Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id QAA22639 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Fri, 15 Sep 2000 16:47:05 +0100 Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745A22@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: Purported mystical "knowledge" Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 16:44:45 +0100 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
I'd agree here, but as I may have said before, this kind of line always
seems to me to be the same as many religious believers who I've spoken to;
who when I tell them I'm an atheist, say 'Oh I'm sorry' or "Oh you must be
so unhappy'. There's a kind of implicit view that If you regard the pursuit
of knowledge through rationalist means as a primary goal of life then you're
inevitably going to be unhappy.
To me that's no more true than the idea that since nobody since Buddha has
reached the same level of enlightenment as him, that people who are
Buddhists must lead miserable lives.
It's a question of degree and of process. As long as you know you can't know
everything, then every little piece of knowledge you gain has great rewards
in and of itself. And one can enjoy the process of finding out, of opening
oneself to different viewpoints and asking questions of them, and them
asking questions of you.
Thar's why I'd take issue with the end sections of your book Richard (which
is otherwise quite interesting, despite it appearing to have been written
for... how can I put it... a very broad readership base) where you talk
about disinfection from memes, and Blackmore does something similar in her
book too. It's as if there is can be only something wrong with memes, yet
they contribute to who we are, even give us our sense of individuality, so
what do we have left if we filter all these things out?
Incidentally apart from being married, which occupies a fair about of mine
time, thoughts, and energy, I also study Tai Chi (I struggle around its more
mystical elements to acquire its evident physical benefits), and collect
comic books, so I'm not totally preoccupied with the Enlightenment project
of progress through critical thinking.
> From: Richard Brodie
> Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Friday, September 15, 2000 3:20 pm
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: RE: Purported mystical "knowledge"
> Joe wrote:
> * If you can't say it, then you don't know it.
> "All true statements in a formal system can be expressed symbolically?"
> I think Kurt Goedel would disagree.
> The unstated presumption of many in the academic world is that knowledge
> the most important thing in life. That's a perfectly fine philosophy to
> take, but it's not the only possible such philosophy. In my life several
> things are more important to me than knowledge:
> * The positive effect I am having on others
> * Enjoying my life
> * Peace of mind
> The unbridled analytical engine that I was 20 years ago produced
> returns and negatively impacted all of those (even my sex life!). While I
> not use the word "mystic" to describe myself I do think that there is more
> to life than analysis and taxonomy, and that very often those rabbit holes
> can be followed into boring black pits of dirt.
> I wrote something in this vein: http://www.memecentral.com/L3Faith.htm
> Richard Brodie firstname.lastname@example.org www.liontales.com
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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