a limit has been reached. Even quantum physicists don’t “understand” quantum
mechanics, but very few admit it.
Assertion: The methodology and process of science is like a cancer for the human psyche. It’s like a
terminal disease for the psyche, as it has no cure, because like physical death, it is the necessity
component of reality.
This is rationally incomprehensible because the psyche is not accessible to our rational faculty, only by
experience. And the deeper problem is that since the psyche has already been “eaten up” (cancer) by the
phusis (physical), it becomes elusive even to the deepest experience. Some people try psychedelics for the
“cure”, but the results are not “scientific” at all! And it’s risky … too risky.
Could you elaborate on which "mind-blowing" original ideas (or even one
idea) are similar between the
psychedelic trippers and the "foundation of the book Sapiens"?
And let me remind you that there is a very broad range of people from indigenous, natural users of
psychedelic plants to white hippies to the other extreme of scientists like Lilly. There is a huge variation
in the literature from these. The one thing common among them is that they have a non-Scientism,
non-organized religion orientation (without rejecting religion), which is totally in contrast to Harari
who is Scientism and anti-all-religion oriented in his world views.
The broad categories of the sixties trippers was "Hip" (from hippie) and "Square", and I bet that the
trippers would all call Harari as a "Square". So clearly there is a divergence here. What ideas are
BTW: Psychedelics have been proven to be very useful in alleviating the stress of terminally ill
patients (esp cancer), even provided them with comforting visions or dreams.
This thread is about the statements made by the root commenter about there being
"old original ideas"
that Harari has repackaged, and the questions I have asked about those statements. Therefore your
tirade is against which "strawman"? I have not in any of my comments here supported any organized
religion, and to make it very clear to you, I am a critic of all organized religions including the
sophistic-ally veiled organized religion of material fundamentalism, also identified as Scientism
by philosopher William James. Since you are bound to demand some "evidence" here is a reference
(though philosophy doesn't demand "evidence", it has become a habit borrowed from Scientism
Challengers of Scientism Past and Present: William James and Marilynne Robinson
James Woelfel. American Journal of Theology & Philosophy
As all organized religions become totalitarian (or at least tend to), so does the religion of Scientism.
(I prefer the my own term: Material Fundamentalism).
In my assessment, based upon the pontifications of the Lord Harari, I "squarely" place his position
as a high priest (if not Pope) of this organized religion.
So throw your words to your Lord:
Religion is a personal thing, just keep it that way
Keep your religion of Scientism out of my state, out of my face, and off my body and we will have
Don't claim your Lords and priests utterances as the only truth and we will have no problems,
Don't you dare assume I need saving, am a sinner, inherently flawed or lacking in morals or values
and we will have no problems
Don't claim your standard of cognitive functioning (belief) is sufficient for policy making and we
will have no problem, cross those lines and we have a problem, therefore Scientism is a problem
whenever it is directed anywhere outside the self, yes it's a problem for addressing many of the
issues we face.
The religion of scientism is truly is in the way, and clearly not the way to decide policy.
FEb 18 2017:
THE LIMITS OF TECHNOLOGY
Interesting that you were inspired by 2001. Kubrick’s masterpiece was a landmark
in the art of
storytelling. Being an open ended story (like the Never Ending Story) it was a rarity in Western
culture storytelling which evoked all kinds of emotions as well as motivations or inspirations.
Nothing was explicit or obvious in the visual metaphors, and everyone that was moved by it
were affected differently. The broadest category was of those who were fascinated by the prospects
of AI – that it would easily exceed human intelligence. Initially I too in my childhood was seized
with that vision. But certain experiences led to to a more fundamental and existential question:
What is “intelligence”?. As of now there is no generally accepted definition, and I believe that it is
because the creative component of intelligence cannot be pinned down by any specific concept or
rational analysis, nor it is quantifiable. Therefore Art, which is the most striking representation of
creativity, is unintelligible to all except it’s target audience.
Starting from the root question: What is “intelligence”? It took me a two decades and more startling
experiences to realize that “intelligence” has a counterpart! Thus Kierkegaard’s statement that “it
was intelligence and nothing else that needed to be opposed” made sense to me immediately. You
see in the Yin-Yang symbolism of true counterparts, in the Yang side there is a tiny dot of Yin within,
and vice versa. The thing is, when a culture goes too extreme on one aspect of reality, the dot of it’s
counterpart becomes so small as to almost disappear, and if someone points that out, it is merely
dismissed as a “dead pixel” on a very large screen, practically un-noticed by the masses.
So ask yourself this question, Doc: What is “intelligence”?
Thanks for the thoughtful reply and clarifying your ontological stance of being a materialist – which
is the necessary meta-theoretical framework for attempting to make higher level reasoning computable
in a machine – but to make consciousness computable, or even insights, intuitions, synthesis and
abstractions is frankly beyond my understanding and imagination of the range of the possible in
machines. Perhaps in your range of imagination, even imagination itself or even dreams are computable.
“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” was the story on which the script of Bladerunner (si-fi movie)
was based – a story about what possibly distinguishes humans and machines in a fundamental sense.
The central question regarding the possibilities of machines (or computational systems) being able to
replicate or synthesize ALL human potential is: can the core human values of ethics, moral conscience ,
justice, empathy, aesthetics etc. be made computable? If it is then it should be able to tell you at every
moment right from wrong, good from bad etc… which makes your very existence itself redundant and
meaningless, and enjoyment the only goal of human existence. From a materialist point of view it may
not be problematic or conscience pricking, and my guess is that most people would opt for such an
existence combined with the then computationally solvable problem of attaining immortality either
through genetics or the (bizarre?) Bostrom idea of brain uploading into machines. No need to go to
Hopefully I have been able to show you the logical consequences from the assumptions about the
possible in computing, and the absurdities (if recognized as such) that result.
Yes, computable may not be such an appropriate word. Perhaps programmable
algorithms or simply
programming is better? Meanings also tend to change with change of words. Regarding to what extent
or even beyond human intelligence that can be programmed, one indeed enters into Philosophy, and
particularly Ontology and Metaphysics. But since each one of us have a finite (so far) lifespan, our
energies can focus mainly on the work that captures our primary interests. Actually, going too deep
into Philosophy may be distracting, even disruptive for your work.
Even though my assessment is that SI is impossible, and yet to come across a purpose it can serve even
if possible, I always uphold Clarke’s saying (co-author of 2001) “The only way of finding the limits of
the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.”
Developments in technology are not only the “necessity” element of reality, it also opens up
possibilities for new challenges for art and human intellect.
A mind explorer John C Lilly, (Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer)
discovered that our beliefs shape the range of our experienced reality, and vice versa. The loop is
entered into by our social and cultural programming, and then affected by novel experiences that
conflict with or are alien to that culture’s beliefs and world views, which in it's wake, may modify
or transcend those beliefs into a wider range of experiences. For most people it remains a closed
loop in which beliefs reinforce the same experiences and which then reinforce those beliefs.
Wrapping up with Eliot: “We shall never cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring.
Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.”
Updated: We shall never cease from programming, and the end of all our programming will be to
arrive where we started and know what it is to be human for the first time.
Feb 2017 Comments in EdX:
Question Reality! Science, philosophy, and the search for meaning
MYTH, SCIENCE & RELIGION: Myths are explanations or
stories that are a result of trying to "see"
or trying to relate to hidden imperceptible causes. Thats the traditional role of myth that has
disappeared and in post-modernity has been replaced and reduced to either a) One single cause
that is imperceptible i.e. monism or monotheism, which is now prevalent in mysticism and
organized religion or b) quantifiable properties or behaviors of physical objects described or
explained by mathematical formulations (i.e. science) that are now increasingly impossible to
explain or describe in ordinary language. This frustration is leading to generation of myths like:
the physical is not real. or it is all an illusion/dream or that the universe is a simulation or it is
just one of multi-universes. It has become one huge merry-go-round in which the meaning and
significance of myth making itself is obfuscated in a cloud of confusion. All these wild shots
merely deflect us from the central question of Metaphysics: what is Real?
Science and religion are divergent modes of
inquiry, and as the ontological domains are distinct
from each other based upon opposing assumptions, are often in conflict and thus incompatible
unless they are sorted to their proper place under the mother domain of Philosophy.
That's achievable individually but In the wider context of the world that's impossible because
of the impossibility of resolving the conflicts of authority.
REPEATABILITY or REPRODUCIBILITY in SCIENCE
essential to objective verifiability which is essential to the validity of
An occurrence that happens only once, and is essentially not repeatable for objective verifiability
is magic or Sorcery, or Art, or simply a miracle. Or religious ecstasy. And this is not a joke.
Or is it? I won't be able to repeat that so it's not science for sure.
What about Plate Tectonics, Climate Study or Evolution?
far as plate tectonics and climate study are concerned, the theoretical models
have a fair degree
of reliability, even in observation although "objective verification" is hardly plausible as these are
macro phenomena that cannot be observed in isolation as there are too many variables in the
ecosystem and the controversies are mostly because of the complexities involved. How precise
these models are is not my area of expertise but I would accept that the scientific method though
not precise and not infallible in these areas still has more far more authority here than say religious
authorities, which have no credible say in these matters.
THE EVOLUTION OF DECEPTION.
And "evolution"? Now that's a very very tricky but very important issue as I
consider it as the key to
understanding human nature and purpose, and goes way beyond "science" into "humanities", more
specifically "anthropology" and "psychology" under which the key sub categories of "mythology" and
"religion" are all integrally involved. Firstly we have to understand what this concept means exactly,
and what scientists have made it mean. It's funny how a word can many a times totally affect our
perceptions, understanding and paradigms. The word "evolution" in the context of science is used as:
(biology) a gradual change in the characteristics of a population of animals or plants over successive
generations: accounts for the origin of existing species from ancestors unlike them.
So there are two aspects to it 1) changes occurring in organisms in successive generations by the
processes of random mutation and "natural selection" 2) the development of complex organisms like
humans from simple organisms .... obviously this has been extended back in time to the first single
cell organism through the process in 1).
Through experiments that test the hypothesis 1) has led to the repeatable observation that a) Changes
do occur in the genes of successive generations of an organism, presumably by random chances and
b) such changes that improve the survivability/reproducibility of the organism for every successive
generation are more likely to perpetuate and those changes that are detrimental to survivability/
reproducibility die out or are not perpetuated.
However, from these observations of which b) is a tautology or logically obvious to the point of being
redundant, scientists have made a colossal "leap of faith" to extrapolate this process backwards in
time to conclude that "all life evolved" from single cell organism, with another "leap of faith" that
somehow that single cell organism assembled itself spontaneously from basic chemicals (there being
no underlying principle even proposed so far for this magic).
There is clearly no way of testing these, no way of repeating these colossal "leaps of faith". As I see it,
the "evolution" backing scientists have trapped themselves in a linguistic deception of their own
making, and by psychological peer pressure, even terror tactics (not unlike organized religion), have
"evolved" into this mass deception.
Although it is well established that organisms develop genetic changes to "Adapt" to changing
environmental conditions to improve survivability, but such changes does not seem to make
them smarter in any other parameter than survivability. (See Donald Hoffman TED Talk)
EPISTEMOLOGY: What is Knowledge? When is something
said to be known? How could the
people of Salem have "known" that there are witches in their midst.?
Something is known when it is
either 1) known through direct experience 2) known by intuition
3) known by reason.
Knowledge in each of these cases has it's own peculiar limitations, and to what extent it is useful
or can be developed into power, can be found only by applying, exposing and testing it through
experiment, experience, expression and interaction.
When we talk about "people" knowing something like
"there are witches amongst us", it does not
necessarily imply "knowledge", but a sharing of information based upon interpreted experience,
that is, belief based upon concepts prevalent in that society. Since antiquity, almost all societies in
the world "knew" in this social sense that certain individuals amongst them had skills that were
extraordinary in terms of perception and ability to manipulate perception. Such people were held
in high esteem for their abilities as soothsayers, as "private consultants", as healers etc. and were
called in what remains in the English language as Sorcerers or Witches (female), although this
terminology is very narrow in it's usage now but actually covers a very wide range of skills that
have all but disappeared, which confounds our present general understanding of these as
supernatural or unscientific nonsense.
Thus with developments in civilizations, technologies and science, such skills were in time to be
looked upon generally in Western civilization in a negative manner, that is, undesirable, even evil.
So in Salem if one person experiences a woman who is behaving oddly according to him (not
conforming to the norms of being female in that society) , he starts spreading this information
around, and if it reaches a critical threshold of agreement, the woman is branded a "witch" and
dealt with accordingly.
