« "Quantum Gods" debunks spiritual pseudo-science | Main | How to judge a "science of the soul" »

May 20, 2009

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

“First -- and probably most importantly -- everybody uses the scientific method in their everyday lives. Otherwise it would be impossible to live any sort of normal life.”

We can’t always depend on science. Just a hypothetical question: What if some out of our control natural disaster or catastrophic event happens and electricity and all those gadgets we are so dependent upon become defunct? Those people who rely on the scientific “reality” of their world will be so out of their minds there will be chaos.

Intuition and connectedness to spirit is what we will be needing more than scientific knowledge, knowing how to act, where to go and what to do. Practical everyday methods of survival are what we will need, modern day science is not going to help at all, it will be back to the basics.

whatever, it sounds like you didn't read what I wrote very closely. The scientific method isn't used only for discovering scientific truths. It also is exactly what would be needed in the sort of disaster you alluded to.

I have no idea what you mean about not relying on the scientific reality of this world. If people don't respond in accord with the reality of a situation, their responses won't be successful. "Practical everyday methods" are exactly what the scientific method is about.

Have an idea. Try it out. See how it works. Modify that approach as needed. Thinking scientifically is the most natural and practical way to live. Imagining oneself in a spiritual realm won't cut it.

Cool post.

Brian wrote: "First -- and probably most importantly -- everybody uses the scientific method in their everyday lives"

I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, I would go further and suggest it is impossible to think any other way. That is, all thinking is scientific.

Even someone who says they believe in a god based on their faith is still thinking scientifically.

A believer may say "God is real because the Bible says so". But this is still scientific thinking.

"God is real" is the theory. "Because the Bible says so" is the evidence.

Theory. Evidence. Conclusion.

That's science.

We are all scientists.

The only difference between a believer and non-believer is that the believer is satisfied by the evidence provided, whilst the non-believer is not satisfied.

Arguments as to the existence or non-existence of anything are really about the *quality* of the evidence.

Smack, nicely said. You make me think about an open dance practice my wife and I went to last night, after not dancing for several months and being even more rusty than usual.

I got fixated on doing an American Tango move the way I thought it was supposed to be done. I step left, right, then side left, and back right.

Whoa...ended up in wrong position. My right leg is supposed to be forward, not the left. Now I can't do a leg flick against Laurel's leg, and getting out of the move is weird.

Now, I was using the scientific method. Had a theory about the steps involved in this move. Experimented with my theory. Observed what happened. Then adjusted my theory, since it was clear that it didn't fit Tango reality.

I wasn't as scientific as I should have been, though, because I persisted in trying to make the move work several more times. When I got home I consulted my notes, found what I was doing wrong (should have been left, side right, step behind left -- obvious in retrospect), and resolved to do better next time.

My point: ballroom dancing is pretty darn intuitive. You can't think too much, or you can't dance. But dancing also uses the scientific method. Meaning, you try something, see how it works, and then adjust your "theory" of how to move.

Long way of saying that I agree with you.

Smack,

I disagree with your saying that "faith", or belief in religion, or belief in God or the Bible, is somehow science, scientific thinking, or "evidence". Here's why:

Mere belief is NOT evidence. A "theory" alone, is not evidence. Belief based upon mere theory, is NOT "evidence" or "science". There is a crucial difference between a theory, and solid evidence. So religion is NOT science, no matter how you argue it. You claim that belief in the Bible is evidence. NO. The Bible is merely stories and beliefs. And so just saying "because the Bible says so" does not equal "evidence". And evidence is provable testable evidence. Either there is undeniable proveable evidence, or there is not. It is not any matter of any so-called "quality".

tAo,

I should have been clearer.

When I used the word 'evidence' I was not referring to 'objectively testable verifiable evidence' but rather what the believer accepts as 'evidence'.

When I say "'Because the Bible says so' is the evidence"... I am referring to believer's point of view.

For the believer, it is evidence.

For the non believer, it is not evidence.

But nevertheless, both parties have used the *same* scientific process to solve the problem: Theory, Evidence, Conclusion.

That's my point.

