Mod+ 277. FRANK HUGUENARD, BEYOND MIND=BRAIN

#41
I found this discussion to be one of the best of recent times Alex.
I will be checking out the movies.
Would like to hear more from Huguenard.

About the link between consciousness science and economics...
In my opinion mind and consciousness science is in a pre-Copernican stage. Materialism is an unproven metaphysical dogma; not science.
At the time of Copernicus the geocentric model was enforced by the power elites of that time...the priests and the aristocrats...who had nothing to gain and a lot to lose from allowing scientific investigation of the stars.
Today the dogma of materialism is enforced by the current power elites, the merchants, who have nothing to gain and a lot to lose from allowing scientific investigation of mind and consciousness.
 
#42
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.
right, but maybe the connection goes the other way too... maybe we built a materialistic science to mirror/reflect our materialistic tendencies.
 
#43
right, but maybe the connection goes the other way too... maybe we built a materialistic science to mirror/reflect our materialistic tendencies.
Yes, I think that is the correct order of origination.
The power elites, those who dominate our world (bankers and industrialists etc) set the general parameters.
 
#44
right, but maybe the connection goes the other way too... maybe we built a materialistic science to mirror/reflect our materialistic tendencies.
We poor underlings have been brain-washed by the elites since the beginning of history.
 
#45
Really enjoyed this interview and nothing to say at the moment other than, if Frank Huguenards due to be released material, lives up to the hype he promises, of interviews with great scientists and minds of the like, who protest to more than just mind = matter, such as the current paradigm suggests, then maybe, just maybe we are on the verge of the tipping point, and it will cast materialism to the darkest regions where it belongs.

I have gained so much information and have been pointed to so many different interesting topics here, my only problem is what to make my main priority to follow first, On the upside, I should be busy for a long time.

Good job, all I must do now is remind myself to follow up on Franks Huguenards work.

I sense a tipping point coming soon.
 
#46
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.
The only thing I would add here, is that I find Saiko confusing. Which increases in parallel as the minutia of the subject is fatuously argued. As exampled above. Arguing for the sake of arguing, as I see it. Maybe I have Saiko all wrong, but that's my experience.
 
#48
Sigh, a day late and a dollar short to the thread as usual, but reading through the comments I thought I'd add my few cents that I did bring. ;)

(go to post)
IOW that a knowledge of the actuality of non-physical existence automatically prevents or reduces placing the primary importance on acquiring physical possessions." That argument is false.
Agreed. It is false and a strawman of the actual argument.
I disagree. Not only have I experienced this effect personally, I've heard it numerous times from the more spiritually inclined. Moreover, one would have to be virtually entirely ignorant of past spiritual teachings, across a vast variation of spiritual thought to not know that the coveting of material possessions and the belief in ONLY the material aspects of the universe are highly undesirable and can be incredibly inhibiting of ones spiritual awakening and journey.

It's almost as though, at times, we can break through the illusion of the material world and see the world for what it really is, which absolutely has the effect of diminished desire for the material. Perhaps part of this experience here in the material is to learn to accept the material as just another aspect of the universe, not something inherently evil or good. The material is a tool of sorts, to use as we wish. It is neither good nor bad, but entirely what we choose to make of it.

Putting the desire for the material above the welfare of others, above evolution and attainment of experience and knowledge is where our relationship with the material starts to interfere.

We, especially in the modern age, see the material as THE end game. Not as a tool to help us reach our maximum potential, but the sum total of potential itself.

So, I would argue that our relationship with the material is not about not desiring it at all. But the desire to use it for the good of all. When the desire for the material enslaves and degrades others, creating a hierarchy of value on all life, is where the material becomes incredibly problematic.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that when our spirituality increases, our DESIRE for USING the material to apply VALUE and MEANING to our lives diminishes. We see the material for what it really is. A means, not an end. There is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying new technology, a nice pair of shoes, a comfortable home. Where we go wrong is that in our pursuit of these things, there are other beings who are marginalized, enslaved devalued and destroyed.

