Tuesday, October 22, 2013

497: The [non] existence of religiosity

When I first introduced this project on Eastern Philosophy one of the first reactions was "But isn't that most of all religion?"

And when I announced to continue with Buddhism the discussion came onto religion and religiosity again.

In my newspaper there is for some weeks now a discussion going on. It started with an article, written by a well known atheist, again stating that God does not exist.

Such a statement still works like a red flag on a Spanish bull and two days ago a hit again. Now is the headline "Suppression of religiosity has lasted long enough".

The fist sentence of the article already contains in interesting mistake.
" Philosophers and theologians already knew it since long ago, but now there is scientific proof: man is religious by nature."

In my eyes this is complete nonsense and begging the question. If the authors of the article had written: man shows by nature some peculiar behavior, I would have agreed.

What is the case: Over the last decade, there have been many calls in the secular community for increased criticism of religion, 

and increased activism to help loosen its grip on the public. But what if the human brain itself is aligned against that endeavor?

That's the argument made by cognitive scientist Robert McCauley in his new book, Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not. If McCauley is right, spreading secularism and critical thinking may always be a difficult battle.

Dr. McCauley is University Professor and Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture at Emory University.

What is the question here? Let me give you an example, an hilarious one actually but it really has happened.

I have a small plastic box with little pills in it, that I use in my coffee, well..the pills I mean, in stead of sugar. I guess you know what I mean. You press on the button and one little white pill is released.

But what happened? In stead of one there dropped TWO pills. I wasn't pleased with that at all and I thought "I'll get you!". And as a punishment I threw the extra pill in my trash. "There! Your own fault!"

Should I go and see my psychiatrist now? Treating inanimate objects as sensing beings? OMG!

The fun is, I dare to bet with each of you, that you have acted the same. When was the last time you talked to your car, or berated some object, which almost made you stumble? Let alone the abuse you used in response to the behavior of your computer.

Is this so surprising? Not at all. McCauley just reinvents the wheel, kicking open an opened door. Why? Quite simple, because what he says we already know for decades.

For that you have to turn to one of the founding fathers of cognitive psychology, a Swiss scientist  (1896 – 1980). He found the secrets of human learning and knowledge hidden behind the cute and seemingly illogical notions of children.

He developed a model of stages of cognitive development. What is interesting for us is the cognitive stage between 2 and 6 years, in which we discover that we are an individual and that there is the rest of the world.

It is the period in life that all things around you are animated: your doll, your stuffed bear, your cat and dog, the trees…name it.

The mistake we make is to believe that this cognitive state gradually is replaced by common sense. Sure, for 99% it is, but yet it stays a part of our brain.

In the adult stage it leads to the attitude, that we don't like questions. We like answers. Thence we developed science and where science can't offer answers , we invent answers ourself.

One organized answer with deep cultural and historic roots is called religion:  yet the product of the brain itself. It helps us to see the world as an organized, meaningful and destiny oriented system.

 And here I only can quote Bertrand Russell: "The value of philosophy is, in fact, to be sought largely in its very uncertainty. The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, 

from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co−operation or consent of his deliberate reason."

So  the quintessence of life becomes how to live with uncertainty. And maybe Buddhism is an answer…who knows. For that …attend the next lectures:-))

