Secular Spirituality

For all things philosophical.

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Dubious
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Dubious » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:06 am

Greta wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:51 am
Dubious, that some indigenous societies were better or worse environmental custodians than others is to be expected.; it would be strange if they were all equally environmentally knowledgeable. The fact is that indigenous people cannot possible live on a land for thousands of years without knowing far more about it than foreign invaders. This is how humans progressed the way they did - cultural transmission of growing and evolving bodies of knowledge over generations. If we routinely ignored the learning gained by our ancestors where would we be?

Similarly, the line of hard won knowledge from ancestors, sometimes won with lives, was cut off, lost, when Europeans failed to recognise the knowledge and value of people they considered to be lesser. We will ideally be careful with what we discard from earlier cultures, to not assume that a source is always wrong because it's often misguided but rather consider the content presented and its apparent intent.

The fact is that the Mayans would not have cleared those forests except that, like the Africans today, they were left with little choice due to unprecedented drought. Today, with our historical and global knowledge, there is no excuse to behave similarly but they had no way of expecting climate change of unprecedented extremity, or at least an extremity they didn't know could happen. As an early and relatively much less developed culture it's an understandable error IMO, quite unlike the today's corrupt and self-interested implementation of pro coal and oil policies, despite the science.
Yes all very nice and you make a number of good points but the fact remains that indigenous societies are no where near as pristine toward the environment as you make out. That's a common misconception which archeology and science have long debunked.

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-1-
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by -1- » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:48 am

Clearing rain forests destroys ecosystems which may or may not be valuable for life to persevere on Earth. So it's better to leave rain forests alone for that reason: we don't know how much we destroy when we destroy them.

On the other hand, crops produce more oxygen and desctruct more carbon dioxide and water to build sugar and fibre molecules than rain forests even with the mightiest old trees around, in the same time span under similar environmental conditions. The reason is that photosynthesis happens faster, and on a larger scale on calorie-producing crops than in wild flora.

I somehow doubt that indigenous peoples of Australia had the wherewithal to psyche out the chemistry and biology involved in preserving rain forests. For starters, we don't know what were the ecosystems in the Great Western Deserts. In Africa, we know that the Sahara desert was a dense forest or Savannah, and it was pre-European agricultural and/or ship-building societies that destroyed the forests and greenery and shrubbery there, and turned it into nothing but nutrient-rich sand and bare rock.

I would say in Australia there was no agriculture before the white man landed there. I DON'T KNOW THIS FOR A FACT, SO PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG. Supposing I am not wrong, then there was no need to destroy the rain forests to gain more food. The effect was the same: the rain forests were not decimated, either because the natives had the complex insight into chemistry, biology and ecosystemics, or else they just did not see a point in doing so, because their foods would not increase in amount or quality.

I tend to believe the latter. That the aboriginals in Australia simply could not think of any reason to destroy the forests, and now we stupid white people think they had possessed some wisdom we never had or long ago have lost or forgotten. Bullycakes, I say. They just did not see they'd benefit from cutting down trees.

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Conde Lucanor
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Conde Lucanor » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:16 am

Greta wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:37 pm
Conde Lucanor wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:55 pm
... Carl Sagan, Neil DeGrasse ...
You are correct that people like Sagan and Tyson do embrace the weirdness of existence. I would consider each to be "spiritual", much more so than many who claim to be, and they are/were too open-minded to lock themselves into materialism. They never held ideologies that pre-empted science, which is what straight materialism does. Rather, they are the types who remain open to the possibility that future findings may well be surprising.
If Sagan and Tyson are not, I'm curious about who might be those straight materialists. No one comes to mind...

Dubious
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Dubious » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:01 am

I'd love to know what's spiritual about Sagan or Tyson especially the latter. What have they said or done which makes them spiritual? Tyson keeps proclaiming that humans are made of star stuff but left out the Ebola virus, cancer cells and suchlike. Everything existing in the universe, animate or inanimate was made from IT. Even stars are mostly made of star stuff.

The obvious though unacknowledged irony in this effort to make ourselves unique and important by these pronouncements is that instead we've completely leveled ourselves to everything else. The only time, meaning for most of history, that we were truly spiritual beings with special status was when we were certain that God made us with all its inclusive rituals. Being made of star stuff doesn't mean that the universe is your friend or is in any way friendly!

Where the universe is concerned, spirituality has NO definition.

