Science and philosophy gave him something he never thought he’d find… respect for religion |312|

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Sciborg_S_Patel

#41
I think when evaluating things like NDEs - as well as religion - we need to separate the person who finds truth in a certain narrative possibility in their person[al] life and the person who thinks their truth should be shoved down everyone else's throats no matter how it effects the other person's life.

The first person can be a big believer in a paradigm while still seeing the value of an ontological-neutral science and secular society. The latter is the problem whether they are part of a fundamentalist religious strain or indoctrinated into the materialist/pseudoskeptical cults.
 
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#42
Alex's questions at the end of the podcast:

Are the religious traditions that are so much a part of our culture worth saving, preserving, nurturing?

Is there, as Bernardo suggests, something more in those traditions--something inherently mystical and something important for us individually and for our culture to advance?
Yes and yes. This is one Christian minister not particularly shocked or dismayed by Kastrup's approach to the religious traditions as expressing an esoteric reality in story and symbol. Shades of affinity with Traditionalist School figures like Huston Smith, or Catholic interreligious theologian-philosopher Raimon Panikkar (cf. his section on "The Triadic Myth" in The Rhythm of Being), or Protestant scholar of Islam Henry Corbin or practitioners like Bede Griffiths and Abhishiktananda. Wouldn't agree with Kastrup on all points, of course, but close enough to be kind of a fellow traveler.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#43
One of Kastrup's relevant essays on meaning and warring faiths - ties into the "skeptical" cults I mentioned before:

How militant atheists stole your sense of meaning to enhance theirs

Meaning—in the sense of significance and purpose—is probably the greatest asset any human being can possess. Psychotherapist Victor Frankl, who practiced and led groups while detained in a concentration camp during World War II, asserted that the will-to-meaning is the most dominant human drive, in contrast to Nietzsche’s will-to-power and Freud’s will-to-pleasure.1 Meaning is so powerful that, as Jung remarked, it ‘makes a great many things endurable—perhaps everything.’2 Philip K. Dick’s alter ego Horselover Fat, in the novel Valis, embodies the essence of this drive: ‘Fat had no concept of enjoyment; he understood only meaning,’ wrote Dick.3 Like Fat, many of us—myself included—see meaning as a higher value than power or pleasure. Our motivation to live rests in there being meaning in our lives. Indeed, today we need meaning more than ever. After all, as Paul Tillich lucidly observed, the greatest anxieties of contemporary culture are precisely those of doubt and meaninglessness.4

And here is where proponents of atheo-materialism claim the high-ground: as a worldview that seems to drain the meaning out of life and existence, it can only represent—or so the story goes—a courageous acknowledgement of reality by ‘tough people who face the bleak facts.’5 It must embody an objective assessment of reality, not an emotional, irrational wish-fulfillment maneuver akin to religion. Otherwise, it wouldn’t deny meaning, would it? Compelling as it may seem at first, this argument falls apart upon careful analysis, because its very premise is fallacious.
 
#47
If Bernardo thinks, as I do, that space and time (and presumably matter) don't exist, where does that take us? As has been intimated earlier on this thread, many of us on this forum tend to think in a way that's influenced by the conflict between perception and our philosophy (and also, possibly our transcendent experiences).

There's no way round it: we definitely perceive what we perceive. Materialists shape their philosophy around these perceptions; dualists, for whatever reason, think there's something aside from perception, and may believe in a God who set the universe in motion.

Idealists, having the same perceptions as anyone else, struggle to reconcile them with a belief that perception leads to an illusory picture of reality. I recently had a bit of a tiff with Bernardo (didn't fall out with him, of course:)), because he seemed to be averring his faith in science. However, if he's an idealist, and doesn't believe that space/time/matter (STM) exist, science is undermined because it's predicated on their existence.

He's right that language implicitly assumes STM. Right that it is difficult, despite conviction that Source consciousness (Mind At Large, MAL) is the origin of all, to explain reality in terms of ordinary language; perhaps impossible except by by recourse to symbol, allegory, myth, poetry.

How come some of our physics seems to model reality--in at least some degree--successfully? How can it do this if it's so misguided? My working hypothesis is that what we perceive is the consequence of our apparent dissociation from MAL, and that this leads to the seemingly compelling impression that the world is physical rather than ideational.

Hence--even if we're idealists--we may find ourselves thinking in terms of elementary particles and fundamental forces, and wondering how to explain all of reality in terms of those. We may still unwittingly be thinking in terms of their somehow being the cause of all the phenomena we perceive, rather than the effects of the dissociation of MAL.

Idealism completely turns ordinary thinking on its head. Elementary particles and fundamental forces (STM in other words) become not causes, but percepts that can be mathematised and become seemingly predictive--at least until they reach the limits of their explanatory power. At this point, we are still left with the same questions we've always had, and the usual promissory notes of materialistic science.

