What is Reality? – Part3 (Logic and Physical Sense Experience)

A closer examination of the various aspects of socially-accepted concepts of sense-experience reality mentioned previously reveals the presence of two basic underlying factors: reliance upon the experience of the physical senses and the use of Aristotelian logic. This logic is used in an attempt to extend the range of physical sense-experience through speculation to areas where techniques are not yet available to enable actual physical sense experience. Essentially, therefore, the socially-accepted concepts of sense-experience reality mentioned may be considered to be based almost exclusively on physical sense-experience, either directly or indirectly.

By its very nature, Aristotelian logic must necessarily view a unified whole as fragmentary parts, make observations about these parts and then attempt to link these observations, and thereby obtain an explanation of the whole. The accuracy of the explanation arrived at is dependent not only upon the accuracy of the observations, which are themselves limited in their accuracy due to physical sense limitations, but also upon whether or not all properties of the fragments have been observed. It may be impossible for us to ever know whether or not all properties of the fragments have been observed since it appears the more we widen the range of our physical sense-experience through scientific research, technology, etc., the more we realize how much there is yet unknown. Thus unless we can be 100% certain that we have accurately observed all the properties of all the fragmentary parts of a unified whole, and it seems unlikely that we can ever be, we can never really be certain that a conclusion based on the process of logical reasoning is accurate.

The past and the present illustrate the above-stated fact only too well. In many cases, our scientific experts deduced logically through the data available at that time, that certain chemicals and processes were harmless to humanity and assured us of their safety. Yet today, we are faced with the tragic effects of certain medically prescribed drugs which actually damaged the health of persons who used them, environmental pollution and other ugly monsters that humankind has created.
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What is Reality? – Part 2 (Measurement and Reality)

If something can be measured, whether directly or indirectly, is it real? According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, if energy has to be added to or taken from a system to implement the measuring process, as is generally the case, then this energy causes a change in the variable that is to be measured so that the value of the variable is no longer what it was before the attempt was made to measure it. In other words, the measuring process itself generally introduces an error into the measurement. For the measurement of macroscopic values, the energy change due to the measuring process is negligible and the error may be ignored. However, for the measurement of microscopic values, the Uncertainty Principle becomes critical and a substantial error may be introduced into the measurement.

For example, suppose we wish to measure the position of an electron. Consider a microscope powerful enough to make an electron detectable to the human eye. To perform the measurement, it is necessary to illuminate the electron with an intense source of light. Because of the extremely minute mass of the electron, the energy imparted by the source of light is of sufficient magnitude to cause a noticeable displacement in the electron's position, so that it would no longer be in the position in which it was prior to the illumination; nevertheless, such illumination is necessary for the measuring process. This same effect occurs in all measuring processes in which energy is added to or taken from a system as is generally the case.

Thus, it seems that even the ability of measurement to define reality is questionable since the very act of measurement itself generally introduces an error, human or otherwise, into the measurement to be made.
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What Is Reality?- Part 1 (The Question)

What is reality? Is it strictly the world based on sense-experience as perceived through the medium of the physical senses? How justified is this claim? Socially-accepted concepts of sense-experience reality arise when there is common agreement by society on the interpretation of sense-experience phenomena. Such interpretations may result in the postulation of the so-called scientific laws of nature. Yet, these interpretations are just “interpretations”. One never knows when some brilliant person will come along and show that some aspect of our present socially-accepted interpretation of sense-experience phenomena is no longer valid and propose some other interpretation in its place. This indeed is the history of science in which several scientific laws and theories have undergone modification or even rejection in some cases. When can we ever say that we know things as they are? Or perhaps more importantly, can we really know things as they are? What really is the criterion for reality?
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Biblical Faith: Rational/Irrational? - 'God, I don't want to die,' U.S. missionary wrote before he w

An American missionary trying to meet and convert one of the most isolated hunter-and-gatherer tribes in the world offered them fish and other small gifts before the tribesmen killed him and buried his body on the beach, journals and emails show.

John Allen Chau, 26, of Vancouver Washington, an Instagram adventurer who also led missionary trips abroad, traveled to the Andaman Islands - an Indian territory in the Bay of Bengal - this month to make contact with members of the tiny Sentinelese tribe, police said. The tribe, who have remained alone for centuries, reject contact with the wider world and react with hostility and violence to attempts by outsiders to interact with them. The island is off-limits to visitors under Indian law.

Chau's riveting journal of his last days, shared with The Post by his mother, shows a treacherous journey by dark in a small fishing boat to the area where the small tribe lived in huts. The men - about 5 feet-5 inches tall with yellow paste on their faces, Chau wrote - acted angrily to his presence as he tried to attempt to speak their language and sing "worship songs" to them, he wrote.

"I hollered, 'My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you,' " he wrote in his journal. One of the juveniles shot at him with an arrow, which pierced his waterproof Bible, he wrote.

