The Paradox of Our Age

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Kittamaru, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Defend your assertion.
     
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I will if it is under attack.
    Alex
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You've been asked to defend a sweeping, baseless assertion.

    Don't be Jan.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  7. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Why not such an approach works for Jan.

    But Jan defends the indefensible I defend a proposition that simply rejects a clearly made up notion and perhaps anyone claiming spirituality is not a lie should establish its existence before I attempt to go further.

    And before we start maybe we should define spirituality. ..we could but really if I cover too much someone could easily point out where I am mistaken.

    I have learnt from Jan that one can take a position and hold it against claims that there could be an alternative.. and I see the merit of his approach as such a position is most frustrating to even the best equiped opponent.

    Why am I not entitled to hold an opinion and be as dogmatic as those who will present opposite opinions.

    I have a handle on polite arguement but it has its limitations.
    What do you think?

    I say there is no alternative to my reasonable position that is clearly correct why else would I hold such an idea...I just know I am right.

    Why do you say that I make a sweeping baseless assertion?

    I say that I state an observable fact..that all spirituality is a lie.. and as a fact it can hardley be described as baseless or sweeping. It is a fact and if it is not I will respectfully consider propositions against before I reject them.

    I state a fact which I know is correct it would be a lie if I said otherwise.

    Lets say I make a similar statement that the easter bunny is a lie would you ask me to defend such?

    Would you ask me to look at all bunnies world wide to determine that not one of those bunnies could indeed be the easter bunny...or would it be reasonable to make a sweeping, presumably, baseless, statement that not one bunny world wide, even those bunnies I have never seen, is the easter bunny.

    Could we not agree that even without seeing all the bunnies to say the easter bunny is a lie nails it nicely.

    Do I need to list all the gods made up from the start of god invention to say as a blanket statement..there is no god or that there are no gods...

    We say no two snow flakes are the same..is that reasonable or should we look at all snow flakes to be sure...now if someone presented two identical snow flakes we may need to step back...will they? Can they? No... yet the statement that no two snow flakes are the same will stay in place which is reasonable.

    The notion of spirituality as you put it may be wider than the notion I reject however does that mean that I must consider all the possibilities then list them and reject each one in its turn?

    Moreover those who wish to prove me wrong are free to do so nevertheless I feel confident I will not have to retract my sweeping baseless statement.

    Alex
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No matter how you say it, you are still trying to shift the burden.
    The onus remains on you is to show how all spirituality is a lie.
     
  9. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I disagree.

    If that approach were reasonable should we not expect those who suggest spirituality is real to support that prospect.

    Or do we hold such expectation and they dont respond to answering their burden of proof suggesting they and me are both at fault.

    I notice you did not comment upon my easter bunny proposition and I am interested to know if you find my reasoning appropriate or not.

    Alex
     
  10. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    May I ask if you subscribe to synergy?

    If you strip all the inconsequential bits away, synergy = spirituality.

    Do you subscribe? No? That settles all other questions, rebukes all other probing - what we have is all that there is. Perfectly acceptable...
     
  11. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    No I am in New South Wales.


    Synergy is a corporation owned by the Government of Western Australia. Synergy, Verve Energy, Horizon Power and Western Power were created in 2006 as a result of the breakup of Western Power Corporation.Wikipedia

    Alex
     
  12. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    Nice. Also meaningless... Trivial. Put your pants on...
     
  13. birch Valued Senior Member

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    the error is the analogies do not have anything in common but it's your assumption based on your belief both are non-existent.
     
  14. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I am sorry I should not have treated your input in a trivial manner.
    Alex
     
  15. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes that is a fair observation.
    Maybe I should have just gone with the snow flake approach.
    I think you lean somewhat to spirituality so I hope you dont find my rant offensive.
    For me it comes down to getting grumpy because of the crap people try and lay on you and more so because my personal experience with spiritual folk and religious folk has not been positive.
    Still that is no excuse to have a grizzle but you know I enjoy it ..perhaps I should not have bit my tounge during my personal experiences and called out those who have left me so negative.
    Alex
     
  16. Michael 345 Bali tonight Valued Senior Member

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    NO

    You appear to have confused mixing two existent something's together which enhances the total output over the sum of their individual outputs

    Real mixing of real things can produce a enhanced outcome

    The way it works is

    Toast (real) - nice (output concept) ✓
    Bake beans (real) - nice (output concept) ✓
    Baked beans on toast (real+ real) = (output concept very nice) ✓

    What real X 2 (which have concepts) you put together to obtain spirituality I don't know

    Perhaps Love (concept) +Mediation (concept) = spirituality (concept)

    That works in the sense 2 non existent concepts can be linked into a new non existent concept

    Synergy works in the physical world. If you try to use it in the non existent world you have in mathematical terms 0+0=0

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  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I often feel that way.

