I trust others will follow you and introduce themselves



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23. Rosemarie:

Thank you for responding promptly and positively to my request, and sharing with us glimpses of your life.

You do have a technical scientific background and interest, deep interest in philosophical matters, and a reflective mind: all which are reflected in your postings, making you yet another valuable member in our groups.

I dare say in these matters your background overlaps with that of many others of our Internet family.

But the highlights of some of your personal life make you more than the weighty words you distribute: We see a person behind them all. A few IRAsians may even travel to Italy to greet Ivo, Ruth, and Leo.

I trust others will follow you and introduce themselves.

Best!

V. V. Raman



May 11, 2013

________________________________________

From: irasnet@googlegroups.com [irasnet@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Rosmarie Maran [roseofmaran@gmail.com]

Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 7:32 AM

To: irasnet

Subject: Re: [IRASnet] More on Time


If my cherished president asks me, I readily comply.

However, my professional and publicly visible CV is rather unexciting. I have first finished the university training for teachers in biology and earth sciences in Innsbruck (Austria) and afterwards, due to a job as zoologist, have specialised myself for some years in the taxonomy of tubificids, embarking in parlallel on a doctoral study in limnology. Due to some twist of fate I could not finish this but have instead worked as a teacher for two years. After this rather exhausting experience I decided to return to my first tutor at university and under his guidance completed a new doctoral study in physiological energetics. I was a rather successful student, but never managed to really and consistently bring my heart into scientific research. It was my tutor Erich Gnaiger who unwaveringly believed in me and I owe him practically everything I know about what really good sience is and how it has to be done.

Before the end of my first study I became a single mother of a girl and have then for 15 years taken fully care of her. Life went into a quite new direction when, aged 38 already, I married Ivo, who had studied physics in Innsbruck, and moved with him to his home in Südtirol, a largely autonomous, german/italian bilingual province of Italy. Since then we are running together the middle sized Pension Remichhof (heritage of his family) near a small but famous little lake. We have a son together, Leo, now aged 17, and Ivo had immediately and without any reluctance also fully overtaken fatherly care for my daughter Ruth, who appreciates and loves him dearly too.

Reading has been my first passion as a child, and I could not wait until school to learn it, so I learned it myself. Writing has saved my soul through many troubled times. The work and life rhythm here, with 7 months of hotel season and 5 months of winter pause, is ideal for expanded readings and theoretical musings.

Ok, that must be enough!

Ah, and I want to add, that I am very grateful to Michael who had the idea to invite me to join IRAS, after I have been reading Zygon for many years already.

Rosmarie
22. Rosmarie:

Thanks for some more thoughtful reflections on time.

Your postings on reinforce and illustrate what I had said in my very first note on Time here: That it has three dimensions, the physical, the psychological, and the conceptual.

Much of what I had said about changes and measurement relate to the physical.

Hope (future), memory (past), happiness and unhappiness, pleasure and pain (present) relate to the psychological dimension of time.

This also brings to the fore Michael's oft-stated thesis that Religion is related more to psychology than to physics.

Reality is like a coin. It has two sides: the perceived and the experiential.

Physics explores the former, Religion is a response to the latter.

Much disagreement and confrontation comes from not recognizing this demarcation, and insisting that the head of the coin is more important or better than the tail.

V. V. Raman

May 8, 2013
________________________________________

From: irasnet@googlegroups.com [irasnet@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Rosmarie Maran [roseofmaran@gmail.com]

Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 1:53 AM

To: irasnet

Subject: Re: [IRASnet] More on Time
The picture of possible happiness in prison is very interesting. Because it is not only the mental ability to accept the given limits of scope for one's actions as the precondition of possible happiness in prison that we have to consider here. It is also the fact that the imprisoned person - provided he is in a well kept prison and not under constat threat of his fellow prisoners - does not have to worry any longer about how to secure his existence the next day. It is this constant "Sorge" (Heideggers famous term), this worry and concern about how to secure one's mere existence also the next day and the next year, which makes us so different from the other animals, and forces us to live "in the future", in the anticipation of what will come and what we will have to do next. However, "Sorge" in german has also another, very positive meaning, it also means to care for someone (or oneself), to overtake responsibility, not only mentally, but very much, even predominantly, by appropriate acting. And I suggest, with Jeff, (if I do have a glimps of correct understanding of his advice), that it is in concentration on our "acting" that we can find a first grip on choreographing the usual wilderness of our wandering minds.