There is no way for one to say whether this so called "knowing" (actually believed information)
of that society was "true" or not, that is, whether a certain woman branded as witch was using
certain skills with evil intentions or was mistaken to be such only based upon her non-conformist
KNOWLEDGE, TRUTH and JUSTICE
Then there is the over-arching issue of Justice that is not dealt with in this story (or History) which
has to incorporate not only "truth" but also "good". Moral of the story: "knowledge" is not a simple
affair, after all. It is deeply related to "truth" or "falsehood/ deception", and in it's application as "good"
or "bad" and its resultant as "just" or "unjust". Note that "knowledge" is not itself transcendental, only
temporal, but it's "just" or "unjust" application "has" to be so for the Telos of existence to be meaningful.
There is no objective criteria to determine or "know" whether someone is a witch or not, only
subjective judgment or assessment. Such terms and concepts are not among the social norms anymore,
anyway. But for analysis sake: If I claim that Trump is an evil sorcerer based upon a vision or dream
I had, it is subjective interpretation of that experience, and even if I claim to "know" for sure this
cannot be a claim to "knowledge" as per the acceptable norm for the term generally, although many
people may claim to "know" for sure in such cases.
In the Salem story, the first person to accuse a woman of being a witch may have experienced
something about her or with her which he/she judges to be evil or horrifying and comes to the
conclusion that she is a witch. In this case the limitation to "knowing" is determined by the "truth"
of that person's subjective interpretation of that experience and the criteria (mostly social norms)
by which such conclusion has been drawn.
There also is the possibility that that person has been snubbed or slighted by that woman and seeks
revenge by calling her a witch in public, in which case that person is deliberately deceiving others
- what can be called as "negative knowledge" (conscious or sub-conscious) or "falsehood".
The case for intuitive "knowing" is also possible but exceptional in the sense that the person who
claims to "know" that the woman is an evil witch through intuition or "seeing" must be himself/
herself be a more "powerful" sorcerer/witch/seer and has the moral "power" and recognized as
such in that society, to make a truthful assessment. Clearly in the Salem case this was no possibility
as all witches were "known"(?) to be evil as per their social norms.
There is no way to "know" through pure, unbiased reason that a woman was a witch in Salem and
any reasoning had to based upon "social reasons" or norms that determined the criteria for assessing
actions or behaviors that branded a woman as witch.
So in the witch thing in Salem case, only a) direct experience triggering emotions or driven by
personal motivations limited by interpretations based upon social norms, could be a case for
"knowing" someone was a witch, but there is still no objective way of "knowing" the truthfulness/
falsehood of that person's claims.
It is the society of that place and time that judges, and each one in that society has to thus to take
responsibility (insofar as each is capable) for making those judgments, the actions based on those
judgments and the consequences of those actions.
The concept of knowledge is comprehensive only when related to the concept of
truth, and is not complete without an action based upon that knowing that tests it
- an action that in it's consequences is good or bad, just or unjust.
THE LIMITS OF SCIENCE EdX:
Questioning Reality.......FEB 13 2017
Scientists in denial of any limits to science (exceptions noted)
A lot of people and almost all scientists have spent titanic efforts and even wasted huge resources
in the belief (amounting to almost fanatic "faith") that there are no limits to science. So much so has
been the hype that has been generated by even the top scientists by assuming all authority over
"reality", that scientists are looked upon as the new messiahs (move over Jesus). This has infected
most people on this planet into believing that this new faith will deliver all and sundry to colonize
Mars and onwards to the galaxy, universe and even multi-verses.
This material fundamentalism is not even acknowledged as a new religion whose authority, myths
and doctrines cannot be questioned, let alone to remind these new Popes that they still have to
define the domain of scientific validity, and first of all to acknowledge that there are limits to science
since it can only be valid for the physical AND finite reality that can be investigated ONLY through
QUANTIFIABLE, VERIFIABLE DATA. If no one can verify the claims one scientist makes about any
phenomena, how is it science? In mathematics, which deals ONLY with quantifiable data, can never
ever deal with the qualitative, the mathematical steps and procedures are verifiable, starting from
the axioms and arriving at the conclusion, even without direct observation or experimenting with
purely physical phenomena. But when we talk of the noumenal realm, in which the Psyche is
involved, all scientific investigation, even mathematics, falls flat, and has no foothold whatsoever
even to begin from, because the very fundamental, starting assumptions are different, divergent
and even conflicting.
So instead of examining the assumptions of different, divergent world views and start from there
dialectically ( the Socratic method) by defining the terms of discourse, what we get is a riot of
rhetoric in which nothing needs to be defined because rhetoric is primarily useful for quarreling
and not as the primary or final tool for understanding anything. By saying that there is no need to
define the domain and validity of science, religion, humanities, etc. not only there is an evasion of
responsibility, but also the suspicion that a false appropriation of authority is being protected, so
as to not expose the naked ignorance behind the mask of authority.
In modernity, it became clear that the human intellect had been downgraded by the legacy of
organized religion, and now in post-modernity and it's progression into trans-humanism, it is
not even acknowledged that the legacy of science and technology has devastated the human
intellect beyond repair and beyond redemption, as the human psyche has been reduced into a
mere physical phenomena that can be observed and quantified by data.
And it's not that no one has warned of this (like Jung): but few had the articulation WITH the
"nerve" to persist "knowing" that they face being ridiculed and thrown out of the "mainstream"
as being "unscientific".
Even without the philosophical articulation, those in science that sensed that they are indeed
}approaching the limits of science, dare not say so openly - it will almost certainly deprive them
of a livelihood, apart from the ridicule. One or two may land up in a TED talk:
Harry Cliff: Have we reached the end of physics? | TED Talk | TED.com
"In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human
kingdom, define or be defined."....Thomas Szasz
Jan 2017: RELIGION and
SCIENCE: Over and over again
Part 8 (cont.):
Poor Story Tellers and their methodology - Doctrine and Data:
or Bad Storytelling Techne. Comments in TED Talk
While the art of poetry is the
“communication system of the last resort” in civilizations, the art of
storytelling is the pinnacle of human achievement that remains so from beginning to end, from
primordial humans to the apocalypse. We are in essence nothing more and nothing less than the
stories we tell each other about our nature and the purpose of our being here in this world.
In short – the stories about where we came from, what we are now doing, and finally where
we are going.
The stories can be classified into two broad categories that can be in nature and scope, fictional,
non-fictional or interwoven by both – firstly these are: stories about individuals, their deeds,
encounters, experiences and what they or others understand, learn or make of those experiences
and narratives; and secondly: an overarching narrative about humans and other creatures, societies,
inter-relationships, origins, and the most important of all is a meta-narrative of the ends, the goal,
the telos of human existence and of life itself.
Unfortunately or fate-ally these
stories, narratives or explanations (in science) become unquestioned
and even unquestionable doctrines that are sought to be brutally imposed over every human in
the world. Bitter disputes arise, even wars are fought over them, although the motivations of warfare
are mainly driven by economic gains, capture and control over resources, and dominion over others.
The ideologies based upon organized religion, scientific materialism, nationalism etc. are props for
these disputes and wars – the basic motivation is domination and control which also becomes the
ends for which these conflicts arise. The meta-narrative and the telos of human existence is buried
under the debris of these conflicts. This is the reason why I have stated in the title that the narrators
of both organized religions and science become poor storytellers and use bad techniques of hard
doctrines, unimaginative imposition, unquestioned assumptions, pseudo-authoritative stances, and
rigid rationality that is devoid of Art altogether.
Comment on TED talk: Sisonke Msimang: If a story moves you, act on it
Sisonke Msimang: Your analysis
and observations on the power and limitations of storytelling are
insightful and revealing, and just as accurate as the insightful presentation about the nature of
storytelling by your inspiration: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - The danger of a single story. Both
these meta-stories will remain as unique and brilliant attempts at bridging Art and reason in the
context of storytelling and the meta-narrative of being human.
Some of your phrases need to be
highlighted: "the danger in the telling of one tired old tale",
implying that stories need constant innovation, creativity and updating with time. Thus also
"stories are the antidote to bias", again implying that new biases need to be anti-doted with new
or improved stories that "challenge the mainstream narratives". Therefore, stories "don't necessarily
make the world a better place", and can instead "create an illusion of solidarity" and maybe just
reduced to a "feel good factor from listening to a fantastic story". But you "haven't really done
anything", meaning that if a story does not inspire or force one to act, it remains just a passing fad
of feeling and emotions that don't generate a "moral obligation" towards people one may not like
or are not of one's kin or kind. The other danger is that we get so caught up with the "personal
narrative" that we "forget to look at the bigger picture", that is to say that we lose sight of the
The "decline of facts when
emotions rule" is not so accurate because emotions always rule, and
the analysis therefore must focus on which emotions are ruling in the interpretation or valuation
of facts. And yes, this is one of the biggest of challenges before us. Feeling or intuitions are not
however synonymous with emotions, and can override emotions as well as reason, and mostly
in a positive outcome.
A careful analysis of the lack
of trust in the media will lead to the obvious conclusion: that media
is controlled by businessmen. And businessmen have only one motivation: profit. So the proposed
solution of “credible facts from media institutions combined with the powerful voices of
storytellers” is not only dubious but to me seems utterly implausible because these two elements
are antithetical to each other.
The punchline: “In the final analysis, it is justice that makes the world a better place” is totally
accurate as Justice is indeed the Summum Bonum of human existence, but storytelling is
powerful means and techne (Greek word meaning Art! Also the root word for technology)
towards the Summum Bonum.
The target audience must be the focus is rightly pointed out – but again with the limitation: that
the more powerful an art is – the narrower are its target subjects that can actually be moved into
self-sustaining action and the rest will reject it as atrocious. . But if it lacks power, it may reach
out to a huge audience and most likely end up as mere entertainment.
“The art of storytelling is
reaching its end because the epic side of truth, wisdom, is dying out.”
This is not to discourage the
storyteller but to point out the stupendous-ness of the challenge
and to give an idea of what he/she is up against.
Is all media controlled by businessmen? What about Wikipedia?
Of course not all media is controlled by businessmen. And of course, there are other factors,
ideologies that media is influenced by, which can be very powerful for ex. nationalism. Most
nation's governments have varying degrees of influence over their medias. Thus Snowden is
projected by the western media mostly as a traitor, although there are dissenting voices to
So the conflicting narratives will be there as long as individuals continue to fight systems of
governments, commerce, military etc. that have a strong tendency to become totalitarian. Also
it depends upon which nation, race , culture, religion and ideology you are affiliated with or
subscribe to. An interesting example is RT TV/ Channel that constantly provides alternative
narratives to the Western media, but is dismissed by the West as mere propaganda.
A substantial content on the Internet that is non-commercial is unbiased and Wikipedia may
be a good example of that.
Oct 12/ 2016 RELIGION and SCIENCE 7 (cont..)
Failure of Metaphysics: What is Real?
A simulation necessarily (by the definition of the concept) means that there is someone in a
higher order of existence that is doing the simulation. Scientists easily fall for the fallacy of
treating concepts as reality. To say that we humans are living in a simulation is to demean the
process of life and death. Mystics fall for a similar fallacy by saying that the world/universe is
an illusion, and that there is a transcending "ultimate reality". Notice that the wording has
changed, the substance of the proposition is the same. Intellectual dumbing down in both cases,
only a different context and words. Indeed both have trapped themselves into simulations of
their own making - the virtual reality of words in "misplaced concreteness".
“We are suspended in language.” ― Niels Bohr
"We should be careful to avoid the philosopher's fallacy of misplaced concreteness - treating
abstractions as if they were concrete realities. We (humans) are the concrete realities" - P. Kreeft
2016: Comment in: How Humanities can Help Fix the World
Your meta-theoretical assumption that humans are NOT born with an innate sense of
humanity and have to be necessarily taught needs to be firstly acknowledged as an
assumption and then examined or questioned. Some good discourses about it are there
in Plato's work, and the conclusion, though not explicitly stated, is that "humanity" is
both innate (nature) as well as developed (nurtured), though not necessarily through
"humanities courses". Individual will, effort, experience and actions are all interlinked
and critical factors. The Academia can provide a theoretical basis for development or
"nurturing", but this is not easy or simple. The complex issue of racism, for example,
cannot be resolved by taking "History" courses (in any case - "who's History?".
This post-modernity's unexamined assumption that humans have no innate (inherent
part of their nature) moral or ethical sense is the result of evolutionist indoctrination -
a devolutionary development in "humanity" as a result of Hyper-STEM-ism.
Carl Jung called this idea disastrous: that humans are born as "tabula rasa",
or that the psyche comes from "outside", or that it develops only from the physical
environment, society or culture.
Comment in reply to
comment: "so long as STEM is the focus, much of the underlying
philosophical positions/assumptions go unnoticed, unchallenged."
