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Old 11-27-2022, 09:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
aptitude and ability in critical thinking includes being able to recognize when a false dichotomy is presented, when a false premise is used.

i actually compliment your earlier post on the point it made. and then pointed out the post itself is an example of how your own thoughts, views, and opinions are colored and skewed by your own feelings, emotions, and interpretations. perceived through the filter of using your own verbiage here "emotions and what suits your wants and needs." All opinions and views and thoughts and perceptions are colored (skewed, distorted, affected) by what post above calls confirmation bias. The view i put forth is that ALL perception is distorted.

and it's also nice that you introduced the topic of books to the thread, so that people can share books they are reading related to Religion and Spirituality.
"aptitude and ability in critical thinking includes being able to recognize when a false dichotomy is presented, when a false premise is used..." Again yes of course. Also to be able to understand and use analogies in proper fashion, be able to consider multiple angles of any thoughts, views and opinions in an informed, intelligent and ideally unbiased manner. Be able to resolve above-average complex problems. Win at chess, etc., etc...

My point was and still is that using logic and reason to establish the truth about whatever we are all called upon to judge should NOT be clouded by wants and needs. We're all humans of course. We all have our emotions and biases. Again yes of course, but there are those who can analyze facts and opinions, logic and reason, evidence and proofs far better or worse than others. Without letting our wants and needs cloud our judgement about what is the truth, factual, and what is not. That's all.

If you want to move from these sorts of obvious generalities and instead discuss something more in the way of specifics that demonstrates how differently we all think in these regards, then by all means do so. Only then can we all see what we'll see as always. Otherwise, though all our views and thoughts may be "colored" to SOME extent, not everyone is equally able or unable to contend with these sorts of issues revolving around confirmation bias. Step one in any case is to recognize how confirmation bias works in the first place. Then do what is necessary to counter balance that influence in order to minimize it. Obviously not everyone does this to anywhere near the same extent either.

The story of Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei is one of my favorites for purposes of demonstrating a great famous example we all know. About what I'm trying to explain here with regard to over-coming confirmation bias and how some people can and some people can't. Many times most people can't, but some can!

This really can't be so hard to understand and accept for anyone who can apply even the most basic of logic and reason...

PS: I am encouraged about how you have "changed your tune" about me introducing that list of books, because complaining about even that seemed a bit much even for you.

Last edited by LearnMe; 11-27-2022 at 09:57 AM..
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Old 11-27-2022, 09:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
We have posters here who always pick toward an individual, and almost always toward an individual who is an atheist.
All of no matter to me really, but I think it serves some purpose to remind some of these people that a change of focus toward whatever the opinion, fact or claim might be does everyone a bit better than vague generalities, let alone picking on anyone because they are atheist or religious or whatever. Being unreasonable deserves some picking on however. Arguing the ridiculous tends to test one's patience. Not being able to understand or accept that there are people who are better at critical thinking than others is a bit thick too.

Yes, that is my opinion for all of us to judge as always. The truth about this obvious and simple fact is proven out in this forum every day!
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Old 11-27-2022, 09:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
Thank you. I found out, just by happenstance, that our current home is in the same neighborhood as his last Philadelphia area homestead, a secondary Jewish suburb where he lived with his wife and son in the ‘50s and ‘60s before decamping for the West Coast.

Bringing this full circle back to religion, I happened to learn this because my great-uncle was over for my son’s bris and made an off-hand remark about it.

By the way, LearnMe: I just picked up Donald Fagen’s Eminent Hipsters from my library today. It looks more like a series of personal essays than straight memoir (which seems more suited to Fagen’s style, if only judging by his songwriting). I’ll let you know how I like it.
Thanks. Do let me know. Seems you are fast becoming quite knowledgeable about Donald Fagen...

Makes me think of another question related to reading that might be interesting for people to answer; what determines what books you choose to read? A question I have pondered about myself many times, because there are so many books to read and so little time, how we spend our time reading deserves some serious consideration in my opinion.

