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View Full Version : Chris hedges on Hitchens, Harris and a bit on x-tians.



AAAhmed46
13th June 10, 07:14 AM
Vdl_xNMTYvs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vdl_xNMTYvs

You will either really like what he says or really hate him.

Alot of what he says is similar to some of cullions arguements.

Yes the title of the book is misleading, it isn't actually about athiesm. The book from what i have read is more about Hitchens, harris, with small mention of dawkins. He actually doesn't delve into whether or not god exists or anything else like that. Even comes off as sympathetic to 'classic' athiesm.

He is the author of "american fascism'' which is basically a book on the christian rignt. It's hard to pin him down on moral politics. Internationally he is very left wing, but on moral politics, he has liberal views on gay and lesbian rights and religious freedom, yet is highly disilliusioned with pop-culture and television, uncomfortable with both secular and religious forces.
He comes off as an anarchist, but his writing really makes me think he is NOT an anarchist, particularly his ravings on the flaws of human nature.

Here is one of his interviews on political christianity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thn9Hnu__pU

Sometimes he just comes off as really conservative here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHle_turjes

Ajamil
13th June 10, 07:28 AM
Helping hand. Ya know, since I'm about to get my honorary modship.
Vdl_xNMTYvs

Edit: I liked his talk on the political Christian right more than his dismissal of Hitchens and Harris. I agree with much of it, but I think he tries to portray them as less educated and morally worse than they are.

AAAhmed46
13th June 10, 07:33 AM
Thankee my hindu friend!

Cullion
13th June 10, 08:25 AM
Thankyou Aahmed, I hadn't come across this man before, but I agree with almost everything he's saying in the video which Arjuna posted.

He's a little hard on Hitchens, as I'm aware that Hitchens has publicly recanted some of his harsher views. Probably because he's become reconciled with his super-right wing, Christian conservative brother, Peter.

I believe the distinction between 'reason and the scientific method' and 'the cult of Science (with a capital S)' to be an important one.

AAAhmed46
13th June 10, 05:08 PM
On hitchens: He recanted his views on torture only after getting waterboarded himself(props to him for doing that). HERE IS THE THING, a TRUE lover of the scientific method and seeker of truth would not spout bullshit about something unless they were truly informed, yet hitchens supported torture strongly until he got waterboarded himself. Why did he have to go through all that before realizing his error? If he were truly objective he would have though 'well, if someone were sticking needles in my nail beds, id do anything to stop it, even admit to false guilt'.
I think the waterboarding thing with hitchens truly revealed his inherent arrogance, a sense of not have to analyze his own views because he rarely is wrong.

Hedges is very unusual. I used to think about him as a card carrying typical liberal.

But then he has written some very harsh critiques of liberalism.

He's lighter on dawkins, but still not uncritical.

I just ordered his book on empire of illusion and American fascism(critique of the christian right), and the athiest book as well.

AAAhmed46
13th June 10, 06:17 PM
Vt8HHTHEMKI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt8HHTHEMKI


Since Arjuna liked his talk on the christian right more.

Commenting on your post Arjuna: He harps more on Harris's morals compared to hitchens(though hitchens is talked about alot). And if you read Harris's book, i think Hedges is dead on about Harris. The guy comes across as racist at times, and genocidal.

Ajamil
13th June 10, 07:23 PM
I worry Hedges is falling into a conspiratorial trap. I wonder whether the Christian right is being controlled by those in charge, or is using figureheads to validate the common person's fears and biases. Like a mob using a person to incite the rage and impetus, then leaving them behind once their own direction and desire differs from the speaker's.

AAAhmed46
14th June 10, 02:37 AM
or is using figureheads to validate the common person's fears and biases. Like a mob using a person to incite the rage and impetus, then leaving them behind once their own direction and desire differs from the speaker's.

This i believe is the essence of it, and the essence of terrorist recruitment as well.

Lebell
14th June 10, 03:30 AM
In the first clip he's not saying anything new.
Personally i like Hitchens because he makes me laugh, most atheists make me laugh because of their ignorance as described by Hedges: their Gawd is science and their church is that of the scientific community, they're doing exactly what the medieval church did, just in a different form.
It's hard to take them seriously, and it's also hard to actually reason with them since they know the truth already.

AAAhmed46
14th June 10, 03:42 AM
I agree, it isn't new what he wrote. But he did bother writing it and argueing it well.

Also, unlike other writers who covered the same issues, the neo-athiest apologists can't dismiss hedges as a dogmatic christian apologist or minister. Hedges himself is an agnostic.

But he's one of the few guys to bother writing a book about it, a book not about athiesm it self but about the three ideolouges of militant athiesm.

jkdbuck76
14th June 10, 11:28 AM
Good stuff. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from him.

Lebell
14th June 10, 12:04 PM
But he's one of the few guys to bother writing a book about it, a book not about athiesm it self but about the three ideolouges of militant athiesm.

i don't think that in this point in time militant atheism is the main concern for the freedom loving western world, AHMED...

oh snap!

lolol!

high five anyone?

AAAhmed46
24th July 10, 04:32 PM
Bump.

Basically Reza Aslan recently wrote an article on this, and the response he recieved according to him was very hostile.

?v=y2tj_yV6tGY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2tj_yV6tGY

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
26th July 10, 06:14 AM
Robert Anton Wilson wrote a book about fundemental materialism in the 80's called The New Inquisition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Inquisition)

AAAhmed46
1st August 10, 09:31 PM
Thank you for the book reference!

AAAAAA
3rd August 10, 02:45 AM
He's basically saying that religion is an useful outlet to shape and express human nature, or at least, the big irrational part we are also made of. He's renouncing in looking for the truth in religion. To me, it sounds like a cop-out: I can agree with his opinion, but then, if it's just a useful expression of human emotions, why should it be taken as truth?

So I take his conclusion is: taking it as a truth allows one to express his humanity, regardless of its actual truth?

Lebell
3rd August 10, 04:45 AM
He's basically saying that religion is an useful outlet to shape and express human nature, or at least, the big irrational part we are also made of. He's renouncing in looking for the truth in religion. To me, it sounds like a cop-out: I can agree with his opinion, but then, if it's just a useful expression of human emotions, why should it be taken as truth?

So I take his conclusion is: taking it as a truth allows one to express his humanity, regardless of its actual truth?

You speak of irrational, truth, human nature, this tells me you do not understand what you're talking about.

here's the problem: when it comes to religion a lotta people have a lotta opinions but absolutely no background to actual back up those opinions unless you think 'zeitgeist' is actually a good theory.

scientists but in religion and religion buts in into science.

religion on a 'higher level' is based on mystery, not logic.
so from a scientific point you can yap about how religion is erratic or an emotional respnse to existential questions, but it does not change the fact we are sentient beings who wonder why we are where we are and what the meaning of life is, what are purpose and origins are.
science tries to answer that question wth psychology, go read about psychology and learn how that is probably the most crappy 'science' there is.

in our 21st century western world science is the new catholic church everybody needs to subscribe to unless one wants to be perceived as an idiot.
but science leads as much to questions as religions: for every discovery leads to 5 more questions. (wich is why i actualy like science)

the general thing i passonately HATE is people who claim to know reality.
its extremely ignorant.
wether its from a scientific or religious corner.

AAAAAA
3rd August 10, 06:01 AM
religion on a 'higher level' is based on mystery, not logic.


Could you clarify what do you mean by "religion" and "mystery" here? You mean giving a meaning to the world based on mystery?



so from a scientific point you can yap about how religion is erratic or an emotional respnse to existential questions, but it does not change the fact we are sentient beings who wonder why we are where we are and what the meaning of life is, what are purpose and origins are.


Sure, those are questions we ask ourselves. What does this unchangable fact mean, in your opinion?



science tries to answer that question wth psychology, go read about psychology and learn how that is probably the most crappy 'science' there is.


Your opinion on psychology is funny since you pride yourself of being able to quickly assess other people's psychological tendencies and processes.



in our 21st century western world science is the new catholic church everybody needs to subscribe to unless one wants to be perceived as an idiot.
but science leads as much to questions as religions: for every discovery leads to 5 more questions. (wich is why i actualy like science)


Me too. And it involves creativity, because you need to come up with good questions and find out a way to answer those, for yourself and for others to see.



the general thing i passonately HATE is people who claim to know reality.
its extremely ignorant.
wether its from a scientific or religious corner.

Science is supposed to investigate reality thru a repeatable process; in this sense, when you ("you" as in "human race) "discover" something, you do increase your knowledge of reality. That's different than knowing reality, as in, ALL reality.

Lebell
3rd August 10, 12:10 PM
Could you clarify what do you mean by "religion" and "mystery" here? You mean giving a meaning to the world based on mystery?

The mysteries as in: why are we here? are we alone? is there a god? if so, why did god feel the need to create us? etc etc
some dumbasses claim to know these answers, but in the essence all major religions are just an approach to answer those questions.




Your opinion on psychology is funny since you pride yourself of being able to quickly assess other people's psychological tendencies and processes.

you think its funny because you're ignorant, but thats okay.
my psychology: if i spot a dick i spot a dick, you cant really cure an asshole and you can only change a persons behaviour up to a certain level, unless you traumatise him.
but thats not very usefull neither.



Me too. And it involves creativity, because you need to come up with good questions and find out a way to answer those, for yourself and for others to see.

ah you're still in that phase huh.
you'll end up going in circles and playing clever theoretical games.
once you passed that, look me up.