    With me, it's constantly feeling that I'm surrounded by mysteries. I've felt it ever since I was a child and it's what attracted me to the study of philosophy.

    But I've never believed that any of the established religious traditions offer a plausible or authoritative way to solve those mysteries.
     
  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    4,910
    Spirituality is a very hard thing to pin down and define.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality

    I'm inclined to favor a Buddhist approach. The word there is bhavana. Etymologically it comes from the root 'bhava', to 'become', and means "transformation".

    There are various kinds of bhavana, depending on what aspect of life is being cultivated. There's development of mind, development of body, development of ethics, development of understanding and development of concentration. It's the cultivation of virtues, physical, moral and psychological. It's what the Buddha's famous 'Eightfold Path' is all about.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhavana

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path

    The word is typically translated as 'meditation' in English, but that only captures one small aspect of it. It's about living one's entire life differently, both internally/psychologically and externally/socially.

    There are similar traditions of inner transformation in Hindu Yoga, in Islamic Sufism and in the Christian contemplative traditions. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that, "the Christian tradition comprises three major expressions of the life of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplative prayer. They have in common the recollection of the heart."

    Even in secular life, there's currently a lot of interest in virtue ethics. This is a species of ethical theory that's less concerned with (Kantian) doing one's duty or with maximizing positive consequences of acts (which are often hard to predict in real life situations), than it is with cultivating virtues in the actor (the right kind of motivations and so on) and in the actor behaving in such a way as to express those virtues.

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/virtue/

    The ancient Greek word translated as 'virtue' in English is arete, but like bhavana it originally had a broader meaning than our English word. A hammer had 'arete' if it drove nails well and was the best hammer it could be. The goal for humans was to be the best human being they could be, by excelling in all the specifically human virtues. Being human isn't just a matter of scientific theorizing about how the material world behaves, it's also got ethical, aesthetic and metaphysical dimensions.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arete_(moral_virtue)

    It's easy to dismiss these kind of things, but doing so is foolish and short sighted in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  19. Michael 345 Bali tonight Valued Senior Member

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    In a flippent manner, and not in any way dismissing any aspects of your post which contains much to guide people though life, my summation is

    Be nice and don't shit in your own backyard

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    Gets me though the day

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  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Then you are committing the fallacy of Burden of Proof

    Onus probandi – the burden of proof is on the person who makes the claim


    Full disclosure: I'm sort of riding the line of Devil's Advocate here, because, in spirit, I agree with you. But I have a defense for it.

    Rather than spirituality, my stance is based on supernaturalism. I used this argument in a "discussion" with Jan: I don't need to know the specifics of a given god to conclude (for myself) that his* existence is unlikely. (*God's not Jan's)

    As soon as an opponent invokes an element of the supernatural to explain any kind of spirituality, that disqualifies it. Simply put, I have seen woefully insufficient evidence of any form of supernaturalism. Contrarily, I have seen plenty of evidence of ignorance or trickery or wishful thinking disguised as supernaturalism.

    Until such time as I see compelling evidence of forces that cannot be explained by more mundane things such as normal human behavior, I find supernatural forces to be highly implausible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  21. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I had no doubt that I was committing some fallacy.
    But I say so what they are guidlines that I reject and I refuse to play according to those rules.

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    But thanks for presenting exactly which rule I had broken.
    Yes it is...so is it your claim that not all spirituality is a lie.

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    I know and dont you think I enjoy seeing you defend the correct principles of arguement but by doing so you sortta are going against what you personally probably think.
    But that is good Dave its like the "I may not agree with what you say but I will fight to the death to defend it" thing.
    And good practice on your part.
    My game is to draw things out and keep repeating usually one simple point and breaking rules draws attention and gives further milage.

    The reality here may be that anyone who may seek to rebut my wild and wide claim probably realise not only will they have me to contend with but also your good self.

    Moreover I took that stand really because those who often support nonsense do so in a similar fashion where as us polite folk stay within the rules.. So I dont need evidence all spirituality is a lie and its that way because I know I am right...I think I could be good at it with practice.

