Am I doing the right thing?

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James Markham
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Re: Am I doing the right thing?

Post by James Markham »

Homegrown, I think we have different ideas of what is, or has been possible, in the evolution of humanity and what is or isn't a natural pace of social, economic, spiritual and scientific development. I also think this is mainly due to our differing evaluations and perceptions concerning the diversity of human psychology.

So for instance, you say that humanity has missed an opportunity somewhere in the past, to turn from its path of political/religious ideology, onto one of scientific progression. And what I would respond is that the opportunity you refer to never existed, there never has been a time when people were not governed by ideas and principles that were beyond the power of science to tackle coherently enough for mainstream absorption. Now your response to this I would guess to be, that society is cajoled, or corrupted into believing in and accepting certain erroneous ideals, but I don't share that opinion, what I believe, is that a mechanistic evaluation of life is what people are more likely to distrust and reject, because ultimately, the majority are governed by emotional considerations, that cannot be satisfied by any scientific understanding. Our modern western existence, is far removed from the reality of past times, and so the whole orientation of perspective possible today, in a city such as London, by an individual motivated by education and knowledge is simply incomparable to that of our ancestors, charged with the task of everyday survival. The whole concept of mainstream education, available to the masses, is one that has only been realised as possible, in the relatively recent past. If we go back a century, even in England the luxury of a full education was reserved for the more privileged. And it's not because there wasn't the desire, but simply because there was another more pressing need, living, people had more important tasks to set for their children, (such as earning money), for them to afford the ambition of higher education.

Farming, building, trading and the creation of industry has long been the preoccupation of common people, and so any advance in science has fallen to men of leisure, who had the time to invest in alchemy, geometry and mathematics, these pursuits were not likely to help support a family, so were not pursued. So I think there is a natural pace at which humanity moves, and one of the necessary steps was for enough men, to have enough money, to either practice these scientific pursuits themselves, or invest into the pursuits of others. So historically, governments that have insufficient means, have little motivation to fund research in areas unlikely to provide returns, which is why, until recently, a huge percentage of scientific research has been in areas that are detrimental. War makes money, and industry makes money, so when governments invested in them, they invested in future prosperity.

Anyway, I think the issue of what was, or what could have been, is one we will simply have to disagree upon, what interests me more is the question of what could, or what should be.

When we think about the world and it's people, it's natural to section it into, continents, country's and community, and again you may feel this is unnatural, but I don't believe it is. People are naturally concerned with, and connected to their immediate concerns, which radiate out from the family, to community, to nation and then to foreign nations, and the importance ascribed to each, along with a sense of personal responsibility, decreases in relation to distance. This is a completely natural occurrence, and is hard to dispel, so any attempt solve our global problems, would need to begin with a national movement, and escalate up to envelope international policy.


Your obviously of the opinion that a paradigm shift is an important step in the survival of humanity, but I admit I'm still slightly unsure as to the nature and degree of your proposition. So to make things a little clearer, let us take as an example the British government, and look at what accomplishments you believe it could achieve in a ten year period. So imagine you was given a free rein on the implementation of policy, how would you use a scientific understanding to better our society.
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Arising_uk
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Re: Am I doing the right thing?

Post by Arising_uk »

Here's a question for you HG.

What does your scientifically valid understanding of reality say you should do to get your ideas into practice?
homegrown
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Re: Am I doing the right thing?

Post by homegrown »

James Markham,

QUOTE: 'I think we have different ideas of what is, or has been possible, in the evolution of humanity and what is or isn't a natural pace of social, economic, spiritual and scientific development. I also think this is mainly due to our differing evaluations and perceptions concerning the diversity of human psychology.'

I have often pondered how insignificant Galileo's truth must have seemed at the time - in contradiction of the Bible, the Christian religious tradition, the majesty of the church-state, and all the European wide social, political and economic structures. Imagine if philosophynow forums had existed back then, Galileo would be on there day after day - explaining to people the fact that the earth orbits the sun infers that religious authority is not a means to establish truth. So it doesn't matter if your Bible is signed by Pope Urban himself, and says quite clearly that 'the earth is fixed in the heavens and cannot be moved.' That doesn't make it true. Whatever Galielo says however, his interlocutors consider their arguments proven, and his faulty with reference to Biblical doctrine. This is my problem. You first have to accept my argument in order to understand the truth of it.

Your line of argument seems to me 1) set in the ever present now, and 2) based upon the naturalism of the current state of affairs. But reality is temporal, and evolutionary...

You say: 'When we think about the world and it's people, it's natural to section it into, continents, country's and community, and again you may feel this is unnatural, but I don't believe it is. People are naturally concerned with, and connected to their immediate concerns, which radiate out from the family, to community, to nation and then to foreign nations, and the importance ascribed to each, along with a sense of personal responsibility, decreases in relation to distance. This is a completely natural occurrence, and is hard to dispel, so any attempt solve our global problems, would need to begin with a national movement, and escalate up to envelope international policy.'

While I'd agree, there's a difference based on proximity, for I once noted being more concerned to hear the woman next door had fallen down the stairs and broken her leg, than I was to hear about a trian crash in South America that killed 500, (both these things happened the same day in 2009) naturally, human beings are hunter-gatherers - living in kinship tribes of between 40-120, headed by an alpha male and his one or two lieutenants, who monopolize food and mating opportunities. Multi-tribal society is entirely unnatural - and could only be achieved by tribes agreeing an explicit (mis)conception of reality in common. This fact is supported by the incredibly long time delay between the 'creative explosion' and the formation of multi-tribal societies.

