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Everything posted by romansh

  1. theism has two general meanings …. pertaining to a god (any flavour thereof) and pertaining to a personal god. It is the context that allows us to differentiate between the two.
  2. So excuse me if I ask a question (cynical or otherwise) … can we have rational beliefs? When choose a belief was it done rationally? I would have thought if I could defend a belief with evidence, that would count as rational. Of course our evidence might not be terribly strong, or that our premises are built on sand. By being (highly) subjective does not mean we can't collectively glean some so called objectivity. But then objectivity and subjectivity are not what the seem either.
  3. Would anyone care to have a go at this question?
  4. romansh

    CIA whitepaper on consciousness

    Again Paul … regarding reality should it exist … I don't think we can prove something per se. We can bring corroborating evidence to the table and perhaps reduce the uncertainty to the point we can venture forth into the world with confidence. But relying on facts and knowledge, as agnostics, I would argue we should be a little circumspect. Science ultimately is a descriptor, better than many if not most religions in my opinion, we have to face up the fact the descriptions may not be accurate, but they are useful.
  5. Is believing that an angel came to Mary two thousand years ago and foretold of a parthenogenetic birth a rational, irrational, or delusional position, based on the understanding we have on the way the universe ticks today?
  6. OK thormas I tracked down the source of your confusion. I suggested we do a book review together. You suggested Hart amongst others. But you declined doing the review together and you suggested I read it by myself. I like my lamb medium rare.
  7. So you have no evidence. When presented with the evidence against your position, you accuse me of a dodge?
  8. There is a handy dandy search function for you thormas. Type in the word "read" and hit the magnifying glass icon. You will find I have not used the word "read" in conjunction with Hart Let the fingers do the walking … evidence wins out all the time. Apology accepted and can I choose the restaurant? 😉
  9. Thanks Joseph … I have a copy of Buddhism for Dummies which uses slightly plainer language. The authors seem really well qualified: Jonathan Landaw is the former English Translation Editor, Translation Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Stephan Bodian has studied and practices several schools of Buddhism. Gudrun Bühnemann, Professor, teaches the Sanskrit Language and its literature, along with courses on the religions of South Asia. The book taught me enough to know that I am not a Buddhist (dummy or otherwise) but can see parallels. I will have to walk my own path on this one. What other path could I walk? I am happy to accept the illusory nature of existence. I can't quite agree the implied delusion in your link. A reflection yes. We can work to reduce the aberrations.
  10. Where did I say I would? But the question you asked of possibility clearly shows you are missing the point. The self does exist but it is not what it seems … and we have been over this many times. This is why I disagreed with Joseph when he said "no self". And we have been over this many times and yet this question is repeated. Also possibility nailed it when she said:
  11. Let me answer this question on my behalf. Reason based on evidence. Do reason and evidence resonate with you thormas? Here is a typical Zen meditation for you thormas … Where are you between thoughts?
  12. Well I have to bow to your experience here … as I have none. Stephen Batchelor is another Buddhist type I follow. Blackmore is not a Buddhist though she does practice Zen meditation … if I have understood her correctly. 😊
  13. romansh

    Should We Laugh Or Cry?

    I occasionally look at what passing bots or even people are examining, and this old thread came up. I got to wondering what are the latest Gallup poll data on this subject And here is the poll. Essentially there has been a big jump upwards since the original post in the acceptance of evolution in some form. And of course if we are pantheistically inclined then directed by god and regular evolution become harder to distinguish. Again education plays a role in acceptance, though a large portion creationists are educated to some degree. And I wondered how the UK compared and I found this: https://sciencereligionspectrum.org/in-the-news/press-release-results-of-major-new-survey-on-evolution/ Essentially the UK is far more accepting of the evolution concept even if people believe it is god guided. As a bonus there are some Canadian data for comparison. Canadians are in between the US and UK, not surprisingly, but far closer to the UK when it comes to belief (or lack of) in evolution. And below the data in pretty pictures. https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://sciencereligionspectrum.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/SRESYouGov-survey-preliminary-findings-5.9.17.pdf&hl=en_GB
  14. This is accurate I think 😊 edit Just as an aside … I don't think meditation is about self love etc. Not that you said it was per se. But self love is a stepping stone that we will get off if we want to move on with our quest … whatever that quest may be. Ten Zen Questions might be of interest to some … there is an abridged version on line and the book itself is short. Susan Blackmore of course. It may have a different title in North America.
  15. Then this becomes a delusion and not an illusion. That I think is a little more justifiable. Even the Buddhists amongst us don't go for no one … it is more a not self. I can't see how that the "I" and all the trappings of ego and consciousness are not a product of an unfolding universe. We all unfold together so to speak. I would argue it is the ego itself that is trying to quiet the ego. A sense of self exists, even if that self is not what it seems. Again I think Buddhists see no self and not self as different entities. "rom" is a verb as is "JosephM" as is "tree". Treating them as nouns gives them their separateness. "Self" is a verb as well, though non philosophical grammarians will disagree.
  16. I see it as a very difficult science to apply rigorously in that all the variables are difficult to identify nevermind to control. Err no … science is a process. It will autocorrect over time for dependent observers. Science in fact teaches us there is no such thing as an independent observer. While truths might not be pleasant to overly dependent observers. If the axioms can be considered as true for the "evidenced by rationality" then I would like to see an example where appropriate axioms processed rationality are not to be considered true.
  17. romansh

