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Athena
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I don't think you know what higher abstract thinking skills are.

Your original claim was not about higher abstract thinking skills, it was abstract thought, period.

 

Einstein discovered relativity after learning a lot about math. Abstract thinking was not just suddenly discovered all at once, and all humans knew it.

Undoubtedly true. But that doesn't falsify my statement, or confirm you original claim.

 

It came out of the Greek mind slowly, over a long period of time, and we still work on developing abstract thinking and how to teach it. The Greek achievements came many years after the Sumerian, Babyloian, Egyptian empire golden periods, and only a few people made the discoveries, not your average Joe, and to this day, the average Joe does can not do the higher levels of abstract thinking without education.

Again, true, and merely underscore that the claim that abstract thinking must be learned/taught is false — some discover it. You've changed your assertion to accommodate my objection, so why are you still claiming that the objection is false?

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Your original claim was not about higher abstract thinking skills, it was abstract thought, period.

 

 

Undoubtedly true. But that doesn't falsify my statement, or confirm you original claim.

 

 

Again, true, and merely underscore that the claim that abstract thinking must be learned/taught is false — some discover it. You've changed your assertion to accommodate my objection, so why are you still claiming that the objection is false?

 

Good face saving there. And I don't believe for one minute you started with an adequate understanding of abstract thinking, and I question if you really get it now. But you do seem to be making progress.

 

This is my thread begun with an intention, and that intention was to develop an understanding of God as an abstract separate from religion, and what education has to do with a culture based on abstract thinking about God, or a culture that is materialistic and prone to interpreting everything concretely, and having nasty conflicts such as being demonstrated here. Materialistic means believing all things are matter, and therefore what matters most is our immediate happiness. This just is not so, and has caused our nation and the world a lot of trouble.

 

Morale is not matter, but in the past, children learned the Spirit of America is morale, that high spirited feeling we get when we believe we are doing the right thing. They learned we defend our liberty by being good citizens, and conforming to a standard of decency, and making good moral judgments, and that immorality is a matter of ignorance. These concepts are not matter and yet they had a very strong influence on us. They manifested a tolerant and charitable culture that put human dignity first. The concepts went with an abstract understanding of God, separate from the concrete understanding of religion, that people who do not understand abstract thinking, insist on forcing on everyone, either as God that rules or a God that doesn't exist. The problem is concrete thinking verses abstract thinking, and this begins with education. Pay attention to the Texas Republicans platform against teaching higher order thinking skills. This is where you all should be directing your arguments, not me. I am arguing for what you want, and because you don't get that this thread is really unpleasant. This is what Germany did to its culture, and we imitated Germany, and you all just aren't getting it.

 

Because Texas is a large state and buys a lot of text books, so Texas strongly influences how text books are written. Texas wants creationism taught, and would rather evolution not be taught. It is in your best interest that people have a better understanding of abstract thinking verses concrete thinking, and what education has to do with this.

 

 

 

From which it follows that as all the elements of the universe are sustained by heat, so the whole universe is itself preserved through all the ages by a similar power: the more so, because it must be understood that this hot and fiery principle is so infused throughout the whole of nature that it provides the life-force and is the source of all that comes to be, and from it is born and nourished every living creature and every plant whose roots are in the earth.

That which we call Nature is therefore the power which permeates and preserves the whole universe, and this power is not devoid of sense and reason. Every being which is not homogeneous and simple but complex and composite must have in it some organising principle. In man this organising principle is reason and in animals it is a power akin to reason, and from this arises all purpose and desire. (Cicero)

 

So we see that the parts of the world (for there is nothing in the world which is not a part of the universe as a whole) have sense and reason. So these must be present to a higher and greater degree in that part which provides the organising principle of the whole world. So the universe must be a rational being and the Nature which permeates and embraces all things must be endowed with reason in its highest form. And so God and the world of Nature must be one, and all the life of the world must be contained within the being of God. (Cicero)

 

 

Cicero was a Roman statesman. He studied in Athens and during his time Rome worship several gods, that adopted from Greek mythology. He did not accept the current explanation of the gods, but sought truth. For him God is an unknown abstract. This line of reasoning ended the days of believing in many gods, and it can end the days of relying ancient myth to understand the universe. However, arguing there is no god, will not end the mythology unless we take up arms and kill each other. That argument reinforces religious fanatics, and does not result in the better reasoning.

