Page 2 of 2 [ 29 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2


Are you
Poll ended at 31 Oct 2009, 7:27 am
spiritual 50%  50%  [ 5 ]
religious 10%  10%  [ 1 ]
not breathing at all 40%  40%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 10

MussoliniBismarck
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 57
Location: Jefferson State

26 Oct 2009, 1:37 pm

To best understand why we are alive I'd recommend a class in biology. :)



TallyMan
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 30 Mar 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,833

26 Oct 2009, 1:40 pm

leejosepho wrote:
TallyMan wrote:
My parents were ordinary hard working people with no time for religion or spirituality in their lives ...


But then there is still this:

TallyMan wrote:
They could not understand my juvenile questions along the lines "But surely it is important to know WHY we are alive ...?".


From where does that kind of question come?

Surely not from mere rocks.


I don't follow. Are you suggesting there is some mystical origin for an enquiring mind? All I see is a mixture of nature and nurture. A genetic and hard-wired disposition which is influenced by events during upbringing.


_________________
I've left WP indefinitely.


leejosepho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,011
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

26 Oct 2009, 1:49 pm

TallyMan wrote:
I don't follow. Are you suggesting there is some mystical origin for an enquiring mind? All I see is a mixture of nature and nurture. A genetic and hard-wired disposition which is influenced by events during upbringing.


I am asking more than suggesting, but yes ...

MussoliniBismarck wrote:
To best understand why we are alive I'd recommend a class in biology. :)


Biology might suggest answers for *how* we are alive, but not for *why* we are. And if (as I believe we agree) there is "a genetic and hard-wired disposition" to even *be* influenced, from where did that disposition gets its mystical or spiritual leaning or inquisitiveness?

Truly, the chicken had to precede the egg, did it not? Or more simply: How could we ever ask about something that does not exist beyond the scientific "blue" or "apple"?


_________________
I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
==================================


TallyMan
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 30 Mar 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,833

26 Oct 2009, 2:00 pm

leejosepho wrote:
Biology might suggest answers for *how* we are alive, but not for *why* we are. And if (as I believe we agree) there is "a genetic and hard-wired disposition" to even be influenced, from where did that disposition gets its mystical or spiritual leaning or inquisitiveness?

Truly, the chicken had to precede the egg, did it not?


I agree about the *how*. My youthful mind (of around ten years old) was asking such questions as *why*. But as I got older I realised it was a question of linguistics. Just because a question can be framed using the word "why" does not make it a valid question. The word "why" relates to human value judgements. So it is legitimate to ask why someone hit someone else, but it isn't legitimate to ask why an apple fell off a tree onto my head. It would, however, be valid to ask how the apple fell on my head.

Many people extrapolate the word "why" to where it loses meaning and ask question like "why" am I alive. Personally I don't think there is a why only a how regarding that.

I still don't follow your suggestion about where the disposition came from. Are you trying to use "why" here rather than "how"? I don't think it is a valid question to ask "why" a genetic / hard-wired disposition came about. You could however ask "why" your parents acted in various ways regarding your upbringing.


_________________
I've left WP indefinitely.


TallyMan
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 30 Mar 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,833

26 Oct 2009, 2:05 pm

leejosepho wrote:
Or more simply: How could we ever ask about something that does not exist
beyond the scientific "blue" or "apple"?


I've just picked up your edit.

I think when we get into the realms of subjective experience, the realm of consciousness as a personal object rather than as impersonal scientific facts we need to tread very carefully and not jump to conclusions using words that may not necessarily be relevant.

That may sound vague or incomprehensible. I'll pause for a moment and put my "spiritual" hat on and see if I can give a better reply. I know what I want to say but don't know what words to use.


_________________
I've left WP indefinitely.


xanos_25
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 5 Oct 2009
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Posts: 33

28 Oct 2009, 9:11 am

First off let me say that I'm Agnostic and not in a "I don't like the word atheist" sort of way, I actually don't pretend to know any kinds of answers about "Spiritual" or "Religous" matters. Although I've never found an orginized religion that felt right to me.

