Good One Morpheus

By marcus   follow   Sun, 31 Mar 2013, 5:09am PDT   ↑ Like (1)   ↓ Dislike (3)   15,214 views   200 comments   Watch (1)   Share   Quote  

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leo707   befriend (11)   ignore (1)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 10:20am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 161

Heraclitusstudent says

leo707 says

I think that the lie is that the pure joy one can derive from spiritual experience has any greater truth, or makes people inherently happier.

I disagree. There is something about finding a center point in oneself that makes people psychologically more healthy and stress free.

It's been shown people who meditate live longer and control stress better.

From what I understand those studies focus on mindful meditation. This type of meditation is not inherently "spiritual", and can be practiced entirely as a mental exercise. But, yes it is beneficial and can trigger spiritual experiences (some "masters" would view such experiences as distractions to be worked through). There is no "magic" to it. People use all kinds of mental exercises in their daily lives.

Yes, a more balanced stress-free life, but mystical secrets? No.

Heraclitusstudent says

What I meant was that dogma is not a good way to teach spirituality. On the contrary it's a good way to prevent people from accessing it. Once they are stuck with the concepts and rules of the dogma, they never go beyond them.

I agree that it is not a good way to teach spirituality -- particularly for those that disagree with the dogma. However, dogmatic traditions can be very effective at getting people to trigger spiritual experiences. This is why they often can not go beyond the dogma, they begin to believe that the priest-prophet-master...whoever is "guiding" them has the one-true way of triggering the spiritual experience. And they want more...

leo707   befriend (11)   ignore (1)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 10:33am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 162

Heraclitusstudent says

leo707 says

Plenty of people who's lives are devoid of spirituality are perfectly happy

Yes - until bad things happen and they are unhappy. Life is such that good things happen, and bad things happen. Spirituality is there to elevate you above the vicissitude of life.

Yep, life has its ups and downs. Spirituality is one of many coping mechanisms that people can use to deal with this. However, it is not the only -- or I would say even best -- tool in humanity's toolbox to handle (un)happy times.

marcus   befriend (5)   ignore (1)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 10:35am PDT   Like   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 163

Okay DAn, I did put you back on ignore.

Dan8267 says

My dislike of Marcus is based on his willful refusal to engage in mature, adult debate

Says the guy who is ignored by 9 people. I'm ignored by one.

leo707   befriend (11)   ignore (1)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 10:38am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 164

marcus says

Okay DAn, I did put you back on ignore.

Dan8267 says

My dislike of Marcus is based on his willful refusal to engage in mature, adult debate

Says the guy who is ignored by 9 people. I'm ignored by one.

So, close!

Dan8267 says

Of course, I'm always willing to give someone another chance if I think there's a decent chance they are willing to play along nicely.

Dan8267   befriend (17)   ignore (11)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 10:40am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 165

Heraclitusstudent says

Can you describe the feeling of beauty in words?

No, but Shakespeare can.

And even if "natural" languages could not, which I don't agree with, certainly the information can be captured in XML as I've shown. Of course, a book and the experience of reading a book are two different things and so is an XML file of a neural network and an operating neural network printing from the specs in that XML file. But let's not argue semantics.

I don't think were disagreeing except perhaps on how powerful, expressive, and extensible language is. I, for one, tend to be impressed that the essentially same language, English, spoken a hundred or a thousand years ago can describe digital circuits, the Theory of Relativity, the construction of life through genetic instructions, the routing of packets across the Internet, and a myriad of other things English was never designed to handle.

That's what so great about languages is that the are extensible. You are not limited to discussing subjects or concepts by what you can discuss today. Languages adapt and advance as needed without having to rewrite them. When you think about it that way, language is a damn impressive technology.

As such, I do not think it praises beauty to say that beauty cannot be expressed in words; rather, I think it disparages language unfairly and inaccurately. The value of beauty is not diminished if you can express it in words. The value of a baby has not been diminished by the fact that we can and have described in words and great detail all the processes involved in turning a sperm and egg into a child. Does understanding the gestation of humans make having a child any less spectacular? No, but it does greatly reduce stillbirths, infant mortality, and maternal deaths.

Expressing or describing something accurately and truly does not diminish the thing described. If anything, it exposes deeper beauty. A rainbow is pretty even if you don't know what it is, but it is magnificent if you do understand what it is.