You have correctly pointed out that in the STEM disciplines as such there is no
questioning of the underlying assumptions or philosophical positions, and that these
go completely unnoticed so are never even challenged. Now an individual in STEM
research may question the ethics in the application of the results of STEM research,
without going into the theory of ethics (which Humanities is supposed to deal with)
or metaphysics or ontology (which Philosophy is supposed to deal with). A famous
example is Einstein who said that the only thing he regretted in his life was signing
the letter supporting the development and use of the N-Bomb.
“The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the
solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should
have become a watchmaker.” Einstein
All STEM research and findings pose tremendous challenges for humanity - which
has not so far been earnestly taken up by the academia - whereas Hollywood has
been slightly better at it.
Comment in: Is Political Science too Pessimistic?
The core question seems to be: have institutions completely taken over, or is there still
some power left for an individual to exercise?
Of course there will always be the "potential" for an individual to move the political
sphere, but this "potential" is pitted against mountains of entrenched institutions and
economic or business interests that will neutralize any radical change in their structures
and style of functioning, since nothing can alter the motivations and entrenched interests
of the masses that run these institutions.
Even at the theoretical level, the task of the Philosopher is a monumental one because
it is always pitted against the "Demos", and this is the foremost political thesis in Plato's
work. Concisely put as: "the philosopher versus the demos" by a lecturer.
Thus democracy is doomed to fail, and that is the Socrates/Plato prophecy. To a fully
conscious observer this is obvious: Democracy in all nations has become a farce, because
in fact all have become Oligarchies - nations that are run by a handful of businessmen
wearing the mask of democracy and deluding the masses into thinking that they are equal
partners in sharing power.
Since the scientific establishment and it's influence in education is overpowering, and
the total ignorance of this establishment in recognizing the forces at work in the Demos,
scientists who are trying their hand in "political science" have no clue at all about the
monster they face, because they themselves are part of this monster.
As it is the term "political science" is an oxymoron, and there can be no such creature
as "political scientist", this itself is one of the biggest jokes of modernity/post-modernity
that these scientists will never get to enjoy.
Uncontrolled population growth is the number one symptom of moral collapse. The driving
factors however are: greed without limits, money as the only value,...... the rise of
nationalism, parochialism, extremist ideologies, reckless capitalism... in short: lack of
balance in all aspects of life.
"Man has not woven the web of life, he is but one thread. What he does to the web,
he does to himself."... words of a "savage, unscientific beast"
Reddit: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
SIMULATION AND REALITY?
The best way to understand the distinction in the simplest manner is by example; In one
case you are driving a car, say a Honda, from home to your workplace, and in another case
you are "driving" a Honda car simulator. The first case is for simplification sake "reality",
because if you have a crash in "reality" you can be killed, whereas if you have a crash in
the simulator, you are still intact, and therefore it is not "reality" but the "simulation" of a
crash. But in both cases your experience of the events is "real".
Consider now the possibility that unknown to you, you have a heart condition, and in
operating the simulator, which, lets say is a good and realistic simulator, and you have
such a crash in the simulator that the experience itself triggers a heart attack and you die.
The simulated experience has become just as real as "reality". (incidentally, some people,
otherwise healthy, have died of psychic shock after being bitten by a non-poisonous snake!)
By now you may "realize" that the pragmatic difference between the two concepts is how
the outcome of either event "effects" your experiences and what you make of it - what
you have "really" learned from it. In the car simulator of course learning how to drive is
much more safer than in the "real" car, but then you haven't traveled anywhere really
- which is the function of a real car. So one crucial difference is that the simulation is
"safer" when you have to learn or test something for the "real" thing.
The most important distinction however is that in a simulation, just like in the game
versus reality comparison, there is none or insignificant moral involvement.
In the example above, in a real car crash, there are moral issues involved, but in
a simulator car crash there are no moral issues involved.
In the objective, scientific context, obviously the simulation is the safe and protected
way to test something before it is subjected to the "real" environment where the issue
is then is as "real" as life and death. Notice that simulation requires a simulator: a being
or conscious entity doing or running the simulation to test it's outcome. Otherwise
the concept makes no sense pragmatically or even "objectively".
In Reality of course, a being is totally involved, and even more critically, in relation
to other beings, and the outcome is not only a life and death issue, but even more
primarily a moral issue.
"You are mistaken if you think that a man who is worth anything ought to spend
his time weighing up the prospects of life and death. He has only one thing to
consider in performing any action, and that is whether he is acting rightly
or wrongly." Socrates
Now talk about (even by esteemed scientists) the universe possibly being a simulation
(or a hologram) is just useless speculation because philosophically that would require
assuming a conscious entity doing the simulation, the purpose of it etc. (which makes it
the prerogative of that entity) and scientifically there is no way to test and verify whether
the universe is a simulation or not. To call the universe a simulation or a hologram is
actually concept perversion, but scientists can't understand even this, their egotism
makes them deluded into thinking that they are playing God. Scientists haven't even
come close to being God like so far, although they do try simulating God.
JUNE 8: Reddit:
Religion, Science, Metaphysics, Mythology
Intro: Why Myth? The Need for Myth making
In metaphysics. the scientific paradigm of reality doesn't work, and it is even more
important point out that it blocks understanding of non-physical reality. You have
to put aside the science to make your way in metaphysics, because science is good
only for understanding physical reality.
I view metaphysics as follows: The subject of ontology is the study of the categories
of things that exist or may exist in some domain. Ontology is the attempt to say
what entities exist. It is one's list of entities or concepts about entities, while one's
metaphysics is a theory about those entities. Metaphysics is closely related to religion,
art and mythology, and thus "depends on the subject" doing the metaphysics based
upon his/her own experiences, and not on some objective criteria upon which
science is based.
Isn't Mythology "dead"?
Isn't it all just silly "fairy tales", stuff of the past when
there were no scientists to tell us what's "Reality" versus the falsehoods that
constituted all myths, and now that we have the "theory of everything" who
in his/her right mind would want to have anything to do with myths?
Science has already "buried God", demolished religion, and proved that myths
are all mere imaginations of foolish ignorant minds living in the past.
Keeping myth aside for the time being, let me recap the current state of the
science-religion conflict, which many are attempting to "unify", but is a flawed
attempt anyway without mythology and also in order to show how vital and
indispensable is myth making and mythology - study of myth.
RELIGION and SCIENCE: Part 1-6
FROM JUNE 2016 to AUG 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016 at 8:15am UTC+05:30
RELIGION and SCIENCE: Part 1
Cacophony of the Unification Bandwagon, and the
opposition by the atheists/
Unification of science and religion is neither possible, nor is there any sense or purpose
to it. However, although reconciliation is possible but improbable because of the multiple
conflicts in the authoritative stances of the proponents of the divergent worldviews, the
divergent methodologies, assumptions, ontology and validity domains of the results.
Heck, you can't even reconcile (again no unification is possible in organized religions too)
the differences and conflicts between various organized religions (the latest figure I
came across for sects in Christianity is 41000).
Similarly, there seems to be no reconciliation possible in the two sects of scientists - one
sect that believes in evolution and the other that does not. Even there the hostility is
The continuing cacophony over how to unify religion and science seems to increase by
the day. This is of course being opposed and scorned by atheists/agnostics/materialists
and most scientists. They are smelling blood after the decline in the numbers of religiously
affiliated, and continue to oppose any unification/reconciliation so as to consolidate their
increasing foothold in the public mind. The educational system, where they are dominating,
seems secure to them but they are baffled by the results in the political sphere: even after
“evolution” being indoctrinated into young minds from the past few decades, people are still
distrustful of atheist/non-religious candidates for political office. I am quite sure that if all
the efforts made by the science teachers in schools all over the world to teach every child
“evolution” had actually succeeded even for a generation, by now Stephen Hawking would
have been the King of England, and Richard Dawkins the Prime Minister. Not sure which
scientist would be POTUS (Tyson?).
Jokes apart, what is even more frustrating to them is that although the STEM mantra has
crushed AH with ease (Arts and Humanities, even Philosophy has been dominated,
appropriated or dismissed as useless or “dead” as the Great Pope Hawking calls it), it doesn’t
seem to be working in the political sphere. AH has been over-run by STEM because of both
economic reasons as well as lack of interest, talent and drive for the parent domain of
inquiry - Philosophy (as Socrates would have put it: money and Philosophy
can't go together).
After having plundered the world's resources, the Socratic prophecy is confirmed: Western
society has become philosophically defunct, and has surrendered it's body and sold it's soul
(spirit long dead) to the commercial scientific enterprise. The authority of scientists in all
spheres, except politics, is total. (Now the other laggard civilizations are trying to catch up
with the "developed" West and mostly mimicking blindly every thing that the West does.)
COMPLETE DOMINATION BY SCIENCE
The domination and invasion of scientists into what should be clearly "humanities" is
almost complete. Science has become a totalitarian system, and that has happened
because scientists have not bothered to properly define (like the sophists) the proper
domain of science and it's limitations - and that's because it would limit their authority
and economic value. Having tasted power, they want it all and absolutely
- you see.. power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The dehumanization contract (the Devil's deal) - earlier with organized religions for
millennia, has now been taken over by Scientists. The last frontier for them is the
Although I have coined the term Material Fundamentalism, there are others who
have coined a different term SCIENTISM:
A belief (amounting to a ineffable religious fervor) that scientific knowledge provides
a necessary and sufficient (that is, complete) worldview that entails the reduction
of all reality, including human subjects to (mere) physical processes. ....From:
Challengers of Scientism Past and Present: William James and Marilynne Robinson
Friday, June 10, 2016 at 12:45pm
RELIGION and SCIENCE: part 2 (continued)
[Sidebar: When such material is presented,
in almost all "conversations" or forums, and given the
choice to down-vote, I am given the thumbs down and status of "children" (Reddit forum) by the
pundits - the pseudo-intellectuals of the mass culture. I wish there were other categories below
the level of children, namely "fool" or "crackpot", I would feel even more honored, LOL.
Where there are moderators they either take days to post it, or simply make it disappear many
times. (Huff Post).]
So why is it that although almost every child on this planet has been taught evolution,
most of them end up not trusting atheists for political office? And even when many are
actually leaving the organized religion fold to declare themselves "Nones". And even
among the "Nones", most of them are not turning into atheists.
The atheism juggernaut
which took off sharply after the Popes buckled under the
"evidence", and then even after getting a boost from Dawkins, Harris, Krauss etc. is
now losing steam, and the growth in their numbers is sharply slowing down. To keep
their atheist religion alive they have started setting up their own organizations,
churches, communities and groups.
They are highly active in debate and discussion forums and much more abusive than the
theists. They work like an ant army, taking apart everything they can feed on, and carry
off the scalps and trophies to boast about.
THE FALSE SEARCH for UNIFICATION
Upset by these developments, the theists as well as those having their "faith" in both
science and religion are looking for a "unification". After the "Creation Science" misfire in
which they tried to shove in the ridiculous idea that "Creation is a science" (rather than a
Myth) and the not so successful ID, the typical formula that is being proposed is: all right
we concede to the evolution factology, but as a compromise accept that it is "God guided
evolution". To which the atheists say: nothing doing.
Amidst this, the scientists/atheists come across the GW and Climate Change issues, and the
religious extremists at last see their chance to spit in the faces of the scientists: the only
way GW and CC can be proven to be catastrophic is when an actual huge catastrophe takes
place, which it hasn't as yet, so it's technically an unpredictable extrapolation into the
You see, future extrapolation is far less acceptable and credible in such things as climate
than the past extrapolation of the idea of evolution. The other problem for the atheists is
that scientists are still clueless as to the origin of life, all experiments having failed to go
beyond amino acids ending up in tar. Besides that, they have not even proposed a
plausible principle by which amino acids come together to form a basic RNA/DNA chain.
So they have entered the Sophist's territory to fudge and obscure the issue by
manufacturing technical jargon like "emergence".
Much of this has also been exposed by writers such as Suzan Mazur in her books and
articles: the titles are interesting like "The Darwin Industry" and
"The Origin of Life Circus"
Friday, June 10, 2016 at 12:50pm UTC+05:30
RELIGION and SCIENCE: part 3 (continued)
The Battle for Social Authority and Political Power
Coming back to the the
question as to why despite all "evidence" and "facts" and
"emergence", the people at large are not turning towards atheist, "evolved" leaders?
In spite having been taught evolution at a young age, stuffed with scientific data and
technological dreams of colonizing the universe, why aren't voting people trusting
My thesis is that deep down, instinctively or intuitively, many people suspect that this
rosy evolutionary picture is flawed somehow. There is a visceral, gut feeling that there
is something wrong with this picture. And although rationally they can't pin point where
the flaw lies, they still intuitively and subconsciously reject the evolutionary story.
