AuthorTopic: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism  (Read 20289 times)

Offline Ashvin

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3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« on: August 07, 2013, 04:05:59 PM »
AG and KA, given some of your recent philosophical discourse, I thought I would provide this lecture by Ellis Potter (former Zen Buddhist monk, now a Christian philosopher) for your consideration. I may have referenced this before to Ka, but not sure if he got a chance to check it out.

I think Potter does a very good job simplifying some of these tough philosophical concepts without sacrificing too much of their intellectual value. He's also easy and fun to listen to. The sound quality of the lecture is not great, but good enough to make out what he's saying.

Essentially, he comes to a conclusion similar to AG's and mine - monist religious traditions require too much initial faith in discounting the reliability of personal and interpersonal experience and relationship as reflecting on absolute reality, while the Biblical view of trinitarianism does not.

Anyway, here is the lecture (based on his book of the same name, which I also recommend):

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/PiN6ib2pZjk?feature=player_detailpage" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/PiN6ib2pZjk?feature=player_detailpage</a>
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 04:08:25 PM by Ashvin »

Offline agelbert

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 04:40:43 PM »
Thanks Ashvin.  :emthup:  I'll watch it now.
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Faith,
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Offline agelbert

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 06:57:51 PM »
Excellent video.

I now have working definitions of ONE, TWO and THREE ism.  :icon_mrgreen:

I learned why religion starts with "re" and that true Christianity cannot be considered a re-ligion.

That part about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit emptying themselves continually into each other (Hey! God lives in a gift economy!  :icon_mrgreen:) proving goodness is giving and is also diverse along with showing evil as self centered (Satan is ONE person) was fantastic.

I REALLY ENJOYED the way he made it CLEAR that independence, self centeredness, and having no needs is, not just the AMERICAN DREAM, it's TOTALLY EVIL AND ANTI-CHRISTIAN! :emthup: :icon_sunny:

I noted a bit of discomfort in the audience when he nailed them with that zinger.  :icon_mrgreen: They were laughing and jovial while he talked about monism and dualism, not too happy about his praise of the success of Asian health practices with its basis in prevention through dualistic balance, and quiet as death when he told them you can't just go to someone who isn't a Christian and say "Such and such is true because it's in the Bible. You have to understand where a person is at and respect that before you can show them you've got something that you think is THE Truth." :emthup:

The 'different people looking at a music stand' "God is objective AND subjective Truth simultaneously" analogy was great too.

The eternal matrix separate from the time matrix was fascinating.

Adam not having been a complete image and likeness of God UNTIL he had Eve to make a family of three was profound. The virtue of Christ being in subjection of the Father being just as important as the Father commanding the Son and Potter's severe critique of modern Christianity  that considers the one who orders as superior to the one who obeys was great too.

I was always taught that Original sin was disobedience but I now see how the seed of evil that led to that disobedience was selfishness and the desire in becoming independent without needing God.
 
I didn't know different strains of Buddhism were so radically different from each other but I now understand the whole "dreaming diversity of separateness is dispelled by waking up" belief and why, since all is ONE to them, Darth Vader IS Luke Skywalker as well (i.e. good versus evil is two things not ONE so there is NO "GOOD" and NO "EVIL". We are just doing more of that "diversity/separateness dreaming and need to wake up".

I will be interested in reading Ka's response to the analysis of Buddhism in the video. I see it's a kind of catch-22 to tell a Buddhist something is right or is wrong because RIGHT AWAY you are branded as dreaming separateness and the "illusion" that there is anything but ONE! (no right, no wrong, no outside, no diversity because, you see, it's ALL ONE!)  :icon_mrgreen:
 

That was quite a teaching! Thanks again.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 07:17:09 PM by agelbert »
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Offline Ka

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 01:29:48 AM »
AG and KA, given some of your recent philosophical discourse, I thought I would provide this lecture by Ellis Potter (former Zen Buddhist monk, now a Christian philosopher) for your consideration. I may have referenced this before to Ka, but not sure if he got a chance to check it out.

I think Potter does a very good job simplifying some of these tough philosophical concepts without sacrificing too much of their intellectual value. He's also easy and fun to listen to. The sound quality of the lecture is not great, but good enough to make out what he's saying.

As you may have already figured out, he is using 'monism' and 'dualism' in a different context than we did in our debates, where at issue was whether there are one or two kinds of things.

In the way he is using the terms here, I would classify myself as trinitarian. Nor would I classify Buddhism as monist, Mahayana Buddhism, anyway. One could say that Buddhism's break with Hinduism is that Buddhism does not privilege the One over the Many as Hinduism tends to do. In the tetralemma logic used in the Madhyamika Buddhist school, one would say:

Not one
Not many
Not one and many
Not neither one nor many.