    Thanks for taking the time to point out exactly the rule that I broke, as I learn from your posts and so your words are not lost on me.

    Alex
     
  22. river

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    and people want more of all of this .
     
  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I think that this essay outlines many of the more physical benefits of Buddhist-style mindfulness meditation quite effectively.

    https://www.monash.edu/__data/asset...-benefits-of-meditation-and-being-mindful.pdf

    Sure, you're "entitled" to hold any opinion you like, however ignorant and intransigent it might be, but if you want to convince anyone else to share your opinions with you, you need to try harder to be persuasive and convincing.

    A 'lie' is a falsehood, stated knowingly, with intent to deceive. So you need to provide convincing arguments for each of those elements.

    Why is talk about spirituality false? How can you be sure that those who talk about spirituality know that what they are saying is false and that they intend to deceive? (I'm doubtful that you can argue convincingly for any of those points.)

    I don't think that your analogy is very good.

    Spirituality is more about practice than it is about belief in purported natural or supernatural realities. Parents play the 'Easter bunny' game with their children as a source of happiness and bonding for both the parents and the children. It isn't really dependent on anyone possessing a literal belief in the reality of the Easter bunny.

    No, because it's a bad analogy.

    As I said to Dave, I feel that I'm surrounded by mysteries at every moment. We humans don't come close to understanding our environment or even ourselves. We just push any sense of the unknown aside with faith in science and with discomfort with probing too deeply. People will often grudgingly admit that many things remain unknown, but they imagine that we have to travel to CERN or to an astronomical observatory to encounter the remaining mysteries.

    I'm more inclined to think that the mysteries are right in front of our noses. We talk about things, but how do our words attach to the objects that we are talking about? Linguistic reference is still an open question. We look at things. But what are we really seeing, the external object, or just a representation of it in our heads? And what is the 'we' that's doing all the looking?

    What are substances and properties? What kind of non-substantial reality do complex wholes have when they are composed entirely of parts? What does it mean to explain something? What are emergence and reduction?

    What are logic and mathematics and how do we know about them? What kind of reality do numbers and mathematical relationships have and why do their properties seem to be discovered rather than invented? What are abstractions, generalities and universals?

    What are the 'laws of physics' and where did they come from? What are possibility and necessity? How can an object remain the same object even as it changes? What is the 'redness' of red or the 'painfulness' of pain? And on and on...

    It's like that game little children play with their parents, asking 'why' over and over. Do that with any belief, whether technical or common-sense, and you will arrive at the frontiers of human knowledge in only a handful of iterations.

    My point is there are still a huge number of outstanding questions and they are very close to home. We don't have it all figured out. Science has made impressive progress with some of the questions, but only by assuming particular answers to others. (Just look at theoretical physics' dependence on mathematics and the concept of 'laws of physics'.)

    And it isn't all remote from our human lives either, like the remote origin of life, the big bang or cosmic inflation. The mystery is present in who and what we are, in everything we do, right here, right now.

    One needn't be a theist. That's probably one reason why so many people say that they are 'spiritual' as opposed to 'religious'. One can adopt spiritual practices (like the meditation in the link up above) and respond like a human being (emotionally/aesthetically/ethically) to real life, to reality, without necessarily forming a whole lot of hard-and-fast metaphysical conclusions about it.

    Presumably the universe has an origin, ontologically if not temporally. There's (presumably) some reason why there's 'something rather than nothing', for why reality exists at all. There's (presumably) some explanation for why the 'laws of physics' are what they are, and some explanation of how they came to be.

    So presumably some of the arguments of natural theology still require answers. And if we follow natural theology in defining 'God' as whatever the answers are ('God' as 'first-cause', 'God' as 'designer/source of cosmic order' etc.), I don't think that we can be as dismissive as you want to be. I stoutly remain an agnostic regarding the answers to the biggest metaphysical questions. I don't have a clue what the answers are.

    Of course I'm also an atheist regarding the notion that whatever the ultimate source and explanation of reality is, that it will turn out to be a person psychologically speaking like us, that 'he' chose the Jews as his 'chosen people', died on the cross at Calvary or communicated the Quran to Mohammed. I don't believe that any of that is true.

    That's up to you. I've already given some reasons why I don't think that I agree with you. That's my position and I see no need to retract it either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018

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