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The Necessity of a Neo-Pantheism

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posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 07:17 PM
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1.

God – an idea that people kill and die for, a metaphor that inspires reverence and sanctity, and often a compelling motivation to benevolent and charitable deeds for much of humanity. Imagine if that idea, that metaphor and that motivation was not God, but the world and everything in it.

2.

In the hands of theism, belief and faith is dogma. In the hands of atheism, belief and faith is credulity. To those not of this ilk, belief and faith is acceptance and trust. But if no one accepts and trusts the world, how could they possibly love it?

Both theistic and atheistic metaphor remove divinity, the holy and the sacred from the world entirely, by placing them either out of the universe or into our imaginations. In other words, we dare not sanctify anything other than our mere symbols and symbolic gestures, leaving everything else in the universe, including ourselves, in the dark of our own indifference.

3.

This isn't an argument about God or any sort of deity, as all of these types of arguments are superfluous in the face of a fast-approaching brick wall, and our intellect should not waste time believing or not believing in such clumsy metaphors. No; forget fantastical beings that do not exist, but never forget the attention, the love, the power, and the divinity that is attributed to them. This is about ecology, and the various relationships that require our direst attention. Exactly here is where we need to bestow our attributes of the holy, and adorn our ecology, ourselves, our world in our undying love.

4.

In his "The God Delusion", Dawkins calls pantheism a "sexed-up atheism". Of course, with a minor inversion of his statement, atheism is an unsexy, unpoetic, and sometimes ugly pantheism. With the way atheism recoils at the notion of faith or belief, perhaps because faith and belief have for so long been tied to the superstitious, the subsequent backlash against such notions of divination and holiness continues, leaving us to reduce everything to our basest descriptions, to some average mean, to be ever defined as mere groupings of the smallest and deadest constituent parts, and thus deserving of our basest consideration.

But Dawkins' statement is quite apt. Insofar as theologists of all branches of theism grapple with the God metaphor, neither theism nor atheism seem to admit its metaphorical and aesthetic function, and because of this, do away with sanctifying and divining abilities of mankind, where one might speak of great spiritual and transcendental love in a poetic and metaphorical fashion, or more realistically, to speak reverently about our ecology, our relationships. We need a "sexed-up" ecology. To the extent that theism speaks poetically and with reverence against this world, and atheism refuses to speak poetically about anything at all, Theism, and his little brother Atheism, are simply bad poets.

5.

I never understood theism or atheism. I always understood art first and foremost, and to me, theism was always mediocre art. Aesthetically, it was difficult to stand in front of it and admire it. In the way it conceived of the world and the cosmos, which includes myself and all I hold dear, and the way it falsified sex, the world, sensuality, the flesh, and other prerequisites to life as evil, I felt it revealed an incapability of the authors of theistic literature to grasp the beauty in life, but instead to fill in every hole with the unreal and the superstitious, which seems necessary for a species that confines itself to the safety of its dark and mouldy monasteries, never to go outside. Men who rarely looked at the stars, and who rarely strayed from their churches and tomes, were to tell me how to love, or rather hate, the world.

But should man deny the existence of that which he has created, and which to this day, reveals itself within the foundations of our very language and culture? As a symbol denoting divinity and the sacred, which in function is the tendency for man to value one idea above all else, God remains our greatest creation. Indeed, it exists. It would be a sign of irrationality to scorn such a creation, and in turn to doubt man's creative prowess, where we should perhaps use it to great effect, not unlike how the priests and pietists used such a symbol to instil fear of the world. In theory, it could also be used to bring reverence back to it.

6.

The scientific endeavour to describe the physical world is a duty of the highest order. But the listing of facts, and the reduction of things to their mathematical descriptions, their category, or their universal, has only a practical function. It is useful.

But without the creative spirit – without invention, problem solving, and artistic endeavour – physics is mere philosophy, an uninteresting one at that.

In the same vein as religion, and likely because of its theological beginnings, physics requires the deterministic universe, the "cosmos is a machine" as Galileo, Copernicus and Newton conceived, laws governed by some mastermind, maybe God, maybe Nature, maybe the Universe, whatever the grand metaphor may be at the time, with attention focused on first and last causes, eternal constants, and teleological principles. Without admitting it outright, and by merely changing a word and metaphor here and there, physics still searches for God, but only where religion has failed to look.

In so doing, we put nature on the rack and pin her to our walls in search of our own beginnings and our further convenience. Instead, what we find in this is our own end.

7.