Science is supposed to investigate reality thru a repeatable process; in this sense, when you ("you" as in "human race) "discover" something, you do increase your knowledge of reality. That's different than knowing reality, as in, ALL reality.

no.
science attempts to understand one part of what we perceive as to be reality.
we have no idea what exactly sentient life is, how dimensions work, if there even are any,etc etc
science is not worthless, but take it for what it is: very narrow.

AAAAAA
3rd August 10, 01:35 PM
The mysteries as in: why are we here? are we alone? is there a god? if so, why did god feel the need to create us? etc etc
some dumbasses claim to know these answers, but in the essence all major religions are just an approach to answer those questions.


So religions don't provide answers (or they'd be all dumbasses too). What they provide for you? Half-answers? New questions? Elaboration on those questions?




you think its funny because you're ignorant, but thats okay.
my psychology: if i spot a dick i spot a dick, you cant really cure an asshole and you can only change a persons behaviour up to a certain level, unless you traumatise him.
but thats not very usefull neither.


I remember you happily using psychological terminology to describe other people. Now you switch to the str33t words to show your contempt for psychology. But you're practicing the same thing, just with other words.



ah you're still in that phase huh.
you'll end up going in circles and playing clever theoretical games.
once you passed that, look me up.


What phase? Where I talk about science and what I like about it? You sure are quick to judge.



no.
science attempts to understand one part of what we perceive as to be reality.
we have no idea what exactly sentient life is, how dimensions work, if there even are any,etc etc
science is not worthless, but take it for what it is: very narrow.

I'm curious to hear what insights you got from non-science about those questions, but I think you won't consider me "ready" to hear it and you'll pass.

I'll not be here until monday btw so in case I'll be answering then.

Ajamil
3rd August 10, 02:21 PM
Lebell, your position seems to be, "nobody knows, but I don't know less than you don't know." How is this different than anyone else claiming to have answers?

Lebell
3rd August 10, 02:57 PM
So religions don't provide answers (or they'd be all dumbasses too). What they provide for you? Half-answers? New questions? Elaboration on those questions?


Thats a very good question.
You want me to answer it for you?
its better if YOU think about it for yourself.




I remember you happily using psychological terminology to describe other people. Now you switch to the str33t words to show your contempt for psychology. But you're practicing the same thing, just with other words.


yes, i observe and more often than not i get it right.
weird thing is, when i do misjudge people i do so in the most epic horrible way.



What phase? Where I talk about science and what I like about it? You sure are quick to judge.

ive been watching you.



I'm curious to hear what insights you got from non-science about those questions, but I think you won't consider me "ready" to hear it and you'll pass.

I'll not be here until monday btw so in case I'll be answering then.

some things are better when you discover them for yourself instead of someone else spelling it out for you.
i cant explain you what bread tastes like if you're not willing to eat it.

Lebell
3rd August 10, 02:58 PM
Lebell, your position seems to be, "nobody knows, but I don't know less than you don't know." How is this different than anyone else claiming to have answers?

actually, i know more than most of you do.
but its impossible to explain.

Ajamil
3rd August 10, 03:04 PM
If you can't explain something then you don't know it.

Lebell
3rd August 10, 03:11 PM
really?
interesting statement.

Ajamil
3rd August 10, 03:17 PM
That's it? No OMG YER STOOPID? No LOL HINDOO? You're not actually thinking of a way to properly respond, so why no retort?

Commodore Pipes
3rd August 10, 04:18 PM
I don't think it is Lebell trolling. I think might be a little sarcastic, though, in response to the claim that the unexplainable =/= the unknowable, particularly in a conversation that has taken a metaphysical turn. On the other hand, if you mean a mystical "cloud of unknowing" that imparts a feeling of understanding without knowledge, you might both be closer than you think. But I don't think that is what is going on here. Of course, I'm just reading myself into this exchange and could be totally off.

Lebell
4th August 10, 04:27 AM
That's it? No OMG YER STOOPID? No LOL HINDOO? You're not actually thinking of a way to properly respond, so why no retort?

let's have another look about the remark you'd like me to retort:


If you can't explain something then you don't know it.

i mean, really?
what the hell should i say to that?

first you tell me: what is to know?

Ajamil
4th August 10, 03:36 PM
What you say is what you think you know more than other people. How about explaining this?

ah you're still in that phase huh.
you'll end up going in circles and playing clever theoretical games.
once you passed that, look me up.Phase of what? What is the phase before it? What is the phase after it? What phase are you in?

How about, since you decided to give this cop out

i cant explain you what bread tastes like if you're not willing to eat it. you begin with saying the ingredients of the "bread," and the process by which it's made. BTW, I've heard the same thing said about chanting Hare Krishna (except they use a jar of honey, and licking the outside of the jar) - so will you start your daily two hours now?


first you tell me: what is to know?
No - you made a claim that you know more. You know who else knows? The Blotch knows. (http://invaderzimepisodes.com/236/mysterious-mysteries/)

Lebell
4th August 10, 05:00 PM
'why do you ask about the end? do you know about the beginning?'

seriously, ive expected better from you.

Ajamil
4th August 10, 05:36 PM
Where did I ask about the end? There is no beginning - do you mean the source?

Lebell
5th August 10, 03:40 AM
you are my Peter.
will you deny me three times aswell?

Ajamil
5th August 10, 06:20 AM
Something tells me your cock ain't crowin.

Vieux Normand
5th August 10, 10:23 AM
...the fact we are sentient beings who wonder why we are where we are and what the meaning of life is, what are purpose and origins are.

You describe this as a "fact".

Creativo further labels it an "unchangeable fact".

So...everybody spends their time asking these how-and-why questions?

There's nobody out there who just doesn't give a shit, beyond merely asserting that things just are what they are? Do we all put our heads into the clouds and loftily wonder "how it all came to be and why are we here"?

*waves happily*

Bullshit.

Lebell
5th August 10, 01:23 PM
You describe this as a "fact".

Creativo further labels it an "unchangeable fact".

So...everybody spends their time asking these how-and-why questions?

There's nobody out there who just doesn't give a shit, beyond merely asserting that things just are what they are? Do we all put our heads into the clouds and loftily wonder "how it all came to be and why are we here"?

*waves happily*

Bullshit.

even the biggest retard has at one point asked him or herself what the meaning of all this is.

Ajamil
5th August 10, 03:10 PM
You describe this as a "fact".

Creativo further labels it an "unchangeable fact".

So...everybody spends their time asking these how-and-why questions?

There's nobody out there who just doesn't give a shit, beyond merely asserting that things just are what they are? Do we all put our heads into the clouds and loftily wonder "how it all came to be and why are we here"?

*waves happily*

Bullshit.It's a sad sad waste of a person who doesn't.

Vieux Normand
6th August 10, 05:24 PM
Only the biggest retard has at one point asked him or herself what the meaning of all this is.

Chalk up another ESL lesson for Leb.

Vieux Normand
6th August 10, 05:26 PM
It's a sad sad waste of a person who doesn't.

Wondering about The Big Questions is indeed a sad, sad waste of a person who otherwise wouldn't.

Lebell
6th August 10, 05:29 PM
i sense a lot of anger in this one.
does it make you affraid when you think of these things Normand?

Ajamil
6th August 10, 08:01 PM
Nonsense, simply an assertion of direction.

Vieux Normand
7th August 10, 02:40 PM
does it make you affraid when you think of these things Normand?

I C wut U R doing.

At this point, to prove I'm not 'affraid', I'm supposed to go out amongst graecian columns or butterfly-replete meadows, sit and gaze wonderingly at the sky and whine out loud: "But why am I here? How did it all begin? What's it all meeeeeaan?".

As if doing that isn't a complete waste of fucking time...

Commodore Pipes
7th August 10, 07:16 PM
This thread had potential, too.

Lebell
8th August 10, 05:03 AM
I C wut U R doing.

At this point, to prove I'm not 'affraid', I'm supposed to go out amongst graecian columns or butterfly-replete meadows, sit and gaze wonderingly at the sky and whine out loud: "But why am I here? How did it all begin? What's it all meeeeeaan?".

As if doing that isn't a complete waste of fucking time...

no dumbass.
thats the stupid version.
you could also just notice your surroundings, look at the clouds, trees, the complexity of even the smallest of plants and wonder why and how it all came to be.
only farmanimals just stand mindlessly in meadows.

Ajamil
8th August 10, 03:11 PM
As if doing that isn't a complete waste of fucking time...If life is essentially without purpose, then no matter what you do - even the best example of "success" - is a waste of time. If life does have a purpose, then every moment not working toward determining or fulfilling that purpose is a waste of time.

Vieux Normand
8th August 10, 04:14 PM
no dumbass.

True--I am no dumbass...unlike, say, some total genius who is incapable of using either caps or punctuation.


you could also just notice your surroundings, look at the clouds, trees, the complexity of even the smallest of plants...

Absolutely.


and wonder why and how it all came to be.

By what logic is this a necessary addition to noticing surroundings and their complexity? I can examine surroundings--as well as my own wretched state, while calling into question my own actions with a view to improvement--all without trying to link my thinking to ponderously-imponderables about the entire fucking universe. What I read in your scrawlings is unthinking resort to orthodoxy: "We aren't truly human unless we wonder how it all came to be and what it all means".

Bullshit. Knee-jerk resort to orthodoxy does not an argument make.


only farmanimals just stand mindlessly in meadows.

