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#56527 10/18/06 09:31 PM
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http://onlyagame.typepad.com/only_a_game/2006/09/trust_in_scienc.html

excerpt:

"Science is a subjective process with an objective goal. Genuine objectivity is beyond the reach of any individual scientist, or any community of scientists, as we are all human and subject to biases of many different kinds. The scientific endeavour achieves something that approximates to objectivity only over time. Scientific theories receive popular validation when they result in technology, or when sufficient time has passed for the most effective explanations to prove their worth (as we saw previously in the case of continental drift).

Trust in science is a metaphysical belief..."

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'Genuine objectivity is beyond the reach of any individual scientist, or any community of scientists'
Agreed - Anything anyone does including scientists has to come through the
filter of our individual brains, our conditioning/teaching and our pre-conceptions, ergo all science is actually subjective. We are frequently told by scientists that this or that is the way it is or that something is good or bad for us only to be told sometime later that this is no longer the case.
''Trust in science is a metaphysical belief..."
In the final analysis everything is only what YOU think it is.

Love and light,
Faune

Faune #56529 10/19/06 08:09 PM
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So, if I think a car will just go right through me and I will be unharmed then I should just walk right out onto any highway, right?

Of course not.

If you want to mentally masturbate, you can go into solipsistic arguments. You can ask how do we know that we know until absolutely nothing is certain. While it may be an entertaining game, it's nothing more than playing with your own mind, pushing symbols around in accordance with certain rules.

We all know that cars exist for real and that walking out in front of one going 60 mph will likely get you mangled and/or killed. I know this for certain, because my brother did it while on drugs that made him think, delusionally, that he'd be ok. Well, guess what? Reality 1, Belief 0. Luckily, my brother is still alive, but his body has been screwed up and he's got brain damage. Or maybe he hasn't. Maybe that's just my subjective experience.

There are certain facts of life that for all practical purposes are objective. Emphasizing that because we experience these objective events through our subjectivity is useful only in that it helps us be on guard against errors in judgment caused by the fallibility of our perceptual apparatuses. It is not carte blanche to believe any old crazy thing you want and, worse, say that it is just as valid as beliefs based on empirical evidence.

Would you inject yourself with some drug simply because somebody decided to believe, based on their own subjective criteria, that it would help you? Or would you want some scientific proof that the substance would help you instead of harming you? But wait... that's all just subjective brouhaha, right? So the studies and the crazy ideas of a lunatic are exactly the same....

Please.

You are surrounded by the validity of scientific thought in your everyday life. You might even have been dead by now were it not for this supposedly subjective pursuit.

Trust in science is based on evidence and reason. We have ample evidence to prove to us that the scientific method is necessary. One reason is that we're not perfect and that we don't know everything. So, we have to experiment, play around, and see if our guesses about the world are right or wrong.

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There was once a demonstration by Tesla on electricity and the body. If he grabbed power lines with high voltage at 60 cycles per second it would assuredly kill him.

He theorized that if the same power were raised to 300 cycles per second that he could safely handle it. He went on to prove this very thing by grabbing high voltage live power at 300 Hz and walking away intact.

To me this demontrates that the possibility exists you could safely walk out in front of a speeding car if you could change the frequency of the car or yourself. If you cannot, then you most assuredly will suffer some damage or death.

It is great having pie in the sky Beliefs but having the technics to make them reality can be a big stumbling block. The answers are always there to make Beliefs become reality.

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Hi Baba ,

Check out Master Lins book - Born a Healer.
As Jeffd says you can change your reality if you have the knowledge, trust and belief.

However the discussion point was whether science can be objective.
My answer is that everyone is subjective and everything, including science is coloured by the scientists own subjectivity. Previous experience, hopes, expectations etc always have some bearing on the results.
Most scientific studies are biased , whether to achieve something or more often to make a profit for someone.
You might argue that some tests are carried out on machines or computers but men designed the programmes so subjectivity always is inherent.

I don't discount the benefits which science has bought to our lives but I do take it with a pinch of salt.
Science may 'prove' something this year but next year that 'proof' is rebutted.
You say you wouldn't take a drug without scientific backing? Try smoking nicotine? Thalidomide? PPA? Vioxx? etc. US NIA report Oct 2003 states 7.8 million Americans killed by Organised Medicine. There are loads of cases.( I have 26 years of working with people with disabilities)

This is my answer and is of course highly subjective based on my knowledge and experience.
Your reality is probably competely different.

Love and light,
Faune

Faune #56532 10/22/06 05:57 PM
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Tesla could do what he did because he knew how things worked. He didn't expect reality to conform to his beliefs.

He understood the nature of electricity well enough to do what he did. It wasn't because he indulged in pie in the sky crap and expected the world to conform to his beliefs. He learned from the world well enough to do what others thought impossible because others didn't have his depth of understanding.

How did he learn what he did? Well, I think attending to reality might have something to do with that, don't you?

Getting from point a to point b by doing what is necessary is a result of being grounded in reality, and I see nothing wrong with that.

Faune,

Changes occur in science. Yes. This means that science is continually updating its body of knowledge. Would you prefer a scientist to simply decide on an answer and then stick to it no matter what? That's more like faith, not science.

In the cases of drugs like Vioxx, it's obvious that these drugs are not being tested well enough. This is not a problem with science. This is a problem with the drug industry's influence and the policies of the FDA. I think you're confusing issues here and missing my point.

I know what the topic of the conversation is about, and my points were intended to address it.

Science is an empirical system. Hypotheses are tested against reality. The criteria for accuracy of an idea involve testing the idea against what is, not some well formedness conditions based on criteria that have nothing to do with the real world.

Studies that are biased are unscientific, by definition.

A scientist does not set out to prove a hypothesis, he or she sets out to see if he or she can disprove it in order to learn more about the world. This kind of interaction with reality is the basis of most of the progress we have seen in the world.

It's not subjective.

To the extent that subjectivity creeps into science you have bad science. Get it? Otherwise, science is just what you want it to be, and things just don't work that way. Water isn't going to boil at 60 degrees fahrenheit at sea level just because you want it to. You see? If science were subjective, it would say, sure, if you feel like it, man, sure water boils like that. But it doesn't, because science is based on objective facts.

My reality is no different from yours. We both live in the same world. Gravity and the laws of thermodynamics work the same for you and I because we both inhabit the same reality. While our reality is the same, our PERCEPTIONS of it are different. While two people may have different reactions to a piece of art, the piece of art remains the same. It is an object outside of the two individuals. Saying my reality is different from your reality is like saying that the two people are looking at different works of art. No. They are looking at the same work, it's just that their experiences of it are different.

You can say that, well, since their reactions are so different you *might as well* say that they are looking at two different works of art, but you'd be wrong. You'd be neglecting the facts. They're both looking at the same thing even though their reactions are completely different.

This is an important distinction that a lot of people just don't seem to make.

Our "realities" are the same. There are no realities, plural, there's just reality singular. Our perceptions of reality are different. Our perceptions of reality do not change the very nature of reality itself. Reality remains constant. Part of being alive and maturing as individuals and as a species involves being able to learn more and more about the world so that we can survive and pursue our goals.

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Well you can boil water at 60 degrees at sea level if it's under a vacuum, it's done all the time to make distilled water from sea water.

In all truth I Believe that what you are talking about is alot less complex than
the hard and fast rules of Science that you outline.

There are people who can get results and there are those who throw the whole process of scientific research in the way because of economics and many can't seem to achieve anything.

From my experience if you attempt to follow a stringent set of rules to prove or disprove a result, you will never make it happen. There will be some variable in there that cannot be planned for. Therefore no perfect test can ever be performed in this reality. It is a organic energy universe with consciousness and you will not be able to ride that horse until you come to an amicable understanding of each other.

I Believe that Tesla was able to perform what he did because he was a partner with the physical universe, working in harmony, and together they achieved some spectacular results. That is how his reality unfolded.They had a language they both used to communicate.

I Believe that Einstein was of the same mind with regards to reality. It wasn't so much that he did this or he did that. He was in harmony with the universe and could see things unfold. He communicated the best he could about his discoveries at that time. Tesla took it to the race track and walked the talk.

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Quote:

"Trust in science is a metaphysical belief..."




Babyada, thanks for your excellent responses.

