Kevin Day, Navy UFO Contact After-Effects |403|

Its odd pondering if multiple alien species exist. Truth is, they are so advanced, potentially, they might be in charge of this reality. Do we have evidence of physical torture? Not exactly. Unless Howard Storm checks that box for you.

And compare their treatment of us versus our treatment of tasty animals. There is a transhumanist that believes animals should be saved from human consumption. However you feel about that, most believe animals are conscious TASTY creatures. If a pet, don't eat. And so on. I mean we go crazy over potential deaths of children, not even sperm meeting egg zygotes! Catholics.

I don't trust my own reasons for morality anymore than i trust the field of consciousness science. Be honest. Look around. Too much disagreement there over time. And I still wonder. What is this place?
Check out gnostism
 
Check out gnostism
Yes but my limited search there found *maybe* nothing of historical value. History is a mess. Think how hard it is to describe an accident scene from eye witness testimony to determine who caused what -- 2000 years later, no originals, burn in hell if you get it the answer wrong, or maybe tortured by the state for stating *your* so called truth. Etc etc.

I like gnosticism. It forms a backdrop for a science fiction book I want to set in the past circa 400 ad.
 
A river has no idea whether it's polluted, and whether or not it is, it carries on its existence regardless. It cares not a fig whether it's capable of sustaining aquatic organisms.
Michael, how do you know this? I do not want to seem to be disrespectful to you, but the absence of experiential knowledge in this area is not evidence that your hypothesis is correct. The presumption of the absence of consciousness is a materialistic assertion, it is not evidentiary. It is like the profoundly deaf saying there is no sound, and insisting that hearing is a delusion.

Our senses have been dulled by a culture and habits of conduct. We assume an absence to be evidence of non-existence because nothing in our stories about who we are admits a presence. But other people, other cultures, have stories that affirm presences we no longer have the sensory acuity to confirm. What you say is the story of a culture only, and not a statement of 'reality'.
 
Its odd pondering if multiple alien species exist. Truth is, they are so advanced, potentially, they might be in charge of this reality.
Well, we are certainly not! It is interesting that we think of alien species in terms of them being more 'advanced' than we think we are. We need also to be cognisant of the pan spermia theory.

And the idea of 'being in charge' is so amusingly human. We might exist in a vast multi-dimensional interactive ecosystem in which there is no agency 'in charge' short of a deity.

And exactly what do we mean by 'alien'? There is a bunch of evidence that ET may not necessarily always have a biological foundation and the forms we see may be the equivalent of diving suits - necessarily operational and coherent - but not belonging to the context of their presence in our world.

I loved your question 'What is this place? It is not asked enough. Has it been imagined gods? How do we know whether we are also imagined by gods? Would such acts of imagination be instant fiats, or would it be evolutionary - a savouring of the mechanism of creation? And if time is illusory what would be the difference?

A few years ago I found one of those space photos showing a bunch of galaxies and other forms, and my immediate reaction was that it looked like a magnified image of a cup of pond water.
 
Michael, how do you know this? I do not want to seem to be disrespectful to you, but the absence of experiential knowledge in this area is not evidence that your hypothesis is correct. The presumption of the absence of consciousness is a materialistic assertion, it is not evidentiary. It is like the profoundly deaf saying there is no sound, and insisting that hearing is a delusion.

Our senses have been dulled by a culture and habits of conduct. We assume an absence to be evidence of non-existence because nothing in our stories about who we are admits a presence. But other people, other cultures, have stories that affirm presences we no longer have the sensory acuity to confirm. What you say is the story of a culture only, and not a statement of 'reality'.
This is one of the things I love about the subject matter on Skeptiko: we start off discussing an experience centered around UFOs and the conversation meanders tangentially to the question of whether or not a river has a sense of its own existence!

What complicates the question for me is the notion of what a river is. Is it the water? That's changing constantly although the same could be said about the cells that constitute our body (for those that believe we have bodies). Is it the river bed? There just doesn't seem to be a definitive answer other than 'a mental model generally meant to apply to certain sensory experiences'. 'River' is a term that makes it much easier to talk about many, many, individual things and their relationships to one another but nobody has ever experienced "a river" as such. For this reason I would have an easier time believing in a guardian river spirit than I would in the consciousness of a river.

BTW- I loved your idea about interdimensional diving suits!
 