Our work should be to learn to use the material to EVERYONES advantage, and no ones disadvantage.

I have long believed that there is plenty for everyone on this earth to live a comfortable, healthy life. But as usual, it is FEAR that drives some to see the material as finite. And as such they must do whatever it takes to ensure them getting their piece of the pie, as well as a few extra pieces, just to be sure.

Humanity is currently overcome with the idea that the material is finite. That there isn't enough. Not enough water, not enough food, not enough energy, not enough space, not enough money, not enough time, and on and on. The secret, that isn't really a secret at all, is that none of this is in short supply. It is as it's always been: there is more than enough for everyone. There always has been, and always will be. Getting people to see this, well, that's a whole other issue I don't have the answer to.
 
#49
Sigh, a day late and a dollar short to the thread as usual, but reading through the comments I thought I'd add my few cents that I did bring. ;)



I disagree. Not only have I experienced this effect personally, I've heard it numerous times from the more spiritually inclined. Moreover, one would have to be virtually entirely ignorant of past spiritual teachings, across a vast variation of spiritual thought to not know that the coveting of material possessions and the belief in ONLY the material aspects of the universe are highly undesirable and can be incredibly inhibiting of ones spiritual awakening and journey.

It's almost as though, at times, we can break through the illusion of the material world and see the world for what it really is, which absolutely has the effect of diminished desire for the material. Perhaps part of this experience here in the material is to learn to accept the material as just another aspect of the universe, not something inherently evil or good. The material is a tool of sorts, to use as we wish. It is neither good nor bad, but entirely what we choose to make of it.

Putting the desire for the material above the welfare of others, above evolution and attainment of experience and knowledge is where our relationship with the material starts to interfere.

We, especially in the modern age, see the material as THE end game. Not as a tool to help us reach our maximum potential, but the sum total of potential itself.

So, I would argue that our relationship with the material is not about not desiring it at all. But the desire to use it for the good of all. When the desire for the material enslaves and degrades others, creating a hierarchy of value on all life, is where the material becomes incredibly problematic.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that when our spirituality increases, our DESIRE for USING the material to apply VALUE and MEANING to our lives diminishes. We see the material for what it really is. A means, not an end. There is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying new technology, a nice pair of shoes, a comfortable home. Where we go wrong is that in our pursuit of these things, there are other beings who are marginalized, enslaved devalued and destroyed.

Our work should be to learn to use the material to EVERYONES advantage, and no ones disadvantage.

I have long believed that there is plenty for everyone on this earth to live a comfortable, healthy life. But as usual, it is FEAR that drives some to see the material as finite. And as such they must do whatever it takes to ensure them getting their piece of the pie, as well as a few extra pieces, just to be sure.

Humanity is currently overcome with the idea that the material is finite. That there isn't enough. Not enough water, not enough food, not enough energy, not enough space, not enough money, not enough time, and on and on. The secret, that isn't really a secret at all, is that none of this is in short supply. It is as it's always been: there is more than enough for everyone. There always has been, and always will be. Getting people to see this, well, that's a whole other issue I don't have the answer to.
thanks for this awesome post... very much agree.

BTW it's never too late to post to these threads... me and others keep reading :)
 
#50
Humanity is currently overcome with the idea that the material is finite. That there isn't enough. Not enough water, not enough food, not enough energy, not enough space, not enough money, not enough time, and on and on. The secret, that isn't really a secret at all, is that none of this is in short supply. It is as it's always been: there is more than enough for everyone. There always has been, and always will be. Getting people to see this, well, that's a whole other issue I don't have the answer to.
Can you elaborate on that?

David
 
#51
Sigh, a day late and a dollar short to the thread as usual, but reading through the comments I thought I'd add my few cents that I did bring. ;)



I disagree. Not only have I experienced this effect personally, I've heard it numerous times from the more spiritually inclined. Moreover, one would have to be virtually entirely ignorant of past spiritual teachings, across a vast variation of spiritual thought to not know that the coveting of material possessions and the belief in ONLY the material aspects of the universe are highly undesirable and can be incredibly inhibiting of ones spiritual awakening and journey.

