Mod+ 274. DR. BERNARDO KASTRUP, WHY OUR CULTURE IS MATERIALISTIC

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, May 5, 2015.

  1. Johnny

    Johnny New

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    I will do my best, but to be honest it seems to be a topic that is way over my head, and against everything I believe in thus far, I tried to listen to the podcast with Alex and Alex kept saying he had a brilliant mind, However, I just couldn't grasp what was being said.

    Thanks for the link, I will take the time to go through them all. :)
     
  2. Johnny

    Johnny New

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    Nice explanation and thanks for the effort, I see what you are getting at, But I can't say it's true.

    There are restrictions in this reality, unlike no restrictions in dreams, We are conditioned by material energy and the laws of physics also apply and can not be broken to experience things you could experience in dreams.
     
  3. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    It takes time, Johnny.:) I've been refining my understanding of Bernardo for years and every now and then something crops up that I don't understand. I don't know if it's true or not, but chances are that what you believe is compatible with it. The laws of physics (those that we thus far are able to describe) are simply the interactions between processes occurring in mind-at-large; for whatever reason, these appear lawful and consistent despite their putatively arising in a mind that is aware but not aware it is aware.

    There may be restrictions on what can happen in dreams: but we may never know what they are.
     
  4. Elessar

    Elessar New

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    I beg to differ.
     
  5. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    The "laws" of physics are observed consistencies. Applying inductive logic to many observed consistencies we conclude that these consistencies are absolutes or "laws". While inductive logic is a useful tool, it cannot prove anything with absolute certainty (e.g. the black swan). It could be that the consistencies we observe in physics are more like habits.

    Going back to the lucid dream analogy again: suppose your lucid dream machine had some controls on it including a slider called "internal consistency". With the slider pegged to the left, the "laws" that governed the physics in your dream environment would be highly consistent and the odds of miraculous happenings would be extremely low. With the slider moved to the right, consistency decreases. Suppose you jump out of an airplane and your chute surprisingly fails to open. Then the earth below you morphs into a sea of jell-o and you splash down. A turtle swims by and you grab hold of his shell for a ride, but he morphs into a shark and bites your arm off. You recall this is a dream and instantly grow your arm back and punch the shark in the teeth. These kinds of dreams might be fun to explore for a while; however, consistency with low probability of "miracles" enables a certain kind of story to develop - one that is arguably more emotional and meaningful.
     
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  6. Johnny

    Johnny New

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    I believe in dualism.

    For example, I believe the absolute truth is two things,

    1; Material energy ( Inferior Energy )

    2; Spiritual energy ( Superior Energy )


    But a higher level of understanding ( according to my spiritual master ) leads one to conclude that even material energy, being Gods energy, Is also divine and spiritualised. (Hence a type of monism), being from the one source, but ultimately they are two separate energies, and to be liberated you need to be free of the material energy and become completely spiritualised.

    The only way I can think of monism being true, would be like this,

    Imagine the sun and the sunshine, both are different, If the sun were to enter my bedroom window I would be burnt to cinders, and it would be a mistake to think it was the sunshine. The sunshine is an extension of the sun. Both are different, yet both share the same chemical qualitative attributes, they are non different in chemical qualitative attributes, but yet they are different in regards to the potency they have. yet both are exactly the same in chemical qualitative attribute, they are exactly the same, yet different.


    This philosophy stems from Achintya Bheda Abheda an old Vedic philosophy that asserts the philosophy of inconceivable one-ness and difference.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achintya_Bheda_Abheda
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  7. Johnny

    Johnny New

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    I am not sure what you are driving at.
     
  8. Haruhi

    Haruhi New

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    Two ideas: first, the metaphor of awakening from a dream is realistic, not idealistic, because for idealism there is only dream = experience, not something out of it, so there are different levels of dreams.

    And second, as physicalists take technological progress as a point in their favor, the idealists would have to address the question of manipulating reality only through the mind: psychic hacking of world / reality warping, and what better way to defend idealism that showing practical applications for daily life...
     