Michael, how do you know this? I do not want to seem to be disrespectful to you, but the absence of experiential knowledge in this area is not evidence that your hypothesis is correct. The presumption of the absence of consciousness is a materialistic assertion, it is not evidentiary. It is like the profoundly deaf saying there is no sound, and insisting that hearing is a delusion.

Our senses have been dulled by a culture and habits of conduct. We assume an absence to be evidence of non-existence because nothing in our stories about who we are admits a presence. But other people, other cultures, have stories that affirm presences we no longer have the sensory acuity to confirm. What you say is the story of a culture only, and not a statement of 'reality'.
Strictly speaking, I agree I don't know it. But nor do you know that rivers do have an appreciation of when they're polluted. "Knowing" is a really big word. I would instead say that the bulk of evidence points much more strongly to rivers and mountains etc. not being conscious entities.

If they were, then there'd be more sense to deeming them to be persons, which is why I have a tad (but only a tad) less of an objection to canonising a chimpanzee than I have a river, because a chimp at least has a demonstrable degree of consciousness. Not enough so that it could take me to court for some transgression against it, mind. It'd be much more likely to beat the living shit out of me: such is the chimp version of what we humans call "justice".

Rivers (and mountains) tend to be big: bigger than any organism, and I think it's this that helps befuddle people. Surely the mighty Ganges, by virtue of its size and power could be conscious? But despite its size and power, and the large influence it has over the life of millions, it isn't very complex in relation to, say, even a single microorganism living in its waters. I see the Ganges as not being conscious, but rather an insentient, inanimate process occurring in the consciousness of Mind At Large; as one of many phenomena, however large, including stars, that is merely impressive in relative size rather than actual complexity. As such, these phenomena can be enormously powerful, but aren't self-reflectively conscious.

It's because these phenomena are so impressive that they have long been idolised: given the ontological status of gods. It's a classic confusion between power and complexity. Yes, rivers can be powerful, but comparatively small bits of protoplasm (human beings) can, and do, harness their complex ability for introspection plus puny powers to create e.g. dams that can alter the way rivers flow whilst at the same time providing useful benefits for themselves. One might almost say that power and complexity are complementary equivalences: gargantuan amounts of the former being required to produce tiny amounts of the latter, but once produced, the complexity can in some circumstances dominate raw power.

At no time has anyone ever seen a river actvely and consciously resist the construction of a dam, or pollution, or any human activity, be it beneficial or otherwise. What kind of conscious being is it that never reacts in this way? This is just commonsense. I see the consciousness that animists want to ascribe to rivers as just a projection of human consciousness onto them. When under certain natural circumstances (e.g. a storm) a dam bursts, it's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that this is the river finding a way to defeat those who have tried to limit its freedom. But in my book, that's pure magical thinking.

The universe is enormous; even planets are enormous; they embody humongous amounts of power, but often it's a power that comparatively small beings (and not just human ones) can help channel in directions that benefit both themselves and other organisms: witness rain forests, the even more extensive Northern Taiga, coral reefs, and so on. Non-sentient natural phenomena lend themselves, without being the least conscious of it, to all sorts of "manipulation" and don't protest against it, or indeed campaign for it. Many environmentalists don't realise that the many ecosystems they seek to defend are entirely artificial constructs of living beings carved out, in one way or another, from an underlying insentient, inanimate substructure.

Were this substructure actually sentient, then environmentalists should be campaigning for as much destruction of life as possible, as this would return the world to its pristine state of pig ignorance; they'd view us and all forms of life as detrimental. Of course, they don't do that, and thereby don't see the inconsistency of their views. I'm not so much against environmentalists as against their sometimes batshit crazy view of the world.

They rant on about man's puny output of CO2, for example, when shed loads more is produced by other organisms and various "natural" processes like volcanoes. Never mind, it's the puny bit that is the most important, because human beings are bad and everything else is good. They can't credit the possibility that their argument isn't about science, but about anti-humanity. What they're after is a world without human beings, except perhaps a few environmentally aware individuals like themselves. They'd probably incline to animism and rejoice in their doubtless short and perilous lives on account of the collapse of civilisation.
 
What complicates the question for me is the notion of what a river is.
Michael Brooks wrote a book - 13 Things That Don't Make Sense. In it he looks at what a tree is. Its a compelling argument that anything is more than our definition of it. What is a river? That's a great question. It is what we imagine and more.

