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Posted: 08 August 2008 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I heard the July 7 NPR All Things Considered program on Camp Inquiry, and was frankly disturbed at how many of the children articulated that they’ve really done nothing more than bought into a particular paradigm (post Enlightenment Cartesian Rationalism & Baconian Science) as if that were the only paradigm that offered an authentic “reality catalog.”  And with camp counselors who place reason over-against faith as if both are comparable in the first place, and one needs to be chosen over the other (apples & oranges), is a formula for misrepresenting what the discourse should be about in the first place - why we think they way we think, and why we know what we think we know.

Religion (and so faith) functions within its own paradigm and so implies its own world view and its own reality catalog.  Religion’s world view and reality catalog are not shared by the post Enlightenment paradigm - which likewise has its own.  Religion’s reality catalog is polyphasic; the post Enlightenment reality catalog is monophasic.

Free-thinking secular inquirers who suggest to children that reason and rationality necessarily contradicts (subplants) the “supernatural,” simply do not recognize that such a claim presupposes an epistemological paradigm that is only 300 years old, and one that is today only embraced by about 30% of the people on the planet - the vast majority living in Western European cultures, north of the equator.

There is a good reason why Aristotle said “I do not presume to know what I do not know.”  If I could ask two things of one of the counselors at Camp Inquiry I would ask “Why do you think the way you think you think?” and “Do you know why you know what you think you know?”

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Posted: 08 August 2008 07:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Split off from the “Belief, but why?” thread.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I listened to the show. Meginosko, your comments include a lot of stuff that was not part of the show. Are you trying to form an argument that will support itself with your additional comments?

You say that only one paradigm is offered at the camp. How many paradigms does your church offer? (rhetoric, don’t bother answering)

I’m happy to know there is a paradigm that is free from dogma and adult fear-mongering and judgement.

Funny you mention Aristotle and “I do not presume to know what I do not know.” That seems to be the opposite of the religious mantra.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Meginosko, your post raises any number of questions.

Odd that you note that the free-thinker paradigm is only 300 years old. I’d have said it went back at least to Epicurus and Democritus, as well as to Socrates’s Apology. But then having said that, I’d wonder what the importance is of its age. Do “paradigms” become truer by being around for longer? Do they become truer by having larger percentages of the population that believe them? If not, why raise these issues?

And what sort of “paradigm” would you suggest is likely to be more accurate as to the way the world is than the “paradigm” of rational thought and careful investigation?

Further, what do you mean by saying that “Religion’s reality catalog is polyphasic; the post Enlightenment reality catalog is monophasic.” What do the terms “polyphasic” and “monophasic” mean in this context? What is a “reality catalog”?

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Posted: 08 August 2008 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Traveler and Doug,

I will respond in more detail next week. But for now, Doug, the kind of paradigms I’m referring to seek to explain the world as that world is experienced.  Rationalism and scientific methodologies are framework of a paradigm that immediately precludes certain experiences as “not real”, because they cannot fit the criteria for being real (reality catalog) based according to science of what one sees, smells, tastes, touches, hears, and this on a consistent basis.  The only “real” expereience is one that can be seen, smelled, tasted, and touched - or a combination of certain of these.  Thus, something is only “real” if it is experience in what cultural anthropologists call “normal waking state.”  This is “monophasic” reality. 

Since my experience of the risen Jesus was not experienced in a “normal waking state” then, according to the reigning paradigm in our Western European culture, it was not a “real” experience, thus the God it implies is not a “real” entity.

Polyphasic esperiences coming Monday.

Take care.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Oh that will be fun.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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So in other words you had a dream about Jesus, and you’re using this sort of obscurantist rhetoric to attempt to beat around the bush about the weakness of that sort of evidence.

If someone had a dream about you murdering their neighbor, would you want that introduced into evidence against you? After all, it’s their “polyphasic” experience, right?

wink

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Posted: 08 August 2008 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Science doesn’t discount dreams, visions, ghosts, and various other spiritual crap. Because those things are not reproducible, or experimentally observable they become non-verifiable according to the scientific method. Thus if i were to do an experiment to find visions of Jesus and confirm that they are real i could not.

I have dreams about all sorts of things, sometimes I even feel like there is some presence with me and my life has some greater meaning. Those are dreams and feelings, I can’t verify if they are true. Psychologists and Neuroscienctist would say they are not real by observing my brain function. I would agree that these thoughts, feeling, and dreams are only psychological constructs created by my subconscious.

