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Old 07-23-2021, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
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Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
I started a thread in the P&OC forum. (A forum I gave up on quite awhile ago in large part because of what I call my Cement Theory). I also invite anyone interested to comment in that thread too, because confirmation bias is another significant obstacle when it comes to distilling the truth from all manner of different opinion that pervades all these forums.

I was tempted to start that thread in this forum too, but when it comes to how America could use a little help these days, that forum won over this one all considered. On the other hand, I suppose America could use a little help overcoming the problem of confirmation bias when it comes to this subject too...

How to Help America?
https://www.city-data.com/forum/poli...p-america.html

Whaddya think?
I no longer EVER go to the P&OC part of the forum. But I do often go to Great Debates.
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Arach Angle View Post
that's what the astrophysics say.

Based on things like rotating galaxies, lensing, how far they see type one super nova. To explain the difference between what they see and what the understand they think most of the universe is missing. They know the standard model is incomplete. They just use what we know to describe what we don't and adjust as we learn more.

He is not assuming anything, He using what we know to describe what we know. The one who is actually making a bigger assumption is you. You are incorrectly assuming what you know is enough to tell him he is wrong.

Lets use the ocean. Change you analogy to not knowing anything about the ocean than where you are. You have no other information than where you are. You make as many measurements you can.

Its also a great analogy in that "we may not be able to get down there, but there clearly looks like something more is going on that may originate from that part we can't see. We know its different, because we are measuring, we just can't get all we need.".

I love you guys ... this is another great real time example what we mean.
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:10 PM
 
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Why is the number of truths the same as the number of fingers we have?
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Old 07-23-2021, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Red River Texas
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Originally Posted by Avondalist View Post
Why is the number of truths the same as the number of fingers we have?
The better question would be how 9 truths were turned into to ten, and Lord know we await the 11th.
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Hannibal Flavius View Post
The better question would be how 9 truths were turned into to ten, and Lord know we await the 11th.
I think the answer to this question was answered at least once, some time ago, in this thread and others. Again...

I originally wrote what I titled 9 Truths many decades ago. When I wanted to summarize my thoughts and/or conclusions after some serious study of the world's religions. Many years later, I stumbled upon this forum, and I shared those same 9 truths. The reaction by a good many people in this forum caused me to add the tenth.
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Old 09-05-2021, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Red River Texas
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I was jacking with you, we all evolve what we believe, sorry.
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Old 10-02-2021, 09:50 AM
 
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Cyno
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Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
Ten Truths

https://www.city-data.com/forum/reli...en-truths.html

Please do and if you would be so kind to post your thoughts in that thread, I'll be curious what you think. About how we perceive reality, for example, that you mentioned in that prior comment and that triggered the memory of my Ten Truths.

When I check back into this forum possibly tomorrow, but at your convenience of course. So far it seems we are very much of like mind, and as such you will probably agree with those truths as well. Do let me know.

Thanks!
Finally getting around to this.

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Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
TEN TRUTHS

ONE: There are essentially two realities for all human beings. One reality is as we perceive it to be, our personal reality. The second reality is all that truly exists in the universe, the same for all of us. Our universal truth.

TWO: Human beings cannot know all that exists in the universe. The universe is forever in flux, full of mystery that will forever be marveled and explored by Man as long as he survives.

THREE: The first reality for human beings manifests itself in all the great many beliefs and faiths throughout the world; from Astrology to Zoraoastianism. Many books also stem from these beliefs; the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, Speaking of Faith, The Celestine Prophecy, the Book of Mormon and others. These are the books about men such as Jesus, Mohammad, Moses and Joseph Smith.

FOUR: The second reality, all that exists in the universe, known or unknown, is disclosed to Man most accurately and peacefully by way of well documented history (rather than religious books) and empirical science (rather than theology). Universal truth is all we can accept as reality, the truth, with the most certainty and least conflict. What we can all most reasonably accept as true for all concerned.

FIVE: Faith is spawned from the human inclination to speculate or suppose beyond universal truth as determined and defined by science. Such notions, religions, often involve spirituality or a belief in an energy, power or force. A belief in a deity, god or gods, the supernatural. These notions that go beyond common human awareness are typically based or recognized more by emotions and feelings rather than facts, reason and logic. They typically call for faith rather than proof, all stemming from personal experience rather than common observation or scientific verification.

SIX: Man's ability to theorize is a faculty that allows Man to advance toward greater awareness and understanding of universal truth. The theoretical guides Man to further scientific discovery. However, when conjecture about the supernatural leads to faith and religious inculcation rather facts, reason and logic, great harm can and does come to Man instead. This is because the great majority of people still today cannot accept the confines of science. Instead conjecture is continuously promoted as truth ultimately to the point of creating profound divisions between people resulting in great conflict, violence and war still raging to this day; the Crusades, Protestants v Catholics, Jews v Muslims, Shiites v Sunnis.

SEVEN: The alternative skeptical challenge and test of faith to limit spiritual conjecture is to foster a greater respect for the truth as currently defined or understood by science. Science is the most universally accepted effort to arrive at truth with no agenda other than greater knowledge and understanding of universal truth for all human beings. This path or quest of scientific discovery offers the way to peace instead of the sure madness that arises from the significant amount of conflict between differing faiths. As Man learns to universally accept both the great promise and reasonable limits of what science can teach, the source of conflict between Man is diminished, the path toward progress cleared and the prospect of peace improved.