So, for example, a Zen practitioner who addresses things as they are, without idiotic appeal to purported origins or abstract meanings, is a "farmanimal". Congratulations, Lebell. Speaking of origins: were you born this way, or did you take lessons?

Vieux Normand
8th August 10, 04:25 PM
If life is essentially without purpose

You do understand that there's a difference between stating that " life has no purpose" and asserting that there are better things to do than wonder what that purpose might be, even if there is one.


then no matter what you do - even the best example of "success" - is a waste of time.

It is a waste of time if you don't enjoy, in some way, the fruits of that "success".


If life does have a purpose, then every moment not working toward determining or fulfilling that purpose is a waste of time.

...Unless one gets more out of living in the moment without Asking Big, Big, Questions and trying to gear one's life towards whatever answers one imagines one has found.

I like a bottle or two of Warka beer from Poland after a workout. It's a most enjoyable experience. What more do I need for that moment? What am I missing if all my moments are something like that? What greater purpose or deeper meaning need be wondered at or addressed?

Ajamil
8th August 10, 05:15 PM
You do understand that there's a difference between stating that " life has no purpose" and asserting that there are better things to do than wonder what that purpose might be, even if there is one.Better how?


It is a waste of time if you don't enjoy, in some way, the fruits of that "success".

I like a bottle or two of Warka beer from Poland after a workout. It's a most enjoyable experience. What more do I need for that moment? What am I missing if all my moments are something like that? What greater purpose or deeper meaning need be wondered at or addressed?

Sounds like you think the purpose is enjoyment. Yet the examples you give are very conditional and temporary. Wouldn't it be better to find a way to enjoy without the necessity of a workout, or a beer? Are you not enjoying if you work out then have no beer? Are you not enjoying if you can't work out at all? What if the beer is warm, or a Natty Ice?

How long does that enjoyment last? Until the end of the beer? Is the enjoyment there before the workout? Can you simply work out and drink Warka all the time, or do you need to do something you might not enjoy in order for that situation to come about? I highly doubt ALL your moments are like that, so if you are basing enjoyment off external factors then your enjoyment will always be subject to their changing.

So the big question is how do you maintain enjoyment through any and all external situations?

BG 5.24 (http://vedabase.net/bg/5/24/en): One whose happiness is within, who is active and rejoices within, and whose aim is inward is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme.

Lebell
9th August 10, 04:56 AM
So, for example, a Zen practitioner who addresses things as they are, without idiotic appeal to purported origins or abstract meanings, is a "farmanimal". Congratulations, Lebell. Speaking of origins: were you born this way, or did you take lessons?

That's a silly example.
The mere fact that a Zenpractisioner feels the need to label himself as such and makes the effort to reach the mindless unfocused mindstate proves my point.
ask any zenpractisioner how difficult it was or still is for them to not ask themselves questions.

hinduism and budhism are amusing to me for that reason, but thats an entirely other discussion.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
9th August 10, 06:27 AM
There is more to existence than the mind and its eternal wrangling.

Lebell
9th August 10, 08:30 AM
we're not talking about pen0rtiem right now.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
9th August 10, 09:36 AM
Didnt think you were.

I was merely commenting on the fact that the mind thinks it can understand everything by breaking down reality into a symbolic-semantic map, but that such maps will never be capable of expressing the full objective nature of reality.

Forgot that I have to feed you concepts in a piecemeal fashon, my apologies.

Vieux Normand
9th August 10, 02:13 PM
Better how?

POV: You apparently think that Asking-The-Big-Questions is better than other kinds of enquiry. I may disagree...but that's the point. Many seem to believe that there is no room for disagreement from the "We-Are-Only-Truly-Human-If-We-Ask-The-Big-Questions-Otherwise-We-Are-Unthinking-Objects" view.



Sounds like you think the purpose is enjoyment.


Unless one sees enjoyment as an experience, not The Fruit Of A Mighty Quest.



Yet the examples you give are very conditional and temporary.


And the problem with this is...? Maybe I'm not Seeking The Eternal. Maybe I don't believe in one, or perhaps I just don't care whether it exists or not. What logical reason do I need to believe, disbelieve or even care for anything but the transient, since all I experience--my life included--is temporary?



Wouldn't it be better to find a way to enjoy without the necessity of a workout, or a beer?


I do. The workout-beer thing was just one example. Sitting under a shady tree watching ocean waves roll in is another. In either case, why does anyone experiencing this need to wonder about Big Questions...instead of just being there?


Are you not enjoying if you work out then have no beer? Are you not enjoying if you can't work out at all? What if the beer is warm, or a Natty Ice?

These are also enjoyable. As I said, the workout-beer thing was just one of many possible examples...and what does this have to do with wondering whether or not There Is A Greater Purpose?


How long does that enjoyment last? Until the end of the beer? Is the enjoyment there before the workout? Can you simply work out and drink Warka all the time, or do you need to do something you might not enjoy in order for that situation to come about? I highly doubt ALL your moments are like that, so if you are basing enjoyment off external factors then your enjoyment will always be subject to their changing.

Enjoyment need not last to be enjoyment...and you well know that enjoyment comes in many forms...all ever-changing, all transient.


So the big question is how do you maintain enjoyment through any and all external situations?

You write as if enjoyment is only one thing, or there is only one kind of enjoyment. With so many different things and experiences around, I certainly hope that is not the case for you.

In any case, why can one not live all these experiences without wondering "What's-It-All-Mean"? How about addressing that basic question?



BG 5.24 (http://vedabase.net/bg/5/24/en): One whose happiness is within, who is active and rejoices within, and whose aim is inward is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme.

...and one achieves this "happiness within" by wondering "What's-It-All-For?"

Vieux Normand
9th August 10, 02:21 PM
That's a silly example.
The mere fact that a Zenpractisioner feels the need to label himself as such and makes the effort to reach the mindless unfocused mindstate proves my point.

What the fuck are you talking about? In the example I gave, the Zen practitioner didn't necessarily label himself anything at all. I simply labelled him that for the sake of the example.



ask any zenpractisioner how difficult it was or still is for them to not ask themselves questions.

I've spoken to a number of them over the years, both in and out of Asia. They do ask themselves questions. Those questions, however, tend to be more "How do I get my back to stop aching in the morning?" or "Whose turn is it to cook lunch tomorrow?" than they are "What Is The Purpose Of The Universe?"


hinduism and budhism are amusing to me for that reason, but thats an entirely other discussion.

Oh, good...another arena for Lebell to show his all-encompassing genius.

Ajamil
9th August 10, 04:43 PM
POV: You apparently think that Asking-The-Big-Questions is better than other kinds of enquiry. I may disagree...but that's the point. Many seem to believe that there is no room for disagreement from the "We-Are-Only-Truly-Human-If-We-Ask-The-Big-Questions-Otherwise-We-Are-Unthinking-Objects" view.The only way to avoid asking the big questions is to stubbornly refuse to continue the line of questioning because you don't like the fact that the questions have no answers.
Unless one sees enjoyment as an experience, not The Fruit Of A Mighty Quest.
It is a waste of time if you don't enjoy, in some way, the fruits of that "success".


And the problem with this is...? Maybe I'm not Seeking The Eternal. Maybe I don't believe in one, or perhaps I just don't care whether it exists or not. What logical reason do I need to believe, disbelieve or even care for anything but the transient, since all I experience--my life included--is temporary? Is it? Yes or no, isn't that one of the big questions you're trying to avoid?


I do. The workout-beer thing was just one example. Sitting under a shady tree watching ocean waves roll in is another. In either case, why does anyone experiencing this need to wonder about Big Questions...instead of just being there? You keep putting yourself in nice situations for your examples. People don't ask questions when things are nice - this is the trap of Heaven.


Enjoyment need not last to be enjoyment...and you well know that enjoyment comes in many forms...all ever-changing, all transient.Not saying I can, but if someone could prove that there is unchanging, eternal enjoyment - would you reject it in favor of the conditional and the temporary?

You write as if enjoyment is only one thing, or there is only one kind of enjoyment. With so many different things and experiences around, I certainly hope that is not the case for you.Many things can bring enjoyment, but enjoyment is a singular experience. I'm not referring to the senses that are activated.

In any case, why can one not live all these experiences without wondering "What's-It-All-Mean"? How about addressing that basic question?They certainly can, but better to have an animal's body instead of one designed for thinking. It's like a horse deciding all this running is silly. Humans are built to ask questions - we wouldn't have science, we wouldn't have math, we wouldn't have philosophy without people who wasted their time trying to figure out what it all meant.

Let me ask you this - take any item you would like that brings you enjoyment. Do you think your enjoyment would continue to increase as you got more and more of that item, or does the enjoyment taper off at some point? Could you eat ice cream all day every day every moment of your life and still have it be an enjoyable experience?

I'm going to be bold and say no - you'd want to moderate it or you will become sick of it. You've never wondered if there's something out there - an item or an activity or a state of mind that no matter how much or how often you experience it will only increase your enjoyment?


...and one achieves this "happiness within" by wondering "What's-It-All-For?"Some.

Lebell
9th August 10, 06:26 PM
What the fuck are you talking about? In the example I gave, the Zen practitioner didn't necessarily label himself anything at all. I simply labelled him that for the sake of the example.


Then you should have bween more clear.




