Re: A more "sciency"-sounding mysticism.

Lloyd Robertson (
Tue, 06 Apr 1999 16:32:42 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 06 Apr 1999 16:32:42 -0600
From: Lloyd Robertson <>
Subject: Re: A more "sciency"-sounding mysticism.
In-Reply-To: <>

At 04:42 PM 06/04/99 +0100, Chris Lees wrote:
Jake wrote:
>> I can
>> appreciate people wishing to redifine "self" for greater understanding and
>> accuracy, but denying it as an illusion is as big a farce to me as
>> people who claim to be "speaking in tongues".
>I think that what you say here Jake is just an example preposterous
>narrow-minded scientism. You don't understand something, so rather than
>admit ignorance, you dismiss it as "farce".

I don't see any indication, Chris, that Jake is uncertain as to what the
idea of self-as-illusion means. Is it because you disagree with him that
you believe he is ignorant? If so, is this not an example of being a little
narrow-minded? Speaking of "narrow minded", I notice that you use the term
"scientism". Are you implying that science is a religion? Do you accept
your beliefs about "self" on faith?

>To say that self is ultimately an illusion is a perfectly valid
>It is a conclusion arrived at by many people who have explored their
>own experience, meticulously and pragmatically, over a couple of
>millenia. For you to pour such scorn upon all those people is unworthy
>of your obvious intelligence.

Many more people have explored their own experience and have concluded that
there is a "self"; however, I am not sure how having great numbers of
people believing in anything demonstrates the validity of the belief. Your
logic escapes me.

>How you manage to leap from that to "a mystical assault on our very
>I don't understand at all. Bizarre logic.

I think I understand. For example, if religionists re-define the word
"theory" to simply mean "idea" then all scientific theories are thereby
trivialized. This allows for easier propogation of religious memes that are
challenged by the theories in question. In the same way, if we choose to
define the concept of self in a way that implies complete
self-determination, and then if we declare that the strawman so created is
just an illusion, then we have, in advance, inoculated a given population
against those who might use the concept of self to study some form of
intentionality. Now, I may be off-base on this but this is the meaning I
have created from the tokens Jake sent out to all of us.


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