EIGHT: Science fosters the peace of a universal patience and acceptance of our common condition and experience as humans. Faith forbids followers to question thus retarding Man's progress. Science encourages inquiry thus expanding Man's awareness and enlightenment. Faith typically deems any question about God's existence as evil in nature, not to be tolerated. Science has no such restrictions or judgement. Accordingly, there is no manner in which to reconcile these two competing approaches toward revealing Man's universal truth.

NINE: Faith can and does promote goodwill between some people. Creation of beautiful places of worship, help for those in need, community and comfort through difficult times. Even a code of conduct necessary for some to be moral. Yes of course, but with the good there is no need for the bad or falsehoods. Truth is best realized and peace most successfully promoted as more people patiently accept and embrace Man's common reality as revealed, defined and/or revised by science. The movement toward this patience and acceptance very slowly growing from one century to the next is the maturing of Man. His best chance for lasting peace and true understanding of all that exists in the universe, proven or yet to be proven.

TEN: People of faith will deny if not condemn these truths for many reasons; from fear of god to fear of no god. Fear of death to fear of Hell. Typically beginning with the significant influence of inculcation at a young impressionable age, the subsequent effects of confirmation bias over time, development of ego and bigotry all prevent objective reason and logic to prevail for Man as quickly as it should. Instead the condemnation persists even to this day much like when Galileo was even imprisoned for attempting to overcome these same obstacles centuries ago. Much like the Jesuits denounced Elvis Presley. Much like Harry Potter books are banned in Catholic schools today. The ignorance and intolerance persists. Much like the ongoing effort to overcome the ills of racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia that also still persist today, the effort to overcome these backward ways very slowly and painfully is the progress of Man that each generation represents better than the last.
ONE: I can go with this

TWO: This too

THREE: You are heading down a leading trajectory here, as all books and records should generally be included, not religious books alone. Everything we understand is subject to the reality we perceive, via our human senses, even those obtained by instrument measurements are still subject to our design and interpretation.

FOUR: Again you are suggesting that something found in any religious book by definition can NOT be 'Universal truth'. While that is often the case, I would say far from absolute. A simple illustration is that many religious literary texts contain historical data. I could go on, but only one instance is required to fracture the 'truth'

FIVE: 'Faith' is a challenging topic, because it's hard to get people to agree upon what it means, so you are trying to define it and speculate on it's origin (as you define it) rather than driving a 'truth', specifically #5 of 10. In Strong's Concordance (going from memory) I believe one definition is: Certainty, based upon knowledge. While many people define it as substituting hope in lieu of evidence and knowledge.

SIX: Agreed, when you believe you have all the answers, questions become the enemy.

SEVEN: "Science is the most universally accepted effort to arrive at truth" Accepted by who? Not by the greater religious populous. You say they are wrong they say you are, refer to Truth #1 and consider that YOUR truth might be a sub of perceived truth. Don't get me wrong, I fall into the same camp, but I could be wrong too. It just seems most likely to me based on my perceptions.

EIGHT: Reprise of #6

NINE: More a description of an observation and hope for our species than a 'truth'. Don't forget in all of your optimism to calculate in the element of predatory ambition, that is entrenched in the human condition.

TEN: I can go with most of this, although again, more an observation than a truth. In this one however, the phrase 'backward ways' implies more of a choice to be archaic, than the recognition that most of those those qualities are the result of human development. It's popular to condemn that behavior, that is all too often instinctual, born out of tribalism. IMO it's just going to take more time for those instincts to be diluted to the level of inconsequential.

You asked, I offer my thoughts, nothing more. The great thing about this effort, is that you are THINKING and working to inspire others to do the same, nice job.
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Old 09-29-2021, 11:00 AM
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Finally getting around to this.

ONE: I can go with this

TWO: This too

THREE: You are heading down a leading trajectory here, as all books and records should generally be included, not religious books alone. Everything we understand is subject to the reality we perceive, via our human senses, even those obtained by instrument measurements are still subject to our design and interpretation.

FOUR: Again you are suggesting that something found in any religious book by definition can NOT be 'Universal truth'. While that is often the case, I would say far from absolute. A simple illustration is that many religious literary texts contain historical data. I could go on, but only one instance is required to fracture the 'truth'

FIVE: 'Faith' is a challenging topic, because it's hard to get people to agree upon what it means, so you are trying to define it and speculate on it's origin (as you define it) rather than driving a 'truth', specifically #5 of 10. In Strong's Concordance (going from memory) I believe one definition is: Certainty, based upon knowledge. While many people define it as substituting hope in lieu of evidence and knowledge.

SIX: Agreed, when you believe you have all the answers, questions become the enemy.

SEVEN: "Science is the most universally accepted effort to arrive at truth" Accepted by who? Not by the greater religious populous. You say they are wrong they say you are, refer to Truth #1 and consider that YOUR truth might be a sub of perceived truth. Don't get me wrong, I fall into the same camp, but I could be wrong too. It just seems most likely to me based on my perceptions.

EIGHT: Reprise of #6

NINE: More a description of an observation and hope for our species than a 'truth'. Don't forget in all of your optimism to calculate in the element of predatory ambition, that is entrenched in the human condition.