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  9. Laird

    Laird Member

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    @Bernardo Kastrup, this is for if (when) you check back into this thread. Big, big, big caveat: I have not read any of your books, nor looked into your ideas any more than (as a maximum) what has been linked to of them, including video presentations, in this thread, and I further note that in one of those video presentations, you say something to the effect of "You can poke a million holes in what I've just said right now, but if you read me carefully and closely, I will close those". It is highly likely then that I am poking holes that you have closed elsewhere, so if this is a waste of your time, then please just say so and refer me to your book(s) where you address it all, I am simply a fairly lazy reader.

    Caveats aside, here is my (as alluded to in my first post to this thread) critique of your idealism. I had been meditating on it for some time before something that @Paul C. Anagnostopoulos wrote in another thread twigged with me: that idealism is in essence simply a variation on physicalism. This is where I had been coming to on my own, and I'll explain why:

    I had initially been thinking of your notion of how "whirlpools" in the stream of mind create individual, self-reflective consciousness, and this led me to think: but wait, if there is a whirlpool, then surely there is an environment in which that whirlpool occurs, i.e. a three-dimensional space, and thus, is not three-dimensional space as ontologically intrinsic a requirement for idealism as it is under physicalism? And what, after all, is the difference between the two? It seems to me that the only difference is that under the one, the monistic substance which leads to consciousness is "mind stuff" whereas under the other, it is "physical stuff".

    Granted, "mind stuff" has a better chance of getting you to "consciousness" than does "physical stuff", but is there not a very real sense in which the same problems occur? For example, what is it about the three-dimensional structure of a "mind stuff" brain that leads it to be conscious whereas the three-dimensional structure of a "mind stuff" brick does not? Could we not ask an essentially identical question under physicalism? What is it about the three-dimensional structure of a "physical stuff" brain that leads it to be conscious whereas the three-dimensional structure of a "physical stuff" brick does not? And is not our only advantage that "It is occurring within a mind?" Granted, that it is occurring within a mind is helpful, but we nevertheless have to go from mere "mind stuff" to "individual, self-reflective consciousness", and it seems to me that the only way to go there is through three-dimensional structure, which, for the same reasons I find it hard to realise in the case of physicalism, I find it hard to realise for idealism: we have "mind stuff"; we have "three-dimensional structure" - why does this combination lead to consciousness any more than it would if we replaced "mind stuff" with "physical stuff"?

    Getting back, though, to my idea that, given that in your view it is required for individual, self-reflective consciousness, a three-dimensional reality is, under idealism, as ontologically "real" as under other paradigms, I was curious to see how idealism compared to my preferred paradigm, dualism. It seems to me that the only difference is this:

    Whereas, under idealism, mind encompasses three-dimensional reality, under (a more traditional) dualism, mind projects three-dimensional reality. To be honest, I don't see any advantages of idealism in this respect, and I carefully went through all of the supposed advantages that you listed here:

    1. In the same way that reality is "in" consciousness under idealism, reality is "projected by" consciousness under dualism, and thus we are as eternal under dualism as we are under idealism.
    2. In the same way that your physical body is "in" consciousness under idealism, your physical body is "inhabited by" (bi-directionally) consciousness under dualism, and thus one's psychic state is as intrinsically related to one's physical health under the one as under the other.
    3. If, under dualism, we are "projections" of consciousness, we are at root no less "one and the same" under dualism as under idealism.
    4. Likewise, if, under dualism, we are "projections" of (the one) consciousness, then our subjective experience is no less important than under idealism, and our feelings and emotions carry as much weight - it is simply that they occur in the context of a "physical" body with which consciousness (the soul) allies itself temporarily.

    Furthermore, it appears to me that, as another poster (sorry, mate, I forget your name, if I remember right you're Italian though) indicated, dualism has explanatory advantages that idealism lacks: dualism explains reincarnation and out-of-body/near-death experiences far better than idealism, because it posits that "the soul" separates from "the physical" in such circumstances. What, on the other hand, can idealism say? There is no strong sense under idealism in which mind is separate from matter. I came into this thread congenially, hoping to conciliate dualism with idealism, and perhaps that's still possible, but at this point I don't see an easy way for e.g. reincarnation and NDEs/OBEs to function under idealism, and the evidence points to these things being a reality. And by "easy" I of course allude to Occam's razor: idealism seems to me, contrary to your assertions, to fail parsimony.