Creative explosion: 'If human evolution were an epic, the upper paleolithic would be the chapter where the hero comes of age. Suddenly, after millenia of progress so slow it hardly seems like progress at all, human cluture seems to take off in what the writer John Phiffer has called a 'creative explosion.' At a German site called Vogelherd, someone picked up a piece of ivory 32,000 years ago and carved an exquisite horse in miniture - mouth, flared nostrils and swollen belly all breathlessley realistic. Before Vogelherd, there were no representational horses...' (James Shreeve. 'The Neanderthal Enigma.')

The first civilizations are only in evidence from around 15,000 years ago, which implies that for at least 20,000 years - intellectually aware human beings continued running around in the forest with sharp sticks, rather than settling down to farm and invent written language. There's a large anthropological and sociological cannon dedicated to speculating upon why - human beings formed multi-tribal societies. I've always been rather more interested in the 'how' - and to short hand it, it was achieved by adopting a common concept of God the Creator. As Creator, having authority over Creation, God could serve as an (ostensibly) objective authority for law common to all tribes. The history of civilizations - (and the proliferation of alternate God concepts) unfold from this point.

But it wasn't true. God didn't actaully set down laws by which society should operate. Rather, man put words in the mouth of God, though that's a crude explanation of the co-development of theology, hierarchy and law in relation to political intrigue. The structures of societies were the consequence of these ideas, spawning horrific, unjust and bizzare arranagements and practices a plenty. Ideological ideas have compelled millons to insanities - that given the slightest distance are obviously insane, but which constitiuted the reality of those involved at the time, and rendered them blind to it from within. Rather like Galileo's pals on philosophynow - their concepts of truth, values, morals, their opinions and perspectives inherent to identities forged seeking to succeed within the social structure derived from ideological architecture; they cannot but reference prevailing ideological concepts as truth. So it is with your assumption of naturalism - and you would say the same of human scarifice if you were an Aztec, or eating the heart of your enemy if you were a Viking. All perfectly natural.

Up until 1650 - there were no nation-states. Some might argue it was 1533 - when Henry VIII split with the Church of Rome, but England wasn't recognized as a nation state, and had the Thirty Years War had a different conclusion would have remained an abberation to the Imperial norm until it was retaken. Indeed, such was the influence of the norm, almost immediately after the Treaty of Westphalia - the newly created European nation-states all went out into the world, and through an admixture of genocidal murder, rape, slavery, forced conversion to Christianity and trade, set about building Empires! So where, naturalistically, in the ever present moment, you say:

'People are naturally concerned with, and connected to their immediate concerns, which radiate out from the family, to community, to nation and then to foreign nations, and the importance ascribed to each, along with a sense of personal responsibility, decreases in relation to distance. This is a completely natural occurrence, and is hard to dispel...'

Again, naturally, people would be running around in the forests, killing the men and stealing the womenfolk of other tribes. It doesn't work to suggest nationalism is merely tribal xenophobia writ large, because everyone would know everyone else within the tribe, whereas we don't know everyone who's British. What unites a man from Cornwall with a man from Carlisle? Nothing but the religious, political and economic ideological architecture of society grown up out of the religio-political agreements that allowed for multi-tribal societies. There's a good book on this subject, entitled 'Imagined Communities' by Anderson.

There's no naturalism to where the borders are drawn. The geographical range of the nation-state is a consequence of what force exists, and the distance over which force can be effectively projected. The British lost their Empire in the Americas for that very reason. Had they been more technologically advanced, things would have been different - and you'd instead be defending the naturalism of the Crown's rule over the colonies, as they did at the time, as all perfectly natural. Today, nuclear proliferation is a matter of such concern because ideological actors can project enormous force over a huge distance. That so, the global dynamic is inferred by technological capabilities - as well as by the fact that the earth is a single planetary environment.

You ask: 'Your obviously of the opinion that a paradigm shift is an important step in the survival of humanity, but I admit I'm still slightly unsure as to the nature and degree of your proposition. So to make things a little clearer, let us take as an example the British government, and look at what accomplishments you believe it could achieve in a ten year period. So imagine you was given a free rein on the implementation of policy, how would you use a scientific understanding to better our society.'

As I've already written an enormous amount just correcting an assumption of naturalism - with regard to the nation state, I'll leave your question for now, and ask that you consider what I've said here, with a view to appreciating why it's not an entirely pertinent question. Consider first that your question assumes ideological concepts I specifically reject - which again, is like demanding Galileo show you...'where in the Bible it says that!'


A-UK,

Hello again. It's been quite a long time since we've crossed wits. How the hell are you? What a delightful invitation your question is. Should I accept? Oh, go on then. How can I say: 'Go fuck yourself' to an old friend?

You ask: "What does your scientifically valid understanding of reality say you should do to get your ideas into practice?"

I refute the implication that all my reasons must be inherent to a scientific conception of reality merely because I value truth over falsity. Accepting a scientific understanding of reality does not turn someone into a robot who can only act on the basis of logical inferences from facts. I could leave it at that - but I'll answer your question as if you'd asked it fairly. I don't know if you read the O.P. This thread is intended to discuss issues around whether I'm doing the right thing, seeking to promote an evolutionary understanding of the development of knowledge - arriving at a scientifically valid understanding of reality, given the psychotic nature of contemporary society. I know damn well you're aware I've been doing so for a good few years now - that it's always been a hard fight, just putting this idea across, and as far as I'm aware I'm getting nowhere. I also expect you remember I used to get incredibly frustrated.

So, I may aswell acknowledge that the question of whether I'm doing the right thing is merely a hook, a pretence for continued discussion of these ideas. I have to discuss them in order for people to tell me whether I'm doing the right thing. Still, the majority of people I encounter cannot understand - no matter how many ways I cross back and forth through the central point. But wisdom requires an unwise context in order to be wisdom. Once everyone understands it - it ceases to be wisdom and becomes common sense. So, I've learnt to employ determined incomprehension as a means of explaining myself - until they get as frustrated as I once would, and leave hurling insults behind them, as I once would. There are others who genuinely seek to understand - and they give me hope. Hope of what? If that's the question, does this ring any bells?

