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  • hardie karges 10:09 am on July 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , auto-da-fe, , Faith, , JESUS, , , ,   

    #Buddhism and #Science: #Materialism is an Act of Faith, too, auto-da-fe’…. 

    img_1773Every self-proclaimed atheist takes it as an article of faith (!) that the material world is the real world, and that any competing claims from the realms of religion and/or any other spurious metaphysics must be misguided at best, silly superstition most likely, at worst maybe even one of many conspiracy theory scenarios that inhabit the minds of the disenfranchised and disenchanted…

    Yet materialism is indeed an article of faith. The only question is to what degree. The fact that it goes largely unquestioned in the modern world, with or without the atheistic conclusion, does not make it fact, and if questioned, its typical devotee will most likely defer to common sense, as if it’s so obvious that no explanation is required. These manifestations say as much about us modern humans, of course, as it does about the validity of the assumption… (More …)

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    • davekingsbury 3:34 pm on July 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Speaking as an agnostic who flirts with atheism, I can only applaud your identification of materialism as the villain of the piece. Developing/evolving our creative and more spiritual side seems to be the way forward.

      • hardie karges 9:59 am on July 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Flirting is fine, but I could never truly consider myself an atheist, though non-theist is different. Mostly I just want to consider all the possibilities, like Plato before me. And the fact that almost all near-death experiences involve ‘a light’ is a fact that I can’t ignore…

    • Trebronztul 7:20 am on July 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      On fact, only the early and immature forms of materialism can be considered as acts of faith or, as F. Engels put it, “metaphysics”. In his famous “Anti-Duehring” (published in 1877), he has already presented a critique of this “common sense” based materialism. From this book, I once used the following quote as the motto of my master’s dissertation that I prepared 102 years later:
      “Only sound common sense, respectable fellow that he is, in the homely realm of his own four walls, has very wonderful adventures directly he ventures out into the wide world of research.”

      By contrast, dialectical materialism goes far beyond this “common sense” based materialism. Needless to state that nowadays hardly anyone knows and cares about dialectical materialism, including most scientists. And of course, today much could be added to and modified in Engels’ materialism – WITHOUT FALLING BACK BELOW THE LEVEL THAT HE HAD ALREADY ACHIEVED IN THE 19TH CENTURY, and without falling back into religious mysticism that probably was adequate thinking for feudal and pre-feudal societies (and is dying away to the extent society progresses – good riddance!!). Of course, in times of major crises of the more advanced societies, old religious murmurs tend to come back – as crisis symptoms, NOT as useful recipes for the future!

      Here is a more extensive Engels quote that should clarify things: “Real natural science dates from the second half of the fifteenth century, and thence onward it has advanced with constantly increasing rapidity. The analysis of nature into its individual parts, the grouping of the different natural processes and objects in definite classes, the study of the internal anatomy of organic bodies in their manifold forms — these were the fundamental conditions of the gigantic strides in our knowledge of nature that have been made during the last four hundred years. But this method of work has also left us as legacy the habit of observing natural objects and processes in isolation, apart from their connection with the vast whole; of observing them in repose, not in motion; as constants, not as essentially variables, in their death, not in their life. And when this way of looking at things was transferred by Bacon and Locke from natural science to philosophy, it begot the narrow, metaphysical mode of thought peculiar to the preceding centuries.

      To the metaphysician, things and their mental reflexes, ideas, are isolated, are to be considered one after the other and apart from each other, are objects of investigation fixed, rigid, given once for all. He thinks in absolutely irreconcilable antitheses. “His communication is ‘yea, yea; nay, nay’; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” [Matthew 5:37. — Ed.] For him a thing either exists or does not exist; a thing cannot at the same time be itself and something else. Positive and negative absolutely exclude one another, cause and effect stand in a rigid antithesis one to the other.

      At first sight this mode of thinking seems to us very luminous, because it is that of so-called sound common sense. Only sound common sense, respectable fellow that he is, in the homely realm of his own four walls, has very wonderful adventures directly he ventures out into the wide world of research. And the metaphysical mode of thought, justifiable and even necessary as it is in a number of domains whose extent varies according to the nature of the particular object of investigation, sooner or later reaches a limit, beyond which it becomes one-sided, restricted, abstract, lost in insoluble contradictions. In the contemplation of individual things it forgets the connection between them; in the contemplation of their existence, it forgets the beginning and end of that existence; of their repose, it forgets their motion. It cannot see the wood for the trees.