The spiritual man must indemnify all matter, the body, the animals—by God, everything—for the thousands of years of torture and slander spat against them, and should get down on one knee and beg for forgiveness. They must sanctify all ground instead of only the most symbolic. Everyday must be holy instead of a few days a year. Learn about that which you have always hated. The spiritual man must become materialistic.

The scientific man must no longer reduce everything to formulae, to the base, to the mean, to number, to a proposition, to the common, to atoms, to predictability, to use, but should seek to make everything beautiful and interesting, so that those who wish to be more than a bundle of chemicals, or more than brains, or more than apes, can. The scientific man must become spiritual.

8.

The greatest evidence against both is the state of the world. If the state of the world is any sort of indication, the holy, the sacred, and the divine – the very same reverence we bestow upon God and the prophets – need to be brought back from outside of the universe and retrieved from our depraved imaginations so as to be placed back where it is needed most, namely, where we delineate and portray the environments and relationships we find ourselves within on a day-to-day basis. On the world. On everything.

Through the whole process of describing the world around us, poetry must be written about every single speck of dust we smash together in our colliders. Every single speck of dust should be given thanks for simply being there, and for giving us something upon which light may shine, upon which to fix our gaze. Without that speck of dust, there is nothing.

~ Aphorism




posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 08:20 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

This is a weird sensation. I know I am not a total idiot, but I honestly can't make heads or tails out of what you are saying.


I even tried looking up the definitions of some words like ecology which you use quite a bit thinking there was an alternate form but none of that helped.

I am not saying it is gobbledygook but.....

Let's put it this way, the best I could make of it all is you're saying neither atheism or theism is poetic.

The rest makes my brain hurt a little. No offense meant.
edit on 3-2-2015 by Grimpachi because: dur



posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 08:46 PM
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Neo-pantheism? Naw. Panentheism is much better Clark.

👣


edit on 158TuesdayuAmerica/ChicagoFebuTuesdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 08:48 PM
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originally posted by: Grimpachi
a reply to: Aphorism

...
I am not saying it is gobbledygook but.....
...
.


I'll say it.



posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 09:35 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism


Rather than address why people are religious, which is a component of the OP's list, I will address the desire to not believe as far as scientific documentation goes. The arguments against the existence of any concept of God that use the Epicurean Paradox (Wrongly attributed to Epicurus actually), is more of a moral / emotional argument than a logical one, as it devolves into arguments of the definition of "good"' and "evil", both of which are subjective. the very opposite of logic.

To assume that science has discovered all that exists is itself an unscientific assumption. Neil Tyson said that, "Science is on the boundary between knowledge and ignorance.... not afraid to admit what we don't know". To claim that something doesn't exist because there is no current scientific evidence for it is presumptuous at best. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

An example: Some claim that science has no evidence of any kind of Heaven or Hell. Kaluza Klein theory has met opposition, yet has been used in Higgs Bosun research in an explanation of Super Symmetry and cross-dimensional quantum entanglement. To oppose any Higgs Bosun research is to become a social outcast. None dare blaspheme the God Particle. This relates to Heaven, Hell, and other spiritual aspects being in other dimensions. Kaluza Klein theory actually mathematically reinforces the idea of alternate dimensions we as physical beings cannot directly interact with.

This is just one example. For people to claim atheism based on science is to show unscientific reasoning and an ignorance of actual scientific research that lends credit to many theological beliefs. I'll quote the late great H. P. Lovecraft here, as he makes reference to "the sciences" as well.

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age." -H. P. Lovecraft, the Call of Cthulhu



posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 09:39 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

I enjoy the sarcasm. Without it, there is not much to laugh at. I'm glad I could provide your sensations.

The argument is this.

People are religious. A great majority of people pray, die, kill or will otherwise act because they believe in a God.

If these people do the same for the earth, something that exists, and it would negate any wrong doing for the sake of something that doesn't. In theistic terms, if everything was god, how could we commit any evil on any thing?

I believe a sort of pantheism that allows people their religious needs except directing its focus towards the earth rather than something that doesn't exist, is a valid viewpoint. Every single day, every single environment, and every single person could be made just as symbolic and sacred as a crucifix, a Quran, a flag, Christmas or any other fiction, that the idea of hurting it brings disgust to the religious man.



posted on Feb, 4 2015 @ 01:35 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism




But if no one accepts and trusts the world, how could they possibly love it?


Ok, I agree on this point, continue....




No; forget fantastical beings that do not exist, but never forget the attention, the love, the power, and the divinity that is attributed to them.