Rosmarie

On Wed, May 8, 2013 at 4:54 AM, Emily and Gene > wrote:
Rosmarie,

I think your addition to what V.V. had to say is among the most valuable observations about time that anyone has made. Our thinking capacity has made it virtually impossible for us to live in the present. I am not ready to say that is all bad, since I suspect that a great deal of our discoveries and wonderful creations are the result of our not being able to live in the present. But not living in the present brings most of the grief into our lives. Sometimes I think about the horse next door that lives all day in a fairly small corral. The horse can be reasonably content in that corral because it is not constantly comparing living in the corral to other possibilities that would seem much better than living in this small corral. And it can enjoy the rides it gives to the humans from time to time in large part because it is not constantly anticipating them. I suppose some people in prison learn to do something like what the horse does. Do not constantly wish you were somewhere else having a lot more fun than you are now having. I am sure that prison causes a great deal more unhappiness in people constantly wishing for something else, than for those that finally learn to accept what little they have and make the most of it.


But actually accepting the present, without your constantly thinking mind taking you back or ahead in time, is much more difficult to do than it is to talk about it.

On 5/7/2013 5:10 AM, Rosmarie Maran wrote:

Let me add just a little thought to your beautiful introdution, V.V.
It seems as if we humans are the animal that fell out of the present into time. We need to mentally live in the future to be able to exist in the present and therefor we have to remember the past. But all this necesseray mindwandering makes us also prone for unhappiness, we are also the unhappy animal, and all quests for searching happiness at some point home in on the insight that "living in the present" is the ultimate formula to achieve it. So the long and difficult journey back into the animal priviledge of "living in the present" begins. What a big detour!

Our big privilege concerning happiness by "living in the present", as opposed to the other animals, seems to be that we can k n o w that - or when - we are happy.


Albert Schweitzer wrote: "Many people know that they are unhappy, but still a lot more people don't know that they are happy." In the first moment this seems to make a lot of sense, making oneself a bit guilty for maybe not always appreciating enough the fortunate conditions of one's life, but on a second thought that notion of "being happy without knowing it" becomes quite questionable. Can one really be happy without knowing it?

Rosmarie


On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 12:51 AM, Varadaraja Raman > wrote:

At the request of one member I am posting the following opening paragraphs of my Dec 2009 article in Zygon.

Please delete it right away if you feel you have had more than enough on this topic.
THOUGHTS ON TIME

O wer weiss Was in der Zeiten Hintergrunde Schlummert!

(Who knows what is slumbering in the background of time! (F. von Schiller)

Time is a deeply experienced insubstantial element in human consciousness. It seems to be with us all through our waking hours, apparently drifting ceaselessly in the external world as well. Each of us tastes a slice of time and then suddenly drops out or strays away from its course. The notion and nature of time have fascinated people since ancient times, if only because time is a feature of the world that has a deeply subjective as well as a remarkably objective aspect. Time is present in our intuition, in our description of happenings in the physical world, in planetary orbits, and in biological evolution. Each of us is thrown, as it were, into the stream of time on which we float for a while, and then we are taken away from it, as it were, while the stream continues indefinitely.

Poets have commented on time, philosophers have pondered it, theologians have reflected on it, and scientists have explored its nature. As Marcus Aurelius expressed it, “Time is a river of passing events, aye, a rushing torrent” (Aurelius 2006, Book iv. sec 43). The Svestasvatara Upanishad describes God as the architect of time: kâlakâro (vi.2), and the Mandukya Upanishad declares that the sacred syllable om embodies the past, the present, and the future, and whatever else there is beyond the threefold time (Nikhilananda 2000). It has been recorded that once when Pythagoras was asked what time was, he replied it was “the soul of the world” (Plutarch 1874, 440). Saint Augustine famously said, speaking not about God but about time: “What, then, is time? If no one ask of me, I know; if I wish to explain to him who asks, I know not” (2003, Book XII, 495). Among those who have written about time, at one extreme we have thinkers who have questioned the reality of time: “Our time is a very shadow that passes away” (Wisdom of Solomon, ii, 5). Some contend that time is a mere illusion (Nesbitt 2002). Others insist that time is as much an entity in the external world as the sun and the moon, which help us measure it. No

matter what, time is an ever-present feature of perceived reality, powerful and useful in our grasp of the world. Slow or fast, as the poet Charles Cowden Clarke wrote in his poem The Course of Time, “there is no arresting the wheel of time” (Main 1880, 418). Historians have referred to chunks of time as stagnant or tumultuous. Time has been called a robber of our possessions, a poison, the dissolver and destroyer of all, for it seems to gobble up every thing and event and episode.