The Discussion

2013/10/17 13:21]  herman Bergson: Thank you:-))
[2013/10/17 13:21]  CONNIE Eichel: :)
[2013/10/17 13:22]  herman Bergson: If you have questions or remarks...the floor is yours :-))
[2013/10/17 13:22]  Corronach: I don't think we *can* live with uncertainty.
[2013/10/17 13:22]  Corronach: I think we create logic and structure to survive.
[2013/10/17 13:22]  herman Bergson: yes indeed Corronach
[2013/10/17 13:23]  Corronach: Religion serves a function
[2013/10/17 13:23]  Corronach: for example...
[2013/10/17 13:23]  Corronach: it alleviates fear of death for many people
[2013/10/17 13:23]  herman Bergson: yes...
[2013/10/17 13:23]  Corronach: perhaps that fear would be too great otherwise
[2013/10/17 13:23]  Corronach: a mortal terror
[2013/10/17 13:23]  herman Bergson: in the article I referred to they even say it ois good for your health :-)
[2013/10/17 13:23]  Corronach: well, apparently prayer has been proven in some research to improve mental health
[2013/10/17 13:24]  herman Bergson: yes like meditation....
[2013/10/17 13:24]  herman Bergson: However...to pray for a sick person doesn't help the sick person at all, research also shows...
[2013/10/17 13:24]  herman Bergson: but it might help the other dealing with the feelings about a sick friend or relative indeed
[2013/10/17 13:25]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): alright, there is no solution to this dilemma.. or is there ?
[2013/10/17 13:25]  herman Bergson: what is the dilemma Dagg?
[2013/10/17 13:26]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): to see the fear or the void and not to be able to get rid of it
[2013/10/17 13:26]  herman Bergson: hmmm...yes...
[2013/10/17 13:26]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): i don't want to escape in some belief
[2013/10/17 13:26]  herman Bergson: That is what I am always wondering about....
[2013/10/17 13:26]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): yes
[2013/10/17 13:26]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): me too
[2013/10/17 13:27]  herman Bergson: I mean..what is so scaring about  this "void"?
[2013/10/17 13:27]  Corronach: both science and religion can be viewed as our need for control. whether we want control, as with science, or whether we want someone else to have it, as in religion.
[2013/10/17 13:27]  herman Bergson: Life is or is not....that is all we know...
[2013/10/17 13:27]  Corronach: either way, as long as there is control, we are contained.
[2013/10/17 13:27]  Corronach: secure.
[2013/10/17 13:28]  herman Bergson: Yes Corronach...but religion controls the masses perhaps...but it doesnt help the individual to control his personal life...
[2013/10/17 13:29]  Corronach: it can do, depending on the beliefs i suppose.
[2013/10/17 13:29]  herman Bergson: But indeed it all is about control...about understanding your life....the meaning of it...
[2013/10/17 13:29]  Corronach: the void, or the after-death, without religion is complete loss of control.
[2013/10/17 13:30]  herman Bergson: for some it appears to be indeed....
[2013/10/17 13:30]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): Not for you?
[2013/10/17 13:30]  herman Bergson: Imean..I dont mind....
[2013/10/17 13:30]  herman Bergson: I exist..and someday I stop existing ...what is the big deal there :-))
[2013/10/17 13:31]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): Well, I like existing :)
[2013/10/17 13:31]  CONNIE Eichel: its sad
[2013/10/17 13:31]  herman Bergson: Oh yes me too....^_^
[2013/10/17 13:31]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): So not existing anymore is a big deal.
[2013/10/17 13:31]  herman Bergson: I wouldnt say so...
[2013/10/17 13:32]  herman Bergson: because you only can be aware of not existing when you are aware of your existence :-))
[2013/10/17 13:32]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): but then we have another belief there, that life is meaningless..is that the conclusion ?
[2013/10/17 13:32]  herman Bergson: when you die awareness just simply stops
[2013/10/17 13:32]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): we don't know that
[2013/10/17 13:32]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): It may be irrelevant to me when I don't exist. But since I currently exist, it matters to me that I might stop :)
[2013/10/17 13:33]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): no one came back to tell, but we can assume so
[2013/10/17 13:33]  herman Bergson: yes..the idea not to have another day is unpleasant...
[2013/10/17 13:34]  herman Bergson: but realistic...it can happen...is absolutely normal that it will happentoo
[2013/10/17 13:34]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): Just because something is normal doesn't mean I have to like it.
[2013/10/17 13:34]  herman Bergson: but then the remark....if looked at it this way ...life is meaningless???
[2013/10/17 13:34]  herman Bergson: No....
[2013/10/17 13:34]  herman Bergson: Because that idea is deeply connected with teleological thinking....
[2013/10/17 13:35]  herman Bergson: Life must lead to something....to some goal...
[2013/10/17 13:35]  herman Bergson: is the life of your cat meaningless???
[2013/10/17 13:35]  herman Bergson: Does it expect to be reborn in some afterlife?
[2013/10/17 13:35]  Corronach: cat gives me joy :)
[2013/10/17 13:36]  CONNIE Eichel: we make that question when we are "born" in SL... what is the goal here?
[2013/10/17 13:36]  herman Bergson: Yes...Corronach...
[2013/10/17 13:36]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): I dont know, lets talk about humans , is hard enough lol
[2013/10/17 13:36]  herman Bergson: thus you give meaning to the life of your cat
[2013/10/17 13:36]  herman Bergson: as an organism...
[2013/10/17 13:36]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): I wouldn't argue that the absence of an afterlife makes life meaningless. In fact, if there is no afterlife, then corporeal life is the only life with any meaning.
[2013/10/17 13:36]  Corronach: i see two main purposes to SL, Connie. People come here for sex, or they come here to escape. Or both. :)
[2013/10/17 13:36]  herman Bergson: what is the difference between humans and all other creatures on this planet?
[2013/10/17 13:37]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): the difference is ...
[2013/10/17 13:37]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): We smoke cigarettes.
[2013/10/17 13:37]  CONNIE Eichel: coinscience... however it spells
[2013/10/17 13:37]  herman Bergson: Our consciousness...our self awareness...
[2013/10/17 13:37]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): that humans have an individuality , I guess
[2013/10/17 13:37]  herman Bergson: yes CONNIE :-)
[2013/10/17 13:37]  herman Bergson: Primates have an individuality too Dagg....
[2013/10/17 13:38]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): Oh, some also smoke cigarettes . . .
[2013/10/17 13:38]  herman Bergson: no two chimps are alike as individual for instance
