Tuesday, January 15, 2013

448: The Art Not to be an Egoist 13

This is lecture 13 in 2013 of our Project "The Art of Not to be an Egoist". So Welcome in 2013 together with me and I'll promise to do my best for you to make is a fruitful philosophical year.

That I take you to the heart of the contemporary questions and debates in philosophy is again proven by a short interview in my newspaper this morning.

It is about everything that is the hot issue here since my lecture 266 "The Mystery of the Brain introduced" in September 2010. Now check this out…….

Researchers at the Free University of Amsterdam (protestant roots) go study the frontiers of science. Initiator professor RenĂ© van Woudenberg (55) denounces the idea that science is the only way to acquire knowledge. 

For organizing debates and attract researchers the Professor of Philosophy receives 2.4 million of the Templeton World Charity Foundation. This foundation means that there should be room for spirituality in science.

When you check Wikipedia on this Foundation you find, among other things this:
Broadly, controversial aspects of the Templeton Foundation fall into three categories.
1.The Foundation is seen by some as having a conservative bias.

2. The Foundation receives criticism from some members in the scientific community who are concerned with its linking of scientific and religious questions.

3. The Foundation stands accused of using its financial clout to encourage researchers and reporters to produce material favorable to its position linking religion to science etc.

Now the interview…..

QUESTION: You think that many scientists to interfere in areas where they have no knowledge of, such as philosophy and religion. Can you give an example?

ANSWER: "Take the book of brain scientists as Dick Swaab and Victor Lamme. Both conclude on the basis of experiments that free will does not exist.

In one such experiment, by Benjamin Libet, a subject gets electrodes on his head and he must move his finger at a chosen time. 

The researchers note that  brain activity was  there already before the subject indicated that he was aware that he wanted to move his finger.

Ergo: the free will does not exist. This conclusion goes too far. The subject was asked to move his finger any moment within the next minute. 

That instruction was already stored in his brains, so it's a bad experiment to test free wil. "

QUESTION: According to some evolutionary psychologists morality is an illusion generated by our genes. What we find good and bad, would depend entirely on what is important to the survival of the species.

ANSWER: "That I dare to doubt. That we disapprove of murder and theft, has survival benefits for survival of the group. 

But when I lived in America, I read as a newspaper article about a fertility doctor. The man had women with fertility problems secretly inseminated with his own sperm. 

Evolutionary you would say he is happy, happy women, what's the problem? Yet everyone feels that this is  reprehensible behavior. 

That moral judgment is beyond evolutionary psychology  and there is more wisdom to get for example the philosophy or religion here. "

QUESTION: Now the word religion is dropped: are you religious?

ANSWER: "I try to live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ."

QUESTION: That does not answer the question.

ANSWER: "Yes, I believe in God."

QUESTION: How do you know that God exists?

ANSWER: "That knowledge is not of the same order as the proof that the square root of 2 is not a fracture. Yet there is reliable knowledge of non-scientific nature. 

For instance, I'm sure my name is RenĂ© van Woudenberg and that every bone in my body is intact. This proves that valuable knowledge can exist without scientific research is needed. 

Maybe that knowledge of God is also an example of this.

For those who have learnt about my philosophical views since lecture 001 will understand, that this last answer is 100% contrary to my philosophical views and 100% in line with the Templeton ideology.

