Mod+ 277. FRANK HUGUENARD, BEYOND MIND=BRAIN

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    The impact of materialism? What do most people spend their time doing 8 hours a day, 40+ hours a week? Most Americans here in the US no longer even get sick leave and they are lucky to get two weeks vacation time. In addition, all their labor every day goes to enrich a relatively few ridiculously wealthy people, while the vast majority of Americans are seeing their standard of living decline including education and health care - even though their productivity has doubled in the last 30 years. Wages for most have either remained stagnant or declined.

    What do we worship every day in our US society? I'll leave it to you to figure that out.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  2. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    Interesting question. When I was growing up, the dream of the future was that machines would relieve us all of the need to go to work, we'd have so much leisure time to spend on more creative or worthwhile pursuits.
     
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  3. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    I still think machines can and might someday do so. The problem isn't the machines, but the psychology of the people with power and money abusing technology to enslave the rest of us and exploit our planetary resources to the point where it may end up destroying most life on the planet including our own species.

    But perhaps they don't really give a damn since it's live today, take all you can, for there is no tomorrow - since there is nothing beyond death - according to most materialistic believers.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
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  4. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/consumerism?s=t
    consumerism

    [kuh n-soo-muh-riz-uh m]

    noun
    1.
    a modern movement for the protection of the consumer against useless, inferior, or dangerous products, misleading advertising, unfair pricing, etc.
    2.
    the concept that an ever-expanding consumption of goods is advantageous to the economy.
    3.
    the fact or practice of an increasing consumption of goods:
    a critic of American consumerism.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/acquisitiveness?s=t

    acquisitive

    [uh-kwiz-i-tiv]

    adjective
    1.
    tending or seeking to acquire and own, often greedily; eager to get wealth, possessions, etc.:​
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  5. The difference between acquisitiveness and consumerism is that with consumerism you have a class of people who profit from and organize society around acquisitiveness. People are psychologically manipulated into a consumerist lifestyle by advertising and other means (see my first post this thread). Scientific materialism and consumerism are linked because you don't have consumerism without scientific progress and people who are genuinely spiritual are not acquisitive.
     
  6. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    One might say they already do. However rather than recognising this positive achievement of our society , we label it as 'unemployment' and regard it with negativity.
     
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  7. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    You often open responses with condescending statements that are not helpful to your arguments or conducive to good communication. Just thought I'd point that out again...

    No it is not.

    Agreed. It is false and a strawman of the actual argument.

    Again with the unhelpful condescension...

    I used the word "intellectual" because it was in the definition that you posted. I essentially used both definitions you gave in one sentence. You assert there is no connection between philosophical materialism and the mental illness of materialism that plagues our society and feeds our economic system. There is a connection and it is easy to make.

    If things of a spiritual nature are beneficial in tempering the darker aspects of human nature, the disbelief in the reality of such spiritual things can reduce the ability to temper the darker aspects of human nature.

    Can you back this up with a rational or historical argument?

    Also, we are not just talking about aquisition of material possessions. We are talking about making choices that support the presently destructive social and economic system.

    Or perhaps this is the dialectic method of control at work. After rejecting traditional religion and conservative ideals they find their identity in leftist organizations and ideologies which have been co-opted by corporations to promote fake feel-good environmentalism which is actually just a new method of control. The power to tax is the power to destroy and what better scheme to wield power than to tax the most essential element for life on earth: Carbon.

    More condescension which only detracts from your argument...

    I agree. I think some of the most vile evil psychopaths who run this planet are probably "spiritual" in a darker sense. Spirituality + love/empathy is generally a positive thing. Spirituality generally promotes love/empathy, but you are correct that it is not automatic.
     
  8. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Unemployment is the result of abuse of the machines. All the wealth created by the machines has been diverted to a relatively few obscenely rich individuals and a number of criminal organization/banks on Wallstreet. In fact, here in the US all new wealth generated in the last few years has gone entirely to the richest few.

    But I understand your point. Unemployment, and poverty is not only looked on negatively here in the US, but in many cases turns you into a criminal (such as becoming homeless). There is a class war going on, but it is the wealthy and the corporations and their worship of profit by all means that is behind the war. And as Warren Buffett said a few years back, the rich are winning.

    I think materialism acts as a kind of background philosophy that drives the self-destructive, abhorrent social conditions we see emerging today. That is not to say, religious affiliations and socio-economic values haven't been also self-destructive to human life in the past. We certainly can't ignore the church's hegemony over western society for centuries, the dark ages, and the church's complicity with the aristocratic wealth classes during Feudalism, or even during the classical periods of human history, including constant warfare and the abuse and enslavement of other human beings.

    Materialism though I find an especially dark and nihilistic kind of faith. There really is little to no hope at all for anything beyond the temporal life one lives, where many even today find themselves enslaved to a socio-economic system that serves primarily a relatively few individuals and their families (Walmart family anyone?) The American dream was originally meant to free us from this kind of aristocracy, but instead we are finding that 200 years later, we're unable to escape the grasp of human greed and the willingness to enslave others for one's own self-serving ends. At least in many spiritual traditions, there is commonly found the concept of compassion, and responsibility for not only one's self but one's neighbor. And that there is more to life than just a dead end thrill ride, the main purpose of which is to accumulate as much wealth as you can, and then you are put away forever.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
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  9. New businesses, which usually do the most hiring, are not starting because of all the new laws designed to "protect" the average person. The system is unbelievably cynical, greed masquerading as populism, which is why people don't understand what is causing their economic problems.
     
