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Messages - Imposition

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Interzone / Re: The way things are - The way things ought to be
« on: February 17, 2014, 07:27:36 PM »
You know what else is overrated? Science. Seems like the more people attempt to explain and hypothesize everything, the further they get from experiencing anything and, hence, knowing anything. Seems like a lot of effort to do a bunch of insane stuff. I think that humans "know" way too much nowadays in general. Information overload. I say stop analyzing everything; it is best to know what is necessary in order to live successfully, and no more.

If it wasn't for the science you deride, you wouldn't be able to have the time, equipment, and safety/comfort to enjoy a piece of Bach's, or a zen session. So you're experiences would be limited. So perhaps things balance out in the end, hey?

Interzone / Re: The way things are - The way things ought to be
« on: February 17, 2014, 06:05:10 PM »
No. None of that rings any bells. But I see, as usual, science desperately trying to get something it probably has almost no hope of understanding, down to a 'pat' little formula. Science is famous for this.

 ;) Science has raised many more questions than it has answered, for me.

This would be my way of characterizing the feeling, without 'processing' it verbally. Maybe you will appreciate this attempt!


Interzone / Re: The way things are - The way things ought to be
« on: February 17, 2014, 05:49:57 PM »
No, that's fine. But that is nothing like the way things are for me.
I know when I am thinking. I see thoughts. Hear them.
Thus I notice, easily enough, their absence.
What is abundantly clear to me, now, after years of writing about all of this, is that pretty much nobody has any idea of what I am talking about. Some are able to take it at face value and leave it alone, but those are few.

I cannot argue with your experiences. Descartes understood why this is so.

This is not meant to debunk your views, I am thinking perhaps you might be synesthesic?


Interzone / Re: The way things are - The way things ought to be
« on: February 17, 2014, 05:47:26 PM »
You're missing the objective judgement of what is good and what is right because no human possesses the faculty to make such a call.

By what authority do you claim to know what all humans are capable or not capable of?
This is one of those examples of how one human judges the capabilities of all humans by what he, himself, is capable or not capable of.

On the authority that no human ever has produced a definite statement of absolute truth with regards to objective right and wrong.

Beyond that. Humans lack the perspective to see the full range of effects which radiate from every action as well as the effects that affect those actions. We can't even recall every moment our short lives.

It's only the hubris of the modern era that allows for the suggestion that everything can be reduced to level that it can be grasped by the human intellect. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that we believe the human intellect is so powerful that it can grasp everything.

Careful, my friend, in all good spirits, be careful.

There is a sense in which the 'modern era' is more humble than other eras. In older times, people thought they would pass judgement over the entire cosmos, it's origins, it's purpose and its operation.

Now, we understand sources of human fallibility, and we construct systems of knowledge that make corrections for this (peer review, experimental standards, and so on). We admit doubt, and by doing so, learn more.

And this relates to our other discussion: the failure to mitigate environmental damage is not the fault of modern 'knowledge' - in the sense of a set of ontological beliefs about the cosmos - it is the fault of human willpower, political structures, moral 'knowledge' and psychological denial. Only 'enlightened' humanity will survive through its environmental crisis - using technology and know-how. Or we will perish.

Interzone / Re: The way things are - The way things ought to be
« on: February 17, 2014, 05:30:51 PM »
Try looking at what you, and nearly everybody else does, as processing.
What is processing, anyway?
You take something - in the raw - and change it into something else. Usually for ease, or convenience. You do this via desire. Desire for a result that the original thing does not seem to supply. Think Kraft Cheese Slices. It bears very little resemblance to actual cheese. And that is what happens with mental processing. You end up with an understanding based upon what you have done to the original data, but not the original data, itself.
My one point is this:
Suspending intellect, you get a clear picture of things as things are, rather than what you have turned them into, by processing them. This I learned from a crow.
Call it intuition, or instinct, or whatever you feel comes closest. But whatever it is, it isn't intellect.
We are taught, early on, to process everything and subject it to intellect.
But what is the consequence of that?

Hmmm, but even the very simple act of perceiving something (like a crow), even before all processing, as you call it, is changing it from something that it is (particles, and their properties organised in a specific way to produce crow-behaviour) to something that it is not (light waves - and then, electrical signals in our brains).

I think the only way we come to know that this is the case, is via what you're calling 'processing': higher-level, analytical thought!

So by suspending intellect, we do not get a clearer picture of what things really are like, we are, as Plato would have thought, deceived. (And weren't you using analytic processing to get across your own point just now?) I know you're not going to like this, and it is not meant to challenge your worldview, as much to offer my own.

There is of course a big danger is being too analytic, and too intellectual. But what makes us special is that we can switch between these modes, when each is appropriate. When you look at a crow, or the stars, or a beautiful naked woman, you don't want to be thinking analytically all the time. But when it comes to knowing 'things-in-themselves' - then we don our Newton, Einstein, Watson or Crick hats and bow to the mystery (and then sometimes this forces you to stop thinking analytically - for sometimes it is too incredible to put 2 and 2 together and think of yourself as a manifestation of charges and particles. Sometimes you just need to sit and exist without-thinking).

