Showing posts with label metaphysics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label metaphysics. Show all posts

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cultural Immune Systems.

Notes from Phædrus

Rober M. Pirsig
An Inquiry into Morals
Bantam Books 1991
(KXXX - pages in Kindle edition.
Notes from
Michael Shermer.
The Believing Brain
Henry Holt and Company, 2011
Page references from
Advance Readers edition


 What it always means is that you have hit an invisible wall of prejudice. Nobody on the inside of that wall is ever going to listen to you; not because what you say isn't true, but solely because you have been identified as outside that wall. A cultural immune system.  K58 
It was classical nineteenth-century science and its insistence that science is only a method for determining what is true and not a body of beliefs in itself.  K59 

Patterns of culture do not operate in accordance with the laws of physics .   How are you going to prove in terms of the laws of physics that a certain attitude exists within a culture? K60

The trouble was that man ins't suited to this kind of scentifec pbjective study.  Objects of scientific study are supposed to hold still. ...Man doesn't do this. Not even savages.61
As a fiscal conservative and a social liberal ...I have close friends in both camps, and over the years I have observed the following: no matter what the issue is under discussion, both sides are equally convenced that the evidence overwhelmingly supports their position.  I am sure it does because of the confirmation bias, or the tendency to seek and find vonfirmatory evidence in support o already existing beliefs and ignore or reinterpret disconfirming evidence.  AR259

A work in progress.  I am in the process of reading Lila.  More quotes and finally analysis and commentary to follow.  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fiction, Imagination and Reality.

Phenomenology - Beliefnet:

A child at about 6 or 7 begins to sort out the imaginary and fiction from the real quite naturally. Herm imaginary friend is identified as different from herm real friends. Santa and the tooth fairy are identified as myth (fiction) that may be fun to learn from and play with but are clearly not reality. This process is normally encouraged by care providers as normal progress in learning. It can be subverted by establishing some myths as reality, usually for social conditioning and safety. In a religious community the God myth is strongly promoted as reality, and obedience intentionality toward God as a real 'supercop' is encouraged.

The last chance a child has to reallocate myths to the fiction category is the post pubescent rebellion when the child 'leaves his parents' and 'cleaves' to a new society historically by exogamy, but a recent development (by evolutionary standards) is the leaving home for apprenticeship or scholarship. The myths of the parents are challenged and compared to the myths of the new society and assigned to the appropriate fiction/real categories.

Again this process can be subverted by religious prohibitions to leaving the 'presence of God' for any reason, and a strong endogamy bias.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Beliefnet Community > Thread - Why does anyone believe in G-d?

Beliefnet Community > Thread - Why does anyone believe in G-d?:

Some people worry too much about ontological questions - to the point of despair. Realizing uncertainty can be depressing, but also liberating from endless speculation...

Inducing worry about ontological issues is one of the primary marketing tools of religions. Now me? I'm not in the market. Solving the ontological problems seems to be a necessary condition for rational atheism however. I am not sure faith is the answer. I think recognizing the uncertainties of life and being comfortable with the fact that not all questions have definable answers and sometimes best guesses are the best we can do is critical for finally shaking the concept of faith. I try to stay away from faith. Even in stupid things like having faith that the sun will rise tomorrow. I am comfortable with my assessment that the probability of it going nova overnight is negligible as all information is that it will be a few million years before that is expected to happen. I don’t have faith that being ends with death, but I do consider that to be the most probable scenario and plan my life accordingly. If I am wrong, I guess I will deal with the situation the way I deal with new adventures now. I am quite comfortable with Marie Callender’s ontology:

“Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.”

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Validating emperical observations

Beliefnet Community > Thread - How do creationists explain black people.:
Can you please explain to me how it is possible to validate any empirical observation without employing such metaphysical axioms?
Empirical observations are validated by consistency with other empirical observations which may be of a similar or relevant nature. If one for example makes the empirical observation that young children in learning how to separate self from other will frequently be unable to distinguish between living others, inanimate others such as toy animals, and mythical others like Santa Claus, or the Wizard of Oz. One can validate this observation by observing the child interacting with living others that hesh may not have met previously, a new inanimate toy, and a new myth like God. The fact that God is as real in the mind of the child as the living stranger validates the observation that until a certain age children have a concept of self and other, but the other may not be differentiated.

Playing peek-a-boo with a stranger may be just as enjoyable to the child as having a jack-in-the box pop up. God saying no may be just as frightening to a child as Mama saying no.

Eventually children learn to differentiate the other into classes with varying levels of importance and authenticity. Toys become inanimate objects of some degree of importance and closeness, but recognized as toys. Myths and stories are recognized as such, again with varying levels of authenticity and importance as educational sources. Other people are differentiated into classes with varying levels of authenticity and authority. But even adults may attach undue importance to certain inanimate objects and myths which become idols that distort their outlook on reality.

A ia A

Beliefnet Community > Thread - How do creationists explain black people.:
A is A, and A is not non-A.

Can you please explain to me how that purely metaphysical axiom is somehow untrue?

As with many metaphysical axioms the problem is not that it is untrue. It is just that it says nothing meaningful about A. Everyone from Ayn Rand to theologians to idiots can start with A is A and puffing up their chest say A is obviously A and then go on to bloviate about all sorts of things that must be necessary about A just because A is A.

God is God. God is not something other than God. No problem at all. Absolutely a true statement. But adding a simple property to God, for example God is God and therefore God exists because God can not be a non-existent God, since God cannot be not God, moves beyond metaphysical truth to gross speculation, theory or theology, which of course are equivalent.

Metaphysics in the modern world is not untrue it is just useless.

Well, not really useless, one can spend may enjoyable hours discussing whether Kant's noumenal ontology trumps Hume's empiricism and whether Aristotle is even relevant today, but one must be aware that in metaphysics like theology faith trumps truth. And one must not confuse the two from either side of the discussion.