TEN: I can go with most of this, although again, more an observation than a truth. In this one however, the phrase 'backward ways' implies more of a choice to be archaic, than the recognition that most of those those qualities are the result of human development. It's popular to condemn that behavior, that is all too often instinctual, born out of tribalism. IMO it's just going to take more time for those instincts to be diluted to the level of inconsequential.

You asked, I offer my thoughts, nothing more. The great thing about this effort, is that you are THINKING and working to inspire others to do the same, nice job.
Well thanks for this! Curious why you post your comments here rather than in the thread of this topic, but no real matter. Not to me anyway, but I have wanted to capture all comments about these truths in that thread for easy reference. Would you mind posting your comment there instead of here?

Either way, unfortunately, I am out of time as I first glance at what you write here. I'm looking forward to considering and responding to your thoughts when I have more the kind of time I prefer to do so. Here or in the Ten Truths thread as you prefer. I can go either way, but either way, thanks again as I sign off from this forum with a bit more a lift than usual!

Yes. Here's to thinking!
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Old 09-30-2021, 03:28 PM
Arach Angle
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Originally Posted by Cyno View Post
Finally getting around to this.



ONE: I can go with this

TWO: This too

THREE: You are heading down a leading trajectory here, as all books and records should generally be included, not religious books alone. Everything we understand is subject to the reality we perceive, via our human senses, even those obtained by instrument measurements are still subject to our design and interpretation.

FOUR: Again you are suggesting that something found in any religious book by definition can NOT be 'Universal truth'. While that is often the case, I would say far from absolute. A simple illustration is that many religious literary texts contain historical data. I could go on, but only one instance is required to fracture the 'truth'

FIVE: 'Faith' is a challenging topic, because it's hard to get people to agree upon what it means, so you are trying to define it and speculate on it's origin (as you define it) rather than driving a 'truth', specifically #5 of 10. In Strong's Concordance (going from memory) I believe one definition is: Certainty, based upon knowledge. While many people define it as substituting hope in lieu of evidence and knowledge.

SIX: Agreed, when you believe you have all the answers, questions become the enemy.

SEVEN: "Science is the most universally accepted effort to arrive at truth" Accepted by who? Not by the greater religious populous. You say they are wrong they say you are, refer to Truth #1 and consider that YOUR truth might be a sub of perceived truth. Don't get me wrong, I fall into the same camp, but I could be wrong too. It just seems most likely to me based on my perceptions.

EIGHT: Reprise of #6

NINE: More a description of an observation and hope for our species than a 'truth'. Don't forget in all of your optimism to calculate in the element of predatory ambition, that is entrenched in the human condition.

TEN: I can go with most of this, although again, more an observation than a truth. In this one however, the phrase 'backward ways' implies more of a choice to be archaic, than the recognition that most of those those qualities are the result of human development. It's popular to condemn that behavior, that is all too often instinctual, born out of tribalism. IMO it's just going to take more time for those instincts to be diluted to the level of inconsequential.

You asked, I offer my thoughts, nothing more. The great thing about this effort, is that you are THINKING and working to inspire others to do the same, nice job.
Can this process evaluate any claims, at all, to see what one(s) match what we see better?

What it does is say we need to look for a reliable process. But it never requires the reader (or devout follower) to do anything but wait to be told.
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Old Yesterday, 09:07 AM
LearnMe
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Finally getting around to this.

ONE: I can go with this

TWO: This too
Interesting to note that you can so quickly agree or accept the first two while more than a few others even had some issue with these. Glad to move onto three in this case anyway.
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Old Yesterday, 09:10 AM
LearnMe
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THREE: You are heading down a leading trajectory here, as all books and records should generally be included, not religious books alone. Everything we understand is subject to the reality we perceive, via our human senses, even those obtained by instrument measurements are still subject to our design and interpretation.
True. Of course there are many other books of all sorts we can find some fault with, but also of course the subject or focus here is on religion. Religion and/or science and critical thinking anyway. Also true that "perception is everything." What I try to address straight off with truth #1.
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Old Yesterday, 09:16 AM
LearnMe
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FOUR: Again you are suggesting that something found in any religious book by definition can NOT be 'Universal truth'. While that is often the case, I would say far from absolute. A simple illustration is that many religious literary texts contain historical data. I could go on, but only one instance is required to fracture the 'truth'
Though true again, I did not write that nothing of value can be found in religious books. I am simply making a case for which is the most likely path to arrive at the truth most "accurately and peacefully." Documented history rather than religious books, for example. Empirical science rather than theology. Which is best from an objective universal truth standpoint? Emphasis on universal, that we don't tend to fight about?

Also as I wrote, where we can accept the truth with "the most certainty and least conflict."

None of this means that a holy book doesn't have something of value to offer. Or any other book for that matter, but for the sake of choosing a path that leads more universally to universal truth without conflict, my 4th truth is how I cast my vote.
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Old Yesterday, 09:25 AM
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FIVE: 'Faith' is a challenging topic, because it's hard to get people to agree upon what it means, so you are trying to define it and speculate on it's origin (as you define it) rather than driving a 'truth', specifically #5 of 10. In Strong's Concordance (going from memory) I believe one definition is: Certainty, based upon knowledge. While many people define it as substituting hope in lieu of evidence and knowledge.
True again and I have many times pointed to the fact that faith is the result of many different influences that can cause different people to believe what they do. No question. Nevertheless, I offer what I think is a fairly common understanding about how many comes to speculate about what is going on around him. I think it's more than just my "speculation" as to origin. "Substituting hope in lieu of evidence and knowledge certainly fits my understanding of how faith comes to be as well. The many ways faith can come to be, "typically based or recognized more by emotions and feelings rather than facts, reason and logic" as I wrote in truth #5.

