Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Pineal, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    @wynn --

    Worth less according to what? How common the components are? What the individual configuration is capable of?

    Hence why your argument fails. You can't tell me exactly why it should be worth less and I can come up with a million reasons why it could be worth infinitely more.

    For starters there's the fact that any child of mine would share half of my genes and thus act as a gateway to the future for my genes, and the fact that I(as a human) am hardwired to do and like this(for the most part) gives any child of mine far more value to me than a candy bar.

    You made the mistake of thinking that you actually understand what a materialistic worldview is and then attaching some unknown value to it that you hoped would prove your point. Arguing with preconceived notions in your head is a great way to be incorrect.

    Of course, your entire approach was flawed. You claimed that materialistic worldviews should lead to less caring people and then when challenged on this you demanded that the other person prove you wrong. This is what we call "shifting the burden of proof". You made the claim, the onus to support it rests solely with you.

    @Pineal --

    Not necessarily, your fears might still be realized one day, but your OP is a slippery slope argument. Just because what you fear might come true isn't an argument against anything but an argument for caution.

    My point was that what you might call "desacralization" another might call sacred, hence the whole problem with the concept of "sacredness" in the first place.
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Well, I do identify pretty strongly with the scientific worldview in general and with some of the ideas that you were implicitly attacking in the first post. I do think of living organisms, including humans and their human brains, as functional systems analogous to machines and computers, and that they can potentially be understood by biology and neuroscience. I don't feel oppressed by that thought. I'm fascinated by the current developments in genomics and don't really feel that humans are poking into things that were not meant for them to know.

    Certainly if there's something wrong, even dangerous, about the kind of views that I hold, then I must be advocating and propounding dangerous falsehoods. I'm sure that there are people out there that have very strong views about people like me.

    You posted what read like a rather fundamental critique of the direction of Western civilization subsequent to the scientific and industrial revolutions. The kind of concerns that you expressed are increasingly common today and are often expressed in the humanities. That was my first point.

    Then I speculated about what's driving the literary (as opposed to scientific) intellectuals to behave this way, to express this growing sense of unease with the way they see things headed.

    I suggested that it might be arising from a sense of disappointment, from a feeling that Europe's post-Christian faith in reason, science and progress, epitomized by the Enlightenment's "Age of Reason", might not be leading towards the heaven-like paradisical Kingdom that so many intellectuals once expected. The disasters of the 20'th century are obviously relevant to that sense of disillusion.

    The new emphasis appears to be on how instrumental reason and its products are sundering us from the sacred and from the beautiful, alienating us from our own innermost selves, and on how new media are bedazzling us with false images and ideology while we are being drained of our former humanity and remade and regimented into the living image of machines.

    Personally, I don't think that the Enlightenment faith in humanity's salvation through always-ascending scientistic Progress was ever truly realistic. And I don't think that today's intellectuals' response to the perceived failure of that dream, their counter-desire to throw off the now supposedly oppressive scientific world-view and the instrumental reason that supposedly dominates urban 'bourgeois' life, in favor of once again enjoying life in an Edenic sacred nature pregnant with magic and miracles, is even remotely realistic either.

    So it's true that I don't have a great deal of interest in discussing the arguments put forward by the opposing scientistic and anti-science visions. I don't take either one very seriously in any literal sense. I'm more interested in the big-picture questions of why such quasi-religious cultural visions exist among the public in the first place, why particular ones appeal to different sorts of people at particular times in history, and about what they say about where our culture might be headed in the future.

    Unfortunately, I don't think that conversation is going to happen here on Sciforums. So I'm out of this thread and won't be disrupting its agenda with any additional posts.
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  5. Pineal Banned Banned

    I would say I am critiquing these ideas if they are considered the only truths about organisms. If knowledge gained via science is considered the only knowledge (truth), then I think some of the patterns I laid out are inevitable as instrumental reason gets aimed at all life as our abilities increase. There can be no objections from within science to any of these practices - except specific practical ones.

    I have no problem with scientific methodology.

    I agree with the latter part of the sentence, since these are, at this time, openended fields that have changed paradigmatically over time and use new technologies and approaches and so I cannot know what these may lead to knowing. The first part seems to me to be carrying over old metaphors that are problematic even within science, especially the machine one.

    NOt an assertion I made.

    I see a rather wide range of scientists with similar concerns, actually.