I've spoken to a number of them over the years, both in and out of Asia. They do ask themselves questions. Those questions, however, tend to be more "How do I get my back to stop aching in the morning?" or "Whose turn is it to cook lunch tomorrow?" than they are "What Is The Purpose Of The Universe?"


haha! They clearly didnt tell you everything, i can see why not. ;-)



Oh, good...another arena for Lebell to show his all-encompassing genius.

Don't be hatin mah edukashun.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
10th August 10, 05:13 AM
The only way to avoid asking the big questions is to stubbornly refuse to continue the line of questioning because you don't like the fact that the questions have no answers.


No!

If you stop making the assumption that your mind can completely encoumpass universe within its semantic map, you may come to some peace. The association of existence with JUST the mind is a trap of epic proportions.

Thoughts are just a small part of your being, they are not the be all and end all of existence.....

Ajamil
10th August 10, 03:36 PM
No!

If you stop making the assumption that your mind can completely encoumpass universe within its semantic map, you may come to some peace. The association of existence with JUST the mind is a trap of epic proportions.

Thoughts are just a small part of your being, they are not the be all and end all of existence.....I have never made that assumption. Why should you stop seeking knowledge just because you can't have all of it?

Commodore Pipes
10th August 10, 03:43 PM
You guys should have a war to settle these differences.

Vieux Normand
10th August 10, 04:39 PM
The only way to avoid asking the big questions is to stubbornly refuse to continue the line of questioning because you don't like the fact that the questions have no answers.

"Stubborn refusal" sounds like it takes effort. Not bothering with "What's-It-All-For?" takes no effort at all...at least, it seems, for some of us.


You keep putting yourself in nice situations for your examples. People don't ask questions when things are nice...

People going through challenges (not-nice situations) can either see them as something to overcome...another form of experience. In such circumstances, need they be Asking Big Questions? Might not their query be more along the lines of "How do I overcome this obstacle"?


Not saying I can, but if someone could prove that there is unchanging, eternal enjoyment - would you reject it in favor of the conditional and the temporary?

Let the proof of unchanging-anything be presented. I'll then ask myself that questions. No point in doing so before then.


Many things can bring enjoyment, but enjoyment is a singular experience. I'm not referring to the senses that are activated.

And if I am referring to the types of enjoyment (or any other experience) as manifold because of the differences in activated sensory effect? Prove that this is objectively wrong, rather than simply a difference in semantics.


They certainly can, but better to have an animal's body instead of one designed for thinking. It's like a horse deciding all this running is silly. Humans are built to ask questions - we wouldn't have science, we wouldn't have math, we wouldn't have philosophy without people who wasted their time trying to figure out what it all meant.

Must I say it more clearly? Fine: I am not arguing against a view that humans contemplate, cogitate or otherwise think. I simply do not agree with the view that Certain Big-Ass Questions About The Meaning Of The Universe are required to be amongst the things about which humans must think. There are lots of other subjects worthy of our consideration.


Let me ask you this - take any item you would like that brings you enjoyment. Do you think your enjoyment would continue to increase as you got more and more of that item, or does the enjoyment taper off at some point? Could you eat ice cream all day every day every moment of your life and still have it be an enjoyable experience?

Let me ask you this--how does any decision I make about my intake of ice cream have anything to do with whether or not I wonder about the "meaning of the universe"?


You've never wondered if there's something out there - an item or an activity or a state of mind that no matter how much or how often you experience it will only increase your enjoyment?

No. Why would I?

Vieux Normand
10th August 10, 04:43 PM
Then you should have bween more clear.

Post 45 states "...for example, a Zen practitioner..." Clear enough for anyone literate...



haha! They clearly didnt tell me anything, i can see why not.


We finally agree on something...

Lebell
11th August 10, 04:56 PM
no you used the wrong example.
is it hard for you to explain things that seem complext to you?

Vieux Normand
11th August 10, 05:11 PM
no you used the wrong example.

Oh, absolutely.

Zen practitioners are world-reknowned for not spending any time at all dealing with the moment they happen to be in. They're famous for having their heads always in the clouds, asking: "What is the purpose of the Universe?" and the like.

You are a credit to the species to which you belong, whatever that may be.

Commodore Pipes
11th August 10, 05:18 PM
*sigh* (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1576870#post1576870)

Lebell
12th August 10, 03:35 AM
Oh, absolutely.

Zen practitioners are world-reknowned for not spending any time at all dealing with the moment they happen to be in. They're famous for having their heads always in the clouds, asking: "What is the purpose of the Universe?" and the like.

You are a credit to the species to which you belong, whatever that may be.

you really dont get it, do you?
zen practisioner STRIFE to live in the moment.
asking yourself if there could be more to existance than you can perceive just now isn't living a dreamy life with your heads up in the clouds, it's what any normal sentient being should do.

okay, i'l throw in some popular culture to make you understand.
basically im saying: there's no such thing as the force!
you say: well what about those guys who made the jedi an official religion in the UK?
me:........

Vieux Normand
12th August 10, 01:28 PM
zen practisioner STRIFE to live in the moment.

OK, once you stop clutching at straws and then cease your usual trollfest, do what I did...which is to go and live in Japan for a few years--"Zen", of course, being a Japanese transliteration. Go to places where Zen is actually practised (they tend to have names like Shoboji, which is the one I attend when in Japan), find out what they actually think and do...then get back to me about "practisioner STRIFE to live".


asking yourself if there could be more to existance than you can perceive just now isn't living a dreamy life with your heads up in the clouds, it's what any normal sentient being should do.

Nothing do do with Zen...also, repeating your opinion ad nauseam, about what you think anyone "should do", still does not make it anything other than your opinion.


okay, i'l throw in some popular culture to make you understand.
basically im saying: there's no such thing as the force!
you say: well what about those guys who made the jedi an official religion in the UK?
me:........

No doubt in your alternate universe, this drivel has something to do with the subject at hand...

Lebell
12th August 10, 01:52 PM
OK, once you stop clutching at straws and then cease your usual trollfest, do what I did...which is to go and live in Japan for a few years--"Zen", of course, being a Japanese transliteration. Go to places where Zen is actually practised (they tend to have names like Shoboji, which is the one I attend when in Japan), find out what they actually think and do...then get back to me about "practisioner STRIFE to live".

please don't be one of those people 'who lived for some years in country X and therefor know EVERYTHING', it won't make you any friends.




Nothing do do with Zen...also, repeating your opinion ad nauseam, about what you think anyone "should do", still does not make it anything other than your opinion.

I repeat myself because i want to make you understand.



No doubt in your alternate universe, this drivel has something to do with the subject at hand...

Read it again, and think.

EuropIan
12th August 10, 01:57 PM
please don't be one of those people 'who lived for some years in country X and therefor know EVERYTHING', it won't make you any friends.


Quick! (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1503607&postcount=663) edit (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1502783&postcount=582)all (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1493261&highlight=india#post1493261) those (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1491556&postcount=5) posts (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53731&highlight=india) where (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1463272&highlight=india#post1463272) you (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1461094&postcount=85) talk (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1461068&highlight=india#post1461068) about (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1435349&highlight=india#post1435349) India (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1411167&highlight=india#post1411167) as not to appear like a hypocritical jackass!

EuropIan
12th August 10, 02:18 PM
http://www.roennebech.dk/www_fredericiashistorie/html/fredericia/lex/billeder/Petard.gif

Ajamil
12th August 10, 07:12 PM
"Stubborn refusal" sounds like it takes effort. Not bothering with "What's-It-All-For?" takes no effort at all...at least, it seems, for some of us. But you DO bother with it, you just won't recognize it. I'll try to show you.


People going through challenges (not-nice situations) can either see them as something to overcome...another form of experience.Either or? In any case - how many people do you know that have gone through trauma have not asked at some point "why?"


In such circumstances, need they be Asking Big Questions? Might not their query be more along the lines of "How do I overcome this obstacle"?"How" is also there, but a species that can think beyond now will. It's called planning. What if the "obstacle" is that a child doesn't like going to school. Well how to overcome it is simple: ditch. Looking at things from the present, this seems like a simple and straightforward way to deal with unpleasantness. Do you think this a good plan of action?

Planning ahead requires us to think not only how, but why. There is no ceasing the why line of questioning.


Let the proof of unchanging-anything be presented. I'll then ask myself that questions. No point in doing so before then.There is proof of shorter and longer. Do you choose longer lasting, or shorter lasting pleasures? Why?


And if I am referring to the types of enjoyment (or any other experience) as manifold because of the differences in activated sensory effect? Prove that this is objectively wrong, rather than simply a difference in semantics.You're asking me to objectively show that "enjoying" is a state of mind that can be activated through different phenomena but is ultimately a singular experience? I'd be happy to find out one way or the other - can you help me set up the experiment?


Must I say it more clearly? Fine: I am not arguing against a view that humans contemplate, cogitate or otherwise think. I simply do not agree with the view that Certain Big-Ass Questions About The Meaning Of The Universe are required to be amongst the things about which humans must think. There are lots of other subjects worthy of our consideration.If you do not consider it for yourself, then I would assert you are following someone else's idea of the meaning of life.


Let me ask you this--how does any decision I make about my intake of ice cream have anything to do with whether or not I wonder about the "meaning of the universe"?Because you can see the consequences of eating certain amounts of ice cream, and you choose to strive for or avoid certain amounts because you wish to strive for or avoid certain consequences. Choosing this way indicates a certain lifestyle you wish to live, and that indicates what you think life is for. If you have no conception of what you think life is for, then you risk damaging your ability to achieve it.