I disagree. Affects emerge from meanings. And meanings are a 'constructive' construct made of ideas and affects. It takes an idea to give meaning, and in turn, to generate affect (which provides the meat of the meaning). The idea, thus, is a posited construct, an "object relation" which the mind relates with, implicitly, as a suggestive reality to be believed in.

So why even get boggered down in ideas? If you want a positive world, you must POSIT an ontological cooridinate to connect with. However you wish to define that is up to you, God, or an abstract combination of words that mean something to you (as the following) in both cases you simply simplified the metaphor from a singular word to a sentence of words. In both cases, you depend on objects, via language, to moor your ideas.

This is sort of the logic I use in being open to the concept of God. I feel it, something, and its a something that one cannot really ask for, but must emerge as a consequence of certain contingencies and consequences outside your ability to manipulate. I, for example, have weird experiences in my life which have put into me certain metaphysical ideas about how the world is organized - the non-locality of mind - the way emotions - and affects - regulate our perceptual scopes, hardening mind into a repetitively felt pattern of self experience, as you as thus. It is hard to imagine that a mind exists beyond this mind, for example, that some of the contentions of Buddhism, vis a vis human consciousness and a foundational consciousness, might in fact be real.

I know in continental philosophical circles, marxist circles, and other matrialist circles, suggesting an agnosticism, or even an openness to a deeper spiritual message to living, might sound cliche and lame - but that is just it: these descriptive words, what they mean and what they point to: a lack of affective regard. In feeling "thats lame", the whole of that experience - try to imagine it in mind - is an emergent property of a particular affective quality, and in fact, since a dull lameness accompanies such a perception, a neurologically sleight bioelectrical event (on an EEG scale, registering at the beta and gamma levels, versus a theta or alpha level) gives every state of mind a paradoxical finitude of quantity. But I am skeptical even of the concept of "quantity" as a thing that exists, in fact.

One could get mired down all day in reflecting on the relationship between consciousness and matter, quantity and quality, so that the above mentioned tidbit about which opens me up to the possibility of God - namely, the possibility that we live in a non-dualistic reality which includes mind and matter as co-existing elements, which, as far as we can tell, is difficult or impossible to explain linearly.




To the extent that theism speaks poetically and with reverence against this world, and atheism refuses to speak poetically about anything at all, Theism, and his little brother Atheism, are simply bad poets.


Your heart is in the right direction. Isn't that what it ultimately boils down to? Philosophers and scientists are just human beings. And language and its effective use can do wonders in convincing ourselves that we know more than we do.

To me, there just two base existential facts which human beings need to internalize.

1) Being human is being vulnerable. We are exposed in the most fundamental ways. When were born, our too big and altricial head forces us into experiencing complete dependence on the others outside us. Very really, we enact our own metaphysical play early on in life, with the primary care-giver (along with lesser others) being the "other", which the baby develops emotional meanings towards.

2) When ones vulnerability and the nature of suffering is properly explored, one is moved to feel that radical acceptance and compassion towards WHAT IS, perhaps represents the most honest and authentic reflection a human being can make upon its earthly existence.

Even in denying the value of compassionate awareness deserves its own psychoanalytic explanation. Why? Is there something about the affect - feeling - of yourself as experiencing love, for what the living subject, another human like yourself or another suffering creature, is forced to experience?

Such an orientation towards the world reminds one of Buddha or Jesus, more useful as metaphors than historical figures, since the relation to the world one experiences when explored philosophically in a metaphysical way presents to awareness the possibility for love, for compassion. And how can one vouch for an emotion which shows its value only after being experienced?



posted on Feb, 4 2015 @ 02:19 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

Thank you now that I understand. I am not at all good with any type of parable format of writing. My brain gets hung up on a word's definition far too often.

Apologies or the sarcasm it isn't something I can seem to control anymore I am just like that.

It seems like I am in full-time sarcasm mode there's mean sarcasm, funny sarcasm, and just regular everyday normal sarcasm.