"No matter how clever
the checkpoints of the tonal are, the fact of the matter is that the nagual
surfaces. Its coming to the surface is always inadvertent, though. The tonal's great art is to
suppress any manifestation of the nagual in such a manner that even if its presence should
be the most obvious thing in the world, it is unnoticeable. On certain occasions, however, or
under certain special circumstances, something in the tonal itself becomes aware that there is
more to us. It is like a voice that comes from the depths, the voice of the nagual. You see, the
totality of ourselves is a natural condition which the tonal cannot obliterate altogether, and
there are moments, especially in the life of a warrior, when the totality becomes apparent.
At those moments one can surmise and assess what we really are. I was concerned with
those jolts you have had, because that is the way the nagual surfaces. At those moments
the tonal becomes aware of the totality of oneself. It is always a jolt because that
awareness disrupts the lull. I call that awareness the totality of the being that is
going to die. " .... Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)
Friday, June 10, 2016 at 3:48pm UTC+05:30
RELIGION and SCIENCE: part 4 (continued)
MYTHOLOGY: WHO DARES TO TREAD HERE?
Before Religion and after Science.
From the primordial to post-modern and the Apocalypse
A person who reaches adulthood these days usually has the highest priority to make
a living - get a job, a career. That and the routines take up almost 80 to 90 percent of
their time. Those in academia, in philosophy, science or religion have their favorite
afflictions as well as constrains dictated by culture, ideology, job requirements etc.
They are bound by the rules, dogmas and pressures of the institutional framework in
which they work and draw their salary, which is threatened if they step out of line.
It's not surprising therefore that hardly anyone has the time and energy to take a
broader look at life outside survival/social requirements.
Most people therefore develop very quickly a fixed view of the world/reality from which
they do not deviate for the rest of their lives. Some do make (conversion?) a leap,
but again usually from one extreme to the other.
Very, very few have the drive to keep seeking, keep exploring, and in this age they are the
ones who are restless, dis-satisfied with the state of affairs and the extreme, conflicting
world-views they have been subjected to. They are the ones that feel that these world
views are flawed; whether that of religion - in which an all encompassing deity is dictating
everything, or that of science in which certain "laws" dictate everything.
They are the ones that have the feeling that there is something wrong with all the pictures
of God or evolution they have been shown - and they ask questions like; What the hell is
going on? Why are things so screwed up? Who or what is running the show? ..... until they
come across something that shocks them to the bone... and then some of them (again
very few) will start connecting the threads together.
IF you are such a one, welcome to MYTHOLOGY101:
from THE MATRIX
(1999): Morpheus: I imagine .. that right now you're feeling a bit like
Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole?
Neo: You could say that.
Morpheus:I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees
... because he's expecting to wake up. Ironically, this is not far from the truth.
Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.
Morpheus: I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you're here. You're here
because you know something. What you know, you can't explain. But you feel it. You felt
it your entire life: That there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what,
but it's there. But you feel it. Like a splinter in your mind... driving you mad. It is this
feeling that has brought you to me...You know what I am talking about?
Neo: The Matrix?
Morpheus: Do you want to know... what it is?
Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room.
You can see it when you look out your window.... or when you turn on your television.
(or browse the internet.. facebook) You can feel it when you go to work ... when you
go to church ( or working in the lab, conducting experiments) ... when you pay your
taxes.(that one especially) It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes . to
blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage
.. born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison .. for your mind.
Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill....
the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe ... whatever you want to
(NOW TAKE THE BLUE PILL: LEAVE THIS PAGE - yes NOW)
You take the red pill .. you stay in Wonderland . and I show you how deep the rabbit
hole goes. Remember..... all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more.
NOW TAKE THE RED PILL BY CLICKING HERE:
(WARNING: PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK)
This was the series SCIENCE and RELIGION from Part 1 to 4
Before the Next Series of RELIGION and SCIENCE, some History and related Anthropology
Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 8:20pm UTC+05:30
This is a classic example of how the Truth can be turned on its head. This "professor of
History" claims that there was no genocide of the Native Americans, and that they were
decimated only by disease, not by the benevolent "White Man". "How smooth must be
the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like
While it is not correct to hold guilty an entire race for crimes of few, that does not mean
that no responsibility befalls those who benefit or profit from those crimes, even if they
had no direct role in the crimes. The substance of his arguments is the same that a Nazi
would have used had they won the war and established their order over the world.
Finally his lecture concludes on justifying the perverted morality of "Might is Right"
and calls for the "White Man" to fight against the Liberals and Marxists (his created
strawmen) with his so called "facts". Sounds familiar?.... smooth talking Hitler in a
"skinhead" avatar? He should learn from one of his fellow men:
"For us European
earth-dwellers, the adventure played out in the...New World signifies
in the first place that it was not our world and that we bear responsibility for the crime
of its destruction."...Claude Levi-Strauss
History and Anthropology
cont..Wednesday, July 20, 2016
The Coyote and the Ducks
The previous post was
about how an oppressor or tyrant gives all kinds of justifications,
twists and distorts facts and defines all terms according to what suits him/her for that
occasion or context. He will use phrases like "don't let the liberals make you feel guilty
for what you never did", addressing his cohorts. Like a shyster lawyer defending his
client, he will say "and since you are not guilty, how dare anyone hold you responsible?"
As you may have observed,
he wants his cohorts to feel pride for having brought the
remaining "untermensch" (is a term that became infamous when the Nazis used it to
describe "inferior people") to the level close to the evolved civilized man of the "superior
race". What he rants about is that these useless free eaters are not thankful for what has
been brought to them by the toil and genius of the superior man. What bothers him most
is that the Truth is beginning to emerge - and that some traitors of his own race (he calls
them cultural Marxists) are beginning to put the pieces of History in their correct
perspective. You see, his kind are absolutely lacking an emotion of what can be called
shame (for lack of a better word). Such people are shameless. This was obvious even in
the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis, where the closest that any Nazi came to admitting
being anything was: Dummkopf (meaning blockhead). But shamelessness was obvious.
The thing about responsibility is that it has to come from within a being, and one emotion
that potentially can give rise to a sense of responsibility is a sense of shame that comes
from the acknowledgement of a moral failure. That however is a painful process that few
are willing to go through, for they have the easier and profitable option: join the ranks of
the oppressors or tyrants. The only way for a morally conscious person (i.e. not shameless)
is to put oneself in the place of the other: the oppressed, deprived, cheated, lied to,
dispossessed and almost exterminated. Listen to their stories:
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 4:36pm UTC+05:30
What is it about us they don't like? That was not only the title in Thomas King's story, but
also the profound question that was not really answered. In that story, the coyote replies
"Oh they like you all right, it's your feathers they like better" I think there the story begins
to lose it's depth, because the first part " they like you all right" does not ring true.
"They" do not indeed like "us" one bit.
Therefore, I would like to inject a twist in the story as follows: "They" in this story henceforth
refers to the mass culture of this world, not "white man" as such, and the feathers of the
ducks metaphorically represent American Indian values and "Spirit", and the Coyote is the
metaphorical trader who has to convince the Ducks (American Indians) to keep giving up
some of their feathers if the Ducks (American Indians) want to live.
DUCKS: What is it about us they don't like?
COYOTE: Oh! where to begin? Yes.. when they first came they didn't like your religion. They
called it "Devil worship". Your creation stories were anathema to them. In spite of trying to
convert you to the "True God", they were disappointed when you all didn't convert wholesale
to Christianity, and now they are dismayed that even those who had converted are becoming
apostate, and relapsing back to devilish ways. Then they didn't like your stubborn clinging to
the land, and not wanting to sell it. You had this horrible idea that the land was common to
you all, given to you by the "Creator". This is blasphemy from every angle: religion wise,
politically, and economically. These communist practices have been proven to be utter failures.
You had not yet evolved to the brilliant idea of individual ownership of "Real Estate". Also, you
were not willing to convert to Capitalism which has proven to be the most brilliant idea of all
times. What is worse, their civilized ways seem repugnant to you. What then irked them most
was your unwillingness to learn the civilized ways. Since your adults were hopelessly stubborn,
they had no other option but to help your children to learn, by taking them away from you and
put them under proper care so that they have no connection left with your primitive mentality.
You see how desperate they were to help you, but you are thankless and ungrateful, still
unwilling to surrender all your land for the priceless education in civilized ways. So what they
dislike most about you is that you refuse to assimilate into a superior culture even when they
are bending their backs to help you with it. You see, had you assimilated, one of you could even
have become the President of The United States. Don't laugh but when a black person (oops,
technically half black, but still de-facto black) with a name like Barak Hussein Obama (name
which rhymes with Saddam Hussein and Osama) could become the president and also get the
Nobel peace prize, why couldn't one of you?
DUCKS: But we never wanted to live like that, nor did we want any of their help so why did
they want to force these upon us?
COYOTE: Oh you still don't understand, so let me explain. You see, they can't stand it if anyone
in the world, or the entire cosmos, does not consider their way of life superior and the most
evolved life form. Some of them even insist that it is through them that the universe has
become conscious of itself after billions of years. What rankles them most is your attitude of
defiance, of not accepting subservience to a superior way of life. No other people in any part
of the world have defied them as you have. All other people have assimilated into this mass
culture of theirs. This is unacceptable to them, and their science tells them that this kind of
madness is related to your feathers. They have concluded that if your feathers are completely
taken away, then you have a good chance of being cured of your madness.
Their anthropologists and psychologists have spent huge time and resources to come to the
conclusion that the other madness of yours is due to the obsession with this "relation to mother
Earth". Astrophysicists have found out that there are trillions of such "Earths" in the universe,
and mathematicians have projected that there are trillions of such universes and eleven
dimensions. In the light of such knowledge you people are still stuck with this Earth, holding
it in great reverence even when like everything else it is merely a "speck of dust". Then there
is this delusion of yours with this thing you call "Spirit". No scientist has found a shred of
evidence of any such "Spirit". With great efforts after innumerable debates, the scientists
had finally convinced the remaining deluded among their own people that there is no
"Sky Daddy". The source of everything is Stardust from which everything came and will
eventually end up as - this is the final story of all - thou shalt have no other god but Stardust.
So even their scientists are not happy with you - since you have not adopted Stardust as your
deity, and science as the ultimate methodology for the reverence of Stardust. How can you
expect to evolve and go to Mars and the Universe if you keep up this obsession with the Earth?
You are becoming a hindrance to evolution since hardly anyone of you likes STEM - which is
all that knowledge is - not your silly "Spirit" mumbo jumbo. So you see that it is almost
everything about you that they don't like, and that is why some of their leaders even called
for exterminating you completely so as to get rid of the problem for ever - the "final solution".
The men amongst you were easy to kill after the slightest provocation, but the women and
children had to be assimilated by rape and "education". That was their mistake and the
foolishness of the liberals and cultural Marxists among them to keep some of you alive,
as also their mistake of not wiping out all evidence like boarding schools. Since I keep
coming back for your feathers, you may by now have begun to suspect that that there is
something magical about your feathers that keep both you and them alive. Finally now
you may realize that you have to keep supplying them with feathers, or else they will
simply destroy everything including you and your precious Earth. So you see I am helping
you by convincing you to keep growing and giving up some of your feathers so that you
can keep your story of "relationship with the Earth", for they have no need for such silly
outdated ideas. They are getting ready to go to Mars, and once they have left to colonize
the universe, then they will have no need for your feathers or the Earth.
End of Story
POSTSCRIPT: In this world where science is the only valid knowledge and organized
religion the only religion, a Seer is like Nunez in "The Country of the Blind" ( Story by
H. G. Wells) As for the American Indians it has been and still is:
Fighting Terrorism since 1492:
Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at
Religion and Science 5 (continued): Failure of Communication Systems:
"London Bridge is Falling Down"
While Art is really the
crowning glory of human life across all cultures, it's linguistic forms
have a special place, particularly in civilizations. But Art in linguistic form - at best as poetry,
is really the "communication system of the last resort" - when all other systems of
communication have failed. This thesis is brilliantly presented by Allen Grossman in his
first lecture "London Bridge is Falling Down" Poetry: A Basic Course. Even the last resort
however fails eventually because in civilizations Art is mostly treated by the masses as a
leisurely pastime, and even more so as mere source of entertainment - as something to
amuse oneself with at the end of a hard day's work. You see, a lot of mental labor is required
to keep up with "evolutionary pressures" that are now focused on the "survival of the fittest".