"You guys might think I'm crazy in all this but I think it's worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people," he wrote in a last note to his family on Nov. 16, shortly before he left the safety of the fishing boat to meet the tribesmen on the island. "God, I don't want to die," he wrote.

Fishermen saw the tribe burying his body on the beach the following day, a fellow missionary wrote in an email to his mother, Lynda Adams-Chau of Vancouver, Washington.



What are your views on the above-stated situation?

Open discussion welcome!

INSECURITY

insecurity
gnawing away their insides
turns to nastiness

(Senryu)

If someone does not approve of certain actions of a person, does that mean he/she HATES that person?
Labelling others as HATERS, MORONS, LOSERS, IDIOTS, IMBECILES, etc., merely because they may not approve of the actions of a person is childish, immature and reflects a certain measure of psychological insecurity.
If you do not agree with the views of others, then criticise their views logically and constructively rather than resort to name calling and deragatory remarks.


(Some of you may be familiar with Haiku.
It's a form of Japanese poetry consisting of three lines:
line 1 - 5 syllables,
line 2 - 7 syllables,
line 3 - 5 syllables
Haiku deals mainly with Nature.
Senryu has a similar format but its focus is on human behaviour.)
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My Sunset Experience - Spiritual versus Religious

I stood on the banked shoreline, silently gazing across the sea at the evening sky. The sun was still well above the horizon. The clouds around it were beginning to darken with their edges highlighted by the sunlight. In the foreground, seagulls and pelicans sat quietly on the fishing boats anchored close to the shoreline. It was very peaceful and serene.

As I watched, the sun edged closer to the horizon and the sky around it started to take on a faint pinkish glow. As the sun sank deeper, the pinkish tint turned to orange. This acted as backlighting for the clouds, darkening them to a shade of blue. By then, the sun was sitting just above the horizon, creating a magnificent sunset.

It painted a wide straight band of reddish orange, from where it was setting, on the surface of the water right to the water's edge at the banked shoreline where I was standing. The water's surface, painted by the setting sun, seemed to come alive. The sky surrounding the setting sun was filled with infinite shades of red and orange merging into each other. The setting sun backlighting the clouds from underneath highlighted their edges with a glowing reddish orange tint, imbuing them with a life of their own.

I was caught up in the glory and majesty of the spectacle playing out before me. It was a direct realization of some unique and unusual dimension of consciousness that transcended the ordinary day-to-day reality; it was so beautiful that I cannot find words to describe it. It was a sheer feeling of ecstasy - a state of pure feeling and joyous emotion. I felt as if I was transported to another world where Time appeared to stand still. My thought activity was suspended and the feeling of ecstasy reigned supreme. At that moment, there was no awareness of any connection with the idea of God as espoused by religion.

After a while, I cannot say for how long, whether moments or minutes, due to timeless nature of the experience, I wilfully and consciously began to think of the idea of God as espoused by Christianity It is important to note that this did not emanate form the mystical nature of the experience itself but it was something that I deliberately and wilfully imposed on the situation. In particular, I began to think one-third of this experience was linked with Jesus in keeping with the idea of the Trinity in Christianity. In so doing, I became disconnected from the mystery and ecstasy of the experience but the general feeling evoked in me from the experience persisted for quite some time afterwards.

The most amazing and enjoyable part of the experience was the deep feeling of ecstasy that I felt.


I view this experience as my personal insight into the difference between spirituality and religion.

HATERS

If someone does not approve of certain actions of a person, does that mean he/she HATES that person?

HATE is an very strong word.

He/she may feel a certain degree of disapproval towards certain actions of that person but may not necessarily HATE that person

Is it fair to label others as HATERS of that person just because he/she disapproves of certain actions of that person?

Labelling others as HATERS merely because they may not approve of the actions of a person is childish and immature.

If you do not agree with the views of others, then criticise their views logically and constructively rather than resort to name calling and dergatory remarks.

This is a violation of Blog Rule 2:

Treat others the way you would like to be treated – with respect - be polite, considerate, with no personal attacks, name calling, harassment, bad language.



Comments?
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Brain Teasers 14

Name the type of insect indicated by each of the following phrases:

1. creamy flight

2. saying grace

3. woman harasser

4. flight impedance

5. South American city place of worship


Attempt as many times as you wish.

Have fun!

(Answers will be posted later)
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Mystical Experience - The Interconnection of Everything: Spiritual versus Religious

(I have modified the Blog title to focus on the Mystical Experience which I view as being Spiritual)


On October 24, 2013, I posted a poem entitled “Spiritual but not Religious” on CS Poetry Corner:


I also posted it as a blog on December 20. 2013:


In my view, there is a clear distinction “Spiritual” and “Religious” that I wish to express in this blog.

I am aware that some may not agree with my interpretation of the terms which is as follows:

Spiritual

The term “spirit” suggests an active living force or energy which may be termed “life energy”. This energy pervades all living things, whether animal or plant. Some may wish to restrict the use of spirit to human beings only. Yet, what is the justification, if any, for such an anthropocentric view?