"...but I know enough I need to know to know. Things could be far better than they are for everyone.

To answer your question directly, I'm a philosopher. I have some knowledge and a little understanding of monetary economics - and found it groundless. Economics, as the tool of science makes sense; grounded in valid knowledge of reality. Technologies need to be applied for the sake of thier scientifically concieved merits - in face of the challenge we face as a species not to vanish into a pit of our own excavation, but still require designing, enginering and constructing, and on such a scale as to dismiss any initial improfitability. It requires one aspire to build like a Victorian, Roman, Egyptian...etc. With modern technology, we can explore the future.

If there are any expert feasibility studies on magmic geothermal energy technology - specifically, any reference to subduction zones would clear up a small uncertainty for me, that of just how easily accessible an effectively infinite amount of clean energy actually is. I'm betting it's very easy. If I'm right then it cannot also be right that capitalism infer efficiency, or a tragedy of the commons with which to justify private property. There are boundless energies all around us - and yet we remain prisoner to a few vital interests. The world is poor and badly developed, badly damaged and barely productive. Why? Because profit dictates, rather than follows from our choices.

Accepting a scientific understanding of reality is true we can choose to remove the worlds two largest populations from the energy/climate crises. Economic activity would be induced. I think it a far better plan economically than handing hundreds of more billions over to the banks - to stimulate economic activity by doing something necessary to any foreseeable future."

As part of this evolution in attitude I've come around to the view that it isn't for me to do anything - other than what it is that I do. I'm a philosopher. I write - exploring and describing a philosophical means by which humankind can secure the future. No-one else can do this, and I'm not as good at anything else as I am at this. If I were religious, I would say it were my 'calling.' Then again, given that I'm opposed to the established Church and intent upon saving the world - perhaps I can use the word 'calling' legitmately. Afterall, I am the Messiah! The need for this idea will become apparent to all in due course - of that there is no doubt, but I am concerned it may only become apparent too late; that humankind will have to pitch headlong into the abyss before realizing this isn't the right path. I can only keep urging you take a different path, and either you will or will not.

hg.
James Markham
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:18 pm

Re: Am I doing the right thing?

Post by James Markham »

Homegrown, as I said in my last post, we're going to have to agree to disagree on the history of epistemology, I'm still of the opinion that the spiritual development of man, is as equally important as his scientific understanding, and that one cannot replace the other. Furthermore, I believe science does, and always will, terminate in a lot of dead ends where the subjects of purpose and reasons are concerned, where as you can accept there are things you don't know, and may never know, I and a lot of other people seek inspiration elsewhere, for me it's metaphysical reasoning, but for a vast majority it's religious studies, and in the case of eastern religions, they seem to be complementary.

But anyway, you seem to be more concerned with what the future holds in terms of mans physical existence, and don't appear to attach much relevance to the human need for emotion, and the lack thereof in scientific theory. So I would still suggest your ideas for the future are a little incomplete, and that any attempt to direct the course of human development, must essentially have an aspect of spirituality. I'm not really sure how you've missed this, but like I keep repeating, most normal people have a sense that there is something more than just this life, and the more they learn about the universe, the more this sense increases. So if your plans include the idea to tell people that when their dead their dead, so enjoy it while you can, I think it's doomed to fail.

So you decided not to answer my question, on the grounds that it infers principles of which your against, I'm assuming that would be the principle of government, but again I'm not sure as your replies are very vague when it comes to particulars. I don't know if this is a defence of what you see as your intellectual property, but if it is, then you can't really be desirous of changing the world for the sake of humanity. I would suggest it's more a case of wanting to be recognised as the greatest living human, which isn't as scientific as it is emotional, so this would say more about your own search for deeper meaning, than it does about any real concern for humanity.

If on the other hand you are struggling with the way your ideas apply to the real world, and are simply being cautious for the sake of face, then worry not, I'm not, and haven't been, conversing with a view to embarrass your plan, or mock your intentions, I'm simply generally interested in what you believe could be changed, and in what terms you believe political leaders are not already scientifically minded. In my opinion, things are already moving in the direction you suggest, and in places, at a pretty fast pace.

I myself have often wondered why we haven't tapped into sources of energy such as that of planetary heat, but when I see all the wind farms, hydroelectric plants and government grants for solar panels, I can't be convinced it's some sort of conspiracy to hold humanity under the yoke. I think in certain respects you do come across as a little bit anti establishment, and slightly obsessive, I don't think I need to tell you that when people appear to be dogmatic and rigid in any system of beliefs, it becomes hard to believe there can be any reasoned debate.
homegrown
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:37 pm

Re: Am I doing the right thing?

Post by homegrown »

James Markham,

Well, that's it in a teacup isn't it. You'd rather punch and judy than debate. Oh no I wouldn't! Oh yes you would! I don't agree to disagree. I disagree to disagree. If you disagree with me then you're wrong. What I've been saying a thousand different ways since the very beginning is that the spiritual development of man should have included valid knowledge - not replaced it, but another assumption you refuse to re-examine is the rational/spiritual schizm introduced into western philosophy, language and culture by the church's refusal to grant scientific knowledge spiritual worth. Your loss - because in possession of valid knowledge you're still seeking spiritual realization in fiction. Maybe you're not paying very close attention - but check back and you'll find I said that the concepts of truth and survival both bridge the apparent difference between facts and values. But then maybe you came into this with the unshakable conviction that you're right - and I'm wrong, in which case your apparent intelligence and relative depth provide no advantage over Immanuel Can.