[2013/10/17 13:38]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): not sure about that herman, sorry
[2013/10/17 13:38]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): I've heard there's been some interesting results recently to research in regards to dog consciousness.
[2013/10/17 13:39]  herman Bergson: oh...read Frans de Waal on that subject Dagg...
[2013/10/17 13:39]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): alright I will
[2013/10/17 13:39]  herman Bergson: well it is a proven fact that some animals have some level of self awareness...
[2013/10/17 13:40]  herman Bergson: The most famous test is the mirror test....
[2013/10/17 13:40]  herman Bergson: does an animal recognize himself in a mirror...?
[2013/10/17 13:40]  herman Bergson: A cat doesn't for instance....it goes looking behind the mirror
[2013/10/17 13:41]  herman Bergson: But an elephant does as a chimpansee does...
[2013/10/17 13:41]  CONNIE Eichel: /me vanishes for rl...
[2013/10/17 13:41]  herman Bergson: bye CONNIE :-)
[2013/10/17 13:41]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): what about the morality.. lets take the question of human rights..can animals go as far as we do ?
[2013/10/17 13:42]  herman Bergson: Of course not that far Dagg, but again....
[2013/10/17 13:42]  herman Bergson: Frans de Waal has demonstrated that even Bonobos have a sense of fairness....
[2013/10/17 13:43]  herman Bergson: His latest book is on this subject...
[2013/10/17 13:43]  herman Bergson: even these primates have some rudimentary sense of justice....
[2013/10/17 13:43]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): i need to doubt some of Piaget because i have two early memories, one i was in a baby's crib and the other i was crawling - i knew then what was inanimate and what was alive
[2013/10/17 13:43]  herman Bergson: but indeed nothing compared to what we have...
[2013/10/17 13:44]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): Ray Bradbury claimed to remember being in the womb.
[2013/10/17 13:45]  herman Bergson: you can claim what you like....of course...
[2013/10/17 13:45]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): lol
[2013/10/17 13:45]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): bradbury is been found unreliable
[2013/10/17 13:45]  herman Bergson: the peculiar thing with such claims however is that hardly anyone has such experiences, tho we are with billions of people on this planet...
[2013/10/17 13:46]  herman Bergson: it is always just one , maybe a few persons...
[2013/10/17 13:46]  herman Bergson: I would say it is complete nonsense what this Ray says..but that is my personal evaluation of his claim
[2013/10/17 13:47]  herman Bergson: Anyway...the point is....
[2013/10/17 13:47]  herman Bergson: can a philosopher deal with religious thinking...?
[2013/10/17 13:48]  herman Bergson: My answer is yes. of course, for it is a product of the same brain the philosopher uses....an aspect of human behavior
[2013/10/17 13:48]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): I should think a philosopher could analyse anything he or she wants :)
[2013/10/17 13:48]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): i am reading an article on consciousness, i am sorry, the title and author is not at my fingertips, that is leading me away from a deep theological belief
[2013/10/17 13:49]  herman Bergson: Yes indeed Toubanau...that is what is the value of philosophy as Russell indicates
[2013/10/17 13:49]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): I think that Plato f.i. was somehow religious..not in the sense of a dogma but in spiritual sense
[2013/10/17 13:50]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): I'm sorry but rl is calling me too. Nice meeting you folks :)
[2013/10/17 13:50]  herman Bergson: he was metaphysical indeed Dagg....
[2013/10/17 13:50]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): *leading me away from spiritual beliefs
[2013/10/17 13:50]  herman Bergson: because he tried to solve an epistemological problem...
[2013/10/17 13:50]  Toubanua T'Kreth (toubanua.tairov): Ciao, all :)
[2013/10/17 13:51]  herman Bergson: He wondered ..how can we know what we know...
[2013/10/17 13:52]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): this article i am reading explains the workings of the chemical/biologiacl brain
[2013/10/17 13:53]  herman Bergson: oh there is a lot of research on that subject XTC....
[2013/10/17 13:53]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): it is fascinating and wholly explainable
[2013/10/17 13:53]  herman Bergson: just google on 'godhelm'
[2013/10/17 13:53]  herman Bergson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_helmet
[2013/10/17 13:54]  herman Bergson: it explains a lot about what saints experienced in the catholic tradition....
[2013/10/17 13:54]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): the saxon chieftan?
[2013/10/17 13:54]  herman Bergson: Like Jean d'Arc shows all characteristics of what is now know as a mental disorder
[2013/10/17 13:55]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): ahh yes
[2013/10/17 13:55]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): ty
[2013/10/17 13:55]  herman Bergson: Well..
[2013/10/17 13:55]  Mikki Louise (mikkilouise): I must go.. thank you for the class and discussion
[2013/10/17 13:55]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): bye Mikki
[2013/10/17 13:55]  herman Bergson: I have tortured you long enough, I guess :-))
[2013/10/17 13:55]  Mikki Louise (mikkilouise): lol
[2013/10/17 13:55]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): no it was quite interesting herman
[2013/10/17 13:56]  herman Bergson: so..see you next lecture on Buddhism :-)
[2013/10/17 13:56]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): i am lagging very bad - i am not on my powerful pc :-(
[2013/10/17 13:56]  herman Bergson: You look perfectly ok to me, XTC...and your legs too :-))
[2013/10/17 13:56]  Corronach: thanks herman
[2013/10/17 13:56]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): haha :-))!
[2013/10/17 13:57]  herman Bergson: Thank you all again....class dismissed :-)
[2013/10/17 13:57]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): but i have pants on
[2013/10/17 13:57]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): thank you
[2013/10/17 13:57]  Dagg (daggash.bayn): bye bye all
[2013/10/17 13:57]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): byby, professor bergson
[2013/10/17 13:57]  herman Bergson: Bye Dagg
[2013/10/17 13:57]  Corronach: bye
[2013/10/17 13:57]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): byby
[2013/10/17 13:57]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): fare well until we meet again...
[2013/10/17 13:57]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): oxo...
[2013/10/17 13:58]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): Enjoy traveling around Second Life...
[2013/10/17 13:59]  xtc yonimyxtc (windows.bhalti): thank you for hosting, for teaching and for your time :-)
[2013/10/17 13:59]  herman Bergson: my pleasure XTC :-))