It's not, I don't think, that MAL actively creates natural law; more that what we call natural law law is really just a physicalist interpretation of what happens when MAL chooses to dissociate itself. The enterprise of science should be about investigating the apparent patterns and regularities that result from dissociation: be about attempting to describe and utilise those.

However, it all too easily becomes an end in itself; its deficiencies are viewed as the result of current understandings which, over time, will be refined and eventually completely able to explain all. Whilst it's true enough that we've become better at science, and that it's enormously useful to us, it doesn't actually explain anything at a fundamental level. Its ideas that X causes Y causes Z only work over a restricted range, but are extrapolated way beyond their capacity to explain.

I'll give an example: If you've 20 minutes to spare, please watch this video:


If Halton Arp is right, the quasars aren't very distant, very bright objects with enormous red shifts signifying their immense recessional velocities. They're actually much closer, and their red shifts aren't explained by recession, but by their intrinsic properties. But if that's true, then the whole of current cosmology is undermined. There's no such thing as the big bang, inflation, dark matter, dark energy, and so on. A whole theory depends on one mistaken idea: that the only source of cosmological red shift is due to the Doppler effect.

However: do we ever find ourselves speaking of the universe as if it certainly has a finite age? Even if we are Idealists? And do we ever tie that in with our philosophical musings on the nature of things? The Doppler effect certainly exists--just listen to a train approaching and passing you at a station; and it can certainly be explained in terms of waves of sound or light being emitted by a moving object. That said, it could be a serious mistake, with huge implications for cosmology, to then apply it to the interpretation of the appearance of quasars.

I tend to find Halton Arp's observations compelling, and conclude that for all we know, the universe could be eternal; that cosmology is seriously screwed up; that if we can be so wrong about that, we can certainly be wrong about other things, even when they seem to work and be so consistent. It's in the nature of mathematical physics to try to ensure consistency across a wide range of phenomena, but if somewhere along the road we interpret something incorrectly, the knock-on effects can be huge. On the upside, as much consistency as possible is preserved; but on the downside, we end up with increasingly implausible explanations.

Even if Arp's understanding turns out to be better than current consensus and becomes accepted, we'll likely just shift cosmological paradigms; doubtless some scientists will still favour materialism and find some way of hanging on to it. Me personally, I'm past the point of having much faith in science; I think it's like a hand puppet that is pretending to be the puppeteer.
 
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#48
I tend to find Halton Arp's observations compelling, and conclude that for all we know, the universe could be eternal; that cosmology is seriously screwed up;
How do explain the accurate agreement between theory and obs. for the light element abundances, the cosmic microwave background and more pointing towards a big bang and a universe 13.8 BY old? Are we leaving facts behind as on the previous [and quickly shut down] global warming thread?
 
#50
How do explain the accurate agreement between theory and obs. for the light element abundances, the cosmic microwave background and more pointing towards a big bang and a universe 13.8 BY old? Are we leaving facts behind as on the previous [and quickly shut down] global warming thread?
I'd explain such things as theory being manipulated to fit in with observations. In cases where observations conflict with theory, the observations are ignored.

As regards AGW, let it drop. This thread isn't about that.
 
#51
It seems to me that the materialist and the idealist share a lot in common
As I pointed out in an earlier post, they both resist scientific examination of paranormal phenomena such as NDEs
Equally they both do not live essential aspects of their ideologies
The materialist does not live his belief that he and his loved ones are meaningless biological robots
And the idealist does not live his belief that the world he experiences is just a perception in his mind
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#52
It seems to me that the materialist and the idealist share a lot in common
As I pointed out in an earlier post, they both resist scientific examination of paranormal phenomena such as NDEs
Equally they both do not live essential aspects of their ideologies
The materialist does not live his belief that he and his loved ones are meaningless biological robots
And the idealist does not live his belief that the world he experiences is just a perception in his mind
Idealism doesn't mean the world is in his mind, rather consciousness is the ontological primitive. This could involve a Mind in which we exist, or reality could be the interaction of minds.

I agree with you about materialism though, it renders every aspect of humanity worthless.
 
#53
It seems to me that the materialist and the idealist share a lot in common
As I pointed out in an earlier post, they both resist scientific examination of paranormal phenomena such as NDEs
Equally they both do not live essential aspects of their ideologies
The materialist does not live his belief that he and his loved ones are meaningless biological robots
And the idealist does not live his belief that the world he experiences is just a perception in his mind
Pointing it out a second time doesn't make it true. I'm an Idealist and am all in favour of investigating paranormal phenomena, and try my very best to live my belief despite the fact of my perception, which gives the appearance of an external world of solidity.
 
#56
I'd explain such things as theory being manipulated to fit in with observations. In cases where observations conflict with theory, the observations are ignored.