The essence of animism is that our reality is infused with spirit. Perhaps a river has a spirit we cannot imagine unless we narrow it down in our imagination - our definition. I have encountered river spirits and I have never thought to ask whether they are the whole river or just the bit where I am - a large thing made small or a member of a community.

This is because my sense is holographic - all belongs to the one. The old Hermetic axiom of 'as above so below' can also be rendered as 'as large, so small', or 'as one, so many'. That's how spirit works in my view.

We are hobbled by habits of mind that presume that the act of intellectual validation matters objectively. It does not. Its how we set limitations on things so we can manage thinking about them - and usually these are things we have no personal attachment to. When you fell in love what role did intellect pay? Not a lot. You engaged your loved one with other senses. You have to approach a river that way before you can understand the urge to grant it personhood - and consequences be damned. Animists are lovers.
 
I would instead say that the bulk of evidence points much more strongly to rivers and mountains etc. not being conscious entities.
Michael, this simply is not the case for a rational argument. The evidence of materialistic thought supposes this is the case because the propositions invalidated from the outset.

Stewart Guthrie wrote what I thought was an awful little book called Faces in the Clouds. He asserted that because there were no such things as spirits there had to be a mechanism that led humans to erroneously imagine there were. This book continues to have current in the anthropological community where his premise is accepted as true..

The contrary evidence of ethnographic inquiry and the evidence of people who claim experience of engaging with conscious entities has, I think, stronger pertinence than a presumption that it is all nonsense. In short there is no evidence that rivers and mountains are not conscious entities, only evidence that they are thought not to be and are not experienced as such.

At the core of our thinking we make fundamental metaphysical guesses that are then modified by the culture we elect to move in. Spirits cannot exist in a materialistic cosmos. In a contemporary Christian cosmos spirits are separated into sanctioned (good) and not sanctioned (pagan and evil) . In the large scheme of human consciousness a spirit infused reality was the norm.

We cannot assert culturally crafted 'evidence' as the arbiter of the real.
 
Michael, this simply is not the case for a rational argument. The evidence of materialistic thought supposes this is the case because the propositions invalidated from the outset.

Stewart Guthrie wrote what I thought was an awful little book called Faces in the Clouds. He asserted that because there were no such things as spirits there had to be a mechanism that led humans to erroneously imagine there were. This book continues to have current in the anthropological community where his premise is accepted as true..

The contrary evidence of ethnographic inquiry and the evidence of people who claim experience of engaging with conscious entities has, I think, stronger pertinence than a presumption that it is all nonsense. In short there is no evidence that rivers and mountains are not conscious entities, only evidence that they are thought not to be and are not experienced as such.

At the core of our thinking we make fundamental metaphysical guesses that are then modified by the culture we elect to move in. Spirits cannot exist in a materialistic cosmos. In a contemporary Christian cosmos spirits are separated into sanctioned (good) and not sanctioned (pagan and evil) . In the large scheme of human consciousness a spirit infused reality was the norm.

We cannot assert culturally crafted 'evidence' as the arbiter of the real.
I acknowledge that as far as I know you may genuinely experience what you interpret as spirits and associate them with various natural phenomena. What my argument is about is whether that interpretation is necessarily correct. There seems to be some"thing" you think of as spirits, but what they actually are, you don't know. They may be anthropomorphic projections of your psyche onto them, but they are whatever they are regardless of how you interpret them.

Don't forget, I'm not a physicalist/materialist by any stretch of the imagination. The source of these "spirits" may well be processes occurring in consciousness -- either our own dissociated consciousness, or the consciousness of MAL, or some combination of the two. Language, which we all habitually use, may reify them as literal truths, give them names and even personalities. The things in themselves (noumena) are unnameable. I'd go so far as to say that nothing we perceive is actually a noun with actual concrete existence, so much as a process occurring in consciousness interpreted that way.

If matter, space and time don't exist as "nouns", but as processes interpreted as such, then what are we left with? A matterless, spaceless, timeless reality that merely gives the appearance to perception of "things" in space and time. Naming these "things" automatically delimits them, restricts how they can manifest to us. It may be envisaged that there are things a river spirit can do that a mountain spirit can't, for example. But for all we know, both kinds of "spirit" could be just slightly differently appearing manifestations of the same process. It could be incorrect to call one Fred and the other Daisy, or one ET and the other Krishna. It could be incorrect to construct elaborate, possibly hierarchical partitions of reality and create a narrative about how "they" interact.

