Materialistic science makes us feel less human. He thinks the arts can change that |304|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I think the problem here is that people on BOTH sides of these divides can hurt at the same time. I remember a Muslim lady explaining how she winced every time the news reported that a bomb went off in case it was a Muslim who did it. Conversely, if you knew someone in the Paris massacre you would also hurt.

    I don't think encouraging mass immigration is a kind thing to do.

    I also think that encouraging a vague sense of collective guilt for what our ancestors did, is both wrong and counter-productive.

    Wrong because responsibility really has to be personal - we weren't even born at the time, and our ancestors (most of them) had no say whatever in what went on.

    Counter-productive because guilt seems to motivate some crazy policies - like CAGW.

    I don't think politics and spirituality mix very well.

    David
     
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  2. Well one could ask if everyone - white or not - who enjoys the fruits of past historical suffering needs to address this "karmic debt" in some fashion?

    At least where historical suffering is connected to present day suffering?

    I mean politics is an extension of moral sentiments which do seem to fall under spirituality? I mean this is one of the reasons I have trouble taking with some of the mystic, NDE-as-force-for-Good stuff - though this might just be ignorance on my part? Has there been any major civil rights movement driven by NDEs, or historically have NDEs played little role in such matters?

    I guess if one realizes it's all a game of no consequence that result in a removal from such concerns...but then chiding materialism for elimination of moral weight in any action would be unfair?

    OTOH one might argue moral systems of the West, arguably humanism being the most dependent, sprang at least partially from Plato's work which is a lot of mysticism that includes at least one NDE to my knowledge.

    edit: Also all the Greek Mystery stuff which seems to parallel NDEs in some ways?
     
  3. Chefjames

    Chefjames New

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    Alex,
    Be glad to. I do have his email. Thanks again for doing the interview with me on KSGF a few months back. Just sorry the producer had booked a bunch of other nonsense without telling me. Hope you can do it again and we can spend a full hour.
    As to volunteerism, yes. It's a freakin long shot that anything like such a system would be established as the norm, at least in the near future. Having said that, it doesn't make the philosophy any less attractive to me and there are aspects of it, particularly the Principle of Non-aggression that I can practice on my own.
    I was led to it by much the same path that we discussed; finding problems with the MS narrative, a seemingly blatant disregard for "evidence" if it doesn't fit a certain world view, regardless of what topic one is discussing. Also a resolute conviction that the "State" as it exists, doesn't serve the interests of its citizens. It's serves the interests of an elite few and pretends to care about the rest of us. That's why the state is the WORST vehicle for addressing racism. I'm all for individuals be proactive in pointing out injustice; after all, volunteerism and the NAP stipulate that no person has the right to harm another; in any manner.
    I'll reach out Russell. Another guy you might consider is Brett Voilette who does the "School Sucks Podcast". Sounds elementary but is an incredibly cerebral show. With over 400 episodes and being highest ranked "education" podcast, Brett explains the ideas of volunteerism or "liberty" as it is sometimes called better than most. I first heard Dr. Russell on his show. I think you would find it fascinating and quite entertaining!
     
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  4. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I think by and large the only people who enjoyed the fruits of past suffering were the very wealthy - slave owners, the people nowadays that make profits out of cheap labour of various sorts etc. The rich countries developed first, if anything, we probably owe our comfort to the discomfort of our own forebears!

    The thing that matters most to me - that I think Chefjames alludes to - is that policies built on past guilt tend to be rotten policies. CAGW, development aid that doesn't reach those who need it, or impoverishes local farmers because they are undercut by the aid, a feeling that we should let everyone into Europe and to hell with the consequences, etc etc.

    David
     
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  5. I don't know - I live in the US and live relatively well, at least in the sense the system has afforded me a comfortable enough life. But the historical forces that put this system into place are based partially on past injustice.

    Those injustices affect people of different races today - do I suffer from some karmic debt to those people?

    The problem is only compounded when one considers India's history, or the general global history that allows the current system to exist. I'm not saying I have a definitive right answer, but it does seem once we remove the race-specific attribution of responsibility the question still remains?

    On the question of good or bad policies, I suspect this requires a more in depth examination of policies in their historical context which I don't know enough about. Admittedly politics doesn't interest me as much as the more meta-level questions as those connect more easily to NDEs and other parapsychological stuff.
     
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  6. Steve

    Steve Member

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    I wasn't thinking about the past particularly, it is a problem now.

    I think it may not matter what the actual deeds of our ancestors were, but it may be that just going along with things in our heads is enough, encouraging deeds consciously or subconsciously.

    Eventually I think we'll come to realise that spirituality must form the basis of everything we do, including politics.
     