As regards AGW, let it drop. This thread isn't about that.
Scientific theories of the big bang are now based on known particle physics from particle accelerators and relativity (after a very short time after the BB) so they fit very, very well.

I had a chat with a neuroscientist recently (I've talked to him before) who commented on physicist Edward Witten's view on consciousness (look on youtube). Now Witten said consciousness will probably remain a mystery and not become part of physics. He said it will remain undefined. My friend said many colleagues think in general this way which I thought was very revealing, though TBH he didn't mention deep specifics. I just thought I'd share this.
Now he also said though the focus is on brain science, the so called "easy problem", the massive work brain scientists do is independent of a "consciousness theory". In short, neuroscientists worry as much as you do about "mind" but don't, cannot, and will not ditch known physics/chemistry about the brain's function.

My point is you can't ditch known science, even though you can still be right about mind remaining mysterious, the observer being real, larger observers and so on ... eventually leading up to some ultimate Being even. Hence religion? Maybe we can only use metaphor in these regions.

(As to Arp, no disrespect, that was from 1988, a lot has changed since then)
 
#57
Pointing it out a second time doesn't make it true. I'm an Idealist and am all in favour of investigating paranormal phenomena, and try my very best to live my belief despite the fact of my perception, which gives the appearance of an external world of solidity.
I just find it interesting to explore the similarities between the two forms of monism so often discussed on this forum
materialism and idealism
Neither can be lived coherently in the sense I pointed out; they can only be believed intellectually
As you seem to admit yourself, you do live as if your loved ones and your neighbours are real and independent of your mind
ie not just perceptions in your mind
We all do; we all live as if other people are objectively real and independent of our own personal mental perceptions
and we also live as if other people are meaningful conscious agents
 
#58
Scientific theories of the big bang are now based on known particle physics from particle accelerators and relativity (after a very short time after the BB) so they fit very, very well.

I had a chat with a neuroscientist recently (I've talked to him before) who commented on physicist Edward Witten's view on consciousness (look on youtube). Now Witten said consciousness will probably remain a mystery and not become part of physics. He said it will remain undefined. My friend said many colleagues think in general this way which I thought was very revealing, though TBH he didn't mention deep specifics. I just thought I'd share this.
Now he also said though the focus is on brain science, the so called "easy problem", the massive work brain scientists do is independent of a "consciousness theory". In short, neuroscientists worry as much as you do about "mind" but don't, cannot, and will not ditch known physics/chemistry about the brain's function.

My point is you can't ditch known science, even though you can still be right about mind remaining mysterious, the observer being real, larger observers and so on ... eventually leading up to some ultimate Being even. Hence religion? Maybe we can only use metaphor in these regions.

(As to Arp, no disrespect, that was from 1988, a lot has changed since then)
I just thought I'd add my thoughts on this.

When you say "you can't ditch known science", I think this is linguistically and factually misleading.

Science, as we know and are reminded time and time again, is not a body of knowledge, it is a method for gathering data and formulating theories which fit the data. Nothing more.
Saying this not only tightens up the definition, but also sheds more light on what is being said -and I think what you are really saying is you can't ditch known "THEORIES"!

Well, can't we? If we have data which falsify the theory, and support an alternate theory, isn't this what "SCIENCE" demands? Isn't that the scientific method?
 
#59
If we have data which falsify the theory, and support an alternate theory, isn't this what "SCIENCE" demands? Isn't that the scientific method?
OK, by example, can you replace quantum physics which needs special relativity to be joined with for physical appls. and is used to build your PC you use?
Also if you think the Schrodinger equation is just a representation, you can actually see wave-like interference patterns.
 
#60
OK, by example, can you replace quantum physics which needs special relativity to be joined with for physical appls. and is used to build your PC you use?
Also if you think the Schrodinger equation is just a representation, you can actually see wave-like interference patterns.
Sorry Keith, I don't really think I understand what you mean.

Theories are nothing more than an explanation of the facts. E.g. Things fall to the ground (fact) must be caused by Gravity (theory). People often confuse theory and fact and vice versa.

If a scientist split an atom and found a fairy responsible for pulling things together, this would necessarily mean our theory of gravity would no longer be sufficient to explain why objects are attracted to one another, we would need to update or replace the theory with a new theory that explains more things.

Quantum physics is the study of the sub atomic world - quantum theory is not a fixed thing, it is evolving, there are many quantum theories which attempt to explain and make predictions about what we see at the sub atomic level. You can't replace "quantum physics" as it is a field of enquiry, what you can do is update, modify and replace quantum theories to better explain the observations being made.

The answer is yes and no to your question.
No, you can't replace quantum physics as it is not a theory, it is a field of study. And yes, you could replace (or more probably modify) special relativity if new data overturned the predictions made by the theory.

I'm really not sure I fully get your question though, sorry if my answer doesn't make sense.

Oh and I don't understand your statement abour Schrodinger. Could you please explain?
 
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