      For everyday purposes we know and can say, e.g., whether an animal is alive or not. But, upon closer inquiry, we find that this is, in many cases, a very complex question, as the jurists know very well. They have cudgelled their brains in vain to discover a rational limit beyond which the killing of the child in its mother’s womb is murder. It is just as impossible to determine absolutely the moment of death, for physiology proves that death is not an instantaneous momentary phenomenon, but a very protracted process.

      In like manner, every organic being is every moment the same and not the same, every moment it assimilates matter supplied from without, and gets rid of other matter; every moment some cells of its body die and others build themselves anew; in a longer or shorter time the matter of its body is completely renewed, and is replaced by other atoms of matter, so that every organic being is always itself, and yet something other than itself.

      Further, we find upon closer investigation that the two poles of an antithesis positive and negative, e.g., are as inseparable as they are opposed and that despite all their opposition, they mutually interpenetrate. And we find, in like manner, that cause and effect are conceptions which only hold good in their application to individual cases; but as soon as we consider the individual cases in their general connection with the universe as a whole, they run into each other, and they become confounded when we contemplate that universal action and reaction in which causes and effects are eternally changing places, so that what is effect here and now will be cause there and then, and vice versa.

      None of these processes and modes of thought enters into the framework of metaphysical reasoning. Dialectics, on the other hand, comprehends things and their representations, ideas, in their essential connection, concatenation, motion, origin, and ending.”

      • hardie karges 9:26 am on July 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for that, Norbert. In fact some of us care about dialectical materialism AND dialectical idealism…

  • hardie karges 7:38 am on July 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , JESUS, Osho, Rajneesh   

    Religion 111: God, Money, and the Paradigm Sh**t… 

    IMG_0379Is there an inverse proportion between spirituality and material wealth? Duh. How do you spell t-a-u-t-o-l-o-g-y? Let me repeat that again for you, one more time (ha!): “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”—Jesus H. Christ

    Truer words have ne’er been spoke, neither by the righteous, wannabes nor the wicked. It is simply an existential fact. Modern Christians with their consumerist fetishes and bulging waistlines try to explain it away, but trying to keep the weight off is another story. First they try to evade the issue, arguing over whether JC meant that you need humility or divine intervention (sound of throat clearing rhetorically), then give up, bragging about “My congregation’s experiment in using market values to grow our mission.” Rubbish.

    “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”–Luke 16:13. Is that clear enough for you yet? The two concepts, spirituality and money, are not only at odds with each other, but are in fact exact opposites. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:37 am on January 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , JESUS, ,   

    Religion 101: Christianity is all about Passion; Buddhism is all about… 

    …’getting over it’, of course, as if you didn’t know that already, you who’ve probably fallen in love more times than you care to admit and probably never ‘got it right’, or maybe just once or twice, depending on how you count and who you ask, not that you let that stop you for one moment, reaping maximum rewards from a face, or a glance, or an imagined encounter while waiting in line for coffee, just waiting for something—anything—to ‘kick in’, and not just caffeine…

    Or maybe you followed his/her activities closely enough to know where he/she might be at any given time of day on any given day of the week, and you just happened to be there, too, with an enigmatic smile and a pithy salute, full of vim and vigor and whatever comes later, counting the babies by the look in his/her eyes, or at least the efforts to be made if not dying then at least trying, lucky if you don’t end up at the keyhole on your knees…

    We’ve all been there and we all understand, of course, unless you’re lucky enough to have been born so rich or so pretty that they all come to you and you can pick and choose from the daily queues—yeah, right. This is the likely origin of ego, even, that mustering of personality and passion that makes brakes squeal and hearts break. Ah, passion! That’s the word, embodied in Christ and emboldened by religion, enshrined by the centuries and embedded with our remains… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 10:03 am on December 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , JESUS, , ,   

    The New Religion: Science (and the speed of light as the threshold to heaven) 

    LGBTQA’s like to talk about how they often feel ‘trapped in this body’, generally referring to a male in a female body or vice versa, but aren’t we all ‘trapped in this body’? Isn’t it almost an axiom of Christianity that our souls are trying to be free? Isn’t that why we’re all here, looking for something more, something different, something ‘spiritual’ if not holy religious, some philosophical succor on an otherwise average Sunday, which could be used for the counting of our monies were it not for some lingering Judeo-Christian-Islamic notion of a Sabbath to be kept sacred, not scared and not working?

