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most proponents of atheism and theism share an unverified belief


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Initial post: Nov 16, 2012 9:40:26 PM PST
Most individuals who identify as an atheist or a theist also identify with the thoughts their brain produces, unknowing that they are the product of a particular point of human evolution in which the brain is highly developed in regards to its reductionist, binary, and causal cognitive-perceptive functioning; but molded in a society manifesting a deep and unconscious disregard for the development of the brain's natural capacity for holism. We are forced to invent terms such as "self-transcendence" because we have forgotten that words are symbols. The words I am presenting you with are not meant to be taken on face value, but used as tools. You may reject these tools, or you may find some use with them. What I'm talking about here isn't an appreciation of this thought or that thought but a consideration of our relationship with the instrument of mind.

What matters more: what you believe or how you believe?

How did you come to your current thought(s) about life, about reality; how strongly do you hold these like a life-vest, afraid of where the current might take you if you let that cherished idea go? How thick are the walls you barricade yourself with?

We are born as sensitive and empathic beings fully open to our environment and fully alive. Over time, we must adapt or suffer worse consequences. This happens unconsciously. By the time the rational mind takes precedence, our inner light is dimly lit and smoldering. Instead of merging our rationality with the background of holism from which it emerges, we live and die in the pretend box our brain creates out of thoughts, giving silent lip service to an unknown superstition.

Hopefully our thoughts hit something good and get a little leverage to get some orientation, breathing space, and a little light into the rabbit hole they've been furiously digging. Maybe even some help. Cos you might have a ways to go, and stopping is only an option

The unverified belief is that you are or can be fully explained through the usage of symbols.

Take it or leave it.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 10:15:40 PM PST
left it

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 11:15:53 PM PST
Faithradha says:
Hi there Raw CB : ) You say: What matters more: what you believe or how you believe?

FR: I would say that what matters MOST is that we drop ALL belief and ALL Thought and focus on THAT ONE which is the constant Witness to all the mind's beliefs and thoughts.
Come to Know THAT ONE Constant which is the Source of all belief and all thought.

All beliefs and thoughts cease... perishing like the darkness when the Light of True Knowledge dawns within us.

~ Peace ~

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 11:35:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 11:37:52 PM PST
Re OP: There is a lot of philosophy in this. In order to make deductions about the real world, we must, like Descartes, start with some postulate(s), probably not provable but nonetheless necessary. Since deductions can contain nothing not inherent in their premises, our initial postulates must say something about the real world if we are to conclude anything about the real world.

We seek to learn rules about how the real world works so that we can shape things to our advantage. It is thus reasonable to suppose that the real world works according to rules to which the rules of logic apply -- because, if this were not the case, we would have no means of deducing ANYTHING about the real world. Coupling this with the observation that an existential statement can be shown to be true by demonstration, but a universal statement is generally not provable [1], we can construct an epistemology around the following theorem: The information content of any thesis derives exclusively from its refutability [2]. Which gives us both a theoretical justification for science (in addition to its obvious empirical value) -- and also shows that the scientific method is the ONLY means of learning anything whatever.

1. The negation of an existential statement is a universal statement, and vice versa. A universal statement can be proved to be true if the existential statement which is its inverse can be shown to be false, and in some cases it is possible to do this.

2. For more on this, "Search Customer Discussions" for "saunderst" in "Belief in the Christian god is absurd." See reference therein for proof of the theorem.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 11:43:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 11:45:32 PM PST
Ehkzu says:
If by "atheist" the OP means someone who says "There is no God," sure. However, most nonreligious people are empiricists, not athiests. And for an empiricist, the question "Do you believe in God" is meaningless because the word "God" can't be defined empirically.

An empiricist doesn't need any foundational schema or framework. All he needs is the ability to feel pleasure and pain and be able to think. From nothing but those two sensations he can construct a world map--a weltanschaung--completely inductively, without preconditions.

Most nonreligious people wouldn't explain it this way. They'd just go about their business, wholly indifferent to the woolgathering ruminations of theists, anachronisms in the 21st century. For empiricists it's not that religion is wrong. It's that it's irrelevant.