Your animist narrative could be no less a narrative than is the physicalist narrative, or my Idealist narrative, for that matter. We may all be living inside whatever narrative we create for ourselves, explaining our "reality" in terms of it. It's a question of which narrative we think best fits such evidence as is available. In my view, the Idealist narrative does, and that's why (for now, at least until better countervailing evidence arises) I'm going with it. That's my rational argument. Saying "We cannot assert culturally crafted 'evidence' as the arbiter of the real" as you do overlooks the fact that there's also a component of cultural influence in your own interpretation: people have been talking animistically for millenia, after all.
 
Well, we are certainly not! It is interesting that we think of alien species in terms of them being more 'advanced' than we think we are. We need also to be cognisant of the pan spermia theory.

And the idea of 'being in charge' is so amusingly human. We might exist in a vast multi-dimensional interactive ecosystem in which there is no agency 'in charge' short of a deity.

And exactly what do we mean by 'alien'? There is a bunch of evidence that ET may not necessarily always have a biological foundation and the forms we see may be the equivalent of diving suits - necessarily operational and coherent - but not belonging to the context of their presence in our world.

I loved your question 'What is this place? It is not asked enough. Has it been imagined gods? How do we know whether we are also imagined by gods? Would such acts of imagination be instant fiats, or would it be evolutionary - a savouring of the mechanism of creation? And if time is illusory what would be the difference?

A few years ago I found one of those space photos showing a bunch of galaxies and other forms, and my immediate reaction was that it looked like a magnified image of a cup of pond water.
Yes but do keep in mind we are a self selected sample attracted to novelty like honey bees to nectar. I didn't realize how creative I was until a woman who happened to be a professor told me so. Dopamine highs are my normal happy state. I just want to get back to seeing something anew again.

So of course I am attracted to this as a non experiencer.
 
Your animist narrative could be no less a narrative than is the physicalist narrative, or my Idealist narrative, for that matter. We may all be living inside whatever narrative we create for ourselves, explaining our "reality" in terms of it.
Exactly! So how does your argument about 'evidence' stack up here?

We make metaphysical guesses in our crafting of our world view. We build our narratives on those guesses. If we are confident and mature we are cool with that - and cool with the guesses others make, and use to build their narrative. If we are immature and insecure we want others to agree with us, and favour only those who do.

We build narratives that can have intellectual and poetic elegance - or they can be tight and controlled. It is finally our choice, and we are responsible for the consequences that flow from that choice.

I have elected an animistic narrative because it accords with my experience, my intellectual framework and sense of poetic elegance. I do not expect others to accept it for their own - indeed I would be alarmed if they did without sufficient foundation. But I know it is a valid and accessible way of knowing and speak of it with confidence -as an act of sharing.

For me the only evidence I finally esteem has to be heart-based (this is Reason in its proper sense). The intellect shapes it for rational awareness - and it if is done well it has integrity and merits respect.
 
Exactly! So how does your argument about 'evidence' stack up here?

We make metaphysical guesses in our crafting of our world view. We build our narratives on those guesses. If we are confident and mature we are cool with that - and cool with the guesses others make, and use to build their narrative. If we are immature and insecure we want others to agree with us, and favour only those who do.

We build narratives that can have intellectual and poetic elegance - or they can be tight and controlled. It is finally our choice, and we are responsible for the consequences that flow from that choice.

I have elected an animistic narrative because it accords with my experience, my intellectual framework and sense of poetic elegance. I do not expect others to accept it for their own - indeed I would be alarmed if they did without sufficient foundation. But I know it is a valid and accessible way of knowing and speak of it with confidence -as an act of sharing.

For me the only evidence I finally esteem has to be heart-based (this is Reason in its proper sense). The intellect shapes it for rational awareness - and it if is done well it has integrity and merits respect.
It's like this. We all know, or should know, that the particular narrative we ascribe to is only at best an approximation to reality as it actually is. Each of us makes up our minds based on "my experience, my intellectual framework and sense of poetic elegance" and maybe other things such as the attraction of parsimony.