Thursday, October 17, 2013

496: What about the East?

It is generally recognized that Confucian orthodoxy, which came to dominance in the Han dynasty (206 B.C.F.-220 C.E.)., is a river that over time was fed by three powerful streams: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. 

A typical Chinese, even into the modem period, might be heard to say, "With respect to family and society, I am Confucian; 

with respect to Nature I am Taoist; and with respect to things beyond the world of Nature and society, I am Buddhist"

The stress here is on the harmony of the three traditions. There is no suggestion that one separates family from nature or from "things apart from nature." 

Though Confucianism remains dominant, the three sensibilities provide distinct foci in accordance with which one can construe one's life.

Contemporary China is still a ritually constituted society without grounding in the objective principles associated with reason or natural law, 

its order defined by the exemplars of its tradition, according to Hall and Ames, whom I referred to in the previous lecture.

We insist on the universality of certain values, laws of nature and principles. When we claim that Chinese are subjugated to those same universality, Hall and Ames, call this ethnocentrism.

But physics and other sciences are not just cultural contingencies. Therefore I think, they make it too easy here for themselves.

Individualism, so characteristic for the West, is regarded as selfishness in Chines culture, which remains grounded in filiality and the model of the family that cultivates filial dependency.

Technology is not just a consequence of Western culture. It is also a logical consequence of our scientific insights regarding the world we live in.

Theoretically you could ignore this phenomenon, because it doesn't fit into your own culture. But reality shows that this is not possible and thus technology is a serious threat to China.

Maybe you recall, what I quoted from a newspaper article in lecture 492: "China has lost its soul and to regain it traditional religions should get more space. Chinese President Xi Jinping would behind the scenes advocate this. 

Xi is worried about the decades of moral decline of the Chinese society, under the influence of the booming Chinese economy.

The rapid economic progress in China is associated with an obsession for a lot of money and material prosperity. 

President Xi Jinping hopes that Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism could offer the Chinese people moral benchmarks again."

That was recently, so in 2013. The article of Hall and Ames was written 10 years ago! And they then concluded:

"Asking the Chinese to recognize that they have inalienable rights is to ask them to become, per impossibile, beings with essences or natures. 

Wishing for increased autonomy and freedom for the Chinese people, along with access to the technologies and economic institutions that make for the Western standard of living, is to condemn the Chinese order to dissolution. 

And, after the deluge, there is little hope that any alternative order could be put in its place. There is good reason to believe that the Chinese intellectual, social, and political orders are in crisis."

This leaves us with an interesting picture of China today and many questions about its future.