Which has now come to mean: those that deserve to be sent to Mars and beyond (mostly
scientists but maybe a Pope or bishop who accepts evolution fully), so that the humans can
evolve into interstellar species, so that un-evolved, primitive people can then fight over any
remains of this messed up earth. The Nietzsche-ian evolutionary idea of the Uberman has
been mostly abandoned after the first Uberman proved to be a disaster. The idea was that
a new species of man will evolve that will overcome all the shortcomings and stupidity of
man. Nietzsche proclaimed: Man is only a bridge between ape and Uberman. Next came the
idea of Transhumans: led by philosophically defunct academicians who gave humanity the
Great Hope that technology will take over all human functions - even upload all the brains
into a machine and achieve "singularity": the ultimate unification of all. So who said that
Religion and Science are not unified? In Transhumanism there is no distinction between
human and machine, between religion and science, and no distinction between shit and
Shinola. O, where is thou, Art? Where did the mess begin? How deep is the rabbit hole?
The answers, if at all there is a cognition of a problem here, should have come from
Anthropology and Psychology, both of which failed because of both organized religion
as well as misappropriation of Humanities by the scientific establishment. At the rock
bottom, the seeker will find that it all begins by not only how humans treat each other
but also other creatures, upon whom there is a hidden, paradoxical and conflicting co-
dependence and inter-connectivity that takes vision or insight to discover even partially,
but which reason fails to discern, scientific methodology fails miserably and organized
religion too corrupted by greed and paralyzed by ineptitude to make sense of. Art has
very selective range of appeal, for the masses it is just entertainment. So even Movies,
one of the best forms of Art are not taken seriously because through science education
we have learned only to focus on so called facts. Therefore, in our time, one of the crucial
ways of resurrecting Art is in combining movies with facts that are represented minus the
biases and pre-loaded cultural values - in other words: Documentaries. Following is one
such documentary which presents in a fairly unbiased manner the treatment by Native
Americans of captives taken from the "invaders". The "invading conquerors" of course
told lies such as: "white women were brutally raped and tortured", but as the
documentary illustrates with testimonies: (surprise, surprise!) some of the
women even "escaped" back into "captivity".
Yeah, yeah, classic Stockholm Syndrome, the pseudo-psychologist or the likes of Steppy
Skinhead will snicker. Then again, the truth is not palatable or digestible to most,
only the seekers.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at
RELIGION and SCIENCE 6 (Continued): Partners in Moral Collapse.
Ignored Early Warnings. "The Canary Effect"
The spiral of moral degeneration in civilizations is fuelled by both the men of religion as
well as men of science. This is simply because both basically serve people in power and
their livelihoods, rather their very lives are dependent upon them. In civilizations, the
political leadership is invariably morally corrupted since the foundations of civilizations
are built upon conquest, domination, and subjugation or slavery of non-civilized people
as well as the build up of a hierarchy of classes and castes within their own society. The
other very important driving factor for both is not only social prestige but also commercial
value. Their services are highly valued by the political powers - religion because of it's
psychological hold over the masses, and science/technology because of it's military value
for conquest and expansion. Both these become commodities sought by those seeking
Sadly even art becomes
commercialized and commoditized, although McCluhan stated
"I think of art, at its most significant, as....a distant early warning system that can always
be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it."
No sir, the old culture
has ignored all warnings. Lately there is a power struggle between
them for the position of ultimate authority that can dictate all human affairs in a global
world order. With religion having taken a beating from the science super-weapon of
"evolution", now the Uber-Scientists have started floating their own utopia: Rationalia;
a state run by reason. (Reason as defined by scientists - that is, "their reason".). They
have started their own political agenda along with "reason rallies". It's not that people
with vision and wisdom within civilizations have not warned the dominator culture of
the dangers of organized religion and science/technology. Socrates and Plato were the
first to articulate the traps that lay in store for civilizations - they were the first early
warning birds that did that.
So did Jesus:
"For if men do these things while the tree
is green, what will happen
when it is dry?"
But after that came a long gap.... the "conquest of paradise" by the spearhead of
civilizations took place. But surprisingly for the conquerors, the "savages" in the
Americas saw them not as saviors but as "walking, talking ecological disasters". This
was one place where the "pale faces" were looked upon with scorn and contempt.
But who gives a damn as to what "savages" think?. Well one man did - Rousseau. He
tried his best to set off the alarm - that the "noble savage" was the last remaining
link with mother nature. He did have some influence in sparking a romantic movement
that soon petered out. Then of course there were others who warned the dominator
culture: Poets like Blake and Eliot, then Jung in psychology: "this megalomania of ours".
Levi-Strauss in anthropology. Kierkegaard in religion "the crowd of Christendom".
The conquest and genocide of Native peoples across the world was justified by the
dominator religion as "manifest destiny". The scientific minded remained mostly silent,
and generally passed it off as "social Darwin-ism". Some even supported it with their
scientific version of "manifest destiny". To Christopher Hitchens, one of the celebrated
"New Atheist", anyone who refused to join him in celebrating "with great vim and
gusto" the annihilation of the native peoples of the Americas was (in his words) self-
hating, ridiculous, ignorant, and sinister. People who regard critically the genocide
that was carried out in America's past, Hitchens continued, are simply reactionary,
since such grossly inhuman atrocities "happen to be the way history is made". And
thus "to complain about[them] is as empty as complaint about climatic, geological,
or tectonic shift". Moreover, he added, such violence is worth glorifying since it more
often than not has been for the long-term betterment of humankind - as in the United
States today, where the extermination of the Native Americans - the American Indians
- has brought about "a nearly boundless epoch of opportunity and innovation".
A recent documentary
titled "Utopia" is quite revealing. Another documentary linked to
below titled "The Canary Effect" was made by Yellow Thunder Woman, which details the
willful, systematic and even government sponsored genocide of Native Americans. One of
the ways to deny or deflect from uncomfortable reality is to change the definition of words
according to what is expedient for the moment by those in power. Thus if the Nazis has
won, what they did would never have been described as genocide but "cleansing" as a
necessary step towards "evolution" of the "pure species" or "master race" into becoming
an Uber-Culture that would establish a "perfect order" in the Cosmos. This would have
been taught to every child on this planet - both the Uber-child as well as the slave-child.
What is happening today is not that drastic but if you listen to the likes of Hitchens or
Steppy Skinhead, you may realize that it's not that far away form the Nazi utopian
dreams, only it's very sophisticated and veiled, not as crude as the Nazis.
RELIGION and SCIENCE part
7 onwards cont in 2017
JUNE 10-18 Comments in forums (Reddit etc.):
Wednesday, June 8,
Q&A: Does the theology/doctrine of atonement make sense?
This is one story that has baffled thinkers, confounded those who are dependent only on
reason and dismissed out rightly by atheists/naturalists/materialists. Heck, it has
confounded even the Jews from that time till now. The problem stems from, as in all
organized religions, turning a story into a hard and fast doctrine in which either you
are an unthinking, uncritical believer or have had some experience of "conversion"
(like Paul) and then become an unquestioning follower (appropriate in the case of Paul),
or you dismiss it out-rightly as completely fabricated nonsense. Very few people treat it
as a story from which there is a significant potential to learn, or as an intellectual
One thing is clear: that it requires experience, knowledge and power to unravel this
story for it's significance on an intellectual level. For those not inclined intellectually,
it's a binary situation: either you become a blind follower or a bitter critic. Sadly, this
is the state of the human mind in this age of instant solutions - we don't want to
wonder on mysteries - it has to make instant sense or dismissed immediately as
The big flaw in the doctrine of atonement is that it is too easy a formula of "died so that
we can be saved" - that which poses the question of not only "how can that be?" but also
"why?". The problem and the flaw in the doctrine is that all that is required is faith/belief
in Jesus as the savior in order to be saved, and then you can go about doing just about
anything. And this kind of problem is generic to all doctrines in all organized religions.
What organized religions will never even inform you is that all doctrines are fragile and
fallible - they have huge limitations, and even the best fitting ones are bound to fail in
time and exceptional conditions.
"The truth is a snare ; you cannot have it without being caught. You cannot have the
truth in such a way that you catch it , but only in such a way that it catches you."
2nd Translation: "The truth is a trap: you cannot get it without it getting you; you
cannot get the truth by capturing it, only by its capturing you."
"Present-day Christendom really lives as if the situation were as follows: Christ is the
great hero and benefactor who has once and for all secured salvation for us; now we
must merely be happy and delighted with the innocent goods of earthly life and leave
the rest to Him. But Christ is essentially the exemplar, that is we are to resemble Him,
not mere profit from Him." ― The Journals of Søren Kierkegaard
Q&A: Philosophy: how and where
to start ?
Philosophy starts when you yourself start questioning something specific - when there is an
inner predilection to search for or inquire into something that captures your interest. ( for
example you may be intrigued by: why is politics so messed up? or a question I came across
just yesterday on a forum: why are humans still hanging on to religion?) If you are not sure
what your quest is, but want to test the waters, try the video lecture series of Rick Roderick:
Philosophy and Human values - these are easily available on youtube or the
Is there a univ. or academic environment where one can directly
engage in Philosophy?
I have not heard of any but that's real philosophy. But to get an environment of
interlocutors who engage in a dialog with passion, seems impossible.
Heck, even Socrates couldn't find worthy interlocutors - even the Sophists were
mainly interested in making money.
Kierkegaard was also contemptuous of "systematic" and formal philosophy - so he
was a lonely figure talking to himself, and yet a prolific writer.
So you have two choices : 1) Socratic choice of going out in the world and hunting
for any interlocutors for a dialog 2) Kierkegaardian choice of creating interlocutors
in your own mind.
But Isn't this "talking to oneself" or creating interlocutors in your own mind as
I find the objection to the idea of creating interlocutors within one's own mind as
"total nonsense", to be totally dismissive of entire works of literature as "total
nonsense" - because that's what all writers of fiction do. Therefore this objection
is what I find as totally defunct of creative potential.
"Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players,
and Tennessee Williams has about 5. . . . I have 10 or so, and that's a lot. As you get older,
you become more skillful at casting them"....Gore Vidal
Of course everything depends on what your goals are and what kind of approach
you have - dialectical or scholarly. A higher degree of knowledge is a relevant
criteria in quantitative based questions, not qualitative oriented questions where
your own subjective condition is primarily involved.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 9:34am UTC+05:30
Although I have coined the term Material Fundamentalism, there are others who
have coined a different term SCIENTISM: A belief (amounting to a ineffable religious
fervor) that scientific knowledge provides a necessary and sufficient (that is,
complete) worldview that entails the reduction of all reality, including human
subjects to (mere) physical processes.
....From: Challengers of Scientism Past and Present: William James and
Marilynne Robinson James Woelfel
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 9:03am UTC+05:30
Q&A: Can logic give rise to truth? Logic can give rise to derivative truth not primary truth.
Logic is the formal method of reasoning, not an authority in itself, just as "facts" and
"evidence" have no authority of their own - they are "valued" and "interpreted" by living
beings according to their motivations and goals. Logic and reasoning rest upon assumptions
about the world, which may not always be valid, or may be flawed, or maybe incomplete,
and because of these limitations, logic can lead people to falsehoods. This is quite common
when the assumptions themselves are not examined or not understood and stated properly
for their domain of applicability. The other difficulty is that of language....but that would
take too long.. so I leave it there.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 9:01am UTC+05:30
Q&A: Is there a name for morality without "rules" There is no name for it, and very few
even refer to it! but the theory is that humans are endowed by a power that can be called
moral conscience which is not subject to any "rules" but which (if active!) impinges upon
the consciousness of the individual in critical moments of moral choice or moral dilemma.
It is a similar idea like moral intuition, because it manifests through our intuitive faculty
rather than the rational faculty (which works according to "rules". processes or procedures)
There is an excellent movie that clearly hints at this:
A Few Good Men http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104257/reviews-328
Furthermore, I posit that this moral conscience is directly linked (insofar as it can sustain
this link) with the Objectively Moral.
Is there a way to find the
essence of what interests you?
Does that even exist?
This is something I have felt as the most vital part of the educational process and
which is surprisingly missing - and that is how to test and ferret out the talents of
each child at an early age. Surprisingly, very few parents are keen on finding out
and encouraging their children to follow their interests and talents. It's because
money is the supreme value and any talent (mostly in the arts) that does not
ensure a rosy career in monetary terms is discouraged by most parents.
It's just sad. "Every child is an artist. The problem is how
to remain an artist once we grow up." - Pablo Picasso
Bostrom. 2008. Where are the extraterrestrials?
I am really amazed that most philosophers don't see the writing on the wall and
this is the inherent nature of technology, civilizations and their obsession with
materialism: All civilizations are eventually destroyed by their technology... in all
worlds, for ever and ever.
Is time a human construct?