As I've lived my short 36 year life I've come to the conclusion that either a) there is some sort of nebulous "Spiritual" component to the universe or b) humans are hardwared to these "Spiritual" leanings. Weather this is a real phanominan or not is beyond my ability to know, although I've been very interested in these sorts of questions for quite awhile.

The way I look at "Religion" is as a means to put a "shape" to these nebulous idea's as there things that we can't really percieve and even an NT needs some sort of concreat handle to grasp onto. I don't think "Religion" is bad per se, as it can give people confort and seems to have a large impact on the social dynamic of a group. However "Religion" tends to develop dogmatic ideas that draw it away of the "Spiritual" ideas that it's trying to define, and ultimately that is damaging. I concider Science and Philosophy to be the same sort of thing as "Religion" hence the quotes. All try to model the "shape" of reality in some way.

Religion - Attempts to put a face onto reality (God(s), spirits or what ever)
Philosophy - Attempts to answer the why of reality
Science - Attempts to answer the how of reality

The interesting thing I find about all three is that it doesn't matter if there correct only if they offer a working model that is applicable in some way.

Anyhow this my just all be bat***t crazy aspie yammering so I'm gonna go hide now. :)



leejosepho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,011
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

28 Oct 2009, 9:33 am

xanos_25 wrote:
Religion - Attempts to put a face onto reality (God(s), spirits or what ever)
Philosophy - Attempts to answer the why of reality
Science - Attempts to answer the how of reality

The interesting thing I find about all three is that it doesn't matter if there correct only if they offer a working model that is applicable in some way.


Sounds fine to me!

TallyMan wrote:
Religion = believe what is thrust upon you by your peers regarding God or gods or what is written in ancient books. It tends to be a set of rules followed by particular communities - a form of social control.

Spirituality = looking for oneself into the philosophical questions of life. Not accepting what others thrust upon you as things to be believed. It is about finding answers, not just in a dry scientific way but also as a human being - a thinking feeling conscious entity.

If the distinction between religion and spirituality is not clear a trivial example would be the colour "blue". Scientists can specify the particular range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation designated as blue and also how the eye functions physically and chemically in response to the colour. What science cannot do is show me what blue "looks like". Similarly if I bite an apple, science can list the various chemicals and their interactions with the nerves of the tongue etc but it cannot give me the "taste" of an apple. To me spirituality is asking the deep questions and how they relate to me personally rather than impersonally.


Not to put you on the spot, TallyMan, but simply trying to continue on ...

I have been reading William Stillman's "Autism and the God Connection", and he speaks of what I would term "spiritual connections" or awarenesses or potentials beyond scientific definition.

Personally, I have always been "spiritually-minded", and I suspect my upbringing got that ball rolling. My later abandonment of will and life to "God" has made my permanent recovery from chronic alcoholism possible -- a bit of a "pitch" there for anyone who might ever need and want something similar -- and there is one experience in my life where someone or something within some kind of "spiritual realm" or whatever "spoke" to me directly with what I call a "presence of thought".

Overall, I say autism somehow makes some folks more "spiritually aware" than others.


_________________
I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
==================================


TallyMan
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 30 Mar 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,833

28 Oct 2009, 9:51 am

leejosepho wrote:
Overall, I say autism somehow makes some folks more "spiritually aware" than others.


Yes, I agree with that. I also think it makes people more inquisitive in general. Many of the great scientists seem to have had Asperger traits. I think we ask questions more, and take less for granted than neuro-typicals.

A real eye opener for me was reading Jiddu Krishnamurti. He dismantles belief systems systematically and stimulates questioning. For me he made the distinction between religion and spirituality very clear. A large part of this is seeing through the mental conditioning that has been dumped onto all of us from the moment we were born by parents, teachers, peers and friends. He doesn't mean that we should all become anarchists and throw away all our belief systems but rather to become aware of what beliefs we do have and see if they have any basis in reality or are a house of cards. This act of seeing for oneself is the important thing - it is like waking up and looking around for the first time - eyes clear, hanging onto nothing for support, seeing what is.