Seems we might agree about this too, generally speaking.
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Old Yesterday, 09:33 AM
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SIX: Agreed, when you believe you have all the answers, questions become the enemy.

SEVEN: "Science is the most universally accepted effort to arrive at truth" Accepted by who? Not by the greater religious populous. You say they are wrong they say you are, refer to Truth #1 and consider that YOUR truth might be a sub of perceived truth. Don't get me wrong, I fall into the same camp, but I could be wrong too. It just seems most likely to me based on my perceptions.
The greater religious populous does not have a commonly accepted "effort to arrive at the truth." Please find me a world-wide effort more commonly accepted than science. No matter the country. No matter the religion, all of which have little in the way of commonality when it comes to establishing the truth, there are scientists in all variety of countries watching the stars, going into space, looking into microscopes, testing theories, medicines, working on universal problems (like cancer) that make for a universal effort that transcends the boundaries of religion and sovereign borders. Quite unlike any other efforts by comparison. This is what I mean by my 7th truth. People don't go to war over different ideas about how to cure cancer, for example. Discovering the true nature of things by way of the telescope or microscope or stethoscope...
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Old Yesterday, 09:41 AM
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EIGHT: Reprise of #6

NINE: More a description of an observation and hope for our species than a 'truth'. Don't forget in all of your optimism to calculate in the element of predatory ambition, that is entrenched in the human condition.
Perhaps a bit of "reprise," but I think there is more to eight that adds some worthwhile "meat to the bones" here.

You are not the first one to suggest my use of the word "truth" can be substituted by other words when it comes to these observations of mine. Observations, steps of logic, insights, whatever. Perhaps I should not have used the word truth, since of course all anyone might consider along these lines is "entrenched in the human condition." Nevertheless, I like to think I argue truth, as best as I am able of course. As perhaps we all should even though we all know we won't all agree about the facts, reason or logic that has us believing what we do. If this were not the case, there would be no need to posit what I do.

My hope has always been to find the flaw in what I suggest to be truth and/or the better way. Not so much to argue that truth can be an objective matter (per my truth #1).
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Old Yesterday, 09:46 AM
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TEN: I can go with most of this, although again, more an observation than a truth. In this one however, the phrase 'backward ways' implies more of a choice to be archaic, than the recognition that most of those those qualities are the result of human development. It's popular to condemn that behavior, that is all too often instinctual, born out of tribalism. IMO it's just going to take more time for those instincts to be diluted to the level of inconsequential.

You asked, I offer my thoughts, nothing more. The great thing about this effort, is that you are THINKING and working to inspire others to do the same, nice job.
You will have to help me to better split this hair between what you agree is truth and/or what we can all argue is observation. I don't think backward ways is necessarily a choice. In fact I think people who cling to backward ways do so for another wide host of reasons not always so clearly by choice. Just like many a religious belief is not always just a simple choice. Everything about us is really a function or result of human development. Much of what I explain is well founded by documented history that describes that development.

Thanks for your thoughts and positive affirmation with respect to my intentions here. I can agree that among a few goals that had me write out these Ten Truths, getting people to think about all this kind of thing is certainly one of them. Your input is much appreciated more than you know. Thanks again!
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Old 10-02-2021, 09:56 AM
 
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Irkle Berserkle Irkle Berserkle started this thread
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Some time ago, LearnMe started a thread about the "Ten Truths" that are the foundation his thinking. That thread predictably veered off into other areas. More recently, a discussion of the Ten Truths surfaced on another unrelated thread. LearnMe suggested that I and perhaps others had mischaracterized and too quickly dismissed his Ten Truths. He invited a more substantive response, specifically from me but surely from others who also think deeply about these matters.

This is my more substantive response. I’ll simply offer my observations on each Truth. I’ll try to stay as neutral and non-snarky as I can. It would be wonderful – but perhaps I’m hoping against all hope – if the thread could remain substantive, free of the non-sequiturs, inane cheerleading, mindless emojis and snarky one-liners that substitute for thought and quickly derail almost every thread.

TEN TRUTHS

ONE: There are essentially two realities for all human beings. One reality is as we perceive it to be, our personal reality. The second reality is all that truly exists in the universe, the same for all of us. Our universal truth.
I’d say there are three realities: (1) ourselves, as we perceive ourselves to be; (2) external reality as we perceive it with our senses and analyze it with our minds; and (3) ultimate ontological reality – i.e., the Truth – about ourselves and external reality.

The first one is a big one. Who and what are we? This mystery is what led Descartes to conclude that all he could really know was “I think, therefore I am.”

What are my senses and mind? Can I trust them? Must I not be as skeptical of myself as I am of all externalities? This is one of the points that famed epistemologist Alvin Plantinga raises in his worthwhile book, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism. Particularly if the naturalistic evolutionary paradigm were correct, what reason would I have for trusting my own thought processes, for believing they are reliable truth-recognizing and truth-analyzing tools?