Time cannot simply be a human construct, (nor is Eternity, for that
matter!), because our moral and immoral actions have to have
consequences unfold in time. And because moral order is a necessary
telos of existence, time travel is impossible because that would disrupt
the moral order of the cosmos, and collapse of the telos.
“What's done cannot be undone.” ― William Shakespeare, Macbeth
2016 June: Qs by skidonk: Is finding the meaning of your own life enough?
without a broader meaning of life ? Why is suicide bad esp. in the face of
Reply: Indeed hardly anyone asks a question about the broader meaning of life
beyond a subjective one of "find your own meaning". Finding meaning for one's
own life is not really enough unless you can connect with or co-relate to a broader
meaning of life. There are people who have sought an answer to the question and
have provided some hints - ex. for Socrates it seems to be (in the least possible
words): Justice. In general I would say it is: Creativity and moral action (again
this is related to justice). Suicide is a bad option because "to seek death is to
seek nothing" (Don Juan).
Qs by skidonk: Why is to seek nothing a bad option? espeically if it ends great
suffering? why is it bad to no longer exist?
I remember watching a documentary on the sex trade in India. They interviewed a woman,
and for the sake of the example we'll assume her story is true, who was dying of aids,
malnutrition and whatever else.
They found her in the blistering heat of some crowded, polluted Indian city, waiting to die
under a tarpaulin tent. She told the interviewer she had been taken from her village and
family at the age of 13. She was 40 at the time of the interview.
She was essentially a sex slave, kept in a room for weeks at a time whilst her captors took
money from strange men who would come into the room and rape her. When she was
too old to work and she was sick they threw her into the street.
She couldn't go back to her village because they ostracise sex workers, she had no
education, and the locals of the city consider these people human trash.
Can you imagine the fear, the overwhelming sadness and the injustice of that? Her
childhood, her parents and entire life all stolen.
How can anyone dare to argue that she would not have been right to take her own life?
because she may have had the chance for 'positive experiences' in the future? I think
it's short-sighted and unimaginative to say that suicide is never right. Clearly it is,
sometimes life doesn't offer much in terms of positivity and there should be no
obligation to endure it.
Reply: I have not
argued that suicide is absolutely wrong. I hold the belief
that an individual has the right over how they want to live and die.
But in the case you have narrated, (horrifying to the extreme, and probably
true) I would not blame and condemn her for taking her own life, but on the
other hand I would still argue with her not to do so, and live - if for nothing
else but to tell the world her story. People have endured great suffering and
torture only with the hope that they live to tell the world their story.
One such story I would recommend to you:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human
freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to
choose one's own way.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning.
In post-modernism, experiencing, even indirectly, the horrors of life (by those
who are actually alive), this is the feeling one is left with:
"Deep down, no one
really believes they have a right to live.
But this death sentence generally stays tucked away, hidden
beneath the difficulty of living. If that difficulty is removed from
time to time, death is suddenly there, unintelligibly.
How can we morally hold
ourselves to a higher regard.....?
Well it's more like self-esteem rather than confidence. The Greeks would say
through Arete: Excellence in what you do. I would add: only by those actions
by which not only you gain knowledge, but others also gain knowledge
through those actions. An Eastern poet Iqbal has developed such a concept
called "Khudi" which loosely can translate into "self-hood or individuality
through excellence. In one poetic piece he is very radical: (Translated):
"Take your self-hood to such heights of excellence that at every critical turn
of History, God himself asks you: what is thy concurrence?"
Is God's foreknowledge compatible with free will?
If God's foreknowledge was absolute and not probabilistic, then: 1) There can
be no free will 2) There can be point to creation 3) Time becomes meaningless.
4) There can be no creative activity Hence God's foreknowledge is not absolute,
only highly probabilistic, but God is however still absolutely all knowing in
It’s sad that so much time and energy is wasted by extremists on both ends of
the religious spectrum (the religious fundamentalists and the material
fundamentalists), and what is sadder is that both end up learning nothing
from each other – an utter and colossal failure of the dialectic. The only thing
they become proficient in is abusing each other.
A pathetic state of humanity – all civilizations become proficient in it.
"Society is now
one polish'd horde, Form'd of two mighty tribes, the
Bores and Bored."...Lord Byron
Although some of
these new atheists have made incisive and precise attacks
against all religions, but in the process have thrown the baby out with the
bathwater - their understanding of religion is not only defunct, they
consider all religion as a perverse human activity that has only negative
value. The present band of atheists reject religion totally as falsehoods and
delusions. I found that only William James (amongst scholars) had a healthy
perspective on religion. In Western Culture as far as I know only Jung
and Kierkegaard were knowledgeable about religion. If there are others
that have some positive coherence ... please let me know
Interesting article, and let me commend the people and organizations that are
doing this kind of work in which animals are treated properly and even given
a "job" for their efforts.
Although your "passion for rodents" is not only an interesting expression, it is,
as you may suspect, a deeper relation between certain humans and certain
animals. Primordial (non-evolved!) man "knew" (please don't get me started
on: how?) that every human's nature had a psychic (I won't say spiritual)
bond with a particular animal's nature. In some cultures (please guess) most
children were named in relation to a particular animal with which they seem
to have a "natural bond".
I have a thesis that scientists have a "natural bond" with animals like the
HeroRats, for they have a "Karmic" (for lack of a better word) if not psychic
connection between them.... they serve "Reality" like soldiers in war ...
they have an important "heroic" role to play... to keep the ball rolling.
Comment in: DEGRASSE's SERMON
also requires motivation - and that in turn requires a stimulating
challenge that can't be forced or taught.
The only way is to provoke and provoke until some of the young minds find a
genuine and suitable challenge for their talent.
Unfortunately, the way science is taught, it is not unlike the Church, except that
instead of doctrine you have "data" and so called "facts" drilled into the mind.
Only quantifiable answers are taught to quantifiable questions.
Where are the questions? Who even bothers to ask any these days? Forget the
classroom, even in post-graduate research the story is the same. What can't be
put in the form of quantifiable data, simply does't exist.... and any imaginative
quest is driven into a black hole.
In Reply: Tyson will never get this, but the trajectory of science and technology
is ultimately the elimination of all that is "human".
"Never trust a human to do a machine's job" Agent Smith in "The Matrix" 1999
In Reply: On the other hand many would find the Evolutionist Doctrine a
demonstrative lack of curiosity.
JUNE2 LIFTING THE VEIL: ARUNDHATI ROY EXPOSES THE TRUTH:
The Phenomena of the "Great Soul", GANDHI: Too Good to be True?
“In this world truth can wait; she's used to it.” Douglas Jerrold
Unfortunately, she can't wait any longer - we are running out of time.
And it was time someone exposed the truth behind a culture that has veiled
the ugly truth behind such icons as Gandhi. I always suspected this guy to be
too good to be true, and indeed Arundhati Roy's brilliant analysis rips apart
that veil and the mask behind that veil.
Oh it's ugly! But it's time for the Truth - who wants to wait forever
JUNE 1 The Great Pope is puzzled:
The smarter you get at Science, the dumber you get at Humanities.
(Hiesenberg's principle of uncertainty extrapolated to post-modernity.)
Incidentally this should be put up as an epitaph to all scientists (with exceptions)
MAY24 : ROOT ANTHROPOLOGY:
The classification of categories of fundamental belief systems of post-modern
man is deeply flawed. A new category has been made.
NONE is a category too broad that includes two extreme kinds: on the one
extreme is the non-conformist, non-organized-religion thinker (rather than
"believer", one of the earliest example in civilizations is Socrates) and on the
other extreme is the scientific-materialist (or atheist) who believes only in so
called "evidence" or "facts" established as such by the scientific methodology
and upheld by scientific authority ( the kind that doesn't even
understand the concept of "interpretation").
Thus it is not surprising that endless unproductive debates yield only confusion
and en-darken-ment ( the opposite of enlightenment).
(Comment in http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/23/
MAY 23: Shared Link: Kierkegaard VS Hegel
Here is someone's philosophy project - great humor and well done!
I would give an A+ grade for it.
MAY21: Comment in H Post: Tomorrow’s Leaders: A Reason to Hope
(May not appear in the conversations depending on the hopes of the editors)
“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction
something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense,
regardless of how it turns out.” Vaclav Havel
hope: (noun): a feeling of expectation and desire for a
particular thing to happen.
Another word that is much abused in organized religion.
So hope is a kind of emotion and I think it's reasonable that one of the synonyms of hope
should be "Illusion". I know that sounds negative and pessimistic, but in order for it to not
be so, it's more reasonable to define it as "a necessary illusion that when shaken or
shattered, opens up a path or potential for knowledge".
So hope is not something that you sit back and expect "Reality" to somehow fulfill for you,
but something in which you yourself are actively engaged in, and that, in that engagement,
you have a personal stake in the outcome – and that you will learn from it, if nothing else,
as a feedback to temper your hopes – not to abandon them, but to modify them and shape
them according to what you yourself can realistically achieve. To “hope” that the world at
large will conform to your “hopes” requires huge amounts of energy and Will – we have
seen what typically (not exceptionally) happens when someone (like Hitler) tries it.
So hope has to be tempered with meta-hope: what can we hope from “hope”?
1. I hope that people will learn from their hopes.
2. I hope that through my actions, knowledge and better sense prevails not only for me,
but also to those with whom I engage.
So as to the hope that a new generation
of leaders will emerge in politics,
religion (or science?) that will transform the landscape of this world is a
misplaced hope, since leadership requires enabling power, and if there is
one thing to learn form the modern, post-modern era it is this - that power
has simply dissipated (and now disappeared) into systems of bureaucracy,
military and business enterprises that are driven by eco-devastating values
of survival and domination at any cost, capture and control of resources,
and cancerous economic growth that’s clearly (and hopelessly)
So there’s nothing wrong in hoping, but only if you can develop the power to fulfill those
hopes – or else they quickly slip into delusions.
”I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope,
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing.” T. S. Eliot
MAY22: Comment in Newsweek: AROUND THE WORLD ON ZERO
GALLONS OF GAS
There is nothing like a radical
demonstration to teach people to adopt values that are
inconvenient now, but have future potential for sustainability and more importantly:
that enhance the moral consciousness of people.
So there are two divergent attitudes: One is that of "faith" in "evolution", which rests on
the belief that "evolutionary pressures" will compel mankind to develop new technologies
that give us limitless energy - which may not be sustainable environmentally on earth,
but will lead us to colonize the galaxy, universe... which to them is good enough because
in that mindset the purpose of life is merely survival.
The other attitude is that the writing on the wall is clear: either we learn to care for this
world, and find the purpose of our lives here, before it is too late, else we do not even
deserve the Moon/Mars/Whatever. The choice is clear.
("We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"
is an ancient (American) Indian proverb that is reverberating in my ears. It was
articulated by Craig Wing recently at a Global Shapers Johannesburg hub meeting.
Its pure simplicity is quite piercing because it shows the effect of our ancestors’
actions on our current situation and it also serves as a warning on our current
actions’ impact on our children.)
MAY19: Comment in: (May not appear in the section beacuse of
H post editors)
Nice story. Ultimately life is all about relationships. While your article is about close
relatives and the renewed relationship after they have left, in the broader context of
human relationships, Art is the medium by which we are related to beings we never
came in physical contact with, but through their work, they are connected through
time and space - and the living connection carries on the fire...
MAY 18: Comment in: Is It
The End Of The World As We Know It?
It might be time to say goodbye to the Holocene epoch.
In reply: "Failed species"? Yes and no... because we are designated for both - greatness,
insofar as we are creative, and also doomed to self destruct. So, despite the fatal (as in
fate) consequences of our actions on a mass sacle, pessimism is for those who have
their worldview limited only to the physical and material, whereas those who have
developed a larger view of life - death and destruction is the ultimate touch for
MAY17:Comment in: Article on
Mars commercial sales pitch: Mandate
(Money) for Mars
(Not likely to appear in comments because of "commercial" reasons.)
Whom are you guys fooling? The elites - the super rich already have plans to move to
Mars when the going is too hot here. And they are the only ones to be going, and their
money gives them the mandate - why bother asking the public? or the government?
There was a report recently that the first level of escape is a luxurious and cozy pad in
New Zealand, and mars would be the last resort.... after all too many rocks there and
... no water (worth using).
"Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock without water
If there were water we should stop and drink
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think.....
...If there were the sound of water only"
T S Eliot - The Wasteland
At takeoff to Mars sing along with Nina Simone:
"Oh sinnerman, where you gonna run to?....
....Will I run to the rock? please hide me...."
