The Futility of Reason

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Dalek Prime
Posts: 4922
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:48 am
Location: Living in a tree with Polly.

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Dalek Prime »

Nick, quit whining. Reason from a firm base does not fail. The failure is in your reason, and/or your base.
User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4389
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Greta »

Reflex wrote:Nick: Greta's post is an an example why I have little hope that meaningful discourse in this day and age can take place. It represents a superficiality that kills the spirit and blinds people to the possibility od higher truths, higher realities, than what we currently enjoy.
Talk about a sore loser. If you were more inclined to reason you wouldn't rely on cheap slurs. You would instead respond with relevant discourse. Yes, I didn't mention "relatively" but that doesn't change much in context because "facts" are changing at an unprecedented rate at present.

Speaking of natural dynamics is life affirming, utterly positive, and it leads directly to love and understanding. By contrast, you have just demonstrated exactly the kind of post that kills the spirit. It was mean and its only intent was to hurt.

Meanwhile, the qualia "knowledge argument" is not actually your "insight". It's based on well-known 34 year-old thought experiment. Whatever, we all know that direct experience can tell us things that unadorned information cannot.

Besides, I've had significant peak experiences myself so you can't play the "higher truths" game with me. I've been there. The Holy Joe game you're playing with Nick is not about spirituality but ego and theistic politics. It's always a little amusing and a little sad to see people showing such pride their "spiritual development" due to their knowledge of "higher truths" that lesser beings cannot understand.

As for our "higher truths" we are going to seem terribly primitive to the more advanced beings of the future. Not much to be proud about.
Reflex
Posts: 951
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Reflex »

I'm sorry you are offended, Greta, but "significant peak experiences" or not, you have not touched upon the question at hand. Case in point:
Religion alone can speak of the meaning of life. For "meaning" signifies that it is we who are addressed here, - this is the point to which science cannot advance. That is why in science's language about the meaning of life one can only say with Bohr: "The meaning of life consists in that it is meaningless to assert that life has no meaning". Science offers so little comfort for that reason. But exactly that insight offers enough comfort to the wise person who has come to know that all ideas through which we seek to fathom life's meaning circle back to the point where they started. ~~ Werner Heisenberg
The point is, almost every one of us is looking for meaning and well-being everywhere except the most obvious and closest place: the center of one’s consciousness. The problem is that we are aware not only of a conscious core, but also of the many peripheral sensations, thoughts, and emotions -- and peak experiences -- scattered throughout the consciousness. There is no end to the number of different "somethings," and reason is simply overwhelmed by them all.

There is no TRUTH that reason can capture; no TRUTH that exists somewhere, having a definite form and specific content; no TRUTH that everyone will recognize if only found; no TRUTH reason can embrace and thereby solve all our problems.
Reflex
Posts: 951
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Reflex »

Dalek Prime wrote:Nick, quit whining. Reason from a firm base does not fail. The failure is in your reason, and/or your base.
This post, too, is an an example why I have little hope that meaningful discourse in this day and age can take place. Whose "firm base"? Why do you assume there is such a thing?

Measurement is discrete, whereas what we measure is continuous. In other words, the tools we reason with (be it mathematics or spoken language), define in discrete terms, whereas what we measure, whether subatomic particles (waves) or the complexity of a human’s behavior, is continuous, so it can never be precisely defined. Not because reason is inadequate, but because the more precise the measurement, the closer it approximates the indefinite continuous substratum of existence.
User avatar
attofishpi
Posts: 4229
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:10 am
Location: Orion Spur
Contact:

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by attofishpi »

Reflex wrote:Measurement is discrete, whereas what we measure is continuous. In other words, the tools we reason with (be it mathematics or spoken language), define in discrete terms, whereas what we measure, whether subatomic particles (waves) or the complexity of a human’s behavior, is continuous, so it can never be precisely defined. Not because reason is inadequate, but because the more precise the measurement, the closer it approximates the indefinite continuous substratum of existence.
...and this is where one needs to actually comprehend the essence of God - at the point where the universe is indivisible further beyond a binary position - either there is an event or there isn't. Time at its base level is God.
User avatar
attofishpi
Posts: 4229
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:10 am
Location: Orion Spur
Contact:

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by attofishpi »

Nick_A wrote:1 Corinthians 2: 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

If this is true it reveals the futility of human reason for answering the question of God other than theoretically. Only the Spirit of wholeness can reveal the truth to the essence of human being. But how to open to the spirit that can reveal the truth beyond what dualistic reason is capable of?
Reason is far from futile - in fact it is essential when God 'tests' you - especially to the degree that it has in dealings with me.
Dalek Prime
Posts: 4922
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:48 am
Location: Living in a tree with Polly.

