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romansh

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Everything posted by romansh

  1. Can you clarify your path to this point Joseph. In some ways I agree completely with what you say but I would be interested in your context - so to speak.
  2. Yvonne I think we can draw a boundary anywhere. For the purposes of your message you were conveying the boundary you were drawing was around the brain, which is fair enough. In reality the brain is a product of the nerve impulses, which in turn the impulses are products of our environment, earth, solar system, galaxy, universe. If you catch my drift. Of course we can also include our genetics, our experiences, the foods and chemicals we eat and imbibe. We can include a societal interactions.Our mind is a product of all these things and more.
  3. There are certain fungal infections while not evil per se in any reasonable sense of the word, I would have no problem harming them even if they are part of creation.
  4. The mind has various nuances - for the purpose of my view I will treat them essentially as one. Names the mind might have include: consciousness self awareness sentience soul spirit This is ultimately hard. I think I know what my perception feels like. What does your perception feel like? I can only presume it is similar to mine. What is a brick's perception like? Either it is a nonsensical question or it is different to mine. Here's a nice meditative essay that shows a different point of view. It is short and easy read. I am not sure I agree with Susan's conclusions - but I do feel her "awakening", I think. Was I conscious at conception, I don't think so? Will I be conscious after death? Am I conscious now? Interesting question.
  5. From PoM “That is to say, put yourself back in the position of paradise before you thought in terms of good and evil. You don’t hear that much from the pulpits.” To be fair, Campbell then goes on to say: “Why was the knowledge of good and evil forbidden to Adam and Eve? Without that knowledge we would still be a bunch of babies in Eden, without any participation in life.”
  6. Another Campbellian thought (the late Campbell must be rolling over in his grave today). As a broad western generalization (and therefore not completely accurate): Many atheists and theists have one thing in common - they interpret the Bible in a literal fashion to varying degrees. I don't think most atheists would have a problem with the many wonderful metaphorical interpretations that we (ignoring balking psychologists ) have. It is when we concretize our religious texts the problems start. I suppose the same could be said of our scientific texts. But our science texts are in a constant flux. No scientist wants the textbook to remain fixed.
  7. It is in PoM - page 2XX - unfortunately I have lent out my copy - it is towards the end. Try here
  8. then we can ask that the said psychologists take reponsibility for their balking Quite simple really, the original sin was thinking in terms of sin. Thinking in terms of separation. ... and with respect to separation this Campbell quote just about nails it for me: ... But the ultimate mystical goal is to be united with one's god. With that, duality is transcended and forms disappear. There is nobody there, no god, no you. Your mind, going past all concepts, has dissolved in identification with ground of your own being, because that to which the metaphorical image of your god refers to the ultimate mystery of your own being, which is the mystery of the being of the world as well.
  9. Yep and we can be responsible without good and evil. In exactly the same way the sun is responsible for a good portion of our weather patterns on earth, life on Earth and melanomas. We don't need morality to be responsible. We don't need the guilt trip. Another Cambell quote: If all you think of are your sins then you are sinner.
  10. Thanks minsocal I'm not terribly familiar with these concepts and psychology in general. But choosing Bowen at 'random': Here is a description of particular aspect of Bowen therapy: Bowen's multigenerational model goes beyond the view that the past influences the present, to the view that patterns of relating in the past continue in the present family system (Herz Brown, 1991). Hence the therapist uses questions to encourage clients to think about the connection between their present problem and the ways previous generations have dealt with similar relationship issues. http://www.familysystemstraining.com/papers/bowen-illustration-and-critique.html This to me reads as past patterns do affect the way individuals in families handle relationships. The therapist does get the individuals to be aware of past causes. Reads like reductionism to me. Reductionism I think has been given a bad rap. It is a fundamental way of understanding how the universe ticks. There may be others - eg meditation. But if we ever want to communicate the logic of an idea, it has to be based in some form of reductionism. Even your act of countering my position is a form of reductionism - I would argue.
  11. Actually it is a very simplistic view Dutch. But you are right free will does come into it. Infact when we say free what exactly do we mean? Yep sure, is there an appropriate thread open already? (It sort of fits into the free will thread). But to answer one your questions: Is the mind wholly and sufficiently caused by the biochemical events in the brain? The short answer is no! But it it is not separate from the brain either. You are pointing to the Hard Question here Dutch. I don't have the answer(s), but I do have some questions.
  12. I am not an expert on this topic, so I need to tread with care - here is a Campbellian interpretation (not necessarily Campbell's). 21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. Verse 22 states (clearly to me) that Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden for gaining the knowledge of good and evil. If we take up a monistic line of thought then we do realize several things. There is no separation from god. There is no good or evil other than our arbitrary definitions. We live in the now. Campbell's translation for eternity is now.
  13. Can you give an example of a non-reductionist theory? This concept is illuding me. Thanks Why is a daft question especially if we are asking for the purpose behind the question.