For me there are several factors, but I know one has to do with "truth being stranger than fiction." There are so many incredibly interesting true stories, I find myself drawn toward non-fiction far more often than fiction. There's that just for starters...
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Old 12-09-2022, 10:41 AM
 
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A bit about everything here in this fascinating read about the brave new world we're all headed toward...

Breakthroughs of the Year

Pictures of the beginning of the universe, medicine that can (kind of) reverse death, and other leaps of human ingenuity

https://www.theatlantic.com/newslett...s-2022/672390/
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Old 12-09-2022, 10:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
A bit about everything here in this fascinating read about the brave new world we're all headed toward...Breakthroughs of the Year Pictures of the beginning of the universe, medicine that can (kind of) reverse death, and other leaps of human ingenuity
https://www.theatlantic.com/newslett...s-2022/672390/
and how does this link relate to Religion and Spirituality, the section of the forum we are in.
because the article is billed as "a newsletter about work and technology" and "how to solve some of America’s biggest problems"
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Old 12-10-2022, 11:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
and how does this link relate to Religion and Spirituality, the section of the forum we are in.
because the article is billed as "a newsletter about work and technology" and "how to solve some of America’s biggest problems"
Mostly I just thought it was interesting and didn't think too much about anything else other than to share it here, but the part about looking at the origins of the universe (along with some other parts of that read) have at least some implications for all of us, including the religious and/or spiritual. What I meant by "a bit about everything here." I'm pleased you seem wanting to check this thread out in any case. For whatever your reasons, and perhaps to better satisfy your expectations in this forum, I just finished reading this other article that produced some thoughts I might share in another thread I'm thinking to start here in the R&S forum...

"Every year we close anywhere between two and five churches. Every single year," says Methodist pastor Bradley Hyde, sitting at a table sipping java while the milk steamer hisses behind the counter. "I think people were already wanting to leave church, and Covid gave them a great opportunity to say, 'Good bye.' I'm not the only pastor who has noticed that, but a lot of people have just not come back."

https://www.npr.org/2022/12/10/11410...-of-worshipper

Better?
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Old 12-10-2022, 03:46 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
Thanks. Do let me know. Seems you are fast becoming quite knowledgeable about Donald Fagen...
I finished Eminent Hipsters. It was a great read. The first half of shorter personal essays on discrete topics is stronger than the second half, which is Donald Fagen’s diary entries from his 2012 tour with Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald (while interesting in its own way, it’s far less compelling and feels like a drag towards the end). I highly recommend it to any Steely Dan listener whose interest in the band exceeds that of the median casual fan. Fagen is a fine prose writer (which is no surprise), and in an alternate universe, where the whole jazz rock thing didn’t pan out, he could have been one of the latter twentieth century creative nonfiction greats.

And what have we learned about Donald Fagen religious and spiritual tendencies? It seems quite clear he’s an atheist, describing God as a “made-up entity” in one of his 2012 tour diary entries. While that’s hardly a shock, it’s not something you ever know until you know, you know?

In terms of his connections with Judaism on an ethnocultural level, you see the same kind of hyper-self awareness that he exhibits in the various interviews I linked. His discussion of Judaism is not forced, but it’s far more than gratuitous. As I mentioned before, I don’t think it’s possible to exhibit that sort of hyper-self awareness absent palpable levels of pride or self-loathing. While Donald Fagen may have some self-loathing tendencies, I do not think his Jewish background is the source of those tendencies.

Also, a while back you seemed to believe that I hate Bob Dylan. That’s not at all true. I don’t love most of Dylan’s music, and am very lukewarm on his professional persona, but I recognize and respect his musical and songwriting genius, and he paved the way (and greatly influenced) many singer-songwriters who resonate more with me personally but whom I also recognize are objectively less talented (nearly all modern rock and pop musicians are).