Anyway, S&F now that I understand.



posted on Feb, 4 2015 @ 02:21 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

It is beautiful and so true. Maybe something that has to be experienced rather than taught. But for me: you worded my eperience, so i love it. It'smaybe a bit of a personality and development thing. For example, when people love their pets, they "project" lots of their own feelings into that connection and often get rewarded by their animals to "talk" back. Behaving more and more like a soul-compagnon. From this point of view it is easier to get to the realisation how much more beautiful love without fear, but with a feeling of being "home" around friends and protectors and trust-worthy loves is. And then how much better it feels when the world is true and honest. Taking care of and interacting with each other. Even if sometimes it appears to be cruel.



posted on Feb, 4 2015 @ 02:59 AM
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It is important to make a distinction between atheism and anti-theism, they are often confused.



posted on Feb, 4 2015 @ 11:27 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

tl;dr

ITT lots of flashy dissertation about Sophrosyne

no need to show off.
edit on 4-2-2015 by TzarChasm because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2015 @ 03:41 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Good points.


So why even get boggered down in ideas? If you want a positive world, you must POSIT an ontological cooridinate to connect with. However you wish to define that is up to you, God, or an abstract combination of words that mean something to you (as the following) in both cases you simply simplified the metaphor from a singular word to a sentence of words. In both cases, you depend on objects, via language, to moor your ideas.


I agree that the object never changes, and it is our nomenclature that does. But the object or character of God is missing from many ontologies. Because it is never where we search, it is posited outside of the universe. No coordinates in its regard are available, yet vast amounts of metabolism are spent in the formation and defence of its discourse. I believe attention and concern might be better spent on the immediate.

You feel something, yes, but I am unsure why one would leave room in an ontology for a celestial being unless it was born out of habit, or desire, for I can find no other reason to stir such an idea into an ontology. We once felt the Earth stood still, or was flat, but I wager not many people feel that way any longer. Over a sufficient amount of time, and with a sufficient amount of discourse, old habits will change.

You obviously have penchant for psychology, which I can derive from your use of “affect” over the more common “effect”, so I will admit that I am a layman right here. But I have no need for current theories and nomenclature of mind and consciousness, which I refuse to speak of as existent things. Like a flat or geocentric earth, I wager they will disappear in due time.


To me, there just two base existential facts which human beings need to internalize.

1) Being human is being vulnerable. We are exposed in the most fundamental ways. When were born, our too big and altricial head forces us into experiencing complete dependence on the others outside us. Very really, we enact our own metaphysical play early on in life, with the primary care-giver (along with lesser others) being the "other", which the baby develops emotional meanings towards.

2) When ones vulnerability and the nature of suffering is properly explored, one is moved to feel that radical acceptance and compassion towards WHAT IS, perhaps represents the most honest and authentic reflection a human being can make upon its earthly existence.

Even in denying the value of compassionate awareness deserves its own psychoanalytic explanation. Why? Is there something about the affect - feeling - of yourself as experiencing love, for what the living subject, another human like yourself or another suffering creature, is forced to experience?


I agree with your existential facts. Vulnerability is needed most of all. But I would say one should embody these principles rather than internalize them.



posted on Feb, 4 2015 @ 03:41 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

I highly enjoyed reading this. I can most definitely understand your sentiment toward nature. God and man both being natural (of nature) as we are made of him, he is made from us. This reflects a certain law of unity. If we are god and god is us, then everything and everyone is 'god'. God is merely a conventional term for what should be otherwise known as 'all'. As we treat our own body as a temple, or 'god', as a way of giving thanks to him for creating us. However, it is with this notion, people must treat everything and everyone as 'god'. We must give to the world what all religious institutions preach, unconditional love and appreciation for all. With the scientific side, we must realize that the term 'god' is a conventional term, a metaphor for unity and oneness.

That was my basic understanding. Very good post sir.



posted on Feb, 4 2015 @ 03:42 PM
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a reply to: TzarChasm




tl;dr

ITT lots of flashy dissertation about Sophrosyne

no need to show off.


Except that it is about pantheism.



posted on Feb, 4 2015 @ 10:16 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism




I agree that the object never changes, and it is our nomenclature that does. But the object or character of God is missing from many ontologies. Because it is never where we search, it is posited outside of the universe. No coordinates in its regard are available, yet vast amounts of metabolism are spent in the formation and defence of its discourse. I believe attention and concern might be better spent on the immediate.


Well, its sort of like the "self". Can we find a self? I can't. You cant 'pin-point' a self. Hume took this too far by saying there is no self simply because you couldn't find a specific ideational coordinate to it. The philosopher Even Thompson, along with many others, rightly understands the 'emergent' property of the self as the 'sum-total' of our cognitive, affective and relational activities. It is in process that 'self' is recognized and 'pin-pointed'; but you have to be satisfied with the paradoxical nature of it: self is not something to be pinned down. One wonders if the whole idea of a noun - of something fundamentally separated from its surrounding context, is even a real thing.

