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Author Topic: All paths lead to the same meadow  (Read 18530 times)
alleyesonazarath
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« Reply #30: March 18, 2010, 09:34:05 am »

Can we really and truly understand the universe, its vastness, ever-expandingness, the plethora of possible life and all its variations that co-exist with us? Can we really comprehend the nature of time, the possibility of multiverses and how they interact?

This is one of those times I'd like to say something funny, but I can't think of anything, so I'll just share a fear. I really hope humanity can't ever have that type of understanding. That would be too much knowledge and too much power. Seeing how we've done a great job as a collective whole screwing our world with the technological advancements of only the last 100 or so years, I really hope we don't get much more knowledge.

If individual people make progress in understanding these things, that's cool and I'd support that in a way... it's just when people come together for "team work", we get a "tower of babel" like mob mentality.

Clearly, all of this is coming from an anti-humanist, so take it with a grain of salt if you believe the human race has more worth. I just don't think we've proven trustworthy with the knowledge we have. For that matter, I really hate using the word "we", because there isn't going to be a true unilateral movement in consciousness and perspective towards interpreting anything within or without the world. However, if advancements are to be made, they would be under a slogan of "unilateral movement". That's just my opinion though.
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« Reply #31: March 18, 2010, 10:16:13 am »

I don't see why not.


I suspect it has something to do with a 3 dimensional creature trying to understand a multi dimensional universe. We may be able to conceive if the idea, but may never really GROK it.
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« Reply #32: March 18, 2010, 10:24:08 am »

I have SUCH a hard time with that.

I mean - I can believe I can walk on water all I want, but I'm gonna sink.  y'know?  Even if I don't know I SHOULD sink, I will.

Reality trumps perception. 

"This is why you fail, Luke!" okay, okay, not a direct quote.... it is early and I haven't had coffee yet.

For some, reality does not trump perception, and I'm not just talking about the whack jobs out there. I believe our prerception of reality is warped by our beliefs and limited experience. In truth, the only reason you can't walk on water is because you believe you cannot.

The greatest barrier to doing effective magic is the belief that it does not work.

Like the small nuclear force in physics, belief is the glue that holds reality together.

YMMV of course, this is my .... HA..... belief.
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« Reply #33: March 18, 2010, 11:34:38 am »

This is one of those times I'd like to say something funny, but I can't think of anything, so I'll just share a fear. I really hope humanity can't ever have that type of understanding. That would be too much knowledge and too much power. Seeing how we've done a great job as a collective whole screwing our world with the technological advancements of only the last 100 or so years, I really hope we don't get much more knowledge.


I'd like to share my take on this just to say that i think humans have had a heck of a lot less impact on the earth than....say......natural forces like solar flaring, cyclical global temperature fluctuations, and periodic severe volcanic activity. Not to mention the odd meteor strike here and there.

Humans were just as detrimental to the ecosystem before they had technology; the African tribesmen who graze their herds and severly stress the savannah is a modern example.

And, some would argue, ignorance of long term pollution effects may have lead to Europe's nasty history of pollution during the industrial revolution. Had they known better, would they have acted differently?

To me it is not the kowledge that is evil, it is the lack of conscience on the part of the knowers that is. Even today, corporations around the world cause huge environmental and social damage; not from the technolgy, but from greed. The technology exists today to significantly reduce many ecological impacts, but the cost is often considered prohibitive.

It is to be hoped not that technolgy and human knowledge doesn't increase, but that the human conscience controlling that knowledge chooses to act in a more responsible manner.


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« Reply #34: March 18, 2010, 12:40:02 pm »

The idea that we're powerful enough to warp reality to our own perception just boggles my wee widdle brain.

I know, it's very strange if you think about it! hehe
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« Reply #35: March 18, 2010, 12:43:34 pm »

I know, it's very strange if you think about it! hehe

For me it's not that it's STRANGE, it's that I just don't see it WORKING.

I actually do believe that faith can make things wiggle through the cracks - but there's wiggling through the cracks and bending probability, and there's flat-out mind-over-matter.

If belief trumped reality, the world would be flat, nuclear reactions wouldn't happen, and diseases would be caused by demons.

Reality WINS.  Even when NO ONE likes it!
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alleyesonazarath
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« Reply #36: March 18, 2010, 12:53:03 pm »

To me it is not the kowledge that is evil, it is the lack of conscience on the part of the knowers that is. Even today, corporations around the world cause huge environmental and social damage; not from the technolgy, but from greed. The technology exists today to significantly reduce many ecological impacts, but the cost is often considered prohibitive.

It is to be hoped not that technolgy and human knowledge doesn't increase, but that the human conscience controlling that knowledge chooses to act in a more responsible manner.


That's the ticket though. I respect, and to a degree even agree, with all the points you mentioned. I just don't seeing humanity as a whole becoming more conscious. Not because of "evil" or whatever, but because I think we're just not capable of getting much better ethically. There would be too many people involved for anything stable to last long.
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« Reply #37: March 18, 2010, 01:53:33 pm »



To me it is not the kowledge that is evil, it is the lack of conscience on the part of the knowers that is. Even today, corporations around the world cause huge environmental and social damage; not from the technolgy, but from greed. The technology exists today to significantly reduce many ecological impacts, but the cost is often considered prohibitive.

It is to be hoped not that technolgy and human knowledge doesn't increase, but that the human conscience controlling that knowledge chooses to act in a more responsible manner.