Change ice cream to heroin. Would you take heroin? I hear it's very pleasurable, probably more so than a cool beer after a workout - the ultimate "in the now" condition.


No. Why would I?Do you ever try new things? If you have certain items and activities that are pleasurable, why would you ever try something new?

Better yet - have you ever thought that someone wasted or is wasting their life?

AAAAAA
13th August 10, 03:59 AM
Thats a very good question.
You want me to answer it for you?
its better if YOU think about it for yourself.


Why would I want you to answer for me? I'd just like to hear _your_ answer. I swear I won't steal it, you have the copyright! No bittorrent!



yes, i observe and more often than not i get it right.
weird thing is, when i do misjudge people i do so in the most epic horrible way.


If you generalize that, you get... psychology. Which is not a hard science, as we know. It can't be all trash if it's what you do by yourself too, right?



some things are better when you discover them for yourself instead of someone else spelling it out for you.
i cant explain you what bread tastes like if you're not willing to eat it.

I appreciate anything that gives me a good reason, or a good impulse, to see things differently. That's hard to come usually.

Lebell
13th August 10, 09:26 AM
Quick! (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1503607&postcount=663) edit (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1502783&postcount=582)all (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1493261&highlight=india#post1493261) those (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1491556&postcount=5) posts (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53731&highlight=india) where (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1463272&highlight=india#post1463272) you (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1461094&postcount=85) talk (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1461068&highlight=india#post1461068) about (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1435349&highlight=india#post1435349) India (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1411167&highlight=india#post1411167) as not to appear like a hypocritical jackass!

those were observations, you can also find posts where i've said:i 'could have lived there for 20 years and i still wouldnt get the country'.
but i guess that werent convenient posts huh?
fagg0t.

Vieux Normand
13th August 10, 01:59 PM
But you DO bother with it...

I do? Or am I just amusing myself ridiculing any notion that I should?


Either or? In any case - how many people do you know that have gone through trauma have not asked at some point "why?"

Some. One of many examples: "Why did I end up here in the ER?" Answer: "I got sideswiped by a dumbass drunk driver." See? No mention of "purpose-of-the-Universe"-style big-questions.


...a species that can think beyond now will. It's called planning.

One can think beyond now...and plan things such as building-foundations--all without wondering what the Meaning Of The Universe might be. It's called focus.


What if the "obstacle" is that a child doesn't like going to school. Well how to overcome it is simple: ditch. Looking at things from the present, this seems like a simple and straightforward way to deal with unpleasantness. Do you think this a good plan of action?

From the child's point of view, yes. I ditched much of elementary-to-high school and still ended up with two degrees from the University of Toronto. What's your point?


Planning ahead requires us to think not only how, but why.

Once again, there is a difference between "Why am I doing this?" and "Why does the Universe exist?"


There is proof of shorter and longer. Do you choose longer lasting, or shorter lasting pleasures?

*sigh* One chooses pleasures as long as they remain pleasurable. Gee, that was difficult.


You're asking me to objectively show that "enjoying" is a state of mind that can be activated through different phenomena but is ultimately a singular experience? I'd be happy to find out one way or the other - can you help me set up the experiment?

Set it up yourself; you're the one who claimed "pleasure" was some kind of single-aspect phenomenon. Notions of "objectivity" aside, you may define "pleasure" however you choose. I define it otherwise. Semantics.


If you do not consider it for yourself, then I would assert you are following someone else's idea of the meaning of life.

I could just as easily assert that I'm following nobody's. You, despite all your consideration of The Big Questions (or because of it) might just as easily be following someone else's idea, or maybe some holy book's.


Because you can see the consequences of eating certain amounts of ice cream, and you choose to strive for or avoid certain amounts because you wish to strive for or avoid certain consequences. Choosing this way indicates a certain lifestyle you wish to live, and that indicates what you think life is for. If you have no conception of what you think life is for, then you risk damaging your ability to achieve it.

There is a difference between "I like this kind of ice cream and I eat as much as I like to" and "I wonder what the meaning of life is."


Change ice cream to heroin. Would you take heroin? I hear it's very pleasurable, probably more so than a cool beer after a workout - the ultimate "in the now" condition.

*takes notes* Heroin...more refreshing than cool beer after a workout.

Actually, I have about as much curiosity about heroin as I do about The Meaning Of The Universe...


Do you ever try new things? If you have certain items and activities that are pleasurable, why would you ever try something new?

Curiosity. You do, no doubt, understand that one can be curious about topics other than The "Meaning Of The Universe"...don't you?


Better yet - have you ever thought that someone wasted or is wasting their life?

There are lots of ways to waste one's life. One, in my opinion, is sitting with one's head in the clouds asking Big Meaningful Questions About The Universe.

EDIT:

But okay, let's waste a little time, shall we? I'll select a Big Question, and ponder it ponderously. Ready?

What is the purpose of the universe?

a) To be a bicycle-chain sprocket

b) To be a giraffe's nose

c) To be a molecule of mud on Venus

Or

d) Its purpose is to be the universe.

Whoa! Look at that last one! Took me hours of sitting like a beggar, flower in hand, chanting "om" under a fucking tree--really, it did-- but there it is!

Right. I'll give you this, Arjuna: at least you attempted to have a discussion about this. The other, um, "participant" doesn't seem to know the difference between constantly repeating his opinion and attempting to persuade anyone as to his opinion's validity. It's most likely just another clumsy troll-attempt on leb's part--but just think of the hilarity if he actually believes the drivel he's spouting...

Lebell
13th August 10, 04:59 PM
so angry!

EuropIan
13th August 10, 06:23 PM
those were observations, you can also find posts where i've said:i 'could have lived there for 20 years and i still wouldnt get the country'.
but i guess that werent convenient posts huh?
fagg0t.
http://l-userpic.livejournal.com/43173613/554743

Vieux Normand
14th August 10, 11:17 AM
so angry!

*yawn*

Lebell
14th August 10, 11:48 AM
ahw..after his tantrum he gets sleepy!

Ajamil
15th August 10, 11:25 PM
"purpose-of-the-Universe"-style big-questions...Meaning Of The Universe might be.You keep mentioning the universe. I'm not certain that's really what I mean though. Having an ultimate purpose to life doesn't need looking at the universe. Although I would say coming to the conclusion that such Meaning of Universe questions are a waste of time implies that you have spent time pondering them.

How "big" does a question have to be for it to be a waste of time? The meaning of your job? The meaning of your latte choice? The meaning of your life? The meaning of your workout? Should one not look for meaning at all anywhere?


From the child's point of view, yes. I ditched much of elementary-to-high school and still ended up with two degrees from the University of Toronto. What's your point?That you went to college at all. You saw a meaning to schooling that wasn't fulfilled in the basic program - thus skipping much of elementary yet staying on with the optional college programs. In fact I'd say your path shows exactly the reason for looking into the meaning of things instead of blindly going through the motions. Whether we talk about schooling or life knowing why we do things is very important.


Once again, there is a difference between "Why am I doing this?" and "Why does the Universe exist?" Have I said "the universe?" I'll scroll back and see, then retract it if I did. The meaning I refer to is inward - what is the point of you more than what is the point of the cosmos.


*sigh* One chooses pleasures as long as they remain pleasurable. Gee, that was difficult.Why does pleasure come and go? Why can't something pleasurable remain so? Are there some pleasures that do?


Set it up yourself; you're the one who claimed "pleasure" was some kind of single-aspect phenomenon. Notions of "objectivity" aside, you may define "pleasure" however you choose. I define it otherwise. Semantics.Not pleasure, "being pleased." I'll give this thought, but make a new thread.


I could just as easily assert that I'm following nobody's. You, despite all your consideration of The Big Questions (or because of it) might just as easily be following someone else's idea, or maybe some holy book's.I dare say it is impossible to not follow a path already extolled by someone else. It's simply a matter of knowingly choosing a path instead of unconsciously bending to cultural pressures.


There is a difference between "I like this kind of ice cream and I eat as much as I like to" and "I wonder what the meaning of life is."How do you determine the amount that is "as much as you like to?" A person who is dragged along by their senses is no different than a machine built for eating. Not knowing why - even for something as silly as what type of ice cream and how much - makes a huge difference.


Curiosity. You do, no doubt, understand that one can be curious about topics other than The "Meaning Of The Universe"...don't you?Why are you curious? Aren't you satisfied?


There are lots of ways to waste one's life. One, in my opinion, is sitting with one's head in the clouds asking Big Meaningful Questions About The Universe.So there is a purpose to life? Perhaps several, but there are ways to not attain this purpose?


What is the purpose of the universe?

a) To be a bicycle-chain sprocket

b) To be a giraffe's nose

c) To be a molecule of mud on Venus

Or

d) Its purpose is to be the universe.

Whoa! Look at that last one! Took me hours of sitting like a beggar, flower in hand, chanting "om" under a fucking tree--really, it did-- but there it is!Is it? Or is the universe supposed to be something else? Something we can help attain in our admittedly minuscule but still relevant part of it?


Right. I'll give you this, Arjuna: at least you attempted to have a discussion about this. The other, um, "participant" doesn't seem to know the difference between constantly repeating his opinion and attempting to persuade anyone as to his opinion's validity. It's most likely just another clumsy troll-attempt on leb's part--but just think of the hilarity if he actually believes the drivel he's spouting...It's the strangest path in that we're all helping each other but must inevitably walk alone.

Lebell
16th August 10, 07:33 AM
it's fun to see you two stumble around performing ' how do exististentialism'.

