FistOfStone to thewalkindude: i'm sorry for going on and on about the scientific world-picture thing ... it's clearly important to me, but it's at least equally clear that i'm caught in my own egocentric need for others to agree with me, the very same fault that i find in evangelical christians - i am no better ... i apologize, and i appreciate your patience
thewalkindude: No worries, my lack of response isn't so much that I don't want to, it's that I keep writing things out that keep seeming to completely miss the point or fail to get mine across, and delete them. I got on tonight with the plan to try my best to explain, but I'm sure it will be somewhat lacking. Here goes anyway though: I think that you're right that the world-picture idea is and will continue to be a point of contention, if only because I can't seem to understand how something so broad and hard to define could be very useful. I read and re-read your descriptions and explanations and find myself, still, at a complete loss...
I just can't understand the, for lack of a better word, rules that you're going by. The scientific picture is somehow fueling the transgender movement, when I see the transgender movement as almost wholly unscientific, based almost purely in emotion and perception, either through the trans person themselves and how they feel, or through empathy for those people. The only "scientific" things involved are the actual process of transitioning, and the soft science of psychology and social sciences (which I agree have plenty of problems, on both sides).
I see you mention the good that has come from well practiced and executed scientific pursuit, and their real world benefits, and how that can make people want to use science as a solution to everything. I agree with that, and that it causes problems (I'll even give that it may be much more wide-spread than I give it credit for), but I don't understand the part where you have to choose between science and "feelings", "superstition", "instinct", or "gut" on a binary, whole-personality level. creating this lense or picture. Each has its place, and people move between them depending on information and perception.... I feel like it's something changeable, and situational.
In the end, it seems like we're arguing in circles, and I'd rather move on to something else, but if there is anything important to you that I don' seem to be getting, and you want to try to get across in direct, simple terms that someone as uneducated and dense as I am could understand, I'm still happy to read your thoughts. Also, i wouldn't want to post something without reading your response, so feel free to do that as well- I'm not worried or mad, and there was definitely nothing to apologize for.
FistOfStone in reply to thewalkindude: uneducated and dense? i'm not any more educated than you are walk, i don't know much of anything outside of philosophy, and if anyone is dense, it's me ... but anyway, think of background plausibility ... i remember being in college, my "suitemate" (we shared a bathroom) was a first generation pakistinian-american, raised and practicing devout muslim ... one time he put a paper plate in a microwave in my dorm room, and the "plate" underneath it was spinning, but the paper plate was completely motionless, and it wasn't touching any of the sides of the microwave, it appeared to be almost hovering ... and the look in his eyes said "the supernatural is real! we're witnessing it right before our eyes!"
i couldn't believe he thought that ... but suppose that my roommate had then said to both of us "i have come preaching a new message: worship me or perish," and with a majestic twist of his hand the plate dropped by a visible inch or two and started spinning again ... i think my suitemate would have dropped to his knees and prayed to allah for protection from this evil spirit ... i would have looked at both of them with utter disbelief and wondered what the hell was even happening, was it a hoax? a practical joke?
i think my suitemate was halfway between the pre-modern and the modern world ... in dropping to his knees he would have at that moment let go of all his modernism ... but the people who wrote the bible or the quran i think would have also dismissed the "plate miracle" as a hoax, not because "there must be a reasonable explanation" but because such a thing was too insignificant, a prophet or a magician normally does something a little more spectacular, like turning a staff into a snake, predicting the future, walking on water ... to conclude that "the supernatural is real after all" would not have been a possible move for them, it was assumed, no one would have understood a miracle as proof of the supernatural but as proof of the message the wonder worker was preaching (aaron and his staff vs the magicians- who has more power?)
that was a different world ... i can't really understand what that was like, even if i try ... my suitemate and the look in his eyes is the closest i can come to it, but that's only halfway, and indirect
FistOfStone: soybeans, honeycrisp apple, sauteed and chopped mushrooms, quinoa, yellow onion, cucomber, goddess dressing
FistOfStone: i think that those with the purest hearts are destined to suffer the most ... there seems to be an essential antagonism between goodness and reality, and reality is the stronger of the two
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wuzzIes: The only issue I have with this is that you're implying that goodness isn't part of reality, which implies that there can be no pure of heart people in reality, and I know that's not true.
While the negative things about life may overwhelm us into thinking that reality is essentially "bad" and that anything purely good must exist outside of that, it's not - for lack of a better word - reality.