Also, I think the above quote is poorly worded. I can understand if someone says, "Trust in science requires a certain amount of faith." Yes, it does, because nothing is ever proven with absolute certainty in science, and indeed, what we know pales in comparison with what we don't. Any scientist would admit this much. But to turn that on its head and suggest that science is therefore a "as trustworthy as a metaphysical belief," well, if someone is willing to believe such a notion, either he doesn't understand what science really is about, or he's incapable of understanding or unwilling to understand what science really is about.

Personally, I find it interesting why some choose to invest so much time and energy knocking down something which has revolutionized our understanding and appreciation of the universe for the good. A lot of people here seem to be seeking "enlightenment." What better enlightenment than realizing the universe for what it IS? This is the goal of science. And the goal of technology, science's sister, is manifesting into reality what the universe CAN BE.

Why continue to bash science and technology, when they are such worthy tools along the road to this seemingly elusive path toward enlightment? The only reason I can think of is to antagonize and alienate, which ulmately result in more harm than good, especially to yourself. Your energies are better served in other ways.

HF

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'Our "realities" are the same. There are no realities, plural, there's just reality singular. Our perceptions of reality are different. Our perceptions of reality do not change the very nature of reality ' Well this is developing into the old optimist v pessamist theory.
I agree with you to a point but would argue that it is the very difference in our perceptions which creates our reality.
Liquid is in a glass to the halfway point we all agree on that BUT what is your view?

Is the glass half full or half empty? Therein you have YOUR reality

Also what is your feeling on Quantum Physics . What if the universe is not what you think it is but only vibrational patterns decoded by your brain? What if you and everyone else is a hologram? Or are you so convinced that your view is the only 'right' one and that no one else can possibly have the answer?

You have all banged on about Tesla but chose to ignore my point that Master Chunyi Lin Qigong Master also held live high voltage cables in his hands and ran the electricity through his body. Read - Born a Healer.

HT You say we should view the universe as it is? How does one do that when there is no real consensus about what the universe is, how it was created/big bang or what? If all the scientists in the world can't agree or don't know then I don't think it is currently possible.

Coyote you started this thread what is your view on the debate?

Love and light
Faune

Faune #56536 10/23/06 10:02 PM
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Babayada,
I was going to put this in the previous post and have now decided to do so.
You talk about art and two people viewing a picture but what if one of them is blind and their experience of it is by touch? Is their experience - their reality -discounted by you because it is not what you deem valid?
You say the picture is the reality but in the end it is the viewers perception which is that persons reality.

What a sad world it would be if we were all the same and saw everything in black and white with strict rules on how everything should be.
I'm glad to be flexible and like my dictionary definition of Reality "Property of being real, what is real, what underlies appearances, the real nature of"

Love and light,
Faune

Faune #56537 10/24/06 02:26 PM
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Regardless of whether a glass is considered half full or half empty it still contains the same volume of liquid, hence as Babayada suggests, "one reality but two perceptions."

And does it matter exactly what the Universe is, be it vibrating strings, quarks, holograms or otherwise, whatever it is, it is, and probably is for all of us.

As regards the picture, it doesn't matter how you view it, whether with your eyes, fingers or your feet, a picture is still a picture; that is the reality, the rest is perception.

And yes, it might be a sad world if we saw everything in black and white but then how can we be absolutely sure that it would, maybe it wouldn't, maybe it would be a better world. And of course, if we state unequivocally that it would be a sad world if we all saw everything in black and white, does that show a lack of flexibility?

Great thread guys.

Regards, and stay chilled.
Steve.

Stevie #56538 10/24/06 05:20 PM
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Hi Steve,

A couple of points I obviously need to clarify,

Perception and reality.
Perception is the observation by the senses leading to the minds understanding of reality.
I don't dispute 'reality' but it is how the individual understands it which creates their own reality.

'Seeing the world in black and white' is, as I am sure you know, a well known saying. It means someone sees things in extremes and does not appreciate the infinite gradations of grey which lie between the two. When I say it would be a sad world if it was black and white I mean that we would not have all the wonderful possibilities which the shades and tones of grey would provide if we were so tightly bound by stringent rules.

Cheers
Love and light
Faune

Faune #56539 10/24/06 06:07 PM
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I don't really percieve Technology as being Science's Sister. You can arrive at Technology through Music, cooking recipes, politics, law, photoreading etc. Although called a Applied Science methinks that is a very limited concept. It will encompass science but is not limited to it.

Also don't see that Science is getting beat up here. As with all perceptions, everyone sees the reality of science as being somewhat different.

One of my perceptions of Science is a bunch of guys in lab coats slowly puttering around the american cancer society collecting $750,000 a year salary. What a great job of marketing. Now when I see money raising events for them I avoid them like the plague.

When I hear of Scientists for food companies developing digestion blocks and keep their customers hungary so they will purchase more food, becoming obese and not getting the nuitrition from food and then have to purchase vitamins and supplements to get what they really need, what am I suppose to think?

Science is somewhat like a gun. It can be used as a weapon or for peace keeping. It is also a very valuable subject to the world as a society.

You also might thank the media for portraying the evil scientists the way they do. Only the bad ones get the media exposure. The rest of the good guys don't sell any news.

Faune #56540 10/24/06 10:40 PM
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Quote:


Coyote you started this thread what is your view on the debate?





Faune,

My view on reality is that when research turned from alchemy, kabbalah, esoteric Christianity to Newton, Descartes, et al in the late 1600s and 1700s, (using the scientific method), and education of the masses became more widespread, we generated this world-wide consensus of reality where miracles are not possible because they do not happen in the lab. I believe miracles have been done. I believe people have become enlightened. I think this was more common in the past because people were less educated, hence the matrix of consensus reality was not so strong, not so difficult to break out of.

Shamanism has resurfaced from it's Central and South Amercian roots due to people like Carlos Canstaneda and others. A core part of this school, is changing one's perception of reality. Drugs can even tear open the doors of our perception, but drugs have the drawback of damaging the machinery of the brain that one needs to continue down the path to enlightenment.

The Eastern mind seems more able to achieve these states of enlightenment. Perhaps it is a benefit of the different way they have of thinking.

I no longer think enlightenment is possible from reading a book (or even 10,000 books). The only path that may work is to find a teacher that is enlightened and learn from that teacher. The path will likely include meditation, studying one's own perceptions, studying one's own thought processes, and pursuit of paranormal powers (the sixth sense).

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Harmony with the universe, I think, comes from realizing that it does not conform to your wishes and beliefs. Like any partner, you got to learn to accept it for what it is, warts and all. This doesn't mean you can't work with reality to make changes. It means you have to work with reality, at least in some part of the process, to make changes.

You can boil water at sea level by creating pressure, yes. Perhaps I should have specified that by stating "at sea level" I was implying at a specific pressure, Jeff? No. You knew that. You're just trying to show me that for every rule there is an exception (except when there isn't). I get it. Just as I am sure you get the significance of knowing you have to change the pressure instead of increasing your desire for it or visualizing harder.

Faune, the wonder of reality is that we get to both share in it AND have our own, unique experiences of it. But reality is reality. You might like shrimp tempura, I might hate it, but it's still shrimp tempura. There isn't any loss of unique experience by admitting that it's the same piece of shrimp tempura from which we both took a bite.

A blind person can feel a painting and because of his or her enhanced sense of touch will probably have a more rich tactile experience of it than a person who touches it and is not blind. Same painting, though. Two totally different experiences of one reality.

Being realistic doesn't mean living without color. Reality is where we get our experiences of color from after all. And for all its limits, reality offers a tremendous amount of choice... real choice.

The longer I live the more I realize that fighting for limitlessness and freedom in youth was a wasted effort. I really do think that if I had only been able to see my limits with sobriety and work within them I would have achieved much more and had a much more satisfying life.

Believe me, I have lived a very privileged life. My problems have often been because of lack of limits. I have experienced more freedom in certain areas than a lot of people. I got whatever I wanted. As I look back, I realize that if I hadn't been able to simply just get whatever I wanted, I would have had to work within limits, and this would have made me ask the important questions like, "This thing I want so badly, is it really worthwhile? What would it be like if I had it? Is it really worth it?"

Instead, there was a tremendous amount of waste. I had more than others, but from a certain perspective I had much less.