The Discussion

[13:19] herman Bergson: Thank you..:-))
[13:19] Gemma Allen: wow
[13:19] Nectanebus applauds
[13:19] Nectanebus: Quite the depressing tone on this one, it seems...
[13:19] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:19] Gemma Allen: in a way
[13:19] xtc yonimyxtc: mind boggling
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:19] herman Bergson: Ye sin deed Nectanebus....
[13:19] Gemma Allen: well
[13:19] Abinoam Nørgaard: About Xi Jinping, he sounds a lot like the Popes who've been warning for decades that Europe is losing its sense of identity due to secularization and marginalization of traditional Christianity.
[13:20] herman Bergson: But interesting is that this depressing tone was set 10 years ago
[13:20] Abinoam Nørgaard: It's not just China that is undergoing transformation, it's Europe as well
[13:20] xtc yonimyxtc: gee, i missed all those warnings
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: as i get this Chinese culture and modern technology don't mix
[13:20] ἀρετή: ten years...
[13:20] herman Bergson: Interesting point Abinoam :-))
[13:20] Gemma Allen: well some people can see the results of history
[13:21] Nectanebus: Yeah, everywhere's worried about the decline of moralism vis-a-vis consumerism
[13:21] Abinoam Nørgaard nods
[13:21] Gemma Allen: always have been
[13:21] herman Bergson: Our big mistake is that we created a money world...
[13:22] herman Bergson: our science and technology are used to make money....
[13:22] herman Bergson: on every fart a patent claim
[13:22] Abinoam Nørgaard: lol
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: ahah
[13:23] herman Bergson: and then our eternal growth of the economy....
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: well thats true
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: and with money comes greed
[13:23] Gemma Allen: is true tho some of the original creators of tech were hoping for it to better life for mankind
[13:23] herman Bergson: the point is that the Chinese never organized their society in that way.....
[13:23] Gemma Allen: the money people got hold
[13:23] Nectanebus: Ah, but a Technocracy is quite the opposite to a Consumerist society.
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: the thing is if we do something we always want something back, thats why we have money
[13:24] Nectanebus: And perhaps the problem here is the disinclination of various philosophies of the world to assimilate the questions and meanings of technology into their ponderings...
[13:24] Nectanebus: technology*
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: that seems to be the way most people wirk
[13:24] herman Bergson: that is the point nectanebus.....
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: tit for tat so to say, nothing for free
[13:24] Gemma Allen: well most did not because it was nto there
[13:25] herman Bergson: Islam is an example of anti technological attitude....
[13:25] Nectanebus: certainly
[13:25] herman Bergson: and emancipation of the individual
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:25] herman Bergson: Shoot a twelve year old girl because she goes to school...
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: they go backwards in time instead of forward
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: and start lot of wars
[13:26] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:26] Gemma Allen: it is a shame
[13:26] Corronach: on that note, happy Eid
[13:26] Gemma Allen: but
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: look what's happening in mid east now
[13:26] herman Bergson: But like the problems in China this is a reaction to what is forced upon us by Western culture....
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: so tragic
[13:26] Gemma Allen: those are radicals
[13:26] herman Bergson: But contrary to HAll and Ames, I dont think you can call it ethnocentrism
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: indeed but start to get out of control
[13:27] Gemma Allen: some islamic countries have much more liberal views of women
[13:27] Nectanebus: A bit of radicalism amongst the change can be healthy as an anchor to a populace during times of flux.
[13:27] Gemma Allen: Turkey for example
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: thats true
[13:27] herman Bergson: I doubt that Gemma...
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes thats true
[13:27] herman Bergson: also Turkey is moving backwards....
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: at least my experience
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: compared to other places
[13:28] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:28] Gemma Allen: compared
[13:28] Nectanebus doesn't pay much heed to Turkish affairs
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: also turkey is one of few places u can visit in mid east that is not a war zone
[13:28] Gemma Allen: hope not
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: been there done that
[13:28] Gemma Allen: it was a model
[13:28] herman Bergson: true....but islamic opposition is growing in Turkey too again
[13:28] Gemma Allen: oh dear
[13:29] Gemma Allen: that is a shame
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: oow
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:29] herman Bergson: Maybe the problem of today is...
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: loved the place when i was there and want to go back someday soon, lot of my friends have been there before now recently too
[13:30] herman Bergson: that whatever culture you have....you have to face the reality of natural sciences anr its consequences....
[13:30] herman Bergson: take the mobile phone...
[13:30] herman Bergson: you can not call it just  a product of our culture...
[13:30] herman Bergson: as a mere contingency
[13:31] Nectanebus: True, but I don't think science is likely to interfere with cultural pursuits overmuch, even in a religious sense, unless we're talking true regressionist thought, which isn't as prominent as medias make us think...#
[13:31] herman Bergson: or do all prefer communications with drums still :-)
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:31] Abinoam Nørgaard: i do lol
[13:31] Gemma Allen: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:31] Abinoam Nørgaard: hate the damn mobiles
[13:31] Bejiita Imako:
[13:32] herman Bergson: Guess you are a musician Abinoam :-))
[13:32] ἀρετή: music moves the world
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: i think modern smart phones are really practical things, the prob is nowadays everyone stare into those instead of socialising with each other
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: the asocial society
[13:33] herman Bergson: Maybe bejiita....
[13:33] Abinoam Nørgaard: i'm not, i just not a big fan of this idea of 24/7 availability that mobiles have introduced more than anything else. sure, you can turn it off, but everybody expects you to be available non-stop
[13:33] Nectanebus: Truth, Abi
[13:33] Nectanebus: If I'm not on work time, I refuse to have my mobile with me
[13:33] herman Bergson: indeed Abinoam
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: seen that on several occasions, people next to each other and all just stare down silently into their devices
[13:33] Nectanebus: Triangulation? no thanks
[13:33] ἀρετή: that's when you use technology to learn to meditate and reach out to learn about the essences and nature of people
[13:33] Abinoam Nørgaard: exactly
[13:34] herman Bergson: well anyway...when you look at Chinese philosophy today
[13:34] Nectanebus: And yeah, I think one thing Chaotes have ahead of other philosophies is occult use of technology as a matter of course
[13:34] herman Bergson: there is a serious struggle going on, I guess
[13:34] Nectanebus: Kinda of touches on what we mentioned a while ago about cities being ntural et cetera
[13:34] Nectanebus: natural*
[13:35] Abinoam Nørgaard: i missed that one
[13:35] herman Bergson: At least, I hope, you have some idea about Chinese philosophy today
[13:36] Abinoam Nørgaard: yes, thank you for the lecture!
[13:36] Corronach: Thank you herman
[13:36] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:36] herman Bergson: We'll leave the Chinese as such behind and focus our attention on one of the influences on Chinese philosophy....buddhism
[13:36] Nectanebus: Ending early today?
[13:36] Gemma Allen: wil be interesting to watch
[[13:37] Bejiita Imako: aaa
[13:37] Bejiita Imako:
[13:37] Gemma Allen: and keep in mind while watching china
[13:37] herman Bergson: Not in particular nectanebus
[13:37] herman Bergson: but what else is there to say about the future of China ...:-)
[13:37] Qwark Allen: the next super power
[13:37] herman Bergson: That is my idea too Gemma....
[13:37] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:37] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:37] Abinoam Nørgaard:
[13:37] ἀρετή: it's kinda scary
[13:38] herman Bergson: And that is the question Qwark...
[13:38] Nectanebus: Until the aging population swipes it from under them
[13:38] Gemma Allen: well thinking back to the demise of the soviet union
[13:38] Abinoam Nørgaard: indeed
[13:38] herman Bergson: Due to their philosophical background, some doubt that they can make it as a superpower
[13:38] Abinoam Nørgaard: i'm doubtful myself
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: they don't know how to handle our stuff, will collapse
[13:39] Qwark Allen: start looking at the economy, etc
[13:39] herman Bergson: Well...their confucian idea of society as a family....
[13:39] Qwark Allen: start looking international trade, and who owns what
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: you cant handle modern technology without understanding the science behind for ex, to get all pieces together
[13:39] Abinoam Nørgaard: corruption in china and lack of political freedoms are some of the things that will prevent them from becoming a true super power.
[13:40] Qwark Allen: ehehhe
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: all pieces of the puzzle must be there
[13:40] Gemma Allen: that may be very true
[13:40] herman Bergson: yes Abinoam...things like that
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:40] Qwark Allen: their system its a bit strange to our culture, but they have science behind them
[13:40] Nectanebus: how does lack of political freedom stop one becoming a superpower? I thought a dictatorship might be preferable from a cold-blooded standpoint...
[13:40] Abinoam Nørgaard: in short term yes
[13:41] Abinoam Nørgaard: but no dictatorship has held on for long
[13:41] Qwark Allen: they have a satilite in mars, a space station in orbit also
[13:41] herman Bergson: But science as a product derived from foreigners Qwark
[13:41] Qwark Allen: the 3rd launched
[13:41] Nectanebus: Interesting point, Herman
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: thats true
[13:41] Qwark Allen: not really
[13:41] Qwark Allen: we can say the USA have foreigners making their science moving foward
[13:41] Qwark Allen: but not china
[13:41] herman Bergson: all cultures try to integrate science .....but it still is a product of Western thinking...
[13:42] Gemma Allen: taken from others tech
[13:42] Qwark Allen: mmmm
[13:42] herman Bergson: For instance....
[13:42] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:42] herman Bergson: individualism is a source of creativity.....
[13:42] herman Bergson: an attitude unknown in japan....
[13:42] Qwark Allen: check how many foreigners were employed for china to make their space station
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: china assimilates what they get from outside copying it well but unclear if they have the understanding how it really works