Not socially irrelevant, mind you. Just philosophically irrelevant.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 8:41:27 AM PST
Re Ehkzu, above: "For empiricists it's not that religion is wrong. It's that it's irrelevant." Exactly. Unfortunately, the consequences of religion can be, and too often are, highly relevant -- and deleterious.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 8:43:22 AM PST
Lao Tzu says:
also left it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 8:57:09 AM PST
Your focus on Source resonates with me but I'm not in congruence with the notion that thinking ceases. A majestic sense of love and connectedness does not necessitate dropping "thinking"; it necessitates dropping the tunnel vision sense of self, but thinking continues. Right now, I'm more in the thinking and working from that perspective.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 8:59:22 AM PST
>Most individuals who identify as an atheist or a theist also identify with the thoughts their brain produces, unknowing that they are the product of a particular point of human evolution in which the brain is highly developed in regards to its reductionist, binary, and causal cognitive-perceptive functioning; but molded in a society manifesting a deep and unconscious disregard for the development of the brain's natural capacity for holism. We are forced to invent terms such as "self-transcendence" because we have forgotten that words are symbols. The words I am presenting you with are not meant to be taken on face value, but used as tools. You may reject these tools, or you may find some use with them. What I'm talking about here isn't an appreciation of this thought or that thought but a consideration of our relationship with the instrument of mind.

Your paragraph reminds me of the following, from John Locke:

"Vague and insignificant forms of speech, and abuse of language, have so long passed for mysteries of science; and hard or misapplied words with little or no meaning have, by prescription, such a right to be mistaken for deep learning and height of speculation, that it will not be easy to persuade either those who speak or those who hear them, that they are but the covers of ignorance and hindrance of true knowledge."

Translation: you have no idea, not only of what you are talking about but even of what you think you are trying to say in the first place.

>What matters more: what you believe or how you believe?

LMAO!

I believe that if I swallow poison, I will die. What matters more is not how I believe it but that I will be dead if I don't heed this.

>Take it or leave it.

Thanks, and sayonara.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 9:19:31 AM PST
If someone could get drunk from reading too many philosophy books, I imagine their writing would look much like this post.

What matters is that the sense impressions delivered to my consciousness via my senses are consistent with my inhabiting an objective reality with other beings. I construct models of that objective reality, then act based on those models, and what they tell me I can expect under certain conditions. When those models disagree with the sense impressions I receive, I do my best to confirm the accuracy of those impressions, then adjust my model accordingly.

Doing this, I can drive a car, cook a meal, write a computer program, and so on... and I'll bet you're no different.

We each hold some unverified beliefs... and some verified ones.

At this time, I note that others assert that Zeus, Odin, or other, similar beings exist... and I see no verification for that particular belief... thus, I am an atheist.

"The unverified belief is that you are or can be fully explained through the usage of symbols. "

My belief is that symbols are a useful tool when it comes to describing the reality I inhabit. This belief is verified via the success with which that tool is applied.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 9:28:52 AM PST
"the scientific method is the ONLY means of learning anything whatever."

We have a basic difference of opinion here. From my perspective, self-knowledge is a form of knowledge. The brain does not have a fulfilling answer to "Who am I?" through its conceptual framework. A reductionist answer to this question might be seem very satisfying to a brain with its holistic circuits shut off. A fulfilling answer integrates the pre-egoic (baby) and egoic (post-baby) states of consciousness, which are merely different stages of brain development and are not inherently in conflict. A post-egoic stage in which rationality and holism are integrated.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 9:31:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 9:34:38 AM PST
What utter *****

You and Baba Dots should meet up some time.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 9:33:08 AM PST
What, *exactly*, is this "pre-egoic state of consciousness", and what evidence can you produce that this state exists, and has the characteristics you believe it to have?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 9:50:32 AM PST
mark says:
How about some of each?

If looked at from the perspective that an individual does not identify "with", but is identified "BY", the thoughts his mind produces, it leads right to a question of, not what those thoughts are, but how those thoughts are justified, which is indeed consideration the mind gives to the symbolic expression of experiences. There is no real need in labeling that relationship or it's manifestations.