    OK, gosh, that's all very critical and negative, but I want to emphasise that it's strictly in the spirit of intellectual inquiry: this is simply the way that I currently see things given what I understand right now, and if you can convince me that I'm not seeing truly, then I'm all the more grateful.

    [Note a couple of edits, especially in the bullet points, due to sloppiness]
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  10. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Then get off your fat arse and check out: http://www.bernardokastrup.com/2015/04/social-media-policy-and-useful-links.html

    You could even do Bernardo the courtesy of buying his latest book, Brief Peeks Beyond, a steal at Kindle prices. Fer cryin' out loud, man, put some effort in before raising questions he's answered time and again.
     
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  11. Laird

    Laird Member

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    I apologise. You're right, Michael, I ought to have done all of that before even attempting (if at all) a critique. I was more than a little rude and disrespectful. Sorry, Bernardo, Michael and others reading this thread.

    I've now bought Bernardo's latest book, and have read all of chapters one and two (skimming a little through the rebuttals to materialist objections, which already make a lot of sense to me), and am now reading chapter six. I withdraw my criticism of Bernardo's idealism based on (as I mistakenly contended) its sharing the same essential problems as physicalism. I see now that saying that reality is comprised of "mind stuff" which is in essence no difference to "physical stuff" is to miss what Bernardo is really saying: that reality is a flow of conscious experience, the subject of which in the case of "inanimate objects" is mind-at-large, and the localisation of which leads to individual psyches.

    I still have some doubts about the coherence or at least plausibility of all of this, at least as compared to the dualistic paradigm, but I won't express them until I've read more and thought more - unless anyone thinks that in even raising the possibility of (relative) incoherence/implausibility I ought to justify it immediately, in which case I will oblige.

    Cheers for the kick in the pants, Michael. At your urging, my fat arse has moved. :)
     
  12. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    What a refreshing response: kudos to you!:)

    You don't have to believe what Bernardo says: I myself am an agnostic with, let's say, a propensity to take what he says very seriously indeed. So far, I haven't come across anything more convincing.

    Again, well done and thank you.
     
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  13. Cross posting as this pertains to idealism

     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  14. Me too. I don't think mathematical concepts are going to be helpful in understanding consciousness. We think of mathematics as something fundamental because we see mathematical properties in nature. But mathematics and nature are both created by consciousness and consciousness uses math to create nature. I don't see mathematics has having pertinence in transcendent reality, in reality outside the physical universe. Saying math can explain consciousness is the same mistake as saying atoms can explain consciousness. Consciousness created both atoms and mathematics. I think the theistic philosophers who conclude that God is irreducibly simple (divine simplicity) understood this.
     
  15. David Eire

    David Eire New

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    I wrote my comment on the Hugenot discussion before I saw the question you teed up for this discussion...
    and of course my answer is definitively yes
    The merchants are the power elites of our times, and they see no advantage or profit for them in people knowing the truth of mind and consciousness
    and the afterlife.
    For them science is purely utilitarian.
    They are working to eliminate pure research and pure science
    In fact they already have
    I would say that today science is the handmaiden of the merchants
    They effectively own it lock stock and barrel
     
  16. Dominic Bunnell

    Dominic Bunnell New

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    I have to say, it's a bit unfair on Coyne to suggest that he's stupid just because he made a philosophical mistake. He's a scientist, not a philosopher.

    But we still have the question, why are so many of the New Atheists so ignorant about and dismissive of philosophy and metaphysics? Presumably this situation has come about because of the enormous prestige that goes along with being a scientist as compared to being a philosopher, because of the excessive specialization in the modern academic world, and because of the obvious progress in science and technology compared to the perceived lack of it in philosophy.
     