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: like we do
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: dont know
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: some do maybe, and some dont
[13:42] herman Bergson: therefore Japan was a long time a good copier of western products...
[13:43] Gemma Allen: a very good copier :-)
[13:43] Qwark Allen: japan is a pioneer for sure in electronics
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:43] herman Bergson: yes Gemma  they were able to improve the copies...not to invent new things
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: but japan understand the science behind the things as well
[13:43] Qwark Allen: like china
[13:43] herman Bergson: yes today ...
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: its a real high tech place 10 hears ahead of the rest of the world
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: years
[13:44] Qwark Allen: make no mistake, anyone that makes and runs a space station, knows what is doing
[13:44] Nectanebus: Because Buddhism itself isn't a very "religious" viewpoint, and Shinto, well....kinda odd to explain.
[13:44] Nectanebus: But these things aren't as cloying as a Daoist view of technology
[13:44] Nectanebus: Where's the Ki in electricity?
[13:45] Nectanebus: Makes sense to Westerners, but not the Chinese...and odd thing...
[13:45] Abinoam Nørgaard: i think you're giving too much credit to religion there. it's like saying that we would have no space science without teachings of jesus
[13:45] Nectanebus: I mean as to how the "religions" themselves view technologies
[13:45] ἀρετή: I thought there are more Christians in China.
[13:45] Nectanebus: Not as to how much hold thy have o'er the populace
[13:46] Abinoam Nørgaard: sure, but in general, i think one can be a devout buddhist or a taoist and a perfectly good scientist
[13:46] Abinoam Nørgaard: at the same time
[13:46] herman Bergson: Historically since and technology could develop in europe because it freed itself from religious constraints
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:46] Qwark Allen: At one end, some Bible organizations claim that there are as many as 200 million Christians in China already, not without the hope of encouraging continued flow of support for their many programs for aiding the Christians in China.
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: the church held back technology development for maybe 100s of years
[13:47] herman Bergson: On the other hand Aninoam, some research seem to show that about 3% of eurpean scientists like to call themselves christians
[13:47] Qwark Allen: heeheheh i would say at least 1000 bej
[13:47] Abinoam Nørgaard: maybe in the area of astronomy, but it aided medical research and humanities, among others
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: we could have come much further then we have done if it werent for that
[13:47] Abinoam Nørgaard: in some ways
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: thats sad
[13:47] Qwark Allen: yep
[13:48] Qwark Allen: one the reasons i don`t like them
[13:48] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:48] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:48] Qwark Allen: why*
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: angles and demons show that clearly
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: religion against particle physics
[13:49] Abinoam Nørgaard: i wouldn't take my history out of that book lol
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: maybe not
[13:49] Qwark Allen: what is the perspective of china religion, of technology?
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: but shows a part of the idea
[13:49] herman Bergson: There was an article in my newspaper yesterday about religiosity....
[13:49] Abinoam Nørgaard: yes, i see what you mean
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: that religion and scientific development oppose each other
[13:49] Qwark Allen: :-/
[13:49] herman Bergson: and why it is healthy for people to be religious...
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: basically science what time to go forward, religion backwards
[13:50] Nectanebus: I think there's a lot of supposition all of a sudden
[13:50] Qwark Allen: i see the point there! the more dumb is the collective, more easy is the collective to buy cheap religiosity
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: many islamic places live like it was middle ages now
[13:50] Qwark Allen: look at the cargo cult in polinesia
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: goes back in time
[13:50] Qwark Allen: for me was a eye opener, this cargo cult
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:50] ἀρετή: unless it's Dubai
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: wicker man analogy
[13:50] Abinoam Nørgaard: hehe, yes arete
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: yes dubai is a different story
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:51] herman Bergson: Maybe I could dedicate a lecture to the phenomenon of religiosity before starting with buddism :-)
[13:51] Qwark Allen: check Abu Dabi
[13:51] Qwark Allen: more sci fi then Dubai
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: i want to go play golf there
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:51] Qwark Allen: hehehe
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: and Belek too
[13:51] Abinoam Nørgaard: we can't generalize entire religions like that. clearly there are lots of differences about how islam is expressed and practiced in different places. just like christianity is.
[13:52] herman Bergson: true Abinoam...
[13:52] herman Bergson: but I want to take it one step back.....
[13:52] ἀρετή: Thanks, Qwark, would look it up.
[13:52] herman Bergson: where does religiosity come from?
[13:52] Qwark Allen: maybe in general we can say that religion go out, when technology goes in
[13:52] herman Bergson: and how to deal with it
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: indeed, there are differences but the general direction goes in a certain way in general it seems for many places
[13:53] ἀρετή: maybe it's how people perceive religion
[13:53] Nectanebus: Chickens and eggs, I think, Herman
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: its tricky
[13:53] ἀρετή: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070222155706.htm
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: complicated subject
[13:53] Nectanebus: And I don't think it's as simple as coming to a final solution on the religious question
[13:53] herman Bergson: no Nectanebus, I wouldn't say that...
[13:53] Qwark Allen: and the reason comes from more educated people, question more religion points of view
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: nope
[13:54] Abinoam Nørgaard: i don't have a problem with religiosity as such. there doesn't seem to be a single human community without it. it's how it manifests and whether it is a force for good or evil that i'm concerned about
[13:54] herman Bergson: ok...I'll throw some oil on this fire inthe enxt lecture :-))
[13:54] Gemma Allen: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:54] Gemma Allen: ok
[13:54] Qwark Allen: ehehhe
[13:54] Gemma Allen: thursday?
[13:54] Nectanebus: Chickens and eggs, then, as far as "where it came from"
[13:54] herman Bergson: yes...Thursday...
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: religion in itself can be good but its often misinterpreted and then used in the totally wrong way
[13:54] Gemma Allen: i think i can make it
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: for power and to oppress
[13:54] Qwark Allen: Chinese eggs from japan chickens?
[13:54] herman Bergson: I agree with Abinoam :-)
[13:54] Nectanebus: I'll be working as usual, but I should make this time next week :)
[13:54] Abinoam Nørgaard:
[13:55] Corronach: i'll probably be here
[13:55] Gemma Allen: opposite of me
[13:55] Gemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:55] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: hahaha
[13:55] herman Bergson: ok....
[13:55] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:55] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:55] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:55] Gemma Allen: herman
[13:55] Gemma Allen: next week the burn2 is on all week
[13:55] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[13:55] Abinoam Nørgaard: lol
[13:55] Gemma Allen: i will be rangering
[13:55] Qwark Allen: i play at the opening
[13:55] Bejiita Imako:
[13:55] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:55] herman Bergson: before we move on to buddhism and so on we first take a stand on religiosity from a philosophers point of view
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: hope not too laggy
[13:56] Abinoam Nørgaard: i'll come wearing a fire-proof suit
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: looking forward to burn
[13:56] Nectanebus: heheh
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:56] Qwark Allen: ahhaah will be for sure the first hours
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: i come with my flame thrower then
[13:56] Bejiita Imako:
[13:56] Abinoam Nørgaard:
[13:56] ἀρετή: I'll come and take pics then
[13:56] Abinoam Nørgaard: hahaha
[13:56] Gemma Allen: ah bood
[13:56] Gemma Allen: good
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: when we try set each other on fire
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:56] Gemma Allen: the builds are very good
[13:56] Abinoam Nørgaard: sounds like fun
[13:56] Gemma Allen: lots os them
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: loves this event
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: its so nice
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: this and SLB events
[13:57] herman Bergson: Before you do all that I kindly would point at the rules of engagement here as described behind me :-))
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: are the best
[13:57] Abinoam Nørgaard smiles
[13:57] Qwark Allen: indeed m8
[13:57] Nectanebus: Anywho, later on everyone
[13:57] Corronach: thanks herman
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: ok cu soon
[13:57] Abinoam Nørgaard: bye everyone, i'll be off too
[13:57] Abinoam Nørgaard: take care
[13:57] Qwark Allen: ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°•  Bye !  •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜  
[13:57] Nectanebus: Fare thee well
[13:57] Qwark Allen: ty
[13:57] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.´ ¯¨.¸¸`**  **´ ¸¸.¨¯` H E R MA N ´ ¯¨.¸¸`**   **´ ¸¸.¨¯`
[13:57] herman Bergson: ok...thank you all again for your participation :-)
[13:57] Gemma Allen: where
[13:57] Qwark Allen: hope i can some thursday to
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: this was some stuff to think about indeed
[13:58] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-))
[13:58] ἀρετή: Thank you
[13:58] Qwark Allen: need to go get some food before sleep
[13:58] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:58] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:58] Gemma Allen: ye
[13:58] Bejiita Imako:
[13:58] xtc yonimyxtc: thank you, professor bergson
[13:58] Gemma Allen: and look up
[13:58] herman Bergson: And keep your eye open on China
[13:58] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye   
[13:58] Gemma Allen: for now
[13:58] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: i will
[13:58] Bejiita Imako:
[13:58] herman Bergson: thnx Gemma
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: nee to check some stuff up
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: about this
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: cu
[13:59] ἀρετή: have a good day
[13:59] herman Bergson: Some discussion !