To say we operate within a "pretend box our brain creates out of thoughts", presupposes there is another paradigm that is not a pretend box, or that is not created from our brains, or is not from our thoughts. If any one of these are true, how is it possible to have understanding of them, without the use of the symbols that serve as representation of what those thoughts are? Not to mention the fact that those symbols are entirely objective, but what they attempt to describe is not.

Philosophy will never die, as long as humans are wont to dream up stuff purely from thinking about it. Which says absolutely nothing about the usefulness of either, but says everything about how one thinks. And....why it's so much fun.

Peace.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 10:22:27 AM PST
Faithradha says:
Ehkzu posts: "Do you believe in God" is meaningless because the word "God" can't be defined empirically.

FR: Exactly... so that the discussion of the "God of Religion" and the discussion of "God" as Absolute Truth" are VERY different conversations.
~
Those who are interested with the "God of Religion" are working with concepts which arise from whatever view that subject and finite mind has been exposed to within their environment.

Whereas ... those who are interested in "God" as Truth Absolute typically have little to no interest in the "God of Religion" and will not hesitate to challenge whatever common concepts religion, or anyone .... holds about "God".

This later group contains the true seekers, those who are willing to question not ONLY religion but more importantly their own mind's concepts of reality... and that takes more courage than most human beings typically have. To be willing to question our own finite mind's view of Reality is HUGE since the individual ego has so much invested in its current reality.



True Seekers are WILLING to throw out any concept of "God", and of Reality in general
that their mind might entertain. The idea that there could be something which has a greater Awareness than they can currently fathom is not seen as a threat, since nothing is MORE sacred to them than Truth Absolute itself.

When some Seekers reach the Threshold of The Absolute they often hesitate because their "spidy sense" is telling them that once they step through the looking glass, once they Transcend the finite mind, they can NEVER go back. Truth Absolute rips away the veil from the finite mind and allows us to not only meet the "man behind the curtain"...(which our 'false' ego continually tells us to ignore) but reveals to us that we have been looking into a mirror all this time.
We ARE the "Man behind the curtain"... running this whole show... and it is this which Realized BEings are finally able to Realize but ONLY after the finite mind has been Transcended.

Dogmatic dualistic religions do not talk about this because they are in ignorance of it. They have yet to step through the looking glass and Realize that the one who is seeking IS the ONE being sought.

The finite mind is capable via reason and logic of bringing us up to that Threshold of Truth Absolute but... can bring us no further. The mind does not have the power to Transcend its own self... for that one needs something more... and it is that 'more' which true seekers seek... and eventually find.

What is the KEY.. to what makes a seeker a seeker? One reason is that some minds are open enough to start paying attention to the "Glitches" in their experiential reality. Think Matrix... eventually these "Glitches" become so obvious that they are VERY difficult to ignore. That being said the mind is an amazing thing and can attribute even the most mouth dropping "glitches" to a bit of "underdone potatoe" It is only when an event becomes MIND STOPPING.. literally.. that we are able to get a true glimpse of THAT which is the underlying support of Mind, and everything else.

Most true seekers have gotten a glimpse behind the curtain.... and do begin to catch on... that things of this world are NOT ultimately what they appear to be... far from it,
and the more they question what the mind reports to them the more they understand just how untrustworthy the mind and its senses really are.

Eventually it becomes perfect clear that nothing 'here' is what it APPEARS to be.
We are the "dream" as it were, of our own Higher SELF..... which is the same in ALL, and of course The "Dream" and the "Dreamer" can never truly be separate from one another.

Truly the one who is seeking is The ONE being sought... but it is not good enough to simply BELIEVE this... one must KNOW THAT from the depths of their BEing... which is MUCH deeper than the mind can take us.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Ehkzu posts: For empiricists it's not that religion is wrong. It's that it's irrelevant.

FR: Very true, and for those who have Transcended the mind... whatever the finite mind THINKS and Experiences is understood to be irrelevant .... when it comes to Truth Absolute.