Similarly, God. Just as with self, it is useful to speak of a self, to say "self" is to direct minds I'm speaking to towards its ideational structure. A concept. God, also, and perhaps even more so, can be represented to the reflective self and related to, as it were, as an object.

Consider this exercise in thinking about the value of how ideas allow certain types of experiences. I just finished watching a basketball game where the time I'm rooting for is getting its a$$ kicked. On one play, a player on the other team through down the ball very hard; it was an objectively nice dunk. Usually, I'd be able to look at it and say "thats a nice dunk". But I didn't feel myself thinking that. Instead, I found myself actually saying, albeit, in a yet unformulated way (as a unverbalized perception) "that wasn't that good a dunk".

It was ridiculous! Here I am, someone who spends a lot of time thinking and philosophizing about such things, and I found myself unable to "see" something. The simple reason is, I was still operating within the categorical confines of "Toronto is my team" and "The Nets are the enemies". In adopting and conforming to this categorical splitting of one group of people from another, I created possibilities and probabilities for perception. Something which happens on one side - The Raptors - will be attended to with a positive eye; on the other hand, I will pay little attention to the Nets and whatever their players do.

After noting my response, I rewinded and looked at it again, this time without reference to "Toronto is my team". And lo and behold, my perception was different. It was a genuinely athletic dunk, satisfying to look at.

Ideas therefore open up or close up certain things for us. Remember, even in reviewing the dunk, I had to tell myself "be open to it". By "being open to it", it could be argued that I inhibited my instinctive reaction to apply a categorical distinction between Toronto and Brooklyn. However, disinhibiting yourself requires an inflection of self-generated cognitions about what to disinhibit from and what to go towards.

So back to God. If you think about God as a concept or a noun, you should, if you are at all philosophically or psychologically inclined, understand that this is merely a "tool" towards orienting yourself to the divine, in whatever way feels meaningful to you.

The fact that an ontological cooridinate is necessary for POSITIVE living is exactly why I reject strains in postmodern and Lacanian thinking (such as Slavoj Zizek or Adrian Johnston): they just fail, again and again to POSIT, to put something good in the negative in which they have such fun expanding upon. They fail to appreciate that it is human nature - quo human beings - to believe in something. You take away our power to believe - you leave us anxious, depressed, and struggling in anomie.

This is why it is the PRACTICAL and ETHICAL domain, the domain of results and effects of our acting, that we can accept the ontological necessity of "naming" and accepting, ideally in a metapsychological sense, that belief is a psychological necessity for human well being.




You feel something, yes, but I am unsure why one would leave room in an ontology for a celestial being unless it was born out of habit, or desire, for I can find no other reason to stir such an idea into an ontology. We once felt the Earth stood still, or was flat, but I wager not many people feel that way any longer. Over a sufficient amount of time, and with a sufficient amount of discourse, old habits will change.


All I mean is it is not entirely out of the question; it cannot be logically refuted: it can only be evaluated, and evaluation is a personal and inherently biased perception.

I can say a lot of stuff for why the concept of God is the most incredible thing I can think of. But will it mean anything to you, outside the developmental contingencies which makes life meaningful to you ? When we speak with one another, especially thus of us who grew up in widely different cultures, theres a chasm, or at least the chasm can feel very big lest people keep in mind that the mind on the other end has probably a very different constellation of meaningful relations.

If you keep that in mind - you encourage and enable a deeper sense of the other, an intuition, I guess, that allows you to predict with greater accuracy the type of person you're being with.

One thing I try to cultivate in myself is "being with others", not merely on my own terms, but, according to what the nature of the interaction between another and myself would seem to imply; that is, if its a kid in highschool who plays basketball at the leisure center everyday, I speak to him as if I were just like him. And this isn't me "faking": There are parts of me which relate at 'his' level, because I was once his age, once thought of the world in a way similar to the way he did; and even if I personally have experiences, a little bit of imagination - and openness to whats imagined - can allow you to essentially "take on" perceptions of the world that are more similar to other peoples experiences than you're own; but this, I think, is a very useful skill to have in life.




I agree with your existential facts. Vulnerability is needed most of all. But I would say one should embody these principles rather than internalize them.


In what sense do you differentiate 'embody' from 'internalize'? I see the latter as preceding the former. The act of 'internalizing' something usually results in 'embodying' it.



posted on Feb, 5 2015 @ 12:19 AM
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As to the general theme of the thread: neopantheism as a religion.

I believe were already on such a road, at least vis-a-vis the growth of the "green movement".