Shakespeare described time as “the king of men, he’s their parent, and he is their grave” (Shakespeare 2005, Act ii, scene 3, l. 45). Yet time also has been called precious, and praised as a healer of heartaches, a consoler in grief. Cicero described time as the best medicine: Temporis ars medicina fere est, Remediorum Amoris (Cicero 1927, l. 131).

We feel intuitively that it is time that keeps the world going, that it makes things happen, because a world in which time did not move would be static and lifeless, more still than a painted scene on canvas, more frozen than a sculptured bust.

Our minds cannot picture a moment beyond which there will be no time or one before which no time existed. Unending time seems to have had no beginning and cannot conceivably have an end. Such at least is what the reflecting mind leads us to believe. Time, we are inclined to think,

is eternal. Like expansive space and never-ending numbers, time is another baffling infinity.

All of the philosophers and scientists who have pondered the nature and mystery of time have contributed in their different ways to our understanding and appreciation of this entity we call time.
V. V. Raman

May 6, 2013


21. Ruben:
Hindu theologians also held the same view, even prior to Aristotle.
< in ancient Hebrew there is no such concept of God as it is not assumed that to participate in time is to participate in

degradation.>


Participating in Time need not be regarded as degradation even if one assumes a time-less (or transcending time) God.

As an analogy, consider the letters of the alphabet:

They are unchanging and eternal (in a metaphorical sort of way).

But they participate in the real world through words and meanings and rhymes.

In this participation in languages, they are not degraded.

On the contrary their hidden potencies come to light.

One could say the same thing about God: God's imperishable essence is not degraded by God's manifestation/participation in the physical world of God's Creation.

Just another theological perspective, not a claim about God.


Best!
V. V. Raman

May 6, 2013

________________________________________

From: irasnet@googlegroups.com [irasnet@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Ruben [rubennelson@shaw.ca]

Sent: Monday, May 06, 2013 2:46 PM

To: irasnet@googlegroups.com

Subject: RE: [IRASnet] On the Reality of Time
V.V.,

Thank you.

As for Michael's thought experiment, I am not convinced. But then, I am a

novice at thought experiments with scientists. Seems to me one can ask of

such a universe, "How long has it been around?" Unless one is ruling out

this question a priori, in which case one has just banished time by fiat.

The thought experiment is not required tyo do that.
As for God, you said: "The Divine is that which is not subject to any

change, nor to any location. This is what is meant by saying that God

transcends space and time."

I agree this is one understanding of God. It reflects the ancient Greek

view of the reality shared by Aristotle and many since. I only point out an

item you no doubt know, that in ancient Hebrew there is no such concept of

God as it is not assumed that to participate in time is to participate in

degradation. It is also the case that Western philosphers, for and against

God, have largely gravitated to Aristotle and ignored Hebrew.
Ruben

Courageous and Loving Strategic Societal Leadership

29 des Arcs Road, Lac Des Arcs, AB, Canada, T1W 2W3

+1-888-673-3537 voice, +1-403-673-2114 fax

-----Original Message-----

From: irasnet@googlegroups.com [mailto:irasnet@googlegroups.com] On Behalf

Of Varadaraja Raman

Sent: May 5, 2013 8:46 PM

To: irasnet@googlegroups.com

Subject: RE: [IRASnet] On the Reality of Time


Ruben:
I would like to comment on a couple of your statements.
1. < My reasoning is that I find his (Michael') example of a single

immobile thing in this universe to be fanciful.


I don't know what you mean by fanciful, but it is certainly a good example,

if not of a Gedankenexperiment, certainly of a logical reasoning to

establish the relationship between change and time. An imaginary

structureless entity in the universe that does not change in any way makes

even a theoretical concept of Time impossible. This, I think, was the point

he was making.