In addition, Bob Dylan may have more Jewish pride than I gave him credit for. Mind you, my assessment was biased based on his dalliance with Evangelical Christianity. And yet, even around that same goyishe era, he produced a strongly outspoken (and even borderline-jingoistic) pro-Israel anthem (of course, Jewish pride and Zionism are two very different things, but this song definitely exemplifies the latter as viewed through the lens of the former).
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Old 12-12-2022, 11:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
I finished Eminent Hipsters. It was a great read. The first half of shorter personal essays on discrete topics is stronger than the second half, which is Donald Fagen’s diary entries from his 2012 tour with Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald (while interesting in its own way, it’s far less compelling and feels like a drag towards the end). I highly recommend it to any Steely Dan listener whose interest in the band exceeds that of the median casual fan. Fagen is a fine prose writer (which is no surprise), and in an alternate universe, where the whole jazz rock thing didn’t pan out, he could have been one of the latter twentieth century creative nonfiction greats.

And what have we learned about Donald Fagen religious and spiritual tendencies? It seems quite clear he’s an atheist, describing God as a “made-up entity” in one of his 2012 tour diary entries. While that’s hardly a shock, it’s not something you ever know until you know, you know?

In terms of his connections with Judaism on an ethnocultural level, you see the same kind of hyper-self awareness that he exhibits in the various interviews I linked. His discussion of Judaism is not forced, but it’s far more than gratuitous. As I mentioned before, I don’t think it’s possible to exhibit that sort of hyper-self awareness absent palpable levels of pride or self-loathing. While Donald Fagen may have some self-loathing tendencies, I do not think his Jewish background is the source of those tendencies.

Also, a while back you seemed to believe that I hate Bob Dylan. That’s not at all true. I don’t love most of Dylan’s music, and am very lukewarm on his professional persona, but I recognize and respect his musical and songwriting genius, and he paved the way (and greatly influenced) many singer-songwriters who resonate more with me personally but whom I also recognize are objectively less talented (nearly all modern rock and pop musicians are).

In addition, Bob Dylan may have more Jewish pride than I gave him credit for. Mind you, my assessment was biased based on his dalliance with Evangelical Christianity. And yet, even around that same goyishe era, he produced a strongly outspoken (and even borderline-jingoistic) pro-Israel anthem (of course, Jewish pride and Zionism are two very different things, but this song definitely exemplifies the latter as viewed through the lens of the former).
Very nice to hear back from you about this...

Also thanks for all this interesting information and commentary. I'll have to put "Eminent Hipsters" on my list, because I'm a fan of good prose and also more than a casual fan of Steely Dan as you know.

Coincidentally, just last night I happened upon the Steely Dan Bodhistva video and thought to watch and listen to it yet again. I have the album and couldn't count the number of times I've listened to that song over the years. Especially when I was young. (Seeing the video came much later). Watching the video got me to wondering yet again about just how religious Fagen could possibly be, or connected to Judaism. I didn't know he is an atheist, but that makes more sense to me from what I can tell. Watch the video and you tell me...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9QxMgkQBl4

I don't remember suggesting you "hate" Dylan, but I do remember using my wife as an example of someone who doesn't appreciate his singing and song writing the way I do. I may have noted you might be more like my wife in that regard, I can't remember too well, but even my wife knows Dylan is an amazing artist. There is little question about just how special Dylan truly is in more ways than one, or that his influence on other musicians is right up there among the greatest.

I'm not too sure what to make of your assessment regarding "Jewish pride." There are some Jewish people who seem to exude pride about being Jewish and that comes across as rather obvious. I don't know either Fagan or Dylan personally or all that well of course, but what I have seen, heard and read has not caused me to feel that Fagan or Dylan is that kind of person. I don't have all that much to go on, but typically when someone is prideful about something in an outwardly way, it's hard not to pick up on it. Also, as mentioned before, I read a Dylan autobiography, "Down the highway : the life of Bob Dylan." That was a pretty extensive read that also helps to describe what a GOAT Dylan truly is. Though Dylan being Jewish is mentioned and that background or upbringing is fairly well covered, it didn't read to me like Dylan became all that prideful about being Jewish. Not to mention some things he has written and done that are certainly not typical of a person I would call a prideful Jewish person. Certainly not a religious one anyway. "Everybody must get stoned!" Turning to Christianity also for example but a good deal else about how he lived his life. Being "born-again" more than just a dalliance that he wrote quite a bit about too. During that time, "Wexler said that Dylan had tried to evangelize him during the recording. He replied: "Bob, you're dealing with a 62-year-old Jewish atheist. Let's just make an album."