That is, if one assumes "one" or "many" or "one and many" or "neither one nor many" one runs into error. More positively, I would say that 'one' and 'many' are polar opposites that mutually determiine each other as they mutually negate each other. Further, this mutual determination/negation has the consequence of self-awareness, which is the third point of the trinity. And, I claim, it is this triune "system" which is what it means to say that we are made in God's image. (I found his resort to explaining this in terms of father, mother and child to be far-fetched, though it is true that relationship is fundamental -- in Buddhist terms this is the doctrine of dependent co-origination.) Our fallenness is that though we seem to be self-aware, it is a manifold self that we are aware of, which is incomplete. We are not cognizent of the pure unity which we also are. And that is why the first step in salvation is to recover that cognizance. (We can deduce it, but it requires self-emptying to Realize it.) Unfortunately, most  (including many Buddhists) think of that as the final step, but there is the further step of returning to the many and Realizing it as being in polar relation to unity.

Quote
Essentially, he comes to a conclusion similar to AG's and mine - monist religious traditions require too much initial faith in discounting the reliability of personal and interpersonal experience and relationship as reflecting on absolute reality, while the Biblical view of trinitarianism does not.

Manifoldness is a given. Unity is deducible from the fact of awareness of the many. Self-awareness is also a given. The indivisible relation between the many, the one, and self-awareness is deducible (as in my 'withoutness" argument to RE).  The only "leap of faith" involved, as far as I can see, is to assume that the trinity which I find in myself as a self in the world in an incomplete manner is, when complete, a reflection of absolute reality. And this can be argued on the grounds of parsimony. I don't see how I have discounted anything.

Offline Ashvin

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 07:34:29 AM »
As you may have already figured out, he is using 'monism' and 'dualism' in a different context than we did in our debates, where at issue was whether there are one or two kinds of things.

In the way he is using the terms here, I would classify myself as trinitarian. Nor would I classify Buddhism as monist, Mahayana Buddhism, anyway. One could say that Buddhism's break with Hinduism is that Buddhism does not privilege the One over the Many as Hinduism tends to do.

Well it seems he is still making the distinction between subject/object duality (which exists in trinitarianism) and no duality (monism).

He claims that reality is defined by both objective and subjective nature, which means there are two different kinds of things. For ex, Adam is an objective entity (with physical attributes, mind/intelligence, etc.), but his reality as a human being only comes into focus when he is in subjective relationship with another objective entity of the same sort. We can identify the objective and subjective natures involved and use them to describe the total reality of Adam. And in Christianity, this is only true because it is also true of the triune God. The Christian God can be apprehended as an objective, unified essence with certain indivisible qualities that is in subjective relationship with itself, i.e. "God is not alone".

Would you agree, or rather say that there should be no distinction between "objective" and "subjective" here?

Quote
In the tetralemma logic used in the Madhyamika Buddhist school, one would say:

Not one
Not many
Not one and many
Not neither one nor many.

That is, if one assumes "one" or "many" or "one and many" or "neither one nor many" one runs into error. More positively, I would say that 'one' and 'many' are polar opposites that mutually determiine each other as they mutually negate each other. Further, this mutual determination/negation has the consequence of self-awareness, which is the third point of the trinity. And, I claim, it is this triune "system" which is what it means to say that we are made in God's image. (I found his resort to explaining this in terms of father, mother and child to be far-fetched, though it is true that relationship is fundamental -- in Buddhist terms this is the doctrine of dependent co-origination.) Our fallenness is that though we seem to be self-aware, it is a manifold self that we are aware of, which is incomplete. We are not cognizent of the pure unity which we also are. And that is why the first step in salvation is to recover that cognizance. (We can deduce it, but it requires self-emptying to Realize it.) Unfortunately, most  (including many Buddhists) think of that as the final step, but there is the further step of returning to the many and Realizing it as being in polar relation to unity.

Yeah, I understand EXACTLY what you mean here, but have decided to skip responding for now...  :-\

Quote
Manifoldness is a given. Unity is deducible from the fact of awareness of the many. Self-awareness is also a given. The indivisible relation between the many, the one, and self-awareness is deducible (as in my 'withoutness" argument to RE).  The only "leap of faith" involved, as far as I can see, is to assume that the trinity which I find in myself as a self in the world in an incomplete manner is, when complete, a reflection of absolute reality. And this can be argued on the grounds of parsimony. I don't see how I have discounted anything.

You discounted the mother-father-child "analogy" as far-fetched. In my view, that is heavily discounting our experience with interpersonal relationship. Furthermore, when when sense material things around us, we intuit that they exist in reality independently of our own mind, but we also intuit that their reality is only adequately apprehended when we combine their objective qualities with our subjective experience of their qualities. I feel like you are discounting that intuitive experience as well.

Offline agelbert

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 11:59:59 AM »
Ka,
This is getting rather deep here. I fail to see how we go from dreaming we are many to correctly waking up to the "fact" that there is only ONE but THEN, to complete our salvation, be fulfilled in the co-dependency of the many.

Ashvin,
I think I'm following you but when you use that word "intuitive" with Ka, it's a sort of perceptual minefield, is it not? Is intuition REAL or DREAMING to Ka? If it's dreaming he can question the truth of it's revealed evidence.

Again we are left with this quandary. If you cannot get a person to believe that physical evidence is "real" you are in a bit of a fix in getting said person to agree on what is TRUE. You have no anchors for your logical premises. Separate and beyond the questioning of physical senses as valid evidence of reality and truth, Ka can always question the validity of any logic originating from one that is dreaming (i.e. you and me), can he not?