Do we need a representation though: as rituals, songs, a name, ala Gaia? I'd prefer not. But I also wouldn't be much bothered by it either (unlike the tight a$$ James Lovelock)

As a humanist first and foremost, what I care most about are other people.

Why? It's simple, perhaps even a bit fractal-like. I care about me - I will only exist so long as my body allows me to. No one really truly knows what lies beyond our brain-body-society menage-a-trois. So, seeing I love myself, it truly does come naturally to me - and everyone else - to truly and deeply care - and realize within themselves - a need for others to feel safe and well as well.

Humanism comes more naturally than religion inasmuch as everyone is ready-made with the capacity to empathize, whereas religion, be it of the theistic, deistic or atheistic kind, requires a more cognitive reflection on metaphysical subjects - which, of course, might be natural for a mature adult, but not for the uninitiated, so to speak.

I could expand on this more but I'm rather tired. Maybe tomorrow.



posted on Feb, 5 2015 @ 01:27 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte


Well, its sort of like the "self". Can we find a self? I can't. You cant 'pin-point' a self. Hume took this too far by saying there is no self simply because you couldn't find a specific ideational coordinate to it. The philosopher Even Thompson, along with many others, rightly understands the 'emergent' property of the self as the 'sum-total' of our cognitive, affective and relational activities. It is in process that 'self' is recognized and 'pin-pointed'; but you have to be satisfied with the paradoxical nature of it: self is not something to be pinned down. One wonders if the whole idea of a noun - of something fundamentally separated from its surrounding context, is even a real thing.


Yes; even now "personhood" is a contentious issue in philosophy. I’m not sure why. I personally find the idea of a "self" or "person" (in the philosophical sense) to be wholly inadequate.

I do not agree with Thompson that the self is the sum-total of our abilities. Abilities require an agent of some sort to perform them. If the self is the sum-total of our abilities, then the self needs to be performed by some agent other than itself. I don’t understand how it is so difficult for philosophers of mind to believe they are the agent, in this case a human organism, and not what it performs. So I am unsatisfied with the paradoxical, and somewhat fallacious idea that the self is anything other than the body.

I believe I can pinpoint the self by pointing to any part of my body. I believe I can see it by looking in the mirror. It hasn’t failed me yet.

I also do not agree with any emergence theory of mind or consciousness. I have yet to witness any such properties emerge. This might be too reductionist for most people, but it isn’t wrong. The only grounds for an emergent mind or consciousness are introspective, meaning we cannot see what is occurring behind our senses and resort to a sort of guessing, but once we get someone else to look where we can’t see, in every case there is no ontological emergence of any other properties than the ones that were always there to begin with, that being the properties of the human body.

This is my view, and though I realize it is very reductionist, I think positing anything more than what is there is an error.


The fact that an ontological cooridinate is necessary for POSITIVE living is exactly why I reject strains in postmodern and Lacanian thinking (such as Slavoj Zizek or Adrian Johnston): they just fail, again and again to POSIT, to put something good in the negative in which they have such fun expanding upon. They fail to appreciate that it is human nature - quo human beings - to believe in something. You take away our power to believe - you leave us anxious, depressed, and struggling in anomie.


See I’m the opposite. Though I don’t enjoy Lacan (I do enjoy Zizek), I feel the need to posit “something good in the negative” is a wholly negative act. Assuming there is nothing inherently negative or positive about what is, if one is stirring a positive idea into an ontology because otherwise it would be negative, it is because he has already valued that ontology as negative. I believe that a destruction of these ideas such as God is necessary, at least to show that they can be destroyed and created.

I agree humans need to believe in things, otherwise there is groundlessness. But believing in propositions and ideas is not good enough, and a quick look at history can prove this. I think we need to step beyond believing in propositions, posits, and fiction, and start believing in more substantial, more immediate things.

The only reason I differentiate between embody and internalize – and I admit I am a layman, so I am probably not using these terms in their technical sense – is because I believe everything about a human is body and environment, that there is no human nature qua human nature, but only biology and ecology.

I agree with everything you say about others. In my extensive travels, I’ve learned the variation in human behaviour amounts to very little. Laughter, dance, smiling, hospitality, generosity – for the most part these are universal, and I’ve felt comfortable in nearly every culture I’ve been too. In my view, the “otherness” of others is of prime importance. This is why I’ve repudiated any idea in regards to solipsism, dualism or monism, that would say they are anything other than what I am interacting with. I need to see them as unique, as original, who occupy their own place in space and time, for me to value them the way I do. I do not want to feel the need to posit anything.