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This is what Germany did to its culture, and we imitated Germany, and you all just aren't getting it.

You are beginning to sound like you read a book on what Germany did to its culture (and how great the ancient Greeks were) and it influenced you so much that it colors everything you see, hear, or think.

 

I cannot think of a single thread you have participated in (possibly even a single post) that did not reference Germany, Nazis, and/or Greece.

 

Surely there must be other influences in the world. Surely it is at least possible that you are wrong, and not every other person on this site.

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You are beginning to sound like you read a book on what Germany did to its culture (and how great the ancient Greeks were) and it influenced you so much that it colors everything you see, hear, or think.

 

I cannot think of a single thread you have participated in (possibly even a single post) that did not reference Germany, Nazis, and/or Greece.

 

Surely there must be other influences in the world. Surely it is at least possible that you are wrong, and not every other person on this site.

 

Before I can be judged be as wrong, isn't it a requirement to understand what I am saying? And then the argument follows, "you said this__________" and disagree with it because___________. I did not read one book on Germany and one book about the Greeks, but studied the history of education, and the history of Germany because we imitated what the Prussians did to Germany for military reasons, and have so changed our culture, we are not the democracy we defended in two world war. Please, if you disagree with what I am saying, clarify what you disagree with and why you disagree.

 

The US had liberal education and this was all about preparing youth for citizenship, as was the purpose of education in Athens and Roman. Now Sparta another Greek city state, had a very different education that prepared all to serve their socialist/military city state. The huge difference between these education purpose is individual verses behaving like an ant colony, and liberty. Liberal education liberates the mind and the people. Education for technology does not. However, within our education for technology, there are pockets of education for abstract thinking. The battle is intense, especially in Texas where the Republican party is organized to prevent teaching the higher order of abstract thinking. What do you think of the Republic agenda in Texas?

 

!

Moderator Note

Athena Please!

 

Back to the OP. This thread will not be allowed to degenerate further into another opportunity to rail against modern education.

 

Modern education includes pockets of Abstract thinking. There is an intense war going on between those who believe abstract thinking is vital to the health our country and those who think it is the destruction of our country. What do you think of the Texas Republican Republic agenda? How about the battle between John Dewey and the Christians? Do you understand liberal education is about liberating our minds and having a tolerant and charitable culture, verses a materialist and greedy one? Please give me some indication you understand the current the conflict, and how the different educations impact our culture differently. Do you understand what the No Child Left Behind Act has done to education and the intense fight some teachers are having to have control over their classroom and to be creative and to prepare children for something besides passing the test?

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Good face saving there. And I don't believe for one minute you started with an adequate understanding of abstract thinking, and I question if you really get it now. But you do seem to be making progress.

 

My level of understanding is actually quite beside the point; this is a matter of fairly simple logic. You made a claim that all abstract though must be taught (all A is T) and that only humans are capable of it. I pointed out the conundrum of the first instance of abstract thought, which cannot be taught, since there is nobody there to teach it. (There is one A that is not T). And you admitted that someone had to discover it, so you tacitly agree that not all A is T. The statement is falsified.

 

So again I will ask why you continue to act as if your original statement is correct, and that I have made an error?

 

——

 

As for my understanding of abstract thinking, I'm a physicist. I have some clue about abstract thinking. If you think abstract thinking waited until the Sumerians, Babylonians and Egyptians, I would argue that you're tens of thousands of years late. I think the first beings that ever threw a rock or spear at a moving target, having figured out that they must lead the target in order to hit it, is thinking in the abstract. The human who developed the atlatl to increase the speed of his spears was thinking in the abstract.

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My level of understanding is actually quite beside the point; this is a matter of fairly simple logic. You made a claim that all abstract though must be taught (all A is T) and that only humans are capable of it. I pointed out the conundrum of the first instance of abstract thought, which cannot be taught, since there is nobody there to teach it. (There is one A that is not T). And you admitted that someone had to discover it, so you tacitly agree that not all A is T. The statement is falsified.

 

So again I will ask why you continue to act as if your original statement is correct, and that I have made an error?

