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Original post by mrwilder on 12//07

 

What a beautiful life; what a beautiful, amazing, unpredictable, and unimaginable world!




Posted by Raving Lunatic

Jesus fucking christ, are you drunk AGAIN?!

I am.

Posted by Raving Lunatic

And oh yeah, by the way, told ya so. Don't even have to see it, just believing that it's true will rock your world. In that sense, it's almost like religion. But better.
Posted by mrwilder

Pghht. Science IS religion:

Religion:

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

The most disappointing thing about "Science" to me is that some of the best and brightest don't seem to realize the fundamental flaw in the otherwise beautiful logic of "science". Take, for instance, mathematics. Mathematics is a language, just like English. Neither language is perfect or encompassing. Neither can ever accurately describe the Universe around us. The English language is a predator's language, and as such a base and animalistic thing English makes the Universe appear to our human minds as being made of opposites: up down, good bad, mean nice, strong weak, red blue... even though those things AREN'T truly opposites - they are - at best- relative positions on a continuum. Perhaps because of the nature of human language then, many scientists believe the Universe began at "the beginning" and ends at "the end".

Mathematics has a similar principal flaw: it is based on the language of (human) reason, and as such it is merely a tautology (a set of statements composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false) which (while internally accurate) reflects only its own precepts. Ultimately, those precepts are simply "agreed upon" arbitrarily by humans: such as the values of 1/0, sqrt(-1), (0!) and etc. Precisely where you begin to look at the ACTUAL universe (where everything is completely irrational, unpredicatble, infinite and unreasonable) is exactly where math breaks down.


Good basic example:

2/1000 = teeny number
2/100 = small number
2/10 = little number
2/1 = number
2/(1/10) = bigger number
2/(1/100) = big number
2/(1/1000) = giant number


So, 2/0 = infinity, right? Well, no! Because infinity doesn't make sense and scientists want to pretend the Universe makes sense. All the other division problems work in reverse, for instance:

2/100 = 1/50 and also 1/50 * 100 = 2.

BUT IF 2/0 = infinity then infinity * 0 must equal 2! And also, infinity *0 must also equal 5! So called "scientists" ignore this inconvenient but gigantic problem by simply defining the problem away: 2/0 = undefined.

OH MY GOD DON'T GET OFF THE TINY ISLAND OF REASON, WE'RE SAFE HERE! AND WE'RE NOT IGNORANT LIKE THOSE RELIGIOUS PEOPLE!

Perhaps science will never be as good as what God itself gave us: the raw perceptual power to perceive just about anything we set our hearts and minds to, even if we'll never be able to fully express it in ANY language, not even music or dance.

Still, I suppose we must concede that we have to try to describe "it" somehow, and reason and language seem to be the only obvious tools in vogue right now. But it IS religion.

Posted by Raving Lunatic

Perhaps the major difference between the "religion" of science and the dogmatic, revealed mystery religions is the presence of doubt. Dogmatic religions are convinced that they already know everything that needs knowing, because it was revealed by God. Science just finds explanations for things that seem to work until a better explanation comes along.

And when you're dealing with the Universe through the instrument of a finite brain, interacting with reality through a series of virtualized senses, it is just about pointless to ponder infinity, except perhaps as a philosophical exercise. By its nature, no definite knowledge can be gained through the contemplation, or attempted definition, of the infinite. You work with what you've got, and take what you can get.

Posted by mrwilder

Well hell, if it's pointless to ponder infinity then these damn cosmologists sure are wasting a whole damn bunch of grant money, damn fuckers. More of that money than everybody else combined, probably, for that matter. Higgs boson particle, indeed.

Anyway, if you really believe that about "Science" and "Scientists" you're out of your mind, and I assume you are aware of it. What you're possibly really referring to is the beauty of pure reason, and pure reason has almost nothing to do with science and especially not scientists. "Scientists", if there even is such a thing, are just assholes like everybody else, and just about every single one of them has some type of fucked up personal and interpersonal agenda which they are exercising under the guise of performing "science"... maybe not the Greats, like Einstein, but most of them.

Unfortunately, science, just as with every other religion out there, is NOT a matter of finding and adhering to the most perfect reasoning when all is said and done, but ignoring any evidence which contradicts what you want to say and hyping evidence that supports what you want to say (for most so called scientists). Just as with the adherents to every other religion, they're just people, and most of them are willing to duke it out emotionally for their supposed rational point of view.

Besides, for the most part, every great scientist out there is also deeply religious - at least in the same sense that I am deeply religious: I don't care about imagining or conceptualizing infinity. I care about EXPERIENCING, EXPRESSING, and APPLYING it, and I believe a lot of highly aware and keen folks have been capable of just such amazing feats of perception. Among the myriad, Niels Bohr, for instance. Not that I'd be so bold as to count myself in that same crowd, but I'd still aspire to it.

When I pay attention to some deep mystery about the Universe, I'm not just thinking about it: I experience it - and it often takes my breath away. To me, every single one of those mysteries are touched by infinity - and that's what makes them so paradoxical. It's a real joy to express that perception in a way that helps others feel the same awe! I don't consider my approach to science "philosophy" because I am able to find - in a scientifically significant way - physical manifestations of whatever the phenomenon in question is within the daily world.

Anyway, yada yada yada, even though I don't agree with most of your supporting postulates, you're still absolutely right *sigh*. Paraphrasing science the way you have is pretty much right on target with the party line. Science can't really deal with things scientists are incapable of saying in any language, and thus, science deals only with what scientists call "operational definitions"...



Which, by the way, is what I said in the first place: Math, and science in general, is but a tautology.