That is certainly a persuasive way to reveal the interconnectedness between

change and motion: a fundamental principle in much of current mainstream

physics.
2.

an atom there is motion.>


Of course this is true, and I am sure Micheal is aware of this. But the

thrust of Michael's argument was that only in an imaginary world of a single

simple structureless entity would the notion of time not arise.
3.

its all motion. Again, you have time.>


You are absolutely right. That is why time becomes an inescapable parameter

in the material universe, whether in the subatomic or the stellar and the

galactic.
4.

universe?>


Indeed, that is very true.
5. From one theological perspective, changes imply impermanence:

The Divine is that which is not subject to any change, nor

to any location.

This is what is meant by saying that God transcends space and time.
6. Before my atheist friends pounce on me for saying this, let me clarify: I

am merely saying that this is a theological perspective on God.

I am NOT ARGUING that therefore God exists.

I am merely pointing out one contexts in which the notion of time is related

to the idea of God.

Whether or not such a God exists is a different matter.


V. V. Raman

May 5, 2013


20. Stan:

I chuckled when I read your last appropriate post to Jeff.

We all respect and appreciate Jeff for his intellect and insights.

But I don't understand why he is so cynical, negative, and dismissive of everyone and everything that people post.

He seems to be wasting much of his creative energies diminishing the value of other people's ideas.

I wish he were more positive in his comments.

Best!

V. V. Raman



May 5, 2013.
BTW, when will it be convenient for you next week for a Skype chat?
19. Ruben:

I would like to comment on a couple of your statements.

1. < My reasoning is that I find his (Michael') example of a single immobile thing in this universe to be fanciful.

I don't know what you mean by fanciful, but it is certainly a good example, if not of a Gedankenexperiment, certainly of a logical reasoning to establish the relationship between change and time. An imaginary structureless entity in the universe that does not change in any way makes even a theoretical concept of Time impossible. This, I think, was the point he was making.

That is certainly a persuasive way to reveal the interconnectedness between change and motion: a fundamental principle in much of current mainstream physics.
2.

Of course this is true, and I am sure Micheal is aware of this. But the thrust of Michael's argument was that only in an imaginary world of a single simple structureless entity would the notion of time not arise.


3.

You are absolutely right. That is why time becomes an inescapable parameter in the material universe, whether in the subatomic or the stellar and the galactic.

4.

Indeed, that is very true.


5. From one theological perspective, changes imply impermanence:

The Divine is that which is not subject to any change, nor to any location.

This is what is meant by saying that God transcends space and time.
6. Before my atheist friends pounce on me for saying this, let me clarify: I am merely saying that this is a theological perspective on God.

I am NOT ARGUING that therefore God exists.

I am merely pointing out one contexts in which the notion of time is related to the idea of God.

Whether or not such a God exists is a different matter.


V. V. Raman

May 5, 2013


________________________________________

From: irasnet@googlegroups.com [irasnet@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Ruben [rubennelson@shaw.ca]

Sent: Sunday, May 05, 2013 7:13 PM

To: irasnet@googlegroups.com

Subject: RE: [IRASnet] On the Reality of Time
Jack,

Great riff. Once you get started I think I follow you.

My puzzlement is this: (You will see that I am not trained in the hard sciences. So please be gentle with my nievity.)

One the one hand we (and others) are trying to make sense of this universe, including us, our species and time. So far so good. It seems to me that the question of time is bounded by our universe as we have no other to which to compare this one. I am willing to concede that there may be universes in which time is not real, but this says nothing about the one universe we expereince. Yet, some of the discussion of time starts with suppositions such as Michael’s of a universe, that I conclude is clearly not this one. My reasoning is that I find his example of a single immobile thing in this universe to be fanciful. Even a single motionless things would have one or more atoms, and within an atom there is motion. Where you have notion you have time. If you go to the sub-atomic level, its all motion. Again, you have time. So to have a wholly motionless universe does not one need a wholly empty universe? Would such a universe be recognizably a universe? Or are we playing a game that there might be a thing in this universe that has identity and is motionless? And, if we are, what relevance does this have to this universe, other than a demostration of the fact that this universe has some really weird, wonderful, fanciful, creative beings?