    I mean: there’s nothing wrong with this world of five or so senses, nothing except for the fears, hatred, frustrations and cruelty, that is, but full of undeniable beauty, also, e.g. nature in all its splendor and grandeur. But still: isn’t there something more, just behind our reach, right behind the projection screen, almost touchable almost ‘feel-able’ if not quite audible visible or smell-able—okay, so maybe smell-able… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:55 am on September 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , JESUS, , Michelangelo   

    Pictures of God—Faces and Places… 

    Michelangelo’s God…

    God’s face is a concept best left in the textbooks, suggesting as it does Michelangelo’s Charlton Heston, mugging for the cameras and getting all wrathful, railing at the Ishmaelites and rooting for the Jews; it’s better to talk about Nature, and Love, and Heaven up above, than God-heads with silver hair and yellow teeth…

    So I can understand why people are put off by the pictures of God, early on depicted by Renaissance painters as harsh and warlike, playing headlong into the notion of ‘God-fearingness’ as the proper basis of religion, AND…

    …even later depictions of Jesus with the bedroom eyes and the doe-like gaze do little to mitigate the sneaking feeling that, in effect, we’re doing exactly what the Bible enjoins against, i.e. worshiping graven images, whether graven in stone, oil pigments, silver nitrate, or bits and bytes, BUT… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 10:04 am on August 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , JESUS,   

    Love’s ‘Crush’ as the Basis for Religion? Or maybe shamanism or ‘life-coaching’ or … wha’d’ya got? 

    Image result for God pics

    We all know that ‘crush’ of falling in love, if not for the first time, then at least the first time in a long time, or with any one particular person, something that can go on for days, weeks, months, even years, while you try to get sorted and either get it or forget it. That’s the problem, of course, that ‘crushes’ can consume you, multiple times, and then just go away like nothing ever happened: “now you’re just somebody that I used to know”…

    I don’t think I’m being too ‘anal’ (pardon the cliché) by suggesting that this is not always the optimal basis for a relationship—sometimes maybe, but not always. The opposite extreme, of course, would be to have marriages that are not only planned, but planned by someone else! Yeow! That goes directly against modern Western thinking, obviously, though still quite popular in traditional cultures of the Asian sub-continent and elsewhere. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 8:50 am on March 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , JESUS   

    Religion 101: God as Superhero, & a Case of Species Exceptionalism to go, please… 

    American Exceptionalism? Meh, I’ll pass on that, sounds like a weak concept from the get-go, the definition of ‘American’ subject to the shifting southwestern sands of borders and politics and vaguely articulated definitions… to say nothing of the continents from which we ALL came: Asia, Europe, and Africa. But ‘species exceptionalism’? I’ll buy that. We are certainly exceptional, for better or worse, all contradictions considered…

    We are the love monkeys, we are the hate monkeys, we are the smart monkeys, we are the stupid monkeys, we are the happy monkeys, we are the sad monkeys, we are the f*ck monkeys, we are the abstinence monkeys, we are the drunk monkeys, we are the abstinence monkeys, we are the drug monkeys, we are the sober monkeys, we are the music monkeys, we are the sober monkeys, etc…

    Cut the DNA deck, re-shuffle, and the results would likely never be the same—humanity. Re-arrange the continents and it would’ve all been different. Out of nowhere comes a butterfly to flutter by and there goes the neighborhood—pure chaos. Cue Mandelbrot. This is something routinely overlooked in almost all discussions of extra-terrestrial life: the odds of intelligent life on THIS planet are infinitesimally small, yet—here we are. Cue Darwin. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:33 am on December 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ebola, , , , JESUS   

    Advanced Eschatology: R.I.P. 2014 

    Don’t you just love the latest FaceBook silliness in which we proudly proclaim, “It’s been a great year. Thank you for being a part of it!” Really? 2014 was a great year? In what parallel universe did that occur? Or is it just wishful thinking? Or are we just sheep following our leaders off the cliff, the dance leaders, that is; like Rome before the fall, or the last cabaret in Hitler’s Berlin? Now denial—like hero-worship—is nothing new, and FaceBook is not known for high intellect, but this is a new low.

