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  • hardie karges 5:49 am on August 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Holy Grail, intelligent design, predestination, Science   

    Buddhism and Science: Pre-destination is the Holy Grail… 

    IMG_0599…of religion, science, and life, too, the mostly unrequited wish that “it’s all written,” whether in script or bar-code, to the point of retro-fitting the logic that may or may not have actually led up to some fait accompli, though that accomplished fact was never predicted even at the point of inception. This is the need for happy endings, and the one overriding narrative that drives all others, the one theory of everything…

    How many times has something unexpected happened and the first thing you think is, “Well, I guess that it was (or wasn’t) meant to be.” I know you’ve thought that. We all have. That’s a gut reaction. But sometimes I think I take it too far, to the point of filling in the details to justify that conclusion, when the fact is simply: much of life is random. There IS no predestination, and there IS no particular logic leading up to any particular event. Sh*t happens. Truer words have never been spoken… (More …)

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

    #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 …)

     
    • 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 3:26 pm on June 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , colon, , , Klee Irwin, , quantum, reality, Science   

    What is #Reality? #Buddhism, #Quantum #Physics or Colon Cleanser, hmmm… 

    Okay, so I have my frustrations from time to time, doubts about my direction and misgivings about my methods, wishing I were more successful and feeling powerless to do anything about it. After all, these things do work themselves out, don’t they? Yes, they do. The problem is that I know exactly what to write to make myself more popular, but it just wouldn’t be honest, so I just can’t do it…

    I know exactly what people want to hear: that we’re all connected, that you are the center of the universe, that you and I are intimately connected to every living organism that has ever existed on this earth, that this very moment is the eternal now, that this is the eternal wow, that every moment that has ever existed is encapsulated in this very moment without end, that we’re all in this together, that one day there will be a better day and a better place… (More …)

     
    • tiramit 8:25 pm on June 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for this ‘connection’. Wow, incredible video: “all time is affecting all time all of the time” – making it up as we go along…

    • hardie karges 9:53 am on June 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, indeed it seems that way, God help us…

  • hardie karges 12:20 am on October 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Science,   

    Religion 221: Less is More, Time for New Paradigms… 

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    Christian church in Ethiopia

    If the Renaissance man was our hero of the 1500’s and the scientist our hero of the 1600’s, then Enlightened Man was the paradigm for the West in the 1700’s and the entrepreneur was the paradigm in the 1800’s. But then the paradigm in the later 1900’s took a dive and our new culture hero was the wild man, the playboy, the gangster, the rogue, the drug addict, the bad boy, the bad girl, the streetwalker, you get the idea: so what is the paradigm of the 2000’s? The hacker, maybe, or a terrorist? Sounds grim…

    Or maybe it’ll be a ‘gender-fluid’ ‘metro-sexual’, born and bred to do the exact opposite: never bear nor breed. Such dirty work is better left to specialized breeders and the truly old-fashioned who know how to do little else. LGBTQA’s have better things to do with their specialized hardware, especially now that non-traditional marriage has largely withstood court challenges. Now nothing is prohibited. That might help ease population pressures… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 8:47 am on May 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Science   

    Religion 202, Physics 101: Spirituality and Light… 

    IMG_1184

    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    Many religions, especially the New Age-y kind, use light as a prime metaphor, imagining this light and imagining that light as it assumes shape and form in your mind’s eye.  My ‘white light of spirit’ is not imaginary, though, even if still a bit metaphorical. That light for me is exactly the same light that any good physicist refers to, the equivalent of electricity and magnetism and one of physics’ four prime forces, together with gravity, the strong (nuclear) force and the weak (interactive) force.

    For the uninitiated, that weak force is: the fundamental force that acts between leptons and is involved in the decay of hadrons. The weak nuclear force is responsible for nuclear beta decay (by changing the flavor of quarks) and for neutrino absorption and emission…

    Got it?  And the strong force is: the force that holds particles together in the atomic nucleus and the force that holds quarks together in elementary particles.

    Simple, right?  These last and latest forces derive from quantum mechanics, and the study of smaller-than-microscopic realities that are probably best described as mathematical, i.e. the theory works, even if it doesn’t make (common) sense.  But then, neither do gravity and electromagnetism (light).  We’re just more accustomed to them, and they are available to us on a macroscopic level.  (More …)

     
    • peaceof8 10:15 am on May 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That was very thought provoking. I will for sure be noodling around in my mind DNA vs souls/ancestors/inner child. It makes me want to give reincarnation a second look, based on science and maybe a little whoop-t-do in the family tree. Interesting! I like your pragmatic approach to spirituality.

  • hardie karges 9:04 am on January 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Science   

    Body Meets Soul; Science Meets Religion; (with a quark or two for the road, ol’ buddy)… 

    IMG_1660

    Buddhist Temple in Laos

    Reconciling religions shouldn’t be too hard, really, theoretically at least, except (especially?) for the monotheistic mother religions that all diverged from a common Abrahamic/Ibrahimic source, only to themselves go forth and divide according to the fashions of the day and the ideas at play. But essentially they’re all very similar, except perhaps for a few small innovations that each made to what came before: they emphasis on love and forgiveness for the Christians as opposed to Jews, the emphasis on equality and a faceless deity for the Muslims as opposed to Jews…

    Eastern religions had a similar evolution, multi-deistic Hinduism spinning off into Jainism and going more monotheistic with Buddhism, later to mix with Taoism, especially, in China, and other sects and philosophies according to local tastes and proclivities. The Zoroastrians had (and have) their own rites and rights, but likely influenced the eastern sub-continental face of Islam.

    Reconciling Science with Religion is a bit trickier. The problem is not with the religionists. The problem is with the atheists, who want to claim science as their own, not willing to allow metaphors and analogies to stand as symbols of reality, instead preferring to ‘believe’ in Science in a way that no ‘real’ scientist ever would, carrying the materialistic model of the Universe to absurd extremes in an attempt to celebrate their own superiority, deny their lingering suspicions of spirituality, or—whatever… (More …)

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

    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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