The World View That Has No Name

#1
People often hate to think that they're part of a movement or subscribe to a world view, and so it is on this forum. People love to think of themselves as just critical thinkers or free thinkers, following the evidence wherever it leads.

However, I think there is a movement or world view here, but I don't know what to call it. If I use terms like New Age or paranormal, it seems wrong. But I don't have a better term.

To know if somebody belongs to this movement, you could ask who their heroes are and which books they read. The following thinkers are prominent:

Alan Watts, Alfred North Whitehead, Dean Radin, Graham Hancock, Jacques Vallee, Jim Marrs, Joseph Campbell, Robert Anton Wilson, Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna, William James

As I see it, people in this world are generally anti-establishment, hate organized religion, would consider themselves spiritual but not religious, hate the war on drugs, are difficult to categorize as either left-wing or right-wing politically, feel that we've lost touch with a spiritual essence that other non-Western cultures are still in touch with, are very optimistic (I would say utopian) about the possibility of making the world a much better place through 'spirituality', and are very interested in parapsychology, NDEs, the paranormal, conspiracy theories, and 'high strangeness'.

So is this a movement or a world view, and if it is, what should it be called? I know Greg Bishop uses the term 'The Excluded Middle'. Maybe that's a good term.
 
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#3
However, I think there is a movement or world view here, but I don't know what to call it. If I use terms like New Age or paranormal, it seems wrong. But I don't have a better term..
I like your post as A - a stellar example of how people can think they are referring to others and yet be actually only expressing things about themselves and B- the strange ways in which people attempt to categorize as a way to help what I see as lazy thinking .

People are individuals. Again - people are individuals. And there is nothing that comes to mind more individual than a worldview.

As I see it, part of the moving beyond the sandbox is moving beyond the addiction to boxes and realizing that people and things are shifting, complex phenomena. So what I'd find interesting is you musing on why you are so fond of boxes that you want to make even more of them.


BTW the term "free thinker" (though I'd like to see it reclaimed) generally means a rationalist/materialist. And "critical thinking" has little to do with "worldview".
 
#5
I like your post as A - a stellar example of how people can think they are referring to others and yet be actually only expressing things about themselves and B- the strange ways in which people attempt to categorize as a way to help what I see as lazy thinking .

People are individuals. Again - people are individuals. And there is nothing that comes to mind more individual than a worldview.

As I see it, part of the moving beyond the sandbox is moving beyond the addiction to boxes and realizing that people and things are shifting, complex phenomena. So what I'd find interesting is you musing on why you are so fond of boxes that you want to make even more of them.


BTW the term "free thinker" (though I'd like to see it reclaimed) generally means a rationalist/materialist. And "critical thinking" has little to do with "worldview".
But you know people in the materialist/atheist/skeptic world also like to think of themselves as individuals just doing their own thing, but it's obvious to outsiders that there is a movement and a world view there. When you are IN that world you can't see it. You need sociologists and historians of ideas to look at it from the outside. Only then can you see it for what it is.

That doesn't mean that there's no diversity and disagreement within the world view. There always is. But we can still see enough points of agreement and similarity to call it a world view.

For example, if somebody loves reading Dawkins, Pinker, Dennett, Harris, Tyson, Sagan, Gould and Shermer, and rarely if ever reads any of the people on my list above, then it is reasonable to say that that person belongs to the mainstream skeptic movement/world view. We can guess that they see the world as progressing from infantile religious superstition to mature scientific materialism, and our guess will usually be spot on.

Likewise, if somebody loves reading Foucault, Derrida, Nietzsche, Stanley Fish, John Caputo and Richard Rorty, and rarely if ever reads any of the other thinkers mentioned here, it's reasonable to suggest that they might be a postmodernist.

Maybe you're right, though. Perhaps it's better just to get rid of the labels and groups altogether. But I just don't think human beings work that way. Unfortunately tribalism seems to be part of human nature, even though many people are in denial about that fact, and don't want to admit it of themselves.

