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Religion And Science

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 885)
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There are many kinds of narratives and organizing principles. Science is driven by evidence gathered in experiments, and by the falsification of extant theories and their replacement with newer, asymptotically truer, ones. Other systems - religion, nationalism, paranoid ideation, or art - are based on personal experiences (faith, inspiration, paranoia, etc.).

Experiential narratives can and do interact with evidential narratives and vice versa.

For instance: belief in God inspires some scientists who regard science as a method to "peek at God's cards" and to get closer to Him. Another example: the pursuit of scientific endeavors enhances one's national pride and is motivated by it. Science is often corrupted in order to support nationalistic and racist claims.

The basic units of all narratives are known by their effects on the environment. God, in this sense, is no different from electrons, quarks, and black holes. All four constructs cannot be directly observed, but the fact of their existence is derived from their effects.

Granted, God's effects are discernible only in the social and psychological (or psychopathological) realms. But this observed constraint doesn't render Him less "real". The hypothesized existence of God parsimoniously explains a myriad ostensibly unrelated phenomena and, therefore, conforms to the rules governing the formulation of scientific theories.

The locus of God's hypothesized existence is, clearly and exclusively, in the minds of believers. But this again does not make Him less real. The contents of our minds are as real as anything "out there". Actually, the very distinction between epistemology and ontology is blurred.

But is God's existence "true" - or is He just a figment of our neediness and imagination?

Truth is the measure of the ability of our models to describe phenomena and predict them. God's existence (in people's minds) succeeds to do both. For instance, assuming that God exists allows us to predict many of the behaviors of people who profess to believe in Him. The existence of God is, therefore, undoubtedly true (in this formal and strict sense).

But does God exist outside people's minds? Is He an objective entity, independent of what people may or may not think about Him? After all, if all sentient beings were to perish in a horrible calamity, the Sun would still be there, revolving as it has done from time immemorial.

If all sentient beings were to perish in a horrible calamity, would God still exist? If all sentient beings, including all humans, stop believing that there is God - would He survive this renunciation? Does God "out there" inspire the belief in God in religious folks' minds?

Known things are independent of the existence of observers (although the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics disputes this). Believed things are dependent on the existence of believers.

We know that the Sun exists. We don't know that God exists. We believe that God exists - but we don't and cannot know it, in the scientific sense of the word.

We can design experiments to falsify (prove wrong) the existence of electrons, quarks, and black holes (and, thus, if all these experiments fail, prove that electrons, quarks, and black holes exist). We can also design experiments to prove that electrons, quarks, and black holes exist.

But we cannot design even one experiment to falsify the existence of a God who is outside the minds of believers (and, thus, if the experiment fails, prove that God exists "out there"). Additionally, we cannot design even one experiment to prove that God exists outside the minds of believers.

What about the "argument from design"? The universe is so complex and diverse that surely it entails the existence of a supreme intelligence, the world's designer and creator, known by some as "God". On the other hand, the world's richness and variety can be fully accounted for using modern scientific theories such as evolution and the big bang. There is no need to introduce God into the equations.

Still, it is possible that God is responsible for it all. The problem is that we cannot design even one experiment to falsify this theory, that God created the Universe (and, thus, if the experiment fails, prove that God is, indeed, the world's originator). Additionally, we cannot design even one experiment to prove that God created the world.

We can, however, design numerous experiments to falsify the scientific theories that explain the creation of the Universe (and, thus, if these experiments fail, lend these theories substantial support). We can also design experiments to prove the scientific theories that explain the creation of the Universe.

It does not mean that these theories are absolutely true and immutable. They are not. Our current scientific theories are partly true and are bound to change with new knowledge gained by experimentation. Our current scientific theories will be replaced by newer, truer theories. But any and all future scientific theories will be falsifiable and testable.

Knowledge and belief are like oil and water. They don't mix. Knowledge doesn't lead to belief and belief does not yield knowledge. Belief can yield conviction or strongly-felt opinions. But belief cannot result in knowledge.