We do, of course, all believe they are reliable, or the quest for Truth would be hopeless. Even at a less philosophical level, however, each individual must still must assess his or her own cognitive faculties. We aren’t all equally intelligent or rational. Even the most intelligent and rational of us have cognitive biases and quirks. Sometimes we can’t explain them even if we’re aware of them.

I’d thus say “Know yourself” is the first critical stage of a quest for Truth. This seems to be completely absent from LearnMe’s Ten Truths.

My other observation would be that LearnMe appears to equate ultimate ontological reality with “all that truly exists in the universe.” This begs the question, assumes the answer. What reason do we have for assuming a priori that “the universe” is the ultimate ontological reality?

Philosophical naturalism does make this assumption. But it’s merely a belief system like any other. This assumption is no more warranted in the abstract than is an a priori assumption there is a higher realty and perhaps a creator.

The fact is, science is capable of investigating and analyzing only the natural order. If there is a higher reality, science isn’t any more capable of discovering it than is philosophy or religion.

All that science, religion or philosophy can do is speculate about the existence and nature of a higher reality. But there is no reason to assume a priori that there is or isn’t a higher reality. This is the mistake of philosophical naturalism.

Scientific research and evidence are certainly relevant to the issue. This is the point of the Intelligent Design theorists, and it seems entirely valid to me: Let the best evidence – the best scientific evidence – speak for itself and lead where it leads. If it leads to “design” and the likelihood of an external designer as the best explanation, so be it. If it doesn’t, so be it.

TWO: Human beings cannot know all that exists in the universe. The universe is forever in flux, full of mystery that will forever be marveled and explored by Man as long as he survives.
Surely, this is true. As I’ve said, however, there does seem to be an uncanny relationship between (1) an orderly universe that operates according to discernible laws and principles, and (2) the existence of humans with minds and faculties capable of investigating and analyzing this universe. I find this somewhat evidential in its own right, even apart from any arguments about the extraordinary fine-tuning of the universe and our little corner for the existence of life.
This second Truth just underscores what I said about the First. If the natural order (universe) is beyond our full comprehension, then any higher reality certainly is. We can know this higher reality – if it exists – only as it reveals itself or otherwise intrudes into our reality.

THREE: The first reality for human beings manifests itself in all the great many beliefs and faiths throughout the world; from Astrology to Zoraoastianism. Many books also stem from these beliefs; the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, Speaking of Faith, The Celestine Prophecy, the Book of Mormon and others. These are the books about men such as Jesus, Mohammad, Moses and Joseph Smith.
This loses me. LearnMe’s “first reality” is “personal reality,” meaning reality as we perceive it. I don’t see why he would equate this with religious beliefs and faiths.

I’d say our first level of personal reality is our assessment of what science teaches about the natural order. Even here, science isn't even close to being a monolithic entity. Each individual must decide for himself what constitutes the best scientific evidence and thinking about the natural order. With something like geology, there may be close to a scientific consensus. But in disciplines like physics, cosmology and consciousness studies, however, there is a wide diversity of views and much speculation.

Perhaps an individual concludes that the best scientific evidence and thinking point toward atheistic naturalism. This, then, is his personal reality, with no need for religious belief or faith. But perhaps he concludes that the best evidence and thinking point to something more, a higher reality. Science can’t take him any further. If he wants to go further, he must look elsewhere. The search may culminate in agnosticism or some level of atheistic or theistic conviction. A rational individual accepts that he will never achieve certainty.

The various scriptures are irrelevant at this point. Unless and until I reach a conviction about Christianity (for example), the Bible is irrelevant. It doesn’t define my personal reality or assist me in defining it to any greater extent than does the Koran, the Gita or the atheistic philosophy of Bertrand Russell.

FOUR: The second reality, all that exists in the universe, known or unknown, is disclosed to Man most accurately and peacefully by way of well documented history (rather than religious books) and empirical science (rather than theology). Universal truth is all we can accept as reality, the truth, with the most certainty and least conflict. What we can all most reasonably accept as true for all concerned.
I once again make essentially the same point. Yes, science – with all its flaws and checkered history – is our most reliable tool for investigating and analyzing the natural order.

But you can see once again what LearnMe has done here. He has assumed a priori that “the universe” is equivalent to “reality.” This is an unwarranted assumption. This is philosophical naturalism.

As I’ve suggested above, if science proceeded solely on the basis of methodological naturalism rather than the question-begging and answer-assuming basis of philosophical naturalism, the best scientific theory might well be “an intelligent designer occupying a higher reality, even though science can take us no further.” Philosophical naturalism forecloses any such theory from the get-go. Any other theory, no matter how utterly speculative and unfalsifiable, is entitled to a fair hearing so long as it posits an explanation that may be characterized as naturalistic.

FIVE: Faith is spawned from the human inclination to speculate or suppose beyond universal truth as determined and defined by science. Such notions, religions, often involve spirituality or a belief in an energy, power or force. A belief in a deity, god or gods, the supernatural. These notions that go beyond common human awareness are typically based or recognized more by emotions and feelings rather than facts, reason and logic. They typically call for faith rather than proof, all stemming from personal experience rather than common observation or scientific verification.
This seems to me to go off the rails.
LearnMe once again tips his hand: “universal truth as determined and defined by science.” Science investigates and analyzes the natural order. If the natural order were all that existed, and if science were able to explain it to a level of scientific certainty, then it would be appropriate to speak of science as determining and defining universal truth.