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: February 17, 2014, 05:14:24 PM »
There is a distinction, Imposition, between the categorical definition of Atheism and the ideologies of Ages of Rationalism that are categorically atheist.


I said Progress no longer fits reality. Big distinction.

You misunderstood my comments on science so I can't really address any more of what you wrote.

Is the idea something like this: progress doesn't fit reality because progress is leading to environmental destruction? Is the difference this: i was talking about the accuracy of scientific statements and their ability to refer to things in the world, where you were talking about the consequences of science - down the track?

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 29, 2014, 05:53:06 PM »
I find people interesting, and their beliefs interesting. If we don't agree at least we can understand why we don't, which is more than most substantial debates in polite society achieve.

I think it's pretty obvious that the core ideology of modern atheism, Progress, no longer fits reality.

If you would like to keep the conservation going (as I personally would rather discuss cool, big picture stuff like this than other topics), you are going to have to explain this to me.

Atheism, I would have thought, is simply the belief that the God of theism (a supernatural agent/person) does not exist. It might also include the belief that reality is better explained via physicalism. The evangelical endeavors of the 'new-atheist' movement is its own thing. 'Progress' is vague ideological trapping that gets associated with atheism - due to proximity rather than the conceptual meaning of 'atheism'.

Both of these beliefs (a-theism, physicalism) are better born out by the success of science/naturalistic philosophy than their opposites (supernaturalism/dualism)... so how does atheism no longer fit with reality? I would have though theism no longer fits reality, from the perspective of true beliefs.

I throw heavily into question the greater ontology/cosmology that modern science has wrought simply due to the unshaken foundations I mentioned earlier that have their origins in Christendumb. Again a lot of that has to do with my understanding of the patterns of thought throughout recorded history.

Are you saying that physics is wrong because the origins of science is in finding laws of nature (which is attached to Christianity, in some vague sense)?!

And how, on earth, can it be sensible to question the ontology of modern science? As i tried to point out before, we aren't using computers, stereos, telescopes, airoplanes, medicine, etc because physical/chemical/biological 'laws' (or regularities of greater enough stability/range) in nature aren't there! We're using them all because they are!

let me know if I've misinterpreted your comments.

Metal / Re: Tormention
« on: January 29, 2014, 06:36:49 AM »
They aren't bad at stringing a coherent song together compared with others. A use of harmony sometimes too to keep a section going. However very choppy and bouncy rhythms, and the aesthetics aren't what I like. There is too much in-your-face-ness.

It is a pity much modern metal (influenced by modern hardcore?) uses violent symbolism in a purely macho way nowadays - without any poetic/mythic overtones. It has no context and thus translates into a rather wigger-like, aggressive, urban vibe - in this case penned by some fat guy with a mic who, one presumes, may be compensating for confidence issues. The clip is terrible.

Interzone / Re: Accidentally vegan
« on: January 29, 2014, 06:27:39 AM »
Did you make an account just to talk about veganism?

Haha, I think you will find that is Mr Stevens.

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 29, 2014, 12:24:39 AM »
My concern with correctness is not just for its own sake, which is what I was trying to get at in my last post. It's for the sake of realism (in a practical sense). Atheism coheres with so many other beliefs (related to the creation of technology, exploration, and science) that I think it is here to stay. Correctness? Let's talk about reality, or presence, then. Atheism is present.

How do we deal with it, improve upon it, make it, yes... sacred?

This is probably why I'm drawn more towards listening to death metal these days, and not black metal. There is a real sense of making physicalism/nihilism meaningful there... while black metal is more mythical and traditionalist.

Eastern religions might have made more progress in making a form of monistic a-theism sacred, in a sense.

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 27, 2014, 12:25:09 AM »
Responding from a mobile device, sorry if I missed something:

I value my opinions as they are my opinions. Naturally some get discarded over time while others become reinforced, who cares though? Finding the mechanical cosmological model to be boring has little to with a matter of how accurate it is, you know. I never did share my opinion of THAT. Further, atheism is in general boring, but not useless as it tends to serve civilization rather well during certain periods until the particular movement fails to live up to its own claims. Nevertheless, on the whole it's a boring view of life IMO.

But it's mostly likely the true account. So whether we like it or not, we have to come up with interpretations of it that go above and beyond shopping, immediate gratification, and lowest common denominator culture.

I guess that the main difference between a few other folk around here and me is that they see this being achieved by conserving beliefs about reality that I cannot see working in a practical sense. Theistic, traditionalist, pagan, quasi-mystic beliefs are too antagonistic to other beliefs we now hold as a society. They will reply that, for their part, 'ascending' cultural practices, divorced from traditional beliefs about reality are just not functional, and would be like trying to grow a tree after chopping off its roots.