Still, both known things and believed things exist. The former exist "out there" and the latter "in our minds" and only there. But they are no less real for that.

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Vampires The Romantic Ideology Behind Them

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 867)
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The French Revolution constituted for the conscience of the dominant aristocratic class a fall from innocence, and upturning of the natural chain of events that resounded all over Europe; the old regime became, in their imaginary, a paradise lost. This explains why some romantic poets born in the higher classes were keen on seeing themselves as faded aristocrats, expelled from their comfortable milieu by a reverse of fortune or a design of destiny. Byron and Shelley are the prime instances of this vital pose. In The Giaour he writes on a vampiric character: "The common crowd but see the gloom/ Of wayward deeds and fitting doom;/ The close observer can espy/A noble soul, and lineage high."

Byron departed from England leaving a trail of scandal over his marital conduct and since then saw himself as an exiled expatriate. Shelley was expelled from Oxford and he fell in disgrace by marrying an in-keeper's daughter; he always struggled to reconcile his origin with his political ideas: "Shelley could find no way of resolving his own contradictory opinions" (Cronin, 2000).

This icon of the fallen aristocrat is rooted on another character revered by romantic poets: the fallen angel. As Mario Praz proves, miltonic Satan became the rebel figure of choice among romantic poets. Milton reversed the medieval idea of a hideous Satan and wrapped its figure with the epic grandeur of an angel fallen in disgrace. Many of the byronic heros share with Milton's Satan this fallen-from-grace condition, such as Lara: "There was in him a vital scorn of all:/

As if the worst had fall'n which could befall,/ stood a stranger in this breathing world,/An erring spirit from another hurl'd" ( Lara XVIII 315-16)

There is another social factor that is behind the formation of the romantic myth of the vampire. In the early nineteen century, the foundations of what would later become a mass society were laid; the expansion of the press and of the reading public produced an increased diffusion for literary works and fostered movements such as the gothic and the sensation novel. Byron himself experienced the event of being turned into a proto-bestseller. The unification of literary taste and preferences that was a correlate to this social changes could not be more alien to the romantic notion of individual gusto and original sensibility. In order to combat this unifying forces, romantic poets revered the individual who stands outside society and is free from common concerns. Many of Byron's heros look down on the masses from above, even though they walk among them and do not lean towards wordsworthian escapades into nature; they achieve to remain untainted by the masses in a sort of exile within the world akin to that of a ghost or a dammed spirit. This self-definition of Manfred is revelatory:

From my youth upwards

My spirit walk'd not with the souls of men,

Nor look'd upon the earth with human eyes;

The thirst of their ambition was not mine,

The aim of their existence was not mine;

My joys, my griefs, my passions, and my powers

Made me a stranger; though I wore the form,

I had no sympathy with breathing flesh, (Manfred II, ii, 50-58)

Not only Byron's works contrived to produce the modern image of the vampire in relation to the Male Seducer archetype, but also some odd events in his life and the life of those surrounding him exercised a decisive influence. A critical study bundled with an anthology of vampire tales (Conde de Siruela, 2001) attributes to the short story The Vampire (1819) by John William Polidori the fixation of the "classical images of the literary vampire as a villanious, cold and enigmatic aristocrat; but, above all, perverse and fascinating for women". Mario Praz, in the same line, also states that Byron was "largely responsible for the vogue of vampirism". Polidori was the unfortunate doctor and personal assistant of Lord Byron who died half-crazy at 25. The idea for the tale published in 1819 came from the famous meetings at Villa Diodati on June 1816 between Byron, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley and Polidori, in what was probably the most influential gathering for fantastic fiction in the history of modern literature. In order to pass the stormy and ether-fuelled nights, they agreed to write each one a ghost story. Mary Shelley (who was then 17 years old) got during these nights the idea of what later became Frankenstein and Polidori wrote the tale The Vampire that he would publish three years later. The story appeared in the New Monthly Magazine falsely attributed by the editor to Lord Byron (taking advantages of the aura of Satanism that surrounded the poet in the popular view to promote the sales of the magazine). A misguided Goethe hailed the story as the best that Lord Byron had ever written. The tale was, actually, a covert portrait of Lord Byron disguised as the vampire Lord Ruthven, a cruel gambler and killer of innocent girls. Polidori had introduced in the story fragments from an autobiographical and revengeful novel called Glenarvon written by Caroline Lamb, an ex-lover of Byron. The Lord