    My relevent disillusion is not about what has not been achieved but in prime about many things that are being achieved that do not seem like successes to me. This does not take away from successes that I do see.

    I do see a connection between what I consider an impovrished metaphysics and how organisms are being treated more and more completely worldwide, including us.

    I think it is more likely that we will be remade into cartoon figures and hubris will create a very dangerous learning curve even for those who do not participate in the changes.

    I don't think we need to throw off the scientific method or even the models, but rather that there is a serious problem when these are considered the only models.

    Well, you may not read this, but you could start a thread. I would certainly participate.
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  7. Pineal Banned Banned

    Sure, it can be taken as cautionary. I mean, look at the form of it. I am actually taking on the role of a supporter. I was being polemical

    My point is still that same, however. That certain instances of use of certain technologies may be good or in support of the sacred, does not eliminate the potential problems, and some already actual, when capital gets behind technologies, has the control of our training and often governmental oversight and the changes are rapid and worldwide.

    I have no simple answer. I am (obviously) not a Luddite. But I have a set of concerns related to how instrumental reason combined with capital is a threat to us all. I also see the idea that only scientific methodology can lead to knowledge as limiting the kinds of objections 'we' can have to any coming changes. These can always be brushed aside as coming from sentiment, religion, primate biases, 'mere' intuition, etc. And regularly are.

    I already see dehumanizing patterns out there - take the ever increasing pharmacological treatment of everything considered abnormal, too emotional and not fitting in.

    And to respond directly to the foetus with a very damaging genetic condition, this is not the kind of situation I am concerned about. Designer babies is more my concern. Mixing non-human genes in with human genes - in either direction - a slightly human like plant or animal or slightly or not so slightly animal-like human - and no, I am not saying humans are not anímals, just being colloquial. Nanotech in the hands of capital, given the control they have over government oversight, really scares me. Even more than GM stuff. It was American engineers and an american company that built those reactors over in Japan. New mistakes will be even less local than that was.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  8. RichW9090 Evolutionist Registered Senior Member

    Pineal, you seemed to have simply avoided answering my question/comment to you. It was you who positively asserted that:

    I say again: This sends up red flags for me. Who is it that you propose will be deciding what is better?

    By the way, your writing is hardly dense; in fact it seems to have little in the way of substance at all, and you flit from idea to idea barely pausing to rest in between. You seem to like to throw out ideas and phrases willy-nilly, hoping that one or more will escape the notice of the critics.

    For your example, you aver, once again positively, that:

    Ignoring the fact that this isn't even a proper sentence in English, the use of the term qualia here is perplexing - was it just to lend a sort of terminological gravitas to your statement? Daniel Dennett, the chief proponent of the concept of qualia in modern philosophy, has noted that qualia is "an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us."

    Your writing is hard to follow, and apparently, it is even more difficult to pin you down as to what you are actually attempting to say.

  9. Pineal Banned Banned

    The OP is me taking on the voice of certain people with a position I dislike. So I meant what I said when I agreed with your reaction. The OP is a kind of polemical reduction ad absurdum. I think it is much more of a threat than most people here will, since they seem to conflate scientific methodology with industry behavior, for some reason, but also due to our differing worldviews.

    Well, it seems like other people understood what I meant.

    For your example, you aver, once again positively, that:
    I don't ignore this, it is a stylistic device I repeat a number of times in the OP.

    No, it is a very carefully chose term, one whose use I am often concerned about.
    But be careful, that is not a definition of qualia or a quale. And Dennett is certainly someone whose ideas I am being critical of in the OP.

    You found it hard. Perhaps knowing that it was, as I said above, a polemical reductio ad absurdum will help.
  10. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    @Pineal --

    Yes they are often worldwide, and there really is no way to eliminate this problem. New technologies will always come with new threats from it's abuse. However does this mean that we should abandon these technologies, some of which might cure cancer or help end world hunger? Absolutely not. Proceeding with caution is the best approach we can have, but that requires that we actually proceed and not sit at a standstill until some arbitrary authority tells us it's alright. It also requires that we listen to the people who know about these things.

    During the Cold War, before the thermonuclear bomb was invented, we had all sorts of scientists warning us about the potential dangers of thermonuclear bombs(like the fact that there's practically no limit to a bomb's potential power). But the politicians of the day hushed the whistle blowers because they thought that the Soviets were working on one(they weren't yet, they started when they learned that we were). We see the same thing, today, with climate change. Scientists have been warning us for over four decades that problems were coming, but because they didn't manifest immediately we brushed them off.