MAY16: Comment in: Sinkhole discovery suggests humans were in Florida 14,500
Western anthropology has been trying desperately to "prove" that the Americas were
never originally inhabited by indigenous people and that migration from Europe and
Asia populated the Americas. The theory of "evolution" and the theory of African
origins gets rattled if the dating of humans in Americas goes too far back in the past.
They will find some technical grounds to discredit these new findings, or try to bury it
Personally I think the CCS may have slipped up here (can't have perfection anyway),
or maybe there is a twist in the script that is unfolding. The Anthros are rattled anyway.
Reply to: why the quotes on "Evolution"? :
Gross: This one word (among others like God, faith etc) has resulted in the most severe
dumbing of the human intellect. So I have put it in quotes and to clarify further read
it as 1) de-evolution 2) Devilution 3) Evilution ... actually all three taken together
blended with the trickster myth completes the picture.
May 14: Comment in :
Epistemology or the “study or theory of knowledge”, is in crisis because in Western
culture religion and science have split apart … this is your thesis. Furthermore your
thesis is that this moment of split occurred “in the early twentieth century when
the logical positivists decided to ground their conception of science in the epistemology
of philosopher David Hume instead of that of Immanuel Kant.”
Your thesis implies that before Hume, science and religion had a unified information
base, same assumptions, ontology and the same domain of inquiry. This further implies
that the Bible is as much a scientific document as it is a religious document.
Your thesis itself is in deep crisis because it is illogical, non-scientific, non-religious,
non-artistic and makes no sense from any point of view.
The problem lies in your starting assumption that religion and science are identical
domains of inquiry and knowledge, methodology, concepts and underlying assumptions.
I have an alternative thesis:
The epistemological crisis is therefore not of a split but that of conflation and confusion
of terms – a crisis of getting tied up in knots by inappropriate use of language and
having no clear basis, purpose or strategy for dialectic communication. In short – a
complete collapse of the mother discipline or root of all inquiry: Philosophy.
Kant was right: Religious experience and thereby religious knowledge is primarily
dependent on intuitions and non-sensory (synthetic) perception, whereas science
primarily depends upon sense perceptions and reason.
There is however even more importantly, one vital and crucial distinction in the kind
of knowledge in the two domains, without which we are mired in endless confusion
and it is this:
Religious experience and knowledge developed there from cannot be objectively
verified, is typically not consistent because it is dependent entirely on the individual
(ref. Kierkegaard) and which also explains why scriptures and doctrines fail all the
time to enlighten.
Scientific knowledge is valid only if objectively verifiable, is not dependent on
individual experience or intuitions, and has to be necessarily consistent.
But in technology we get to play God, no?
In technology, man indeed gets to play God: but that has a dangerous downside to it:
he eventually ends up playing the Devil more and more, and even worse, without
A "fall" in the beginning and another "fall" before the end?
I have given a religious classification for human species:
MAY6: Morgan Freeman series:
The Story of God
All the episodes so far are dull, boring, waste of time and deeply disappointing.
Nothing novel at all.
There is no passion, no magic, no evocation of mystery, no miracles, no meaningful
questions asked, .... in other words no art in them, merely a rehash of traditional
beliefs and doctrines.
Religion without art is a hopeless deep hole of dull conformity.
The producers should have put up a motto for themselves before they began on
"The goal of all art (of religion) is .....to explain to people the reason for their
appearance on this planet; or, if not to explain, at least to pose the question"
May 4: Comments in Newsweek:
More "Alien" Jokes
Richard Krentz: Why are we looking elsewhere. Has anyone ever thought that
WE are the aliens? I guess we're looking for ourselves.
Gross Ryder: Now that is not just a joke but also metaphorically true - we have
indeed become alien to our own home planet and disconnected from our real
Thanks to the gods of science and technology, our "human nature" has been
replaced by machines - and we are so proud of it!
At last we have finally been made in the image of our own creations - machines.
Monty Keegan: There will be huge discoveries in the future but our time will pass
long before a lot of the huge breakthroughs. It is sad. I wish we as a species would
collectively strive to make interstellar travel and space exploration the center
attention of our purpose and leave behind the fractions of space people fight
and the ideology that we bicker over. There is many planets that likely are
habitable and even possibly more so than our own.
Gross Ryder: Oh you are in such illustrious company. Such lofty ideals....
"I know exactly what you mean" Alexander (The Great?)
"My sentiments precisely, all those aliens waiting for us with all that gold,
silver, minerals...." Columbus
Barry Van Zee: Not hard to believe in aliens but not God??? Hypocritical???
Gross Ryder · It is hard to believe in God because God cannot even be imagined,
whereas it is easy to believe in aliens because Hollywood has imagined them thoroughly.
James Mariani: Arthur C. Clarke's old adage about "any sufficiently advanced technology
being indistinguishable from magic" would come into play. The ineffable God would
be in big trouble. I'd like to be a fly on the wall in the Vatican during their "discussion."
Gross Ryder ·What Clarke failed to foresee is that this "magic of technology " has a
fatally deadly side to it - something that is not even obvious to us even in hindsight!
And they say hindsight is 20-20. Go figure!
The ineffable God is the fly on the wall here.
MAR 20: comments in
Casey's talk illustrates how all traditional and even modern paradigms of all kinds are
unraveling one by one as the "fractals of time" (McKenna's phrase) are getting
increasingly compressed and converging on "timewave zero" or the Eschaton.
"History is the shock wave of the Eschaton." Terence McKenna
Positivist Nullifidian: Eschatological, or end times, thinking, while it may be
popular, is one of those self-reinforcing beliefs to which I recommend the
application of earnest and sincere doubt. Peace.
Reply by Gross Ryder: Firstly, it's not popular. The entire mass of humanity, fed
intravenously with scientific data and technological dreams, mostly have been
made to believe that we are on the verge of colonizing the universe. It's only
lately that the scientific community is waking up to one possibility: that GW
will end it all.
Many other possibilities (even probabilities) are still laughed at as silly rantings
of "science deniers" (strawman).
Secondly, we are in the stage where nothing is to be believed - even as a possibility
- unless there is scientifically verifiable evidence of it. This is the positivist-nihilist
legacy: All beliefs are not merely suspect, or to be doubted, but to be annihilated
altogether at the altar of "evidence first".
"Logical positivism contradicts itself. The statement of the theory 'all meaningful
propositions are logical tautologies or empirically verifiable', immediately contradicts
itself because that proposition itself is neither a logical tautology nor empirically
verifiable. Its criterion for meaningful proposition is so narrow that it eliminates
itself - it commits suicide."....TMS P. Kreeft
Doubt is a starting point for testing one's beliefs for their validity and limits by
experience and experiments where individual integrity is at stake - as such
nothing to do with science - because in science there is nothing to believe in -
it's either evidence or no-evidence, without the individual being figuring
anywhere in the equation.
On the road towards knowledge, doubting should be carried only as far as it
yields results, whereafter doubting itself must be doubted - yes the final stage
is meta-doubt - beyond which is knowledge - that is: what you "Have to Believe"
- for your very Being is going to be at stake there.
"Believing is a cinch. Having to believe is something else. A warrior doesn't
believe, a warrior has to believe. Death is the indispensable ingredient in
having to believe". .... Carlos Castaneda
It's a war! I have no doubts about it. That is what I "have to believe"!
MAR19: The Problem of AI consciousness. (H post)
Scientists and technologists are worrying about the threat from AI consciousness.
They seem to believe almost with religious fervor that AI is just round the corner,
since they are working so hard for it, but are scared that AI will usurp their authority
to establish the machine kingdom, and even eliminate all humans.
Also scientists have yet to crack the “Hardness” of Consciousness.
Can machines (AI) have consciousness? If yes then: Is that a threat to us?
Short answer: No. Machines cannot have consciousness, and therefore are not a direct
threat to us humans.
Unless one defines consciousness as ANY kind of data processing - which is actually
conflating machine data processing to make it identical with human brain data
processing. Which is a huge mistake, because human brain data processing,
particularly synthetic processing (as in dreams – simplest example) has potentialities
that cannot be modeled by any means, and thus impossible to program in machines.
There is also the problem of conflating “intelligence” with data processing, confusing
the terms “intelligence”, “consciousness” and “perception”. Instead of conceptual
clarity, the confusion is compounded by the day, with everyone having their own
definitions and ideas about these terms that cannot be correlated between
Thus the threat does not come from machines but the threat comes from our own
ignorance and particularly “intelligent stupidity”, by which I mean in short: improper
and inappropriate use of language and concepts (although it becomes much more
sophisticated than just semantics). If I were to put it in one sentence: It is a result
of an illicit marriage between materialism and sophistry. This problem has become
even more acute than the time that Wittgenstein remarked: "Philosophy is a battle
against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.”
Finally the “hardness” arises because we humans have lost consciousness of the
psychic fact of having a primary consciousness that is inaccessible to cerebral
consciousness because it operates rarely and that too subliminally. It recedes
into ineffectiveness especially when the scientific methodology and (unacknowledged)
assumptions are neuro-linguistically programmed as part of “education”.
Machines are good for specialized tasks of data processing that humans take too
long to accomplish, and which can be modeled through programming. As such,
therefore they are merely mechanical tools, can never have general intelligence,
let alone consciousness.
If we need to worry about, it is our own deteriorating mental condition which
we are not even “conscious” of and thus not even acknowledged.
It’s simultaneously sad and funny.
MAR14: COMMENT in H post
Article on Einstein's religious take.
From this synopsis of Einstein's attitudes about God/religion, the best classification that
can be made is that he was a scientific-mystic-pantheist. Not surprising that he concludes
that God is inherent in the "laws of nature". But what I find bizarre is the statement
"science itself bears evidence that there is some spirit in the world that shows itself
through the laws of nature" - this is what I would call a classic pantheistic fudge that
is the hallmark of post-modernity - a peculiar inability to differentiate between the
physical and the non-physical.
However I find that he at least is aware of the limits of his own intellectual abilities
regarding the larger questions about life when he says "I prefer an attitude of humility
corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our
A man's gotta know his limitations, and Einstein indeed does. That itself is a praiseworthy
unscientific quality of being human that unfortunately is rare.
One bit of knowledge he certainly has got dead right: that God is not in the "business" of
running the day to day affairs of human beings. What he gets dead wrong is that the
"laws of nature" are in-charge, whereas the Gnostics got that one dead right: that this
"business" of running the daily affairs has been "outsourced" (to the Archon) right
from the beginning, and continues till the end. Happy Birthday Einstein.
Remark by Atheist: It is the "laws of nature" that are in charge.
Reply: The "laws of nature" apply only to the purely physical objects, observed
MAR13: The Gospel of Doubt:
Excellent! Very appropriate title, and much needed in our time, a "Gospel of Doubt",
when all that is taught form birth are certainties, in both religion and science.
"Faith" is usually placed in either for an entire lifetime and almost never questioned.
Certainty is very difficult to behold, and is possible only by experience developed
into knowledge and constantly tested for its validity, whereas doubt should be the
natural starting point of any inquiry - asking the right questions. I propose that the
next step for Casey should be a "Gospel of Questioning", and I mean it seriously.
" We have learned the answers, all the answers: It is the questions that we do
not know." ..Archibald MacLeish
MOISES NIAM's Book Comments on "The End of Power"
The author has used too broad a definition of power that includes even chess playing
as an example of exercising power. What about the power of art? and the most
important: the power of moral conscience?
In the broadest use of the term, power is simply dissipating into an ever growing
machine of global culture in which even the pres. of US has no autonomous power
to decide anything.
Even when most scientists are in agreement on Global Warming/Climate Change,
why are most in power not admitting it?
It is not that we are not capable of admitting it, because we all now "know it", but have
no power to do anything about it and therefore why admit anything for which we are
In the progress of science, while we have accumulated mountains of data on material
things, which is thought to be great knowledge but is nothing more than information and
simultaneously has drained us of all power over our destiny.
I am reminded of Herodotus who remarks prophetically (3 versions):
1. Of all men's miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much
and to have control over nothing.
2. The most hateful grief of all human griefs is this, to have
knowledge of the truth but no power over the event.”
3. This is the bitterest pain among men: to have much knowledge (information)
but no power.
Moises fails to even
mention the inextricable relationship of power and responsibility.
The failure of power is ALWAYS because it was exercised without responsibility.
Good example of the exercise of power in a righteous manner by the concerned people..
..this is the kind of stuff Plato tried to explain....that people must come together to "force"
or empower the right kind of people to become leaders...this is basic political theory that
has been forgotten...and must be taught from scratch in classrooms....Politics 101.
This is something that Moises has missed altogether as the fundamental solution
to the continuing dissipation of power.