Limits aren't so bad, so long as they do not strangle you.

Re: Master Lin....

Let me start off by saying that I respect energy workers. I don't know what it is they do, really. I don't know if its subtle energy or if something like subtle energy exists. I *suspect* it does. I don't know. I have experienced healing at the hands of an energy worker, so there you go.

I haven't read his book. But I bet that what happened is that there was something about the particular circumstances that allowed the electricity to pass through him without harming him. A lot of the sensational stuff that people do to impress others is based on laws of physics, and anyone can do it. Firewalking, beds of nails, wood breaking and all that stuff. It's to impress people who don't know what's really going on.

I think the way the quantum world works (from what little I know) is pretty amazing. It appears to me that through probability, this crazy stuff at the quantum level gives rise to the fairly predictable world we sense and live in. Things look crazy at the quantum level, I think, because of the limits of our senses and tools and our fresh acquaintance with it. As time goes by and we learn more and more about it, I am guessing that we'll discover something that makes us go, "OH! So that's how it is! Well, that makes perfect sense!"

May take us a while to get there.

When I see new agers taking stuff like the split screen experiments as evidence that consciousness creates reality, I get pretty upset. I think they are jumping to conclusions and making a mockery of Quantum Mechanics.

I guess my opinion of it is summed up this way: just because something appears magical, that doesn't mean magic exists... it just means that the universe is filled with mystery.

Last edited by babayada; 10/24/06 11:23 PM.
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That was nicely written Babayada.

Paul Scheele brought something up at a retreat one time about successful people and that is they find one way to get the result they want and then once Mastered will find another way to do the same thing completely unrelated to the first. They just keep on doing this. If they crash and burn, they have so many way of doing things in their repretoire, it's like a non-event.

In a way it is seeing a reality and have the choice to deal with it in a multiple of ways.

I once heard the story of the little boy who's mother made him take piano lessons forever and a day. He wasn't getting it so his mother bought tickets to go see a famous Virtuoso play and show her son what she wanted.

Before the show the boy got seperated from the mom and saw the piano on the stage so he went to play. After a few key strokes the Virtuoso came on the stage and placed his arms around the young boy and told him to continue playing. He played along with and around the young lad creating a masterpiece. The crowd gave a standing ovation.

This story impressed me alot and I took it to work with me to put into practise there. So when my group of engineers takes on a project I will do anything I can to support them but they will do the work and they will do it their way, I do my best to predict which direction they are going and prepare things for them at the right places.

The result has to be the right one or they keep on working on it until complete and probably not the way I personally would do it. From doing it this way I develope competent people and some good friendships. I also get to experience a way different reality than my own.

Because they work from their perceptions,experience and information a reality is changed and different from what I would have made or done in their place.

I do not believe that consciousness creates reality. Reality is energy that already exists and can only transform into another energy state.

In the art of Aikido there is much talk about unifying mind and body with plenty of demonstrations with ones mind engaged and without it.

In Sping Forest Qigong, Master Lin has another interpretation of the Yin/Yang symbol that adds a yellow line between the yin and yang that stands for consciousness. To me, both of these are saying the same thing.

I believe that if your consciousness is actively unified with the energy known as reality then you have a pretty good chance of getting what you want. If you sit back and wish, not much will happen.

As I grow it seems to get more elegant and beautiful but is basically "get off your butt and go to work, you'll feel alot better if you do." Reality.

Aloha

Jeff

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Babayada , Jeff and Coyote,

Thankyou for your responses they clarify at great deal.
I will think of things in a different way .You see you all have your own views on the subject and that is what I love so much about this forum.
We are so diverse in our 'perceptions' that it makes for a world.full of interest and possibilities.

Love and light
Faune

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Well said, Faune. If the universe were left entirely to "scientists" we'd still think it was flat, and that the Sun rotates around the Earth. That's what scientists once thought. It takes someone with vision and courage to truly understand the universe--and more so to try to explain it to the rigid "scientific" community.

Do we need science? Of course we do, but not as an orthodox church, fundamental and unbending. The best and most significant discoveries throughout the ages have always flown in the face of the "science" of the times, and sometimes resulted in the discoverer being jailed or even having his/her life threatened.

Bless the scientists, but also bless those who dare to question them.

Faune #56545 10/26/06 05:37 AM
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Faune.

Don't worry about it, honestly, no clarification is necessary.

Regards, and stay cool!

Steve.

Stevie #56546 10/26/06 10:22 AM
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Cheers Steve,

I'm too old to be worried about science and the nit picking about words.
I'm just enjoying the debate.

Love and light
Faune

Faune #56547 10/27/06 09:58 PM
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Jeanne,

"It takes someone with vision and courage to truly understand the universe--and more so to try to explain it to the rigid "scientific" community." Those people (that someone) are scientists. Scientists aren't just the people who dogmatically believe what the people before them discovered. While there are plenty of those in science, there are also those who have vision and courage, and they come up with new ideas. Science incorporates all of that.

Jeff,

Thank you for the compliment.

I think what you've done is amazing, and it's pretty uncanny. Your co-workers are lucky to have you.

When I was getting my writing degree, I saw very clearly that everyone had their own developing style of writing, and that, unfortunately, there was a pretty bad problem in learning how to write well. Some teachers taught methods in a way that was squelching. Forcing the round peg into the square hole by sheering off the sides.

I saw, however, that everyone was developing in their own way and that you could really help them develop into unique and powerful writers by encouraging them, emphasizing their strengths and at the same time helping them produce writing that was well-formed. Have them create well formed writing their own way, guiding them where necessary. They did not have to reach the destination the way the teacher would. The power of their experience and writing would be from having learned how to do it in their own way.

I don't know of a writing program that exists that uses this method. I am sure there has to be. But it is truly something amazing.

I think that the same method can be used in teaching mathematics and any other problem solving method.

It's teaching as a dialogue, really, isn't it? The student makes a statement. The teacher makes a statement. Student replies. Teacher replies, and so on. The skill of the teacher is making the kind of statement that will necessarily lead the student to the right reply. And the structure of the statement of the teacher is, essentially, "YES, and...."

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Hi Babayada;

Yes I would agree with you on teaching. For my part it is not that I know something and those under me have to do it my way until I give them some acknowledgement. It does not consult their understanding or involve them in the learning.

My opinion of a teacher is that they are judged by the success in life of their students. Now that is a pretty broad statement and it's hard to imagine a first grade teacher having that kind of impact but they can.

There is that exercise where a group of people gather with candles. At the beginning only one is lighted but that one candle will light another and they in turn continue lighting all the candles. I think of the Teacher as the first candle.

Montessori Schools use a method that you descibe, although it is with a checksheet and the limits are only the ability of the instructor they have that administers it, although the spirit of the teaching is as you outlined.

In my case I make the point to my guys (female & male) that I need people who can take care of a wild alligator without supervision. If I am stuck handling some flooding space and get a call that there is a 480 volt circuit blowing sparks all over the place, well I really need someone else I can depend on and know they can deal with it in a safe and sane manner. Don't give it second thought. We all make out and we all look good when the work is done. (this has happened by the way).

To do these things you have to be a cheerleader and see the value of keeping morale high. You also have to consider that painful lessons are the ones that people remember the most, so letting them fall on their face can be a very positive thing. Just don't rub it in and you don't just let them get depressed and walk away either. We're gonna get through this and make it a positive experience.

As a friend and teacher I once had did to me when instructing me on something I have long forgot. He stared into my very soul to see if I really understood what he just passed to me and when he was satisfied that I had got it, he let me go. That part I never forgot. So from that experience I also look deep into my students to see if they really got it. If they haven't I continue working with them, no big deal. When the candle is lit, I'll see it.

Sometimes you use a different method. One time I had about 6 kingspoint graduates asking questions about high voltage. Luckily I had just completed a refresher course on this stuff and somehow remembered all the formulas, but that wasn't getting through to them. So we got out the dry erase board and I talked pidgeon Hawaiian to them drawing dakine electrons go through da whozit, go holo holo/round and round come out here. blah, blah, blah.

They got it because it was a visual and practical application and not to serious. It connected the dots. All they did was laugh and go "Wow!". I Heard about that for months.