    The lesson that I take from this history is not that we should grant all people an equal voice in objecting(which is what you seem to be implying), though everyone should be allowed to object. What we should be doing is really stopping to look when those with the knowledge tell us to. When a physicist tells us that our new reactor could go critical due to a flaw in the design, we should immediately listen. This, I think, would solve a lot of our problems.

    While I can understand your objection here, I do have to ask what other method humans have for acquiring knowledge?

    And many times they really should be. Many such objections come from people who really don't know what they're talking about. Take the recent objection to the HPV vaccine that came from the Vatican as an example.

    These people objected strongly to a vaccine which could prevent millions of people each year from dying from cancer on the basis that getting rid of the virus and the resulting cancer would remove a barrier to premarital sex. Here we have people who are not experts in anything throwing the considerable weight of the RCC behind stopping a vaccine that they know next to nothing about, a vaccine which could save millions of lives every year, on a purely fictional basis.

    Sometimes religious and philosophical objections to things should simply be ignored. The better thing to do, rather than lament that nobody listens to you, is to question why you can't convince them. Do you lack the evidence to support your claim? Did you present your evidence in a satisfactory manner? Is there a logical flaw in your argument? Is it merely arguing a slippery slope?

    If the answer is that, like with many nonscientific objections to technology, your objection has no basis in reality, then it should be dropped with grace.

    I see this too, but attribute it more to parents who don't want to deal with little Timmy's condition, which might just be that the kid doesn't get outside enough. Lazy parents are a greater source of evil in our world than science or materialism could ever be.

    Fortunately we're decades, perhaps centuries, away from this. We've made great, almost unbelievable advances in our time. But our genome is too large and complex to modify in any large way. We don't really know how all of the wiggly bits interact yet, and the fact that non-coding genes can affect the performance of coding genes complicates matters even further. While this may be something to worry about in the future, it's nowhere near a current problem.
  11. Pineal Banned Banned

    Edit: Arioch @
    I realized that I spent quite some time responding to specific points when my primary problem with your responses is that they are not really responding to the core issues of the OP. You have taken the OP to be some vague anti-science stance and then further assumed that I further think technology must be stopped, period.

    In that light your responses make some sense, but they are still not responding to the specific issues in the OP.

    At no point, for example, do you even weigh in on whether you yourself might consider some of possible outcomes to be problematic. For example, could you see the transhuman processes as going badly?

    At no point do you directly respond to concerns about capital's control over oversight and the media. You could at least say, No, everything's fine, the power they have there is checked by __________.

    At no point do you respond to the issue of whether the current industry view of all life as modular machines which we should be freely allowed to tinker with may be missing something and or could lead to problems, even if it is a useful view in other ways.

    It is as if you vaguely understood the category my post was in, made assumptions about me and what possible positions I must have if I am critical, and did not really need to actually focus on the specific position and post.

    That's all really irritating.

    I in turn make the mistake of responding to issues you raise that are not part of my issue for the thread. So I am partly to blame for my irritation here, the degree of it.

    I won't be reading your responses for a while, however, because this is a pattern I have noticed in other threads.

    I base all my concerns on the works and concerns of scientists. Any concern I had 'on my own' has found significant support.

    We are not proceeding with caution. Government oversight of industry is now in a revolving door relationship with industry. IOW industry leaders move into government oversight of their own fields and then back into industry.

    However, so far I have two reactions to you post. 1) there is a false dichotemy. Stand still or go forward the way we are, with the assumptions we have now, and with the power dynamics the way they are. 2) you're not really addressing the specific kinds of 'advancement' and outlooks in the OP.

    It's like you heard me muttering, caught the gist as 'science should stop' and didn't need to react to any specifics that might, and are really not, leading me to such a conclusion. Double emphasis: that is not the conclusion I am reaching.

    Well, that would be democratic. If you are not democratic, of course this is not an issue.

    But it won't happen in the current power set up. In fact a physicist was very critical when the Japanese reactors were first put in - the ones that had the recent catastrophies. His concerns were precisely about what came to pass. The nuclear industry as a whole dismissed his concerns or were silent about them. Now of course the 'Western' industry tries to distance itself from the Japanese situation, by saying they made the mistakes. But given that the mistakes were pointed out at the beginning by us and we made the reactors, or at least designed them for those sites, something is wrong.

    And we have reactors on fault lines and on the coast also.