I'll stick with this:

sensory strictly, applies only to the reception and processing by the nervous system of information [from the outside world such that it reaches consciousness as a subjective experience (sensation); often used loosely in relation to any afferent nerve pathway or process, including those serving only reflex function
sensory /sen·so·ry/ (sen´sor-e) pertaining to sensation.

Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. © 2007 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

sen·so·ry (sns-r)
adj.
1.  Of or relating to the senses or sensation.

2.  Transmitting impulses from sense organs to nerve centers; [color]afferent.


The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sensory
Refers to peripheral nerves that transmit information from the senses to the brain.

Mentioned in: Peripheral Neuropathy

Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sensory
[sen′sərē]
Etymology: L, sentire to feel

1 pertaining to sensation.

2 pertaining to a part or all of the body's sensory nerve network.

Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sensory [sen´sŏ-re]
pertaining to sensation or to the response of the senses (hearing, sight, touch, etc.) to incoming stimuli.

Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sensory,
adj pertaining to the senses (smelling, tasting, touching, hearing, or seeing).

Jonas: Mosby's Dictionary of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (c) 2005, Elsevier.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sensory (sen´srē),
n that part of the nervous system that receives and perceives sensations such as sound, touch, smell, sight, pain, heat, cold, and vibration.

sensory innervation,
n the distribution of nerves to an organ, muscle, or other body part conveying sensation to that area.

sensory threshold,
n the point at which a stimulus triggers the start of an afferent nerve impulse. Absolute threshold is the lowest point at which response to a stimulus can be perceived.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

sen·so·ry (sns-r)
adj.
1.  Of or relating to the senses or sensation.

2.  Transmitting impulses from sense organs to nerve centers; afferent.

The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sensory
Refers to peripheral nerves that transmit information from the senses to the brain.

Mentioned in: Peripheral Neuropathy

Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sensory
[sen′sərē]
Etymology: L, sentire to feel

1 pertaining to sensation.

2 pertaining to a part or all of the body's sensory nerve network.

Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sensory [sen´sŏ-re]
pertaining to sensation or to the response of the senses (hearing, sight, touch, etc.) to incoming stimuli.

Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sensory,
adj pertaining to the senses (smelling, tasting, touching, hearing, or seeing).

Jonas: Mosby's Dictionary of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (c) 2005, Elsevier.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sensory (sen´srē),
n that part of the nervous system that receives and perceives sensations such as sound, touch, smell, sight, pain, heat, cold, and vibration.

sensory innervation,
n the distribution of nerves to an organ, muscle, or other body part conveying sensation to that area.

sensory threshold,
n the point at which a stimulus triggers the start of an afferent nerve impulse. Absolute threshold is the lowest point at which response to a stimulus can be perceived.

Mosby's Dental Dictionary, 2nd edition. © 2008 Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sensory input
produced by sensory organs and transmitted by afferent nerve fibers to the central nervous system. See also sense.

sensory nerve
a peripheral nerve that conducts impulses from a sense organ to the spinal cord or brain; called also afferent nerve. See also nerve.

sensory perceptivity

the ability to perceive, to feel. Tests for this in animals are based on the assumption that the observer can differentiate between a reflex response and a central perception.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sensory strictly, applies only to the reception and processing by the nervous system of information from the outside world such that it reaches consciousness as a subjective experience (sensation); often used loosely in relation to any afferent nerve pathway or process, including those serving only reflex function.

Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine by Churchill Livingstone © 2008 Elsevier Limited. All rights reserved.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

sensory relating to sensation (Table 1)

Table 1: Afferent sensory impulses from the skin and superficial tissues


Sensation                      Specialized nerve ending                    Subserving nerve fibre

Light touch                   Meissner's corpuscles                                                   A-beta

Vibration                      Pacinian corpuscles                                                      A-beta

Positional awareness
                   Joint proprioceptors Golgi tendon organs Muscle stretch receptors   A-beta

Sharp pain
Free nerve endings (high-threshold polymodal and thermo/mechanical nociceptors) A-delta

Dull pain/ache Free nerve endings (high-threshold polymodal nociceptors)              C

Temperature Free nerve endings (high-threshold thermal nociceptors)                    C

Illustrated Dictionary of Podiatry and Foot Science by Jean Mooney © 2009 Elsevier Limited. All rights reserved.

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/sensory+input

The above anatomy and physiology is not a dream of separateness, it is the ONLY way we can perceive the OUTSIDE world and know the TRUTH about what is REAL and what ISN'T. Buddhism was founded BEFORE the knowledge of our sensory apparatus had been obtained by science.



Effects of SENSORY DEPRIVATION on humans

Short-term sessions of sensory deprivation are described as relaxing and conducive to meditation; however, extended or forced sensory deprivation can result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations,[2] bizarre thoughts, and depression.[3]


A related phenomenon is perceptual deprivation, also called the ganzfeld effect. In this case a constant uniform stimuli is used instead of attempting to remove the stimuli, this leads to effects which has similarities to sensory deprivation.[4]

Sensory deprivation techniques were developed by some of the armed forces within NATO, as a means of interrogating prisoners within international treaty obligations.[5] The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the use of the five techniques by British security forces in Northern Ireland amounted to a practice of inhuman and degrading treatment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensory_deprivation

Ka,
IF YOU control subjectivity with your integration into the ONE, then it would be IMPOSSIBLE  for me to drive you insane by putting you in a sensory deprivation chamber BECAUSE the synaptic inputs are an illusion and not evidence, not only of reality, but of your desperate need to NOT feel alone! But since I CAN DRIVE YOU NUTS by depriving you of sensory input, you MUST ACCEPT THAT

1) The sensory input is real, not an illusion and is evidence of what is TRUE.