    And that’s saying something for a medium specializing in silly pet tricks and reverse child psychology that goes something like: “I love my mother-in-law. Do you love your mother-in-law? If you do, then please ‘like’, follow, or share this post. I know that most of you won’t, but I want to see how many of you will.” What rubbish.  Did you know that ‘likes’ are now currency? It’s true. What Marvel Comics super-hero are you, anyway? I’m Captain America…

    More importantly, which part of 2014 did you like the best: the Ebola epidemic, maybe? Now there’s a memorable series of moments, death destruction and denial, in which highly-paid pundits and Math 101 extrapolaters (i.e. bloggers) predicted that there would be a cool Mil (1,000,000) number of victims by now. In actuality: “As of 23 December 2014, this outbreak has 19,648 reported cases resulting in 7,645 deaths.” (Wikipedia)

    Ouch. And then there were that not-so-lonely band of lovable losers known variously as ISIS or the Islamic State or The Artists Formerly Known as ISIL, in which bad Fashion Police finally claim turf, proclaiming cleavage illegal at penalty of amputation, and wayward thoughts illegal at penalty of beheading, all of which prompted Noam Chomsky to declare the probable ‘end of history’. Now I’m no huge fan of Chomsky’s politics or his linguistics, but he may have just nailed this one—shut. Give Boko Haram honorable mention in this category. (More …)

     
    • Kc 5:28 pm on December 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      yes, way way too much b.s. going on. r is out of his mind. do not know how to deal w it. he is getting violent and is certain that i am poisioning his food, so he refuses to eat. weighs less than 120lb, still, insists on drinking everything he can get his hands on. yea, happy new year to you also.

    • Esther Fabbricante 9:55 pm on December 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Powerful – the power of your words and your thinking and conclusions!
      Living one day at a time seems almost precarious.

  • hardie karges 5:11 am on November 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , JESUS, Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas   

    Why Christians Need Buddhism—and Islam 

    We’re the love monkeys we’re the hate monkeys, we’re the f*ck monkeys we’re the abstention monkeys, we’re the drunk monkeys we’re the sober monkeys, we’re the selfish monkeys we’re the caring monkeys, we’re the active monkeys we’re the passive monkeys, we’re the hot monkeys we’re the cool monkeys, we’re the species that desperately needs some law and order to make sense of it all—or maybe just some Buddhist wisdom or some Muslim discipline.

    There are just too many contradictions to being human to leave it all to chance. We need some direction. We Westerners, Americans in particular, love to feel superior about our upbringing and traditions, but what works for us—or not—doesn’t necessarily work for anyone else. We hold up democracy, capitalism, and Christianity like the great trinity that all should follow, or else, lest they should suffer the consequences of their own ignorance. This is unfortunate. This is chaos.

    There are limits to love, even Christian love. Christianity elevates the reproductive act to the paradigm for life, as if everything should match that intensity and bliss, Protestants favoring the foreplay, while Catholics just settle for more babies. Our passion should rule our lives, so goes the theory, no need for wisdom, little need for discipline. Welcome to the 21st century. Welcome to the Apocalypse. I hope it’s not too late.

    Live in the moment” is the great mantra of the age, sounding all Buddhist and enlightened, but coming off and being carried out more like carpe diem—seize the day—in Roman fashion, drunk and in love, giving no thought to the morrow. This is not Buddhist mindfulness—i.e. awareness. This is Western recklessness—wreckfulness. Christian pop culture seconds the emotion by elevating Roman romantic love above Greek agape—brotherly love—which is closer to the true Christian meaning.

    The Church’s founding fathers quickly realized the limits of love, and Saint Augustine mixed in as much of Plato as any epistle to any apostle would allow, just like St. Thomas later did with Aristotle, trying to match content with form, rationality with emotion. That’s a nice try, but still not enough. The Age of Reason was no match for the Age of Capitalism and the doctrine of democracy and their Christian handmaidens, and the resulting chaos which would follow, which has brought us to the brink of catastrophe. We’re not facing extinction because of anything Buddhists or Muslims have done wrong.

    This is why the world needs Buddhism. This is why we need Islam. God takes over where Science leaves off, just as intuition takes over where logic fails. We don’t need more doctrines and dogmas. We need cool heads and warm hearts, common sense and discipline. Our love of money is leading us to a no-man’s-land of self-imposed doom, an air-conditioned nightmare as we drive over the cliff, pedal to the metal, and the seat-belts unfastened. May God’s love be with us—if He exists. May Buddhist wisdom and Islamic discipline be with us regardless.

     
    • Kc 10:57 am on November 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Semantics, literalism, God, a he? If you don’t believe in anything but darkness, what is there to lose?