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  7. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Here's a question: are there in fact 20 times more black women diagnosed with AIDS (regardless of whether that diagnosis is actually correct) than white women? If so, wouldn't that statistic be genuine and have nothing to do with racism? Might it be no more racist to say that than, say, white women are X times more likely to be affluent?

    Fact is, it might not be racist: it might simply be the truth, without making value judgements. Trouble is, political correctness is a pernicious doctrine of our times that can and often does override truth telling. There's an example in the UK where gangs of Muslim Asian taxi drivers were grooming white teenagers and sexually abusing them in Rotherham, Yorkshire. This was a fact, but it was politically incorrect to say it, and this delayed action being taken against them.

    I don't actually know how how much truth there is in the statement that black women are 20 times more likely to get AIDS. But if it is true, then it's not racist to say it--put another way, truth is a perfect defence against libel.
     
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  8. malf

    malf Member

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    Here are the raw stats from the CDC for 2014. Take from them what you will.

    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/racialethnic/africanamericans/
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  9. No. Materialism cannot explain the evolution of artistic thinking. Since humans in all cultures have the capacity for art, that capacity must have existed in the earliest human ancestor. But what survival value could the ability to appreciate a symphony (or higher mathematics) have had to early humans?

    But it is not just human artistic expression that is a problem for materialism, beauty in nature is also a problem for materialism. To a materialist, human artistic expression is just one aspect of beauty in nature that needs to be explained.


    15:14
    Human language is so complex and nuanced that it has become impossible to simulate perfectly in even the most advanced intelligent machines as any simple conversation with Siri will show. Human language is varied and textured, adapted to both concrete and abstract conversation across every people group and culture. What makes human language so intriguing is not just a great variety of different languages but their underling similarities. Despite superficial differences, human languages share deep structural similarities. This is why an Australian aborigine can learn German despite the many differences between German and the languages of the Australian Aborigines. The fact that humans, no matter what part of the world they're from, share both language and equivalent higher intellectual faculties means that these abilities must have arisen in the earliest human ancestor and that poses a problem. The capability to compose a symphony understand advanced mathematics or discuss abstract ideas would not have been of any survival value for early man. His needs were shelter and food. The idea primitive man needed our current linguistic or other higher intellectual abilities to survive is untenable. Nevertheless early man must have had this capability because it was passed down to every human in every part of the world. Even today things like art literature or music are understood to be valuable not for survival or reproduction but for their own sake. Such capacities reach far beyond the algorithm of natural selection. They're excessive, superfluous, even a gift. Their very existence is completely incomprehensible if humans are solely the result of Darwinian forces. The case that human language developed step by step through natural selection is further weakened by the fact that no single language gene has ever been discovered. That is the needed complexities seem to have arisen spontaneously in a self organizing emergent fashion.​
     
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  10. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    Trigger warning: racial humor

    I was going to say something about art and consciousness, but I am too weak after all the blood loss from the self-flaggelation to pay for my white guilt.

    But seriously.. The documentary Maafa 21 exposes the real white racists and architects of the black genocide.

    Any discussion of modern western racism that doesn't start with a discussion of Eugenics is actually creating more racism and is a divide and conquer tactic. It's like taking a knife and digging around in your hand for a splinter without ever actually removing the splinter.
     
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  11. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Yes, and that statistic might make people think a bit about Henry Bauer's theory of AIDS, and the fact that the HIV test throws up some strange false positives:
    http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Q191739.html

    See also Henry Bauer's website. If having just had flu can make you react positive to this test, just how specific is it?

    Taking your Rotherham example. Imagine yourself as a decent Muslim, would you really have wanted the PC brigade to cover up the truth about what was going on in so many UK cities? This PC policy, to which I am sure the BBC contributed, not only damaged a lot of kids, but has also done irreparable harm to the image of Muslims - much as something similar has wrecked the image of Catholic priests.

    Or let's take another example of PC - LGBT - where the T stands for Transgender. I don't know how exactly the campaign for equality for gays and lesbians (which I support) suddenly got extended to include transgender people. As a result we see some quite young children coming out as transgender! Am I the only person who thinks this is an awful development?

    Getting back to your point Michael, yes I agree, there is a frightening tendency for the PC brigade to hide the facts that don't fit with their message.

    I agree with Michael - PC has gone way too far, and is causing a great deal of harm.

    David
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
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  12. I think it would only be a problem if there's a misdiagnosis?

    It seems scientifically there are some younger kids with gender confusion, and some whose brains do seem to resemble the other gender?

    That's my understanding, though this is only from a cursory glance at the issue.

    Historically, I do think there were trans people always involved with the LGBT movement?
     