  10. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    I don't wish to get into a political debate. The only comment I'm going to make here is: our mass media has been co-opted by the wealthy and corporate interests and is not informing the American people of what is really going on. And the wealthy now control most of the US government. This is pretty obvious to me and many others.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
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  11. Saiko

    Saiko Member

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    That has little to do with materialism. In either meaning. And given that most of those people believe in a God it certainly has nothing to do with philosophical materialism. I'm puzzled why so many are unwilling or unable to get clarity on these concepts.
     
  12. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    If we did not have to keep up with the Jones's and destroy so much of what we produce and if we did not have a tiny group of parasites at the top and a large welfare class at bottom and a hungry military-industrial complex in between and a fractional reserve money as debt Ponzi scheme.... We could live this dream.
     
  13. Saiko

    Saiko Member

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    Tangential. Irrelevant. Inaccurate. And an opinion. Also amusing, as though I am at times condescending, this wasn't on eof hsoe times.

    The connection you see is not there. You're make confused and easily viewed to be false arguments.


    What you style as darker/lighter are viewpoints based in materialism. At the level of the actual spirituality such does not exist. If you check you'll see that every description of dark/light relates to some physical situation.


    I apologize for not responding to the rest. Isolating quote-by-quote is tiresome to me. As for "back up" re-read all the examples I've already given and research any known period of human history. Or loosen up on your fond beliefs and think. It is common that when people believe "there is only X" there as many wanting to make sure that all benefit as those who want to hoard.

    The point is that believing there is only the physical does not automatically drive acquisition anymore than believing in god(s) automatically drives caring, sharing and not being focused on acquiring things and/or earthly power.
     
  14. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    But you are applying the label (which I presume is at least mildly derogatory) 'welfare class' rather than recognising and valuing that these people are living that dream. It is as much a matter of how one views and labels these things, as to whether it is regarded as a success or a failure.
     
  15. This psychological manipulation is so insidious it has reached into every corner of society, even skeptiko-forums ... because the internet is designed to control your brain with alert notifications:

     
  16. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    I thought the dream involved time and resources to spend on "creative and worthwhile pursuits"? I wouldn't say the welfare class is living this dream. They receive just enough to survive but not enough to thrive. My version of the dream is that we can focus our production on "creative and worthwhile pursuits". Also, I don't involve government handouts in this dream. I don't assume no work would be required to have a leisurely life, but that a lot less of it would be required.

    I guess to a certain I am living that dream because I don't usually have to spend 40 solid hours working and I can spend a little of it on Skeptiko or researching topics of interest to me... :)
     
  17. Max_B

    Max_B Member

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    We don't get to move around in time within the external world. We only get to move and manipulate matter in space. We do that with energy.

    We hang meanings on those patterns of matter which we've moved or manipulated in space. Those patterns of matter allow us to move meanings through time, where they can be reaccessed.

    Patterns build up, meanings build up. We can make new patterns, out of old patterns, and we can give them meanings. We can change the meaning of existing patterns. We can pass ideas through time. We can share patterns, and we can share their meanings

    Nature makes unique patterns all the time, and we can hang fresh new meanings on them. Not so with our human patterns which we create, they are more fixed. They travel through time, and their meanings travel with them.

    Our patterns allow us to store and later reaccess meaning. Meaning is inevitably bound up with patterns. One cannot separate one from the other.

    Although the ability to store fixed patterns in matter, so that we can pass meaning through time, has made us smart and powerful. I suspect that excessive controls on pattern creation, as well as controls on the meaning of patterns have inevitably arisen.

    People are restricted from developing fresh patterns on which they can hang their individual meanings. They are restricted from altering the meaning of existing patterns. They hunger for fresh and individual patterns, on which they can hang new individual meanings. For many, our system ensures that their only relief comes from a controlled and restricted ration of mass produced patterns, with meanings set by the mass media.

    It is this dynamic, and it's artificial restrictions which I believe needs addressing. I have no solution. Manipulation of matter into patterns so that we can pass meaning through time is not intrinsically bad. But there does appear to be a need to balance freedom vs control over pattern and meaning creation.

    Anyway, you probably won't understand what I'm going on about, as this explanation has been so brief. But that's my take on this, for what it's worth.
     
  18. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    Wow...Alex, I think this style of interviewing is it. The ebb and flow had such an organic feel to it, that it seems to come together naturally. I have my doubts you could engage mainstream guests similarly, but who knows, maybe it's worth a try. It might bring down the adversarial exchanges and possibly bridge the gap.

    But, as far as the "mainstream" or the “status quo" go, like Dawkins, Denett, Shermer etc..., they're IMO the accepted academia front men. They're dupes or in rapper esoteric vernacular, they're Herbs; individuals that ride the bandwagon, spread the established bullshit or dumbed-down pablum to the masses.

    But mean while, there was Project Stargate;
    The program sought the help of Ingo Swann, which led to the creation of Stanford Research Institute (now called SRI International) in Menlo Park, CA. And that's just what we know of. The old USSR had a similar program that was the instigation for Project Stargate or the other way around. Anyway...

    So, I'm wholly unconvinced that the real research into consciousness, the research not taught, not allowed, and never will be, is what is actually known and utilized by the truly existing status qou. I mean come on, these black-op projects literally have trillions to fund there wildest dreams, so to believe that the academia that is known and taught is the cutting edge is laughably credulous and a ridiculous idea.

    But, that's my opinion.

    That aside, amazing interview Alex. Thank you sir.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  19. Alex

    Alex New

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    thx... I appreciate the kind words... I enjoyed it too.

    I do too... it's a lot like talking to religious fundamentalists, you have these moments when you think you're really connecting and sharing ideas and then you realize they haven't budged an inch.

    but I'll try and move in this direction.
     
  20. Nick

    Nick New

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    Possibly: Matter is built up from simple particles. If we believe that this is the basic structure of our self and the universe, then we are bound to believe that we can only improve our life by adding things to it. So we go out and buy useless crap.
     
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