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Religion and the Unkown.

 
 
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 04:39 am
There is probably someone who thought of this before me, but:

Do you think we could understand religion/spirituality as a way of QUANTIFYING what we DO NOT KNOW?
I think that would make lots of sense.
I don't just mean in the way of material things- like a tribe not knowing why a rainbow appeared so saying it was from god or something.
I kind of mean, without the binary opposition of what we DO know and what we DON'T, we're kind of floating... by putting what we don't know down to 'god' or 'the spirit world' or what the ****, we're labeling (and therefore quantifying) like:
What I do know is this: facts about the world
What I don't know is this: Things beyond my power, god.
It gives a totalising system and completion to knowledge, rather than to admit that what we don't know is what we can't quantify. (?)

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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 05:17 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Well, if you look at the history of the development of what we now call religion, it has appeared in a context of dealing with "great mysteries" and "unknowns"like the ceremony and artifacts associated with death (red ochre, shamanistic ritual,tomb artifacts etc). Other mysteries, like childbirth and food gathering also developed ritual, and became associated with Paleo religions . IMHO, the mysteries came first and the ceremony became the natural follow-on. Then religions replete with overbearing and meddling gods followed, finally followed by more loving gods who take part in human affairs.

However, Even as we learn to explain a world phenomenon by natural means,(eg, why the sun traverses the sky) in most cases, there already existed a spiritual/religious explanation that dealt with that (originally) unknown phenomenon. SO there were natural loggerheads that appeared between rational thought and religious doctrines.Through years of overwhelming evidence and irrefutable proofs of concept that the sun isnt moving, but that earth is, Most religions have grudgingly given ground to these natural explanations and have more or less begun doctrines of transcendent gods that dont piss about with daily events. However, still some present day religions (most of the Evangelical Christianity sects and ultra Orthodox Jews and Muslims) insist upon maintaining the strict doctrines of mystery and of "Revelations" associated with what science and physics have lately decoded about these mysteries. For these religions its more a matter of control of the laity, since , rather than developing a theology of accomodation and transcendence by the gods, these folks like to demand that their explanations are "Unquestionably True" by being a doctrinal revealed reality.They make it a "test" of their devotion.
Today we call that a worldview and it usually involves an entire litany of related and unrelated "Factoids" that , in order to be a good religious person, you must accept unquestionably.

It seems to me that all the Orthodox and Evangelicals are doing is demeaning their very god who, if she produced everything they see, and gave her "children" a brain that can figure it all out, why must these children demand on maintaining a high stndard of blind ignorance despite what evidence shows. I never could understand that part.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 09:14 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
The use of "quantifying" leads to an interesting position, since the basis of all "measurement" is the "nominal level". So technically in order to quantify we must first be in a position to "name", or "assign set memebership". However, those who aspire to the "spiritual" would claim that the essence of spirituality is its "ineffability", i.e. its resistance to linguistic description. It follows (for me at least) that "spirituality" is not to be confused with "religion". The first cannot be "quantified" and the second loses its spiritual essence by attempts at quantification.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 09:45 am
i had an epiphany when i was about 12, i was walking across a field near my home , just kind of staring at the sky as a kid might do, and i was suddenly overcome with an intense feeling of emptiness, ever since i've been convinced that we are utterly alone, no god, no aliens, no anything (i'd love to be proven wrong about the aliens though)
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 09:58 am
@djjd62,
I've felt alienated most of my life.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 10:18 am
@fresco,
Hmm. Yes.
That throws my theory out a bit.
I still think it 'shapes' what we do know in relation to what we don't. I might need to work out what i mean a bit more.

Do you think that that spirituality is innately ineffable, or do you you think it is only so because it is not an experience felt by everyone?
For example, if you took drugs you might describe yourself as 'coming up' which to another drug taker would be understood, but to someone who had never taken drugs it would mean nothing.

And Fresco, how long do I have to wait until I know as much as you know? Wink
fresco
 
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Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 10:48 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
And Fresco, how long do I have to wait until I know as much as you know

Smile
The key is to get rid of that I and you are there already ! You need to realise that "I" is evoked by "language"...it is an observational/classificatory mode of "being" which is actively segmenting "reality" according to social. psychological and physiological needs.
There are levels of being which can transcend that...which can transcend "the self".
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 11:26 am
"Fresco" can't have "knowledge" because there is no separate "Fresco" / "knowledge" for the "non-dualist". Actually there can be no "non-dualism" for the "non-dualist" either!
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 11:32 am
i was challenged to a non-dual once
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 11:39 am
Dueling Banjos for the non-dualist would be a non-event.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 11:50 am
@fresco,
Quote:
The key is to get rid of that I and you are there already ! You need to realise that "I" is evoked by "language"...it is an observational/classificatory mode of "being" which is actively segmenting "reality" according to social. psychological and physiological needs.
There are levels of being which can transcend that...which can transcend "the self".