Why is it that people of different religions are visited only by the mythological beings within there own religion? Is it because all the religions are actually true? Or, because those people believe their religion is true and their desire for it to be true creates false memories, visions, dreams, and feelings making their belief system more real. Thus people delude themselves and the longer they do the more real their delusions seem to them even though it’s all obvious horse s*&%t and people objectively looking from the outside in think they are deluded idiots.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I thought of example of this sort of self-fullfillng proficy non-sense. I live in a small hick town filled with the deluded idiots I mentioned before. I went to a church meeting because a friend invited me the pastor spoke of witches wizards and of made proficies about his parishioners. They were all vague generalizations not unlike fortune cookies one parishioner even started crying when they heard their proficy I started laughing but left angry that someone could mind f*%K someone like that. There was racial overtones implying hatred as well but that’s for another thread.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Doug,

You see, there is no bush for me to beat around.  And I could say your reliance on ratinalistic & scientific methodologies to determine your “reality” is as obscurantists as you say my acceptance of multiple realities is.  After all, (as the neuroscientist would say, no doubt) your experience of the experiment to prove your reality, and your observation of the results of that experiment are nothing more than electrical signals transmitted chemically in your brain.  Right?

Polyphasic experience of reality has a lot more to do with recognition of multiple realities, alternate states of conscious experiences, and our interpretation of those experiences - no simply dreams.  But it does include some dreams.

Listen, if your discussion method is to force me, or anyone else to subject experiences (normal consiousness or not) to your dominant paradigm that precludes the reality of religious experiences in the first place, how can there be a conversation?

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Posted: 08 August 2008 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Hello meginosko,

How is looking for reasons and evidence “obscurantist”?

What do you mean by “multiple realities”? I’m still trying to figure that one out. You appear, however, to believe that dreams and fantasies are just as real as the real world. Again, I would urge you to consider how you would feel if your neighbor accused you of murder on the evidence of a dream or fantasy. Would you plead guilty, based on the polyphasic reality of the world?

I am not precluding the possibility of religious experiences being true. I simply want some intercommunicable, testable, repeatable evidence of them. Do you have any? Because if all we have to go on are Christian dreams, then what makes them any more reliable than the dreams of an atheist, a Moslem, a Hindu or a Voodoo priest? Surely their dreams do not provide any evidence that would confirm the Nicene Creed.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 01:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Doug,

What I know, is that 70% of the worlds population “knows” that some dreams and alternate states of conscious experiences are as real as you or I drinking beer out of a test tube.  They “know” this based on a particular world view that you reject as fantasmic (?).  I’m not saying their world view is right, only that it is as real to them as yours is to you.

Your desire for intercommunicable, testable, repeatable evidence of religious experiences reflects a position inertly fixed in a post Enlightenment perspective.  Of course, I have no scientific evidence for the reality of the content of religious experiences.  But my beliefs do not require them to have such evidence – I have experience. 

All you have is the same as well – your experience (and interpretation) of intercommunicable, testable, repeatable evidence.

Got to go

[ Edited: 08 August 2008 01:33 PM by meginosko ]
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Posted: 08 August 2008 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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meginosko - 08 August 2008 12:19 PM

Polyphasic experience of reality has a lot more to do with recognition of multiple realities, alternate states of conscious experiences, and our interpretation of those experiences - no simply dreams.  But it does include some dreams.

Then I am handicapped for there is only one reality for me. I’ve had alternate states of conscious experiences - legal and illegal - but I recognize them as precisely that. I can imagine alternate realities being made from those alternate states of consciousness, but imagining something does not make it real for me as it apparently does for you. I hope you enjoy your reality as much as I enjoy mine.

You came to this forum stating how disturbed you are with what you learned of camp inquiry from NPR. Rather than disturbed about that, you seem more intent on forcing your perverse views on us. I’m open-minded, but not stupid. You can speak of paradigms, post Enlightenment Cartesian Rationalism & Baconian Science all you want, but where the rubber meets the road, you - like so many others - seem to have nothing of substance.


PS, your habit of saying, “Got to go” or “I’ll give more detail later” as though you are a scarce resource (you said you would be away until Monday!) is annoying.

[ Edited: 08 August 2008 01:41 PM by traveler ]
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Posted: 08 August 2008 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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The “got to go” and “more to come monday” references are likely because the person is wrapping up work to go home for the weekend, and does not have a home computer from which to continue the conversation. They probably mentioned it so that over the next two days, we don’t think we’re being ignored. (I have a couple of co-workers who don’t have home computers, and do the same thing.)

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Posted: 08 August 2008 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Call me skeptical.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I was reading along the first post, and thinking this was going to be an interesting debate. But I think I fell off the wagon somewhere around the time Jesus rose from the dead and took over someone’s dream.

I have a friend who swears her dead mother came to her in a dream, and told her she was happy in heaven. Tears in her eyes, she said she was so happy that her mother was living on in heaven, and had come to let her know so she wouldn’t worry anymore. I could not stand to hurt her feelings. All I could say was “Wow. That’s an amazing experience you had. It’s good to know she is not suffering any longer.”

[ Edited: 08 August 2008 03:22 PM by Jules ]
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