Reality consists of good and bad, and maybe if you only see the bad, you don't appreciate the good enough. You can look at your life and say... I'm not fulfilled, therefore my reality is bad and goodness is outside of that. Or you can look at life and say, I am not fulfilled, but I am still trying, and I have these blessings - a roof over my head, food in my belly, friends, family, etc.. and value the good over the bad. Perception truly is reality.
FistOfStone in reply to wuzzIes: damnit wuz i'm trying to covertly vent negative emotions by arguing for a highly questionable philosophical theory, and here you are exposing its flaws to the point that i can't plausibly argue for it anymore, and exposing my motive too!
fine, you're right, i'm just really upset about something ... but i don't wanna say what
FistOfStone in reply to wuzzIes: however i do think it's true in general that those who as a rule put others first, who turn the other cheek, who shy away from stepping on others' toes, who feel the urgent necessity of fairness, who have compassion without shrewd discrimination that would otherwise prevent being used, such people tend to have a harder go at things
and this is heartbreaking to me, i feel it shouldn't be that way ... and yet would i have it the other way? then people would be -rewarded- for being purehearted, which would stain the purity, the whole point of goodness of heart is what you do when there is -no- reward
would i have it so that there's no difference in reward between the two? how would that be possible? if a person refuses to take a job because the other applicant is homeless and needs it more, how, barring fairy tale physics, would the universe have to shift such that they wouldn't suffer?
and what about suffering for the sake of another?
so i don't think it can be otherwise
FistOfStone: i just had the most amazing dream ... i was playing minecraft, if you've ever played it you know you can dig downwards into the earth one block at a time pretty quickly, digging through a randomly generated earth made of blocks, occasionally maybe finding a cave, maybe even with lava, but mostly finding more and more more rock ... anyway i was doing that, and i was doing it to show someone (idk who it was, a nondescript other) that if you dig down deep into the earth it looks just like it does when you fly way up into space, which you can also do in the game (it's not true that it looks the same, but in Dream Minecraft it was true ... this was a scary and surreal fact in the dream, something a bit disturbing, something negative)
so i'm digging and digging, i keep finding lava, or a cave, sometimes places i already found and did things to before, so i keep digging, deep into the dark earth, and all of a sudden i peel away one block of rock and i see cloudy sky ... i peel another few away and there are trees, a body of water ... i keep peeling and it's a whole world, with a house there, and the dream transitions from a minecraft world made of blocks to a regular world, and all of a sudden i'm not just -playing- minecraft, i'm physically in this world, i can touch and hear and see everything directly (i don't register the change, it wasn't a part of the narrative, i just realized after waking up that at that point it was no longer a world made of blocks)
i say that i want to explore this world, and my soon to be ex-wife mari is there, and she says "this is no world, this is some kind of hell" ... she was disturbed that this place existed somehow deep inside the earth, but i was absolutely enthralled ... i said "i don't even care, it's not like i'm going to sin" (idk what i meant by that) ... i looked in all directions into the sky (except i guess at the place where we had emerged from the block world? they were continuous), and i could see no cave walls, this was somehow deep inside the earth yet it had endless sky in all directions
there was a house there, and i said to the nondescript other, "it looks just like our house," but i now recognize that it didn't look anything like my house, it was a beautiful little house with a kitchen that overlooked a tree-lined riverbank, and it was still raining ... i looked around in the kitchen, and mari "went back to sleep" in the rift between the minecraft world and the house by covering herself up with blankets ... i went and uncovered her to make sure we didn't lose her (i feared somehow she would be lost) and i removed a number of blankets and other things and uncovered mira, my dog, instead of mari (this was also just part of the narrative, not a surprise - mari was now mira) ... i covered her back up and went back to explore ... i was so genuinely excited about this world, i wanted to make it home ... unfortunately at that point i woke up
FistOfStone: when I say that I know that a proposition is true, i am not reporting the presence of two things – 1) the fact stated by the proposition and 2) the knowledge, such that 2 guarantees 1 to be a fact – rather, -i- am guaranteeing that it is a fact ... this is why it does not have to be the case that what i say i know cannot -conceivably- be false in order for me to be justified in saying i know something (it does not have to be inconceivable that candy will become illegal in order for a candy company to be justified in offering a guarantee that their candy will melt in your mouth, not in your hand) - and, in turn, this is why epistemological skepticism a la descartes, which says that i can only be justified in saying i know something if it cannot -conceivably- be false, misunderstands what knowledge claims are
hence it is not the case that "we don't -really- know anything for sure"
FistOfStone: if we are nearing the end of winter and i say "the first warm day will be next tuesday," i'm in Practical Mode, i'm giving information that i may be right or wrong about, information that, if i'm right, you may or may not know - and it makes sense for you to say "oh i didn't know that, i'm looking forward to it"
but if i say "the first warm day is coming, i don't know when, but it's coming," i'm in Wisdom Mode, i'm not informing you of anything, and i wouldn't know what to think if you said "oh i didn't know that!"