2) Your non-optional requirement for information from the OUTSIDE world (to avoid insanity) is proof that the outside world is REAL and not some flaw in a fallen mind's mental construct (dreaming separateness).

Buddhism is not consistent with scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology, particularly as evidenced by humans subjected to sensory deprivation.

You should question the validity of Buddhism in obtaining Truth and knowing what is REAL based on sensory deprivation studies alone.
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline Ka

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 12:57:45 AM »

Well it seems he is still making the distinction between subject/object duality (which exists in trinitarianism) and no duality (monism).

He claims that reality is defined by both objective and subjective nature, which means there are two different kinds of things. For ex, Adam is an objective entity (with physical attributes, mind/intelligence, etc.), but his reality as a human being only comes into focus when he is in subjective relationship with another objective entity of the same sort We can identify the objective and subjective natures involved and use them to describe the total reality of Adam. And in Christianity, this is only true because it is also true of the triune God. The Christian God can be apprehended as an objective, unified essence with certain indivisible qualities that is in subjective relationship with itself, i.e. "God is not alone".

Would you agree, or rather say that there should be no distinction between "objective" and "subjective" here?

My position is that the subjective and objective natures do not describe the total reality of a human being. There definitely needs to be a distinction between 'objective' and subjective', but there also needs to be a third term to give a total picture. But in adding the third term, the other two need shifting. The first payoff is that one gets a better idea of the whole. And, of course, I am saying that with the third term, we get how the human is a reflection of absolute reality. The second payoff is that we get a better understanding of what it is to be in the state of Original Sin -- it is our inability to be aware of ourselves as triune, instead we see ourselves as dual, and hence our subjective is divided from the objective.

(Before you ask, the third term is 'self-awareness', while the subjective is stripped of all objects, including things like thoughts and memories, leaving it as 'formlessness', and all that is stripped out is added to the old objective as 'form'. And.....I'll stop here.)

Quote
Quote
In the tetralemma logic used in the Madhyamika Buddhist school, one would say:

Not one.....

Yeah, I understand EXACTLY what you mean here, but have decided to skip responding for now...  :-\

Sorry about that. I hope at least you got that in Mahayana Buddhism, it is not done to say "All is One", but it is also not done to say "All is Many". So what does one say? Well, the rest was what I would (and did) say.

Quote
You discounted the mother-father-child "analogy" as far-fetched. In my view, that is heavily discounting our experience with interpersonal relationship.

No, I was just saying that I don't think the mother-father-child relationship is a good analogy for the relation between the nodes of the trinity, either mine or that of traditional Chrisitanity. I am certainly not discounting interpersonal relations as facts of existence.

Quote
Furthermore, when when sense material things around us, we intuit that they exist in reality independently of our own mind, but we also intuit that their reality is only adequately apprehended when we combine their objective qualities with our subjective experience of their qualities. I feel like you are discounting that intuitive experience as well.

I am not discounting in the sense of ignoring them. I am instead taking that first intuition as the starting point of analysis and showing that there's something wrong with it. (Which does not mean they are dependent on us -- that way lies subjective idealism.) As for the second, what objective qualities do we know of them other than through reflection on our subjective experience of them? (We may be using 'objective' and 'subjective' differently here.)

Offline Ka

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2013, 02:26:29 AM »
Ka,
This is getting rather deep here. I fail to see how we go from dreaming we are many to correctly waking up to the "fact" that there is only ONE but THEN, to complete our salvation, be fulfilled in the co-dependency of the many.

So do I. It is a mystery. The mystic who, in my opinion, does the best job of describing the process is Franklin Merrell-Wolff, in his Experience and Philosophy, especially in the chapter "A Mystical Unfoldment."

Quote
Again we are left with this quandary. If you cannot get a person to believe that physical evidence is "real" you are in a bit of a fix in getting said person to agree on what is TRUE. You have no anchors for your logical premises. Separate and beyond the questioning of physical senses as valid evidence of reality and truth, Ka can always question the validity of any logic originating from one that is dreaming (i.e. you and me), can he not?

I have just as much trust in physical evidence to tell us truths about the physical world as you do.

Quote
sensory strictly, applies only to the reception and processing by the nervous system of information [from the outside world such that it reaches consciousness as a subjective experience (sensation); /b]

.....
The above anatomy and physiology is not a dream of separateness, it is the ONLY way we can perceive the OUTSIDE world and know the TRUTH about what is REAL and what ISN'T. Buddhism was founded BEFORE the knowledge of our sensory apparatus had been obtained by science.