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Peace On Earth A Wonderful Wish But No Way

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 626)
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When asked, "If you could wish for one thing only, what would that wish be?" almost everyone; from beauty pagent contestants, to politicians, to religious leaders, to children, to the average person on the street states, "Peace On Earth" or "An end to all wars". Those wishes, while exemplary, are meaningless. As long as humans exist there will never be peace on earth.

Throughout the history of humankind there has never been peace on earth. Cavemen fought other cavemen over territory, food and even women. Cain killed Abel over God's respect. Gabriel blew down the walls of Jericho. America fought the Revolutionary War for freedom and brother fought against brother in our Civil War for more freedom. There have always been wars and there will always be wars.

As long as humans can think, there will be wars. Wars over such concepts as freedom, honor, dignity, etc.. Wars over territory, greed, power, prejudice, etc.. War is a part of human nature. For example, every human being is prejudiced. If they don't like some race, nationality or religion, they don't like short or tall or fat or skinny or smart or not smart or loud or quiet people. Some people don't like children, some people don't like old people, some people don't like people with pets, or people that play their music too loud, or bad drivers, or people that believe in God or people that don't believe in God. What is right and proper to some people can be wrong or even enraging to other people.

Religion can not stop wars, in fact many wars are fought over religion (Note: I believe that religion is used as an excuse for war not the real reason for war.). Christians fought against Muslims during the Crusades, Many Muslims want death for all non believers. The Catholic Church killed heretics during the Inquisition. The Nazis killed millions of Jews and then started killing Catholics. The Russians under Stalin killed anyone even remotly religious. Protestants killed other Protestants for being the wrong type of Protestant. Muslims killed Muslims for being the wrong type of Muslim. Don't forget about Atheists (I believe that Atheism is also a religion, it is a religion of non belief.), Stalin was an Atheist and wanted to get rid of all religion. Most of China's leaders are Atheists and have jailed and killed huge numbers of religious people. History is rife with various types of religious battles.

The main reason for war, however, is the lust for power. The power to make others do and believe as you do and believe, the power to make other people render unto you what you believe is rightfully yours, the power to make other people treat you as you believe you should be treated, the power to gain what you want (ie: money, love, respect, etc.), the power to punish others for doing things that you don't believe they should do, the power to keep other from having things or thoughts that you don't have. In other words, the power to be, in some ways God, to make everyone else in your image with you as their ruler.

As long as people have the ability to think, there will be greed, envy, prejudice and anger. As long as those things exist, there will be wars. Most people believe, either religiously or secularly, in the rules set down in the Ten Commandments, but very few people can follow those rules all of the time because our ability to think causes us to want. Wanting causes us to break some or all of the rules. Humans are not perfect. If they were they would not be human.

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A Brief History Of Creation

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 1760)
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What is the loop of Creation? How is there something from nothing?

In spite of the fact that it is impossible to prove that anything exists beyond one's perception since any such proof would involve one's perception (I observed it, I heard it, I thought about it, I calculated it, and etc.), science deals with a so-called objective reality "out there," beyond one's perception professing to describe Nature objectively (as if there was a Nature or reality external to one's perception). The shocking impact of Matrix was precisely the valid possibility that what we believed to be reality was but our perception; however, this was presented through showing a real reality wherein the perceived reality was a computer simulation. Many who toy with the idea that perhaps, indeed, we are computer simulations, deviate towards questions, such as, who could create such software and what kind of hardware would be needed for such a feat. Although such questions assume that reality is our perception, they also axiomatically presuppose the existence of an objective deterministic world "out there" that nevertheless must be responsible for how we perceive our reality. This is a major mistake emphasizing technology and algorithms instead of trying to discover the nature of reality and the structure of creation. As will be shown in the following, the required paradigm shift from "perception is our reality fixed within an objective world," to "perception is reality without the need of an objective world 'out there,'" is provided by a dynamic logical structure. The Holophanic loop logic is responsible for a consistent and complete worldview that not only describes, but also creates whatever can be perceived or experienced.