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 12:57 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism




I do not agree with Thompson that the self is the sum-total of our abilities. Abilities require an agent of some sort to perform them. If the self is the sum-total of our abilities, then the self needs to be performed by some agent other than itself. I don’t understand how it is so difficult for philosophers of mind to believe they are the agent, in this case a human organism, and not what it performs. So I am unsatisfied with the paradoxical, and somewhat fallacious idea that the self is anything other than the body.


Have you read Evan Thompson?

I may have misrepresented his views (and my own) in what I wrote.

The body IS the fulcrum, the place where the self becomes and is, a la some of the ideas you find in Heidegger and especially Merleau-Ponty, which find such satisfying expression in some contemporary psychoanalytic explorations of self, such as in Philip Bromberg and Donnel Stern.

In my discussion of the self, keep in mind my general rule: a self with a body doesn't make sense.

So all I mentioned before about the 'sum total of our experiences', I am aiming for a more precise and exact description of what I mean, perhaps, with a bit of cognitive science, psychoanalytic neurobiological flourish.

In the brain (where our experiences are generated) there's presumably a 'cognitive' aspect (in the frontal cortex) and a motivational aspect (which is explicable on evolutionary-and distinctly anthropological grounds, located probably in the areas described by Panksepp), and in between you have affects, which serve mostly as metaphors that the interpretive mind culls meaning from.

Bromberg defines self as both multitudinous and singular: we have as many selves as we have self-experiences, which is to say, any contextual-motivational "unit" which has been activated in the past constitutes for every one of us a particular 'self'. We are made up of 'selves' although we experience ourselves, misleadingly, as completely singular.

Yet who can deny that a 'self' is real? Chaos would ensue if you deny a self: so long as we are beings-in-the-world we are required to respect the apparently paradoxical conditions of our being. That is, if we hope to create a better, kinder, gentler, more compassionate world, we need to 'indulge' the illusion (if you insist upon that opinion) of the self's existence.




I also do not agree with any emergence theory of mind or consciousness. I have yet to witness any such properties emerge.


Have you read Damasio? How else would you explain the fact that certain properties of consciousness disappear following neurological injury - other than accepting as truth that certain features of consciousness 'emerge' from the biological activities of certain parts of our brains.




This is my view, and though I realize it is very reductionist, I think positing anything more than what is there is an error.


Do you admit that your development as a person has been biased by early exposure to certain philosophical strains - and that accommodation and adaptation to such strains inhibits you from exploring other ideas?

Such, to me, is the value of an evolutionary + psychoanalytic exploration of how our minds work. I know a few people stuck in Hegelian/Postmodernist/Materialist ways of thinking, and to me, they are just flaming egotists (as many people are) unable to peel back to a time before they had any rooted opinions about the world.

Mind, you, I can say stupid stuff too. And like anyone else I can succumb to bouts of self-absorbed egotism. But, without coming off as immodest (hopefully) I do think I have 'achieved' something important and crucial, that, God-willing (grant me this turn-of-phrase without taking it literally!) by relating to the world in a way where my beliefs are moored in empirical evidence (psychoanlytical inquiry, evolutionary theory, etc) and, more philosophically, a sense of utter capitulation before the conditions of the world as I have come to know it (what I said earlier with my 2 existential facts).

We should pay attention to the non-linear dynamics between what we believe (our cognitions) and our affects (how we feel) and how a sanguine skepticism dampens down the latter, eventuating, at least probabilistically, in a way-of-being that doesn't really improve the world for self or others.

I am a full-out devotee of the simplicity of mindfulness. If emotion shapes life, and good emotion is an emergent property (another case) of interpersonal relations, we should simple work to structure our way-of-being in the world in conformity with this ontological principle.




Assuming there is nothing inherently negative or positive about what is


But that not true. You said it yourself: your self is your body, and the body, via metaphor, informs the self in quite reasonable ways. Negative and positive DO, most definitely, exist. And to break things down again and again without positing, without necessitating an ontological conviction, you are merely running yourself in circles with logic.




. I believe that a destruction of these ideas such as God is necessary, at least to show that they can be destroyed and created.


Seems like a weird, and maybe even a little twisted thought experiment.

As said, since negative and positive exist - as all creatures in nature demonstrate by exploratory and aversive behaviors - and in which we are able to reflect upon and experience fully in an ontological way, the concept of God is then completely natural - a perfectly plausible way to explain the 'why' of existence and the why of personal suffering.