I think also that teaching is also an attitude. When you take on someone who wants to learn, you have to decide if you really want to do this and if you do then failure is not an option. Maybe they will not be the greatest whatever, but if they want to farm chickens then they can darn well be successful at it. You have a responsibilty to prime the pump. And you do this because it has meaning to YOU, no one else.

Anyway, these things can apply to Science or any subject.

Jeff

Jeanne #56549 11/08/06 05:29 PM
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Quote:

If the universe were left entirely to "scientists" we'd still
think it was flat, and that the Sun rotates around the Earth. That's what
scientists once thought.




Actually, such were the beliefs of ancient philosophers. Scientists were
the ones who "corrected" these mis-beliefs. Also, believe it or not, the
Flat Earth Society is still strong today, and their belief is based on
authoritative scriptures, not on physical evidence (which science upholds
above authority).

Quote:

Do we need science? Of course we do, but not as an orthodox
church, fundamental and unbending. The best and most significant
discoveries throughout the ages have always flown in the face of the
"science" of the times, and sometimes resulted in the discoverer being
jailed or even having his/her life threatened.




This is an amusing mixing of facts. First, science is not a "church."
It is not anything remotely similar to a church. I believe I expounded on
the distinction quite extensively in a previous post. To draw this
analogy betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of what science is.

Second, scientific discoverers have been persecuted by authoritative
entities such as the Catholic Church. Validated scientific discoveries
have always been honored and hailed by those within the scientific
establishment. To suggest otherwise betrays a fundamental lack of
historical knowledge.

Quote:

Bless the scientists, but also bless those who dare to question
them.




What I find most amusing about this particular forum community is that
there are hundreds of postings which laud and support the most far-out
ideas, but at the same time, vehemently attack those who would rationally
question these things. And these are the same folks who regard anything
"scientific" as questionable and worthy of challenge. Gee, something
seems seriously lopsided here!

Anyway, science THRIVES upon challenge, and it REQUIRES evidence. If only
you could see it at work (rather than heed all that mis-information
propagated by all those anti-scientific agenda pushers), you would be much
less eager to tear it apart.

Personally, I've found that the average scientist is MUCH more honorable
than the average mystic. In my experience, the former is more interested
in discovering truth, while the later is more interested in bilking a
gullible audience out of their money.

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hartreefoch,

Some people in this place need their own South Park episode.

Science is bad because it points to reality. Some people here just want to share a fantasy. When you question things or mention reality you're spoiling the party. Threat to fantasy: bad. Support of fantasy: good. It's as simple as that.

On the other hand, of course, (not so much here but generally) you have thickheaded people who call themselves skeptics who are really just incredibly dogmatic. They aren't interested in researching anything they've been told or decided is quackery. They quickly form opinions about things. They never apply any rigorous questioning or critique to their own beliefs or thinking processes. I find these people incredibly annoying. They style themselves as scientific but never perform any experiments or tests on anything, least of all on their own notions.

I really hate to see entire areas labeled as bunk, which is sort of like having a cognitive police line drawn around them. The police line means, "Don't really think any more about this, just consider it hokum. Only criticize it. No other kind of exploration is necessary or allowed." I think that's crap.

For instance, I doubt that remote viewing works as such. But what I do think is that the techniques of remote viewing may have value. They may develop intuition or the imagination. They may help an individual to learn how to pick up signals from their body or information from various intelligences at work in them, perhaps? Maybe it's like image streaming? Who knows?

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Quote:


Science is bad because it points to reality.




Not only ludicrous, but you're twisting what most of us have said. I (and most others here) didn't say science is "bad.'' I alluded to the fact that many scientists go into an area of research with a closed (not open) mind. In my post, I blessed both the scientists and those who question them. They, like anyone else, need to be questioned. If that somehow threatens you, it's a darned shame.

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Hartreefoch

"What I find most amusing about this particular forum community is that
there are hundreds of postings which laud and support the most far-out
ideas, but at the same time, vehemently attack those who would rationally
question these things. And these are the same folks who regard anything
"scientific" as questionable and worthy of challenge. Gee, something
seems seriously lopsided here!"

Absolutely spot on Hartreefoch. Wish I had written that!

Regards
Steve

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Quote:

Threat to fantasy: bad. Support of fantasy: good. It's as simple
as that.




How very, very true. This should become the official sub-title for this
forum. Babyada, your balanced, rational, level-headed, and often eloquent
contribution to this forum is MUCH appreciated, at least by me.

Strange, too, how different folks get off on different strokes. Like,
whenever I come here, I go away very disturbed and depressed, because
after reading the threads, I think, gosh, there are people in this world
who REALLY think like this??? Makes me shiver to my bones. And yet, I'm
sure these folks are very happy with their thought processes, and I'm glad
they've found a supportive community to fan the flames of their collective
fantasy. I just get very perturbed when they turn it around and accuse me
of being the one who's trapped inside some cold, rigid delusion called
"objective reality."

Either way, despite many of the sentiments expressed in this forum, I HOPE
people are more interested in building UP rather than tearing DOWN. With
the same amount of time/energy as it takes to write something like,
"Science is bad because of this, that, and the other thing," someone can
write something like, "How can science help me become a better person on
my road to enlightenment?" Why spend so much effort tearing something
down, when in fact it can be an ideal tool to help you attain what you're
seeking? Why cause separation and controversy, where you can create
harmony and cooperation?

Here, the mystics seem to be the ones who prefer separation, while the
rationalists, harmony.

Ultimately, enlightenment is to see reality for what it truly IS. In my
opinion, science is a great tool to this desired goal. The longer one
refuses to accept reality for what it IS, the longer one sentences herself
to be imprisoned by a trance which does not serve her well at all.

Jeanne #56554 11/09/06 04:15 PM
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Quote:

They, like anyone else, need to be questioned. If that somehow
threatens you, it's a darned shame.




Jeanne,

In the scientific endeavor, questioning is one of the cornerstones of
discovery. No scientist is threatened by questioning, because proper
questioning is the only way things are done in science. Remember, what is
currently accepted as "scientific fact" is the result of countless hours
of open-minded, objective, rational questioning, thinking, experimenting,
debating ... a LOT of work over a LOT of time. You're always welcome to
question, yes, but unless you have some REALLY good counter EVIDENCE, I'm
not about to throw away a hard-established finding/fact just because it doesn't fit the
liking of some mystic.

What does bother me (not threaten me ... but BOTHERS me) is how despite
the most rational, open-minded, level-headed consideration and
investigation of a matter, some people (not you in particular) continue to
INSIST that things are not the way they really are as demonstrated
objectively. Then they ramble on about how reality is subjective, that
you create your own reality, and that we shouldn't trust science and
scientists because these are instruments of a limited mindset, and that we
should question EVERYTHING, yada, yada, yada ... OK, fine, such mystics
are free to spew such notions, but I simply can't take it seriously unless
they are able to objectively demonstrate what they claim.

If you REALLY want to question things, it should be what most mystics are
spouting off about. If you want to question something "scientific," you're
most welcome, too. You'd just better have a good deal of convincing
EVIDENCE if you want to be taken seriously. Otherwise, I wish you every
happiness in your fantasy.

(Again, I'm not using "you" in a personal manner, but in the most general
way.)

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Quote:

For instance, I doubt that remote viewing works as such. But what I do think is that the techniques of remote viewing may have value. They may develop intuition or the imagination. They may help an individual to learn how to pick up signals from their body or information from various intelligences at work in them, perhaps? Maybe it's like image streaming? Who knows?




This is really the crux of the problem. Areas of scientific research are governed, consciously or unconsciously, by people’s beliefs.

If you believe in RV, why do you believe? If you do not believe in RV, why do you not believe?

There is a fictional movie called Suspect Zero about the FBI using Remote Viewers to track serial killers. I don’t recommend the movie because it is very dark and disturbing, but I do recommend the extras portion of the movie on DVD. The director of the movie went to visit a Remote Viewer for a demonstration. The Remote Viewer would not do a demonstration, he insisted the director of movie try it himself. What follows on the DVD is amazing. Was this faked for the movie? Perhaps.

People who “know” that RV does not work, are saying that not one time has it every work. And they haven’t done their homework. The US government spent over $30 million dollars on its own Remote Viewing program through the CIA and the defense department. Jimmy Carter once announced to the press that we used RV to find a downed US pilot and plane in the jungles of Central America (or was is South America?). And there are many more…

Some of us have actually done RV and made it work. People here may accuse me of gullibility; however I can assure you than I am always look other possible solutions, more grounded solutions. However, when all other possible explanations have been eliminated, the last remaining explanation must be true, no matter how unlikely.