What about this:
Quote
If you assume that space and time exist independently of sense perception, and that all that contributes to sense perception is spatiotemporal activity, then each synaptic event is separated by space and/or time from every other one. There is nothing spatiotemporal that can unify these events into anything larger. If there is something that you think can, it too consists of tiny pieces, each one separated by space and/or time from all the other pieces.  So something other than spatiotemporal activity is required for there to be data larger than a synaptic event.

Knowledge of our sensory apparatus is not enough to tell us how we perceive anything. Nor is any additional physical evidence.




Effects of SENSORY DEPRIVATION on humans

Quote
Ka,
IF YOU control subjectivity with your integration into the ONE, then it would be IMPOSSIBLE  for me to drive you insane by putting you in a sensory deprivation chamber BECAUSE the synaptic inputs are an illusion and not evidence, not only of reality, but of your desperate need to NOT feel alone!

Who said I control subjectivity? I don't.

Quote
But since I CAN DRIVE YOU NUTS by depriving you of sensory input, you MUST ACCEPT THAT

1) The sensory input is real, not an illusion and is evidence of what is TRUE.

I never called it an illusion. It is evidence of what is true about physical reality.

Quote
2) Your non-optional requirement for information from the OUTSIDE world (to avoid insanity) is proof that the outside world is REAL and not some flaw in a fallen mind's mental construct (dreaming separateness).

This experiment does not discriminate between the idea that stimuli comes from outside, and the idea that stimuli come from eternity creating the appearance of an outside. So it is no proof. And the phrase "mental construct (dreaming separateness)" sounds like you still think I am espousing subjective idealism. I am not. Even if I were, this would still not be a proof. Why couldn't I be "dreaming" that in the absence of stimuli I go nuts?

Quote
Buddhism is not consistent with scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology, particularly as evidenced by humans subjected to sensory deprivation.

You should question the validity of Buddhism in obtaining Truth and knowing what is REAL based on sensory deprivation studies alone.


You have added interpretations to the scientific knowledge. Buddhism is not consistent with those interpretations, but is consistent with the scientific knowledge.

Offline agelbert

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2013, 01:09:59 PM »
Quote
Why couldn't I be "dreaming" that in the absence of stimuli I go nuts?

I believe you should ponder what you wrote above. It is a logical fallacy. Insanity is , by definition, loss of contact with reality. You claim Buddhism IS that contact. You believe statements like "There is nothing because there IS NO THING (but one whole). That is simply a claim, not evidence of reality.

Driving a person insane that claims his world view is the very definition of sanity (connection with what is REAL and TRUE) is evidence of illusion in said person.

You can gyrate around that all you wish. You can claim this conversation is a dream and thereby discredit (in your view) its validity but you will never be able to refute the fact that I can, or any other human with sensory deprivation equipment drive you or anybody else insane by depriving them of sensory INPUT data from the OUTSIDE world.

You can say that "outside" world is an illusion but THEN you have to DISCERN between the "outside" sensory world that, if you are deprived of, you will go insane, and the "outside" diversity of beings and separateness that DOES NOT drive you insane by your own admission.

The INSTANT you put TWO "outside" categories in your vocabulary, your ,all is one concept will dissolve. WHY? because you cannot escape the logic that ONE of TWO set of apparent "outside" LACK of stimuli produces insanity and one does NOT.

And no Ka, Buddhism is not consistent with anatomy and physiology as modern empirical science has observed and determined the truth of it to be. Science ALWAYS defines a single creature as one with sensory apparatus providing pain information throughout. anything beyond that is another separate entity. You refuse to see a limit to our sensory apparatus because the moment you do that, you must admit there are other single entities separate and apart from you. So you don't go there. It's all one.

I'm sorry sir. Your arguments are illogical and circular because the basic premise is a moving target of whatever you wish to define as a dream state. That's gyrating.  :icon_mrgreen: 

Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline Ka

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2013, 02:07:06 AM »
Quote
Why couldn't I be "dreaming" that in the absence of stimuli I go nuts?

I believe you should ponder what you wrote above. It is a logical fallacy. Insanity is , by definition, loss of contact with reality. You claim Buddhism IS that contact. You believe statements like "There is nothing because there IS NO THING (but one whole). That is simply a claim, not evidence of reality.

Apparently you didn't see my last two posts to Ashvin in this thread, where I said that I and many Buddhists think it mistaken to say "All is One".

And no, Buddhism is NOT that contact. Buddhism, like other religions, tries to show the way to re-establish that contact.

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Driving a person insane that claims his world view is the very definition of sanity (connection with what is REAL and TRUE) is evidence of illusion in said person.

My world view gives an account of how we are out of connection with the Real and True. (So does yours.) The reason, I speculate, that I could be driven insane is that I have not made that connection. So the only way to test your theory is to find someone who has made that reconnection and put him in a sensory deprivation tank. Now according to my world view, what enables reconnection is the ability to detach from all sensations. That doesn't mean they don't occur, just that they do not cause upset or fear. So he won't be bothered by hallucinations or whatever. And of course, if this person Knows his inseparability from everything, being alone for a long time wouldn't be upsetting either. It is the fact that we are already insane (disconnected) that extended period in a sensory deprivation tank will aggravate matters.

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You can gyrate around that all you wish. You can claim this conversation is a dream and thereby discredit (in your view) its validity but you will never be able to refute the fact that I can, or any other human with sensory deprivation equipment drive you or anybody else insane by depriving them of sensory INPUT data from the OUTSIDE world.