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  17. malf

    malf Member

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    Pragmatism. As Alex asked in the recent podcast, "... who the fucks gonna run the world?"
     
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  18. Dominic Bunnell

    Dominic Bunnell New

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    But that doesn't really answer the question. The question is, why do so many New Atheists and skeptics think philosophy is a waste of time and of no value? They certainly don't think that about music, art, dance or literature. It's philosophy in particular that they have it in for.

    I just finished reading a book by Neil deGrasse Tyson, and he almost always uses words like 'metaphysics', 'armchair' and 'philosophy' in a pejorative way. This is a guy who has never studied philosophy and knows next to nothing about it, and yet he somehow knows that the whole thing is a waste of time. After all, science has come to liberate us from these ancient modes of thought.

    As I've said before, I put a lot of the blame for this anti-philosophy position among atheists and skeptics on Sagan and Feynman. These guys are worshipped by pretty much everybody in these movements, and they were both very anti-philosophy.

    Skeptics like Massimo Pigliucci and Stephen Law are trying to defend philosophy against these people, but it's really difficult for them.

    So you've got the sociological reasons I gave in my last post, plus the fact that these movements were started by people with a very strong prejudice against philosophy. I guess these are the main reasons, but there are probably others. One thing that isn't a reason, though, is that these people are stupid!
     
  19. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    Great post and an opinion I share, but I would add a few thoughts. Your points on the banking were spot on, but I feel lacked one aspect, usury. I didn't see it mentioned or if it was in another way, then I'm remiss. It seems you may have touched on it when you mentioned "slave laborers" or debt slavery as I would word it. Created, of course, through usury. As abhorrent as banking is viewed, take usury out and it could be a beneficial system.

    The part about the pyramid increasing I would agree with if I believed the proletariat were included in the pyramid. I don't. I see only the controllers being included and the rest are viewed as mere chattel, useless eater, mouth breathers, and therefore expendable. So, I see the the pyramid being consolidated and decreasing in size. I also think the controllers are of an exclusivity that that has exited as long the pyramid.

    The last thought I would add concerns secret societies. All the things you mention I agree with, but I think the esoterica and occulted are far more extensive and stretches further back in time than is widely agreed on or known by the laymen. I find the that subject strains my imagination and ability to rationalize what I've come across. It is truly stranger than fiction. Just delving into the symbology is overwhelming and tests my credulity. Yet, society is absolutely enveloped and saturated by symbols. One only need look on the $1 dollar bill to understand.

    I look forward to more of your posts.
     
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  20. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    Thanks for your comment. Yes, usury or charging interest on a debt or debt slavery is an old invention attested to by warnings against it in the Old Testament and other ancient texts. I'm not sure where exactly I stand on interest. On the one hand I can understand paying an interest rate on a loan: through interest you are paying for a service. However, perhaps this is the first step towards a slippery slope which eventually leads to the total corruption we see today. Perhaps it is better to not even take that first step and make charging interest on loans illegal. This would undoubtedly slow down economic expansion since those with capital would have no incentive to invest, but then again... making "economic expansion" the ultimate goal is misguided, but then again... if it becomes illegal in one part of the world, this will give advantage to another part of the world and/or to organized crime. So how do you stop the poisonous banking bud from blossoming? How in the world to you return the world to a simple honest money system? Can you have an honest money system if you permit lending with interest but forbid fractional reserve lending? It seems to me that the practice of fractional reserve lending is a huge unethical step towards corruption as it is essentially a pyramid scheme. But what is the solution? I'm not sure I know... other than the general solution of educating and raising the consciousness of the individual in hopes of one day crowd-sourcing a solution.

    Thanks, and yes I agree the study of secret societies is fascinating and that the origins of some probably go back many thousands of years... perhaps even to the last great civilizations that built the sphinx and gobekli teppe and Machu PIcchu and other ancient marvels. Thanks to the democratizing power of the internet, many secrets have been spilled. I'm excited to see what new revelations will come out in the years to come.
     
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