 

——

 

As for my understanding of abstract thinking, I'm a physicist. I have some clue about abstract thinking. If you think abstract thinking waited until the Sumerians, Babylonians and Egyptians, I would argue that you're tens of thousands of years late. I think the first beings that ever threw a rock or spear at a moving target, having figured out that they must lead the target in order to hit it, is thinking in the abstract. The human who developed the atlatl to increase the speed of his spears was thinking in the abstract.

 

 

No you are not thinking through the complex complexes, and it appears you are not even trying to understand higher order abstract thinking.

 

Whatever, I vote we close this thread and move to politics and the 1012 Texas Republican agenda. Because what I have to say there is a fight to stop church control of our minds, maybe it will go better in this forum. What happened to Muslim culture could happen to our own, if the Christians maintain control of education.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My level of understanding is actually quite beside the point; this is a matter of fairly simple logic. You made a claim that all abstract though must be taught (all A is T) and that only humans are capable of it. I pointed out the conundrum of the first instance of abstract thought, which cannot be taught, since there is nobody there to teach it. (There is one A that is not T). And you admitted that someone had to discover it, so you tacitly agree that not all A is T. The statement is falsified.

 

So again I will ask why you continue to act as if your original statement is correct, and that I have made an error?

 

——

 

As for my understanding of abstract thinking, I'm a physicist. I have some clue about abstract thinking. If you think abstract thinking waited until the Sumerians, Babylonians and Egyptians, I would argue that you're tens of thousands of years late. I think the first beings that ever threw a rock or spear at a moving target, having figured out that they must lead the target in order to hit it, is thinking in the abstract. The human who developed the atlatl to increase the speed of his spears was thinking in the abstract.

 

I will grant you, I didn't clarify what I meant by abstract thinking. I never thought I would have to explain so much, before what I am saying is understood. When I realized abstract thinking needed to be explained, I provided a link for higher order thinking. Then Imatfaal began jumping on me for derailing the thread. I had to pull away and regroup my thoughts. One of the problems resulting from replacing liberal education with education for technology, is old meanings are not being transmitted to the young, so we have a huge communication gap. It is a huge challenge to bridge that communication gap.

 

 

I still am not comprehending why saying God is a space holder, as the X in algebra didn't end the argument. This thinking is different from animal thinking, and it is why we can have self government, and animals can not. You did not become a physicist without education so I really don't understand why you are arguing? Do you know of animals capable of the thinking you do? I think not. Ants might be great builders, as were the Egyptians, but neither can do what you have learned to do.

 

Practical experience can lead us to building bridges and pyramids, but it does not lead to the sciences, nor an understanding of God as I understand God. The Great Pyramid was built in 3900 BC by rules based on practical experience; Euclid's system did not appear until 3,600 years later. Euclid's book on geometry put all the facts known into the form of a system. Around this time Aristotle was inventing the linear logic system. Both move us to a higher order of thinking, and this is what needs to be learned, because it does not come naturally to us.

 

This development of abstract thinking systems/skills is what gives us a God that does not rule by whim, but laws that are the same everywhere and for everyone. A concept essential to democracy. The idea that we all are equal under the sun, does not come from the bible which is old religion from the time when there were many gods, and everyone had a patron god or goddess. These patron gods and goddesses had favorites, just like parents favor their children over others. Writing the bible involves abstract thinking, but not higher order thinking which comes out of Athens around 300BC.

 

It is both universal laws and our mental potential, that makes self government possible. Without understanding this, democracy does not work, but is a mass, quick to become a mob, and requires strong authority above it. I keep speaking of God and liberty and there is a very important connection between the two. Only highly moral people can have liberty, and this morality is not based in religion, but in logic. Unfortunately, unless we teach our young how to exercise logic, they are not run on logic, but on feelings. All their logic, revolves themselves like a dogs thoughts revolve around itself. Higher order thinking involves everything under God. Huge difference, and if we don't get it, we may not continue to enjoy democracy with liberty much longer. We can not afford our increasing welfare and prison populations, and have a few environmental problems to work out.

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I still am not comprehending why saying God is a space holder, as the X in algebra didn't end the argument.

Mainly because my argument had nothing at all to do with this.