You can do the exact same thing to drive me insane whether or not the sensory process is described as "INPUT data from the OUTSIDE world" or as "data from eternity that creates an appearance of outside". By using the first description you are interpreting, that is, going beyond what the physical facts tell us. You are begging the question.

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You can say that "outside" world is an illusion but THEN you have to DISCERN between the "outside" sensory world that, if you are deprived of, you will go insane, and the "outside" diversity of beings and separateness that DOES NOT drive you insane by your own admission.

I've read this several times, and can't figure out what you are getting at. In the absence of normal sensations one experiences abnormal sensations. I can imagine that too much of that is very scary, and keep it up long enough, could cause insanity. Or if one is the sort who can't stand being alone, and if alone immediately turns on the TV or something, depriving them for too long might also cause insanity. What does this have to do with whether normal sensations "really" come from "outside"?

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The INSTANT you put TWO "outside" categories in your vocabulary, your ,all is one concept will dissolve. WHY? because you cannot escape the logic that ONE of TWO set of apparent "outside" LACK of stimuli produces insanity and one does NOT.

Lost you again. Could you spell out what these "two sets of lack of stimuli" are?

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And no Ka, Buddhism is not consistent with anatomy and physiology as modern empirical science has observed and determined the truth of it to be. Science ALWAYS defines a single creature as one with sensory apparatus providing pain information throughout. anything beyond that is another separate entity. You refuse to see a limit to our sensory apparatus because the moment you do that, you must admit there are other single entities separate and apart from you. So you don't go there. It's all one.

Science can only study the physical world. It cannot study sensation. It can identify certain physical events (e.g. synapse firings) that occur when a subject reports a particular sensation, but it cannot study the sensation itself, its nature, or where it "comes from". (And, again, I don't say that "It's all one".)

The physical world does indeed consist of things separated in space and/or time from each other. My claim is that it is sensation itself that separates, which creates space and time (and mass). I make that claim because of this:

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If you assume that space and time exist independently of sense perception, and that all that contributes to sense perception is spatiotemporal activity, then each synaptic event is separated by space and/or time from every other one. There is nothing spatiotemporal that can unify these events into anything larger. If there is something that you think can, it too consists of tiny pieces, each one separated by space and/or time from all the other pieces.  So something other than spatiotemporal activity is required for there to be data larger than a synaptic event.

There is another way than mine to resolve the problem that this raises. It is to assume there is something else (necessarily non-physical) that unifies all the separated events. That philosophy is called dualism. There are two problems with it. One is that all it does is wave away the problem, the equivalent of a "God-of-the-gaps" non-answer. The other is that it provides no way to connect the two realities, the physical and the non-physical. How do they interact? No answer. And note that it also means that sensations do not come from outside. The stimuli that call forth the sensations would come from outside (if you believe this alternative), but the actual sensations come from the non-physical. That is, sensation either transcends space and time, or it creates it. In either case, this makes sensation beyond science's purview.

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I'm sorry sir. Your arguments are illogical and circular because the basic premise is a moving target of whatever you wish to define as a dream state. That's gyrating.  :icon_mrgreen:

A moving target? No. My basic premises are that there is a physical world, and we are aware of it. I assume you agree with these premises. You, on the other hand, add the premise that the physical world exists independently of me or anyone's (except perhaps God's) awareness of it. This additional premise is unnecessary to explain any of our experience, so by Ockham's Razor, should be dropped. After all, we can't experience anything that is outside of our experience.

Offline agelbert

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2013, 12:47:41 PM »
Effects of SENSORY DEPRIVATION on humans

Short-term sessions of sensory deprivation are described as relaxing and conducive to meditation;
however, extended or forced sensory deprivation can result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations,[2] bizarre thoughts, and depression.[3]


Sensory deprivation techniques were developed by some of the armed forces within NATO, as a means of interrogating prisoners within international treaty obligations.[5] The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the use of the five techniques by British security forces in Northern Ireland amounted to a practice of inhuman and degrading treatment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensory_deprivation

Normal daily life does NOT produce the above deleterious results on humans. Therefore, the FACT that REMOVING sensory input can cause total human dysfunction in society ((insanity) and subsequent enabling of normal human senses eliminates the dysfunction provides proof that:

1) The sensory input is real, not an illusion and is evidence of what is TRUE.

2) Your non-optional requirement for information from the OUTSIDE world (to avoid insanity) is proof that the outside world is REAL and not some flaw in a fallen mind's mental construct (dreaming separateness).

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Now according to my world view, what enables reconnection is the ability to detach from all sensations.

And the following is the proof that you are mistaken:

however, extended or forced sensory deprivation can result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations,[2] bizarre thoughts, and depression.[3]

You have the comfortable belief the you aren't the sort of person that would be driven insane by extended sensory deprivation because have experienced a meditative state. You refuse to believe that ALL HUMANS are the "sort of person" that will, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred, be driven insane by prolonged sensory deprivation. 

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... just that they do not cause upset or fear. So he won't be bothered by hallucinations or whatever. And of course, if this person Knows his inseparability from everything, being alone for a long time wouldn't be upsetting either.