Please help.

Ruben
[cid:image003.jpg@01CE49B3.E0EC28B0]

Courageous and Loving Strategic Societal Leadership

29 des Arcs Road, Lac Des Arcs, AB, Canada, T1W 2W3

+1-888-673-3537 voice, +1-403-673-2114 fax

From: irasnet@googlegroups.com [mailto:irasnet@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of JACK PEARCE

Sent: May 5, 2013 4:10 PM

To: irasnet@googlegroups.com

Subject: Re: [IRASnet] On the Reality of Time

As evidenced by several posts, including VV's particularly graceful and insightful posts, one might get some agreement that as used by humans in their discourse 'time' might be considered as a convention devised as a means of measuring process, and in particular variation in often irreversible processes.


Let me suggest that 'time' so used would have little utility if there were no change in the macrostate of the universe's processes as a whole.
Taking off on Michael's positing a situation of only one phenomenon, with no change in it, or a group of related phenomena with no change in the relations between them, let us suppose a macrostate – that is an ensemble of elements, in the classic thermodynamics – which was only and continually gaseous.
Suppose the universe as a whole were that and only that. What would be the possibility or use of a concept of time?
This can be extended to liquid and solid states, as well. If there is no evolution of the relational systems to create complexity capable of measuring, by a time metric, variations within the system, the time concept will not arise, and if there were a time measurer, as to the macrostate there is no basis for characterizing a change in the macrostate.
Thus, the notion of 'time', as to the universe as a whole, arises and has utility to us because the macrostate of the universe, starting as we suppose with a big bang and continuous expansion, seems to be directional and irreversible. That evolution in the macrostate has created sufficient local complexity to be capable of characterizing distinguishable variations among elements in the universe-process, and the continuous, apparently irreversible change in state of the universe-process as a totality.
That then leads to questions as to how to characterize and measure the change of state of the universe's process.
Several measures are available, and some are used in general discourse – the temperature of the cosmic background radiation, for example. The average density of matter in the U over time should be calculable-- I am sure it has been. Some have discussed the issue of what proportion of the U might be 'visible' – registered in human constructed instruments, in our case – as the U continues to expand.
One measure of considerable interest to humans is the amount and proportion of complex things like life in the U. Chaisson in several books lays out a vision of an evolution of and toward more of complexity in the U.
This of course leads to an inquiry into how we characterize complexity, and measure it in the U's evolving macrostate.
This has led to a view that complexity arises in an hierarchical fashion, as atoms fuse into progressively larger aggregate-atoms, and those aggregates by correlational processes create combinations as between them (e.g. molecules), and between the combinations of them (molecules> organisms> societies, etc). (I know, that is an highly compressed statement, but you get the drift.)
With this approach, one can characterize complexity as the number of distinguishable relational states (again, using levels of hierarchy which are created by the correlational process) over a measure of process (here we can use the time construct).
We could try to measure the accumulation of state change in the U over its process to date (using a 'time' concept), by measuring the total mass of simple and complex atoms in U at previous stages, and at present. One might then proceed to try to characterize the mass of various combinations of these atoms. Here we begin to get into a combination of chemistry and astronomy – how much of various molecules and combinations of molecules.)
Jumping ahead a bit, we soon will arrive at the Drake equation type of formula, I suggest. We will find decreasing quantities of more-complex systems as the scale or level of complexity increases. The creation of these levels of complexity is a combinatorial process which proceeds step by local step in a probabilistic fashion.
Well, enough for the moment. Comments welcome.
Jack Pearce
On May 4, 2013, at 3:47 PM, Varadaraja Raman wrote:

Carol,


I think I understand what you are saying.

And you are quite right.

Time is an illusion, like many other ideas in physics probably are.

Please ignore whatever I wrote about how some physicists view time.

Best!

V. V. Raman


Sent from my iPad
On May 4, 2013, at 3:38 PM, "Carol Orme-Johnson" > wrote:

V.V., I have to take issue with your view that just because an idea is useful it is real. "Red" is useful, but there really is no such thing as "redness." Red just describes a thing, and if there were no things, there would be no redness. Red is a way of distinguishing one thing from another, a very useful way, but that does not give it independent existence. I don't mean that only tangible objects are real. Space, for example, demonstrably exists.