Stating that it is impossible to prove the existence of anything beyond one's perception is not saying there is nothing beyond perception, only that if there is anything, then whatever that is, is indefinite. It could be argued that the existence of physical laws, the universal perception that the apple falls to the ground is proof of an objective reality. However, this universal agreement is also our perception. It could be argued that if we cannot decide what to perceive, and everybody perceives the same physical reality, then there must be some lawfulness that dictates how we perceive and therefore, this lawfulness could be external to our perception. However, this lawfulness, as we shall see later on, is the precise lawfulness that creates perception, the process of definition, which is not external to perception (this process creates the perceived and the perceiver, which then gives meaning to this process - a loop - but about that, later). It could be argued, that hitting our knee on the table - whether we believe in the table or not - will hurt. The table is external to our body, but not to our perception. What then is perception? It is relating, a process of definition, defining and thereby rendering meaningful what has been perceived.

What then is this process of definition? It is creating borders within which one's perception gains meaning. The word "definition" comes from the Latin de finire, meaning, making finite or limited. In Hebrew, definition is HAGDARA (הגדרה), meaning, to border. Any definition necessarily implies what the definition is not, or stated differently, to have meaning, whatever is defined explicitly includes the meaning by implicitly excluding everything else. Consequently, to define means to place the defined object within borders that by default create something beyond the borders of the definition. What is this something beyond the defined? The implicitly excluded everything else, or in other words, the indefinite. The paramount importance of incorporating the indefinite within a consistent logical structure cannot be overemphasized. The indefinite itself is a paradox, and incorporating it within the Holophanic logical structure engenders the loop of Creation where the dynamic structure of paradoxes is both the creative force of existence, and also the proof of the necessity of existence.

To better grasp the impetus of Creation, let's look at the indefinite and paradoxes. What does "indefinite" mean? Anything as long as it is not specified (not defined); anything that appears both within and beyond the borders of the definition and thereby rendering the border superfluous, which means, no border, no definition. If nevertheless we would attempt to define the notion "indefinite," then that's a paradox because if we succeed, then it is defined, which contradicts its meaning - its indefiniteness - and the word "indefinite" means that it cannot be defined. This is an example of a paradox, that in essence means, if it is what it is, then it is not what it is, yet if it is not what it is, then it is what it is. A paradox is a creature that consists of a structure (how it is defined, the dynamic process on its way to stabilization) that contradicts its significance (what it is, the stabilized entity). What characterizes a paradox is the motion between its structure and significance, where the structure implies that its significance contradicts its structure, and vice versa.

Another example of a paradox would be "wholeness." Wholeness (totality, infinite, boundless) can only be wholeness if we can find a way to define it so that it includes everything and there is nothing beyond it. However, if we define wholeness, then to have meaning, it must be bordered within the walls of the definition, which implies that there is something beyond this border, in which case it is not wholeness. Or in more formal language, wholeness is only wholeness if it is not wholeness, which is an inconsistency. If we are satisfied with that, then we have completed the definition of wholeness. However, if we try to include the beyond created by our earlier definition within the borders of our next attempt at defining wholeness, then we gain a new definition of wholeness, which by the sheer structure of the process of defining creates a new beyond. In this case, the process of defining wholeness will be consistent but incomplete, and wholeness will remain indefinite.