I thought I got that. But I think I 'get' it, as in understand the concept, but don't 'see' it.
It's not very pragmatic Smile
How do you explain chumly's paradox?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 02:31 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
There is no "explanation" required because there is no "problem". This fresco which communicates is at the duallist level of "self" and "world" in which such "problems" are posed. The essence is captured by a Zen koan or perhaps by Wittgestein's "silence".

For Wittgenstein By Joseph Duemer

Quote:
Days are like grass the wind moves over:
first the wind & then the silence-
what cannot be said we must pass over
in silence, or play some music over
in our heads. Silently, a wind goes over
(we know from the motion of the grass).
Days are like grass; the wind goes over:
first the wind & then the silence.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 07:05 pm
@fresco,
1) To support your belief system only on a conditional, un-substantiatable, non-empirical basis
2) To use only imprecise language
3) To use nether the scientific method nor mathematics
4) To have your belief system unable to be falsifiabile or predictive

leaves much to be desired indeed!
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 08:19 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:
There is probably someone who thought of this before me, but:

Do you think we could understand religion/spirituality as a way of QUANTIFYING what we DO NOT KNOW?

Yes we could, though many contemporary theologians argue that we shouldn't. The key phrase you want to search the Web for is "God of the Gaps".
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 02:21 am
@Chumly,
Chumly,

Speaking as a published scientist (experimental phonetics and psycholinguistics) with an interest in esotericism and philosophy I can merely point out that your "scientific points" are a serious impediment to your "understanding" of my position. In effect, you may be unaware that you are entrenched in a particular paradigm of "naive realism".
Such a paradigm is used by all "Westerners" for everyday purposes but one of the roles of philosophy is to question and subject that paradigm and those "purposes" to deconstruction.

Thus the Chumly who "desires" otherwise has already closed the door to the analysis of his "desire". Your "self integrity" may depend on a vested interest in "scientificism" which you are moved to protect. You resist the deconstruction of such a "self".
fresco
 
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Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 02:51 am
@fresco,
Chumly,

As an afterthought, ask yourself this.

Why would Wittgenstein later reject his own acclaimed works on logic and empiricism from his tractatus?
Why would Bohm, a celebrated associate of Einstein risk his career to publish a concept of "implicate order" which he admits (in collaboration with Krishnamurti) is synonymous with "cosmic consciousness" ?
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 03:16 am
@fresco,
You rely on the logical fallacy called an appeal to authority.

Further you supply nothing to support that your belief system is a function of either experimental phonetics or psycholinguistics or being published.

However as an interesting aside, given that you opened the door I would argue that:

1) Neither experimental phonetics, nor psycholinguistics, nor being published infers more than the use of a text based language (I'll assume English).

2) Text based languages are by their nature very imprecise.

3) Text based languages cannot alone be used as the basis for the scientific method in its whole as per: falsifiability, predictability, precision and the other requisite considerations, some of which I refer to above.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 03:39 am
@Chumly,
Chumly,

I am doing the opposite of "appealing to authority". I am pointing out that so-called "authorities" have been moved to question their own views of "science" and I am intrigued to know why.

Your constant appeal to " logic" is somewhat like an appeal to an "offside rule"
from a parochial game we call soccer, when in essence the subject for discussion is "game theory".

I apologise for citing that "authority" Niels Bohr in support when I offer his quote
Quote:
No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical.

yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 05:28 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

There is no "explanation" required because there is no "problem". This fresco which communicates is at the duallist level of "self" and "world" in which such "problems" are posed. The essence is captured by a Zen koan or perhaps by Wittgestein's "silence".

I like the koan that goes,
"Does a dog have buddha nature?"
"Mu"
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 06:39 am
@yitwail,
LOL. Yes...although that looks a dog's reply it actually means "Not Being".

Quote:
The common theme of the koans of the Wumen Guan and of Wumen's comments is the inquiry and introspection of dualistic conceptualization. Each koan epitomizes one or more of the polarities of consciousness that act like an obstacle or wall to the insight. The student is challenged to transcend the polarity that the koan represents and demonstrate or show that transcendence to the Zen teacher
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