You believe...but why? Isn't that a legitimate question? I don't know. Isn't that a legitimate conclusion? Well they are, because they're honest and humble and establish limits lacking in your willingness to call upon absolutes without grounds, for no greater purpose than your own emotional satisfaction. How dare you? If there is a God - you're pond scum. Live or die by your own merits. How can you hope to exist if you delude yourself? You can't. You might think of it as the judgement built into Creation. In evolutionary terms, every organism had to be physiologically correct else be rendered extinct, every animal behaviourally correct to reality in order to survive to breed, and similarly we have to be intellectually correct to reality to survive. On what grounds should humankind be excused from the principles that have built life from the bottom up? It's cause and effect. Know what's true and do what's right or die out. The evidence is all around - acting in the course of ideologies false to reality things are much worse than they should be - for one example, poverty stricken subsistence farmers have burnt down virgin forest 12 times the area of the UK since the year 2000 - up 28% in the past year. I'd give us the energy to desalinate water to irrigate deserts instead. Can't do that with windmills. What percentage of the 6.5 billion human beings now alive live in shanty towns? You say you see - but dare not look!

'Most people have a sense there's more than just this life.' I wonder why? But you don't ask why, do you? This one fact on its own is all you need to support an assumption, if everyone suspects it, it must be so, but is that a valid conclusion? Last week a guy got dragged out of his house by a mob that thought he was a peadophile because he photographed children. The children were vandalizing his house. The mob kicked him to death and set him on fire. You keep referencing the majority - but I have no respect for them. The crowd cannot think, cannot learn, cannot discriminate truth from fiction. The crowd are sheep - following eachothers signals, they become self-justifying, yet equally, are often led astray by wolves in sheeps clothing. Give me the rugged individual who thinks for himself everytime - and twice on Sunday.

I went to enormous lengths to explain why I didn't answer your question; asking only that you take this final intellectual step: it's not a fair question. You'd give me national policy when the world is, in fact, a single planetary environment? You'd impose a falsity on me - so how then can I act in relation to truth? I'm going to ignore all the earnest speculations upon my personal motives as wrong and irrelevant. I've changed my name ten times - because it's not about me - it's about scientifically valid knowledge. I'm a philosopher - trying to communicate an idea to people convinced by relativism and ego that they couldn't be wrong. I'm probably doomed to be unappreciated in my lifetime, but I'll still write for posterity, to my intellectual legacy, if only a giant 'I told you so' to carve into the gravestone of my species. That's what's going to happen if you people can't see beyond the assumption that you're right because you're just like everyone else and what you think makes you happy, and I'm not like you and what I'm saying makes you sad, so I must be wrong. So let me ask you a question; what do you mean by spirituality?

hg.
James Markham
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:18 pm

Re: Am I doing the right thing?

Post by James Markham »

Homegrown, ok then, I don't really care what you agree, or disagree on, my opinion is only of any real importance to myself, and likewise yours is only really of any importance to yourself. The reason you feel otherwise is that you have an inflated ego, (I think it's know as a messiah complex), and a disproportionate sense of your intellectual accomplishments. You say your a philosopher, but that's not what I consider you as, I find your choice of topic, and arguments very mediocre, and lacking in anything like insightful thought.

You haven't displayed or articulated any points of argument beyond a repetitive mantra of, "science is good, I'm the only one who's ever thought so, therefore I'm the greatest", it's getting boring. Looking back over the thread, there's not one idea that is even remotely unique, there's been thousands of people, past and present, who've been devoted to the promotion of science, many of them have actually added to that body of knowledge. But here you are, making sweeping observations about the state of the planet and the humans that inhabit it, thinking your the only one who's noticed. I could have possible indulged your narcissism, for a couple more posts, but seeing your disrespect for the population of which you began by professing concern, has decided the issue. I truly believe that if the world was given over to your charge, it would not last your lifetime, not through any natural disaster, but a very unnatural one, namely your explosive revenge on all people who dare disagree with you, which would be most of them.

You say you'd do this to save the world, or you'd do that to save humanity, like it's a simple case of applying science where it's missing, we'll your wrong, the modern advances of science are utilised where and when there is the need as well as a means. Why do you insist on this grand conspiracy, if you had any touch with reality, you'd realise how crazy you sound when you say you could change the world, and simply evade any questions as to how that could be done, and instead respond with rants about ideology, religion, and political conspiracy, sprinkled with a dash of intellectual suppression.

If I was to guess at your situation, I'd say you was probably childless, which accounts for your spiritual immaturity. Partnerless, which would allow for your obsessive self promoting crusade. And lacking in any intellectual friends able to argue for the side of a reasonable balanced perspective, which would account for the misjudgment you've made in evaluating your own powers of sensible thought.

I know this is a bit of a personal rant, but to be honest you come across as a bit of a conceited control freak, I'm not here to lap up your rhetoric, I have a mind of my own, and if that is a quality that is useless to your pointless calling, then you better just get back to the bar, and carry on talking over, and shouting down strangers.

So I think this discussion has come to an end on account of the fact I've decided your mental, which is probably what a lot of your encounters with people result in.

Anyway good luck with everything, if I bother to read your next post, it'll only be to see how inventive you are with your insults. So make your post short and to the point, or it'll be a waste of time, I don't think anyone else is reading them, and I'll only be skimming it.
homegrown
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:37 pm

Re: Am I doing the right thing?

Post by homegrown »

James Markham,

Your opinion is the only one that matters to you - that I believe, but you're wrong if you think mine is the only one that matters to me. Doesn't the fact that I've written four pages here, trying to change your mind, prove my concern with other people's opinions? It matters what people believe. The continued existence of humankind depends upon it.

