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TaoRich

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About TaoRich

  • Rank
    Meson
  • Birthday 04/30/1964

Profile Information

  • Location
    Durban, South Africa
  • Interests
    Quantum Physics
    Tao
  • College Major/Degree
    University of Natal, Durban, South Africa : Part Bsc Chem Eng / Comp Sci
  • Favorite Area of Science
    The emergence of Quantum Space
  • Biography
    Speculative metaphysical thinker with a fairly solid physics background
  • Occupation
    ICT Project Management
  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-dr-susan-brooks-thistlethwaite/putins-holy-russia-goes-to-war_b_4886776.html Kill the non-believers ... God hates faggots ... etfc. And so it goes on and on and on and on ...
  2. No, we cannot. Consider these "situations" ... all of which can be distilled down to one or other form of the childish argument: "my imaginary dude in the sky is superior to your imaginary dude in the sky, therefore I am bound to kill, maim, torture, destroy your entire community, under threat of failure denying me a place amongst the holy tabernacle cloud choir / gaggle of virgins etc. etc. ad nauseum". 1. Israelites vs. Philistines ( ongoing ... ) 2. Crusaders vs. Heathens 3. Nazis vs. Jews 4. India / Pakistan : Muslims vs. Christians ( ongoing ... ) 5. N Ireland : Catholics vs. Protestants ( ongoing ... ) 6. Bosnia / Herzegovina : Muslims vs. Christians 7. America (sic) vs. The Whole of the Muslim Middle East : Christians vs. Muslims ( okay this one is really about oil, but let's stick to the official party line ... ) Right, add that up and you'll get to 10's of millions of dead people ... several 10's in fact ... Could you please give me some examples of where Atheists / Agnostics have set out to remove an entire religion/gene-pool from the planet ? ( There's at least 2 attempted/failed genocides in the list above ). And the point of the picture above ? Same as this one:
  3. With all due respect, that has to be the most denialist statement I have ever read.
  4. Religion was invented by humans. All religious texts were written by humans. Therefore, morality must come from humans. Hence, you don't need religion to have morals. (Don't even try to start an argument that the religious books were written by god through man please ... this is an adult science forum.)
  5. I agree that "right or wrong" are difficult or problematic to define, which is why I added "constructive, or destructive" as an alternate simplification. When we get to complex human situations, which involve more than simple individual self-interests - for example when we move into the realm of family, friends, community, national interrelationships etc. - things do get more complex, and, in agreement with your sentiment, right and wrong get more difficult to define or discern. That being said, the usual religious morals are the ones relating to trivial issues - dare I use the word, infantile - and they also usually expressed in the most assertive language that imply that this particular judgement can be applied in every situation. * Murder * Adultery * Theft * etc. We all know that life is a lot more complex than don't steal your neighbour's cellphone. When it comes to stealing a loaf of bread to feed a child ... moral clarity becomes a lot less well defined. The basic gist of what I am saying is that religion adds nothing to our own internal moral compass. Some of the "great books" ( sic again and again ) even give instruction on how one is obligated to wash and cleanse when one is on one's way to prayer following sexual relations with an animal ( usually a goat ). The instructions/obligations specify differentiated purification routines, dependent on whether only the tip of the male member has penetrated the animal, or whether the shaft of the member has also entered the beast. I kid you not ( no pun intended ) - do some research and you'll find what I am referring to. Now before I get lambasted for "picking on any one in particular of the fairy tale sects", I'll assure you that in in my opinion, they're all pretty much the same thing - a way of organising a tribe of people into a hierarchy that benefits a particular sector of the tribe, usually oriented around the male elders. And if you doubt or dispute that, have you ever wondered why Mary, the "highest ranking female" in the Christian fairy story, is a sexual neuter ? A virgin ? A passive, whose only attributed power is one of role as intercessory to the higher ranking males ? ( Basically a secretary/receptionist when you come to think about it. ) So in summary, again in my religion has little of any use to say or offer in terms of anything - including in the area of morals. The "best" decisions ( most moral, most good ) are made when brave people are prepared to listen to the voice of their inner conscience, and taking personal responsibility for their actions, make "the least bad decision they can" under the many and varied circumstances in which we find ourselves in this complex journey we label as human life. Contrast that to a whole bunch of people, who when lined up against a whole bunch of other people against whom they are about to engage in violent battle, lower their heads, and say: "Let us pray."
  6. In my opinion, we inherently know the difference "right or wrong behaviour" or "constructive or destructive behaviour" - we are born with it. I certainly don't need someone suffering from schizophrenic delusions, (accompanied by visual and auditory hallucinations), to wander back down off a hill, clutching stone tablets, swearing he's had a personal conversation with the "one and only true G-d (sic)" to enlighten me to the fact that killing another human being is "not a good thing". It is, however, entirely possible to take "a normal person" who is in touch with their internal moral compass, and through a process of religious training (sic again), and indoctrination, convince them to rush off and murder / maim / rape or burn down much of the collective history and knowledge of all mankind, all in the name of some invented deity.
  7. Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. ~ Steven Weinberg
  8. I have seen thread "What do we mean by 'space' ?" you are interested about space. I would like people like you, to participate in discussion