    Presidential Poll

    It's not a question of debating, more concern for a friend injuring themselves.
  18. I would have to read and understand in far greater depth the stats. Immediate question I have is this study replicable? Another, the people that succumb to meditation and yoga may have a certain personality type that leads to this type of thing. I am reminded of Campbell's question … who exactly is trying to quiet the ego? And I am sure I have read/heard somewhere on good theological authority that prayer and meditation are the same thing. Nothing wrong with egos; we all have them, I would not be me without mine: it's the universe's fault … 😉 But I have some ammunition to tease my wife who does both, yoga and meditation.
  19. romansh

    Presidential Poll

    With the latest Trump policy, that passes as debacle in most of the Western world, do we in our communities support the policy, criticize the policy or do we stand by silently? Perhaps we wonder at Trump's wonderful negotiating skills. And how do we reconcile this with the views we hold important?
  20. romansh

    I versus i

    I think ultimately I and "i" are descriptions and words ... Words by their very nature are dualistic ... so when we try to describe the universe or bits of it we are can get caught up of thinking of reality in a dualistic way. So whatever I and i are they are not as they seem. I am of the universe ... it took a whole universe to make "I" and in my excruciatingly small way "I" am shaping the universe. I and i are two sides of the same coin ... the universe. And going back to the balloon metaphor for knowledge/understanding, ignorance and things to be understood. Our "I"s are on that surface of that balloon as the universe unfolds. This metaphor can be taken with a pinch of salt or a stiff drink.
  21. romansh

    I versus i

    I don't have a clue … that's why I am asking.
  22. romansh

    I versus i

    Nice assertions by Hart … thanks. Do things like Being, Love, One require "more" or are they the "more". Enjoy your vacation.
  23. romansh

    I versus i

    Just a thought … what form is that data in, from a brain's perspective? It is in the form of electrochemical pulses … from all our senses. From those pulses the brain constructs what we call consciousness. Some of us reify, if not deify that consciousness. It gives us a an illusory sense of free will, and whole host of other emotions that are considered positive and/or negative. It gives us an "i" or ego, it give some of us an everlasting existence that will outlast a deep sleep. This might be true from a First Law of Thermodynamics point of view, but from the Second, I am far from sure. Do you think the universe winds down as it unfolds? SLoT would seem to indicate that it does. When we examine systems in a beaker it certainly does. My physical body (which for me is "I") includes things like our supposed consciousness is a product of the universe unfolding. We certainly are not aware of the details and components and that is fine or OK. We have a sufficient education to see that. If in actual fact there is a "more", then that too is part of the universe assuming this "more" has an effect. Just some thoughts on a couple of bits and pieces.
  24. romansh

    How We Form Beliefs

    Just curious ... how do we come to form beliefs? My personal opinion (based on evidence 😀) is that we are physical beings and that we are strongly influenced by our environment and that our substrate (matter, molecules, atoms, fields, fundamental forces, etc) does the rest. For me consciousness does not hold primacy. For example ... I suspect most here at one point or another held a literal belief (perhaps still do) that Jesus was born of a virgin. How did we come to this belief and how did we lose it, if we did? Personally I don't recall ever believing this. I personally can't give a mechanism for not believing this, but I sure can confabulate one.