Are you willing to stop labeling people as materialists, atheists or skeptics?
 
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#7
I would also add, to count as a movement or a world view, it probably also needs an ENEMY. Skeptics have religion, postmodernists have the myth of progress, and this world view has materialism.
 
#8
Is that really true?
Haha. I thought Jim Marrs was even dodgier. I just needed a couple of people from the Alternative History and Conspiracy theory world, because this is a big part of this world view as I see it.

But I can certainly see the funny side of putting geniuses like Whitehead and James in the same list as Jim Marrs and Graham Hancock!
 
C

Chris

#9
Haha. I thought Jim Marrs was even dodgier. I just needed a couple of people from the Alternative History and Conspiracy theory world, because this is a big part of this world view as I see it.
I'd be interested to know whether people here really do take his books seriously.
 
#11
People often hate to think that they're part of a movement or subscribe to a world view, and so it is on this forum. People love to think of themselves as just critical thinkers or free thinkers, following the evidence wherever it leads.

However, I think there is a movement or world view here, but I don't know what to call it. If I use terms like New Age or paranormal, it seems wrong. But I don't have a better term.

To know if somebody belongs to this movement, you could ask who their heroes are and which books they read. The following thinkers are prominent:

Alan Watts, Alfred North Whitehead, Dean Radin, Graham Hancock, Jacques Vallee, Jim Marrs, Joseph Campbell, Robert Anton Wilson, Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna, William James

As I see it, people in this world are generally anti-establishment, hate organized religion, would consider themselves spiritual but not religious, hate the war on drugs, are difficult to categorize as either left-wing or right-wing politically, feel that we've lost touch with a spiritual essence that other non-Western cultures are still in touch with, are very optimistic (I would say utopian) about the possibility of making the world a much better place through 'spirituality', and are very interested in parapsychology, NDEs, the paranormal, conspiracy theories, and 'high strangeness'.

So is this a movement or a world view, and if it is, what should it be called? I know Greg Bishop uses the term 'The Excluded Middle'. Maybe that's a good term.
Dunno about any of that. But If I had to pick one quote that summarized my feelings of realizing that we know almost nothing about what really is, yet having a deep instinctive respect and reverence for what is, it would be Einstein's quote:

A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man.
Cheers,
Bill
 
#12
Some of you will remember that situation a few years back where people in the skeptic movement were having this big debate about what they should call themselves - brights, atheists, humanists, free thinkers, etc.

Dawkins, Shermer and the rest loved using this idiom 'herding cats' to say that they're such staunch individualists and hate groups so much that it's really hard to get them all together to fight against the evil that is religion.

This was a great example of a group full of individuals who hate groups. Something similar may be going on here.

Having an enemy really helps. The enemy is religion/materialism, and if WE can get rid of that, WE can make the world a much better place.
 
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#13
Some of you will remember that situation a few years back where people in the skeptic movement were having this big debate about what they should call themselves - brights, atheists, humanists, free thinkers, etc.

Dawkins, Shermer and the rest loved using this idiom 'herding cats' to say that they're such staunch individualists and hate groups so much that it's really hard to get them all together to fight against the evil that is religion.

This was a great example of a group full of individuals who hate groups. Something similar may be going on here.

The enemy is religion/materialism, and if WE can get rid of that, WE can make the world a much better place.
That's entirely too simplistic. I, for one don't want to eradicate anyone. I also have no heroes, except maybe Nikola Tesla, hands down the most underrated man in human history. But I digress.

Pigeon holing humans can be a convenient shortcut, but it's a woefully inaccurate way of going about things. And I think that is true for the vast majority of people. People are far more unique than given credit for because it's not simple or easy to try and think of people in individualistic terms. Especially in western society where everything is reduced to gross oversimplifications and stereotypes so it can fit conveniently into a 4 minute slot in between commercials, where corporations can sell you more shit that they have determined you should want/need based on their research implementing such tools as gross oversimplification and stereotyping.
 