    http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/60496-matter-occupies-space/page__gopid__660115#entry660115

    and in also in speculation thread

    http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/64485-space-and-consensus/

  9. JCWDroid raised the term "Sapir–Whorf hypothesis" in #otw today as Shrödinger and I were chatting about this post topic. I checked it out on Wikipedia, and it was a useful concept to throw in here. I'm posting the opening paragraph here, but if you are following this topic seriously, it's worth heading over to read the full article. http://en.wikipedia....stic_relativity <snip>
  10. What did the blind man say when he put down the cheese grater ? "That's the goriest book I've ever read." tadish !
  11. Mrmmm ... trying to formulate a decent response to that. Let's try this: A person speaking a Western language may be able to converse with, and agree with a person speaking an Eastern language, and agree on exactly the same point. However, the bits of information or understanding surrounding that point might be quite different. The proximity of related concepts may be an entirely different landscape. What connects "naturally and logically" to a Western mind, may not connect as naturally and logically to an Eastern mind - and of course vice versa. So although the minds could meet on a particular topic, or concept, "how they would think about the context of this concept" would differ. I'm not sure how well this fits in here, but this is another lovely anecdote, so I'll repeat it anyway: Some years back, NASA put out a call to the scientific community to design a solar panel that was to be transported into space. The criteria were "minimal size when folded" and "maximal surface area when unfolded". In Japan there were two "Leading Universities" ... one of which was modelled on a "conventional Western/International approach" ... the other was "based on traditional Eastern philosophy and thinking". One of the science professors at the Eastern university was an Origami expert ... it was a hobby of his since childhood and he was very well practised in the art of intricately folding paper. He set out to devise a design for the solar panel, working entirely by hand with a piece of paper. He was taking the intuitive approach. When he came up with what he considered was the optimal design, he submitted his folded piece of paper to the Japanese government, requesting that they in turn submit it to NASA. The government flat out refused. All other submissions were theoretical papers, mathematical solutions, with equations of optimisation. They felt that a submission consisting of a folded piece of paper would make them a laughing stock. So our professor spent over a year trying to mathematically model his folded piece of paper solution. When he succeeded, he submitted his theoretical paper to the Japanese government, who approved, and sent it on to NASA. NASA determined that this was the most effective submission received, and decided to use his solution. They wrote to him and asked him to send them a practical model. He posted his folded piece of paper to them. - - - Now the reason I bring up this example is to show how comfortable we are in a particular area of thinking, and how the origin of our language and culture can affect this. A Western mind may typically seek deterministic proof, logical, number based solutions. An Eastern mind may be comfortable with relational proof. Having folded hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper, making swans, frogs, flowers ... our professor above learnt the relational nature between folds, and surfaces, and areas. He could "just feel" when a fold improved a target criteria, or when a fold degraded a target criteria. I know that this is not all entirely due to language, and that enculturation also plays a large part in this difference ... but I feel that the nature of the language can bring some significance to bear on how we think.
  12. When I was much much younger, I used to think: "What if memories or knowledge aren't stored in the brain itself. Could it be possible that our brain is a receiver, like a radio receiver, "tuning" in to memories or knowledge that exists outside of our brain (and 3 dimensional reality)." In this "model" learning could be equated to "developing the brain receiver", and refining its ability to tune in to more and more knowledge. The knowledge would never "actually exist inside the brain" ... it would still be "out there somewhere" ... we would just get better at picking it up. I haven't thought about that for ages, and haven't reprocessed that with any "formal adult thinking" ... but I thought I'd mention it as it resonates with kitkat's comment. Rich
  13. Can this be proven definitively ? "We live within the system boundaries." The physical aspect of ourselves lives within the physical aspect of the system boundaries. ... I'm happy to agree with that. But do "we as individuals" exist completely and utterly as physical aspects ? ... I'm not so happy to agree with that. Or in other words, "is my entirety contained in physical dimensions ?" ... my gut feel won't allow me to swallow this whole. And for the record, I'm not talking religion or spirituality. Quite practically, I think that there are aspects of myself ( and all of us ) that are not physical at all, are not localised to any fixed time or space, and are related or connected to the body I am in, but are not limited to the body and the manifestation it finds itself in. /me hopes that the Speculation Police don't shoot this post out of the discussion thread If you read my Pong post above, you'll see that there are some example grounds for this point of view. Rich