It's almost as though, at times, we can break through the illusion of the material world and see the world for what it really is, which absolutely has the effect of diminished desire for the material. Perhaps part of this experience here in the material is to learn to accept the material as just another aspect of the universe, not something inherently evil or good. The material is a tool of sorts, to use as we wish. It is neither good nor bad, but entirely what we choose to make of it.

Putting the desire for the material above the welfare of others, above evolution and attainment of experience and knowledge is where our relationship with the material starts to interfere.

We, especially in the modern age, see the material as THE end game. Not as a tool to help us reach our maximum potential, but the sum total of potential itself.

So, I would argue that our relationship with the material is not about not desiring it at all. But the desire to use it for the good of all. When the desire for the material enslaves and degrades others, creating a hierarchy of value on all life, is where the material becomes incredibly problematic.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that when our spirituality increases, our DESIRE for USING the material to apply VALUE and MEANING to our lives diminishes. We see the material for what it really is. A means, not an end. There is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying new technology, a nice pair of shoes, a comfortable home. Where we go wrong is that in our pursuit of these things, there are other beings who are marginalized, enslaved devalued and destroyed.

Our work should be to learn to use the material to EVERYONES advantage, and no ones disadvantage.

I have long believed that there is plenty for everyone on this earth to live a comfortable, healthy life. But as usual, it is FEAR that drives some to see the material as finite. And as such they must do whatever it takes to ensure them getting their piece of the pie, as well as a few extra pieces, just to be sure.

Humanity is currently overcome with the idea that the material is finite. That there isn't enough. Not enough water, not enough food, not enough energy, not enough space, not enough money, not enough time, and on and on. The secret, that isn't really a secret at all, is that none of this is in short supply. It is as it's always been: there is more than enough for everyone. There always has been, and always will be. Getting people to see this, well, that's a whole other issue I don't have the answer to.

Excellent post.
I agree with all you write; especially what you say at the end about the myth of scarcity.
Perhaps there will be a few Malthusians here who will want to challenge you on that.
 
#52
Can you elaborate on that?

David
I'll try. I will post some links to back up why I believe this, but it's taken years for me to see and understand this is almost certainly 100% the case. To post everything would be thoroughly exhaustive, but I'll do what I can.

It's common knowledge that the amount of food produced by the western world is massive. Over 3800 calories of food is produced for each American, every day. Japan has massive storage warehouses chock full of rotting rice piles (rotting because it cannot all be consumed).
http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.pdf
Americans at the beginning of the 21st century are consuming more food and several hundred more calories per per- son per day than did their counterparts in the late 1950s (when per capita calorie consumption was at the lowest level in the last century), or even in the 1970s. The aggregate food supply in 2000 pro- vided 3,800 calories per person per day, 500 calories above the 1970 level and 800 calories above the record low in 1957 and 1958 (fig. 2-1).

Of that 3,800 calories, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates that roughly 1,100 calories were lost to spoilage, plate waste, and cooking and other losses, putting dietary intake of calories in 2000 at just under 2,700 calo- ries per person per day
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ile-jumps-to-15-year-high-as-consumption-ebbs

Japan raised the forecast for its domestic rice stockpile to a 15-year high as consumption wanes and farmers harvest a bigger crop.

The government approved a plan on Nov. 26 to end a 40-year policy that pays producers to reduce crops by the end of March 2019.
And that is just rice. The morons in power who decided to start using corn to produce ethanol, caused the price of corn to be jacked up to the point that the WHO estimated their efforts at eradicating world hunger were set back by over 100 years. All in the name of politics and profits.

See, we have the supply and we have the means to eradicate world hunger. Yet, we can't even eradicate it in the wealthiest countries on Earth! Why is that?