    Right now the scientific community does in fact make moral judgments about technology. They have their science hats and they have their moral hats. Some things are considered bad by scientists, per se. Human cloning is objected to by many scientists, and not simply on the grounds that it would somehow be dangerous.

    One cannot reach a moral decision on scientific grounds only.

    So without getting into more contentious epistemological issues, right there I seem to share a position with, I would think, the vast majority of scientists, that some things are wrong, per se.

    Organ harvesting of living people.

    We could likely save 5 people using the body of one prisoner. Despite instrumental reason most scientists are against this.

    You are assuming things here.

    Industry always responds with slippery slope. In fact your response is a kind of slippery slope. I have at no time said 'no more research, ban new technology' and yet a post critical of certain trends and trend in thought is treated as if I am suggesting nothing new should be done.

    My objections have a basis in reality. There are people considering all the technologies I mentioned and I think if people focus on them scientists and lay people alike, many will have objections, but the frog in the slowly heating up pan syndrome and the massive pr capabilities of industry are keeping this a minority concern.

    Wait, are you saying that lay people should go against doctor and school psychologist advice?

    I truly doubt this is the case. We have modified organisms with DNA as long as ours.

    We assumed ours was longer and more complex but found that some simpler organisms had equally complex DNA.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  12. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Ah...see, I was not aware of what your position was.
    Had I known that...I would have known you were putting up a target for us to shoot at, not your genuine views.

    Only really broad satire carries well in the online to say it straight.
  13. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    For clarity's sake, I think you should have placed the OP text in " ".
    Because I think this is how you actually meant it.
  14. Pineal Banned Banned

    Yes, but I Yazata got that part.
    I do see that Chimpkin and another poster did not understand. And I suppose I was rather cranky in response to the crankiness of the other poster.

    But a reason I do not use quotation marks is because it is interesting to see what is actually a dystopian reductio is taken as a serious position by people. I think this cuts against the idea, represented here most by Arioch, that this is just irrelevent paranoia by someone who really does not understand much science and whose voice should be ignored. That I might understand industry's use of science and scientists is an issue he doesn't even think worth responding to. Best to treat the OP as simply and totally anti-science and vaguely at that.

    Quite a lot of influential scientists hold the positions in the OP and I think that is in part why such an OP is taken as straight.

    I like Yazata and usually appreciate his (I think it is a he) posts and I almost started the thread he said he really would like but didn't think would work here. But notice: even his exit post completely dismisses the concerns of the OP.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  15. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    I really do not understand the viewpoint many people have that a materialistic worldview negates any value to life. I feel the exact opposite. It makes each individual life more valuable. Each mind is unique. Each may have it's own contributions to make.
  16. Pineal Banned Banned

    How does the materialistic viewpoint do that in contrast to other metaphysical position? Dualists cannot think the above? Pantheists cannot? Idealists cannot? How do these contradict the idea of a unique mind?
  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I think that's true and I don't really see it as a bad thing. I'm not sure what your objection is.

    Are you suggesting that "plants as biological machines" is a false analogy? The way I see it, "machine" in this usage is just a way of saying something like "material interactive causal system". Do you object to that? If so, how would you propose that botany understand plants?

    There seem to me to be two implicit objections in your sentence: 1. Plant genetics is crude and false, and 2. That knowledge of such things gives us the power to foolishly challenge the gods. Those two concerns don't seem to be entirely consistent.

    I agree with that almost entirely. We are obviously very complicated. We are clearly primates. The only place that serious disagreement might arise is with "computer-like brained". I'm in agreement with that if "computer-like" is being used to broadly mean "information processing system". But that needn't lock researchers into any particular computer architecture. (I like neural nets.)

    The philosophy of mind is a total disaster area and I'm not interested in going there on Sciforums. I will say that I most emphatically don't think that "consciousness is an epiphenomenon". I think that "consciousness" is probably being misconceived and that the whole conceptual framework where phrases like "epiphenomenon" arise needs work. But my own views aren't crystalized enough for prime-time. (They probably never will be.)

    "Genetically controllable"?

    I do see many valuable applications for gene therapy, certainly. There are no end of genetic diseases that can potentially be treated that way. Human-computer interfaces are more science fiction than reality, I think. I don't see people having usb ports in their heads anytime soon. (I suspect that human and computer memory work on very different principles.) But there are some valuable applications such as retinal replacements for blind people in the works. I don't see anything wrong with that and don't feel threatened by it.