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Greta
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Greta » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:41 am

Dubious wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:01 am
I'd love to know what's spiritual about Sagan or Tyson especially the latter. What have they said or done which makes them spiritual? Tyson keeps proclaiming that humans are made of star stuff but left out the Ebola virus, cancer cells and suchlike. Everything existing in the universe, animate or inanimate was made from IT. Even stars are mostly made of star stuff.
It is the deep love and passion they have for nature, that drives them deeper into learning. I agree with NDGT - he knows what I'm talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP9uBJ0Bu9s

Don't take the marvels reality for granted, take them on board :)

Belinda
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Belinda » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:04 pm

Greta wrote regarding the spiritual trait:
It is the deep love and passion they have for nature, that drives them deeper into learning.
I agree and would go further into what "deep" means . It applies to selfless passion for nature. Okay Greta?

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Conde Lucanor
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Conde Lucanor » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:44 pm

Dubious wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:01 am
I'd love to know what's spiritual about Sagan or Tyson especially the latter. What have they said or done which makes them spiritual? Tyson keeps proclaiming that humans are made of star stuff but left out the Ebola virus, cancer cells and suchlike. Everything existing in the universe, animate or inanimate was made from IT. Even stars are mostly made of star stuff.

The obvious though unacknowledged irony in this effort to make ourselves unique and important by these pronouncements is that instead we've completely leveled ourselves to everything else. The only time, meaning for most of history, that we were truly spiritual beings with special status was when we were certain that God made us with all its inclusive rituals. Being made of star stuff doesn't mean that the universe is your friend or is in any way friendly!

Where the universe is concerned, spirituality has NO definition.
I agree with you. As bright as Mr. Tyson is, it seems like he is just starting to be awakened and overwhelmed by the material reality of our existence, something that is not bad, considering that it's a necessary step in the route towards discovery and transformation. But it is just a first step, a baby step, which had to be taken at the dawn of materialism a few centuries back. Then there was the realization that all livings being had evolved from common ancestors, and that was an awakening in itself. And then ethnologist started to feel enthusiastic about the material relationships behind different cultures and their environments. And so arose a bunch of disciplines marveled by the historical evolution of that material culture, as well of the complex determinations of individual behavior and consciousness. Most likely, there were feelings of awe when anthropology, economy, sociology, psychology and many other disciplines came to life. I'm sure Mr. Tyson will arrive with awe to that phase in which one realizes that life comes from star dust, but there are other wonderful frontiers to our inquiries that surpass that basic knowledge.

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Greta
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Greta » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:43 pm

Belinda wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:04 pm
Greta wrote regarding the spiritual trait:
It is the deep love and passion they have for nature, that drives them deeper into learning.
I agree and would go further into what "deep" means . It applies to selfless passion for nature. Okay Greta?
Good question, Belinda. That's why I didn't expand on "deep" - I couldn't without being construed as just sappy and sentimental. Many mental dynamics cannot be very well communicated, and this is one of them.

I don't see that love for nature as being entirely selfless - to live is to be a killer, destroyer and thwarter of others (it's matters of degree and the gratuitousness of it that matters). Still, looking at the this kind of mindset, there is clearly enchantment with the extraordinariness of the entire edifice. There's awe in the powerful and encompassing, and curiosity. There is also compassion for, and interest in, the weak, fragile and "insignificant".

Just about everyone experiences the above at times, even if they don't use the s-word with which to describe them.

Dubious
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Dubious » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:24 am

Greta wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:41 am
Dubious wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:01 am
I'd love to know what's spiritual about Sagan or Tyson especially the latter. What have they said or done which makes them spiritual? Tyson keeps proclaiming that humans are made of star stuff but left out the Ebola virus, cancer cells and suchlike. Everything existing in the universe, animate or inanimate was made from IT. Even stars are mostly made of star stuff.
It is the deep love and passion they have for nature, that drives them deeper into learning. I agree with NDGT - he knows what I'm talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP9uBJ0Bu9s
As expected from Tyson who in this video stops thinking, surrendering to a sentiment and its feel great conclusion. He's always interesting but also a showman with an outstanding ability to impress not unlike Billy Graham; he clearly knows what side his bread is buttered on.

So if he "grabbed" me on the streets and asks "have you heard this!", I'd say "yes" but so is everything else created in the universe including ALL what may be inconceivably disgusting not to mention its total indifference to anything spiritual. So how, in what sense, would my obvious inclusion in the universe make me feel so devotional?

Personally, I think he's more impressive in the following video but even here are a few statements not difficult to counter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndj5KjKyr3E

Dubious
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Dubious » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:41 am

Conde Lucanor wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:44 pm
I'm sure Mr. Tyson will arrive with awe to that phase in which one realizes that life comes from star dust, but there are other wonderful frontiers to our inquiries that surpass that basic knowledge.
Well said, exactly what I was trying to infer!