Heraclitusstudent says

Since you haven't experienced the spiritual "emotion", there is no word that would be meaningful to you to describe it.

What makes you sure I haven't experienced the same emotions that religious people attribute to "spirituality"? Most likely, I have many times. I just have enough respect for nature to give her credit for them.

Heraclitusstudent says

It's like trying to explain Leonardo to someone blind from birth.

Take a digital photo of Leonardo's work. Essentially, that's a written form of the information. Wire up electrodes to the right location in the human brain of the blind person to transcode the data. It's a high tech way of translating from one language to another. Then the blind person will experience the painting.

Even if human languages are limited, languages in general need not be.

However, the above example isn't really necessary even. Leonardo's works inspire emotions in a person. That is the whole point of art. Granted, the emotions that one person feels while looking at the art may differ from another, but the blind person can feel those emotions. One simply needs to identify what experience you want to convey and do so using sensory input the blind person can accept, for example, by using music to convey the same emotional orchestra.

The Master Artist, Leonardo

Heraclitusstudent says

Dan8267 says

Just like with the drug, the experience you get from religion is fake.

In what sense is it fake? Because you don't experience it? Well others do.

Are you talking about the emotional high from ecstasy or from religion? The point is that it doesn't matter. It's based on a lie. Lying to your brain chemically or verbally is still lying to your brain.

I thought we already agree that the tree exists whether or not I experience it. Reality is what it is whether or not you are alive and around to experience it.

Heraclitusstudent says

Or because it's not something something physical or tangible or shared?

Beauty is not something physical either, or tangible. People don't all agree on where it is.

Money is not tangible, but it exists, even as data. Beauty exists as data in the brain. I have no problem with the existence of "intangible" things, but all intangible things, all things that exist at all, exist in the physical universe. I.e., they are physical things in some sense.

Whether or not beauty is in the eye of the beholder is irrelevant. You are confusing the concept of an opinion with the concept of the supernatural. Of course opinions exist and they differ. But whether or not the Christian god created the universe, interfered in human history, and will judge you when you die is not an opinion. It is either true or false.

Opinions are completely explained by natural laws. The wiring of brains, chemistry, valuation models, etc. There is nothing supernatural about opinions.

Heraclitusstudent says

Here goes beauty. It's not rational, so the great Dan8267 decided it should be eliminated.

Thank you very much!

Wow, you really don't understand me or science at all.

1. Beauty most certainly is rational. Biologists have modeled it and the reasons it exists as it does extensively. For example, Human Beauty and the Golden Ratio.

2. I never said that all irrationality must be eliminated. I've said we shouldn't embrace irrationality and let it take over our governments, laws, educational system, morality, and ethics. I stand by that, if you care to take the opposing side. I'm ok with poets and lovers being irrational. Crazy hate sex can be the best kind of sex.

3. I see beauty in the natural explanations for things. And the beauty I see in a star or the universe at large when I realize exactly what it is and how it works is both true and far greater and deeper than the pseudo-beauty of religious lies.

Heraclitusstudent says

Yeah right.

The problem you are still apparently not getting, is that having this file will never give you experience of beauty you described in it.

You missed my point. But read the second paragraph of this post to get a clearer picture.

Dan8267   befriend (17)   ignore (11)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 10:50am PDT   Like   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 166

leo707 says

I think that the lie is that the pure joy one can derive from spiritual experience has any greater truth, or makes people inherently happier. People who feel the ecstatic joy of true faith can't imagine living without it, and don't understand why others don't feel the same

Yep, and this is exactly what ecstasy and other such dopamine releasing drugs do. The lie, as you said, is that there is a greater truth to the emotional high or that some supernatural being is responsible for it.

The danger of the lie is that it affects important decision making such as
- whether or not gays can marry
- whether or not we invade Iraq
- how are children are taught
- what civil rights and laws we pass
- whether or not we protect the environment
- and so much more

The kind of lie that religions tell will always have consequences far greater than simply comforting a person who has lost a love one. The movie, The Invention of Lying, illustrates this point very well.

leo707 says

marcus says

Okay DAn, I did put you back on ignore.

Dan8267 says

My dislike of Marcus is based on his willful refusal to engage in mature, adult debate

Says the guy who is ignored by 9 people. I'm ignored by one.

So, close!

I know! I open up an olive branch to the guy -- as I have several times before -- and he always does the juvenile thing and in the most juvenile way.