As far as energy goes, the theory of peak oil just keeps on moving the goal post, so while they stop short of saying it's been proven to be a myth, they just keep finding more oil and new ways to extract it,
http://m.livescience.com/38869-peak-oil.html

Not to mention the possibility of renewable "green" oil and natural gas production methods
http://m.fool.com/investing/general/2014/10/12/forget-what-youve-heard-oil-and-gas-are-actually-r

This also doesn't take into account that alternative energy is available. We are aware of other technologies, but for obvious reasons, oil rules the day.

And money, well, that's easy. What most of the world believe to be "money" is nothing more than an idea. It is a faith based belief system. A government prints up little pieces of paper with fancy inks and writing, a few numbers and seals it all with a kiss. It's inherently meaningless and worthless. Even monetary systems based on metals or precious metals (which come to find out, aren't so precious after all, much like it's overrated twin, the diamond) are only worth what we believe it is worth. Sure, you can make stuff out of metals, but even then it's utilization as a monetary system is limited. You might as well go back to the days of the barter system.

The United States dollar only has value as long as we believe it does. It's quite eye opening to realize that our entire system, and way of life, is all so flimsily built upon an idea as fragile as a baby's breath.

Time. Again, what is time? It's arbitrary, right? Our perception of "not enough time in the day" is built around this idea that our days must revolve around the rising and setting of the sun, and each revolution the earth makes. But truth be told, we could define a "day" in any way we choose. There are no cosmic rules that say our lives must revolve around a 24 "hour" time system. Again, this is all completely made up. And if science is wrong and spiritual traditions are correct, we have eons of time. Oodles and oodles of it. An eternity to be exact.

I would add one more here, that people often mistakenly believe to be a finite resource. And that is love. Far too often people believe that if you love one, you cannot love another. You hear it all the time "you love _____ more than me". As though you must choose. I couldn't possibly love my husband, my children, my friends and extended family and STILL have enough left over for the rest of humanity!

Love is inarguably the number one resource we have available to us that is literally, by all definitions of the word, infinite. Too many believe this to be in short supply and that leads to a great deal of the suffering we see every day.

These perceived shortfalls bring about so much unnecessary pain, suffering and cruelty.

Granted, there will always be those who will game the system. There will always be those who take without giving. But I truly believe that the vast majority of people are inherently good. That given the basics: food, shelter, warmth, love and dignity, to survive and thrive, there is no reason for crime. Perhaps this sounds utopian, but it's what I believe. How do we go from here- a hopeless pit of hell where all believe there is never enough, to the utopia of each having all they need? I don't know. I wish I did.
 
#53
Excellent post.
I agree with all you write; especially what you say at the end about the myth of scarcity.
Perhaps there will be a few Malthusians here who will want to challenge you on that.
Haha! Yes, I'm sure. Elsewhere I would also get a quaint little pat on the head along side a "well isn't that a nice thought, dear".
 
#54
Haha! Yes, I'm sure. Elsewhere I would also get a quaint little pat on the head along side a "well isn't that a nice thought, dear".
Agree with most of your reply.....except on money.
Money in most Western countries, such as the USA etc, is not created or printed by government. In fact most money is never actually printed at all. That word is just used in the media etc; it is created digitally. Most money comes into existence as debt issued by private institutions such as banks. The Federal Reserve in the USA for instance is a privately owned banking cartel that has been given the exclusive franchise to create and control the dollar by the Fereral Reserve Act. The dollar is essentially a private currency.

You are right about money being fiat. But there is nothing wrong with that in principle. Money is essentially a social utility to facilitate economic transactions. Everything depends on who gets to issue and control it. In my opinion money should be sovereign; issued by a national central bank under the treasury. But today we have a monetary system that is privately owned and controlled by oligarchs.
 
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#55
Agree with most of your reply.....except on money.
Money in most Western countries, such as the USA etc, is not created or printed by government. In fact most money is never actually printed at all. That word is just used in the media etc; it is created digitally. Most money comes into existence as debt issued by private institutions such as banks. The Federal Reserve in the USA for instance is a privately owned banking cartel that has been given the exclusive franchise to create and control the dollar by the Fereral Reserve Act. The dollar is essentially a private currency.