Contemplating the paradox of Creation, the ancient Egyptian myth of Creation springs to mind, the myth of the self-creating god, Amun (or Amon). Amun masturbated and swallowed his semen, after which he spit it out in the form of a ball, thereby impregnating his mother, the sky. And only then, was he born. Thus Amun was his own father. Those pious who discovered the illustrated version of this myth in Karnak covered up the erect phallus of Amun, and with it, this story of Creation was laid into obscurity. The Holophanic model of Creation could regard this Egyptian myth as Amun retromorphously creating himself. I have coined the word retromorphous to mean, defining in retrospect, turning non-being into the potential of whatever the observation is made from, or in other words, creating the past from the present, creating the source from its outcome, which is the basis of complexity in the context of the loop logic. That is, only after Amun was born can he give meaning to his mother, the potential from which he emanated and to the process that created him (as represented by masturbation and incest) whereby he was born. Of course, neither the sky nor the masturbating Amun have meaning until Creation takes place de facto and Amun emerges. I find this an enticing illustration of the basic paradox of existence.

So how can there be something from nothing? What is "nothing?" Nothing is what didn't turn into the potential of something. If there was something from nothing, then that nothing would have turned into the potential of something, because when we ask, how is there something from nothing, we ask this question from something, when something already exists. If we take a deeper look at "nothing," we'll discover that "nothing" is a paradox. Any definition is something, so if we defined "nothing," then it would become something, which contradicts its essence of being "nothing." Another way of looking at "nothing" would be by means of it being something that is meaningless. That is, "nothing" could be something that does not relate and that no thing or no one relates to. That is, if there was something totally alone in the universe, then that would be nothing, but it would be meaningless. If such existed, its existence would be external to our perception, and as such, this "nothing" would be indefinite.

We said that the indefinite could be anything, as long as it is not specified (not defined). However, if we nevertheless tried to define "nothing" (the indefinite), what would we get then? Since "nothing" is non-definable, it is transparent as the object of our inquiry. So when we attempt to define it, all we have is what we put into it, which is the process of definition. "Nothing" stayed nothing, we didn't define it, only made the process of definition explicit. "Nothing" gains meaning when we fail to define it; but having tried, we are left with a bonus, a something, which is our process of defining "nothing." Creation of something from nothing is not a function of defining something, but a function of attempting to define "nothing." And then, if that process of definition - which already is an existence - looks back at its origins, if this process of defining investigates into its own genesis, then what does it see? It sees itself. It sees the process of definition - self-reference.

If there is nothing external to perception, then this process of definition is the overall wholeness, the creator of meaning when it can relate to itself. However, to have meaning, the process of definition has to be defined; this definition would be a self-referential quasi-infinite and continuous process of establishing borders that create the indefinite beyond that establishes borders creating the indefinite beyond that establishes borders… which means, wholeness would continuously and forever fail to define itself while succeeding to define something - anything but itself.

Of course, both the totally defined and the totally indefinite are idealized notions that would be inconsistent with the Holophanic loop logic, nor can they be found in nature. The totally indefinite would be the total meaningless nothing, the kind of non-being that cannot be fathomed because if we would think about it, it would already be something. On the other hand, there can be no total definition either. I have used the term uncertainty of sameness to describe the logical impossibility of total definition. A defined entity can be said to have reached sameness

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Enlightenment Is Not Just One State

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 531)
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Many people has the notion that enlightenment is one state. Many also believe that when it is attained, a person is forever in that state.

The following is not a definitive article on this subject. It is just an expression of my own thoughts.

My opinion is that enlightenment is not just one state but is a progressive and gradual establishing of states of consciousness.

I, myself have not reach the end of the road. But from years on a spiritual quest, I can safely say that enlightenment happens in a series or stages of self-realisations and self-discoveries.

Usually there is a difference between an initial awakening and a later stabilisation of that stage that happens through practice or experiences. The initial awakenings are new discoveries about the dynamics of consciousness, while the stabilisation is the assimilation of what is being discovered into one's life experience. Sometimes, a new discovery can completely over-rule or modify upon an older one.

Almost all stages of enlightenment can be said to be associated with Presence. However, the enlightening Presence comes in various degrees of intensity and clarity. The degree of intensity is directly dependent on the level and depth of one's clarity as well as one's realisations/discoveries.

Also, as one progresses along, the relationship or connections of oneself to the universe and existence at large also becomes clearer.