That's a rather cavalier dismissal of the established science that ANYONE will be driven insane by sensory deprivation, not because of his world view, his faith or what sort of person he is, but because he is human and cannot function in a sensory deprivation state.

At this point you resorted to stretching the 'disconnectedness' general definition of insanity (not shared by science or most of human society) to include the  'unable to function in society' category.

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It is the fact that we are already insane (disconnected)...
No it isn't, unless we have a such a broad definition of insanity as to leave the shrinks in a tizzy.
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... that extended period in a sensory deprivation tank will aggravate matters.

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]Insanity (ummatta) is the state of being mentally ill to the stage of no longer being able to function properly in society.
http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=191#sthash.dNap4XZp.dpuf.

I was quite clear in the stating the fact that sensory deprivation disables a human from being able to function in society. But in order to blur the line between the two forms of "insanity", you group them ALL under "disconnectedness". That's incorrect logic. ONE form of "disconnectedness" disables you from functioning in society and the other DOES NOT.

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The Buddha described insanity as the faculties being deranged and no longer under the individual’s control (M.II,106).

Intense and prolonged grief, fear, stress or frustration or a chemical malfunction within the brain can all cause insanity.

Because of his deep knowledge of the human mind and his compassion, the Buddha realized that an insane person could not be held responsible for his or her actions and should not be punished for them.

He also understood that a person might commit a crime while being temporally insane. -
http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=191#sthash.dNap4XZp.dpuf.

Buddha discerns between the two forms of insanity to the point of not holding a person responsible for their behavior under ONE form (e.g. sensory deprivation) as opposed to a functioning member of society that has not reached enlightenment (still disconnected).

Why don't you? Because you cling to the view that the sensory deprivation, ITSELF, is NOT what is producing the severe insanity of not being able to function in society.

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... that extended period in a sensory deprivation tank will aggravate matters.

"EXTENDED" PERIOD? Excuse me sir, that sounds like gyration to me.

This is your flawed logic: We are already in a giant sensory deprivation state. Those more disconnected than others will more easily have their states "aggravated" (go totally bonkers and NOT be able to function in society) than those, perhaps like yourself , that have never experienced discomfort of any sort in a deep meditative state.

The TELL is that word, "AGGRAVATE". Ka, it doesn't FIT in the sentence. Not being able to function in society versus being able to function CANNOT be casually referred to as an "aggravated" condition. That's like saying, "Yes, he went nuts, no big deal, everybody else is nuts too. Yes, I know he is frothing at the mouth and irrational, suicidal or homicidal, attempts to eat his fingers or bite the furniture but we are all, unless we are suitably advanced in our meditative discipline, in the same boat.

Excuse the hyperbole, but I won't let you dance around this one.  :icon_mrgreen:

THAT DOG WON'T HUNT!  :icon_mrgreen:

You are a good man and I wish there were more like you that lived a peaceful and peace loving life seeking harmony in all things.

But your adherence to Buddhism has caused you to depart from accepting the validity and truth of empirical scientific evidence that has defined "sensation" and "insanity" in clinical terms as they relate to a functioning member of human society. Yes, society is pretty deranged as it is now BUT there is a reason, and a valid one, why people in nut houses are not allowed shoe strings or sharp objects. Blurring the distinction between those not responsible for their actions and those that are (something Buddha never did). is a logical fallacy.

I rest my case.
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline Ka

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2013, 12:26:23 AM »
AG,
I was assuming you were aware that I have been using the word 'insane' unconventionally, as  when you said in your previous comment:
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It is a logical fallacy. Insanity is , by definition, loss of contact with reality. You claim Buddhism IS that contact.
Obviously, I am aware of how it is conventionally used, and I know there is a big difference between those (most everyone) with a loss of contact from spiritual reality, and those with an additional loss of contact with physical reality. Since most of this comment seemed to be making the assumption that I was somehow blurring the distinction, there is little point to answering it in detail. Instead, I'll keep the focus on your claim that the fact that "extended or forced sensory deprivation can result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations, bizarre thoughts, and depression." (Note -- that's from your wikipedia quote, so why get on my case for "gyration" by using the word 'extended'?]

First, I have no reason to think that I am immune from this. On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised that a yogi who can spend days buried might well be. You can't go from  "extended or forced sensory deprivation can result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations, bizarre thoughts, and depression" to "established science that ANYONE will be driven insane by sensory deprivation". Notice the word 'can'. But that is beside the point. Your point is that you claim that because sensory deprivation can cause mental disorder, that this shows my theory to be untrue. You say

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Normal daily life does NOT produce the above deleterious results on humans. Therefore, the FACT that REMOVING sensory input can cause total human dysfunction in society ((insanity) and subsequent enabling of normal human senses eliminates the dysfunction provides proof that:

1) The sensory input is real, not an illusion and is evidence of what is TRUE.

No, it is evidence of what is normal. It is abnormal to be awake and not have experience of the physical world. Too much abnormality of any kind will cause anxiety, etc.

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2) Your non-optional requirement for information from the OUTSIDE world (to avoid insanity) is proof that the outside world is REAL and not some flaw in a fallen mind's mental construct (dreaming separateness).