But this is the key question to which LearnMe simply assumes the answer: Is the natural order in fact all that exists?

Even for many renowned scientists, ancient and modern, the answer has been a resounding no. This fact in itself should give anyone pause about LearnMe’s perspective.

People, including scientists, look beyond science precisely because they conclude that (1) what science does teach about the natural order isn’t a completely satisfactory explanation of ultimate ontological reality and may in fact point to a higher reality, and (2) other avenues of inquiry may have as much or more bearing on the existence and nature of a higher reality.

These other avenues of inquiry may include the individual’s own experiences and observations; the experiences and observations of others; the individual’s studies in history, philosophy and theology; and the individual’s reflection and intuition.

LearnMe says that notions of a higher reality “go beyond common human awareness.” No, they certainly don’t. They are often grounded precisely in common human experience and awareness. This is surely why the vast majority of humans have arrived at some species of theist belief, even though the specific beliefs may vary widely.

LearnMe further says that such notions “are typically based or recognized more by emotions and feelings rather than facts, reason and logic. They typically call for faith rather than proof, all stemming from personal experience rather than common observation or scientific verification.”

As I’ve asked previously, what does someone like LearnMe think occurs when a Nobel laureate chemist or biologist holds theistic beliefs? Is the scientist overwhelmed by emotion in this one area of his life for some mysterious reason? Does he mysteriously lose all ability to think logically and rationally?

LearnMe’s statements reflect the arrogance of one wedded to philosophical naturalism and indeed Scientism. They reflect a complete misunderstanding as to how a diligent seeker goes about the quest for Truth and of the evidence that is available.

I happen to have had a number of experiences pointing toward the survival of consciousness, the existence of a higher reality and the falseness of the naturalistic paradigm. Literally hundreds of millions of people across recorded history have had identical experiences. These experiences and the people who have them have been investigated and assessed to the extent science is able. Only someone wedded to philosophical naturalism insists that this vast body of evidence – which admittedly may or may not point in the direction it seems to point – must be ignored or ridiculed because it challenges the naturalistic paradigm.

Areas of science point in the same direction. Big Bang cosmology, Intelligent Design, anthropomorphic fine-tuning, laboratory PSI studies, quantum physics, origin-of-life studies, consciousness studies, and on and on. Do all or any of these point unequivocally to a higher reality? No, but much of the increasingly mainstream thinking in these areas is at least consistent with the notion and is very challenging to the naturalistic paradigm. I've previously mentioned Bernardo Kastrup, who publishes almost exclusively in peer-reviewed journals and who believes the model most consistent with the evidence is idealism (i.e., consciousness as fundamental - pretty much the opposite of naturalism). Only someone wedded to philosophical naturalism insists this is all bogus, all pseudoscience, all unworthy of even being considered.

The point being, such a quest is not necessarily driven by emotions and feelings any more (or less) than is an a priori commitment to philosophical naturalism. It can be as logical and rational as any purely scientific quest. The evidence is as compelling or deficient as the quality of the quest. What brings one person to a particular conviction may bring someone else to a different conviction.

LearnMe doesn't get to decide for me or anyone else (1) whether the best science should lead to philosophical naturalism (it doesn’t do this even for many of the best scientists); (2) what bodies of evidence (scientific and otherwise) and what inferences and arguments (scientific and otherwise) we should rely upon in our quest for a higher reality; and (3) what conclusions we should reach and what convictions we should hold.

One major problem I'll acknowledge is that disturbed individuals, frightening zealots, mindless cultists, credulous dupes and people driven entirely by emotions are undeniably over-represented in the ranks of religious believers. This can certainly create the appearance that religion is only for the simple-minded and uncritical. But this is by no means always the case. LearnMe’s dismissive characterization paints with far too broad a brush.

SIX: Man’s ability to theorize is a faculty that allows Man to advance toward greater awareness and understanding of universal truth. The theoretical guides Man to further scientific discovery. However, when conjecture about the supernatural leads to faith and religious inculcation rather facts, reason and logic, great harm can and does come to Man instead. This is because the great majority of people still today cannot accept the confines of science. Instead conjecture is continuously promoted as truth ultimately to the point of creating profound divisions between people resulting in great conflict, violence and war still raging to this day; the Crusades, Protestants v Catholics, Jews v Muslims, Shiites v Sunnis.
This seems to go even further off the rails.

The “great majority of people still today cannot accept the confines of science.” Why should any human being uncritically accept the “confines of science” (a peculiarly apt phrase, since philosophical naturalism and Scientism are indeed an intellectual straitjacket)? Science may or may not provide a fully satisfactory explanation of reality. For most people, including me, it doesn’t. In any event, we are entitled to evaluate the merits and decide for ourselves.

LearnMe again assumes without warrant that beliefs about a higher reality are inevitably grounded in nothing more than uninformed “conjecture about the supernatural.” This is arrogant and false.

Certainly, people who have reached strong convictions about the nature of a higher reality are going to promote and defend them, particularly if their religion demands this. Few wars, however, have had religious differences at their core. The human lust for power, as well as political, economic and social differences, are what mostly keep people and nations at each other’s throats. It’s perhaps noteworthy that scientific advancements have been largely in the direction of making conflict and war ever more ghastly.