And this is what constitutes our evidence. It isn't definitive evidence, but it's all the evidence we have. As long as we remain open to the possibility that our evidence isn't definitive, then we can intelligently evaluate which narrative we prefer and importantly, adhere to it only provisionally pending further evidence. An alternative is to live without a guiding narrative altogether -- but who can do that? Even nihilism and meaninglessness is a narrative that the person holding to it will have some kind of justification (read evidence in this context) for.
 
Strictly speaking, I agree I don't know it. But nor do you know that rivers do have an appreciation of when they're polluted. "Knowing" is a really big word. I would instead say that the bulk of evidence points much more strongly to rivers and mountains etc. not being conscious entities.

If they were, then there'd be more sense to deeming them to be persons, which is why I have a tad (but only a tad) less of an objection to canonising a chimpanzee than I have a river, because a chimp at least has a demonstrable degree of consciousness. Not enough so that it could take me to court for some transgression against it, mind. It'd be much more likely to beat the living shit out of me: such is the chimp version of what we humans call "justice".

Rivers (and mountains) tend to be big: bigger than any organism, and I think it's this that helps befuddle people. Surely the mighty Ganges, by virtue of its size and power could be conscious? But despite its size and power, and the large influence it has over the life of millions, it isn't very complex in relation to, say, even a single microorganism living in its waters. I see the Ganges as not being conscious, but rather an insentient, inanimate process occurring in the consciousness of Mind At Large; as one of many phenomena, however large, including stars, that is merely impressive in relative size rather than actual complexity. As such, these phenomena can be enormously powerful, but aren't self-reflectively conscious.

It's because these phenomena are so impressive that they have long been idolised: given the ontological status of gods. It's a classic confusion between power and complexity. Yes, rivers can be powerful, but comparatively small bits of protoplasm (human beings) can, and do, harness their complex ability for introspection plus puny powers to create e.g. dams that can alter the way rivers flow whilst at the same time providing useful benefits for themselves. One might almost say that power and complexity are complementary equivalences: gargantuan amounts of the former being required to produce tiny amounts of the latter, but once produced, the complexity can in some circumstances dominate raw power.

At no time has anyone ever seen a river actvely and consciously resist the construction of a dam, or pollution, or any human activity, be it beneficial or otherwise. What kind of conscious being is it that never reacts in this way? This is just commonsense. I see the consciousness that animists want to ascribe to rivers as just a projection of human consciousness onto them. When under certain natural circumstances (e.g. a storm) a dam bursts, it's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that this is the river finding a way to defeat those who have tried to limit its freedom. But in my book, that's pure magical thinking.

The universe is enormous; even planets are enormous; they embody humongous amounts of power, but often it's a power that comparatively small beings (and not just human ones) can help channel in directions that benefit both themselves and other organisms: witness rain forests, the even more extensive Northern Taiga, coral reefs, and so on. Non-sentient natural phenomena lend themselves, without being the least conscious of it, to all sorts of "manipulation" and don't protest against it, or indeed campaign for it. Many environmentalists don't realise that the many ecosystems they seek to defend are entirely artificial constructs of living beings carved out, in one way or another, from an underlying insentient, inanimate substructure.

Were this substructure actually sentient, then environmentalists should be campaigning for as much destruction of life as possible, as this would return the world to its pristine state of pig ignorance; they'd view us and all forms of life as detrimental. Of course, they don't do that, and thereby don't see the inconsistency of their views. I'm not so much against environmentalists as against their sometimes batshit crazy view of the world.

They rant on about man's puny output of CO2, for example, when shed loads more is produced by other organisms and various "natural" processes like volcanoes. Never mind, it's the puny bit that is the most important, because human beings are bad and everything else is good. They can't credit the possibility that their argument isn't about science, but about anti-humanity. What they're after is a world without human beings, except perhaps a few environmentally aware individuals like themselves. They'd probably incline to animism and rejoice in their doubtless short and perilous lives on account of the collapse of civilisation.
I struggle to 'see' the spirit in rock or water though I know plants are sentient, at a different pace/vibration to humans, but it has been mooted that Gaea should have 'rights' as a sentient being. It is a human interpretation to say that 'She' is trying to either wash us away, or at least the filth we make, but it is inevitable, even rational. Not because the Earth is angry, wants to punish us or protest but because the event of say a dam or overheating causes a reciprocal response. That much I think we have to own. And if the river floods because the Sun was especially hot that year, it too has the 'right' to play a part, because it exists.