I started thinking about time as similarly having no independent existence when I read Callender's article in the March 24, 2010, Scientific American. He says, " The equations of physics do not tell us which events are occurring right now—they are like a map without the “you are here” symbol. The present moment does not exist in them, and therefore neither does the flow of time." I understand that not all physicists agree with him, but I'm relying on him as one expert who views time as an illusion.

Carol
On Sat, May 4, 2013 at 9:46 AM, Joe Ted > wrote:

Ok, VV, I appreciate that. Since I asked about what time is I have been reading y'all's discussion all the more and I know it started before my question and proposed old answers. You and others are helping me to see the many dimensions of time since it is real but so relative because of it is a measurement and an acknowledgement of change and the motion of "things", reality, being. Right so far? Joe Ted (I just heard the news on refugees from Syria in Lebanon and Jordan and their plight-so sad-where is the "viewpoint" that could bring us all to move and work and motion together "in 'time'"?
-----Original Message----- From: Varadaraja Raman

Sent: Friday, May 03, 2013 5:35 PM

To: irasnet@googlegroups.com

Subject: [IRASnet] On the Reality of Time



There is much truth in this statement, but this summary rejection of the existence of time needs some qualifications:
Time is unreal in the sense that it is not a tangible, substantial thing like a chair or a piece of chocolate.

But there are aspects of the physical world which, by dint of their association with things in the real world, become real in that one cannot get a full and adequate description of some things and processes without them. Thus, redness and blueness are unreal, but the world is more completely described by using the notion of color. So are love and longing.

The electric charge per se is not real in that there is no such as a pure electric charge, but the world is much better understood in terms of electric charges being associated with some matter, and one can get the shock of one’s life by recklessly denying their existence.

Likewise, changes are real in the sense that the state of systems never stay the same. Time is not only a useful parameter in this context, but it is indispensable for measuring the rate at which changes occur.

Reality in physics is determined by relevance, measurability, and in some instances indispensability in the description, understanding, and rational explanation of natural phenomena. In this sense time is very real, but intriguingly so.

In everyday life too time reckoning is extremely useful, but it is certainly not necessary: exactly as the concepts of the evolution of stars or the age of the universe are irrelevant for breakfast, dinner, and sleep.

Whether our consciousness zooms through a temporal tunnel the static and pre-etched drawings on whose walls correspond to the fleeting experiences we go through, or whether new episodes emerge as we are ushered into the uncreated void of ceaselessly emerging time, can be a matter for philosophical reflections – related to the debate between freewill and determinism.

But for the physicist time is just the fourth dimension in what Herman Minkowski described as the Raumzeitkontinuum, every point of which corresponds to an event in the universe.


V. V. Raman

May 3, 2013

18.
With due respects to your "Skeptics Gathering," Stan, I am wondering about the intellectual/scientific/epistemological sophistication of people who take these claims seriously enough to spend time, energy and effort to check them out, using statistics and other respectable means.

To me this is neither science nor religion, but amusement like card tricks.

I know of such miracles by charlatans and God-men in some parts of the world.

But seeing this in the Berkeley campus is quite a revelation to me.

On the other hand, having witnessed the new heights to which post-modern science has risen in its dedication to understand its own limitations, this should not be all that surprising.

Fortunately there still are scientists working in laboratories and research centers and observatories immersed in complex instruments, calculations, and concepts to keep serious science advancing; and religious people who do their prayers and practice their religion through hope, faith, and charity, through caring, compassion, and sublime music.

I just happen to be a little old fashioned when it comes to science and religion, and once in a while long for the good old days.

Best!