 

My argument was quite simple. You claimed all abstract thought is learned/taught. All A is T. Logically, if I can find one example — just one — it formally falsifies the claim. There is one A that is not T, since the first abstract thinker could not have been taught, as there was nobody to teach him/her. Just a little nitpick in the logic, and all it required was that you change the premise to virtually all. Not much of a change, and it really doesn't affect the premise or the rest of the argument in any substantive way. All you had to do was acknowledge the nitpick, make a very minor correction, and move on.

 

But you didn't.

 

You've claimed that my logic was in error, and done so numerous times. All despite the fact that you admitted that some people discovered, rather than learned, abstract thought. You've gone off on extended expositions to justify your conclusions, when they have nothing to do with the small error I pointed out — it's all beside the point that I had made. And so here we are, weeks later, and you're still railing about this, you're still wrong about it, and nothing you've posted has anything to do with the point I brought up.

 

Consider the possibility that I can disagree with a (very) small part of your argument and not disagree with the rest of it.

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Mainly because my argument had nothing at all to do with this.

 

My argument was quite simple. You claimed all abstract thought is learned/taught. All A is T. Logically, if I can find one example — just one — it formally falsifies the claim. There is one A that is not T, since the first abstract thinker could not have been taught, as there was nobody to teach him/her. Just a little nitpick in the logic, and all it required was that you change the premise to virtually all. Not much of a change, and it really doesn't affect the premise or the rest of the argument in any substantive way. All you had to do was acknowledge the nitpick, make a very minor correction, and move on.

 

But you didn't.

 

You've claimed that my logic was in error, and done so numerous times. All despite the fact that you admitted that some people discovered, rather than learned, abstract thought. You've gone off on extended expositions to justify your conclusions, when they have nothing to do with the small error I pointed out — it's all beside the point that I had made. And so here we are, weeks later, and you're still railing about this, you're still wrong about it, and nothing you've posted has anything to do with the point I brought up.

 

Consider the possibility that I can disagree with a (very) small part of your argument and not disagree with the rest of it.

 

 

Okay, how about this- how much does a baby know the day it is born? What do we know before learning? Without language, just how much abstract thinking can a human do? The word "genocide" is a relatively new word, and words change our consciousness. Science is not possible without a vocabulary for it. With the word "genocide" came international laws to prevent it. Before this, what the US did to native Americans forced onto reservations, was genocide, but we didn't have a word for it and the wrong was not part of our consciousness. Laws require words that make us conscious of concepts. Perhaps we should not mistake our potential to learn with having knowledge?

Our communication problem results from education for technology no longer transmitting the culture public education once transmitting, or the problem could be that people live in a different country and have no experience with the culture that was transmitted through education in the US. The culture that was transmitting was based on a belief in God. Here is a sample of that culture from a 1910 text book... I am not saying this right, I am saying it is culture based on a belief in God. A culture we no longer have. ABSTRACT THINKING THAT IS NO LONGER TAUGHT, AND THEREFORE, NO LONGER PART OF OUR CONSCIOUSNESS.

 

This text book is titled "The Story of the American Flag" by Wayne Whipple. The original purpose of federal government mandated, free public education in the US was to transmit a culture, and Americanize the flood the immigrants, teaching every child a set of American principles and making them good citizens. Making the United States united and strong. Saying a plague to the flag of America was the main way of making children with immigrant parents feel like they belong to this country, and this text teachings that idealism.

 

"Our flag carries American ideas, American history, and American feelings. Beginning with the colonies, and coming down to our time, in its sacred heraldry, in its glorious insignia, it has gathered and stored chiefly this supreme idea: divine right of liberty in man. Every color means liberty; every thread means liberty; every form of star and beam or stripe of light means liberty- liberty through law, and laws for liberty.

 

This American Flag was the safeguard of liberty. Not an atom of crown was allowed to go into its insignia. Not a symbol of authority in the ruler was permitted to go into it. It was an ordinance of liberty by the people, for the people. That it meant, that it means, and, by the blessing of God, that it shall mean to the end of time!"

 

Understanding our democracy can not be separated from understand God. Regardless what you think of God, our culture was shaped in a belief of God, and it is that culture that I defend. My understanding of God is not Christian. It is not the God of Abraham. It is the "Laws of Nature and Nature's God". That is a God that comes out of Greek philosophy and is essential to our understanding of democracy. No military force can defend a democracy that is forgotten.