  14. An interesting bit of reading I did many years ago stuck has stuck with me ... I think it was written by Alan Watts who was one of the first Westerners to bring Zen and Eastern thinking to popularity. The gist of it was: "You hear sometimes a Chinese person saying that some word or sentence cannot be translated into English. Sometimes this is viewed as 'Oriental inscrutability' ... but it is actually quite possible. In English, as with most Western languages, you have a word for a hand and another word for a fist. This language structure has no place in Chinese. In Chinese you have an open hand and a closed hand. One noun cannot change into another noun. A noun can only change its state, relative to itself or something else. This is captured in Chinese writing, consisting of characters or logograms. There is no sentence for 'A man stands in front of a house.' There is in fact no sentence at all. There is the character for house and the character for man and the character for stand all superimposed into one collective (relational) character." He went on to speculate about how the difference in language construct would affect the learning and understanding of a Western or an Eastern child as it grew up and was encultured into knowledge and society. His suggestion/implication was that Western and Eastern minds actually function differently due to this language difference. An English person may think in a different language than say a German person, but they are inherently the same or a very similar construct ... "different flavours". English/German versus Chinese/Japanese is a different system of thought entirely. Interestingly, this is seen in the evolution of the age old fairy tales that we call religion and moral structure. In the West, we have silos of knowledge: History. Religion. Science. Morality. In the East, these are all interconnected, one cannot have History without Morality. One cannot have Science without Religion (or spiritual belief). Each topic exists only in relation to the other topics, and not in isolation. This for me, explains why Eastern thought seems to come to grips far better and far more naturally with Quantum Mechanics and the Interconnectedness of Everything - whether we are talking Hindu or Tao - than the Western way of thinking. In the Western world, God is a complete spiritual being, existing "in front of us on the evolutionary path of spirituality" or "above us" towards which we must strive. In the Eastern world, the god sense is behind us, it is the origin, the source, supporting the evolutionary path as the universe itself evolves as the god sense evolves with it (or through it) or of it. Rich
  15. When we model things, especially computer based modelling, we often talk about "simulating reality" ... building an approximation for something real. I don't see that there is a need to differentiate "a simulation" from "a reality". What if "what we observe in reality" is a simulation ? In other words, "our so-called physical reality" is a manifestation of an underlying (non-physical) reality. Consider one of the earliest computer games, Pong http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pong As the player, we see a representation of a bat and a representation of a ball on the screen. We move the representation of the bat ( by means of a keyboard, or a joy-stick ) into a position where ( we believe ) it will interact with the representation of the ball. The ball appears to strike the bat, and we observe the new movement path of the ball, as adjusted by the so called interaction of the bat with the ball ( or ball with the bat ). Now, ask yourself in the above ... did the bat actually strike the ball ? Even deeper, did the state of the pixels on the screen have anything to do with the movement of the ball. Quite clearly, the answer is no. The rules of the system are held in a program. The state of the system is held in a dynamic memory storage. When we move the controller, we alter not the pixels on the screen representing the bat or the ball - we are altering ( some components of ) the state of the system held in the dynamic memory. When the program performs "an evaluation of what to represent next on the screen" it passes the state of the system through the set of rules for the system. It determines how the components of the system will interact over the next given moment in time ( the refresh cycle ) ... and then manifests the new state as a changed representation on the computer screen which only gives the appearance that the ball was hit by the bat. Again, did the white area of the computer or TV screen representing the bat actually interact with the white area of the computer or TV screen representing the ball ? In actuality, the interaction was caused by the player moving the controller ... and the controller interacting with the program ... and the program rules interacting in turn on the state of the system held in memory. In fact, the controller does not even exist in the dimensional reality of the manifestation of the system reality. ( The controller is not even connected to the screen. it is connected only to the program, and the program is connected to the screen ) Why then do we assume that what "we call reality" functions differently from the game simulation above. Is it possible that a component of ourselves that exists "outside of our physical reality" interacts with a system ( the interconnected whole of a single wave which refreshes cyclicly ) causing an observed change in the manifestation what we call physical reality ? Rich
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