SEVEN: The alternative skeptical challenge and test of faith to limit spiritual conjecture is to foster a greater respect for the truth as currently defined or understood by science. Science is the most universally accepted effort to arrive at truth with no agenda other than greater knowledge and understanding of universal truth for all human beings. This path or quest of scientific discovery offers the way to peace instead of the sure madness that arises from the significant amount of conflict between differing faiths. As Man learns to universally accept both the great promise and reasonable limits of what science can teach, the source of conflict between Man is diminished, the path toward progress cleared and the prospect of peace improved.
This is just naïve - almost utopian - Scientism.

As a believer, I welcome skeptical challenge. I have religious convictions, but none that place me in a straitjacket as confining as philosophical naturalism.

LearnMe’s hope is to “foster greater respect for the truth as currently defined or understood by science.” How does this differ qualitatively from the hope of a Christian proselytizer or Muslim jihadist to convert the world to their truth? It seems to LearnMe to differ only because he is convinced philosophical naturalism is the answer.

My objective is the best possible understanding of ultimate ontological reality that I can achieve in this lifetime. If I thought science had been capable of providing that understanding, I would’ve limited my inquiry to science – but I didn’t, and neither do many other sincere and diligent seekers.

“Science is the most universally accepted effort to arrive at truth with no agenda other than greater knowledge and understanding of universal truth for all human beings.” Again, this is a quasi-religious sentiment. It assumes, once again, that ultimate ontological truth lies within the natural order. Worse, the “no agenda” remark naively assumes that scientists are free from human nature. Even science doesn’t assume this, which is why it demands falsifiability and peer review. Science is an area of human endeavor, no better or worse than any other.

Science “offers the way to peace.” Really – is this what LearnMe thinks history shows? Science isn’t, in the abstract, the way to either peace or conflict. It has greatly facilitated conflict, but this is the fault of human nature rather than science.

Once again, LearnMe’s sentiments are quasi-religious. The fact is, worldwide conflict would be reduced just as much (or more) if all humans were committed Christian fundamentalists, Islamic fundamentalists or Scientologists as if all humans were naturalistic atheists.

EIGHT: Science fosters the peace of a universal patience and acceptance of our common condition and experience as humans. Faith forbids followers to question thus retarding Man's progress. Science encourages inquiry thus expanding Man's awareness and enlightenment. Faith typically deems any question about God's existence as evil in nature, not to be tolerated. Science has no such restrictions or judgement. Accordingly, there is no manner in which to reconcile these two competing approaches toward revealing Man's universal truth.
I won't keep beating this to death.

“Faith typically deems any question about God's existence as evil in nature, not to be tolerated.” This is just absurd. LearnMe’s view of religion is as skewed as his view of science. He apparently thinks all religious believers are closed-minded, wild-eyed zealots. How many religious believers whom you know fit this description? Almost all Christian denominations and almost all other religions have a long history of ecumenical dialogue and welcome scrutiny of their claims.

NINE: Faith can and does promote goodwill between some people. Creation of beautiful places of worship, help for those in need, community and comfort through difficult times. Even a code of conduct necessary for some to be moral. Yes of course, but with the good there is no need for the bad or falsehoods. Truth is best realized and peace most successfully promoted as more people patiently accept and embrace Man's common reality as revealed, defined and/or revised by science. The movement toward this patience and acceptance very slowly growing from one century to the next is the maturing of Man. His best chance for lasting peace and true understanding of all that exists in the universe, proven or yet to be proven.
No further comment. This is pure Scientism, science as the religion of the future. I'm guessing LearnMe is a big sci-fi fan.

TEN: People of faith will deny if not condemn these truths for many reasons; from fear of god to fear of no god. Fear of death to fear of Hell. Typically beginning with the significant influence of inculcation at a young impressionable age, the subsequent effects of confirmation bias over time, development of ego and bigotry all prevent objective reason and logic to prevail for Man as quickly as it should. Instead the condemnation persists even to this day much like when Galileo was even imprisoned for attempting to overcome these same obstacles centuries ago. Much like the Jesuits denounced Elvis Presley. Much like Harry Potter books are banned in Catholic schools today. The ignorance and intolerance persists. Much like the ongoing effort to overcome the ills of racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia that also still persist today, the effort to overcome these backward ways very slowly and painfully is the progress of Man that each generation represents better than the last.
LearnMe seems unaware of the actual beneficial effects of religion – and specifically Christianity – on science and every other aspect of human civilization and culture, even on the various “ills” he cites. Even atheists have acknowledged and written about it – quite extensively. The examples LearnMe cites – did the Jesuits denounce Elvis? – are childish and reflect a woefully uninformed perspective.

It seems to me that the Ten Truths deteriorate badly as one progresses through them. It seems to me that the Scientism and disdain for religion become ever-more-apparent. Just as LearnMe might say about me or any other religious believer, his Ten Truths seem transparently to be driven by emotions and feelings more than reason and logic. Certainly by the time we reach Truth Five and beyond, something other than logic and clear thinking is driving the bus.

I’ll conclude with a quote from an article on Scientism published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, https://sciencereligiondialogue.org/...is-scientism/:
Science is an activity that seeks to explore the natural world using well-established, clearly-delineated methods. Given the complexity of the universe, from the very big to very small, from inorganic to organic, there is a vast array of scientific disciplines, each with its own specific techniques. The number of different specializations is constantly increasing, leading to more questions and areas of exploration than ever before. Science expands our understanding, rather than limiting it.