  14. I think we are almost on the same page. when Hillel says: That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. The golden rule or at least a form of it I take as the message. You point to the same thing as you said it is about our lives lived - so to speak.
  15. Hmmn ... interesting question. The short answer for the purposes of this discussion is "no". Different parts of my body have responded using different chemical pathways. That is for me what is the difference between belief and desire. Though I would suggest that wise agnostics should remain sceptical of beliefs. Therein lies a knot of circularity. Take sexual desires; certain coloured splodges on pages on certain kinds of magazine will elicit certain autonomic reponses (at least in my case ). A philosophical statement will elicit a different autonomic response. I have to be very careful here. I don't mean to imply a separation of the self and the cosmos. 'Me' (the boundaries it implies) and the rest of the universe is an arbitrary convention (albeit a useful one). This reply does not leave me a lot to go on minsocal. Taking psychology one of the most nebulous of our arbitrary boundaries we draw. Does not a clinical psychologist try to understand the antecedents (causes) of a patient's behaviour; more importantly for the patient to be aware of those causes. Of course this is daunting task.
  16. That someone can love the commentary is not surprising (whether Jewish, Christian, or Islamic). But you did not answer my question - which is more important? Surely "living" the message is more important or do you disagree? This I think is the whole point of Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion. I disagree with some of her arguments that she used to get to her end point, but I think her end point is more or less right. http://tcpc.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/2957-charter-for-compassion/
  17. Not really - in that I don't think so - I can't find too many scientists who would argue against reductionism. There is a caveat though. Ultimately I cannot explain why I prefer a shiraz to say most merlots using quantum mechanics (or similar), at least not yet. But we can deduce the cause of my preferences, perhaps the social sciences, psychology, sciences related to flavours addiction etc. This is reductionism. To deny reductionism is to deny cause. Are you claiming there is no cause to my shiraz preference? The moment we try to identify a cause we are participating in reductionism (science). So what are the other scientists arguments against science being reductionism?
  18. Jen I reread your OP, I must admit I did not read into it that there were only certain qualifications or viewpoints that would be acceptable in reply. Again this seems strange for a site that claims to be progressive and Christian. Nevertheless I will respectfully withdraw.
  19. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery puts a positive spin on this. Also what is more important the message or "the commentary"?
  20. This is from a different thread, but there were some issues cited with reductionism on the thread and it I noticed Dutch's observation. Firstly - are there any practicing scientists knocking around who care to post their Progressive Christian views on this comment? It is OK, non scientists can also pitch in. Here's my two cents worth. My first point is science is reductionism! If anyone says reductionism is a 'bad' idea they are also decrying science. Secondly, science can give us spiritual insights as well. eg the immensity and complexity of the universe and the various bits pieces around us. It fills me with shear awe and wonder. So a comment that suggests that a reductionist approach to science is child abuse us neither progressive nor Christian. This sort of view requires some discussion and clarification.
  21. This George I do find an unsatisfactory definition of evil. Take a sociopath who has no concept of malevolence in the sense that he (usually he) no conscience. And then the answer to who is the arbiter of intent, agency, malevolence as "it depends". Is this a satisfactory definition?
  22. Who is the the arbiter of what has and does not have agency, and who decides what is malovent? Is malovent something fixed, does our concept evolve with time or is it as simple as do no harm? This brings to mind a quote from Campbell. “You yourself are participating in evil, or you are not alive. Whatever you do is evil to someone. This is one of the ironies of creation.”
  23. My apologies George, I did try and make it a general statement by using 'if" and "we". Also my comment was not solely restricted to people. It also included things and acts. My point remains George, it is not the label that is the problem, but the thought and emotion behind the word. For example, is a tsunami that kills ten of thousands people from a certain region evil? Is a debilitating disease that targets a certain gender evil? I think you would answer "No". And yet when man does the same thing we are tempted to call it evil? I suspect when we do these things we are separating man from nature, philosophically speaking. Yes and our perceptions are all based on chemical reactions, which in turn are based on inputs from our nerve-endings. Everything we perceive is a chemical reaction or a physical (in the sense of physics) response to our nerve endings being stimulated. I'm not saying we should not label our perceptions, we should just be careful not to concretize these perceptions into a reality like evil. When we say "I think genocide is evil" are we not really saying "I don't like genocide" or that "I think genocide will have some negative consequences". Some might argue we should have compassion for its own sake. Regardless of this beautiful thought, I think evolutionary psychology and physics will have a different point of view.
  24. Neon Part of me agrees with you, but even here we are putting a judgement label on to a concept. I would advise against this. For me, the concept you describe is a product a particular societal view. The societal view is analogous to the sun falling on the Earth. And indeed, without the sun we would not have this peculiar societal view.
  25. Meister Eckhart You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the best name for God is compassion
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