No. All it shows is that to stay normal, one's experience needs to be normal. It shows nothing about where sensations "come from". No scientific procedure can show that, as I explained in my previous post.


Offline Ashvin

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2013, 11:36:50 AM »
This is why I focus mostly on "initial faith" here. The sensory deprivation line of reasoning is very interesting, requires a bit more fleshing out I believe.

But regardless, from my perspective, it requires more initial faith to separate "normal" and "conventional" reality from "actual" reality in terms of the physical world, than to assume that there is no such separation.

The fact that Ka's view is generally immune from being tested and disproved (since it questions the presuppositions used to "test" in the first place), while ours is not (our presuppositions allow for objective testing), is also a factor in deciding the amount of initial faith for me.

Finally, the implications of that initial leap of faith are anything but trivial, since it will ultimately effect how we view divine revelation and the path to eternal life in Christ.

I find there is just a lot more meat to hang on the bones of historic Christianity than the highly mystical versions...

Offline agelbert

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2013, 02:41:17 PM »
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I find there is just a lot more meat to hang on the bones of historic Christianity than the highly mystical versions...


Me too.

But what would Ka say to PROVING that he would not become deranged in a sensory deprivation chamber by contacting authorities at a university lab that have one and submitting to the same length of time or greater that causes, at present, all human subjects to become deranged. If he emerges unscathed, he can use that experience as a robust proof of his world view. Otherwise, he would be forced to accept the fact that his world view as expressed in the following statement is incorrect:

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Now according to my world view, what enables reconnection is the ability to detach from all sensations.

Only by twisting the definition of "sensation" 180 degrees can he escape the conclusion that the above statement is at odds with reality. To withdraw sensations for a brief period and get a wonderful experience that will, if prolonged, result in loss of contact with reality and insanity is simply at odds with the entire Buddhist world view.

Even according to Buddha, we AREN'T "all crazy" as Ka claimed as an explanation for the deleterious effect for prolonged sensory deprivation. Buddha discerned between people responsible for their actions and those not responsible. Ka simply CANNOT dance around that.

What say ye, Ka? If you can prove the sensory deprivation chamber is a POSITIVE, not negative insanity inducing experience, you will be supporting your hypothesis that detaching from all sensations will enable a higher level of connection in direct proportion to the amount of time in the sensory deprivation chamber.

Of course if you do experience derangement, you will then be forced to revise your world view OR adopt the logical fallacy that the level of insanity that is normal in Homo sapiens (according to Buddhism) is NO DIFFERENT FROM the level of insanity (according to secular human society) that causes a person to NOT be able to function at all in society.

Futhermore, you will be forced to recognize that the sensory deprivation chamber is BLOCKING OUTSIDE INFORMATION that you cannot function without.

You must then recognize the REALITY of the OUTSIDE as a contribution to your sanity. This is exactly opposite of what you now profess in your world view.

You CANNOT have it both ways, regardless of how broadly you stretch the definition of sensation, unreality or reality and connection to knowing because one set of proofs is exclusive from the other.

I won't belabor this issue of sensory input anymore. To do so would be do descend into a miasma of semantics that is above my vocabulary skills. I will try to follow the discussion with you and Ashvin.

Right now I have a lot of Renewable Energy news and information to read, digest and prepare posts on so I'll be off this thread for a while.

God Bless you both.  :icon_sunny:
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline Ka

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Re: 3 Theories of Everything - Monism, Dualism and Trinitarianism
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2013, 06:08:03 PM »

But what would Ka say to PROVING that he would not become deranged in a sensory deprivation chamber by contacting authorities at a university lab that have one and submitting to the same length of time or greater that causes, at present, all human subjects to become deranged. If he emerges unscathed, he can use that experience as a robust proof of his world view.

It would help if you paid some attention to what I said. Specifically:

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First, I have no reason to think that I am immune from this. On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised that a yogi who can spend days buried might well be.

Note that I am not only not claiming that I am immune, but just suggesting that there may be some who are. I don't know for a fact that they are.

So why do I think that a perfectly Enlightened Master might be immune? Because they have learned detachment from sensations, about which I said:

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That doesn't mean they don't occur, just that they do not cause upset or fear. So he won't be bothered by hallucinations or whatever.

Let me say it again: they experience all the sensations we do. But they have learned not to get bent out of shape at them, as we normals do (by getting angry, afraid, and so on.) That is all that 'detachment' means. Maybe this won't make a difference if they are put into a sensory deprivation tank, but I think it might. THAT IS ALL I SAID.

As for my contradicting Buddhism, here you are ignoring how I started out my previous post. To wit:

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I was assuming you were aware that I have been using the word 'insane' unconventionally....

Obviously, I am aware of how it is conventionally used, and I know there is a big difference between those (most everyone) with a loss of contact from spiritual reality, and those with an additional loss of contact with physical reality.

The Buddha and you and I all agree that some people have mental disorders that prevent them from functioning normally in society. Conventionally, such people are called insane, and that is what I call them in most situations. But in making a philosophical point I choose to use the word unconventionally. That is how philosophy works (and other disciplines) -- unless existing words are used unconventionally it would be impossible to say anything unconventional.


 

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