The opportunity missed in the past - I call the 'Grand Mistake.' Saying no such opportunity existed doesn't explain the fact that there was a man on trial for his life, a document placed upon the index of prohibited publications, and a man held under house arrest for the rest of his life simply for proving the truth of a fact. No-one can know what range of opportunities were excluded by these actions. Ultimately however, the earth does orbit the sun. The Church was wrong - when they could have been right. That was the opportunity missed. The Church has accepted heliocentrism now. Why is that? They've even accepted evolution - albeit with a number of qualifications, and how bizzare is that? They think they have the right to impose conditions on truth. But they haven't accepted a scientific epistemology - even while there are very few religious literalists left in the world. They promote an epistemology of faith - to the exclusion of a scientific epistemology, yet don't believe their own dogma. Still, as testement to the endless credulity of the masses, the Church continues to occupy the moral high ground, like they have some claim on virtue. But I don't see religious virtue standing out against a background of secular immorality - but a secular norm against which religion sticks out as frequently associated with evil; war and terrorism, paedophillia, fraud and corruption. Why? Because in denial of valid knowledge - religion is a corruption. That the Church made a mistake is beyond dispute - they admit as much themselves, but they haven't understood that mistake, and certainly haven't corrected it by accepting the bare fact that the earth orbits the sun, while continuing in denial of the epistemic implications. We're all going to pay a very high price unless that mistake is corrected - from its religious foundations and on, throughout the societies built upon it.

I think this is an important idea - easily worthy of discussion on a platform that hosts 11 page discussions on the question: 'does red exist?' But if all you've understood from what I've said is: 'science is good - i'm the only one who's ever thought so, threrefore I'm the greatest' perhaps you should join one of those. Like I said, I often ponder just how relatively insignificant Galileo's truth mut have seemed, in face of the religious ideology and institutional arrangements of the Holy Roman Empire, but in fact those arrangements did change drastically only 18 years later. The Holy Roman Empire disbanded and nations took authority unto themselves, but on the basis of the 'Divine rights of Kings.' Consequently, nation states inherited a backward relation to rational knowledge from the Church. You say no opportunity existed - but what about St Galileo? Instead you're going to have grant me divine sanction, and that's really going to stick in the throat! I'm not vehemently suspect, but frequently guilty of heresy - often before breakfast. I'm a drunken blashpemer and fornicator - but rarely until after lunch. I am the worst among you at dinner - the messiah you acolytes of Judas deserve. If I'm not the only person arguing humankind must accept a scientific understanding of reality in common - just as accepting a common concept of God united hunter-gatherer tribes, that nations can address the energy crisis and climate change - I'm not aware of any other, and arrived at these conclusions independently. But no, valid knowledge of Creation is not good enough for you. You're waiting for a magician to drop from the sky, to put right all you've made wrong, and make all your wishes come true.

I would like to address this one insult - about 'disrespect for the population of which you began by professing concern.' I said: 'I have no respect for ''the crowd.'' ...and went onto say: ...'give me the rugged individual who thinks for himself everytime - and twice on Sunday.'' I can say that because accepting a scientific understanding of reality is not some long list of points of faith believed to the exclusion of reason, forging an inclusive/exclusive dynamic that makes religion a conspiracy against the wrold, but a light touch discriminatory principle describing an epistemic approach that directs the infinite diversity of thought unto truth, goodness and justice. If you would follow the crowd rather than think for yourself...don't bleat at me when the farmer herds you into the mincing machine. For instance, religious texts believed to be foundations of divine authority are divisive, morally absolute and infintely interpretable as justifications for hate, war and terrorism. Accept the truth of evolution however, and it follows those documents were written by men in the course of development from ignorance; they are priceless historical and cultural artefacts, and useful as sources for ongoing moral reflection, but lack authority as justification for division and hate. For another instance, I accept that humankind is a single species and the world is a single planetary environment, whereas - rather like our government at a climate change conference, the EDL believe there's something fundamental about the nation state. The former can't address a global problem because it's beyond nations thinking in terms of their divisive interests, while the latter dehumanize foriegners. If everyone just accepted the truth...

I'm a philosopher. I'm not a scientist, and I'm not a politican. I don't want charge over anything but my own mind. I am not seeking to evade your questions about how to achieve change. It's just that a hypothetical scenario where, for no reason whatever, I'm granted absolute power over the UK government is an invitation to make a fool of myself...and you're upset that I haven't. Wild as these ideas may seem on the surface, four pages on, everything I'm saying is true and reasonsble. What I'm trying to do is change your mind...that's all. That's where it begins. If I can change your mind, and someone elses, you two can change the minds of four others, who change the minds of eight more, and before we know it...it's global. The idea is out there like an Arab Spring, whole populations calling upon governments to accept a scientific understanding of reality in common. (Not crowning me king of the world, but requiring responsibility to truth of those already in power - those who possess the intangible quality of percieved legitimacy.) I don't aspire to rule, and I don't want to tear the system down. We need syetems of government and production in order to do what's necessary to the survival of humankind; namely, solving the energy crisis and climate change before nation-states in capitalist competition start throwing nukes at eachother over the dwindling oil reserves, and/or before we get a storm like the red-spot on Jupiter rolling around the planet tearing the world to shreds.

Anyway, if that's an end to our discussion - so be it, but I had hoped you'd answer the question I asked: what do you mean by spirituality? Because despite my efforts to explore some of...what I think are the spiritual implications of a scientific understanding of reality, you left me feeling I don't know what 'spirituality' means. Perhaps I'm missing something - but I suspect it's you who're being unfair. From the rather lengthy speculations, drawing upon an evolutionary understanding of life, that confer meaning and purpose on the whole of life, by requiring those in the present use the product of past struggles to secure the future of the species, all you picked up on was 'if you're going to tell people when they're dead they're dead, good luck to you.' That isn't what I said at all, and I'm having the greatest difficulty believing you haven't grasped yet that it's the epistemology that's important. I said ''I don't know' - but suspect we just cease to be.' It's the 'I don't know' that's important, because it's vital to acknowledge what you are and are not able to know, and wrong and harmful to claim knowledge without grounds. It's those who'd tell you you'll go to Heaven if you just believe everything they say, do as they tell you, and put enough money in the collection plate...who for their own benefit would use your perfectly normal emotional vulnerabilities against you, who're abusive. Before you know it, they're issuing fatwahs and telling you to leave them alone with your kids. I don't want anything out of this but to belong to a species with a future. Is that too much to ask?

hg.
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Arising_uk
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Re: Am I doing the right thing?