No doubt that Jewish pride and Zionism are two very different things, but are you suggesting that Dylan's song, "Neighborhood Bully" is an example of Jewish pride? I'm no expert of course, but I know Dylan left home (and his family) at a relatively young age and for the most part Dylan didn't focus on much at all about being Jewish during his early career if not most of his life. I know he eventually felt bad about being distant with his father and later tried to make amends about that by "returning to his roots" as some might say.

Ironically, even though Dylan was/is considered the voice of the 60's civil rights movement by many, Dylan pretty much stayed away from politics. He wrote lots of songs that touched on subjects that were either intentionally about things going on at the time or interpreted by others to have political meaning. Most of which Dylan has always been evasive about confirming. With regard to "Neighborhood Bully," if I came from a Jewish family or if that were my heritage, I can easily see myself writing a song like "Neighborhood Bully" if I were Dylan, but I'm not sure that makes Dylan a prideful Jewish person. Does it?

I've traveled to Italy where I mentioned my mother was born, and I suppose I could write a song or two about my Italian heritage if I was a song writer, but does any of that make me a prideful Italian? To my way of thinking it just makes me an Italian by birth and though I don't consider myself a prideful Italian, I'm certainly not ashamed to be an Italian either. That's all...

Last edited by LearnMe; 12-12-2022 at 12:00 PM..
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Old 12-12-2022, 01:17 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
Coincidentally, just last night I happened upon the Steely Dan Bodhistva video and thought to watch and listen to it yet again. I have the album and couldn't count the number of times I've listened to that song over the years. Especially when I was young. (Seeing the video came much later). Watching the video got me to wondering yet again about just how religious Fagen could possibly be, or connected to Judaism. I didn't know he is an atheist, but that makes more sense to me from what I can tell. Watch the video and you tell me...
I don’t think the song “Bhodisattva” is a clue of any sort. Becker and Fagen wrote all sorts of songs, many of them from the viewpoints of fictional characters. Certainly, we have no reason to believe that either gentleman were closeted gay men in the upper echelons of a white collar professional field who expressed frustration over their more flamboyant partners, a la “Gaucho.”

Jewish Buddhists (also known as JewBus) are actually a fairly common phenomenon, but I don’t think Donald Fagen is one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
I'm not too sure what to make of your assessment regarding "Jewish pride." There are some Jewish people who seem to exude pride about being Jewish and that comes across as rather obvious. I don't know either Fagan or Dylan personally or all that well of course, but what I have seen, heard and read has not caused me to feel that Fagan or Dylan is that kind of person. I don't have all that much to go on, but typically when someone is prideful about something in an outwardly way, it's hard not to pick up on it.
I was not (and am not now) suggesting that Bob Dylan exudes Jewish pride. I was only saying that he may have a little bit more than I gave him credit for (which is saying very little). I do put Fagen in a different category, though. While I won’t discount by own biases, I do think there are more subtle indicators that are tougher to pick up on for people who are not Jewish and not highly familiar with Jewish culture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
Also, as mentioned before, I read a Dylan autobiography, "Down the highway : the life of Bob Dylan." That was a pretty extensive read that also helps to describe what a GOAT Dylan truly is. Though Dylan being Jewish is mentioned and that background or upbringing is fairly well covered, it didn't read to me like Dylan became all that prideful about being Jewish. Not to mention some things he has written and done that are certainly not typical of a person I would call a prideful Jewish person. Certainly not a religious one anyway. "Everybody must get stoned!" Turning to Christianity also for example but a good deal else about how he lived his life. Being "born-again" more than just a dalliance that he wrote quite a bit about too. During that time, "Wexler said that Dylan had tried to evangelize him during the recording. He replied: "Bob, you're dealing with a 62-year-old Jewish atheist. Let's just make an album."
I see Dylan’s professional persona as a sort of performance art. He strongly exemplifies (and perhaps even originated) the “don’t look at me, but look at me” faux down-to-earth ethos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
No doubt that Jewish pride and Zionism are two very different things, but are you suggesting that Dylan's song, "Neighborhood Bully" is an example of Jewish pride? I'm no expert of course, but I know Dylan left home (and his family) at a relatively young age and for the most part Dylan didn't focus on much at all about being Jewish during his early career if not most of his life. I know he eventually felt bad about being distant with his father and later tried to make amends about that by "returning to his roots" as some might say.
The lyrics absolutely exemplify Zionism from a Jewish pride perspective. Granted, that’s taking them at face value. Knowing Dylan, he could have just as easily written the song for the sake of shock value. I do know (and in many ways respect) that Dylan enjoys messing with people’s preconceived notions of him.