I think you are too hierarchical to imply complexity has precedence over simple elemental. They are too different. It's only Life fearing Death that a microorganism is conscious of (which is really a return to elements) and we can all relate to that, however sophisticated we are by comparison. So although a river (or tree) can't fear death, it can respond.

In Earth's mantle all things are reduced to their elements. We are mostly sticks of carbon but our consciousness is free..to resonate with other 'beings' on their terms and in their language if we choose.
 
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It's like this. We all know, or should know, that the particular narrative we ascribe to is only at best an approximation to reality as it actually is. Each of us makes up our minds based on "my experience, my intellectual framework and sense of poetic elegance" and maybe other things such as the attraction of parsimony.

And this is what constitutes our evidence. It isn't definitive evidence, but it's all the evidence we have. As long as we remain open to the possibility that our evidence isn't definitive, then we can intelligently evaluate which narrative we prefer and importantly, adhere to it only provisionally pending further evidence. An alternative is to live without a guiding narrative altogether -- but who can do that? Even nihilism and meaninglessness is a narrative that the person holding to it will have some kind of justification (read evidence in this context) for.
In total, agreement. Evidence is what we say it is. Kind of Alice in Wonderland stuff really. In the midst of my psychic crisis I was considered mad by professionals. I disagreed and I was turned out to be right. So much for their expertise. They thought I would be on medication the rest of my life. No. I was never on it. I have been with my current employer since December 2001 and I am respected as a high performing staff member. Me 1, Experts Zip.

The evidence of madness was predicated upon utterly flawed premises that conformed to a set of assumptions not based on any actual evidence. It was a belief system, not a science. But it masqueraded as a science because people had faith in the status of professionals - but no knowledge. Once we started to gain an understanding of psychiatry and get real knowledge its toxic impact on individual lives became apparent. Yes, it got the really mad, but it also got the innocent.

I had bona fide paranormal experiences that scared the crap out of me. In a moment of desperation I sought aid from people who knowledge of the human psyche scarcely passes muster - even now. I escaped that interaction without too much damage.

In 2008 I came down with GBS (google it). In September that year my family was invited to agree I should be consigned to a nursing home. They did not. A year later I was back at work full time. Still am - almost a decade later.

So what is evidence? It ain't what you think it is. It ain't what you believe it is. Were it otherwise I'd be crazy and confined to a nursing home.

I mean this very seriously, be very careful what you accept as evidence and as true. There is a very good chance it isn't and it ain't.

These days I chair an employee disability network and I work with people who have been through traumatic experiences of being denied respect and response to their needs. Somebody has always determined 'evidence' favour of not being responsive and compassionate. Seemingly rational people make cruel and irrational choices and assert that they had 'evidence' to justify their actions. They didn't, but they can't see that.

You can't separate head from heart. No matter how good the head is, if the heart has been poisoned, the head will exhibit toxic thought.
 
In total, agreement. Evidence is what we say it is. Kind of Alice in Wonderland stuff really. In the midst of my psychic crisis I was considered mad by professionals. I disagreed and I was turned out to be right. So much for their expertise. They thought I would be on medication the rest of my life. No. I was never on it. I have been with my current employer since December 2001 and I am respected as a high performing staff member. Me 1, Experts Zip.

The evidence of madness was predicated upon utterly flawed premises that conformed to a set of assumptions not based on any actual evidence. It was a belief system, not a science. But it masqueraded as a science because people had faith in the status of professionals - but no knowledge. Once we started to gain an understanding of psychiatry and get real knowledge its toxic impact on individual lives became apparent. Yes, it got the really mad, but it also got the innocent.

I had bona fide paranormal experiences that scared the crap out of me. In a moment of desperation I sought aid from people who knowledge of the human psyche scarcely passes muster - even now. I escaped that interaction without too much damage.

In 2008 I came down with GBS (google it). In September that year my family was invited to agree I should be consigned to a nursing home. They did not. A year later I was back at work full time. Still am - almost a decade later.

So what is evidence? It ain't what you think it is. It ain't what you believe it is. Were it otherwise I'd be crazy and confined to a nursing home.

I mean this very seriously, be very careful what you accept as evidence and as true. There is a very good chance it isn't and it ain't.