Below very briefly illustrates the progressive and stage-based nature of enlightenment:

When one first begin meditating, one may first experience the all-pervading Presence. This Presence, is most often experienced when thoughts are momentarily suspended. This Presence which exists in the Eternal Present Moment is our true self.

However such an experience can only be classified as an awakening to the true self.. which is no-self. This is because, after the meditation, the Presence seems to have disappeared. One cannot understand and find the connection of presence to our everyday life. Therefore one will have difficulty re-acquiring the Presence. And it takes many stages and series of realisation to understand the relationship of Presence to our phenomenal world. It can be said that the prolonged sustaining of Presence is dependent on the stages and depth of realisation.

Also, during the earlier stages we may mistaken another state to be the pure presence. For example, we may mistaken 'I AM' for pure presence. This is because the thinking mind has created a reflective image of Pure Presence. This reflection of the absolute is 'I AM'.

Usually, in order to pass through the 'I AM' stage, the person must move unto even deeper understandings. These understandings may include realising that one's personality is not the doer of action. This stage may persist for a while before the person realises the illusion of subject-object division. This stage involves recognising the hypnotic impression of there being an observer and the being observed. Here is where one begins to see through the illusionary nature of our phenomenal world.

I cannot comment on the stages before me as they are beyond me. Nevertheless, one can still see from the above description that enlightenment is not so straight-forward after all.

For your necessary discernment. Thank you for reading.

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Words To Live By

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 614)
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Watching the news the other day, it occurred to me that people who have "words to live by" often begin to attack and even kill others. I thought back to my own angry youth, when I could easily use words to justify violent thoughts which might have become violent actions. Words are tools, and yet it seems that they can be more dangerous than gunpowder.

Imagine two men facing each other, pointing past one another. One is pointing at a tornado that is coming, and the other at a raging fire headed towards them. Each sees their own truth and is angry at the sight of the other's hand. Each feels that the other's hand is "wrong." This may seem silly, but replace the tornado and fire with any modern issues, and the hands with words, and this scene describes how we often try to communicate.

We point past each other with our words, arguing as though we are looking at the same facts and experiences. We want to prove our words are the right ones, instead of learning to look at what the other's words are pointing at. Words are seductive, and for all their undeniable usefulness, they also can lead us away from understanding when we focus on them, when we make them more important than the truth they are meant to point at.

There Are No Words To Live By

This isn't just about communication with others. We focus on, and get trapped in a net of words that we use to explain the world to ourselves. We call things "right" or "wrong" for example, according to how they compare to our "definitions." Unlike mathematics, though, word formulas and definitions can never be so precise. They cannot encompass the whole truth of reality. For example, with the least effort, you can create a circumstance where "stealing" would be right, and "helping" someone wrong.

This isn't an argument against using language or logic. It is just that both only go so far. Like a car that takes you across the country or world, they are useful, but like a car, they are only useful in certain ways, and you have to get out of them when you arrive at your various destinations. Taking a car to the lake isn't a problem, but taking it into the lake is. This is what we do when our words and logic take us to dangerous situations.

Can having words to live by be dangerous, though? Absolutely. I once heard an otherwise compassionate person say he was against animal cruelty laws because he couldn't find a logical and defensible set of words to defend them. If he saw a new machine, would he refuse to believe it existed until he could explain it and describe it? Reality, and the reality of right and wrong exist outside of words - they are not the words themselves.

I watched a man say on the evening news that we have the right to drop a nuclear bomb on Iraq, and that we should. As he explained why, you could see that whatever compassionate impulses he had, they were over-ruled by his total allegiance to his words, logic, and where these take him. It never occurred to him that maybe there is truth outside of his words and logic.

It's great to have guidelines, like "don't lie," or "we have the right to defend ourselves." It is even better to remember that these rules will someday fail us, and we will have to make new ones. Words are just tools. There are words to die by, but there are no words to live by.

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The Idea Of God Is Not Henceforth Relevant

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 488)
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Well educated, intellectual people, especially scientists at all times demonstrate considerably smaller adherence to religiosity than others. However, there are still believers of the idea of the God in science. If we exclude from their number those who feel a painful requirement for external protection and support by virtue of their poor living circumstances, there are those who come to idea of the God as a result of amazement at a world that has many unsolved problems. The surprising diversification of subjects and entities can be scientifically formulated in principle as it can sustain the quasi-stable condition and demonstrates development.