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Greta
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Greta » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:58 am

Dubious wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:24 am
Greta wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:41 am
Dubious wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:01 am
I'd love to know what's spiritual about Sagan or Tyson especially the latter. What have they said or done which makes them spiritual? Tyson keeps proclaiming that humans are made of star stuff but left out the Ebola virus, cancer cells and suchlike. Everything existing in the universe, animate or inanimate was made from IT. Even stars are mostly made of star stuff.
It is the deep love and passion they have for nature, that drives them deeper into learning. I agree with NDGT - he knows what I'm talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP9uBJ0Bu9s
As expected from Tyson who in this video stops thinking, surrendering to a sentiment and its feel great conclusion. He's always interesting but also a showman with an outstanding ability to impress not unlike Billy Graham; he clearly knows what side his bread is buttered on.

So if he "grabbed" me on the streets and asks "have you heard this!", I'd say "yes" but so is everything else created in the universe including ALL what may be inconceivably disgusting not to mention its total indifference to anything spiritual. So how, in what sense, would my obvious inclusion in the universe make me feel so devotional?

Personally, I think he's more impressive in the following video but even here are a few statements not difficult to counter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndj5KjKyr3E
I know the video. I agree with NDGT's ideas more than I agree with those of most people.

You have, in your criticism, captured the nub of the issue - "surrendering to a sentiment". Correct! Surrendering to positive emotions is pretty well the crux of spirituality. Is the emotion directed towards mythological entities representative of certain aspects of the human character, or is it aimed towards nature? Or sporting teams, for some.

Since some of you are allergic to the dreaded s-word (ooowaaa :P ) we'll have to find another term. Alas, as with all PC accommodations, they will be more of a mouthful than the old ones, eg. "Retention of 'childish' enchantment with reality" or "Preference not to take the wonders of life for granted".

Dubious
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Dubious » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:02 am

Greta wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:58 am
Dubious wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:24 am
Greta wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:41 am

It is the deep love and passion they have for nature, that drives them deeper into learning. I agree with NDGT - he knows what I'm talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP9uBJ0Bu9s
As expected from Tyson who in this video stops thinking, surrendering to a sentiment and its feel great conclusion. He's always interesting but also a showman with an outstanding ability to impress not unlike Billy Graham; he clearly knows what side his bread is buttered on.

So if he "grabbed" me on the streets and asks "have you heard this!", I'd say "yes" but so is everything else created in the universe including ALL what may be inconceivably disgusting not to mention its total indifference to anything spiritual. So how, in what sense, would my obvious inclusion in the universe make me feel so devotional?

Personally, I think he's more impressive in the following video but even here are a few statements not difficult to counter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndj5KjKyr3E
I know the video. I agree with NDGT's ideas more than I agree with those of most people.

You have, in your criticism, captured the nub of the issue - "surrendering to a sentiment". Correct! Surrendering to positive emotions is pretty well the crux of spirituality. Is the emotion directed towards mythological entities representative of certain aspects of the human character, or is it aimed towards nature? Or sporting teams, for some.

Since some of you are allergic to the dreaded s-word (ooowaaa :P ) we'll have to find another term. Alas, as with all PC accommodations, they will be more of a mouthful than the old ones, eg. "Retention of 'childish' enchantment with reality" or "Preference not to take the wonders of life for granted".
Well, as they say "to each his own", one sentiment which is valid. As for what particular positive emotion there is in knowing that we're made of star dust is somewhat beyond me. There's also nothing wrong with the word spiritual or spirituality which to my mind is what we denote as an inflation of feeling and its far reaching empathy. We've all had it sensing an abdication of ego in the presence of some experience which seems to envelop us. It's different for each individual. What makes me feel that way is obviously very different from what turns you on. Those fortunate enough to know each other on the same level are usually called soulmates, also a good word.

Belinda
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Belinda » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:25 am

Greta suggested the following ironically but I think it is actually pretty good as a working definition of 'spirituality', a word which has connotations of New Age and unreasoning sentiments.

Greta:
"Preference not to take the wonders of life for granted".
And after all, only machines prefer with no feeling tone.

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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by -1- » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:11 am

Belinda wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:25 am
Greta:
"Preference not to take the wonders of life for granted".
And after all, only machines prefer with no feeling tone.
If things exist outside of the logical reasonable realms of knowability, they must have got here somehow. They were granted to us (although we ought not to take them from granted -- I think that means we take them as granted, but we must feel grateful for them) and if they were, then they were granted to us by something or somebody.

If these things are not products of the natural world, then they are products of the supernatural world, therefore they were given to us by supernatural agents.

Is that what you are saying, Belinda and Greta?

If indeed that is what you are saying, then you two are saying that some form of spiritualism exists that is not part of natural materialism, and bang, you are no longer in the fold of materialists. You might as well spew things like Nick_A and Attofishpi, who are the two of some of the most intelligent anti-materialists on this forum and definitely two of the most vocal ones.

Belinda
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Belinda » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:36 pm

-1- wrote:
then they were granted to us by something or somebody.
Nonsense

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