Monday, October 14, 2013

495: An East - West confrontation

In the lectures on Chinese philosophy I have pointed at a number of typical Chinese features, for which there hardly is a counterpart in Western philosophy.

Chinese culture still is  dominated by the long lasting Confucian tradition. Our metaphysical concepts can not be applied in translations of Chinese metaphysics.

The concept of democracy, as we see it, is in fact not available in Chinese thinking and China will have great difficulty integrating our individualistic consumerism in its social system.

But I have said too, that Chinese like we have the same instrument to deal with life: the brain. And I assume, that, biologically, it is the same in all human beings, but the way we use it in our interaction with our environment is different. And that results in different cultures.

But now take this. The point of view of David Hall and Roger Amos in "From Africa to Zen" (2003). They say. that "….WE believe in the ideals that emerged from the French Revolution 

and have found their specific instantiation in documents such as the American Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. 

These ideals we hold to be the guarantees of our individual autonomy, our liberal democracy, and our science and technology - all of which we believe to be the necessary vehicles of progress for all countries and peoples around the world.

We in the scientific, liberal democratic West must recognize that our tendencies toward universalism and the acceptance of objective ideas and values merely advertise the content of our own cultural sensibility. 

The West has masked its ethnocentrism by the claim that its self-understanding has universal applicability. One paradoxical element of our peculiar form of ethnocentricity is the rejection of ethnocentrism. 

 [ Ethnocentrism = the tendency to believe that one's ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relation to one's own. ] 

But we do not escape provincialism simply because we make naive claims to objectivity and universality.

The comparison of Chinese and Western cultures is, therefore, the comparison of two sets of ethnocentric beliefs. 

Most of us who occupy a privileged place in a Western democracy consider ourselves autonomous individuals, possessing natural rights, with a faith in our ability to search out the truth of things for ourselves, generally confident that reason and goodwill can solve most of our problems. 

We are respectful of governmental authority when it serves to nurture freedom and autonomy for its citizens, but are perfectly capable of becoming an adversary of the government if it threatens those same values. 

We identify ourselves with ideas, values, and principles that we believe are reasonable and employ our religious, scientific, or political institutions as instruments for the implementation of those ideas and values. 

We deplore censorship and believe that free and open enquiry will result in consensus upon what is true about the need and desires of the majority of human beings.

Among our intellectual elites there is doubtless a great deal less naive assent to these beliefs, but the trust in objectivity lingers. 

The visions of natural and social scientists, and of philosophers too, still reflect the belief that there is an objective order to things and that the discovery of this order requires the responsible application of the methods of logic and science.

This faith extends for many of us into the idea that human beings have objective natures, identifiable characteristics that make us essentially the same from one society or culture to another.""

So far Hall and Amos and I thought….wow. IS this our biggest mistake here indeed…..to believe that, when all is said and done, being human has to mean being pretty much as we are ???????