It may not seem sufficient as a why insomuch as it can never really yield any objective explanatory power, still, for the experiencing subject, I would say the concept of God is very real.

To try to destroy just because you have a hankering that it can be destroyed seems to me like a waste of intellectual energy.




I agree humans need to believe in things, otherwise there is groundlessness. But believing in propositions and ideas is not good enough, and a quick look at history can prove this. I think we need to step beyond believing in propositions, posits, and fiction, and start believing in more substantial, more immediate things.


Such as?

You know, Zizek argues that even nature isn't "real", its just another "Big other" - a false and imaginary construct we build for ourselves.

Ahh, Zizek. Always deconstructing. Like his general decor, the world would probably look like him if everyone agreed with his way of thinking.

But we do not. And why is that?

This, to me, is the sheer power of the developmentalist perspective. It undercuts everything. It predicts with empirical force how a child will become - what he will come to believe - following certain early life developmental relational conditions.

If this is it - if the relational matrix of culture and society forces a type of "mental darwinism" - the survival of viewpoints (such as those which strengthen affiliation ties) for every developing individual, than we might as well transcend viewpoints that favor a view of the world that inhibits constructive activity.

Zizeks a great guy, I'm sure. He seems pretty funny. But he also seems unhealthily fixated (like Lacan) on language and an overall program of deconstruction. Why is that?



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 01:25 AM
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I agree with everything you say about others. In my extensive travels, I’ve learned the variation in human behaviour amounts to very little. Laughter, dance, smiling, hospitality, generosity – for the most part these are universal, and I’ve felt comfortable in nearly every culture I’ve been too. In my view, the “otherness” of others is of prime importance. This is why I’ve repudiated any idea in regards to solipsism, dualism or monism, that would say they are anything other than what I am interacting with. I need to see them as unique, as original, who occupy their own place in space and time, for me to value them the way I do. I do not want to feel the need to posit anything.


How does compassion fare in your experience?

Just now, after closing my laptop and pulling beneath my covers, I was replaying in my mind my response to you. And then I recalled, I didn't respond to your final statement, this last paragraph, in which you described your experience in life, in learning about other people by being with other people, discovering how alike we all are.

For me, this is a powerful, powerful experience; so powerful, that I can't help but see the face of God in it.

Posit, don't posit. Who knows! No one has the handbook for living or knowing. If God IS, he IS regardless. At the same time, if he Is, it probably adds to a human beings experience to establish a knowing relationship with him (and the Him, per theistic thinking, the "giver" - semen - is 'hidden' in the womb i.e. female i.e. earth i.e revealed).

I'm not a member of any religion, but I am sensitive to the different ways people come to understand the world around them. Yours, for example, has an interesting quality to it. A free-floatingness, where human bodies are free-agents interacting with one another by manipulating their bodies-in-the-world.

This, I think, is the heart of compassion. Living is HARD. Being a human, being thrown into conditions we didn't ask for, to become who we are and to develop the meaning that we have: how can you not look upon such a being, just like yourself, with compassion?

I do agree that belief is dangerous without a contextualizing "holding container" that gives the belief force UP UNTIL. Democratic values, human rights, these represent principles, hardened as laws, that are born from an honest existential experience of being-in-the-world.

1) were vulnerable
2) if we attend to our vulnerability, and, appreciate the buddhist concept of self-compassion, we can orient to the world around us with loving regard.



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 03:13 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism
The word 'God' is the same as the word 'Tao' - it cannot be named...........even though the words are used (God/Tao) no one actually knows what they mean in words because no one can actually point with their finger at what those words mean.
God/Tao is prior to any concept or word but God/Tao is what words and ideas arise out of and are seen in. God is the source and sum of all existence.

What do you think Einstein meant when he said:
"The field is the sole governing agency of the particle".

Every single speck of dust should be given thanks for simply being there, and for giving us something upon which light may shine, upon which to fix our gaze. Without that speck of dust, there is nothing.

No one has said to ignore what is appearing - what can be seen, heard, smelt, touched? But the 'world' is a concept - an abstraction. Prior to any abstraction what is there?
If you think you are a 'person', an 'individual' maybe one must realize that even that is an abstraction, a concept. Prior to thought.....what is there?
Give thanks that you see the light shine.
God saw the light was good.

It is only when words and thingness are bought into that there can be conflict. God does not have conflict as God is all there is - the present seeing the present. There is only light to be seen/known.
It is only words (abstractions) that are fought over.
edit on 6-2-2015 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



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