Ajamil
16th August 10, 10:34 AM
It's easier for you to learn if you stop talking.

Commodore Pipes
16th August 10, 10:38 AM
Isn't Vieux Normand a Frenchy? Arguing with him isn't going to do anything other than validate his Frenchness. You are talking to a brick wall with no intention of dialoguing, just countering every point you make with mincing faggot rejoinders no more sophisticated than 'reading comprehend much?' and 'no u!'

Lebell
16th August 10, 11:56 AM
now that's just mean...

Commodore, apologise to VN.

Vieux Normand
16th August 10, 12:28 PM
Although I would say coming to the conclusion that such Meaning of Universe questions are a waste of time implies that you have spent time pondering them.

...just as I need to drive nails into my hands before recognising such an activity as a waste of time?


How "big" does a question have to be for it to be a waste of time? The meaning of your job? The meaning of your latte choice? The meaning of your life? The meaning of your workout? Should one not look for meaning at all anywhere?

Nobody argued against looking for meaning anywhere. One can look for it or not, as one chooses. I'm simply arguing that it is not necessary to do so.


You saw a meaning to schooling that wasn't fulfilled in the basic program

I neither looked for nor saw any meaning re: primary/secondary school. As for post-secondary, I found it a better use for my time than the jobs I'd held beforehand. No meanings necessary--just simple, subjective preference.


Whether we talk about schooling or life knowing why we do things is very important.

Such knowledge need not be a result of lengthy contemplation. Nor is it necessary, however desirable it may be in your view, to imbue any heavy "meanings" beyond subjective preference.


Have I said "the universe?" I'll scroll back and see, then retract it if I did. The meaning I refer to is inward - what is the point of you more than what is the point of the cosmos.

That had more do do with lebells' post that religion answers Big Questions about our place in the scheme of whatever...which is where this pleasant tangent began.


Why does pleasure come and go? Why can't something pleasurable remain so? Are there some pleasures that do?

Go ahead. Contemplate this stuff all you wish...


I dare say it is impossible to not follow a path already extolled by someone else. It's simply a matter of knowingly choosing a path instead of unconsciously bending to cultural pressures.

...and choosing a path need necessarily be a result of wondering Big Questions? Cultural pressures do not result from many people's Search for Meaning, among other factors?


How do you determine the amount that is "as much as you like to?"

This is situationally dependent. Why do you ask?


A person who is dragged along by their senses is no different than a machine built for eating.

Who said that people who don't Ask Big Questions ask none at all?


Why are you curious? Aren't you satisfied?

"Dissatisfaction" and "curiosity" are different words for a reason, Arjuna.


So there is a purpose to life? Perhaps several, but there are ways to not attain this purpose?

Again, go ahead and contemplate this stuff all you wish.


Is it? Or is the universe supposed to be something else?

Yeah, it's a collection of places commodore pipes has chomped pillows while being reamed up the ass. Fortunately, that's not ALL it is.


It's the strangest path in that we're all helping each other but must inevitably walk alone.

Agreed...on the last four words, in any case.

Commodore Pipes
16th August 10, 12:42 PM
Yeah, it's a collection of places commodore pipes has chomped pillows while being reamed up the ass. Fortunately, that's not ALL it is.


A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell, sir.

Ajamil
16th August 10, 12:55 PM
...just as I need to drive nails into my hands before recognising such an activity as a waste of time?You don't need to perform the action, but you do need to think about it.


Nobody argued against looking for meaning anywhere. One can look for it or not, as one chooses. I'm simply arguing that it is not necessary to do so. Necessary for what? Living? I'd agree, but living without an idea of the meaning is kind of the definition of a meaningless life, wouldn't you say?


I neither looked for nor saw any meaning re: primary/secondary school. As for post-secondary, I found it a better use for my time than the jobs I'd held beforehand. No meanings necessary--just simple, subjective preference.I just don't think you were aware of the meaning you ascribed to these actions. Where did the preference come from? If your subconscious meaning to life was performing the jobs you held beforehand you wouldn't have left them to go to school. Why was your time better spent in school than in those jobs? More money? More opportunity? Desire to learn?


Such knowledge need not be a result of lengthy contemplation. Nor is it necessary, however desirable it may be in your view, to imbue any heavy "meanings" beyond subjective preference.Where does the subjective preference stem from? Do you really think your preferences are without an underlying meaning?


...and choosing a path need necessarily be a result of wondering Big Questions? Cultural pressures do not result from many people's Search for Meaning, among other factors?No, not necessarily. However I feel it's better to make a choice when the options are thought out and examined than going by an immediate subjective preference. This could be a choice about ice cream, or a choice about a presidential vote, or a choice about the ultimate meaning of a person's life.


This is situationally dependent. Why do you ask?I ask because I think you could find underlying meanings behind your choices whether you choose to think about them or not. If you were to do so, and found a meaning that you didn't like or agree with, you could alter your choices to be more in line with what you believe.


Who said that people who don't Ask Big Questions ask none at all?Where do you draw the line?


"Dissatisfaction" and "curiosity" are different words for a reason, Arjuna.Heh. Point.

Vieux Normand
16th August 10, 01:50 PM
we are sentient beings who wonder why we are where we are and what the meaning of life is, what are purpose and origins are.

Okay, Arjuna, the above is the post (remember to quote Leb while holding your nose) which began our little tangent.

I'm assuming our ever-"sentient" Leb meant "our" where he typed "are".

Leb has since stated that one cannot be anything but a "dumb farmanimal" if one lives without wondering about those subjects mentioned in his post (it's post #17 of this thread). We'll leave aside the irony of Leb referring to anyone else as a "dumb farmanimal"...

You seem to have stated that anyone not wondering about those Big Topics is mindlessly led by sensory input, as if there were no other topics worthy of human contemplation.

Leb has just troll-repeated himself since, gaining a new bitch in the process (how's your day going, commode-pipe?)

You--more usefully--have brought up a number of topics ranging from heroin to ice-cream. What I do not see is any reason to link these to the subjects Leb mentioned in post 17...those Big Questions.

Commodore Pipes
16th August 10, 03:24 PM
(how's your day going, commode-pipe?)



I have some interesting emails concerning the difference between men and women, management vs. production, and John Wayne's deathbed conversion because a small boy dying of cancer wrote him a fan latter I can forward you, if you're interested. There's also one featuring AMAZING PICTURES OF THE KATRINA FLOOD!!! YOU GOT TO SEE TO BELIEVE!!

Ajamil
16th August 10, 04:35 PM
Being led by sensory input and being a "dumb farm animal" are very similar to me, although I would argue how dumb a farm animal is.

You have mentioned that contemplating meaning in things larger than day to day existence is not only unnecessary, but you would consider it a waste. However you haven't said that contemplating meaning at all is a waste - although I think you would say that even in the "small" aspects it is unnecessary.

At what point do you personally stop caring about the meaning of things?

Vieux Normand
16th August 10, 05:27 PM
Being led by sensory input and being a "dumb farm animal" are very similar to me, although I would argue how dumb a farm animal is.

Most recent science says that--although not nearly as sharp as their wild ancestors/counterparts--even farm animals are far from the meat-automatons Descartes would have had us believe them to be. Interestingly, much traditional-tribal wisdom regarding nonhuman animals seems to have viewed them as (as the qu'ran--surprisingly--has it) "nations unto themselves". Recent findings regarding their emotional ranges (in some cases) and their tool-making behaviour (in others), as well as complex languages found in such creatures as crows...all seem to bring modern scientific view of nonhuman animals closer to ancient tradition and farther from Descartes' view that other animals are basically instinct-driven machines incapable of cognition.


You have mentioned that contemplating meaning in things larger than day to day existence is not only unnecessary, but you would consider it a waste. However you haven't said that contemplating meaning at all is a waste - although I think you would say that even in the "small" aspects it is unnecessary.

I have, many times in this little discussion, mentioned that there were things worthy of contemplation other than The Big-Ass Questions Leb mentioned in post 17 of this thread. I may not have listed them, but do you really believe that there are no other topics worthy of consideration...or that those people who consider other topics (instead of Leb's Big Questions) are merely sense-led automata?


At what point do you personally stop caring about the meaning of things?

When they become meaningless in my opinion (the validity of which I would not waste my time trying to convince others, as that opinion is subjective.).

EuropIan
16th August 10, 05:35 PM
Wait. Arjuna.

Are you a proponent of mind-body dualism?

Ajamil
16th August 10, 06:18 PM
Triple system, actually - mind and body are both material, although one is much more subtle than the other. The soul is completely separate and does nothing but experience within this material world - it has absolutely no effect on material matters.

...all seem to bring modern scientific view of nonhuman animals closer to ancient tradition and farther from Descartes' view that other animals are basically instinct-driven machines incapable of cognition. Agreed. Animals have emotions, intelligence, empathy, tool-making, curiosity, problem-solving skills, and self-awareness. Still, I have never seen evidence of non-humans contemplating meaning. The closest I've heard is a sense of fairness.

I may not have listed them, but do you really believe that there are no other topics worthy of consideration...or that those people who consider other topics (instead of Leb's Big Questions) are merely sense-led automata?Of course not, but does one have to exclude the other? I feel people who never contemplate the purpose of their existence - whatever their conclusion - have limited themselves. I feel people who spend too much time focusing on the minutiae of day to day life will become bogged down and stressed by the minor obstacles and setbacks of life.