Post by Arising_uk »

homegrown wrote:A-UK,

Hello again. It's been quite a long time since we've crossed wits. How the hell are you? What a delightful invitation your question is. Should I accept? Oh, go on then. How can I say: 'Go fuck yourself' to an old friend?

You ask: "What does your scientifically valid understanding of reality say you should do to get your ideas into practice?"

I refute the implication that all my reasons must be inherent to a scientific conception of reality merely because I value truth over falsity. Accepting a scientific understanding of reality does not turn someone into a robot who can only act on the basis of logical inferences from facts. I could leave it at that - but I'll answer your question as if you'd asked it fairly. ...
I did.
I don't know if you read the O.P. This thread is intended to discuss issues around whether I'm doing the right thing, seeking to promote an evolutionary understanding of the development of knowledge - arriving at a scientifically valid understanding of reality, given the psychotic nature of contemporary society. I know damn well you're aware I've been doing so for a good few years now - that it's always been a hard fight, just putting this idea across, and as far as I'm aware I'm getting nowhere. I also expect you remember I used to get incredibly frustrated. ...
You still appear to be so? It's why I'm trying to point out to you that if what you are doing is not working then stop and try another way. It's what I would expect from someone who values truth over falsity.
So, I may aswell acknowledge that the question of whether I'm doing the right thing is merely a hook, a pretence for continued discussion of these ideas. I have to discuss them in order for people to tell me whether I'm doing the right thing. Still, the majority of people I encounter cannot understand - no matter how many ways I cross back and forth through the central point. But wisdom requires an unwise context in order to be wisdom. Once everyone understands it - it ceases to be wisdom and becomes common sense. So, I've learnt to employ determined incomprehension as a means of explaining myself - until they get as frustrated as I once would, and leave hurling insults behind them, as I once would. There are others who genuinely seek to understand - and they give me hope. Hope of what? If that's the question, does this ring any bells?
I think people understand whar you say it's that you don't appear to have any solutions apart from this pet-theory that we could harness volcanoes which seems fairly fraught with difficulties compared to other methods of meeting our energy needs. What about carpeting the Sahara with solar grids? Of course the main issue in electricity generation is not generation but transmission.
"...but I know enough I need to know to know. Things could be far better than they are for everyone.
They could, so how do you think we could achieve actual results or at least start in the right direction?
To answer your question directly, I'm a philosopher. I have some knowledge and a little understanding of monetary economics - and found it groundless. ...
In what sense?
Economics, as the tool of science makes sense; grounded in valid knowledge of reality. Technologies need to be applied for the sake of thier scientifically concieved merits - in face of the challenge we face as a species not to vanish into a pit of our own excavation, but still require designing, enginering and constructing, and on such a scale as to dismiss any initial improfitability. It requires one aspire to build like a Victorian, Roman, Egyptian...etc. With modern technology, we can explore the future. ...
It wasn't long ago that a scientifically conceived merit was to deforest S. America and convert it to arable farming and feed the world. If you wish to harness the world to such grand schemes then you need to think about how to get them to work together in the first place? It's why I'm trying to point out to you that more is needed than a scientific understanding of reality.
If there are any expert feasibility studies on magmic geothermal energy technology - specifically, any reference to subduction zones would clear up a small uncertainty for me, that of just how easily accessible an effectively infinite amount of clean energy actually is. I'm betting it's very easy. ...
I'm betting that since you don't understand Economics it isn't. Add to that that you are ignoring the risk factors of building in an area specifically associated with earthquakes. If it was easy then Economics would make it a feasible option, one that when the cost of energy reaches the right price will probably occur if the engineers say its possible.
If I'm right then it cannot also be right that capitalism infer efficiency, or a tragedy of the commons with which to justify private property. There are boundless energies all around us - and yet we remain prisoner to a few vital interests. The world is poor and badly developed, badly damaged and barely productive. Why? Because profit dictates, rather than follows from our choices.
Thats because profit and private property is an efficient driver for things to get done in an economical and efficient way. Capitalism has its structural faults but it's, so far, by far the best of a bad lot and has improved the lot of the bulk of mankind in a way that the other proposed systems have significantly failed to do so.
Accepting a scientific understanding of reality is true we can choose to remove the worlds two largest populations from the energy/climate crises. Economic activity would be induced. I think it a far better plan economically than handing hundreds of more billions over to the banks - to stimulate economic activity by doing something necessary to any foreseeable future."
Soviet Russia gives lie to this dream and the Chinese appear to be giving Capitalism a go. India is also using this system.
As part of this evolution in attitude I've come around to the view that it isn't for me to do anything - other than what it is that I do. I'm a philosopher. I write - exploring and describing a philosophical means by which humankind can secure the future. No-one else can do this, and I'm not as good at anything else as I am at this. If I were religious, I would say it were my 'calling.' Then again, given that I'm opposed to the established Church and intent upon saving the world - perhaps I can use the word 'calling' legitmately. Afterall, I am the Messiah! The need for this idea will become apparent to all in due course - of that there is no doubt, but I am concerned it may only become apparent too late; that humankind will have to pitch headlong into the abyss before realizing this isn't the right path. I can only keep urging you take a different path, and either you will or will not.
Like most 'prophets' and 'messiahs' you are a doomsayer with apparently little understanding of your fellow mans needs and motivations. If you are truly concerned with 'saving the world' then you need to start taking little steps and understand that you won't probably see the end result. Something all good Marxists understood. Think global act local appeared to be a good slogan. So what do you think we could start or do in this nation to get under way?
homegrown
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Re: Am I doing the right thing?