You are right about money being fiat. But there is nothing wrong with that in principle. Money is essentially a social utility to facilitate economic transactions. Everything depends on who gets to issue and control it. In my opinion money should be sovereign; issued by a national central bank under the treasury. But today we have a monetary system that is privately owned and controlled by oligarchs.
You are correct. But IMO, this only makes matters worse. Now it's a faith based in a basically anonymous group of people (banking cartel, whomever that it comprised of) and their word that this digital money (even less "material" than paper or coin money) is worth what they "promise" it's worth.

Money is nothing more than a philosophical tool. It doesn't actually exist. It's an idea. An idea that has been used as a tool to bring into ones possession certain material things. But even these material things are temporary. Food is quickly broken down into energy and "waste". Shelters will eventually crumble and decay. How many cars, that were the "pride and joy" of their temporary owners are now giant mounds of rust in a junk yard, slowly being consumed by the environment? So, it's an immaterial tool, that can temporarily bring about material things. That's all.

But we've attached so much more to this idea and made it more than it actually is. We've become emotional about it. We've attached our own self worth to it. So much so that people will lie, cheat, steal, enslave and murder for it. They hoard these "ideas" in bank accounts, which in all actuality are just numbers (another immaterial idea) sitting on a small silicon chip within a computer. Meaningless in and of itself. But to us, it means we are worth something. It means we can exchange these immaterial ideas, sitting in a computer's memory, for the massive house, the fancy car, the finest of clothing, the most exquisite meals prepared by the most talented chefs. And that in our minds translates into "I am a worthy person. I am important. I am valuable."
But it's all illusion. Again, the car will rust and rot, the mansion will eventually erode and collapse, the food will become waste. And what then? Where is our value? If tied to these objects or the idea that can temporarily bring them about, then it rots, erodes and crumbles as well.
 
#56
You are correct. But IMO, this only makes matters worse. Now it's a faith based in a basically anonymous group of people (banking cartel, whomever that it comprised of) and their word that this digital money (even less "material" than paper or coin money) is worth what they "promise" it's worth.

Money is nothing more than a philosophical tool. It doesn't actually exist. It's an idea. An idea that has been used as a tool to bring into ones possession certain material things. But even these material things are temporary. Food is quickly broken down into energy and "waste". Shelters will eventually crumble and decay. How many cars, that were the "pride and joy" of their temporary owners are now giant mounds of rust in a junk yard, slowly being consumed by the environment? So, it's an immaterial tool, that can temporarily bring about material things. That's all.

But we've attached so much more to this idea and made it more than it actually is. We've become emotional about it. We've attached our own self worth to it. So much so that people will lie, cheat, steal, enslave and murder for it. They hoard these "ideas" in bank accounts, which in all actuality are just numbers (another immaterial idea) sitting on a small silicon chip within a computer. Meaningless in and of itself. But to us, it means we are worth something. It means we can exchange these immaterial ideas, sitting in a computer's memory, for the massive house, the fancy car, the finest of clothing, the most exquisite meals prepared by the most talented chefs. And that in our minds translates into "I am a worthy person. I am important. I am valuable."
But it's all illusion. Again, the car will rust and rot, the mansion will eventually erode and collapse, the food will become waste. And what then? Where is our value? If tied to these objects or the idea that can temporarily bring them about, then it rots, erodes and crumbles as well.
Yes, it is outrageous that a relatively small clique of wealthy oligarchs get to own and control the monetary system; and yes they use it to enrich themselves and to control populations.

I also agree that money is a fiction. But that is alright…if it is rightly understood and managed for the benefit of the entire society.

Rightly understood money is a social utility which functions as a transferable asset to facilitate economic exchange.
Barter is impractical in an advanced society or civilisation.