When they become meaningless in my opinion (the validity of which I would not waste my time trying to convince others, as that opinion is subjective.).The meaning of something no longer matters when it becomes meaningless? This is circular logic, or I have misunderstood you.

Lebell
17th August 10, 03:35 AM
Okay, Arjuna, the above is the post (remember to quote Leb while holding your nose) which began our little tangent.

I'm assuming our ever-"sentient" Leb meant "our" where he typed "are".

Leb has since stated that one cannot be anything but a "dumb farmanimal" if one lives without wondering about those subjects mentioned in his post (it's post #17 of this thread). We'll leave aside the irony of Leb referring to anyone else as a "dumb farmanimal"...

You seem to have stated that anyone not wondering about those Big Topics is mindlessly led by sensory input, as if there were no other topics worthy of human contemplation.

Leb has just troll-repeated himself since, gaining a new bitch in the process (how's your day going, commode-pipe?)

You--more usefully--have brought up a number of topics ranging from heroin to ice-cream. What I do not see is any reason to link these to the subjects Leb mentioned in post 17...those Big Questions.

keep in mind that trying to put words on these big matters is difficult.
you have to try and understand that i just _know_ these things, it's not a thought pocess in the western way you're used to.

if we would compare this with painting: the average person trying to grasp these things is trying to paint a stillife, whereas i am far beyond it making picasso kinda work.
but to be able to paint abstract ne must have mastered the realistic form of painting first.
you are more behaving like the chimp at the zoo who they are trying to teach who to paint cos it'd be funny for tourists but instead of learning soething insists of flinging his own shit all over the place.

think about this picture for a moment.

EuropIan
17th August 10, 05:01 AM
Triple system, actually - mind and body are both material, although one is much more subtle than the other. The soul is completely separate and does nothing but experience within this material world - it has absolutely no effect on material matters.

So it's an nonphysical thing that does nothing except record, ok.

Vieux Normand
17th August 10, 02:00 PM
I have never seen evidence of non-humans contemplating meaning. The closest I've heard is a sense of fairness.

Hold on a second...I'm following some other posters' advice and putting Lebell on "ignore" (strangely, a natural-sounding setting for him). Okay, done.

Instead of going automatically for the nearest potential meal, predators choose the prey that is most vulnerable and least capable of causing injury to the hunter while they attempt to defend themselves. This careful choice can be seen as evidence that they know the difference in meaning between potential for success and consequences of failure in more than just immediate sense-led terms. Whittling a stick down to a certain size in order to get at bugs means tool-making birds and primates know the meaning of correct length. This cannot be done without abstract beforehand consideration.

Whether nonhuman creatures "contemplate" or not cannot be fathomed at present: science has just begun to scratch the surface of their communications with each other... to the point where it has only recently been acknowledged that nonhumans have any languages at all. Any further investigations will require far more research, on the part of humans, in order to clear up our ignorance re: other animals.

Since we share 90% of our DNA with other terrestrial lifeforms, is is logical to begin with the assumption that they are more like us than they are like machines, which presently have no DNA at all.


Of course not, but does one have to exclude the other?

No...but it can if one so chooses.


I feel people who never contemplate the purpose of their existence - whatever their conclusion - have limited themselves.

Yes, that is indeed what you feel...and you're more than welcome to feel that way, just as others may well feel differently.


I feel people who spend too much time focusing on the minutiae of day to day life will become bogged down and stressed by the minor obstacles and setbacks of life.

You seem to think there are only two extremes when it comes to subjects of contemplation: the Big Questions and 'minutiae'. You're sure there's nothing in between--maybe a range of size and scope of topics to consider?

Ajamil
17th August 10, 03:47 PM
Whether nonhuman creatures "contemplate" or not cannot be fathomed at present: science has just begun to scratch the surface of their communications with each other... to the point where it has only recently been acknowledged that nonhumans have any languages at all. Any further investigations will require far more research, on the part of humans, in order to clear up our ignorance re: other animals. Alright. I think when I say "meaning," it is more in line with "contemplation" than the meaning of success and failure. Perhaps I could say there's little evidence of animals spending time on how things should be rather than how they are. Very likely this is because - as you said - we don't really have a way to find out if they contemplate these things. It's why I mentioned the study that gave evidence for dogs having a sense of fairness (or linked to it now (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/12/dogenvy/)).


You seem to think there are only two extremes when it comes to subjects of contemplation: the Big Questions and 'minutiae'. You're sure there's nothing in between--maybe a range of size and scope of topics to consider?Vedas give five basic "goals" to life: sensory pleasure (kama), acquiring wealth/social standing (artha), ethics/philosophy/religion/virtue (dharma), material liberation (moksha), and pure devotional service, or love of Godhead (bhakti). Do you have something that wouldn't fit into these categories?

bob
17th August 10, 03:50 PM
Elephants bury their dead and appear to grieve for them. Why do you think that is?

Ajamil
17th August 10, 04:45 PM
Because they have a higher developed sense of memory than most other mammals.

EuropIan
17th August 10, 05:06 PM
but, by your definition, no soul?

Cullion
17th August 10, 05:14 PM
Working purely on gut instinct and observation, I'd say that the difference between humans and various animals is one of degree, not an absolute divide.

Cullion
17th August 10, 05:21 PM
Still, I have never seen evidence of non-humans contemplating meaning.

If you don't share a language you could discuss abstracts in, how would you find evidence ?

I can't find a youtube right now, but I've seen a UK documentary about bonobo chimps where they seemed to express ritual/primitive religious behaviour when they observed storms and the like.

The leader of the pack in the documentary was also filmed taking solitary trips up a nearby hill where he would spend hours and hours at a time on this hilltop, lying on his back, idly playing with blades of grass and staring into the sky. It's not very scientific, but his facial expression looked, well, thoughtful. When the storm came and the chimps got excited, he appeared to lead them in a dance around their camp.

He wasn't the biggest or strongest, he was the second strongest physically, but apparently the most intelligent and he seemed to interact in a more patient and kindly fashion with the children and females than his larger, more aggressive rival.

If I can find the documentary, I'll post it.

EuropIan
17th August 10, 05:24 PM
No no, I want to see him argue how animals do not possess non-material entity, yet human animals do.

Cullion
17th August 10, 05:30 PM
I don't think it's possible to really examine such a question with pure logic.

You see and feel things and, well, that's all you've got to work with. The rest is just quoting. Whichever view you form on this question, that's all you've got in the end.

p.s. the documentary in question is from the 90s and the main presenter was the world's hottest scientist, Dr. Charlotte Uhlenbroek.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39527000/jpg/_39527150_charlotteuhlen203.jpg

She likes big hairy animals.

EuropIan
17th August 10, 05:32 PM
mind/body duality and the mind/body/soul triumviate encounters many problems under close scrutiny.


I prefer Daniel Dennet's paraphrase: "Of course you have a soul! It's just made up of tiny robots!"

Cullion
17th August 10, 05:48 PM
mind/body duality and the mind/body/soul triumviate encounters many problems under close scrutiny.

Well, it depends how you claim they're linked. Arjuna's already defined his soul to be unmeasurable, so it's outside logical scrutiny.

bob
17th August 10, 09:40 PM
Because they have a higher developed sense of memory than most other mammals.

It takes more than memory to be capable of doing this. It takes a simultaneous awareness of then, now and the future. Small human children aren't capable of it. Do humans only obtain a soul at a certain age or are they born with it?

Ajamil
17th August 10, 11:53 PM
but, by your definition, no soul?All life have souls. Bacteria working with less than instinct have a soul. Of course animals have souls.

If you don't share a language you could discuss abstracts in, how would you find evidence ?No idea, but I wait with baited breath.

If I can find the documentary, I'll post it.I'd love to see it.

No no, I want to see him argue how animals do not possess non-material entity, yet human animals do.But I don't take that stance.

It takes more than memory to be capable of doing this. It takes a simultaneous awareness of then, now and the future. Small human children aren't capable of it. Do humans only obtain a soul at a certain age or are they born with it?Consider a crude analogy of radio waves - they are always there, but it takes the right equipment to hear them. A soul inhabits a physical system when it reaches a certain complexity, and the certain systems allow the soul to "shine through" better than others. If we ever get computers to that level of complexity, I would have no problem believing that they too could allow a soul to experience this reality.

EuropIan
18th August 10, 12:37 AM
All life have souls. Bacteria working with less than instinct have a soul. Of course animals have souls.
But I don't take that stance.

Alright then, did not mean to straw man you like that.

Do rocks have souls?


Consider a crude analogy of radio waves - they are always there, but it takes the right equipment to hear them. A soul inhabits a physical system when it reaches a certain complexity, and the certain systems allow the soul to "shine through" better than others. If we ever get computers to that level of complexity, I would have no problem believing that they too could allow a soul to experience this reality.
Is the soul an emergent property of a system or a separate outside entity infused into a system by some agent or method?

Ajamil
18th August 10, 12:54 AM
Do rocks have souls?I wouldn't say so, but then the Paramatma is said to be within each atom, and in the Vedas mountains are considered living.


Is the soul an emergent property of a system or a separate outside entity infused into a system by some agent or method?Personally? I'm not sure, though I lean toward the latter.

AAAhmed46
18th August 10, 02:15 AM
Elephants bury their dead and appear to grieve for them. Why do you think that is?

I think it's freaking cool.

Tony jaa "WHERE IS MY ELEPHANT!!?!?!?!?"

"Huh what?"