  13. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Right - but once something gets defined as a right, rather than something that needs some sort of counselling, people get channelled into something that they may well grow out of. Also, I can't help but feel there is some overlap between gay people and transgender people - someone might decide to live as a gay rather than actually get operated on. I know a man who did make the transition, and before it was done many of us were trying to persuade him that there were less drastic alternatives. I suggested he simply live as a gay. From the way he responded, I couldn't help feeling he didn't want to be thought of as gay - probably because he was brought up in a time when homosexuality was practically unmentionable.

    Also, maybe men who felt some urge to be women found positive roles in society - such as ballet dancers, or dress designers - without actually undergoing drastic surgery.

    Even the word 'diagnosis' seems a bit too precise to cover phenomena like this.

    Once we translate problems into rights and PC, we can drastically oversimplify them.

    David
     
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  14. Michael2

    Michael2 New

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    Hi David, in one sense I agree with you that "collective guilt" is counter-productive, but only when that guilt isn't faced up to, dealt with, and resolved in the national context. Here I'm thinking primarily of my own experience in the German context of the holocaust, the reparations, and the many individual attempts to deal with that guilt in a national context, i.e. driving the national awareness and discussion of the reality of what happened in an attempt to move past the sense of collective guilt. In this sense, collective guilt can be positive, but only if it drives an actual reconcilliation with the past in order to break the psychological connection with the actions of our ancestors.

    Below is a link to an Australian study that looks at both the negative and positive aspects of collective guilt in the context of the historical impacts of colonization on the Aboriginal society and the subsequent attempts to deal with the historical reality in a collective national context.

    The conclusion the study arrives at is this:
    http://www.academia.edu/3615182/Pos...al_injustice_and_the_Australian_settler_state
     
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  15. Alex

    Alex New

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    great insights... had not thought of this in this way before... thx :)

    re wrong/personal... take your point into the ancestral spirit realm (e.g. Dan Cohen)... makes much more sense... makes it personal (to your point).

    also, from a reincarnation standpoint it's downright silly.

    re counter-productive... I really like your CAGW connection. guilt seems to be a primary tool for the culture shapers :)
     
  16. Alex

    Alex New

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    cool, but seems to me that the mismatch comes with the first part... i.e. politics is a control mechanism that masquerades as an extension of moral sentiments which do seem to fall under spirituality.
     
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  17. Alex

    Alex New

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    thx on both Chef :)

    how's Springfield? BTW is there a link to the first interview... I never had a chance to listen.

    good point. and I'm sure glad that folks like you are out there pounding this drum. if enough people get on board the spirit/intention of volunteerism will work its way into the system.

    [/QUOTE]Another guy you might consider is Brett Voilette who does the "School Sucks Podcast". Sounds elementary but is an incredibly cerebral show. With over 400 episodes and being highest ranked "education" podcast, Brett explains the ideas of volunteerism or "liberty" as it is sometimes called better than most. I first heard Dr. Russell on his show. I think you would find it fascinating and quite entertaining![/QUOTE]
    sounds like another great suggestion. I will email you.
     
  18. Alex

    Alex New

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    the problem (as both you and I both pointed out) is with the connection between HIV and AIDS and the testing for HIV. so I think the UN is reporting HIV #s.
     
  19. Alex

    Alex New

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    nice. but (I say "but," but this is not necessarily at odds with what you're saying) I also remember (no link... maybe someone has the link) an analysis of the way So Africa handled their amnesty program after Apartheid versus the was Rwanda handled their genocide. the conclusion was that it's best to wipe the slate clean (no matter how messy) and start being the society you want to be.
     
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  20. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    They are probably equating AIDS with HIV. Maybe, for God knows what reason (nothing to do with actual AIDS--could be their physiology, for example), black people test positive for HIV more frequently. That could simply be the truth; I mean, I don't know, but to say it is racist when it could be the truth is knee-jerk PC. And why does PC come into play? Because the likely inference--if you believe HIV = AIDS--is either that black people are more promiscuous, or they have less protected sex and therefore are more stupid.

    In actuality, if HIV ≠ AIDS, it doesn't make a blind bit of difference whether blacks are more promiscuous or have less protected sex: so there's nothing to be PC about, is there? In which case, it would be a case of mock PC based on a myth that in itself rests on the PC assumption that HIV = AIDS.

    PC is an abomination. It screws up rational thinking. All that is required is that people are allowed to tell the truth as they see it without fear or favour. The point about PC is that it is a weapon frequently used to try to shut people up in the face of views that, for whatever reason, are deemed unpalatable.

    Bugger unpalatability and wanting to suppress information lest it offend delicate sensibilities. Let people say whatever they want to say (regardless of whether it's true or not), let supporting evidence speak for itself, and let people draw their own conclusions. PC doesn't actually work, in any case: it doesn't stop people saying the unsayable. At best, it just makes them careful who they say it to.
     

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