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Coyote,

Sometimes the results of research are massaged in one way or another by the conscious or unconscious mind set of the researcher. There's an answer to that: transparency (public exposure of methods and results) and peer review.

Maybe remote viewing works. I doubt it. But I admit that I don't *know* whether it does or does not. That's why I used the word "doubt" instead of the words "am absolutely certain."

I have a free remote viewing program on my iPod. One of these days I am going to go through it, just out of curiosity, and see what happens.

hartreefoch,

Shortly after I made that South Park reference, I found the recent episode online that criticizes Richard Dawkins. I thought that was pretty funny. What irony.

The people here don't scare me. They tend to be very loving and forgiving. I don't think they're going to blow up any buildings because the building's Feng Shui was consistently messing with the chi flow through their energy centers. They are more likely to visualize whirled peas or world peace, and there's nothing wrong with that, I think.

I get frustrated because I think I am right, and, damnit, they just won't come around to the proper point of view.

I think that perhaps due to nature and nurture different people tend to think differently from one another. One person may be more rational, while another is more fanciful. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. And, after all, this is the current state of our evolution. What you're seeing has been selected FOR rather than against.

I think that it's very important, however, for a fanciful person to be able to demonstrate critical, empirical thinking.

Jeanne,

I honestly think some people think that way. You've made it clear to me that you're not one of them.

babayada #56557 11/10/06 05:11 AM
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Last Christmas I bought a book on Bonpo Shamanism.

The author of the book was brought up in the Bonpo tradition, which from my perspective looks a lot like Tibetan Buddhism. The student learns under a master and his progress is checked by observable signs that lets the master know the student has achieved the required level of skill. From the descriptions, the curriculum seemed very methodical and systematic, something honed by many, many generations of practice, discovery, and correction. Something not unlike Western science.

Like the Dalai Lama, the author was familiar with Western thought and the scientific method. He thought that it was a good thing. He was aware that the views presented in his work were outside of what was considered realistic in Western terms. He knew that people thought his perceived reality was merely a collection of hallucinations. Yet, he said, one must go through training to be sensitive enough to perceive what he has learned to perceive, and in his experience what he was talking about was real and produced verifiable results.

Now, here I am, a 37 year old American, and I have had no truly supportable encounters with nature spirits. I do not consider my thoughts to have any sort of influence on the weather or events in the world. Sometimes I like to think I do, and sometimes I wonder. But my influence, if I do have any, can be considered extremely unreliable at best.

And on the other hand, here is a gentleman from another culture with a totally different upbringing. He has been through a rigorous form of mental, emotional, and spiritual training from a very young age. His book presents a very reasonable man who takes into consideration many factors surrounding the problems he discusses. He approaches them in a methodological fashion. It is apparent that he has been raised in a method that uses evidence in the world as well as in one's internal experience to mark progress or failure in any given endeavor.

Here is where this person (as well as others in his tradition) earns a great deal of my respect: he is able to make very fine distinctions about subjective experience. Whether or not one progresses with something like meditation is marked, depending on the activity, by very subtle changes in one's subjective experience. A master has to be able to question a student properly and discern fact from fiction, actual progress from fantasy. Where else can this be more tricky than in the realm of the human mind? Yet these people do this. And they also describe amazing and unbelievable feats as signs as meditational progress. For instance, one early meditation is designed to re-soften the fontanelle and ultimately open it. The test for success is putting a stalk of some kind of grass through the scalp and down through the opening in the skull! The student keeps the stalk in for a day or so as a mark of progress. Unbelievable, but this is what he claims with nonchalance. Some kind of trick? Not having observed this, I really cannot say.

If he and I were to talk, I would say to him, "Here is my problem: you have to be trained to perceive these things (spirits, subtle energies, et cetera). On the one hand, you may be right. And here I have no ability to make any sort of useful remarks or judgments about your proposals, because I am unable to see them for myself without years and years of rigorous training. On the other hand, your training may just be a form of group hypnosis. You see things that aren't there because you are trained to see them. Your perceptual apparatus has been conditioned in such a way that validates your training. So you live in a self-perpetuating illusion with a group of other people. Regarding this subject matter, there is no real way for me to know what is valid. If I take the blue pill, I'll never really know. But if I take the red pill, I may never really know but I will think that I do know, because my consciousness, my ability to tell otherwise, will have been changed by the red pill."

This, I think, is the reason why this stuff is such a hairy issue and, honestly, anyone can be wrong about it. It's only going to be verified for the goats when there is a goat that remains skeptical enough even though he's going through a process that changes what he perceives... moves him away from what he uses to typically verify the validity or invalidity of something. For the believers it's no problem. They can just believe in it, and it's no big deal. But for the goat, it's a painful prospect riddled with failure at best.

But perhaps the spirits that the Bonpo Shaman sees are real? Perhaps they aren't. I've played around and experimented with this sort of thing all my life. I haven't experienced anything that makes me want to get off the fence and go really far to either side of the camp. Though I lean strongly in the direction of the world view in which nature spirits are merely the products of fancy.

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Quote:

What you're seeing has been selected FOR rather than against.





babyada,

It's amazing we've survived so long as a race as we have, really. If
we're selected for anything, it's to compete to the death for resources,
whether material or ideological. Irrational silliness abounds in the
world today, much more in certain parts of the world than others, but
everywhere, nonetheless.

I agree that forums such as this are relatively benign places where we can
exchange ideas and experiences, and over all, participating in this one
has been positive for me. I use to think that what I had to say may make
a difference, but now I'm content to resign myself to simply learning
tolerance and imperturbability from here. Not easy lessons, when some
persistently advocate the most irrational notions, and stubbornly stand by
them. To believe in silliness is one's right, but to then turn around and
insist that those who don't agree with their silliness are stubbornly
closed-minded and thus worthy of challenge ... well, ok, the universe
serves up yet another lesson of tolerance and imperturbability.

True, the average follower of something like Feng-Shui (or the likes) may
not be inclined to blow up buildings and such, but neither is the average
follower of Islam or any other religion. What bothers me is that
encouraging (and worse, selling) such beliefs is really a step backward
for us as a race. To really survive, we must consciously take hold of our
thought-processes and rigorously strip away all the non-sense. Sometimes,
"It just ain't so," and we should overcome our fears and see reality for what it is.
Otherwise, we just languor in the cesspool out of which we arose. I feel the
moral obligation to relentlessly counter those who purposely try to murder our
progress by stepping backward (and encouraging others to step backward) into
superstitions and irrationality. I'm heartened that at least one other of like-mind
exists here.

Anyway, I'm ready for more lessons in tolerance and imperturbability.

Faune #56559 11/10/06 03:33 PM
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HT You say we should view the universe as it is? How does one do that
when there is no real consensus about what the universe is, how it was
created/big bang or what? If all the scientists in the world can't agree
or don't know then I don't think it is currently possible.





There is a GREAT deal of scientific consensus about a LOT of things in the
natural world. If there were not, how could you be taking advantage of a
system which faithfully transmits your thoughts across miles and miles so
that everyone else who has access to this forum can read them? (Plus a
thousand other examples I can cite.) Science and its technological fruits
are based on things which can be replicated over and over again, and they
don't require anyone's beliefs at all ... they simply work whether you
believe it or not. Now, THAT's something I can appreciate.

Sure, I've said over and over again in this forum that while we know a
lot, we don't know much more. Hence the room for scientific debate,
counter-arguments, counter-experiments ... all of this is part of the
daily routine of science. We rigorously think and conduct experiments
regarding an issue, shaking it every which way, until all that remains is
something which can withstand scrutiny from every inquiry. The lack of
agreement at the forefront in science merely means we haven't finished
shaking these topics sufficiently yet. Cosmological issues are currently
hotly debated only because it's so difficult to gather the necessary data and
to interpret them properly. It is one of the frontier-topics in science.
But at least there is a tacit agreement that the argument
must be based on rational thinking and objective evidence. That's much
more than what the average mystic would permit.