    It's probably true, if "machine" is interpreted broadly enough.

    That's probably true in some cases. I generally see it as a good thing.

    Maybe, but that's not due to any defect of science or scientific rationality. It's the result of human overpopulation. As human numbers inexorably expand, the areas untouched by humans shrink into non-existence. The day will come when reserves are all that's left of wilderness. It's why the multiplication of mankind has been a mass-extinction event for other species. Just imagine if all these billions of people had no science and practiced slash-and-burn agriculture.

    That was the neolithic revolution, when humans stopped being dependent on what they could hunt and gather, and started growing crops and raising animals. Science in our modern sense didn't have anything to do with that either.
    I take it that you are speaking ironically there.

    More irony. But seriously, why do you believe that the world of science pushes people to think in this stereotypical way? I don't think that it does. Who has ever suggested that people should no longer have ethics or feelings?

    Again, I think that this problem is misconceived by philosophy and probably much of our difficulty will turn out to have been a pseudoproblem. But we aren't going to reach any conclusions about free-will until the philosophy of mind can produce some convincing account of will.

    You're fighting some concept of historical inevitability, aren't you? That's why I brought up the enlightenment faith in the irresistible march of Progress. Or for that matter, Marx's grandiose but highly fanciful historical materialism. That kind of stuff is scientistic (as opposed to scientific) myth. In its way, it's not unlike (and is clearly derived from) the Christian myth of history proceeding inexorably from Creation to Judgement. And the collapse of the unidirectional myth, in many people's minds anyway, has left everything seemingly pointless and adrift.

    I don't think that science really implies historical inevitability. If anything, it highlights the tremendous contingency of events, how things could have turned out totally different than they actually did, if only small variables were slightly different. Butterfly effects. Future possibilities at every juncture are kind of like a tree with an undetermined and effectively infinite number of branches extending into the future. Different branches are thicker or thinner, depending on their relative probabilities. But they are all possibilities. Lots of different things can happen. We aren't on a runaway train careening towards some final preordained conclusion, God's holy Kingdom, Marx's classless society or anywhere else in particular.

    The words can be absorbed and used in a mythic narrative, yes. Any words can.

    But why is all the emphasis today on resistance, when a century ago most people saw Progress was something to be celebrated? Why has there been that 180 degree reversal from celebration of the future to horror?

    That growing cultural loss of nerve in the West is something that I find both fascinating and worrying.

    Among literary intellectuals in Europe, at least. I think that's one of the things that they hate most about America. The US hasn't (yet) lost all of its confidence. That's why we are stereotyped and denounced as "cowboys". It's because we still think that we can influence historical events in a positive way and we still think that it's important to try.

    I don't see mankind moving out into the universe as an example of "desacralization". Maybe it would be if we still believed that the heavens are Heavens. But that would be more like apotheosis, mankind's ascension.

    If I was going to attach quasi-religious significance to it (and I kind of do, maybe the myth of ascension lives on in me), I would describe our stepping out into the universe as kind of a quest, as our emergence as a species into something infinitely bigger than ourselves and probably full of wonders that we can't presently even imagine.

    Whatever you say. I don't agree with that for a moment and I don't know of any scientist who does either. It's kind of rhetorical straw-man, I think.

    Scientists greatly value their friends and relationships. They are often very active avocationally in the arts, painting or playing a musical instrument. (As CP Snow, himself a scientist and a novelist famously pointed out, it's far less common to see a literary intellectual who is active in science.)

    I'm not sure what that's referring to. I wouldn't totally dismiss psychiatry though. The unfortunate thing about psychiatry is that conceptually, it's kind of at the stage that internal medicine was at when physicians used to bleed people to adjust their 'humors'. The problem is that psychiatry doesn't have any credible theoretical basis so it's left with trying to treat gross symptoms with drugs mostly. That's not very effective, but it's better than nothing.

    The thing is, if psychiatry is going to advance, it needs a much deeper understanding of precisely the kind of things you didn't approve of up at the top, namely the nuts-and-bolts details of how the nervous, endocrine and associated systems actually work.

    More irony. I nevertheless more-or-less agree with it. Of course, "instrumental reason" needn't exclude ethics or aesthetic considerations. We humans are multi-faceted.

    And that's directed at the old myth of Progress, right?