Scientism, on the other hand, is a speculative worldview about the ultimate reality of the universe and its meaning. Despite the fact that there are millions of species on our planet, scientism focuses an inordinate amount of its attention on human behavior and beliefs. Rather than working within carefully constructed boundaries and methodologies established by researchers, it broadly generalizes entire fields of academic expertise and dismisses many of them as inferior. With scientism, you will regularly hear explanations that rely on words like “merely”, “only”, “simply”, or “nothing more than”. Scientism restricts human inquiry.

It is one thing to celebrate science for its achievements and remarkable ability to explain a wide variety of phenomena in the natural world. But to claim there is nothing knowable outside the scope of science would be similar to a successful fisherman saying that whatever he can’t catch in his nets does not exist. Once you accept that science is the only source of human knowledge, you have adopted a philosophical position (scientism) that cannot be verified, or falsified, by science itself. It is, in a word, unscientific.
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Old 10-02-2021, 10:00 AM
 
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Irkle Berserkle

Some time ago, LearnMe started a thread about the "Ten Truths" that are the foundation his thinking. That thread predictably veered off into other areas. More recently, a discussion of the Ten Truths surfaced on another unrelated thread. LearnMe suggested that I and perhaps others had mischaracterized and too quickly dismissed his Ten Truths. He invited a more substantive response, specifically from me but surely from others who also think deeply about these matters.

This is my more substantive response. I’ll simply offer my observations on each Truth. I’ll try to stay as neutral and non-snarky as I can. It would be wonderful – but perhaps I’m hoping against all hope – if the thread could remain substantive, free of the non-sequiturs, inane cheerleading, mindless emojis and snarky one-liners that substitute for thought and quickly derail almost every thread.


I am delighted you took the time and I am entirely supportive of the effort you promote, without all the unnecessary nonsense. I'm going to do my best to address all you wrote. Perhaps the most lengthy "critique" of my Ten Truths since I started this thread quite awhile ago. Because I copied your comment and pasted it here, I'll put your comments in bold and post my replies in regular type. Given the length, however, this might take awhile. Appreciate the interest and this additional opportunity to discuss the topic of this thread. Thanks again!
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Old 10-02-2021, 10:07 AM
 
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ONE: There are essentially two realities for all human beings. One reality is as we perceive it to be, our personal reality. The second reality is all that truly exists in the universe, the same for all of us. Our universal truth.
I’d say there are three realities: (1) ourselves, as we perceive ourselves to be; (2) external reality as we perceive it with our senses and analyze it with our minds; and (3) ultimate ontological reality – i.e., the Truth – about ourselves and external reality.

The first one is a big one. Who and what are we? This mystery is what led Descartes to conclude that all he could really know was “I think, therefore I am.”

What are my senses and mind? Can I trust them? Must I not be as skeptical of myself as I am of all externalities? This is one of the points that famed epistemologist Alvin Plantinga raises in his worthwhile book, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism. Particularly if the naturalistic evolutionary paradigm were correct, what reason would I have for trusting my own thought processes, for believing they are reliable truth-recognizing and truth-analyzing tools?

We do, of course, all believe they are reliable, or the quest for Truth would be hopeless. Even at a less philosophical level, however, each individual must still must assess his or her own cognitive faculties. We aren’t all equally intelligent or rational. Even the most intelligent and rational of us have cognitive biases and quirks. Sometimes we can’t explain them even if we’re aware of them.

I’d thus say “Know yourself” is the first critical stage of a quest for Truth. This seems to be completely absent from LearnMe’s Ten Truths.

My other observation would be that LearnMe appears to equate ultimate ontological reality with “all that truly exists in the universe.” This begs the question, assumes the answer. What reason do we have for assuming a priori that “the universe” is the ultimate ontological reality?

Philosophical naturalism does make this assumption. But it’s merely a belief system like any other. This assumption is no more warranted in the abstract than is an a priori assumption there is a higher realty and perhaps a creator.

The fact is, science is capable of investigating and analyzing only the natural order. If there is a higher reality, science isn’t any more capable of discovering it than is philosophy or religion.

All that science, religion or philosophy can do is speculate about the existence and nature of a higher reality. But there is no reason to assume a priori that there is or isn’t a higher reality. This is the mistake of philosophical naturalism.

Scientific research and evidence are certainly relevant to the issue. This is the point of the Intelligent Design theorists, and it seems entirely valid to me: Let the best evidence – the best scientific evidence – speak for itself and lead where it leads. If it leads to “design” and the likelihood of an external designer as the best explanation, so be it. If it doesn’t, so be it.


I'm not sure I understand the addition of a "third reality." If we are to go from the only two I describe, what keeps us from adding many a reality about not only ourselves additionally but about others? Or you name it? I would include the reality I perceive about myself as part of our own personal reality, about ourselves and everything else we are able to perceive. This as opposed to the reality that actually exists for everyone. The universal reality that exists no matter what our personal perceptions. "What are we indeed?" Other than as we perceive per whatever our personal reality tells us?

Here too, I might add, what we perceive ourselves to be can either be just our personal reality or the actual truth. Universal truth. Somebody might believe themselves to be the son of god, for example. Their personal reality, but universal truth? For all of us to decide which is which I think...
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