And scientists never say, ok, what we have found is truth and this is
exactly the way things are. Rather, we say, ok, this is what is currently most
consistent with our best theory, and look, it explains all the objective
tests we have performed quite well, and it is able to make verifiable
predictions with convincing accuracy and precision. Moreover, we can use
what we learned to create/fix things which benefit (and often
revolutionize) society.

In the future, some new evidence may require a re-thinking of old theories
... science is always a work in progress. But the new theories which are
bound to arise do not invalidate the old ones ... they merely supersede
them in a larger context. For example, while Einstein's General
Relativity is a more complete theory of gravity than Newton's Classical
Theory, no terrestrial engineer in his right mind would use GR to perform
his routine calculations ... they are unnecessarily complex for the
day-to-day purposes at hand, even though they are technically more accurate.
Rather, Newton's approximation is plenty accurate, even for routine travel to
the Moon. Likewise, maybe some future theorist will figure out an even more
comprehensive theory than GR (which makes it compatible with
Quantum Mechanics, for example), but again, such a theory would not
invalidate GR or QM ... it would simply provide a broader context
wherein these theories can be appreciated from a broader perspective.

Speaking of Quantum Mechanics ... most new-age gurus have bent some of its
tenants waaay out of proportion to fit their Eastern mystic views.
Whenever I see some mystic referring to QM, I notice the hypocrisy ... on
the one hand, he uses (his mangling of) science to advance his agenda, but
then in the next breath he warns his followers to beware the
closed-minded scientist. Oi vey!

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Quote:

On the other hand, of course, (not so much here but generally) you
have thickheaded people who call themselves skeptics who are really just
incredibly dogmatic. They aren't interested in researching anything
they've been told or decided is quackery. They quickly form opinions
about things. They never apply any rigorous questioning or critique to
their own beliefs or thinking processes. I find these people incredibly
annoying. They style themselves as scientific but never perform any
experiments or tests on anything, least of all on their own notions.

I really hate to see entire areas labeled as bunk, which is sort of like
having a cognitive police line drawn around them. The police line means,
"Don't really think any more about this, just consider it hokum. Only
criticize it. No other kind of exploration is necessary or allowed." I
think that's crap.





babyada,

While I appreciate the open-minded spirit in which you wrote this, I don't
agree 100%. Some things really ARE hokum, and, sure you can feel free to
play the open-minded inquirer and dish out your $299 per CD/DVD package to
prove to yourself that it is, but I'm past the point of willingly making
peddlers of hokum rich at my expense. Using a little reasoning about what
we know about how nature works, I can quickly slice through the majority
of the bunk and not be afraid to call it what it is: bunk. That's part of
the "predictive power" of science.

Let's take Feng Shui and this whole mangling of Qi as an example.
(Unfortunately, a very long thread which I had started in the FS forum to
rationally discuss its basis of validity had been unceremoniously deleted
by the admins for whatever reason, so I have to repeat myself here ...)

Feng Shui and Qi-based exercises/systems have their artistic/health
benefits ... I whole-heartedly agree, and I'm sure most rational,
reductionist scientists would agree. There's actually a lot of
scientific experimentation with Qi-based exercises/systems, and I'm sure
it will help us more deeply appreciate the mind/body connection. And, I'm
sure there are many rational explanations based upon human psychology
which one can offer for the aesthetic benefits of FS. All fine and good.

If it ended there, we would all be in agreement. But, no ... FS and Qi
proponents take it to the next level and start introducing all sorts of meta-physical
hokum. And people really believe the hokum! And they vigorously defend
it as true.

Look, if all the hokum around FS and Qi were really true, then China would
today be the most wealthy, most powerful, most healthy, most successful,
most lucky, in short, most PERFECT Heaven on Earth, because FS and Qi have
been practiced there for literally thousands of years. Rather, China's
history is filled with the most terrifying calamities, bloodshed, poverty,
famine, wars ... etc ... plagued by the same misfortunes which any other
group of people trying to survive had to overcome. I can see from the
historical evidence that FS and Qi has nothing to do with objective
reality besides the (admittedly valuable) measure of hope and balance that
it can provide to its practitioners. I don't need to buy into all that
hokum, because I'm smart enough to see the thousands of years of evidence
which already exists.

Look at the Boxer Revolution, and the generation of well-meaning
Qi-masters/monks that it slaughtered in one day. They believed
(irrationally) that Qi gave them paranormal, super-human abilities that
would protect them from those damned Western invaders' bullets and swords.
What more honorable use of Qi than to defend one's country and way of
life? Those monks and masters spent their entire lives mastering Qi.
Nevertheless, physics easily trumped belief-in-Qi that day, and Western
soldiers (who could care less about Qi but could pull a trigger and swing
a sword) easily wiped out a generation of otherwise good, but sadly
misguided souls ... all because of hokum.

It appears history is doomed to repeat itself over and over again, because
we are still finding our way back to hokum and conjuring up more and more
hokum. Worse, those of us who are not afraid of calling hokum for what it
is are regarded as closed-minded, arrogant and blind. Ok, that's fine.
We may not know everything, but we know enough not to expect Qi (or any other
metaphysical belief) to make bullets, swords, and their equivalents harmless,
or to effortlessly funnel love, wealth, health, success, and happiness into our laps.

Yes, an open-mind is important, but not if it so open that your brains start
falling out.

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I really don't blame the administrator of the Feng Shui Forum for pulling your comments. They offered nothing constructive or even a better scientific way of doing things. Just, everything here is a bunch of Hokum, kind of attitude.

"Follow me down the path of true science and leave this false practice behind." Oh boy that really sounds like fun. How much does that cost again?

And thank you for trying to make me feel stupid for wanting to learn something new and maybe discovering something about myself that may be of help in improving my life. Even if it is only a little concept that Happiness is a tangible thing. Or that feeling safe can give one a whole new lease on life.

Maybe sometime in the far past I had very strong Faith that the path of Chi and learning the Way of the Tao was something that connected my mental and spiritual being with the very source of the Universe. Then while I was occupied with my studies some soldier came along and shot me with a bullet.

The soldier was only following orders. I did not hate him and I would forgive him because he knew no better. My Faith is still unshaken. The bullet thing was only a rock in the road, it doesn't prove much. Maybe I should duck next time:)

I also apologize that I cannot participate in Science as time doesn't allow me to, although I will most definately accept all the benefits it pours forth. Keep em coming.

Sometimes the question comes up about old Sages and the technics they use. Would they approve of technological improvements or new and different ways of doing things? The answer is: You Bet!

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hartreefoch,

I am wary of rigorously eliminating all notions and activities that do not meet some criteria or other of being rational... which, despite your admissions concerning this or that questionable subject, is a point you repeatedly return to.

As a state or skill you are able to access at will, I think it's great. I loved the idea of mentats in Dune.

As a permanent state, I think that is a dangerously limiting approach. There is room in each life for a little madness, fantasy, and irrationality. I would go so far as to say that there has to be, because we're practically built for it. It's part of what makes us human. Not just romantically, but in actuality. And none of it necessitates violence. Such arguments are mirrored by arguments for eliminating passion from the human heart, because passion is the root of all violence. But that's fallacious. It's like hearing a woman singing on a rainy day and thinking that the raining causes the singing or the singing the raining. It's good for poetry, but bad for functioning in the world.

To use a clumsy over-generalization, we're not all left-brained. There's a whole other hemisphere there. I think you get my point.

What I am for is the development of the rational and critical capacities to a point where we know it a reliable personal resource. If someone understands your point of view yet chooses to diverge from it, then that is their choice and they will make it for their own reasons.

I do not see doing so as a step back. I honestly see it as a step forward--considering their powers of rationality are apt and that they can see the world (or any issue) rationally. I believe a completely rational human race ruled by verisimilitude to be a rather distorted, even frightening thing that may well be featured on a Twilight Zone episode.

This is not to say that I do not consider our rational capacities to be absolutely important. But their importance, to me, is part and parcel to them being in community with our other tendencies and modes of thought.

I'll give you an example from real life. Sometimes the best thing you can do is deny reality and be completely irrational.

If you get sick enough, or are involved in a horrible accident, you may be in a position where doctors will tell you and/or your loved ones that the game is up. That you should be written off. You're a goner. Your condition is irreparable, and you should just accept it.