Something that I believe (and feel needs to be considered in this kind of future thinking) is that humans are predators.  Notice the front looking eyes.  We have been eating other animals for how long?  And this is going to always be a part of us.  I also believe that even though we live in group situations - sometimes quite well - that part of our hardwiring includes a certain amount of competition with others (maybe bettering the species and maybe part of the predator thing, or both).  Competition can easily become greed. 

And so I really don't think we will ever 'all work together' as a species.  In small groups, yes.  As the groups become larger, you need people to enforce the 'agreed upon rules' - such as police.  Or moderators.  And there will always be those who 'don't play well with others'.

And really - I would love to be proven wrong.  But I have never heard of anything that can do so.
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« Reply #38: March 18, 2010, 03:33:26 pm »

...and diseases would be caused by demons.


What, you mean they're not?
And I agree with you...Reality WINS. Go Reality! But Reality is mutable and mulitform IMHO.
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« Reply #39: March 18, 2010, 04:53:29 pm »

Reality trumps perception.  I think that's true for all things - there IS a reality out there, and it's what's REAL.  Our perception might match it and might not - we might have pieces of it - but what we believe is ultimately irrelevant to what's actually there.

From one angle, I couldn't agree with you more. The reality of the things that we genuinely sense (the actual sources of the stimuli) are a constant between us. The thing reflecting the light that I see and call a wall is there for anyone else to see and is the same for all of us at that level.

From another angle, the perveption is real as well. Not only is the perception the only thing that I have to go on (at least a lot of the time) , it also inherrently introduces things other than the external object of perception. We start to get into issues of perspective and eyesight and mental process, etc. This can certainly lead to the only perception that I am able to base my knowledge of truth on being different from someone elses. In this sense there is little way of telling which viewer (perceiver) is the closer to the external reality and so both could fairly be seen as being equally true in the absense of other evidence.

Another consideration is the perception and interpretation of pattern. Even if our perceptions of external reality didn't differ, we may notice different patterns within those perceptions to those noticed by others. There doesn't seem to be any real reason that the patterns can't be equally present in the external reality and equally successful in terms of predictive and explanatory utility. Once again, in the absence of other evidence each of these views could reasonably be said to be true (at least to the same extent as each other). Add the layer where we provide an interpretive meaning to the perceptions and the patterns and we get another example of the two being 'true' for much the same reasons.
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« Reply #40: March 18, 2010, 04:57:26 pm »

I suspect it has something to do with a 3 dimensional creature trying to understand a multi dimensional universe.

What leads you to see humanity as exisiting in a different number of dimensions to the environment in which we are embedded? How is it possible for us to interact with the rest of the universe if we don't share its dimensions? It strikes me that living in the universe would be like trying to pick up a triangle.
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Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime. The sentence is death. There is no appeal and sentence is carried out automatically and without pity. Lazarus Long.

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« Reply #41: March 18, 2010, 06:54:31 pm »

What, you mean they're not?
And I agree with you...Reality WINS. Go Reality! But Reality is mutable and mulitform IMHO.

Could you elaborate on what you mean here?  'cause I'm flat-out confused here.
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« Reply #42: March 18, 2010, 06:59:00 pm »


But none of that changes the fact that there's a wall there.  If you're blind, you might bump into it - if you're colorblind, you might think it's blue when it's green .. if you're nearsighted you might think it's not quite where it actually is and if you're reading a book and not looking where you're going you might feel like an idiot when you whack into it, but none of those things change the wall, what wavelength light is being reflected off of it, etc.

Perception changes our impression of the wall, our beliefs about the wall - it might change why we think the wall is there and what the wall is for, but none of it changes the fact that the wall is there.  None of that changes the original reason the wall was built or the fact that if you knock it down, the rest of the building's going to collapse.

It can change the way we react to the wall, but no amount of belief changing will change the wall itself.  You can believe it's made of cheese, but taking a bite out of it's probably going to hurt your teeth.
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« Reply #43: March 19, 2010, 12:25:19 pm »

Could you elaborate on what you mean here?  'cause I'm flat-out confused here.

What I mean is that, in my opinion, reality is not static and monolithic.
The diversity of possibilities for experience available on this planet attest to that. Imagine if your were a sea anemone. Your ideas about reality would be a little different, wouldn't they?
Our assumptions about reality are shaped by our senses, and our individual experiences and memories. And that's not even taking into consideration brain chemistry, culture etc. So our ultimate truths must be as unique as we are. There's more than one meadow.
I hope that made a shred of sense. =)
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« Reply #44: March 19, 2010, 12:27:43 pm »

What I mean is that, in my opinion, reality is not static and monolithic.
The diversity of possibilities for experience available on this planet attest to that. Imagine if your were a sea anemone. Your ideas about reality would be a little different, wouldn't they?
Our assumptions about reality are shaped by our senses, and our individual experiences and memories. And that's not even taking into consideration brain chemistry, culture etc. So our ultimate truths must be as unique as we are. There's more than one meadow.
I hope that made a shred of sense. =)

... but even with all that true, that doesn't change the underlying *truth* of what stuff is.  I mean, I can breathe oxygen or choke on it, but it's the same molecule.  I can swim in water or drown in it, but that doesn't change the water.

I can totally agree that our perspective affects how we interact with whatever that truth is, but it doesn't change what's there.  Just how we see it.
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