_________________
I've left WP indefinitely.


TallyMan
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 30 Mar 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,833

28 Oct 2009, 10:00 am

I'll just add this metaphor regarding what I regard as true spirituality:

There are experts in the weather. Some have lots of books about the subject and some know it very well. If you ask one of these experts what the weather is at the moment outside your house they go through their books and charts and give you their expert opinion. Different traditions of weathermen give varying opinions regarding the weather. Each declares theirs is correct and the others are misguided or deliberately trying to mislead. Whole libraries are full of their deliberations and opinions.

Out of all these experts, only a handful didn't pontificate and simply said "Go outside and look for yourself" - you don't need us, our expertise, beliefs or books.


_________________
I've left WP indefinitely.


TheKingsRaven
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 306
Location: UK

28 Oct 2009, 10:07 am

I'd be careful with that metaphor, it might say profound things about spirtuality but its very easy to read it as an attack on experts or scientists.



TallyMan
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 30 Mar 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,833

28 Oct 2009, 11:32 am

TheKingsRaven wrote:
I'd be careful with that metaphor, it might say profound things about spirtuality but its very easy to read it as an attack on experts or scientists.


I have a strong scientific education and I think it is important that science too should not be a question of dogma but of enquiry. Science works by new scientists coming along and adding to the knowledge base or by finding particular circumstances where existing scientific theory does not accurately describe reality - in which case it is often necessary to refine the existing theoretical base. Science evolves by scientists looking for themselves.


_________________
I've left WP indefinitely.


leejosepho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,011
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

28 Oct 2009, 2:28 pm

TallyMan wrote:
I have a strong scientific education and I think it is important that science too should not be a question of dogma but of enquiry. Science works by new scientists coming along and adding to the knowledge base or by finding particular circumstances where existing scientific theory does not accurately describe reality - in which case it is often necessary to refine the existing theoretical base. Science evolves by scientists looking for themselves.


Although lacking in traditional (handed-down) or formal (systematized) education, and for that I am actually grateful, that is how I approach this matter of spirit, or of spirituality or of the spiritual realm or of whatever else any or all of this or any of its parts might be. I first followed my parents' tradition "mindlessly" without even thinking to question anything, then a later attempt at formal education with seminary in mind was abandoned in favor of remaining "outside the box". I have yet to fathom the forest, but the trees no longer obstruct my vision and I no longer trip over exposed roots or get tangled in hanging vines.


_________________
I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
==================================


TheKingsRaven
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 306
Location: UK

28 Oct 2009, 3:31 pm

Tallyman your description of scientific enquiry is accurate but it dosn't really respond to my point that your metaphor could be easily and badly misinterpreted. It portrays "experts" as blinded by dogma: too concerned with their books, charts and arguing against the "wrong" tradition of weatherman to accept the empirical evidence outside their window.

Given that "expert" is a commonly used shorthand for "scientist in the field", the example is meteorologists and the average Hollywood scientist is in fact blinded by dogma its very easy to misinterpret the point as "Scientists are doing it wrong"



TallyMan
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 30 Mar 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,833

28 Oct 2009, 3:43 pm

TheKingsRaven wrote:
Tallyman your description of scientific enquiry is accurate but it dosn't really respond to my point that your metaphor could be easily and badly misinterpreted. It portrays "experts" as blinded by dogma: too concerned with their books, charts and arguing against the "wrong" tradition of weatherman to accept the empirical evidence outside their window.


You may be right. Metaphors are seldom perfect - especially one thought up on the spur of the moment. I am just happy if the essence of it is understood by the handful of people who maybe read it.

Experts have their place. There is way too much knowledge for any one person to know everything. If I'm ill I see a doctor. If I need technical advice I find a person familiar with the particular field. Having experts means we don't need to learn everything ourselves and can get instant answers without understanding the details that went into that answer.

However, with religion, or more accurately regarding spirituality, I feel that "experts" have only a limited role. The role of spiritual teachers is to point and help people to realise their own spirituality - not to give lots of answers for the spiritual aspirant to "learn" or memorise or believe.


_________________
I've left WP indefinitely.