The Discussion

[13:18] herman Bergson: Thank you :-)
[13:19] herman Bergson: Take your time to digest this argumentation....
[13:19] Abinoam Nørgaard: yes wow
[13:19] herman Bergson: If you have any questions or remarks...the floor is yours
[13:19] Abinoam Nørgaard: just to back to something, did you imply that universalism is in fact the negation of universalism? was that the paradox?
[13:19] Abinoam Nørgaard: go* back
[13:20] herman Bergson: no no....
[13:20] Abinoam Nørgaard: oh good
[13:20] herman Bergson: with universalism is meant the idea that there exist universal laws or maybe even universal concepts
[13:20] Abinoam Nørgaard: right
[13:21] Dagg: is that something that leads us to Plato by chance ?
[13:21] Abinoam Nørgaard: but to universalize is to impose one version of what those laws or concepts might be, no?
[13:21] herman Bergson: But the question here is.... Are Hall and Amos right?
[13:22] Abinoam Nørgaard: i think they are generalizing a great deal
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:22] herman Bergson: That question would lead to a metaphysical debate on the status of universlas , I am affraid, Abi...
[13:23] Abinoam Nørgaard: hehe yes, i know, let's not go there
[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes indeed they are....:-)
[13:23] Bejiita Imako:
[13:23] herman Bergson: The first time I read it, I thought...oh wow...good point....
[13:23] herman Bergson: But after a few minutes I thought..oh wow...totally wrong :-)
[13:24] Abinoam Nørgaard: lol yes
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:24] herman Bergson: SO what could be questionable here?
[13:25] Abinoam Nørgaard: i think i can hear the crickets... lol
[13:25] Dagg: I think it would be important to understand what is previous to those ideals, where do they come from
[13:25] herman Bergson: Now about this statement: "the acceptance of objective ideas and values merely advertise the content of our own cultural sensibility. "
[13:26] herman Bergson: Exactly that aspect I have no problems with Daggash....
[13:26] herman Bergson: that may be cultural sensibilities :-)
[13:27] Dagg: or... they could be part of an evolutionary process
[13:27] herman Bergson: But what is said here is that we, the West, feel superior to the rest of the world....
[13:27] herman Bergson: and that for centuries the Chinese have the same attitude :-)
[13:28] Dagg: yes indeed
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: ok well that can be true
[13:28] Abinoam Nørgaard nods
[13:28] herman Bergson: so "two sets of ethnocentric beliefs"
[13:28] Corronach: i think it is true.
[13:28] Corronach: and i think neither are superior.
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: everyone thinks their own system is the best so to say
[13:28] Corronach: the difficulty is exactly as you have described it...
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: compared to others
[13:29] Corronach: people will view others through the lens of their own beliefs, attitudes, values, experiences etc
[13:29] herman Bergson: But there is one weak point in this argumentation....
[13:30] herman Bergson: It is claimed that science is in fact just a cultural sensibility....just like Chinese ideas on reality are....
[13:30] Abinoam Nørgaard nods
[13:30] herman Bergson: so science is part of our ethnocentric attitude....
[13:30] herman Bergson: and that is in my opinion plainly untrue...
[13:31] herman Bergson: It is claimed that "being human has to mean being pretty much as we are"....with the emphasis on WE Westerners....
[13:31] Mikki Louise: I am not sure if this is the right forum for this discussion, but it seems to fit, somehow.... I have a friend, posted on facebook yesterday... she had an app for her phone, for photography. She thought it was for different effects in your snapshots.. and discovered it is meant for asian girls.. it modifies their picture to look more 'western'... bigger eyes, pinker skin tone, etc.
[13:31] Corronach: perhaps it is looking at "science" as a way of viewing things. do the Chinese have another way of viewing things that comes to the same conclusion as "science"?
[13:32] Corronach: (sorry i know i'm speaking in riddles now)
[13:32] herman Bergson: And that is the question Corronach....
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:32] herman Bergson: there are two matters here....
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: sciense is our way to understand nature but the Chinese might see it in another way, i don't know
[13:33] herman Bergson: Culture ...Mikki refers to that and science
[13:33] herman Bergson: Is physics, einstein's relativity theory, chemistry, biochemistry...is that just a cultural sensibility?
[13:33] Corronach: here's a basic example of what i mean. let's say someone says "god did [whatever]" and a westerner says "no, science did [whatever]". does it really matter, since [whatever] was done?
[13:33] Mikki Louise: my friend felt strongly that the app is racist... yet it is developed by asians, for asians. so, is it racist.. and why do they aspire to look western?
[13:34] Dagg: herman .. what do you mean by culture, do you say its a sort of conditioning ?
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: our culture might embrace science more maybe bur science itself is not a culture
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: but
[13:34] herman Bergson: That is what I am thinking too Bejiita...
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:34] herman Bergson: and Dagg...what is culture....
[13:35] herman Bergson: It is the way how we look at our environment and interact with it
[13:35] herman Bergson: but regarding this looking at our environment....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: culture is what we create and the way we do that in
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: i d say
[13:36] herman Bergson: if it is about a religious of metaphysical view...we may differ completely in interpretation and ensuing interaction....
[13:36] herman Bergson: But if it is about sending a rocket to the moon....
[13:36] herman Bergson: the americans do exactly the same as the Chinese....
[13:37] herman Bergson: the mathematics for such an operation are independent of any culture...or said differently..
[13:37] herman Bergson: applicable in all cultures
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: they learn from each other i guess
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: what is needed to send a rocket in space
[13:38] Mikki Louise: it's not how but why send the rocket
[13:38] herman Bergson: Sure...western mathematicians invented the math....
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: at least they've got the concept from there since us and russia have done it befopre
[13:38] Mikki Louise: different forms of imperialism, different motives to demonstrate supremacy
[13:38] Abinoam Nørgaard: i think the east/west dichotomy is to an extent entirely artificial. speaking of mathematics, we used arabic numerals, than originated in india. so what makes the basis of "western" mathematics western?
[13:39] herman Bergson: but in old India they already knew about this mathematics...like the Arab mathematicians in 1100 A.D did too
[13:39] Dagg: alright..so can we say that the way we look at our environment is the part that create division between the cultures even in our global world, right ?
[13:39] herman Bergson: Yes I think you could say that, Dagg.....
[13:39] herman Bergson: or even one step further....
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: aaa that seems indeed logical
[13:40] herman Bergson: the dominating religion in a given area on earth decided how we developed
[13:40] Dagg: yes we fight wars for those things
[13:40] herman Bergson: Not only that....
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: to many wars
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: cause of that
[13:41] Abinoam Nørgaard: well, it's mostly for oil and natural resources, but ok
[13:41] herman Bergson: The arabs till 1150 A.D were world famous for their mathematical skills and knowledge....
[13:41] herman Bergson: they were top of the world....
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: look at Algebra and similar
[13:41] herman Bergson: When Islam took over this ended abruptly
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: they were pioneers in math
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes, islam stopped all development and it seems they still live likein the Middle Ages
[13:42] Abinoam Nørgaard: isn't the height of arabic scholarship actually well within the timeframe of islam?
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: thats sad
[13:42] herman Bergson: But their mathematical research was brought to the West....
[13:42] herman Bergson: Like the books of Aristotle also came by the Arab route!
[13:42] Dagg: yes
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:43] herman Bergson: So claiming that the difference between Western and Chinese philosophy is just a matter of two sets of ethnocentric ideas is to easy....
[13:44] herman Bergson: It leaves out the specific place science has in culture in general
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: much more to it i guess
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: like religion for ex
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: all things come together
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: complicated
[13:45] herman Bergson: Yes...China has big cultural problems at the moment, exactly because applied Western science  become more and more influential...
[13:45] herman Bergson: It is the Chinese who assemble our iPhones now....
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:46] herman Bergson: where there isn't any technological tradition in that culture
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: but they don't have all pieces of the puzzle to make all go together so to say
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: since they have not the rest of our culture
[13:46] herman Bergson: my idea Bejiita
[13:47] Abinoam Nørgaard: well, there were some advances there, paper, gunpowder... there must have been some science and technology behind that, historically speaking
[13:47] herman Bergson: and the result of that is that they have to deal with consumerism as we have now...
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: maybe
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: however i don't think the Chinese understood how gunpowder worked in terms of chemistry, was more like a magic BANG powder
[13:47] herman Bergson: The absurd economic ideas of permanent growth...
[13:48] Abinoam Nørgaard: in that case, it's about methodology, rather than matter
[13:48] herman Bergson: Well...next lecture we'll look at the Chinese side of the story
[13:48] Abinoam Nørgaard: i'm looking forward to that
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:48] Bejiita Imako:
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: this gets better and better
[13:48] herman Bergson: For now, thank you for your attention and participation again...
[13:49] Abinoam Nørgaard: thank you, herman
[13:49] herman Bergson: Class dismissed
[13:49] Dagg: thank you too Herman
[13:49] Bongo: thanks
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: nice
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: cu soon all
[13:49] Abinoam Nørgaard: bye bejita
[13:49] Abinoam Nørgaard: i'll be off too, take care everyone
[13:50] Dagg: bye all
[13:50] Mikki Louise: bye
[13:50] herman Bergson: Bye Dagg
[13:50] .: Beertje :.: thank you Herman..see you after next week
[13:50] Corronach: Thanks herman!
[13:51] Corronach: see you Thursday
[13:51] .: Beertje :.: have a goodnight everybody