I'd rather not make anymore assumptions, so what do you mean by technological progress?

I think something similar to your remarks that followed. Something as normative-free as possible. Scope of, usefulness of, and depth/complexity of...

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 27, 2014, 12:19:38 AM »
The atheist mistakenly assumes that if something is not known or cannot be known theoretically, it is not worthy of belief.  Once again, a belief in only what the individual or collection of individuals think, know, perceive, or feel.  The unknown is not the same as unreal.

I largely agree with your post. I particularly agree with the general point that belief ('faith') is an essential part of being human. It is a source of energy. Despite welcoming the collapse of Xtianity, Nietzsche, for instance, wrote of the utility of belief for driving human mind to higher endeavors.

Yes but it is not *merely* utilitarian.  Belief is utterly inescapable.

Hello Jim!

Some belief is purely instrumental, if it's not true and or justified. All belief is inescapable, but only some are true and justified.
However, keep in mind that Atheists, on an underlying level, have their own faith and their own mission. They are driven by belief. You cannot 'know' (in sense of having a 100 per cent certain true belief) that the supernatural does not exist. You are simply driven, if an atheist, by the conviction that physicalism captures the stuff the cosmos.

This is not to say that most of the objective evidence does not point towards a physicalist ontology... but just that it does so probabilistically, and not with 100 per cent certainty.

The premise is simple:  the unknown is not a lesser aspect or lesser part of reality, if anything it is primary.  For every one thing that is known, there are ten things that are unknown.  What you don't know could fill a library.

Yes, the unknown is like an open ocean to an explorer, or a christian village to a Viking.

However, do not conflate the unknown with the known-probably-not-to-exist.

It is one thing, from the point of view of knowledge, to not be 'captured by human minds' because you are yet to be reached - another not to be 'captured by human minds' because you don't exist.

Something that is beyond your grasp you cannot put in a basket, alternatively you can't put what doesn't exist in your basket either.

"known-probably-not to exist"?  That is not very scientific of you.  In any event I like your analogy very much.  Yes, the unknown is like the ocean, and the known is like a tiny little island.  We are utterly surrounded by the unknown and yet we hardly think of it.  If anything, knowledge is the anomaly.  But no one thinks of it like that, do they.

Nope, it is. Science works via induction, and inductive truths are never 100 per cent certain. That only comes from deductive truths (logic) or mathematic truths.

It is a common error, or a common violation of good norms of rationality, to have 'knowledge' mean absolute certainty (unless you're a logician or mathematician!).

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 24, 2014, 12:05:22 AM »
Note: Boring is an opinion. My opinion.

It's interesting you seem to value your opinion, simply because it is yours, and seem a bit insensitive to considering one that might(?) be more accurate. Or perhaps you did consider the alternative, related to the unification, depth and reduction of modern science vs Christian ontology, but just chose not to respond. Whatever! One topic that might be worth dwelling on briefly before this discussion undergoes a well-deserved death:

Look, I don't care to debate whether you are right or wrong here. You just happen to demonstrate a strong commitment to the contemporary rationalist ideology which is entirely derivative of Christianity. This doesn't mean every detail is going to line up (this is where you attempted to show your reasoning behind your beliefs, without significant divergence mind you) but the core narrative is fixed in place.

Are you saying the Greeks did not find joy in putting the world to rational inquiry? The Egyptians?

My views are a mix between normative and descriptive. I would like to be clear:

Someone might hold the view that 'technology is here to stay'. This does not necessarily mean they buy into a narrative of linear progress - of the sort pagans apparently did not hold. I.e. some underlying metaphysical necessity producing progress.

Such a person might think technology is here to stay, not because of some underlying metaphysical narrative with causal power, but because the 'contingent' atomic, isolated, empirical facts suggest that technology will be a defining part of human life into the future - and that this has some degree of robustness (holds under some amount of changing circumstances).

For example, even if one society were to experience economic collapse (war, environmental implosion, whatever), they would pick technology back up from another. If the entire modern world were to collapse, then the survivors would probably also pick technology back up. The causal factors would still be there: the scientific method would be reformulated (in time), which, combined with a mix of inter-group hostility (arms races), materialism, inquisitiveness, interest in survival, and vanity would, I think, lead to something like technological progress again.

The idea that technological progress is likely under a variety of circumstances is not a metaphysical commitment, neither is it completely a normative one ('this is good' - although I do think exploring space, for example, is an amazing goal, and that science is unearthing amazing things). It can be a prediction, based on contingent facts about human beings that presumably will lead to similar outcomes throughout changes in local circumstances (war, environmental collapse, etc).

Metal / Re: What bands are you listening to today?
« on: January 22, 2014, 11:04:27 PM »
Can't get enough of Perdition Temple's 2010, which happened again today. Old school Morbid Angel worship at its best. Also, Lantern's 'Below' again (amazed no one else around here has enjoyed this one).

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 22, 2014, 10:31:30 PM »
Dead Last and Dawn, fair enough.

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