Rationally, based on their informed opinions based on a life-time career of working with patients, they're telling you and your loved ones that you're screwed. They say that if you don't accept it, you're just hurting yourself and the ones you love, because they are going to have false hope and have that hope dashed... and do you really want to hurt the ones you love?

I can understand the point of view. I can understand the pessimism and cynicism that their careers can create in them, but sometimes these rational doctors are your worst enemy and the irrational person who choses to live in denial is your best friend.

Sometimes we are helpless, and we need someone in a corner who will fight for us, because we can't. At these times, having a friend or relative who is completely irrational and believes that you will recover is the greatest treasure in the world.

I know that this is a fact, because my parents had to do this for my brother, and if it weren't for them and their irrational beliefs and nagging at the doctors, a doctor may have lobotomized my brother while he was suffering from acute subdural hematoma.

They also wouldn't have fought for him each step of the way, when the doctors said he'd be a vegetable. Then they said he'd be bed ridden and massively retarded his whole life. Then that he wouldn't ever leave the wheel-chair.

He's not severely retarded. People who I tell I have a brain damaged brother are surprised when they talk to him, because he seems pretty normal to them. He walks with a cane.

So I know the power of being irrational. Sometimes it is appropriate.

I agree that other times it is a horrible thing. But the point is that it is something valuable and you've got to know how and when to use it.

Likewise, there are times when being rational is the worst thing you can do. Other times, it's the best.

The truth of the matter is, despite our best efforts, we do not know what the absolute truth is. Sometimes we think we are being realistic, but the highly unlikely, even the impossible (according to our current knowledge), may very well be possible. Sometimes we must err on the side of hope and fancy, because its all we have. It's either that or give up hope.

Sometimes giving up hope is the best option. I guess the trait I am appealing to here is wisdom, which is slightly different than rationality, although it can be said to be rational.

Last edited by babayada; 11/11/06 09:52 AM.
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Thanks for this Babayada,

It is a well balanced view and well put.

Whilst we appreciate what science has done for us we must also remember that much of what science has progressed has been because of the 'mystics'.
Artists, writers, musicians, poets have all presented us with their views and ideas which have often been light years ahead of science.

Leonardo Da Vinci (b1452) drew detailed plans of helicopters, aeroplanes,submarines and a host of other remarkable objects which have only been manifested by science and engineering in the last 100 years.

Aldous Huxley wrote his 'Brave New World' of test tube babies and clones in 1932 and guess what - science has followed but it has taken several decades
for them to catch up.

Then there is H G Wells and his stories of space and time travel - science is starting to get there.

I could go on and give a longer list but I think it is obvious that the visionaries
of this world have pointed humanity in directions which the people of their time thought were mad, foolish and ridiculous, much as Hartreefoch has labelled those of us who believe in the power of chi.

I make no apologies for my beliefs and maybe science will catch up sometime in the future.

Love and light
Faune

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Quote:


One of my perceptions of Science is a bunch of guys in lab coats slowly puttering around the american cancer society collecting $750,000 a year salary. What a great job of marketing. Now when I see money raising events for them I avoid them like the plague.





Gee - that's like saying "One of my perceptions of Mystics is a bunch of guys sitting lotus-style on flying carpets and selling $299 CD/DVD packages on how to achieve Nirvana by meditating. What a great job of marketing. Now, when I see enlightenment ads from them I avoid them like the plague."

One stereotype deserves another.

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Quote:

I really don't blame the administrator of the Feng Shui Forum for pulling your comments. They offered nothing constructive or even a better scientific way of doing things. Just, everything here is a bunch of Hokum, kind of attitude.




Actually, I disagree. We were making real progress in our discussion, and the only reason people were being offended was because I kept having to correct them for making incorrect statements. And then posters started to irrationally call me things like "energy vampire." And one poster started making a list of all my (rational) statements from other posts, and making it her mission to discredit me. It brought out the worst in some posters, but I always tried to be polite and considerate. I dunno ... truth is a spotlight, and some people can't stand being in the light.

Faune #56566 11/11/06 10:13 PM
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Quote:


I could go on and give a longer list but I think it is obvious that the visionaries
of this world have pointed humanity in directions which the people of their time thought were mad, foolish and ridiculous, much as Hartreefoch has labelled those of us who believe in the power of chi.





There's also a much longer list of ideas which should remain permanently in the trash heap, but which clever marketers keep resurrecting because they appeal to human vanity, but do nothing to truly better our state of being. Keep following the path you are on, and you will come to this realization sooner or later.

If you've read my prior postings in other threads here, you'll know that I am myself an artist, musician, creative-writer, dreamer, and practitioner of meditation and Qi. Somehow you've stereotyped me as others have in this forum . That's ok. I'm not here to make any friends, just to follow my conscience in pointing out certain things which people like to forget, but things they would be wise to keep in mind.

Yes, there is power in Qi, but not THAT much power.

Faune #56567 11/11/06 10:33 PM
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Quote:


You have all banged on about Tesla but chose to ignore my point that
Master Chunyi Lin Qigong Master also held live high voltage cables in his
hands and ran the electricity through his body. Read - Born a Healer.





Regarding Master Lin's claim (I'm taking your word that you've relayed it
correctly, because I have not read his book): I would be careful in
interpreting anecdotes like this. First of all, it is not "voltage" per
se that is dangerous. As long as you are at the same voltage as the high
voltage cables, the situation is completely harmless. This very impressive physics
demonstration is routinely done in high-school and college labs every day.
It is the DIFFERENCE in voltage that can potentially be deadly, and then,
only if the CURRENT is sufficiently high. The body is actually quite a
good resistor, and can withstand quite a voltage difference before being
injured. I accidentally touch live high-voltage electrical wires all the time myself
in the lab, and it more or less just tingles.

Secondly, paranormal claims such as these ABOUND from so-called masters of
this and that art. This is customary in China, and accepted as an
informal calling card. We dismiss it politely as an accepted form of
exaggeration, as it is part of our culture. However, every time a
rational investigation into these claims has been conducted (and several
are published), there has always been a rational explanation. Often
times, the so-called masters simply resort to trickery. Other times, they're
just exaggerating, even if they insist they are not (a common human
tendency.)

Now, I'm not implying anything about Master Lin himself, but if he would like
to replicate his feat in a controlled environment, I'm more than happy to
perform the test myself. (I've made the same offer to test the claim
which he makes that he can cause his fingers to grow to different lengths
using Qi, but he has never responded. That particular trick, as he
presents it in his DVD, of course, is just that: a trick.)

Well, I'd make sure a paramedic unit was on the premise, if he would
like to take up my offer regarding the high voltage wires.

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Quote:


Sometimes giving up hope is the best option. I guess the trait I am
appealing to here is wisdom, which is slightly different than rationality,
although it can be said to be rational.




babyada,

As always, I appreciate your own wisdom and openness in sharing. You're a
great writer, as others have pointed out, and I hope you are working on a
book or something.

With regards to your comments about rationality, irrationality, and
wisdom, and the appropriateness of each in its place and time, I agree to
a certain extent. To be honest, I would probably be the doctor who doles
out the straight dope, because it is not my job to sugar-coat the truth.
It is my job and moral duty to tell my patients the true state of things
according to the best that my objective diagnosing allows me to state. If they want
fuzzy-wuzziness, let them consult their pastors and priests and monks and
politicians ... they are good at that kind of thing. Yes, we all have
different roles in this world, and my role is to see it as it is and call
it as it is. To me, wisdom is being able to discern the chaff from the
wheat. If chaff is what some prefer, there's plenty who would provide it.
The world does not need another dispenser of flack.

Anyway, I have to share a great release with regards to my feelings
regarding this forum. It just occurred today. I realized that I was
taking things personally here only because I had felt great animosity from
those who are anti-science, anti-reason. But an "ah-ha" moment came when
I realized, "Ok - so what? I'm not here to make friends! I'm here to
represent to the best of my ability a rational side of the universe, a
side which some choose to ignore, but a side which is part of their
universe nonetheless. So what if they don't like what I have to say? So
what if they disdain science and scientists? My job is merely to remind
them that these things are part of their universe, too. And whether or
not they like it, as long as I've done my job to the best of my ability, I
should be happy, not depressed."

Wow - it really was a great feeling of release. Anyway, I doubt many
would appreciate it, but I just had to share.