So I should amend my last sentence for clarity's sake:

Arguments as to the existence or non-existence of anything are really about the *quality* of that which is put forward as 'evidence' by either party.

The definition of evidence, facts, truths, beliefs, etc. needs to be reviewed. My definition may be different from the next.

Never hurts to step back a little and start with raw data or information. Examine how this raw data (info) is collected and recorded. Review how these methods differ from person to person.

There may be much debate as to how this raw data(info) is converted into evidence. Someone's evidence, imo, may need to be down graded back to raw data, for further analysis.

If I, reserve the right to be wrong, then why do I need to create a belief system around my evidence, hypothesis, theory, etc.

I present my findings and let the process continues through the Method.


"God is real" is the theory. "Because the Bible says so" is the evidence."

---Not sure this is a scientific theory. Don't see the evidence in the above statement.


"We are all scientists."

---Don't see all of us as scientist. However, imo, I think we persons, "should" employ the scientific method, more than not.

The problem with this train of logic is that people who are believers are following it also but to their own conclusions. Example: I have been receiving a series of emails this spring from a neighbor whose husband, a pastor (incidentally very nice people), has gone through nearly dying from-- well doesn't matter from what; but he definitely came close (whether scientist or believer you would see that part the same), a week in Intensive Care and some time in rehab to finally get back home around Easter.

Each email is about how god is working, god is fixing it and this goes out to all the 'believers' including me. So the last one that I got, this morning actually, said god has worked a miracle and the pastor no longer has to have more treatment. God has cured him.

To them it's not faith in the medical practices but a miracle although at least they did use the medical system. Using their own version of scientific reasoning, they'd take it down those steps but change what their conclusion was because it suits the agenda they have lived with all their lives.

What they sent out to all the 'believers' and me will cause many of them to see it as 'scientific' evidence that prayer works. It's all relative to where you are and what you want to believe. I believe in positive thinking, loving energy being a big help, but think the medical system is what pulled him through. In the end we are all humans with agendas and spiritual or scientific, we tend to skew the conclusions to our own comfort zone.

You know it works for them and as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else (some religious ideas do) then I don't care that they see it as a miracle. It makes them happy. The harder part for me to be sanguine about would be when the next time it doesn't work and then they say-- it was god's will. So whichever way it went, they would say that their experiments and evidence proves what they want to believe. I guess we all cling to something for a rock to hang onto...

Nobody (well at least not I) is quoting the Bible as being the last word on reality, absolutely far from it.

Neither is anyone here taking hearsay from any spiritual perspective and holding that up to be the real McCoy either.

And so likewise with this holy cow that is 'science'.

Firstly this totem pole 'Science' can somebody please define the objective reality that is 'Science'.

And what does this holy ideal 'science' purport to 'know' or acknowledge, and what field of understanding, physical, metaphysical, natural, phenomenal or 'real' is this grand illustrious medium supposed to be the standard bearer of?

According to Wikipedia Science represents the effort to discover and increase human understanding. Knowledge in science is gained through research. Using controlled methods, scientists collect observable evidence of natural phenomena, record measurable data relating to the observations, and analyze this information to construct theoretical explanations of how things work. The methods of scientific research include the generation of hypotheses about how phenomena work, and experimentation that tests these hypotheses under controlled conditions. The results of this process enable better understanding of past events, and better ability to predict future events of the same kind as those that have been tested.

So in effect what mankind refers to as 'science' is purely a study of natural phenomena and how it relates or reacts with itself and with himself, man.

Again I reiterate, the true in depth analysis of that which is truly 'scientific' is not subject to change and endless analytical hypothesis, it is 'true' and irrefutable.

Such absolute reality is attainable, except not within the limited confines of the dead end apparati in the closed off crystallized laboratory which is mans limited vision and scope within his limited attributes of perception, which are the physical phenomenal 'unreal' impermanent faculties of that which we perceive through our limited non perceptive physical senses.

Ashy/sharbata, you've used a lot of words again. But you haven't said anything. Where is the evidence of anything other than "natural phenomena"? Where is the evidence of another realm of existence that you claim is absolute reality?