Moises concludes: "humanity must and will find new ways...." is a "hope" statement
rather than a "reality" statement...what new ways? ..disrupt and innovate on the basis
of which values? The only values that have prevailed and continue to prevail, and will
continue to prevail are survival and domination at any cost... the hallmark of all
civilizations...the rest is all window dressing.
I regret the cynical attitude but surely the "hope" business has been exploited by
organized religion from millennia.
Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 4:03pm
Gross Ryder commented on an article.
While you have presented the ISIS meme …. there have been even more deadly memes
that have ruled the world and continue to do so with new and “evolved” mutations
1. Gilgamesh Meme/ Egyptian meme/ Chinese meme/ Civilizations Meme: Seek immortality
by building huge walls and structures that last till infinity to defend against the unknown,
time and fate.
2. Old Testament Meme or Noah’s Meme/ Genesis of Western Civilization’s Meme: Be fruitful
and multiply and seek dominion over everything on this earth…
3. Judaism’s Meme: Build the indestructible eternal city of God, in other words, the Kingdom
of Heaven where the chosen ones will live forever and ever, in other words, Jerusalem…..but
for those pesky prophets who turn up after every few centuries.
4. Rome’s Meme: Conquer the world, loot it, tax it, and collect slaves to build the perfect city
– Rome and enjoy therein all the wealth of the world while watching bloody gladiatorial contests.
5. Christianity Meme: Spread all over and convert the world by hook or by crook in order to
“save their souls” so that they can then in return become voluntary slaves to serve the
“messengers of the Lord”… and if not, just kill them, since their souls have already been saved,
and they have no need any more of their lands…
6. Capitalism Meme: Get rich quick by hook or by crook, establish a business empire,
accumulate all the wealth of the world and become “The Illuminati”.
7. Evolution Meme: Move over all God memes, this new “survival of the fittest” meme will
dominate all other memes, consume them, and reach it’s destiny, which is, lo and behold:
destruction and extinction.
8. STEM Meme: This daughter meme of the evolution meme is trying desperately now to
save the “survival of the fittest” themselves! And thereby to “save the world”.
January 8, 2016 at 12:28pm UTC+05:30
Gross Ryder commented on an article:
The Internet is destroying science and religion
Your point is well made, although the title is hyperbolic. The key to the problem is focus and
control, and not putting all your fingers in too many pies. Your mind can become bloated
with information overload if you follow the crowd that thinks that pumping your self with
information can make you knowledgeable. Far from it .... it will lead to the syndrome of
hyper-distraction that you have aptly described. Although the internet has become the
"Lord of Distraction", at the same time it also presents abundant opportunities and challenges
to those who remain focused. At one time the same was being said about TV, but I think that
that was actually worse because TV is only one way communication, whereas the internet is
"fairly" interactive. (Of course many of my posts disappear in Huff Post... but that's okay with
me. So long as I get to exercise my tools ... who cares about losers?) All these are complexities
of the post-modern culture, and if you cannot find your way around in this labyrinth, you are
food for the Minotaur, but please don't mislead by stating that the internet is destroying
religion and science. All "it is doing" is that it is posing greater and greater challenges to those
who are willing to take them on. For the rest, it's distraction all the way to the end.
"If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be
so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it".....S. I. Hayakawa
Commented on an article in H Post
Thursday, January 7, 2016 at
Comments: "Why is there something rather than nothing?" This question is not a valid question
in the domain of science, and thus must be referred to the mother domain of all inquiry:
Philosophy (left behind in the ruins of Athens by Western Civilization 2400 years ago). Start by
defining your terms and ontology, example: What is "something"? Is it only the Physical,
quantifiable, tangible, measurable....? "I hope it's not pompous to admit that science may
have limits, and I'm all for feeling small and baffled!" Your hopes are entirely in line with
"Reality", rather you can become even humbler by saying that "science definitely has limits",
simply because the domain of science is limited to the physical universe - and is only one
aspect of "The Finite Realm". Similarly, organized religion is even more limited, because it tries
to deal with "The Infinite Realm" in definitive terms and concepts of the finite, AS IF the infinite
can be understood in terms and concepts of the finite. The only sphere where there are no
limits is the pure, unrestrained, unconstrained individual experience - wherein it is potentially
possible to experience anything. But the moment one tries to capture it in words, fixed images
or concepts, one has to first of all realize that we are in the domain of the limited and the finite,
and thus subject to constraints and limits. Dr. Lilly proposed this as a fundamental principle of
our consciousness and it's relation to "Reality": "In the province of the mind (in the set of one's
assumptions, beliefs and concepts), what one believes to be true, is true or becomes true,
within certain limits to be found experientially and experimentally. These limits are further
beliefs to be transcended. In the mind, (in pure experience) there are no limits."
.... Dr. John C. Lilly (Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer.
How do I know that the physical is only one aspect of The Finite Realm? I know this through
personal experience. However I will qualify this statement by adding that not all experiences
lead to meaningful knowledge. Experiences need to be supported by intuitions and processed
by reason and linguistic expressions to result in meaningful knowledge. If the source of any
knowledge is primarily experience, that kind of knowledge rarely falls in the scientific domain,
because the methodology of science is independent of individual experiences.
"All knowledge is dependent upon the question asked"......T. McKenna
The important entry point of any inquiry should be to be clear firstly about what the inquiry is
about: is it a personal inquiry?, that is, addressed and related to oneself, or is it a dialectic?
(engaged in a dialog with others, example: Plato's dialogs ), in which case the terms have
to be defined first and the question framed, or is it a scientific inquiry in which the physical
properties of matter are to be tested and verified as per the hypothesis framed. What I have
posited elsewhere is that the question "Why is there something rather than nothing" is not a
scientific question, because no verifiable conclusions can be arrived at from such inquiry,
therefore it falls in the domain of Philosophy - and then the first point should be whether the
inquiring person wants to address it to himself alone or wants to engage it dialectic-ally. The
Greeks were keenly interested in this kind of inquiry ... and the word Telos was designated to
mean "ultimate purpose, or final end or goal"
"Socrates was interested in
questions like: on account of what necessity do things come
into being and perish."....TTC Bartlett
Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 3:25pm UTC+05:30 H post
While you have used the
conventional meanings of hope and faith, and both words are
loaded and burdened with a history of abuse, you do seem to have obtained a valid license
for discourse in these, as you have clearly gone through the necessary tests and tribulations
in your own life. It would have been even better if these could have been illustrated through
a narrative of your experiences and thoughts - a sort of biography - it should be a worthy
project for you. In my own life I have almost never used these words in my thought processes,
having stayed away from all organized religions. However I wasn't an atheist either, only a
skeptical non-believer in anything (not holding any fixed beliefs). But now that my interests
have ventured into the study of religion in a more explorative sense, I find that these words like
faith, hope and love are very tricky and problematic in their use. Looking back I would have
used these in the following manner: Hope for me would be an expectation of becoming a
better being through my own efforts, and faith would be a confidence in my own ability and
resources to accomplish that which I seek. Therefore I would put Hebrew 11.1 as: Faith is the
confidence I put in myself to find the right path to what I hope to accomplish - a fulfilled
human being, without any need for "evidence". To the religiously affiliated I would say:
"Faith should be the substance of right actions, irrespective of rewards hoped for, and faith
is necessarily without evidence, otherwise what faith?"
January 4, 2016 at 10:24pm UTC+05:30 H Post
Gross Ryder commented on an article. AI "There must be something wrong"
1. Firstly, there has been no clear or even vague definition of what is
intelligence. Even IQ
scores are considered highly controversial and unreliable.
2. Even the process of how we reason cannot be explained, let alone the creative process.
Thirty years ago I use to hear prophesies that AI will produce music, paintings, poetry ...and
so on. I have yet to hear an AI produced rhythmic piece, forget melody. As for poetry....thats
a complete joke.
3. Humans have yet to understand how our minds process concepts and language.
In frustration Wittgenstein had to remark: Philsophy (task has become) is a battle against
the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.
4. Humans have yet to collectively articulate and educate the next generation of any purpose
or goal of our lives beyond survival and domination. The concept of "evolution" which is tied
only to the concept of survival, has actually led to de-evolution of the human intellect. How
can someone even imagine that by more intelligence this process can be reversed? When we
can't even identify and prioritize our values, how can someone even imagine that machines
will do this for us, or for that matter any "superior" intelligence?
The sad thing about artificial intelligence is that it lacks artifice and therefore intelligence
January 1, 2016 at 5:50pm UTC+05:30
What comes first: The Chicken or the Egg? Comment in H Post What is life?
There is absolutely no way to prove that there is spirit or soul in life forms,
otherwise, therefore it is beyond the scope of scientific inquiry, or methodology. There
are no knock down philosophical arguments either. Even individual experiences of the
non-physical undergo a two stage processing which makes it almost impossible to have
any significant agreement. But isn't Abiogenesis the answer to the spontaneous synthesis
of life? All experiments in Abiogenesis have failed so far. The failure of an experiment
indicates that the hypothesis being tested cannot be verified and is therefore false.
The "material fundamentalists" God of "Random Chance" (there being no other underlying
principle according to the religion of the materialist) has failed to produce even a minimal
strand of RNA/DNA, inspite of all help from scientists. Now you will say that you need an
infinite time.....billions of scientists, unlimited resources etc.etc.. There have been many
attempts with different methods to produce life from base chemicals in the lab ... but all
they produced finally was a tar like substance. A lot of time and funds have been wasted
in Abiogenesis, and now since the experiments failed beyond amino acids, it is now confined
to making theoretical models - which are based on sophistry: using vague concepts like
"emergence"... that way they can keep getting funds for dishing abstract fudge if not tar.
Carl Gustav Jung used the concept "archetype" for design, Plato used the concept of "eternal
forms", whereas the word intelligence is understood properly in human terms. So the answer to
the question should be: The chicken, that is, the parent archetype is eternally present, therefore
comes first (if you insist on logic) from which the temporal seed the egg (which is a
sub-archetype of the parent) is condensed.
William Blake's poetry:
TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
Which is the archetype and which is the sub-archetype; is it intelligence or is it complexity?
Both the concepts of intelligence and complexity can't be directly related to the concept of
archetype, simply because the archetypes are of the eternal realm whereas intelligence and
complexity are of the temporal (space-time) realm. All concepts related to the eternal realm
are abstract, fuzzy, non-logical, intuitive and most importantly - paradoxical. Which is why they
have to be dealt with poetically, rhetorically, intuitively - that is, with the synthetic process as
primary, and the rational, intellectual as only secondary, if at all. After all, we are creatures that
want to understand it all, although each one has a varying, limited capacity for comprehension.
I have to repeat that these concepts (even that of intelligence) are beyond the scope of
scientific methodology, but reverts back to what was once (2400 years ago) considered the
parent domain of all inquiry: Philosophy. (We now have so called PhD's only as empty symbolic
titles - with a defunct Philosophy). It is important therefore that the questions be asked as a
starting point in Philosophy.
"The Paradox is really the pathos of the intellectual life, and just as only great souls are
exposed to passions, it is only the great thinker who is exposed to what I call paradoxes
- grandiose thoughts in embryo." Kierkegaard
Friday, January 1, 2016 at 10:35am UTC+05:30
“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ....Buddha
"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" -- Jesus.
How is "born again" with Buddha different from Jesus? What exact words were used by
Buddha and how they are translated, what is the context and finally how these are
interpreted are all complex processes of communication. Ultimately each of us is
responsible of how we interpret, use, incorporate, and act upon the communication of
another. That is the purpose of language anyway. Buddha was according to my
interpretation using some words similar to "born again" in the context of the Karma
doctrine which in it's simplest form states that "our" past actions have a determining
effect in the present even when those actions have occured a long time ago ... and
even as far as other lifetimes. ( the sub-doctrine of transmigration of "souls")
Thus the view in this doctrine is that all beings are more or less trapped in the past.
Obviously then, our present actions, will then determine the future. But if our present
actions are mere extension of the past, then we are caught in a vicious cycle of cause
and effect from which there is seemingly no esacpe. The solution, in short, (my
interpretation) is "realization" or "enlightenment" the result of which is transformative.
Which means that one can be "released" from this cycle by truthful and righteous
What my addition to this is that creative action, is "transformative Karma". That is what
Budda means (my interpretation) by "born again": the realization that every day each
one of us has the potential to be start afresh, to act irrespective of the past into something
new that defines or directs the future, rather than keep repeating the same actions.
So what really matters is what we do today.
"I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate
that falls on them unless they act." ......Buddha
The quote of Jesus is in a different context and doctrine: (my interpretation) Jesus means
"born again" as a re-establishment of an individual's relationship with God after the
"fallen state" in which this relationship has become "estranged" or "lost" (in civilizations)
through the God man: Jesus.