The Discussion

[13:28] herman Bergson: Thank you...
[13:29] herman Bergson: Well..we'll wait for Catt's return then :-)
[13:30] herman Bergson: AT least the interview shows that there is a kind of opposition (to my iseas)
[13:30] herman Bergson: ideas
[13:31] herman Bergson: You are allstill listening to the jingle bells?
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i need to hear more about this subject before I can give a comment I suppose
[13:32] Debbie Dee (framdor):  ✧✩**✩✧ G I G G L E S ✧✩**
[13:32] Debbie Dee (framdor): I think that the religious intervention in science is absurd.
[13:33] herman Bergson: So you take especially the last answer of this professor for granted?
[13:33] Bejiita Imako:
[13:33] herman Bergson: I mean ..that a professor in philosophy dares to say a thing like that...:-)
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): not all professors in phiosophy dare to say that..you do..
[13:34] herman Bergson: Just this single statement : "This proves that valuable knowledge can exist without scientific research is needed."
[13:34] Debbie Dee (framdor): well you're a thinking philosopher ....
[13:35] herman Bergson: ok..then start thinking....
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: that means science
[13:35] herman Bergson: he talks about VALUABLE knowledge....
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: to be sure u need a proof of some sort
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: or similar
[13:35] herman Bergson: what does he mean by VALUABLE???
[13:35] Debbie Dee (framdor): useful in some way
[13:35] Debbie Dee (framdor): so a knowledge of a good well is useful
[13:35] herman Bergson: is there a kind of knowledge that is more valuable than scientific knowledge...
[13:36] herman Bergson: so what knowledge is it?
[13:36] herman Bergson: What is the extra value?
[13:36] herman Bergson: how do you get that knowledge
[13:36] Fred123 Aiten: how do you know its a good well
[13:36] Debbie Dee (framdor): knowledge of self...
[13:36] herman Bergson: And valuable to what purpose?
[13:36] herman Bergson: Yes Debbie....
[13:37] Catt entered chat range (17.65 m).
[13:37] herman Bergson: when asked for examples he came with Cartesian observations...
[13:37] herman Bergson: "I know what my name is...I know what the conditions of my bones is..."
[13:38] herman Bergson: and indeed...epistemologically there is a difference between the "I " statements and third person scientific statements...
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: thats interesting
[13:38] Fred123 Aiten: how do you know what the condition of your bones is. You can only think you know without science
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): true Fred
[13:39] herman Bergson: Well Fred..that was what I was thinking too,....
[13:39] herman Bergson: only scientific investigation can show that you dont suffer of ostheoperosis...or artritis
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: u have to see it
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:40] herman Bergson: My point is that we are analyzing human nature at the moment....
[13:40] herman Bergson: we ask "What is human nature"
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: to prove it
[13:41] herman Bergson: or more popular said...Are we born egoists or are we born altruists
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: I use to say if a scientist can prove that god exists and show true information about it then i belive in god
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: not before
[13:41] herman Bergson: And to answer that question we need next to philosophical answers scientific observations
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: same with ghosts,until i see one i dont believe in them
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: and i havent seen any ghost so far what i know
[13:42] Catt (catt.gable): Ah the Doubting Thomas School of Thought, smiles
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita....that would be nice....
[13:42] herman Bergson: But what would the proof of this existence of god change this world as it is...(tho it is said it is his creation)
[13:42] Debbie Dee (framdor): But Bejita - there are so many on tv :)
[13:43] Bejiita Imako:
[13:43] herman Bergson: In fact...the existence of a god is completely irrelevant to how our lives develop....
[13:43] herman Bergson: unless you believe that this existence also allows a possibility of interfering with the facts of life as they are...
[13:44] Debbie Dee (framdor): Religion determines a lot of how we develop - most wars have been over god.
[13:44] herman Bergson: That leads to a lot of questions....
[13:44] herman Bergson: No Debbie ..all wars were about dominance...and control
[13:45] herman Bergson: Yje arabic world is a perfect example...
[13:45] herman Bergson: masses are manipulated to fight for "the cause"
[13:45] Debbie Dee (framdor): Yes, and the church was used to mobilize the people....
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:46] Debbie Dee (framdor): yes... and god is used a lot.
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): which cause?
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: they use religion to deprive all women of their rights in saudi arabia for ex
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: really sad
[13:46] herman Bergson: In a sauce of Allah Acbar...of course...
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: and also all these wars
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): cause
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: terrible
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): chatlag....
[13:47] Debbie Dee (framdor): but the religeons exist even though god doesn't?
[13:47] herman Bergson: no..to get back to the believe of an existing and interfering god in our world...
[13:47] herman Bergson: Would really be a big problem....
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:47] herman Bergson: He would get involved in politics :-)