This is the point I made in this post, which you've nicely illustrated. Your comment is precisely like a sidelines "trash talker" who claims to be able to play the Truth Game better than the scientific method, yet is unable to demonstrate any moves on the playing field.

Again, it's easy to speak about spiritual realities. The Bible does that. The Koran does that. All kinds of holy books do that. But where is the demonstrable objective truth behind those words?

"...........the true in depth analysis of that which is truly 'scientific' is not subject to change and endless analytical hypothesis, it is 'true' and irrefutable."

---No need for the "truely" in using the Scientific Method. One persons truely, is another's crapola.


"And what does this holy ideal 'science' purport to 'know' or acknowledge, and what field of understanding, physical, metaphysical, natural, phenomenal or 'real' is this grand illustrious medium supposed to be the standard bearer of?"

---Definition of "know" and "knowledge" is in order here. Definitions do differ, even within a small group.
---The Scientific Method, imo, stands alone. How groups of scientists, and other persons, create a Standard within a particular field of science is another issue. These official Standards are open to change and do change from time to time.


"Firstly this totem pole 'Science' can somebody please define the objective reality that is 'Science'."

---So, why do I need to do that? My definition or examination of a particular "object" may be different. Let's get together and compare notes. If we differ, then we differ. The scientific method is the method, no need to put it on top of a totem pole.

either you 'know' or you don't.

either you have vision or you are blind.

either your frame of reference is sensual 'reality', or else it is 'illusion'.

you decide which is 'trash talk' and which is semantics based on intellectual hypothesis.

Those that do Know, don't need play any such 'games'. Intellectual or hypothetical.

Ashy/kool, once again... claiming to know isn't the same as showing that you know.

I can claim that I'm a great dancer. But when I show my stuff on the dance floor, it's clear that I'm average.

Similarly, if someone claims knowledge of something other than "sensual reality," that is just talk unless he or she can show some evidence of it.

Otherwise, it is just talk. Words. Concepts. Like I said, someone may be able to play the spiritual game inside their head, and that's fine.

But unless they can show their stuff to others, there's no reason to accept what they say as true. This is the difference between science and religion: science wants proof, religion only demands belief.

"either you 'know' or you don't."

---sometimes I think I know, then times I think I don't know. No big deal...

"either you have vision or you are blind."

---I can possess blinded vision. I'm human, I can make a mistake.

"either your frame of reference is sensual 'reality', or else it is 'illusion'."

---So, could sensual reality be an illusion too?

"Those that do Know, don't need play any such 'games'. Intellectual or hypothetical."

---Persons that think they know, play games all the time. So whats the big deal?

No one needs 'show' anyone anything, see or remain blind.

firstly what is it you would like to be 'shown'?

the old adage still holds whether you ready to 'buy' it or not

truth cannot be taught, can only be caught.

either your mind is open to the potential of 'seeing' or else it is closed by the very blindness that is its own hypothetical 'reasoning'.

What would you like to be 'shown', who is this 'individual' that needs 'see' reality?

Who are 'you', identity 'who', which voyeur of 'what'?

Open your gaze to the possibility of 'seeing - knowing' and it may make itself 'visible' to you, else continue seeking to be 'shown' that which can never be 'shown' only 'seen'.

Never can be 'taught', can only be 'caught'.

lets rephrase that

what is it 'we' would like to be 'shown'?

truth cannot be taught, can only be caught.

either 'our' minds are open to the potential of 'seeing' or else it is closed by the very blindness that is 'our' own hypothetical 'reasoning'.

What would 'we' like to be 'shown', who are these 'individual' that needs 'see' reality?

Who am 'I', identity 'who', which voyeur of 'what'?

Open our gaze to the possibility of 'seeing - knowing' and it may make itself 'visible' to me-us, else 'we' continue seeking to be 'shown' that which can never be 'shown' only 'seen'.

Never can be 'taught', can only be 'caught'.

Dear Brian et al.,

Personally I am impressed by the "wisdom" I find in Rain's statement: "In the end we are all humans with agendas and spiritual or scientific, we tend to skew the conclusions to our own comfort zone."

I believe I see this demonstrated again and again in the various comments posted on this blog. (And I admit to being subject to this same general "rule" myself.)