I try to give people the benefit of a doubt even when a discussion becomes heated, but after a while, you just reach the conclusion that some people aren't worth your time and that the only reason to respond to anything they say is to make sure their bad ideas don't spread like a virus, herpes in Marcus's case. Now, to clarify, I'm not saying Marcus has herpes; I'm saying his ideas are like herpes.

Heraclitusstudent   befriend (0)   ignore (1)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 10:51am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 167

leo707 says

Yes, a more balanced stress-free life, but mystical secrets? No.

I'm not sure there is anything mystical to be found. Just a different mental state, that includes an elevated awareness of the present, and mindfulness exercises are likely part of getting there.

leo707 says

However, dogmatic traditions can be very effective at getting people to trigger spiritual experiences.

Maybe but I doubt it. People become brainwashed and exalted yes, but spiritual? They are stuck with the metaphor taken as fact and are not looking beyond that for it actually means. Unless they find it in themselves, text books won't help.

Heraclitusstudent   befriend (0)   ignore (1)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 11:38am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 168

Dan8267 says

One simply needs to identify what experience you want to convey and do so using sensory input the blind person can accept, for example, by using music to convey the same emotional orchestra.

First the brain circuitry that forms the emotion differs from person to person. So what one person experiences cannot exactly be experienced by an other. Communication in this context is approximative at best. And there is no basis to the belief that you could put electrodes in someone's brain and reproduce the experience of an other person.

Second the emotion of observing a painting is irreducibly link to perception of this painting and this brain circuitry differs massively between different senses. So a blind will never experience Leonardo though music.

The same goes with your XML example. A language by definition serves to communicate. You are able to *describe* in XML an experience. This is not the same as communicating this experience because you are unable to reinject that experience in someone else or even yourself. yes, you can write this XML file, but it's like giving a picture to a blind person. What you transmit is data, not an experience.

Heraclitusstudent   befriend (0)   ignore (1)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 11:56am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 169

Dan8267 says

You are confusing the concept of an opinion with the concept of the supernatural. Of course opinions exist and they differ. But whether or not the Christian god created the universe, interfered in human history, and will judge you when you die is not an opinion. It is either true or false.

I have already agreed that there is nothing supernatural about it and that myths should be taken as metaphorical.

Dan8267 says

I have no problem with the existence of "intangible" things, but all intangible things, all things that exist at all, exist in the physical universe. I.e., they are physical things in some sense.

Beauty doesn't exist as a physical thing outside the brain.
So I assume that by the above you mean beauty exists physically in the brain...
So it goes with a spiritual experience.

Dan8267 says

Are you talking about the emotional high from ecstasy or from religion? The point is that it doesn't matter. It's based on a lie. Lying to your brain chemically or verbally is still lying to your brain.

I thought we already agree that the tree exists whether or not I experience it. Reality is what it is whether or not you are alive and around to experience it.

I'm talking of the spiritual experience, (taken as an emotion, i.e. a not religious metaphor.)
In what sense is it a lie? because it exists only in the brain?
So does beauty.
Would you say experiencing beauty is the same as being on drugs? Or "lying to your brain"?
What difference you see with 'beauty'?

freak80   befriend (0)   ignore (6)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 1:30pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 170

leo707 says

Yep, life has its ups and downs. Spirituality is one of many coping mechanisms that people can use to deal with this. However, it is not the only -- or I would say even best -- tool in humanity's toolbox to handle (un)happy times.

I got more "into" the religion I was raised in when my grandfather passed away in October 2001. It was right after 9-11, which made the experience even worse. I really didn't have any other way to cope.

The problem is, deep down I knew it was b.s. I was essentially deluding myself. I couldn't handle the idea of my own eventual death or the death of the people I love.

It wasn't until last October that the "why won't god heal amputees" website finally "broke" my delusion.

freak80   befriend (0)   ignore (6)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 1:53pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 171

Dan8267 says

Only those whose minds have been corrupted by religion want homosexuals to have fewer civil rights and financial opportunities and a higher tax burden than straights.

If there was a distinction made between "religious" marriage and "secular/civil" marriage, there would probably be less conflict over the gay marriage issue. It's probably a smart strategy for politicians to use the term "civil unions" instead of "gay marriage."

Rightly or wrongly, the religious see gay marriage as an attack on what they see as a sacred religious institution. They don't see marriage as a secular tax/financial/hospital visitation issue. Hence the bitter conflict.