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Dalek Prime »

Reflex wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:Nick, quit whining. Reason from a firm base does not fail. The failure is in your reason, and/or your base.
This post, too, is an an example why I have little hope that meaningful discourse in this day and age can take place. Whose "firm base"? Why do you assume there is such a thing?

Measurement is discrete, whereas what we measure is continuous. In other words, the tools we reason with (be it mathematics or spoken language), define in discrete terms, whereas what we measure, whether subatomic particles (waves) or the complexity of a human’s behavior, is continuous, so it can never be precisely defined. Not because reason is inadequate, but because the more precise the measurement, the closer it approximates the indefinite continuous substratum of existence.
There is thought and there are things. That is a firm base. Do you disagree? What else is next to certain?
Nick_A
Posts: 5203
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A »

D P wrote: There is thought and there are things. That is a firm base. Do you disagree? What else is next to certain?
But what if the origin of thought and things is what Plato called the “Good.” How does reason reveal it other than theoretically? Even more important, how does a person experience it which is the goal of philosophy as the love of wisdom and the essence of religion?

This is what I mean by the “Good.”

http://www.scandalon.co.uk/philosophy/plato_good.htm
User avatar
attofishpi
Posts: 4229
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:10 am
Location: Orion Spur
Contact:

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by attofishpi »

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4389
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Greta »

Reflex wrote:I'm sorry you are offended, Greta
Not offended, just noting a post that was designed purely to hurt - from someone complaining about toxicity in others. Fortunately, I'm not obliged to actually be hurt on cue just because someone's has "a little moment". If you wish to apologise, best to apologise to yourself for letting yourself down.
Religion alone can speak of the meaning of life.
Big statement, not true. Religions (plural), when cherry-picked by reasonable people, can provide some nice ideas about life, but that's as good as it gets.

Religious types actually never talk about the meaning of life because once you scratch the surface you arrive at a philosophical brick wall: "God works in mysterious ways". That is not an explanation of life's meaning; it just brings us back to my preferred position on the matter, ie. admitting that if there is meaning to life beyond that which we generate in our own personal lives, we don't know it.
For "meaning" signifies that it is we who are addressed here, - this is the point to which science cannot advance. That is why in science's language about the meaning of life one can only say with Bohr: "The meaning of life consists in that it is meaningless to assert that life has no meaning". Science offers so little comfort for that reason. But exactly that insight offers enough comfort to the wise person who has come to know that all ideas through which we seek to fathom life's meaning circle back to the point where they started. ~~ Werner Heisenberg
If you think that an ineffable universal spirit who moves in mysterious ways is the meaning of life, good luck with it. Aside from practical mod cons (which should not to be taken for granted BTW), science delivers enormous comfort and interest when it takes us closer to nature - as opposed to the usual relentless focus on the human world. Science provides comfort, fascination and hope. Without science we are doomed. With science, humans can persist and hopefully continue developing.
Reflex wrote:The point is, almost every one of us is looking for meaning and well-being everywhere except the most obvious and closest place: the center of one’s consciousness.

The problem is that we are aware not only of a conscious core, but also of the many peripheral sensations, thoughts, and emotions -- and peak experiences -- scattered throughout the consciousness. There is no end to the number of different "somethings," and reason is simply overwhelmed by them all.
I would think that depends on the individual. Not everyone has the same impulse control or centredness. Rest assured, reason is not always "overwhelmed"l, hence its flourishing.
Reflex wrote:There is no TRUTH that reason can capture; no TRUTH that exists somewhere, having a definite form and specific content; no TRUTH that everyone will recognize if only found; no TRUTH reason can embrace and thereby solve all our problems.
And there's certainly no more truth in the superstitious writings of primitives and goat herders of the Iron Age than in the studies conducted today.