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why would we go back ?
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is the use?
[13:48] herman Bergson: Because this professor claims the existence of nonscientific valuable knowledge Beertje
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: also there are so many different gods but each religion only believe thant one single god exist
[13:49] herman Bergson: and the knowledge of the existence of god is one of its items
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: yet no one have ever seen it
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: hmm now chat lag is bad
[13:49] herman Bergson: YEs Bejiita....:-)
[13:49] herman Bergson: Who is the real god?
[13:50] Catt (catt.gable): Supposedly Moses saw God
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: yes always asked me that too
[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we all are..
[13:50] Debbie Dee (framdor): I am!
[13:50] Debbie Dee (framdor): Yay.... I've been saved ;)
[13:51] herman Bergson: A lot have seen god Catt...at least that is what they say
[13:51] Catt (catt.gable): Supposedly Moses saw God or parts of him which turned his hair white etc.
[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): my hair turns white of my puber children...
[13:51] Debbie Dee (framdor): god exists in our minds.
[13:51] Catt (catt.gable): well, his is significant in that it happened while he was receiving the 10 commandments which have impacted much of the world.
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:51] herman Bergson: My hair turned white years ago....
[13:52] Catt (catt.gable): lag
[13:53] herman Bergson: But the ten commandments aren't unique for the Jewish belief....you find them in all kinds of ways in many cultures
[13:53] Catt (catt.gable): Universal truth is not unique
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: middle east have islam, India Hinduism ect
[13:53] Catt (catt.gable): yes
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: in hinduism they at least have more then one god
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:54] Catt (catt.gable): I only mentioned Moses because of a blanket statement made about no one having seen god
[13:54] Debbie Dee (framdor): and god exists in our collective minds.
[13:54] Catt (catt.gable): have
[13:54] Catt (catt.gable): Someone (as you say some people) believe they have
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: and the word avatar comes from the materialisation f these gods as they are portraited
[13:55] Catt (catt.gable): yes Bejiita
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: wich is suiting since our avatars are virtual representations of ut
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: us
[13:55] Catt (catt.gable): yes
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: the word avatar is the hindu gods materializing
[13:56] herman Bergson: oh ..so we are all gods Bejiita?
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: aaargh chat lag
[13:56] herman Bergson: yes terrible chat lag
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: sort of its the same idea as how these invisible gods are turned into how we see them as shiva ect
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: and thats called avatar which then became avatar
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: thats how the term was formed
[13:58] herman Bergson: interesting....
[13:58] herman Bergson: and explains why we are god in our own Second Life
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: virtual 1 and 0 turn into our visible virtual representations of the rl person behind
[13:58] Catt (catt.gable): that hindus have hundreds of god avatars just suggests an effort to identify something that they intuit as greater than all of us
[13:59] herman Bergson: Well we are a bit drifted away from the main idea of this lecture.
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: Definition of AVATAR
: the incarnation of a Hindu deity (as Vishnu)
a : an incarnation in human form
b : an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person
: a variant phase or version of a continuing basic entity
: an electronic image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user (as in a computer game)
[14:00] herman Bergson: That there is opposition to the scientific look at reality originating from religious quarters :-)
[14:00] Debbie Dee entered chat range (4.86 m).
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[14:01] herman Bergson: The SL weather is very bad today....
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: its laggy for sure server need restart i think
[14:01] Catt (catt.gable): bad today
[14:01] herman Bergson: lots of crashes and lag
[14:01] Debbie Dee (framdor): yep. and my umbrella is at home.....
[14:01] herman Bergson: not only here...
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: some of my messages show only after about 10 mins
[14:02] herman Bergson: heard it form others too
[14:02] Debbie Dee (framdor): The lecture came through muddled :(
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: gets all messed up
[14:02] herman Bergson: Then..let me thank you all for your participation....
[14:02] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): better go offline then and have a good sleep
[14:02] Debbie Dee (framdor):  ✧✩**✩✧ G I G G L E S ✧✩**
[14:02] herman Bergson: and let's hope for better conditions on Thursday
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: i got some stuff to think about at least
[14:02] Catt (catt.gable): Thanks Herman, let's try this again when SL is more stable?
[14:02] herman Bergson: Quite so Beertje!
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: and was interesting start
[14:03] Debbie Dee (framdor): night all... and thanks Herman...
[14:03] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): goodnight all:) sweet dreams
[14:03] herman Bergson: Thank you Bejiita
[14:03] Bejiita Imako:
[14:03] Bejiita Imako: cu soon all

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