Posted by Raving Lunatic

As always, you leap to grand assumptions about my thought processes, and ascribe them to some kind of apparently percieved 'party line' that was hypnotically transmitted through the television, or perhaps a comic book. I said nothing about any "scientists", and only use the word science as a kind of shorthand to describe the way I think most sane, rational people go about acquiring knowledge of the world (this group of sane, rational people does not, of course, include all people, or even all, or most, "scientists". As you stated, scientists are just people, and will often redifine reality to suit their prejudices and beliefs, instead of reformulating their beliefs to suit reality. All people are prey to this mistake; we are, after all, only human). Sometimes it is called the 'scientific method', but it really seems to me to be more along the lines of 'common sense'.

When I find a pile of dog shit on the floor, I proceed under the assumption that a dog shit on the floor. Unless and until I find evidence that the Infinite Shit Fairy magically deposited a pile of magic shit on the floor, I generally assume that my much more mundane explanation is what really happened.

If this makes me out of my mind, then I guess I'm fucking crazy.

As always, you're right about what you say, but you make it sound like you are correcting my ridiculously errant hypotheses, when I actually said nothing of the sort.

Posted by mrwilder

WHAT? So you're suggesting that over forty-seven percent of scientists are really raging egomaniacs who want everybody in the world to agree with them because they don't understand the principles of anthropomorphism?
Posted by Raving Lunatic

In fact, yes. I don't know if it's because they "don't understand the principles of anthropomorphism", but it certainly seems to be the case.

Anybody who's ever had a survey course in world history and still believes the doctrines of any dogmatic religion HAS GOT SUMTHING RONG IN THERE HED. This could be for any of a very great number of reasons. I think it usually has a lot to do with ego.

Posted by mrwilder

Hmm. Interesting. Which doctrines in particular do you have in mind as being contradicted by basic history classes? Ahem, that's gonna have to be *very* basic history for me to have the faintest clue as to what you're talking about. I do remember that the muslims and Christians have been duking it out for centuries, even though Muhammed was actually saved by the Jews who later secreted his ass over to the Christians for sanctuary, er, uh, vice versa.

Er, so, it does seem rather odd that the Christians - whose greatest law is "Love" - are always at war the Muslims, whose prime principle is "Peace". I assumed they were fighting over land or converts originally, and it just kind of kept going since then, or something.

I do know that - strangely - all of those religions use the bible as one of their main doctrines, and I think if I recall most of their main weird ass rituals were based on Mithraism(?) even though they're not in the Bible or the Koran.

Posted by Raving Lunatic

Just for a short, quick answer that doesn't really answer your question directly...

In summary, Christianity can be defined as the belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because an inherently evil rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

...and that's just for starters.

Posted by mrwilder

Oh, your intention was to insult religion, ostensibly in the belief that "science" is in some way more important, or more accurately reflects the Universe at large. How trite. I had hoped you were about to say something informative about the subject. Alas, I had assumed you had understood my analogy above; instead it's just another example of the pure acrimony I've come to expect from my fellow man (and yet I'm the misanthrope).

It should be obvious to anyone who has no agenda that world sciences and scientists, exactly like world religions and practitioners are absolutely the same: tautological reflections with human agendas. One should not judge the cores of these areas - science and religion - by the idiocies of their respective practitioners or even from the confines of the inhumanity of the daily human world.

Instead, human beings with a true thirst for knowledge should note the pertinent truths. It may be true that the cores of science and religion are at opposite ends of a spectrum: Science is supposedly based on pure reason and Religion is supposedly based on the purely transcendental. What many fail to consider is that every single great scientific mystery is touched by the infinite. And that touch of infinity is what makes those mysteries so great and completely paradoxical, and indeed, unsolvable! Furthermore, every great moral question can only be described or discussed from within the context of the finite world apparently at large! THIS WORLD is where the great awe and mystery lie - precisely because of this world's interplay with its antithesis: the indescribable infinity surrounding us.

Your apriorism reminds of me the of the so-called skeptics, of whom the great ones are exactly like the great clerics. They are both fantastic fanatics - but there is a necessary use for them both... and lots of them are truly wonderful beings, I might add. Skeptics, if they are truly capable of superior reasoning, from within their purposely limited view, are useful for preventing persons who are not very capable of reasoning well from making unreasonable decisions (such as being scammed by people who are presenting profit making scams as being transcendental in nature). And clerics, if they really are capable of superior moral restraint, from within their perforce reaching manner, are useful for helping people who cannot solve the ache of the soul with another toaster, another girlfriend, another dollar, another physical object.

And who are these great clerics and scholars? Are they not, in the end, one and the same people? Yes, they are. In the ultimate expression they struggle with the same questions, the same meanings, the same truths. How often have I seen a miserable scientist, or a stupid Christian? Every single god damn day of my life. Neither one of those two personages is complete. Wisdom is never, ever going to come from a description such as math, which pretends that the world could be described as a predictable machine... it can't, and if the Universe ever appears that way it is merely an aberration caused by the shortness of the duration of our human lives. And knowledge is never going to come from a description such as Christianity, which is willing to accept a doctrine which insanely claims that God created this stupendous universe for the sake of Human Beings!

Nothing worth knowing ever came from a book, a school, an idealism, or an object or belief. Everything worth knowing came as the result of some action we personally took as an individual human being. If an individual is so artificially rational that they truly believe there really is such a thing as "the mundane" then they should exercise their minds in such a way that it makes them realize that in an infinity, nothing can be mundane - only familiar, or perhaps typical. If a human being is so artificially sensitive as to be completely unhappy, it behooves him to improve his lot rationally.

I believe that Albert Einstein knew what we as individuals on this Earth in this great time should be doing while we're here. I believe he said it so much more beautifully than I ever will, but I'll keep trying.



"A human being is a part of the whole called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

-- Albert Einstein


   
January 23, 2019


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