Kant pointed out that noumena - the things in themselves - are inaccessible, and the best we can do is accept (or not) the phenomena. Get used to it, champ, or you'll drive yourself batty :lol:
User avatar
Lacewing
Posts: 4128
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:25 am

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Lacewing »

Reflex wrote:There is no TRUTH that reason can capture; no TRUTH that exists somewhere, having a definite form and specific content; no TRUTH that everyone will recognize if only found; no TRUTH reason can embrace and thereby solve all our problems.
Greta wrote:And there's certainly no more truth in the superstitious writings of primitives and goat herders of the Iron Age than in the studies conducted today.
No ultimate truth anywhere. No ultimate truth for all. Truth is a human construct of infinite variability.
Reflex
Posts: 951
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Reflex »

I know you don't like me, Lacewing, but watch this video anyway. You won't be disappointed. I promise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLoJYY_YmPo
Last edited by Reflex on Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reflex
Posts: 951
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Reflex »

Greta wrote: And there's certainly no more truth in the superstitious writings of primitives and goat herders of the Iron Age than in the studies conducted today.
And there is certainly no more truth in the studies conducted today than in the superstitious writings of primitives and goat herders of the Iron Age. Truth is not the mere accumulation of facts.
Kant pointed out that noumena - the things in themselves - are inaccessible, and the best we can do is accept (or not) the phenomena. Get used to it, champ, or you'll drive yourself batty.
Thus Kant, that great champion of reason, asserted that the most important fact about reason is that it is clueless about reality.

You and Kant said so yourselves.
Last edited by Reflex on Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
uwot
Posts: 5028
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:21 am

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by uwot »

Reflex wrote:
Greta wrote: And there's certainly no more truth in the superstitious writings of primitives and goat herders of the Iron Age than in the studies conducted today.
And there is certainly no more truth in the studies conducted today than in the superstitious writings of primitives and goat herders of the Iron Age.
As the great Richard Feynman pointed out, all we know is what is wrong. Like many scientists, he took Popper seriously. We know, for instance, that the biblical account of creation is wrong. Even if god did create the universe, he didn't do it in the way Genesis suggests. There was no global flood, although the ubiquity of such stories suggests that there were ancestral stories that related to the end of the last ice age, when the straits of Gibraltar and the Bosporus were breached and the Mediterranean and Black Sea resulted, a process that might well have taken 40 days. There is no archaeological evidence of Exodus, etc, etc.
Reflex wrote:Truth is not the mere accumulation of facts.
No, but Lacewing pretty much nailed it.
Reflex wrote:
Kant pointed out that noumena - the things in themselves - are inaccessible, and the best we can do is accept (or not) the phenomena. Get used to it, champ, or you'll drive yourself batty.
Thus Kant, that great champion of reason, asserted that the most important fact about reason: that it is clueless about reality.

You and Kant said so yourselves.
All science really has to say about 'reality' is that it is that which is responsible for the phenomena. What reality is, is anyone's guess, but the only people who claim to know are fools or nutters.
Nick_A
Posts: 5203
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A »

Reflex you seem to be the only one here open to the idea that fragmentation which science concerns itself with obscures meaning rather than revealing it. This is the beginning of the moral project for C I R E T which I previously linked to but will do again. I find it hopeful that there are those who understand the relationship between science and the essence of religion who share on the means to connect them.

http://ciret-transdisciplinarity.org/index_en.php
We are witnessing an unprecedented revolution engendered by the fundamental sciences and in particular by physics and biology. This revolution is overturning conventional ideas of logic, epistemology and day to day life as a consequence of its technological developments. It is vital to recognize the existence of a considerable discrepancy between the new vision of the world which is emerging from the study of natural systems and the values which predominate in the social sciences and in the life of modern society; values based, to a large extent, upon mechanical determinism, positivism or nihilism. This discrepancy is extremely harmful and harbours the threat of destruction of our species. It is essential to seek the underlying causes, to reflect upon possible remedies and to try to put these into operation.

One of the obvious causes of this discrepancy is the fragmentation of knowledge. Extreme specialisation is a necessary evil since it helps to accelerate the acquisition of knowledge, but it leads, at the same time, to a darkening of meaning. On the one hand the fragmentation leads man to see himself as a stranger in a world invaded by an incomprehensible complexity. On the other hand it causes a rupture between the organs of reflexion and those of decision-making in society. Thereby are thrown open the doors to absurdity, to non-sense, to violence and to implacable dynamic of self-destruction...........................................
Post Reply