    I don't see the possibility that today's kind of human beings might someday be replaced by something different as a bad thing. If we believe in natural biological evolution, then we have to recognize that we aren't eternal beings in the past and probably aren't permanent beings in the future either. Things change. (And we individually die.)

    The thing with evolution is that it isn't unidirectional, always from "lower" to "higher". Species can devolve as well as evolve. Actually it's all evolution and 'devolve' is kind of a value judgement that we direct at some adaptations that may have less of what we think of as virtuous qualities like strength or intelligence. Evolution is kind of amoral and value-free in that regard, serving only to maximize adaptive fitness.

    If hypothetically, human beings design their descendents so as to make them stronger, smarter and more resistant to disease, then we would seem to be guiding change in a more virtuous direction than it might have taken on its own. What does "virtuous" mean there? Whatever people want it to mean, I guess, whatever the ideals of their value system are. My point is only that what you seem to want to criticize is precisely what would introduce ethical and aesthetic considerations into the process of natural change.

    I'm not a Marxist and haven't been influenced by Marxist teaching, so "capital" isn't a category of demonization for me. I rarely use the word. I prefer the concept of a market economy. I don't really see that as a conspiracy, rather it's just the aggregate of all of our many choices regarding what we personally desire, and what we are willing to do to help other people in order to get them to assist us in exchange.

    I do see some distorting effects due to money though. Money is like economic energy. We typically get money by being of service to others, in helping them get whatever it is that they want. Once we have some money, we can use it to get an almost unlimited selection of the fruits of other people's labor in order to get what we want. (And they get our money so as to get what they want.) The problem is that everything comes to be measured in money terms, and everything gets a price. The price is set by supply and demand in the market, and may not actually correspond to what we believe the value of a thing really is. That's the source of the humanities' familiar complaint about 'commoditization' and their idea that many aspects of life are being devalued beneath their true worth. In a way, it's really a criticism of the broader population's taste and of what they are actually willing to pay for.

    The thing is, this alleged value distortion is a narrower phenomenon than 'instrumental reason' which oftentimes has litle to do with money or markets. And it's a much broader phenomenon than science or even scientism.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  18. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Did I say that? No. I did not even imply that.

    All I commented on was people's assumption that a materialist point of view somehow devalues life. To me, all that shows is that they somehow think life is worth less if there is no duality. (A position I do not hold or understand.)
  19. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    They may, if not all of them at once...
    That would be rather their sum total.

    It just struck me how much the OP took humanity as the measure of all things...which is a common attitude, and one that has come to really disgust me at this point.
  20. Big Chiller Registered Senior Member


    It's because of the nihilistic foundations of materialism that it negates value of life. No matter how unique or precious something maybe when materialism is applied to death and entropy it shows that nothing in the world will persist to future eternity including any marks or contributions it will all be rendered meaningless at least gradually.
  21. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Why aspire to attain something (such as earn a lot of money to buy a fancy car, or doll yourself up to attract a similarly dolled up mate),
    if you also believe that it is fleeting, temporary, and bound to be destroyed at any time by aging, illness, death, separation, and degradation?
  22. Pineal Banned Banned

    I realized more clearly what I was doing when I wrote this:

    I am taking on the voice of a philosophical position out there, not especially making a prediction. I would think even people who are very happy in generally scientific epistemology and consider it complete would still perhaps have some problems with the philosophical position. How much of an affect this voice will or does is of less interest to me.....

  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I'm "very happy" in scientific epistemology, I guess, though I'm less sure that I'd call it "complete".

    But I'm still in the dark about what "philosophical position" I'm supposed to be finding fault with. Your original post was kind of a shotgun blast in the general direction of everything from the decline in a sense of the magical and the holy, through sarcasm directed at biology and neuroscience with some distaste directed at biotechnology, and a closing swipe at "capital". That takes in an awful lot of territory.

    So perhaps instead of simply reposting your rather aggressive but equally cryptic original post, it might be more helpful to everyone if you explained in more detail precisely what "philosophical position" you are criticizing, and why you are criticizing it.

    I'd be interested in seeing this position that we are supposed to be rejecting contrasted it with something that it isn't. Instead of learning what we shouldn't like, what is it that we should be liking instead? If "Science" and "Progress", and the modern civilization that's been built around them and celebrates them, have proven to be false and dehumanizing oppression that humanity needs to be "Liberated" from, then in what direction should everyone be moving? What is "Liberation" and in where is it to be found?

    To return to the subject line, how can the Sacred be restored?
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

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