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...thread begun with an intention, and that intention was to develop an understanding of God as an abstract separate from religion, and what education has to do with a culture based on abstract thinking about God, or a culture that is materialistic and prone to interpreting everything concretely, and having nasty conflicts such as being demonstrated here. Materialistic means believing all things are matter, and therefore what matters most is our immediate happiness. This just is not so, and has caused our nation and the world a lot of trouble.

 

Morale is not matter, but in the past, children learned the Spirit of America is morale, that high spirited feeling we get when we believe we are doing the right thing. They learned we defend our liberty by being good citizens, and conforming to a standard of decency, and making good moral judgments, and that immorality is a matter of ignorance. These concepts are not matter and yet they had a very strong influence on us. They manifested a tolerant and charitable culture that put human dignity first. The concepts went with an abstract understanding of God, separate from the concrete understanding of religion, that people who do not understand abstract thinking, insist on forcing on everyone, either as God that rules or a God that doesn't exist. The problem is concrete thinking verses abstract thinking, and this begins with education. Pay attention to the Texas Republicans platform against teaching higher order thinking skills. This is where you all should be directing your arguments, not me. I am arguing for what you want, and because you don't get that this thread is really unpleasant. This is what Germany did to its culture, and we imitated Germany, and you all just aren't getting it.

...if I follow you....

 

 

 

I don't think it is the concept of a god alone that focuses meaning onto a broader (less selfish) level. Look at Paul Ryan, he manages to incorporate Catholicism and Ayn Rand objectivism--somehow. Although the church has contacted him about this, he still finds a way push the "individualistic" world view.

 

The problem (and this is why education often helps) is getting people to see the importance of a "collectivistic" perspective... and incorporate that into the more primitive, or less civilized--selfish, world view. God can be an effective way of getting people onto the same page about their collective situation. Science can now offer that option, and other ideologies and -isms offer that hope, but religion was the first and easiest to develop and fulfill that necessary function for society.

~

 

 

"I grew up on Ayn Rand," Ryan said at a Washington, D.C., gathering seven years ago honoring Rand. "The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand."

 

 

"Paul can still quote every verse out of Ayn Rand," his brother Tobin said in a 2009 interview.

 

verse? That might explain how he integrates his worldviews.

===

 

 

"What I have been trying to do is indict the entire vision of progressivism, because I see progressivism as the source, the intellectual source for the big government problems that are plaguing us today," said Ryan, noting. "I grew up hearing about this stuff. This stuff came from these German intellectuals to Madison, (the) University of Wisconsin ... It never sat right with me."

 

You're right! It's those damn Germans! laugh.gif

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...if I follow you....

 

 

 

I don't think it is the concept of a god alone that focuses meaning onto a broader (less selfish) level. Look at Paul Ryan, he manages to incorporate Catholicism and Ayn Rand objectivism--somehow. Although the church has contacted him about this, he still finds a way push the "individualistic" world view.

 

The problem (and this is why education often helps) is getting people to see the importance of a "collectivistic" perspective... and incorporate that into the more primitive, or less civilized--selfish, world view. God can be an effective way of getting people onto the same page about their collective situation. Science can now offer that option, and other ideologies and -isms offer that hope, but religion was the first and easiest to develop and fulfill that necessary function for society.

~

 

 

"I grew up on Ayn Rand," Ryan said at a Washington, D.C., gathering seven years ago honoring Rand. "The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand."

 

 

"Paul can still quote every verse out of Ayn Rand," his brother Tobin said in a 2009 interview.

 

verse? That might explain how he integrates his worldviews.

===

 

 

"What I have been trying to do is indict the entire vision of progressivism, because I see progressivism as the source, the intellectual source for the big government problems that are plaguing us today," said Ryan, noting. "I grew up hearing about this stuff. This stuff came from these German intellectuals to Madison, (the) University of Wisconsin ... It never sat right with me."