Dan8267   befriend (17)   ignore (11)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 2:02pm PDT   Like   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 172

freak80 says

If there was a distinction made between "religious" marriage and "secular/civil" marriage, there would probably be less conflict over the gay marriage issue.

No, because churches don't have to recognize legal marriages as religious ones. Even the Christian right isn't so fucking retarded as to think that recognizing secular same-sex marriages means the state will force their local pastor to marry two guys in gay biker outfits while all the kids are made to watch them consummate the marriage. Then again, I could be wrong.

freak80   befriend (0)   ignore (6)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 2:22pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 173

Dan8267 says

Even the Christian right isn't so fucking retarded as to think that recognizing secular same-sex marriages means the state will force their local pastor to marry two guys in gay biker outfits while all the kids are made to watch them consummate the marriage. Then again, I could be wrong.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91486340

Some of that seems to skirt the edge. The state forced a church to allow for gay marriage on its own property.

I really don't have a dog in that fight anymore, but I can understand the concern.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (5)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 2:35pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 174

freak80 says

The state forced a church to allow for gay marriage on its own property.

I really don't have a dog in that fight anymore, but I can understand the concern.

"The judge determined that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association breached its agreement to make the pavilion available to the public on an equal basis. The association was also required to make the pavilion public in exchange for a state tax exemption it received that requires equal access on a non-discriminatory basis. Metzger also noted that while the association is free to practice its mission without government oversight, it had never attached any religious ministry to the wedding venue until it received Paster and Bernstein’s application."

As churches have acquired more property, they have sought to produce revenue while at the same time avoiding taxes. In this regard, they have behaved quite similarly to other businesses. Nothing required the church to buy a beach pavilion and rent it out as a public accommodation, but having gone into that business, they were required to follow the same rules as everyone else in that business. The same would apply if they bought a restaurant but didn't want to comply with the health code: if they invest in a line of business to make money, they have to follow the same rules as anyone else in that business.

marcus   befriend (5)   ignore (1)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 3:27pm PDT   Like   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 175

leo707 says

Ummm...maybe...*er*...sort of. I think that it can be just an emotional experience.

IT's an experience, that has an emotional component to it. You could say that for some there might be an element of dishonesty in the experience that they are having if it is for the sole purpose of tricking themselves in to having the positive emotions that flow from it.

So ? What's all this judging about anyway ?

If it's that some take this line of thinking to the question, is it real ?
Is this experience real ? (or is it emotion ?) To me that's not very far from saying, "am I real ?" Aren't I comprised of my experiences ?

Dan8267   befriend (17)   ignore (11)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 4:05pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 176

curious2 says

if they invest in a line of business to make money, they have to follow the same rules as anyone else in that business.

Damn straight. This church would have been in hot water had they tried to ban blacks from getting married on the pavilion as well, and rightfully so for the exact same reasons.

Personally, I don't think that churches should get any special treatment when it comes to land and property taxes.

marcus   befriend (5)   ignore (1)   Fri, 26 Jul 2013, 4:24pm PDT   Like   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 177

marcus says

dishonesty in the experience that they are having if it is for the sole purpose of tricking themselves in to having the positive emotions that flow from it.

As I think about it this doesn't make sense. An experience is just an experience and can not be dishonest. Maybe the reflection on the experience or the communicating about it can be.

marcus   befriend (5)   ignore (1)   Sat, 27 Jul 2013, 4:36am PDT   Like   Dislike (2)     Share   Quote   Comment 178

leo707 says

marcus says

Okay DAn, I did put you back on ignore.

Dan8267 says

My dislike of Marcus is based on his willful refusal to engage in mature, adult debate

Says the guy who is ignored by 9 people. I'm ignored by one.

So, close!

Not really. Here's my sincere attempt:

marcus says

I'm not interested in revisiting this argument with you. In fact I just yesterday took you off ignore. It's your call.

(he told me to put him back on ignore)

Here's Dan's:

Dan8267 says

My dislike of Marcus is based on his willful refusal to engage in mature, adult debate

....

Of course, I'm always willing to give someone another chance if I think there's a decent chance they are willing to play along nicely.

Is it difficult to see which one of us is the arrogant prick is here ?

I'll say this though, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Iwogs recent crushing of Dan in an argument, which Iwog also did shortly after in another argument which I believe was with a likely alter ego of Dan's. Granted in the Dan - Iwog one about inflation, I mostly read Iwogs pov with quotess of Dan, but that was sufficient.