*Flying knee*


But honestly, i have always thought animals had a soul. Well some of them. I doubt microorganisms or a single worker/soldier ant from a colony does.

But certainly you can view the colony of microbes/ants as a whole to be sentient.

So individually do cells and ants have souls? I don't think so.

But they behave so collectively(well some of them) so perhaps collectively they are one organism?

AAAhmed46
18th August 10, 02:16 AM
I wouldn't say so, but then the Paramatma is said to be within each atom, and in the Vedas mountains are considered living.

Personally? I'm not sure, though I lean toward the latter.

Interesting. I know many muslims, particularly those of a sufi lean(though even some salafis) would say that the very earth is alive.

EuropIan
18th August 10, 02:21 AM
I wouldn't say so, but then the Paramatma is said to be within each atom, and in the Vedas mountains are considered living.

Personally? I'm not sure, though I lean toward the latter.
Interesting. So all these thing possibly contain or embody some non physical property. Which you are able to determine the degree of physically by "shinyness" (sic).

I know it's a hard subject to prove but I find it facinating that you can perceive something non-physical that doesn't interact with the world.


Is it like being able to "grok" another person's/object's soul?

Ajamil
18th August 10, 02:51 AM
Can I perceive it? Can I determine the degree of the soul's lucidity? I wouldn't dream of thinking myself so capable. I try, however. I suppose it's a form of empathy. I consider the symptom of the soul to be consciousness, I feel that when you remove emotion and desire (mind), when you remove discrimination and deduction (intelligence), and when you remove the various labels identified with (ego) - what is left is this something that is doing the indentifying. This is the entity that enjoys or suffers the reactions of material mixings making up the mind, body, and external interactions.

Different bodies can show these progressively subtle material manifestations - body, mind, intelligence, ego - and as these symptoms become clearer to an observer, the idea that the something is also there becomes clearer. So a mountain or the Earth which doesn't even seem to have a living body would be near impossible to "grok," whereas bacteria slightly more so, and mammals many people would see as having the ghost, and with the ease of communication - humans easily. Of course, not all people see all humans as having souls, and there are even people who don't see anyone but themselves as entities who enjoy or suffer.

As far as I know all scientific evidence points to this something being a persistent illusion - an emergent property of neural networks that not only creates a lasting sense of self, but for some reason has that "self" feel it is separate from its basis. I'm not sure why, but this doesn't sit right with me. I will say, though, that a persistent illusion is about as non-physical as you can get ;).

bob
18th August 10, 03:03 AM
I consider the symptom of the soul to be consciousness

I'm not sure I understand you. Are rocks conscious?

Ajamil
18th August 10, 03:09 AM
I have no idea. I wouldn't think so. If they are it's the consciousness of the comatose, with a body that has no real way to interact with the world around it. That'd be a scary way to "live."

Lebell
18th August 10, 05:05 AM
omg you bunch of heathens...

EuropIan
18th August 10, 08:48 AM
Can I perceive it? Can I determine the degree of the soul's lucidity? I wouldn't dream of thinking myself so capable. I try, however.

So you can but not good at it?



I suppose it's a form of empathy. I consider the symptom of the soul to be consciousness, I feel that when you remove emotion and desire (mind), when you remove discrimination and deduction (intelligence), and when you remove the various labels identified with (ego) - what is left is this something that is doing the indentifying. This is the entity that enjoys or suffers the reactions of material mixings making up the mind, body, and external interactions.

'You do know "that something" is still part of your brain, right?


Different bodies can show these progressively subtle material manifestations - body, mind, intelligence, ego - and as these symptoms become clearer to an observer, the idea that the something is also there becomes clearer. So a mountain or the Earth which doesn't even seem to have a living body would be near impossible to "grok," whereas bacteria slightly more so, and mammals many people would see as having the ghost, and with the ease of communication - humans easily. Of course, not all people see all humans as having souls, and there are even people who don't see anyone but themselves as entities who enjoy or suffer.

This is confusing. The best I can get from this is "You just kinda intuitively know and it's easier to tell with living things"



As far as I know all scientific evidence points to this something being a persistent illusion - an emergent property of neural networks that not only creates a lasting sense of self, but for some reason has that "self" feel it is separate from its basis. I'm not sure why, but this doesn't sit right with me. I will say, though, that a persistent illusion is about as non-physical as you can get ;).
Made up of tiny robots indeed.

Ajamil
18th August 10, 08:59 AM
So you can but not good at it?
This is confusing. The best I can get from this is "You just kinda intuitively know and it's easier to tell with living things"Well it sounds bad when you put it that way.


'You do know "that something" is still part of your brain, right?That's the current idea, but without a reliable way to test for awareness I don't trust it. Plants have no brain or nervous system, yet they interact with their environments and I would say have a very primitive awareness.

Vieux Normand
18th August 10, 01:29 PM
Vedas give five basic "goals" to life: sensory pleasure (kama), acquiring wealth/social standing (artha), ethics/philosophy/religion/virtue (dharma), material liberation (moksha), and pure devotional service, or love of Godhead (bhakti). Do you have something that wouldn't fit into these categories?

The conversation has moved in a more interesting direction since this was posted; however, I'd point out that there's more, in the above, than the "either-minutae-or-Big-Questions" dichotomy you appeared to be espousing in your previous postings. Anyway, no biggie.

The humans-versus-all-other-animals "divide" seems to be the product of faiths of mid-eastern origin (who--with the exception of adherents such as Assisi, Schweitzer and some Sufis--espouse the notion that humans alone have something called a "soul"...and can therefore be the only beings who can truly suffer). Cultures influenced by this view, such as the Europe of Descartes' time, took on this baggage.

Other views worldwide--generally tribal traditions ranging from aboriginal-American to Shinto, among many others--seem to have seen nonhuman animals as belonging to different nations, but not necessarily "inferior".

This has led to what I (rightly or wrongly) see as a "default-setting" assumption in the West of nonhuman animals as basically meat-machines. Any evidence that they had any emotional or intellectual existence beyond that was either ignored, impossible to perceive because we didn't have the science, or written off as instinct which was then anthropomorphised by overly-sentimental human observers.

This flies in the face of the basic sense that, since these creatures share at least 90% of our DNA (far more in some cases), and evolved on the same planet facing the same challenges as did we, that that they'd be far more like us than like any automata. This would have been the logical "default-setting" from which to begin investigations of nonhuman animals, rather than starting from the "instinct-machine" mantra that has pervaded Western culture until relatively recently.

Cullion
18th August 10, 02:16 PM
I think early British Christianity as practiced by the ancestors of the Welsh and Irish ,before the Saxons were converted, had a similar view on the 'aliveness' of animals to Francis of Assisi.

Vieux Normand
18th August 10, 03:19 PM
I think early British Christianity as practiced by the ancestors of the Welsh and Irish ,before the Saxons were converted, had a similar view on the 'aliveness' of animals to Francis of Assisi.

My wife--a far more learned student of the history of Christianity than I--has expressed similar views of an early-European Christianity that was very European (closer to old-European faith in some ways)...before Rome imposed a more orthodox view.

Cullion
18th August 10, 04:02 PM
Yes, that's what I read. I'll spend some time digging up a reference you can look at on the web.

The particular stuff I'm thinking of are the translated writings of an Irish monk who I think was involved in the monastery at Iona (a small island off the west of Scotland, which helped preserve pockets of Christianity on the British mainland after the fall of Rome), later in his life.

The 'Culdee' church was the first type of Christianity in the British Isles, well before the pagan saxons came after the collapse of Roman civilisation, and the Culdee clergy had lots of different traditions.

This early British Christianity was much more independent of Rome, and the version which came to Britain the second time, to the Saxons, was led by St. Augustine, a firmly Roman emissary.

For one thing, they tonsured their hair in a particular way that was different from later Christian clergy, and it was supposedly a continuation of the way Druids traditionally cut their hair. (IIRC they used to leave a tassel of hair growing out of the central bald patch which was brushed forwards).

My Irish relatives, when expressing pride in being Irish, used to remind me that Ireland was once called 'the land of Saints and Scholars'.

This phrase apparently relates to the fact that Ireland was never part of the Roman Empire, but it did receive Christianity without being linked into Roman society and infrastructure, so when Rome fell, they preserved the scholarly traditions and early Christian thought during the 'Dark Ages', whilst mainland Britain was being conquered by hard-drinking illiterate germanic people who prayed to statues of penises and warriors.

Lebell
18th August 10, 04:22 PM
in dutch the name for ireland translates into something like: ' drunken fools island.'

Cullion
18th August 10, 04:45 PM
in dutch the name for ireland translates into something like: ' drunken fools island.'

That's quite understandable. But here's more on that other, older side I was talking about:-




Yet of his being who shall be able to speak? Of how he is everywhere present and invisible, or of how he fills heaven and earth and every creature, according to that saying, Do I not fill heaven and earth? Saith the Lord, and elsewhere, The Spirit of God, according to the prophet, has filled the round earth, and again heaven is my throne, but earth is the footstool of my feet?





Be thou a bright flame before me,
Be thou a guiding star above me,
Be thou a smooth path below me,
Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me,
Today - tonight - and for ever







If I could live in a tiny dwelling on a rock in the ocean, surrounded by the waves of the sea and cut off from the sight and sound of everything else, I would still not be free of the cares of this passing world, or from the fear that somehow the love of money might still come and snatch me away.

This is the type of stuff I was talking about, but I understand it's not yet well-referenced enough.