Common sense suggests, that for an explanation of the observable diversification in life, it is necessary to admit that each separate subject, each organism, each social unit, and even each computer program should contain a special internal causative engine, a local determinism, which maintains an autonomous internal life in it.

The conventional concept of determinism does not suppose the existence of such sources. This represents a scandalous weakness in the concept. Not finding the required causative source within the framework of philosophy, people are compelled to address the always-available, exotic, exciting fantasies of the irrational sources that are available in religion and mysticism.

Today the situation can be considerably rectified. The recently published concept of Ring Determinism identifies the required internal causative source by way of a closed plot of the customary causal chain. This is a self-contained circuit which, it turns out, is contained in the entrails of each separate natural formation. This circuit is just that ontological base in which each separate natural formation finds and displays its exclusive individuality and asserts itself in the capacity of "causa sui " - the cause of itself.

Internal local causative action, continuously circulating inside a separate body, is transmitted from element to element. It ensures its systemic, synergetic wholeness in the operation of its elements and subsystems in the phenomena of "emergence", special internal policy, resistance to external actions, aggression directed externally, egotism, egocentricity, self-preservation, self-organization and finally, self-development.

One of the conclusions of ring determinism is, that under the supervisory control of the internal cause continuously circulating in a body, and under the continuous effects of external factors, there is the miracle of self-development. This results in an observable diversification of surprising properties of subjects, organisms, social units, human products and other things.

The local causative circuit can randomly or by design, become closed. Then finding an ability towards long-lived quasi-stable self-maintenance, self-resumption, or, in the case of dynamically developing systems, the determining vortex, it becomes the high-power engine which creates, saves and induces a flock of living and nonliving natural formations in development.

Educated people can now sigh with relief since a rather weighty rational argument against the idea of creationism has appeared and the necessity to appeal to irrational theories has vanished.

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The Science Of Superstitions

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 995)
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"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science."

Albert Einstein, The World as I See It, 1931

The debate between realism and anti-realism is, at least, a century old. Does Science describe the real world - or are its theories true only within a certain conceptual framework? Is science only instrumental or empirically adequate or is there more to it than that?

The current - mythological - image of scientific enquiry is as follows:

Without resorting to reality, one can, given infinite time and resources, produce all conceivable theories. One of these theories is bound to be the "truth". To decide among them, scientists conduct experiments and compare their results to predictions yielded by the theories. A theory is falsified when one or more of its predictions fails. No amount of positive results - i.e., outcomes that confirm the theory's predictions - can "prove right" a theory. Theories can only be proven false by that great arbiter, reality.

Jose Ortega y Gasset said (in an unrelated exchange) that all ideas stem from pre-rational beliefs. William James concurred by saying that accepting a truth often requires an act of will which goes beyond facts and into the realm of feelings. Maybe so, but there is little doubt today that beliefs are somehow involved in the formation of many scientific ideas, if not of the very endeavor of Science. After all, Science is a human activity and humans always believe that things exist (=are true) or could be true.

A distinction is traditionally made between believing in something's existence, truth, value of appropriateness (this is the way that it ought to be) - and believing that something. The latter is a propositional attitude: we think that something, we wish that something, we feel that something and we believe that something. Believing in A and believing that A - are different.

It is reasonable to assume that belief is a limited affair. Few of us would tend to believe in contradictions and falsehoods. Catholic theologians talk about explicit belief (in something which is known to the believer to be true) versus implicit one (in the known consequences of something whose truth cannot be known). Truly, we believe in the probability of something (we, thus, express an opinion) - or in its certain existence (truth).

All humans believe in the existence of connections or relationships between things. This is not something which can be proven or proven false (to use Popper's test). That things consistently follow each other does not prove they are related in any objective, "real", manner - except in our minds. This belief in some order (if we define order as permanent relations between separate physical or abstract entities) permeates both Science and Superstition. They both believe that there must be - and is - a connection between things out there.