V. V. Raman

April 28, 2013


________________________________________

From: irasnet@googlegroups.com [irasnet@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Stanley Klein [dualitystan@gmail.com]

Sent: Sunday, April 28, 2013 4:58 PM

To: irasnet@googlegroups.com

Subject: Re: [IRASnet] The 8 ways
Karl and Kent and Jeff, your discuss about metaphysics and truth and science is nifty. But first let me give a slight aside. In getting the link the the science fraud article in today's NY Times; http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/magazine/diederik-stapels-audacious-academic-fraud.html?ref=magazine&_r=0
I noticed that 4 of the top 5 articles emailed this past month were related to religion. Click on the above link to see.
Now back to metaphysics. The Dutch psychology prof valued beauty over truth. By truth in this case one means the replicable methods of science. I'm a major fan of that notion of replicability. I support any aspects of metaphysics that has a place for that.
On the topic of metaphysics I divide the world into my 3 relationships to the world:

1) I-it relationship (science). I spend about 6 -8 serious hours per day in that relationship. This is the science stuff that I don't much discuss on IRASnet. You can get a glimpse of it in some of the talks I'll be giving this summer:

http://www.ecvp.uni-bremen.de/node/49

http://www.conf.purdue.edu/modvis/ (click on program)

http://www.theassc.org/assc_17_program (individual talks not yet posted. It's a qualia version of the modvis talk)

and this week I will to submit an EEG abstract for Society for Neuroscience

The metaphysics here is largely reductionism that brain mechanism can account for mind.
2) I-Thou relationship (religion). This is all my IRAS stuff and interpersonal relations with humans and nature. This is what Buber calls religion or theism. It's hard to count how many hours here since it depends a lot on the criterion used. It's somewhere between 4 and 15 hours per day, depending on criterion.

The metaphysics here is confusing. Maybe pragmatism for making the world a better place is my metaphyical assumptions. One is dealing with people and one wants to make relationships work. Healthy religion that is compatible with I-it seems important to me. Buber was onto something I think. This is hard stuff as Jeff sometimes notes. This is that part of my world that make me worry about having mentioned my science activities in item #1.


3) I-I relation (qualia). No metaphysics involved. I spend I think about 20 hours a day on this. The other 4 hours are in dreamless sleep, I'm told by sleep researchers. This is a super important part of my life. But are qualia reducible to #1??? Sadly I won't be around for the answer. So for now a great variety of metaphysical assumptions are possible.
I must run now to a skeptics gathering that meets in my School of Optometry building. (http://reason4reason.org/Joomlatest/index.php?option=com_gcalendar&view=event&eventID=MHJzajRscDdmYTllcDFiNGhuYjRxYXBhZXNfMjAxMzA0MjhUMjEwMDAwWiBpbmZvQHJlYXNvbjRyZWFzb24ub3Jn&start=1367175600&end=1367182800&gcid=1) note that the map is wrong. The new location is about 100 m south of the Chemistry library.

One of today's topics is how to test a person applying for our $50K award for proven psi abilities. He is the "car matcher guy" who can do a little dance routine (supposedly double-blind) that gets cars at intersections to arrive with the same color. I'm involved in arguments with my colleagues on how to test this fellow with reliable statistics. His "dancing" ability, if replicable raises metaphysical questions :-).

Stan

On Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 10:27 AM, KPETERSIRASNET > wrote:



Kent,
From my understanding, I would say that you are stating a scientific world view or metaphysics. The "meta" idea of "beyond" does not mean some other reality. It refers to the idea that the "generally accepted assumption … in science that if is not observable (directly or indirectly) by anyone that does the experiment correctly then it ain't real" is not a statement that can be supported by observation. So how is it supported? You say it is a "generally accepted assumption," and I agree. We might say that our metaphysics (our beyond physics) are the set of assumptions about what is real and how we know it. This then is the basis on which we carry out, in this case, scientific inquiry and also the framework that states where we are to find purpose and meaning for our lives. So "naturalism" or "religious naturalism" are as much metaphysical positions as are panentheism or classical theism, Vedantic monism, etc.
How science leads to metaphysics then, is when scientists and others, ask the question: what is the set of assumptions that much be accepted for science to rationally make sense?
Karl

On Apr 26, 2013, at 7:42 PM, Kent Koeninger > wrote:


Michael, That does no leave much wiggle room for the supernatural, which is of course Dawkins' position. So yes, #6 (with Dawkins' spectrum) and #8 apply.
I'm showing my ignorance here but I will ask how one differentiate's metaphysics (or worldview) from reality beyond science (not yet provable/disprovable or not yet generally accepted)? For example string theory or multiverses. I have faith there is nothing beyond scientific reality so what is metaphysics if one does not have faith beyond that reality? Is there not a generally accepted assumption (a worldview) in science that if it is not observable (directly or indirectly) by anyone that does the experiment correctly then it ain't real or at least not yet knowable? So what about science leads to metaphysics? Give me an example of scientific metaphysics.
-Kent-
On Apr 26, 2013, at 7:20 PM, Michaelcav@aol.com wrote:
Kent, It would seem to me that Dawkins's position would be with # 8 -- Science creates a metaphysics which theology then uses to do its work. Except that I agree with Karl that "worldview" is a much better word than metaphysics in this context. In fact I usually substitute "worldview" for "metaphysics" in most applications.
Yours,

Michael
17. Just to clarify: One member's view, written NOT as President of IRAS

I browsed through Anderson’s book.