Dan8267   befriend (17)   ignore (11)   Sat, 27 Jul 2013, 5:46am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike (2)     Share   Quote   Comment 179

I often wonder if there is a law of the universe which explains why trolls are so delusional.

marcus   befriend (5)   ignore (1)   Sat, 27 Jul 2013, 11:49pm PDT   Like   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 180

9

Reality   befriend (0)   ignore (6)   Sat, 27 Jul 2013, 11:59pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 181

sbh says

Dan8267 says

Personally, I don't think that churches should get any special treatment when it comes to land and property taxes.

Or any special tax treatment at all. We've just returned from a road trip through the bible belt and I'd wager there is a church per every 5.6 people. What a scam! If the rest of us are "taxed enough already" why should this underground black market go unscathed?

LOL. Schools (many universities occupy huge land plots) and churches are exempt due to their non-profit status conducting non-profit activities. Some argument can be made that school dormitories and church rectories should face property tax just like any other residential housing.

Dan8267   befriend (17)   ignore (11)   Sun, 28 Jul 2013, 2:35am PDT   Like   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 182

Reality says

Schools (many universities occupy huge land plots) and churches are exempt due to their non-profit status conducting non-profit activities.

For profit institutions that do some non-profit work should still be taxed. If I buy a McMansion and hold a weekly scout meeting in my backyard, would I still get taxed on my McMansion?

Reality   befriend (0)   ignore (6)   Sun, 28 Jul 2013, 2:41am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 183

Dan8267 says

Reality says

Schools (many universities occupy huge land plots) and churches are exempt due to their non-profit status conducting non-profit activities.

For profit institutions that do some non-profit work should still be taxed. If I buy a McMansion and hold a weekly scout meeting in my backyard, would I still get taxed on my McMansion?

Yes, you'd still be taxed because the non-profit use of the property is not exclusive or even predominant, and you are not a recognized non-profit organization. Many born-again churches run into that sort of problem with the IRS precisely because they can not prove the residential buildings that they own is exclusively or predominantly used for non-profit purpose. That's why I suggested that some argument can be made for collecting property tax on dormitories owned by colleges and rectories owned by churches, as they are the parts of the property that are predominantly used for residential purpose, not the school's teaching or church's religious gathering purpose, which are tax exempted due to non-profit.

Under existing tax laws, for-profit institutions usually don't get property tax exemption at all even if they occasionally make the property available for non-profit use.

Dan8267   befriend (17)   ignore (11)   Sun, 28 Jul 2013, 2:52am PDT   Like   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 184

Reality says

not the school's teaching or church's religious gathering purpose,

Ah, but the "religious" gathering purpose should not be treated specially by the tax code.

Heraclitusstudent   befriend (0)   ignore (1)   Sun, 28 Jul 2013, 8:14am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 185

Dan8267 says

The lie, as you said, is that there is a greater truth to the emotional high or

What comes first?:
1 - the physical world, in which the brain exists, and in which we are, as a whole, but a phenomenon explained by the laws of physics, or
2 - the sensory perceptions and the emotions that we experience, and in which the physical world exists only as a perception.

Yes we perceive an external world in which we feel immersed, as the scenery changes when we turn the head. And this world is an incredibly consistent experience. But first, all this exists as a sensory perception.

Thus we assume that the tree exists whether we experience it or not. But this is always an assumption. We can never be certain that this is not an illusion as the matrix is or a deception by a demon as Descartes would have it. The consistency of the world is also an assumption. It's inductive logic. The cloudless sky was always blue, and so it will be tomorrow.

Dan8267 says

. I've said we shouldn't embrace irrationality and let it take over our governments, laws, educational system, morality, and ethics. I stand by that,

Not irrationality, but emotions like beauty are typically affecting our governments and laws. There are investments in art etc... Even as beauty doesn't exist in the physical world outside our brains. Whether we like it or not, human beings are emotional beings, not robots. Emotions can sometime be irrational if we look at things purely materialistically, but they still make sense to us.

marcus   befriend (5)   ignore (1)   Sun, 28 Jul 2013, 9:52am PDT   Like   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 186

marcus   befriend (5)   ignore (1)   Sun, 22 Sep 2013, 1:53am PDT   Like   Dislike (2)