This is also true when the "record" of what was presented has been altered or omitted (by "request" or otherwise).

Robert Paul Howard

Ashy/kool...OK, I get the message.

There's no evidence, no proof, no sign of the spiritual truth you talk about.

Thanks for supporting a recent post of mine, where I argued that "God's goodness is absolutely nothing."
http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2009/05/gods-goodness-is-absolutely-nothing.html

Meaning, as you say above, that all of this supposed spiritual realization is purely within the mind of the beholder, and can't be demonstrated to anyone else or shown to make a discernible difference in objective reality (no miracles, no special powers, no behavioral specialness, etc).

That's fine. As I said in this post, and you've confirmed, science is the only way of knowing demonstrable objective truth. Private feelings and experiences exist also, but they have to be put in the realm of "I like" rather than "I know."

You speak of unprovable, hidden, subjective experience, which falls in the same knowledge realm as other personal experiences, such as tasting a strawberry.

It seems, though, that if there is some sort of supreme metaphysical reality beyond this universe, it would have some demonstrable effect on people and things here. Apparently not.

Sure, Robert, nobody has a lock on ultimate truth. Like "The Ego Tunnel" book says, we all are viewing reality through our own subjective mental lens, not directly.

That's why science is so important. It serves as a guide, or correction, to personal biases. The scientific method goes a long way toward checking our natural tendencies to see things as we want to see them.

There are facts, though. Thankfully. We have a lot in common on the walls of our ego tunnels. That's what we call objective reality -- that shared experience of the universe. As in, "Did you see that?" "Yes, I saw it too." That shows me it isn't only in my own mind.

This blog isn't a scientific experiment. I feel free to exercise some of my prejudices, likes, and dislikes. If someone is commenting inappropriately, in my totally personal opinion, I delete the comments.

how can one confine 'supreme metaphysical reality' to the realms of this limited medium of hypothetical understanding, they are poles apart, like chalk and cheese never to meet

also why reduce insight, experience, exposure to truth, as mere subjective 'feelings'

Emotion is perhaps one level of experience, recognition another, perception perhaps quite another, even further advanced down the highway of love, ultimately immersion in the reality, the truth, the 'substance', surely that is the ever illusive goal.

Never had a need to confine 'supreme metaphysical reality' to the realms of this limited medium of hypothetical understanding. This is kinda strange.

I have written things on a chalk board, while eating a piece of cheese. One time, I placed that piece of cheese on the chalk board rail, to free up both hands, and some chalk on the board came loose and fail on that piece of cheese. Chalk on cheddar cheese doesn't taste too good. However, they can meet.

Nothing wrong with having a subjective feeling. So whats the big deal here?

One can have a goal. An ellusive goal is one type. Again, whats the big deal here?

In my opinion (and that is all it is), spirituality and religion answer questions of an ontological nature. Science takes certain ideas of our existence as a priori, which is the only way you can maintain "objective truth" at all. In that sense, there is no "objective reality." If there is, please prove it.

Ned, that's easy. I just read exactly what you wrote. And you're doing the same with what I wrote. We share an objective reality.

Same as when I come to a red light, and you also see the same red light. Life would be pretty crazy (and unlivable) if everybody lived in their own subjective reality. Also, it would be lonely.

Actually, that says there is a shared subjective reality, not an objective one. Consider the dubiousness of eye witness accounts of traffic accidents. Obviously, we aren't all seeing the same red light.

My view is that there is a single consciousness that we all live in and are a part of. I would agree with the Buddhists that we have no soul and that reality is empty (both point to a singular consciousness), but I also think that the one consciousness is intelligent, has purpose and is knowable. Hence, God.

That does not conflict with the empirical objectivity of science... but it also doesn't put that model of reality on a pedestal above insight.

Ned,

In a particular field of Science, I would think a particular objective truth, thru Standards, can be created. Groups of scientist can and do come together and agree on a particular Standard. They agree to agree, the Standard is set forth. One nice issue is the Scientific Method, that allows for changes to occur. This is dualism, where object-subject study is engaging.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Welcome


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...