#14
That's entirely too simplistic. I, for one don't want to eradicate anyone. I also have no heroes, except maybe Nikola Tesla, hands down the most underrated man in human history. But I digress.

Pigeon holing humans can be a convenient shortcut, but it's a woefully inaccurate way of going about things. And I think that is true for the vast majority of people. People are far more unique than given credit for because it's not simple or easy to try and think of people in individualistic terms. Especially in western society where everything is reduced to gross oversimplifications and stereotypes so it can fit conveniently into a 4 minute slot in between commercials where, corporations can sell you more shit that they have determined you should want/need based on their research implementing such tools as gross oversimplification and stereotyping.
Fair enough. But doesn't that also mean that we should stop using terms like materialism, atheism and skepticism altogether?

We've already established the fact that people here are using these terms in many different ways and to mean many different things, and they just end up being used as vague terms of abuse or praise. Maybe we should just stop playing this game.
 
#15
Fair enough. But doesn't that also mean that we should stop using terms like materialism, atheism and skepticism altogether?

We've already established the fact that people here are using these terms in many different ways and to mean many different things, and they just end up being used as vague terms of abuse or praise. Maybe we should just stop playing this game.
Hmm, true enough. And yes, it goes not just both ways but all ways. I'm sure I've been guilty of pigeon holing as well, but I do try to separate the issue/paradigm from the individual. Materialism is a bona fide paradigm, as is spiritualism, scientism, etc.

If one self-identifies as any of those things, then referring to them in such simplistic terms is acceptable, IMHO, because they have pigeon holed themselves. They are thus telling the world "I subscribe to this mindset".
 
#16
Hmm, true enough. And yes, it goes not just both ways but all ways. I'm sure I've been guilty of pigeon holing as well, but I do try to separate the issue/paradigm from the individual. Materialism is a bona fide paradigm, as is spiritualism, scientism, etc.

If one self-identifies as any of those things, then referring to them in such simplistic terms is acceptable, IMHO, because they have pigeon holed themselves. They are thus telling the world "I subscribe to this mindset".
Perhaps in the future the excluded middlers will get together and say, "Enough's enough. We're sick of our kids being exposed to the evils of scientific materialism and fundamentalist religion. It's time to fight back." They may then start to self-identify as excluded middlers.
 
#17
Perhaps in the future the excluded middlers will get together and say, "Enough's enough. We're sick of our kids being exposed to the evils of scientific materialism and fundamentalist religion. It's time to fight back." They may then start to self-identify as excluded middlers.
Maybe, and if so, fair game.
 
#18
I refer to this as the Alternate crowd. Very evidence based, willing to challenge authority, official stories and the mainstream press, very motivated by the truth, whatever it is.

The religious beliefs generally run along the lines of Unitarian Universalism. Respect for religions, including atheism, but takes their own path.
 
#19
Although, as you may or may not have noticed, I'm a top poster o'er in the conspiracy threads, I certainly don't take him seriously . . . and I can't really picture who would take him serious (meaning, on this forum). I'd be curious who you have/had in mind. I'm definitely not trying to elicit an apology, but I actually find you saying "I bet many do" pretty insulting.

Though, admittedly, I take DRGriffin very "seriously," and he's huge on Whitehead.
 
#20
Although, as you may or may not have noticed, I'm a top poster o'er in the conspiracy threads, I certainly don't take him seriously . . . and I can't really picture who would take him serious (meaning, on this forum). I'd be curious who you have/had in mind. I'm definitely not trying to elicit an apology, but I actually find you saying "I bet many do" pretty insulting.

Though, admittedly, I take DRGriffin very "seriously," and he's huge on Whitehead.
No, you're right. I probably shouldn't have said that.

I was really thinking more of Hancock than Marrs, though. Hancock has this idea that materialism is the dominant ideology of the powers that be, and that the wonderful and mysterious wisdom of the ancients is being suppressed because it threatens consumerism and the military-industrial complex. That fits in quite nicely with Skeptiko.

I wonder, is Alex a Hancock fan?
 
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