Post by homegrown »

A-UK,

Think of it like this. I know the way to Tesco's from here. So I log on and put up my heading: 'How to get to Tesco's from here.' James logs on, and I begin to describe how to get to Tesco's. What happens next? No, you're wrong, you're lying, you're an idiot. Turn left? I'm not turning left. I'm turning right, and see, there's nothing there! You're wrong. You're a narcissist. How dare you think you can tell people how to get to Tesco's? I don't want to go to Tesco's anyway, and even if I did I wouldn't go from here. I want to go to Sainsbury's...and on and on and on and on.

All the time I'm doing my best, trying to understand what it is that he doesn't get, trying to correct his mistakes, and worse than that, trying to account for his fragile ego. In the real world, who's in the wrong? And who would put up with it? A philosophical perspective is a much more subtle and difficult thing to give directions to.

For example, you say: 'profit and private property is a driver to get things done in and efficient and economical way.'

I understand the arguments behind that assumption, but I have often disagreed with it, and explained my reasons for arguing that - even if capitalist economics is the means, the ends should be scientifically conceived. Profit should follow from, rather than dictate our choices. Otherwise, there are externalities. Like oil, highly profitable, but also highly polluting. But pollution isn't a factor in the capitalist equation. It's an externality - and that's what you always get unless you act on the basis of the scientifically conceived truth. It wasn't a huge problem to begin with, but with 1000 miles of traffic chugging along at 10 miles an hour, for 3 hours every morning and every evening in every city around the world...climate change! This is what I'm trying to show people - the causal relationship between the knowledge bases of action and cause and effect, that imply acting in the course of ideologies false to reality must necessarily end in extinction. But if all they log on for is to tell me what a mug I am: 1) I already know that, and 2) they'll never understand what I'm saying.

That's what I'm saying no-one else can do - describe my understanding! That's all I can do, and while I would ideally like to do so under friendlier conditions, I can do so under fire - because these arguments are bullet-proof. I'm sure James thinks he scored innumerable hits, but fact is I didn't feel a thing, and let me tell you - given that I'm bound to truth, if any of his shots had hit home I'd say so.

You say: '...you are a doomsayer with apparently little understanding of your fellow man's needs and motivations.' I disagree. I think I understand people in general fairly well, it's just that with a different perspective on reality, come different needs and motivations. Like I said to James: 'It wasn't a loss to me - when accepting a scientific understanding of reality, I realized religion had inculcated emotional expectations science doesn't fulfill.' I understand, but don't agree with the motives of my fellow man, and can't satisfy James's fantasy land expectation of candy raindrops, when I'm giving a weather forecast for the real world. Sorry.

As for good Marxists...I'm merely emphasizing the significance of hegemonic ideology over historical materialism, which in an age of universal education, where the internet spans the globe - seems perfectly reasonable, wouldn't you say? In 1859, in the Origin of Species, Darwin wrote: 'There is grandeur in this view of life...' But continuing in the example of the Catholic Church, the religio-political hierarchy of England, raised to believe in the divine origins of man - couldn't accept our lowly animal origins, and so snorted and howled their rejection of it from on high - without really understanding it, derided man as a monkey shaved, and stole from the majority the grandeur of an evolutionary understanding of life. Well, I understand it - and if you'll listen I'll explain. If you argue I'll prove you wrong, and in doing so - I'll explain. That's who I am - not a doomsayer, but a truthteller.

hg.
homegrown
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Re: Am I doing the right thing?

Post by homegrown »

'You're a doomsayer...'

I predict that if humankind carries on as we are then we're doomed, that's true. My generation was the first born into the world threatened with extinction - so it shouldn't be surprising, less yet grounds for criticism that I'm interested in a novel and important feature of the reality I inhabit. All previous generations had an endless vista stretching out ahead of them, but my generation either doesn't look - or sees the abyss before us, and yet carries on regardless. I've asked people, face to face - what they think the future will be like, and they know of the impending disaster, then shrug and continue in the same ideas that bring us within sight of the end. The only difference with me is, rather than shrug, I wanted to understand why - and know if it was inevitable. It was difficult and painful, but I did not spare myself. It was necessary to re-examine my entire received mind - my understanding of reality, perspectives, beliefs and values, accounting for all assumptions, biases, prejudices and opinions - and by identifying and correcting for contradiction, find solid grounds proven by mutual confirmation. I now understand why, despite definite progress, the future looks bleak - and therefore, I also know what we need to do to avoid a catastrophic failure of civilization. That I can explain both the problem and solution in the same terms, without contradicting my understanding of reality - is the basis of my certainty my prediction and proposed remedy are correct.

In short, I maintain that continued action in the course of ideological falsity, within a causal reality - manifests real world dysfunctions, amplified by numbers and technological capabilities, to become threats to the future of civilization and the human species. It may seem tautologous to blame ideological action for such otherwise diverse problems as the energy crisis, the housing market, deforestation and unemployment, for everything is the consequence of action in the course of ideology - good and bad alike, but because these problems are subject to redress by acting in the course of scientifically valid knowledge, these problems are revealed as the systematic consequence of acting in the course of falsity, as our path diverges from true north - and problems arise in the space opened up inbetween.