Within the limited experiential reality of mind Yes, sure it matters there what we THINK and experience, but not once one Transcends that very contracted level of Awareness. Much like what goes on within a dream will matter to us UNTIL we Awaken from that dream.

~ Peace ~

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 10:34:05 AM PST
Re RawCocoButter, 11-17 9:28 AM: "self-knowledge is a form of knowledge." Only if it can be subject to verification, and more importantly, refutation. We all have dreams, and are well aware that they are fictional: attempts to verify them show them to be nonsense. This applies to any subjective observations: they may be valid -- or not. A thesis based on subjective impressions cannot become "knowledge" until it is verified.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 1:26:26 PM PST
Robert A. Saunders,

Seeking to learn rules about how the "real world" works so that we can shape things to our advantage assumes that there exists at least one rule to how the "real world" works. This is neither verifiable or falsifiable. Anything and everything would be confirmation of your assumption.

And strict existential statements cannot be demonstrated, or proved, true any more than a strictly universal statement can be demonstrated, or proved true.

SCL

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 1:44:29 PM PST
OP: "The unverified belief is that you are or can be fully explained through the usage of symbols. "
--------------------
There is a law, that a complete symbolic description of something must contain as much or more information as the thing it describes. I doubt we will ever be able to "fully" explain many things.

But, if something is capable of description, and it is not chaotic, then patterns must emerge in it's operation. Describing patterns takes much less information. The laws of physics can be described on a piece of paper, yet the ramifications are almost endless.

The human mind is a complex re-entrant system. As such, it is impossible to precisely model it's internal state from external observation. And yet, we will continue to find ways of understanding the operation of our own mind, through seeing over-arching patterns.

I would argue that symbols are information. Information describes a relationship. In quantum physics, information is likely more fundamental than matter (Heisenberg uncertainty, the measurement problem, ...) In that sense, I would argue that one cannot describe anything EXCEPT through symbols, and that anything that can be described, must be able to be described through symbols.

That doesn't mean that our vocabulary, or mental faculties are capable of describing or perceiving all types of relationships.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 2:20:00 PM PST
Eric Pyle says:
Michael,

<<My belief is that symbols are a useful tool when it comes to describing the reality I inhabit.>>

I may be oversimplifying, but from the above it seems that you look at symbols as useful only in describing the cognitions that you have already had. A lot of philosophers would say that they play an important part at an earlier stage.

One model you hear a lot is that cognition is itself a form of symbolization. That is, we are not cognizant of something until we have converted a set of sense impressions into a symbol -- or at the very least, associated it with a useful symbol. So the set of sense impressions is chaos until the mind associates it with the symbol "chair."

I have the feeling that the symbolization happens before the sense impressions are fully taken in, at least in daily life. For example, if you ask your students to look up at the ceiling, and then ask them what color their chairs are, most people can't tell you. They perceived the chair, obviously -- they didn't fall on the floor -- but what they perceived was largely its symbol of use and not the sense impressions it gave off.

Usually it's thought that symbols and cognition are inextricably linked.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 2:31:06 PM PST
Stan Furman says:
You are incorrect on this one. There is no refutation of your own experience of self. You simply are and that is all that's needed for you to know that you exist. It is the base of all other knowledge, and it requires no refutation to be so.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 2:38:37 PM PST
re: To simplify, the matrix of thoughts that you identify with is not you.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 2:39:26 PM PST
"re: To simplify, the matrix of thoughts that you identify with is not you."

How do you know?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 2:40:21 PM PST
Cliff Sedge says:
'the matrix of thoughts that you identify with is not you.'

I still don't understand.

What's the 'matrix of thoughts'?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 2:41:05 PM PST
re: Yes your process is a good one. I merely suggest examining the basis of the deepest foundation in your objective reality: "I". Yes, symbols are a useful tool, and their use is verified.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 2:42:44 PM PST
re: Pre-egoic state of consciousness is approx age 0-4. Attributes include a dynamic sense of openness and lack of separation between "internal" and "external".
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Initial post:  Nov 16, 2012
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