Re: "scientism"

Chris Lees (
Fri, 09 Apr 1999 02:03:55 +0100

Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 02:03:55 +0100
From: Chris Lees <>
Subject: Re: "scientism"

Jake wrote:

> LOL!
> Apparently "bla, bla, bla" is a favorite concept of yours.

Not particularly. I sometimes use it if I am in a hurry, and
assume the recipient has sufficient intelligence to fill in
the blanks for themselves.

> Well, if you don't like what you are hearing, one option is to stick your
> fingers in your ears and tune out. And apparently you did. At least you
> make simple.
> You are dismissed.

Not that I liked or disliked. Nothing that you said seemed to merit a
serious reply. The above reply valorizes that conclusion, in my estimation.


> BTW, I don't see how Chris invented the notion that it is "your
> responsibility" to educate yourself on the matter. The way I see it, we all
> have to budget our time, attention, and resources, according to our own
> values, not what somebody else claims that our values ought to be. But for
> what it is worth, I don't think there is much educating to be done on the
> issue, and if you think it is a valuable undertaking I certainly hope you
> will do so and would be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

Well, perhaps you ought to re-evaluate your budgeting, and actually read
people's work before casting aspersions upon it. In my code, to denigrate
an individual - in this instance, S. Blackmore - by daft slurs like " she must
have been listening to her psychic friends " and other derisory remarks, is
unworthy of anyone who wishes to be respected for their views.

I'm still waiting for you to offer a response to the requests, from myself and
R. Faicheny, regarding how you define 'reality'. The silence is deafening.
Perhaps you have your fingers in your ears and have tuned out ?

Incidentally, I'm all in favour of scientists debunking the paranormal.
Like Lloyd, you seem to assume that because I attack what I call scientism,
the corollary is that I must support a literal interpretation of Genesis, or
the mystification associated with UFOs and spoon bending. I hope I have
made it thoroughly clear that I do not. I call bullshit bullshit, wherever I
find it, and there is as much in science as anywhere else. As I pointed out
re telepathy, when the paranormal refuses to be debunked, scientism turns
a blind eye to the evidence.

I have only entered this forum because some scientists interested in memes
have touched upon zen. Having studied zen for thirty years, I have
accumulated some knowledge in that area, which may or may not be
helpful. I think that the linkage is interesting, and a fertile overlap
between two fields of human endeavour, i.e. science and zen buddhism,
as exemplified by the following quote from L. Gabora:

> One way to defend oneself against painful or manipulative memes is to
> construct what Dennett [19]refers to as a `meme-immunological system';
> that is, formulate new memes specifically to deflect `memetic antigens'.
> However constructing `memetic antibodies' of this sort is time-consuming, and
> like any immunological response it has to be repeated every time the
> outside agent evolves a counter-response. Perhaps this explains the purported
> benefits of `transcending the ego' e.g. (Walsh & Vaughan [94]), which can be
> taken to mean getting in touch with who we were before our minds
> were colonized by memes, through practices such as meditation. These
> practices may also give the brain time to anneal material that was never fully
> assimilated because of distraction or censorship - mend flaws in the fabric of
> the individual's worldview - so that the censor-ridden personal worldview
> comes to more closely approximate unbiased conceptual space. Release
> from the restrictive power of censors may produce a feeling of unity or one-ness.

Unfortunately, L. Gabora only touches what zen meditation is about in this brief and
superficial way. There is a vast body of work - from Nagarjuna, to Hua Yen
metaphysics, to Dogen, etc., etc., - which could be drawn upon.I wonder if anyone
is working on it, and if not , why not.



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