It is certainly not Islamophobic, given that he is equally harsh on the not so enlightened aspects of the Old and the New Testaments.

It is important to distinguish between Islamophobia which deserves to be condemned in the strongest terms and Islamist-phobia which is a pathetic state into which so many in the world have been thrown. It has become the mind-set of a great may Western liberals who will not mince words in expressing their contempt for Christian fundamentalists but will not only shudder to say anything negative about Islamic extremists but also condemn anyone who dares to do that as being Islamophobic.

Witness the reaction to Anderson's posting: silence or condemnation as Islamophobia, though whatever he said - right or wrong - is very relevant to S/R discussions.

What they don’t seem to realize is that there are many enlightened and decent Muslims who don’t applaud Islamic terrorists, but they dare not speak out openly about them for obvious reasons. I can understand their fear but I don’t have high regard for the self-imagined liberals who are generous in vilifying Christian fundamentalists and equate their own double standards and Islamist-phobia to liberalism.

All are welcome to IRAS, and everyone is at liberty to leave it.

But to leave IRAS for the posting(s) of one individual in IRASnet instead of challenging the validity of what he has written reflects the sort of condemnation of free speech that some modern liberals engage in selectively.

V. V. Raman

April 21, 2013
16. You have brought an important topic to the table. But I don’t think the answers to some of your questions are unknown. The superstitious and hate-ridden roots of religions are fairly well documented and well known: some of them are staring at us starkly in the “sacred scriptures” of the world’s religions.

We are all aware of the mindless terrorism, whether religion-based, politics-based, religion-politics-based, race-based, or psychopathic gun-wielders-based. We are all victims of it when we go through the security check in airports: the one global contribution of Terrorists to twenty-first century civilization.

The My-God-Alone-is-the-Only-True-God dimension of Monotheism has been passive or dormant in its sword-waving and Inquisition-burning frenzy for a few centuries, thanks largely to the Enlightenment and diminution in the striking power of fanatics holding on Dark-Age value systems. But in recent decades it has been re-surfacing with mindless vehemence among the extremist followers of at least one religion, rendering the vast majority of their co-religionists (I imagine) embarrassed, helpless, and paralyzed; and suspects whenever such crimes occur.

Our challenge is not so much tracing the remote religious roots of this pernicious behavior, but how to cleanse societies and nations from this abomination.

It is good to know the cause of cancer, but it is even more urgent to figure out ways of curing the disease.

Do you have any thoughts on that?

April 20, 2013.

From: IRASRN@yahoogroups.com [IRASRN@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of LEsprit351@aol.com [LEsprit351@aol.com]

Sent: Saturday, April 20, 2013 8:50 AM

To: lesprit351@aol.com

Subject: [IRASRN] My comment today in NY Times and Huffington Post
My comment today in NY Times and Huffington Post

Discussion on a superficial level that wanders around the life stories of these two and their relatives and friends serves no constructive purpose. We need to open a discussion on those specific elements of the religion of Islam as worshiped by Chechens that are the underlying cause for this kind of aberrant terrorist behavior. This should include answers to questions such as: What drove the Chechens to invite their own self-destruction in their home country? What parts of their Islamic religious belief clashed so violently with Russian Christian Orthodoxy? Specifically which verses from the Koran? Where and how did these verses originate? Are there destructive elements of Jewish and Christian belief in them? (seventh century Islam used Judaism and Christianity as its template) Why is there such a deep feeling of resentment today among so many Muslims towards the multicultural secular Western world and why is its response exacerbating that resentment?

You do not find a final cure for the disease without first finding the cause.

Read my book; The Infidels

www.InquiryAbraham.com

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