Stevie #56569 11/11/06 11:39 PM
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Quote:



Absolutely spot on Hartreefoch. Wish I had written that!

Regards
Steve




Hey Steve ... thanks for the acknowledgement ... I had over-looked your posting until now. Thanks, too, for all your level-headed responses. I appreciate folks like you and babyada who are not afraid to stand up for reason. I've been a part of this forum for a long time, and for a long time, I've taken a lot of abuse for representing reason. (So surprising in this day and age!) More of us need to speak out (courteously, of course), and we should not have to apologize for representing what is objectively true. More power to ya, and welcome to this forum ... HF

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HF;

Actually hearing that you got something out of this forum is a bonus for all of us. I believe that sharing different viewpoints is what makes this such a rich experience.

Jeff

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Folks some of the replies can be construed as personal attacks. I don't think that is the real intention. Just remember to address the message not the messenger.

You'll also help the readers to quote the message not address the person who posted. Not all readers of the forums are PhotoReaders and it troubles them to have to hunt the post and figure what you're replying to. There are a couple of post where it appears the you're making comments about the person and not the message they were attempting to convery.

Just wanted to offer a reminder since I'd hate to see the topic become something other than a discussion or friendly debate.

Alex

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Saw this and thought of this discussion:

http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/36273/

hartreefoch,

Well, I see nothing wrong with giving the straight dope, you know? It's necessary to hear, I think. And at the same time, there is the importance of the power of the human spirit, the will to live.

I would want a doctor to tell me what he or she thought, and then I would want the doctor to shut the hell up and let me get on with my own decision. Some doctors will fight tooth and nail to try to make the patient do what the doctor thinks is right, because some doctors think they have a copyright on the truth. Seriously. And, when they are successful in their endeavors of injecting their mindset into the patient, sometimes they kill the spirit and end up killing the person.

I mean that. If you break someone's hope, their will to live, and they are terribly sick, you can kill them. That is, you can make them accept a fate instead of trying to fight and pursuing the fate they choose. And who knows? They might win. There are several cases where tenacious patients recover and they force their doctors to admit, "I can't understand it. So and so should be dead." Even then, with cases like cancer, some doctors will not put "cured" on a patient's case file. They'll put "in remission."

There was one program I saw on TV, and it had this woman who survived a cancer that her doctor told her was fatal. She chose to fight it, and the doctor fought her tooth and nail along the way. In the scene on TV they were STILL arguing over it. She had been cancer free for years and the doctor, exasperated, said, "What do you WANT?! What do you want me to do?!" and she said, "I WANT YOU TO MARK MY CASE AS CURED! Why can't you do that? Why can't you simply admit that I am better?"

He just couldn't do it.

So, you see, there is something pernicious about this tendency among some people to believe they know so much better than others. They think they've got it all down pat. They don't know when to let go and let someone do what they need to do, even if it ends up crashing and burning. At least they'll have tried.

I know most of the cases marked terminal ARE terminal. But I think the choice to fight or give in should be the domain of the patient and his or her loved ones, and I think a doctor should respect that decision and try and support the patient regardless of whether his or her choice meets the criteria of the doctor.

Todd Epstein, the partner of Robert Dilts, was an high-powered NLP guy. Robert Dilts is an NLP and health guy who helped his mom recover from cancer. Epstein died an early death from hepatitis. When people heard of it their reaction was, "WTF? Todd Epstein? Friend of Dilts? What? Couldn't NLP help?"

From reports, he *really* wanted to live, but just couldn't fight the disease. He tried. I am sure his friend Robert did the best he could to help. So, there are limitations with every approach. Doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying.

The jury isn't out until the patient is in the coffin.

The reasons why, I suspect, some doctors can be so frustratingly negative and pessimistic is because hope and hanging on takes a terrible emotional toll on the doctors, who must deal with it daily for years and years. I believe the reasons for them being the way they are are not rational; they're emotional. Giving patients the straight dope according to experience and statistics at the outset, that's rational. Once that is done, everything else is for emotional reasons. After the news is delivered and received, the rhetoric about them wanting the patient and loved ones to be rational is confabulation. The real reason is self-protection. It's easier, emotionally, to handle a case with closure than a case with ambiguity.


Congratulations on your epiphany.

...

I appreciate everyone's compliments on my writing. In the future I'll probably stop being such a chicken and try to write a fantasy novel.

Last edited by babayada; 11/12/06 01:04 PM.
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'I kept having to correct them for making incorrect statements'

Dear Hartreefoch,
You have really said it all.
How can you possibly say with any certainty that you are are correct and that half the population of the world is incorrect. We have to believe you just because you say so?

I don't think that you can make the type of statements you have done unless you are infallible and that is highly unlikely. We are all individuals and as such have our own views which may not always be in accord with others but that does not make them 'wrong' only different.

You said that' science gives the best result at the time' or something to that effect - and I agree, as we know science can be wrong and what is deemed to be correct at a particular time is later disproved. Science is not exact, it is only as good as the idea and the people who carry it out - much as everything else is. It may have stringent rules (sometimes) but that does not make it correct. It is only the best result (questionable) that can be produced at that point in time.

Re- Master Lin taken from 'Born a Healer'
Quote" In one test I was taken into a room with an electrical transformer. There were two electrical lines. One positive the other negative. They carried 220 volts of electricity. I had to grasp one line in each hand and use my body as a conductor to complete the circuit. It is another way to show your ability to control your own energy." I understand that a lot of Master Lin's energy work is and has been observed and tested by staff of the University of Minnesota.

Having said that, I find your posts interesting and challenging and after all that is what makes a good debate.

Babayada, You really should start your book as you have a talent with words which you should take to another level.

Love and light,
Faune

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In my opinion, to take things to the next level (science, society, government, spirituality) and be “Beyond Human”, we will have to start recognizing the things that we believe that are not correct. It is easier to point out the flaws in science, than to point out the flaw in spirituality or government. But they all have flaws.

How many people believe Bernoulli's principle is what makes a plane fly? But people who design planes do not use Bernoulli's principle, they force air in a downward direction with the wings. How many people believe Newton's laws of gravity (with Einstein's corrections) are correct? But people who shoot satellites through our solar system have found that is reality doesn't exactly match the equations. How many people believe in the Big Bang theory of the universe? But it doesn't explain several anomalies such a quantized red shift, quasars having different red shift than neighboring stars, and lack of ever finding a single blue shift. How many people believe in Darwin's Theory of Evolution? Yes, it explains things on a micro scale but not a macro scale. There are many known areas of dispute here.

Science makes for an easy target. But the reason to try and evolve scientific thinking to the next level is that it affects us in many ways. Darwin's survival of the fittest becomes a justification for the politics of capitalism. Does everyone here think that society in the United States right now is the absolute pinnacle of societal evolution, the highest we will ever reach. I recommend a book called Boomeritis by Ken Wilber for people who want to think about the evolution of thought. A major portion of the book is spiral Dynamics, the way we all evolve our thinking through levels and each level is identified by it's traits and given a color. A major theme of the book is that we have understand and nurture people's thinking who are at a lower level.

Spirituality is even worse than science for having many false paths and flawed thinking. But that is for another thread.

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Making a Motion to end this thread.

All in Favor say "Aaaarg!"

(please refer to the SFQ forum/thread "can we change Reality" for the background on this.)

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Yes - Aaaaaarg! Motion seconded.

Having over the past 6 decades read thousands of books I am now at a stage where I can truly say I know nothing.
Cheers
Faune

Faune #56577 11/12/06 06:44 PM
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The "Aaaarg's" have it.

Thread ended.

Have a Happy Day!

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Yeah, I add my "Aaaarg", too.

I was going to respond to some of the posts which had been made since my last posts, but I've decided keep quiet. This is the other thing I've learned about my participation at this forum: Science does not need me to defend it. It is strong enough to stand on its own, and it matters little what I or anyone else may think (correctly or incorrectly) about it. Even though it saddens me that there's apparently so much misunderstanding and ire against science and scientists, that's ok. In the end, we're all in the same boat, and what's important is that we help each other the best we can. If that means allowing some misunderstandings to pass undefended, that's ok.

Thanks to all, and best to all.

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Aaaarg.

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I couldn't resist.. I tried but I just couldn't... Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh²

Regards
Steve

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