      • hardie karges 4:28 pm on November 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        They call God a ‘He’; I don’t… Come over to the light whenever you like…

  • hardie karges 11:36 am on November 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , JESUS, , ,   

    THEORIES OF EVUH’ THANG (I f***ing love philosophy) 

    Yes, I sometimes poke fun at those wannabe scientists who claim to ‘f*cking love’ it, but who usually know little or nothing about it, just enough to act superior to die-hard Biblical Creationists, easy enough for sure, but who usually settle for an ad hoc poorly-thought-out scantily-clad pseudo-sci-fi proudly-proclaimed atheism-cum-religion, accent on the cum, that frequently involves tweaking the meds just right, usually strong enough to strip the polish off my spit-shined hiking boots, caffeine my drug of choice, just sayin’…

    It’s not that I don’t love science; I do. I just never knew what it had to do with my sex drive, or lack thereof. Wait a minute; oh, right. Anyway it’s nice to have two movies featuring Big Science up on the movie screens at the same time, which gives us four physicists, instead of the usual two, in the public spotlight, Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne added to the usual one-two punch of Michio Kaku and Neil deGrasse Tyson, (and then there’s that guy with the big smile, from San Francisco, I think).  Bizniz is good, I guess.

    There was a time when philosophy and physics were the same activity—thinking, observing, analyzing, deducing—but that’s been a while, sometime after Descartes and before Wittgenstein, I guess, Russell and Whitehead being something of a last gasp at reconciling at least the math (abstract) side of science with the logical (concrete) side of philosophy. They are much the same thing, after all, notwithstanding Hawking’s diss of philosophers’ math skills; guess he never read Leibniz.

    But when science loses its connection to common language, it just may be getting off on an irresponsible tangent. Or maybe I’m being pessimistic. I mean, it would be nice if Science could save us and the planet, as suggested in ‘Interstellar’, but if that depends on ‘worm-holes’, then I’d maybe prefer some more Green Science here on Earth, instead. Theoretical physics is nice, but just that—theoretical; and as often as not, a mathematical convenience, best explained by the dictum, “it works.” End of story…NOT.  Wormhole that.

    Quantum mechanics is so foreign to common sense that relativity is considered ‘classical’. It works, but we have little possibility of imagining it. Relativity can be visualized; Einstein did. Curved space? No problem. But faster-than-light tachyons that can only slow down to light speed…maybe? Meh—better keep that day job, just in case. But Einstein’s failure to embrace quantum mechanics, partly his creation, may still suggest some problems with the theory, not just with Einstein, the old fuddy-duddy.

    One of Einstein’s lesser-heralded (but most accepted) ideas (can’t remember the name) was that the laws of physics operate the same any time all the time anywhere everywhere in the universe. Sounds simple, and I don’t think it’s ever really been questioned, but what if it’s not true? What if we’re in a little isolated pocket of the universe (or consciousness) where things do not operate normally? And no, we don’t need God for this, though any and all help is welcome, haha.

    Let’s say for example that our world is something of a ‘construction zone, observe posted speeds (double fines in effect), etc.’ In other words, what if the observable universe has flows and eddies (or IS such; and no, not the classic rock duo), ‘slow lanes’ so to speak, in which things happen at less than the speed of light, which would seem to be the norm for this dimension, or at least the next (observable) one, and which might define spirituality as well as light and electricity. That just might give you frequencies that you can touch. Sound familiar?

    It sounds feasible, doesn’t it, that Nature—and Reality—might operate at differing levels of efficiency? If we know that, then we can account for it as an anomaly… unless we’re in the middle of the anomaly. Then everything else seems weird and unexplainable, e.g. the universe expands at ever increasing speeds. The Big Bang. Gravity. Physicality. Stuff. Weird. Welcome to the slow cool world. Such is life—in time, and space…

    But what if reality is essentially spiritual, composed of waves that act like particles (hehe) and particles that act like waves (oops), a transcendental stew of light and electricity—and us—all swirling and whirling and hitting the road at the speed of light, we know not where? Now I’m no scientist by trade, but I’m betting that if spirituality is the answer you want, then the questions you ask become simpler. Or not. Just a thought. Welcome to my lumpy gravy theory of the universe. I’m hungry.

    (Einstein, Jesus and Plato are probably my favorite thinkers of all time, BTW, one’s thought experiments, the other’s parables and the latter’s dialogs equivalent in my mind to the finest things that a human mind is capable of–smartphone optional)

     
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