These days I chair an employee disability network and I work with people who have been through traumatic experiences of being denied respect and response to their needs. Somebody has always determined 'evidence' favour of not being responsive and compassionate. Seemingly rational people make cruel and irrational choices and assert that they had 'evidence' to justify their actions. They didn't, but they can't see that.

You can't separate head from heart. No matter how good the head is, if the heart has been poisoned, the head will exhibit toxic thought.
Me too, recommended for mental institution-time, by my own family(!) based on their (unqualified) 'evidence'..scared the sh*t out of me. Then again the whole subject of ET terrifies me, wonder if that's a valid intuition?
 
I think you are too hierarchical to imply complexity has precedence over simple elemental. They are too different. It's only Life fearing Death that a microorganism is conscious of (which is really a return to elements) and we can all relate to that, however sophisticated we are by comparison. So although a river can't fear death, it can respond.
I know the 'fear of death' dogma dominates evolutionary thought, but nobody pauses to ask how a primal organism can formulate such a notion. Fear of death requires an existential awareness.

The esoteric science tradition offers the idea of a 'will to be' that is inherent in all entities - but more precarious in a worm compared to a stone. It is the precariousness of being that drives a more dynamic awareness of being. So a butterfly is more acutely aware than a riverstone.

Life isn't about fear - one of the terrible messages of the Christian/atheistic mentality (and do not imagine they are separate). It is about affirmation of being. If you examine the natural world carefully you will find courage, and never fear.

Fear of death is a Christian invention embraced by atheists. Its a myth and a lie beyond that. Biological agents have a natural and necessary aversion to death, but its not a fear.

Materialists claim that religion was invented as an antidote to the fear of death. But that is a ludicrous notion to anybody exposed to anthropology.

I do not fear death. I know it will come sooner rather than later. My body does not welcome the idea, but it is not afraid. It is naturally and properly averse to the idea.

Fear of death is a Christian/atheist fantasy. No religion has been based on it. Our bodies must be averse to death and act to avoid it, but that is the 'will to be' and not a fear.
 
I think you are too hierarchical to imply complexity has precedence over simple elemental
Reality is heirarchical. It can't be anything else. The simple must be finally complex and the complex must be finally simple. We are used to think of a hierarchy as flowing only in one direction. It is a spectrum and the flow is both ways. Both imperatives function in the notion of evolution - but that idea may take some effort to make it stick.

In human terms the family trumps the individual and the tribe trumps the family - and so on. But the individual is not invalidated - only transformed. The individual remains, but the context evolves. This is an important idea. It is context or environment that stimulates evolutionary impulses. What is inherent in the individual is responsiveness and what is inherent in the environment are the imperatives to respond.

If you have the inclination, read Siedentop's Inventing the Individual. Its a good guide.
 
I know the 'fear of death' dogma dominates evolutionary thought, but nobody pauses to ask how a primal organism can formulate such a notion. Fear of death requires an existential awareness.

The esoteric science tradition offers the idea of a 'will to be' that is inherent in all entities - but more precarious in a worm compared to a stone. It is the precariousness of being that drives a more dynamic awareness of being. So a butterfly is more acutely aware than a riverstone.

Life isn't about fear - one of the terrible messages of the Christian/atheistic mentality (and do not imagine they are separate). It is about affirmation of being. If you examine the natural world carefully you will find courage, and never fear.

Fear of death is a Christian invention embraced by atheists. Its a myth and a lie beyond that. Biological agents have a natural and necessary aversion to death, but its not a fear.

Materialists claim that religion was invented as an antidote to the fear of death. But that is a ludicrous notion to anybody exposed to anthropology.

I do not fear death. I know it will come sooner rather than later. My body does not welcome the idea, but it is not afraid. It is naturally and properly averse to the idea.

Fear of death is a Christian/atheist fantasy. No religion has been based on it. Our bodies must be averse to death and act to avoid it, but that is the 'will to be' and not a fear.
The will to be, yes that's strong and emotions are seen as weak. Anticipating death in the long term could lead to fear, and there must be some motivating force causing the reflex response to maintain life when death is imminent. But I too am not afraid to die, almost welcome it on some days, but that's more a neutral state of indifference. Life is averse to Death because they are opposites.

Perhaps being from a white culture I am tainted with it's fundamental negativity, tho I am staunch anti-christian and agree they have used that four-letter word a lot.
 
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