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FistOfStone: okay fair enough, but really, the person who re-posted this does not have extreme views, she graduated from an ivy league school, she's pretty intelligent, she posts a lot of left wing political stuff that i largely agree with ... she is fairly mainstream in her political and social beliefs ... i took this post as something she, representing a large portion of our society, just skimmed and gave a nod to because she had a sense that it was important and there are "still people who don't recognize it and need reminding" ... the idea that something fairly blatantly identifying mental illness with brain states seemed to pass itself off as meme wisdom like so many of her other posts, say something like "Fascinating how power outages in Venezuela are proof that socialism is an utter failure but power outages caused by wealthy executives bonusing themselves so they didn't have to repair outdated power lines in California in no way reflects the failures of unfettered capitalism" or "Women are women/Regardless of sex/And men are men/In the same respects/you can be both/or a mix of the two/Or you can be neither/if that's what suits you/But people are people/Whatever their parts/Because what really matters/Is inside of our hearts" to me suggests that such an identification, in the background as opposed to explicitly, is much more mainstream than the anti-vax movement or the flat earth movement
also, my phone won't let me like your reply, so:
FistOfStone in reply to thewalkindude: also ... it's not that they -say- dumb things, they have an implicit picture, -we- have an implicit picture ... and it's not dumb, it's hard not to put science up on a throne when we see what it's done, my god, it's put us on the moon, mapped galaxies farther away than we had ever imagined, calculated the age of the universe and described its history, mapped out the history of life on earth with solid evidence, it predicts the weather, it cures all sorts of previously incurable diseases and conditions ... this is no simple matter, the question, for real, is not "should we take scientific method as exemplifying the glory of humankind?" but "is there any reason -not- to?" - the popular level spin that covers all this over with battles about "creationism" and so on is just a distraction from the undeniable fact that science stands (justifiably) as the backbone of our way of life now, and alternatives to it are not obvious, not even on the horizon
FistOfStone: i mean come on walk, we live in a scientific age, professional scientists, researchers, experts determine what The Truth is ... surely you're not denying that? and if science has this status, then what's Real, that which is external to our subjective experiences, moods, opinions, is the physical world, the world that science studies ... anything outside of the bounds of science is automatically suspect and in need of constant justification and reaffirmation if it's to be allowed (hesitantly!) as part of what we take seriously ... i find it odd if anyone denies that this is a background assumption of the whole modern world (and fundamentalist christians know and believe it too, they just try to cast a spell on themselves that will somehow shortcircuit the whole apparatus and wipe away the last few centuries - i know, i was one)
FistOfStone: Rightly has it been said: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Our treasure is there, where stand the hives of our knowledge. It is to those hives that we are always striving; as born creatures of flight, and as the honey-gatherers of the spirit, we care really in our hearts only for one thing—to bring something "home to the hive!"
FistOfStone: "... adolescents may enter a stage of 'falling in love', which is by no means entirely, or even primarily, a sexual matter - except where the mores demand it. To a considerable extent adolescent love is an attempt to arrive at a definition of one's identity by projecting one's diffuse ego image on another and by seeing it thus reflected and gradually clarified. This is why so much of young love is conversation."
- James Fowler
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FistOfStone: real help is impossible ... if you seem to be in a state of disorder, and you're brought to what seems to be a state of greater order, then, per entropy, it was either not real disorder in the first place, or it's not real order in the second ... the spiral can -only- go downwards
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FistOfStone in reply to Perspicuity: yes persp ... but for human beings, i want to say, there is a distinction between doing so in accord with fate, the will of god, the tao, "with the flow" ... and against it ... there is a sense in which doing it against the flow is an act of will, and with the flow, it is not
Perspicuity: Things happen from a cause but not for a reason--we view the random dance of quantum events and see meanings and patterns. Those meanings are real in the sense that they were in the world to be seen, but not in the sense that there were put there for a purpose. And what you chose to do--whether to seek help or be passive--is just as legitimate a part of the pattern as any other.