Problems arise when money is treated as a commodity, as it is today. Produced in banks as credit (debt) and sold (loaned) at a profit (interest).
It is the privatisation and commodification of money that causes many of the problems you mention.

It is the monetary system we have today that is the problem; not the concept of money as a social utility.

The other issues you mention about greed and ego and self-worth are not inherently money issues; they just get played out through money.
Money is not to blame for some rich asshole being a pig.
 
#57
Since we are all concerned with alternate realities, and the possibility that the reality we see is somehow fake, I had wondered if you would invoke that in your response, but you seem to be tackling this from a purely materialistic standpoint.
I'll try. I will post some links to back up why I believe this, but it's taken years for me to see and understand this is almost certainly 100% the case. To post everything would be thoroughly exhaustive, but I'll do what I can.

It's common knowledge that the amount of food produced by the western world is massive. Over 3800 calories of food is produced for each American, every day. Japan has massive storage warehouses chock full of rotting rice piles (rotting because it cannot all be consumed).
http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.pdf
Much as I dislike the fact that so much food is wasted in Western societies, I think it is important to remember that a great deal of food was wasted in more primitive societies because they could not store it well. Also, you do need a fair surplus of food in order to cater for various crises such as volcanic eruptions etc.

Bluntly, I think you have to waste a considerable amount of food to cover for all the things nature can throw at us.

I am not excusing Western societies, and I am one of those people that only order what I can eat, and virtually always leave an empty plate and we hardly throw away any food at home (i.e. we were born shortly after WW2), but I don't think stopping food waste will solve the problem.

I know we couldn't hunt for food, or grow our own food, or run a fresh food shop, or restaurant without considerable waste - it is easy to feel virtuous, but it isn't really that easy.
And that is just rice. The morons in power who decided to start using corn to produce ethanol, caused the price of corn to be jacked up to the point that the WHO estimated their efforts at eradicating world hunger were set back by over 100 years. All in the name of politics and profits.
Well, as you probably remember, I am absolutely against the CAGW junk science, but to some extent you have to say that this nonsense has been pursued by well meaning people.
See, we have the supply and we have the means to eradicate world hunger. Yet, we can't even eradicate it in the wealthiest countries on Earth! Why is that?
I don't know if we really could eradicate world hunger because you need to transport the food everywhere efficiently. Possibly we could do that - but it would re-emerge very soon because of additional population growth :(

Even assuming a very modest population growth - say doubling every 100 years - will multiply the population by 1024 in 1000 years - over a million fold increase in just 2000 years! If you are assuming a purely materialistic scenario, it is hard to see how that additional demand for food, water, space to live, etc. can be met.
As far as energy goes, the theory of peak oil just keeps on moving the goal post, so while they stop short of saying it's been proven to be a myth, they just keep finding more oil and new ways to extract it,
http://m.livescience.com/38869-peak-oil.html

Not to mention the possibility of renewable "green" oil and natural gas production methods
http://m.fool.com/investing/general/2014/10/12/forget-what-youve-heard-oil-and-gas-are-actually-r

This also doesn't take into account that alternative energy is available. We are aware of other technologies, but for obvious reasons, oil rules the day.
Energy is probably the most flexible constraint - I suspect that 'cold fusion' technology is being suppressed, and could possibly solve this problem for a very long time - but might give terrorists access to something with a frightening amount of energy.

I don't give alternative energy as conceived of by the Greens much hope.
And money, well, that's easy. ....
Like others here, I don't see this as fundamental.
I would add one more here, that people often mistakenly believe to be a finite resource. And that is love. Far too often people believe that if you love one, you cannot love another. You hear it all the time "you love _____ more than me". As though you must choose. I couldn't possibly love my husband, my children, my friends and extended family and STILL have enough left over for the rest of humanity!

Love is inarguably the number one resource we have available to us that is literally, by all definitions of the word, infinite. Too many believe this to be in short supply and that leads to a great deal of the suffering we see every day.

These perceived shortfalls bring about so much unnecessary pain, suffering and cruelty.