Last edited by ElijahAstin; 12-12-2022 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 12-13-2022, 11:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
I don’t think the song “Bhodisattva” is a clue of any sort. Becker and Fagen wrote all sorts of songs, many of them from the viewpoints of fictional characters. Certainly, we have no reason to believe that either gentleman were closeted gay men in the upper echelons of a white collar professional field who expressed frustration over their more flamboyant partners, a la “Gaucho.”

Jewish Buddhists (also known as JewBus) are actually a fairly common phenomenon, but I don’t think Donald Fagen is one of them.


I was not (and am not now) suggesting that Bob Dylan exudes Jewish pride. I was only saying that he may have a little bit more than I gave him credit for (which is saying very little). I do put Fagen in a different category, though. While I won’t discount by own biases, I do think there are more subtle indicators that are tougher to pick up on for people who are not Jewish and not highly familiar with Jewish culture.


I see Dylan’s professional persona as a sort of performance art. He strongly exemplifies (and perhaps even originated) the “don’t look at me, but look at me” faux down-to-earth ethos.


The lyrics absolutely exemplify Zionism from a Jewish pride perspective. Granted, that’s taking them at face value. Knowing Dylan, he could have just as easily written the song for the sake of shock value. I do know (and in many ways respect) that Dylan enjoys messing with people’s preconceived notions of him.
"All good as they say."

I remain a little confused by what "Jewish pride" means to you, but no matter. When it comes these artists we've been discussing, the fact that they are Jewish in any way has never been "on my radar" to any negligible degree far as me being a fan. I was for the most part unaware and didn't care. Still don't really.

I can't say you haven't caused me to think more about what you are describing than I would otherwise normally be inclined to do. I've been trying to distinguish what you are describing from what anyone might feel about their family lineage or heritage. How might you or I or anyone else be different along these lines? More or less?

You got me to thinking about a man who was very close to our family. A best friend of my father's who I came to know and admire immensely. For reasons I won't bore you with here. I just recently traveled across the state to attend his celebration of life where I picked up a copy of the book he wrote about his own life that is really quite fascinating. He was an immigrant to the U.S. from Spain and did quite well for himself in terms of becoming a very successful (wealthy) business man, husband and family man.

Among all the memories I have about this person, I always remember how my father would often complain about how his friend would overly exude his pride about Spain and/or his Spanish heritage. What any of us would surely describe as "prideful" about his heritage, and far as my father was concerned, too much so.

On a scale of 1 to 10 when it comes to one's pride about who they are, their heritage, their religion or whatever, I suppose I continue to wonder how you are rating the people who you say are prideful about being Jewish. I like to think I lean more toward the humble end when it comes to being prideful about such things and probably better appreciate those who lean the same way.

Though again it doesn't matter to me from the standpoint of being a fan, I like to think both Fagan and Dylan lean more toward the 1 end of the spectrum rather than the 10. So far anyway, I've got no reason to think either doesn't.

PS: Probably a topic best left alone, but I understand "Neighborhood Bully" to be more about persecution rather than Zionism. Again, two very different things. Injustice. Something like what "Hurricane" was also about...
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