The energy crisis and climate change could easily be solved. In technological terms it's not all that difficult. All that's required is a large source of high grade energy - and there's an effectively limitless supply right beneath our feet. Wind, solar and wave power are low grade energy - diffuse, they need to be gathered from a large area, concentrated and transmitted to provide a smaller area with a higher level of energy. Magma is high grade, concentrated energy, like oil, gas, coal or uranium - but without scarcity, or all the nasty by-products. Standard conversion processes for turning heat into electricity are well known, but transmitting electrical power without significant loss is an issue. Electrolysis is a process whereby, an electric current passed through water breaks down the atomic bonds between the H and the 2 O's, to produce hydrogen gas, which can compressed into a liquid fuel with 2.5 times the calorific value of petroleum, then shipped or piped, and burnt without any transmission loss or nasty by-products. So, we have the energy, conversion processes and a medium of transmission.

Thus, these problems are not inevitable - for with an endless source of pollution free energy, there's nothing we cannot do. We can build all the houses we need, protect the forests by desalinating water to irrigate deserts for agriculture and housing, employing people to build those houses, to grow those crops, without additional energy cost, while mitigating the larger part of any environmental impact. I've looked into magmatheric energy as well as I'm able - and because we wouldn't be stupid enough to pump 30,000 gallons of water into a borehole, and pretend shock and disappointment when there's an earthquake, it seems perfectly feasible to me. I don't accept A-UK's assertion that it must be impossible because, if it were possible it would have happened already; in part because it is happening on a very small scale in Kenya, but also because I only have to look to the corner of the room to see the 30 year old copper wire BT tried to squeeze a broadband connection down - for a hundred quid a month, to know that what's possible isn't what companies with a profit motive provide. It's the same reason we're burning the Amazon rainforest, that we're eating horsemeat lasagne, that we're addicted to fossil fuels. The profit motive provides quick, cheap and dirty - the least companies can get away with for the most they can charge, and that's why the world is such a mess, and only going to get worse. I'm saying we need a higher, truer principle than profit - and a scientific understanding of reality provides that.

I understand how a global system that holds governments and industry responsible to scientific truth could work - and it doesn't require anything of us we don't already do, only that we do it on a global scale, and for different reasons. It's not necessarily exclusive of national government and capitalism, but that's a long and complex issue. What burns me up though is that you people know you're headed for extinction - so you know the legacy of desperation you'll leave our children, and yet I find it extremely difficult to communicate this idea. I know it was difficult for me to look beyond the ideological architecture of society, beyond the racial and class prejudices of my received identity - to accept simple scientific truths like the world is a single planetary environment, and humankind is a single species - but that was before I knew accepting a scientific understanding of reality in common was the answer. I would have thought the mere possibility of an answer to the threats closing in upon humankind would require you take a serious look at this - even at the cost of facing some uncomfortable truths, but it's nearly nine years now I've been writing here and on similar sites elsewhere, and consistently met with the same careless, prejudicial disbelief. Most of you won't take 5 minuets to read - less yet give half an hour's thought to, what I've spent half my life studying. You fall at the first hurdle, as soon as you encounter an idea that doesn't accord with your ideological prejudices - relativism and ego kick in, and rather than try to understand how all these ideas are mutually affirming, you take to the keyboard to demand I respect the opinion you insist you're entitled to, not because it's a well thought out conscientious conviction, but just because, by accident of birth, you happen to believe it. That so, then yes, I think we're doomed.

hg.

p.s. The push to occupy the Amazon basin in the 1970's had nothing to do with science, but was driven by President De Silva's fear that the largely uninhabited territory would be occupied by, and lost to other nations. Brazil was an extremely poor country at the time, heavily indebted, with a population of 55 million people - the majority of whom lived on less than a dollar a day. Many poor city dwellers jumped at the chance of government provision of tools, seeds and a tin house - but found to everyone's great surprise that the soil supporting the verdant growth of the forest was in fact very poor. When scientists looked into the question they soon established that all the nutrients were in the flora and fauna of the forest canopy, and very little fell to the ground without getting eaten by something else. Consequently, rather than settle, subsistence farmers were forced to burn a patch of forest to fertilize the soil, plant crops two years and move the third year - burning another patch of forest. According to BBC news recently, subsistence farmers, loggers and oil companies have cleared forest 12 times the area of the UK since the year 2000 - up 28% in the past year. Today, Brazil has the ninth highest GNP in the world, but has the second least equitable distribution of wealth in the Americas; second only to the USA. The population of Brazil is above 180 million - 55 million of whom still live on less than a dollar a day. In 50 years, the forest will be gone, and the Amazon will become a desert. The local climate implications are predictably detrimental, and include an increased severity of storms, and desertification in the U.S. midwest - in addition to the implications for global climate, which are unpredictably detrimental.
Advocate
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Re: Am I doing the right thing?

Post by Advocate »

[quote=homegrown post_id=149294 time=1382717604 user_id=8831]
No-one else seems to appreciate the value of a scientifically valid understanding of reality. Even those who claim to value science - do not see the madness of human affairs conducted in relation to religious, political and economic ideologies that are not true. It's been a difficult journey - for I was born in ignorance and naturally adopted the ideas of those around me, and only later came to realize the insanity of those ideas. Now I'm profoundly alone. It's difficult sometimes to justify recommending these ideas to others. I know first hand the cruelty of disenchantment. But the life of the species is at stake. How can I do other than - at least, register the knowledge, that others can freely choose to listen or not?

I do not think the following facts and implications can be faulted:

1. Human beings evolved from animal ignorance into human knowledge over time.
2. Human beings formed societies long before they came into scientific knowledge.
3. Science was first supressed - and later employed in the service of ideological power.
4. Acting upon falsity - within a causal reality, is counter-productive.
[/quote]

You're doing the right thing as you see it. So long as you maintain a separate drive to validate your beliefs that will be better than most.
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