Granted, there will always be those who will game the system. There will always be those who take without giving. But I truly believe that the vast majority of people are inherently good. That given the basics: food, shelter, warmth, love and dignity, to survive and thrive, there is no reason for crime. Perhaps this sounds utopian, but it's what I believe. How do we go from here- a hopeless pit of hell where all believe there is never enough, to the utopia of each having all they need? I don't know. I wish I did.
Well this may well be true, but it only really works if everyone cooperates. Think of the people who have been killed for trying to give the polio vaccine to kids - but I guess that is what you are saying in your final sentence.

David
 
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#58
Yes, it is outrageous that a relatively small clique of wealthy oligarchs get to own and control the monetary system; and yes they use it to enrich themselves and to control populations.

I also agree that money is a fiction. But that is alright…if it is rightly understood and managed for the benefit of the entire society.

Rightly understood money is a social utility which functions as a transferable asset to facilitate economic exchange.
Barter is impractical in an advanced society or civilisation.

Problems arise when money is treated as a commodity, as it is today. Produced in banks as credit (debt) and sold (loaned) at a profit (interest).
It is the privatisation and commodification of money that causes many of the problems you mention.

It is the monetary system we have today that is the problem; not the concept of money as a social utility.

The other issues you mention about greed and ego and self-worth are not inherently money issues; they just get played out through money.
Money is not to blame for some rich asshole being a pig.
Yes, I agree with all you have said here. And especially with your last paragraph. Money is a neutral object/idea. It can't be blamed for anything. It is our relationship with money and how we view it in reference to ourselves. For some, money isn't an issue at all, but they may put their faith and self-value in something equally as ethereal, such as the desire to be worshiped by others.
 
#59
Since we are all concerned with alternate realities, and the possibility that the reality we see is somehow fake, I had wondered if you would invoke that in your response, but you seem to be tackling this from a purely materialistic standpoint.
Hmmm...well...yes, I believe that this reality is somewhat illusory as well, but I went with the materialistic side here instead.

Truth be told, my intuition tells me that all I said is close to the truth. My intuition tells me that really, all really is well. But how can I point that out to another and help them understand why I believe what I do. They cannot feel what I feel, and so it's pure anecdote. Something that is more or less akin to a dirty word in this current reality of ours.

The intuition came first, then my understanding in materialistic terms came after. I do my best to view all sides, to avoid confirmation bias as much as I can, but there is in all likelihood at least some of that occurring. I'm not sure that's something we can ever 100% rule out.

I've stated here before, that the holographic universe, or matrix theory if you prefer is one that resonates with me the most. In fact, I had the idea that we were all possibly living in a giant video game, what I call super-mega-ultra high definition virtual reality. ;)

I then found that not only was I not the only one who thought this was a possibility, but they had thought of it long before I had. And that I may not be crazy after all! ;)

So if this theory is correct, literally everything is illusion. That is, with the exception of consciousness. The more we learn, the more all signs point toward consciousness not only being primary and fundamental, but the only thing that is real.

And yes, I fully concede that the utopian idea of each having all they need and finding contendedness in that is a pipe dream. I still believe it to be true, if it were possible, that hatred, violence, crime and war would be nearly nonexistent. But there always seems to be that small percent of people that will always want more, will always use violence and will take advantage in anyway they can. I'm not sure why that is. I'm not sure you can ever really eradicate those things here. Something about being human makes such utopian ideas impossible.
 
#60
Great style of interview!
There was a point where Alex said (paraphrasing) "how ridiculous is it that mainstream science is happy to think that life has no point"...which I completely agree with - it's just obvious once you realise it.
Then later, Alex asks the question "do we have choice in this universe? or is it all predetermined?". I was thinking about that question today and finally it struck me: it can't be predetermined because that would also be ridiculous...what point would there be in living out a predetermined life?
So, thank you for inspiring me to come to the conclusion that there has to be at least some element of non-determinism in our lives. And for recognising a new way of understanding the world - if something seems pointless then it probably can't be true...
 
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