Science limits itself and believes that only certain entities inter-relate within well defined conceptual frames (called theories). Not everything has the potential to connect to everything else. Entities are discriminated, differentiated, classified and assimilated in worldviews in accordance with the types of connections that they forge with each other.

Moreover, Science believes that it has a set of very effective tools to diagnose, distinguish, observe and describe these relationships. It proves its point by issuing highly accurate predictions based on the relationships discerned through the use of said tools. Science (mostly) claims that these connections are "true" in the sense that they are certain - not probable.

The cycle of formulation, prediction and falsification (or proof) is the core of the human scientific activity. Alleged connections that cannot be captured in these nets of reasoning are cast out either as "hypothetical" or as "false". In other words: Science defines "relations between entities" as "relations between entities which have been established and tested using the scientific apparatus and arsenal of tools". This, admittedly, is a very cyclical argument, as close to tautology as it gets.

Superstition is a much simpler matter: everything is connected to everything in ways unbeknown to us. We can only witness the results of these subterranean currents and deduce the existence of such currents from the observable flotsam. The planets influence our lives, dry coffee sediments contain information about the future, black cats portend disasters, certain dates are propitious, certain numbers are to be avoided. The world is unsafe because it can never be fathomed. But the fact that we - limited as we are - cannot learn about a hidden connection - should not imply that it does not exist.

Science believes in two categories of relationships between entities (physical and abstract alike). The one is the category of direct links - the other that of links through a third entity. In the first case, A and B are seen to be directly related. In the second case, there is no apparent link between A and B, but a third entity, C could well provide such a connection (for instance, if A and B are parts of C or are separately, but concurrently somehow influenced by it).

Each of these two categories is divided to three subcategories: causal relationships, functional relationships and correlative relationship.

A and B will be said to be causally related if A precedes B, B never occurs if A does not precede it and always occurs after A occurs. To the discerning eye, this would seem to be a relationship of correlation ("whenever A happens B happens") and this is true. Causation is subsumed by a the 1.0 correlation relationship category. In other words: it is a private case of the more general case of correlation.

A and B are functionally related if B can be predicted by assuming A but we have no way of establishing the truth value of A. The latter is a postulate or axiom. The time dependent Schr

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The Emerald Buddha

(category: Philosophy, Word count: 338)
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The Emerald Buddha is a figurine of a sitting Budha, that is the is the palladium of the Kingdom of Thailand. The Buddha is made of green jade, suprisingly not of emerald, clothed in gold is approximately 45 cm tall. The Buddha is kept in the Chapel of the Emerald Buddha, which is located on the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

Legend tells that that the Emerald Buddha was created in Pataliputra, India, which is now the city of Patna in 43 BCE by Nagasena. Other great historians beleive that it belongs to the Chiang Saen Style of the 15th century. The legend says that, it remained in Pataliputra for 300 hundred years, until it was taken to Sri Lanka to save it from a civil war. It was then in 457, that King Anuruth of Burma sent out orders to Ceylon to ask for the Emerald Budha and Buddhist scriptures. These actions took place by the king, to try and support Buddhism in his country. This request was granted, however the ship that was brining the Buddha to Burma, became lost in a storm and ended up in Cambodia. The Buddha made it's way through several hands after that: Ayutthaya, Kamphaeng Phet, Lao and finally Chiang Rai. It was finally in Chiang Rai that the ruler of the city hid it.

It wasn't until 1434 that sources indicate the resurfacing of the statue in Northern Thailand. There is one story about the discovery: "lightning struck a pagoda in a temple in Chiang Rai, after which something became visible under the stucco. The Emerald Buddha was dug out and the people thought the figurine was made from emerald, hence its current name."

Although, the Buddha is just a simple jade statue, it is dressed with garments that are made of fine gold. The Buddha's clothing are changed by the King of Thailand, to celebrate the chaning of seasons. This occurs three times a year: 1st Waning of Lunar Month 4, 8 and 12

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