Spirituality entails a personal awareness of one's connection with the life energy of all living things, whether plant or animal. This awareness is based on direct experience or insight, independent of any dogma or religious teaching.

Such an experience may occur as a mystical feeling somewhat similar to Jane Goodall's experience as mentioned in her Earth Day 2018 message:

“There was a moment when I was in Gombe National Park and it began to pour rain, and then the rain stopped and I could smell the smell of wet hair on the chimpanzees and I could hear the insects singing loudly, and I just felt absolutely at one and it was a sense of awe and wonder.
Out in the rainforest you learn how everything is interconnected and each little species, even though it may seem insignificant has a role to play in the tapestry of life.”

(courtesy of Google)


Religious

The conventional view of religion is a system of beliefs or dogma pertaining to a supernatural deity or deities, referred to as a god or gods.
God is viewed as an anthropomorphism.

Anthropomorphism -
an interpretation of what is not human or personal in terms of human or personal characteristics.
(Merriam Webster Dictionary)

To be religious is to have an understanding of certain concepts and the relationship between them as espoused by religion. This is the backbone of theology. One may attempt to seek a deeper experience beyond the conceptual level but it must be firmly tied to the relevant belief system or dogma.


The term “religion” may be viewed in a general sense and in a specific sense.

In the general sense, it is viewed as an aspect of culture, regardless of its specific details. I think that it is from such a perspective that some nonanthropomorphic systems like Buddhism, particularly Zen, may be classified as religion.

However, in the specific sense, Zen goes beyond any dogma or belief system which is a characteristic of religion:
“No dependence on words and letters. Directly pointing to one’s heart, Seeing into one’s own true nature and thus attaining Spiritual Awakening.”

Tribute To Connecting Singles

Amid the corridors of the internet
There's a website called Connecting Singles
It's portrayed as a dating site, and yet
Some folks are there merely to intermingle

It's a mix of different nationalities
Which gives it an international flavour
It features attitudes of all varieties
Ideal for a study of human behaviour

There's a mixture of blogs, forums and poetry
In which all are free to participate
Some do so very unassumingly
While others tend to argue and debate

Some interaction is innocent banter
With others, it can get to a heated stage
Where sparks fly that sometimes ignite a fire
Some get burned while others get in a rage

The site moderators seek to maintain order
And to prevent things from getting out of hand
So please be mindful of your behaviour
Else in Connecting Singles jail you may land

Anthropomorphism, Theism and Atheism

When the term “God” is mentioned, it seems it is generally assumed that everyone has a clear and common understanding of what it refers to.
But is this really so?

Could it be that there are significant differences in what different persons perceive as God?

I think that it is very important to closely examine the answer to this question in fairness to those who consider themselves to be atheists, and also theists, since these terms are both related to the notion of God.

We define ourselves as beings, that is, human beings. A being is a living entity, endowed with some type of life force which may be termed spirit. Each human being is said to have such a spirit (or soul). God is also normally perceived as a spirit.
A human is viewed as a being at the natural level whereas God is viewed as a being at a higher level, referred to as the Supernatural level.

I wonder if viewing a human being as an entity at the natural or human level and viewing God as an entity at a higher or supernatural level somehow seems to suggest that God may be viewed as a superhuman being. In other words, God is viewed as having human-like attributes, but at a higher or superhuman level. Essentially, this is an anthropomorphism.

Anthropomorphism (Merriam Webster Dictionary):
an interpretation of what is not human or personal in terms of human or personal characteristics.

In the Bible, the book of Genesis states that God created man in his own image. George Bernard Shaw said: “God created man in his own image and man has returned the compliment”. That is, man has created God in his own image, with human-like attributes.

Is it possible that one can have a direct apprehension of that spirit (or force) which religion (theology) refers to as God, without viewing it in terms of human or superhuman attributes, that is, natural or supernatural? One simply views it directly as some phenomenon and is contented to apprehend it at that level.

I think most persons would agree that there is some sort of order or principle in the working of the cosmos. Perhaps having a direct awareness of this principle in action is having a realization of the very “essence” of what is commonly termed God. Scriptures or religious teachings attempt to put a “form” to this "essence" and view the essence and form as being synonymous and co-existing with each other. Both are essential from the religious perspective.

If a person has such a direct awareness, that is, of the “essence” without having an interest in the teachings or dogma of any religion, is such a person an atheist or “godless” - a term which, to many, has negative connotations such as evil-mindedness and an uncaring attitude towards others, etc.?

Does one need to believe in God as defined in the dogma of religion in order to love others and to have a caring attitude toward them and, more importantly, to express this attitude in action?

Some of the world's notable philanthropists are atheists. These include Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
There are several well-to-do theists who profess a caring attitude toward others but do little or nothing to express it in action.

Do you view the term “God” as an anthropomorphism?

I have seen comments by some individuals mentioning the term “higher power” in this regard.

What is your personal understanding, if any, of the term “God”?

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