 

You're right! It's those damn Germans! laugh.gif

 

 

Interesting, I looked up progressivism and found a bunch of words not in my vocabulary. It was trying to read a foreign language. I am not sure how science, or a political party can serve the same function as God. God's truth is what is true for all of us, no matter where we live. The trick is how do we determine God's truth. God's truth is about how things work, and there are two ways to know how God works. Experience and critical thinking. I understand how this works with science, but not with how it works for political parties. However, now you have me questioning how logical politics can be?

 

I like zoology for understanding human behaviors. Ayn Rand seems to favor chimps over bonobo? All social species must constantly decide to put self first or others first, and I would rather be a bonobo than a chimp. If one doesn't make the right choices, one ends up on the margin of the group where life is more at risk, or this individual can be driven away from the group, and forced to seek another group. Male dominated chimps seem to work less well together than female dominated bonobo. The bonobo have more intimate contact with each other, using physical sensation to sooth each other. Chimps are less apt to sooth each other, and I guess we could say, more individualistic. It should be noted food resources and environmental factors like, predictors, play into this difference. What makes humans different is they can observe both, and make group decisions about what is a good life, and how to achieve that. Humans can base behaviors on abstract concepts, not just the feel at the moment. I can not think of anything that gets us to thinking about such things better than contemplating God. So why God, is we have the brains for this kind of thinking. We are not as limited as chimps and baboons, although some seem to choose to be so limited. They insist on seeing everything from a personal point of view, rather then projecting into a God and attempting to see things from the bigger point of view. Does that make sense? What else gets us out of ourselves, better than God?

 

Our brains are biologically limited and we are not being realistic about this. Thinking a mass of humanity, does not do to our thinking what thinking of God can do for our thinking. We have intimate relationships with only a hand full of people, family and friends, and we put these people above all others. Decision making groups are best with 10 to 12 people. A person is doing well to remember the names of 500 people and something about them, but when we get past 500, we start objectifying people, as those Africans who live on a different continent and are not one of us, or those Muslims, or Jews, or communist. We do not identify with those people. Their needs are not our concern. What kind of thinking goes into thinking about these groups? Now what kind of thinking results from thinking of God? Isn't there an important difference?

 

PS, as I understand democracy it is rule by reason, and it is an understanding of how God works that manifest rule by reason. Without God, politics, seems to be about personal interest, not about manifesting the best possible life on earth for everyone.

 

Without those Germans, we wouldn't have Social Security and Workers Compensation, and I think those are good things. People who argue me, instead of questioning what I mean, often prevent understanding, because then I am trying to manage their objections, instead of discussing what I want to discuss.

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your continued attempts to portray technology based education with NAZIsm is flawed and not a viable comparison...

 

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Nazi_Party

 

 

You are too focused on NAZI Germany, because what became the New World Order was the Prussian take over Germany, that made Germany a war machine, and preconditioned the people for war. The first thing the Prussians did was centralize German education, something our constitution prevented but has been completely by passed. I hope someone with knowledge of our constitution and the reasoning for it, steps in.

 

Education for technology begins with the philosophy that we are all born with blank brains and anything can be written on them, providing the right technique is used. Some of our favorite philosophers argued we are born with blank brains. There is nothing particularly wrong with this philosophy, but when it is assumed the state has a right to write on those blank brains, a serious problem can develop.

 

Britain and the US focused education on transitioning young to adulthood and good citizenship. What protects our liberty is culture. I am really frustrated that this is not understood. The Prussians focused German education on technology. When adopted this for military reasons, we stopped transmitting our culture. Only when our liberty is defended in the classroom is it defended and we stopped doing this. Do not tell me my reasoning is flawed, because I know better. We know longer have the reasoning that protected our liberty. I just dealt with this in the thread about censorship. Freedom of speech does not mean tolerance of immorality, and in a democracy morality is determined by reason, by who understands this reasoning today? I got a guy seriously defending the violation of freedom of speech, because it is not okay to enter a church and argue the churches belief system, when people are gathered for their Sunday ritual, so these forums can function like a dictatorship, and this is not violating the meaning of freedom of speech. How many people reasoning like this, does it take to have a majority and NAZI rule? I am horrified by the arguments I am getting, and you telling me there is a problem with comparing the education models? People argue against morality without a clue of what it has to do with liberty or reason and democracy. How long can we maintain our liberty under this condition?

 

When the Prussians took control of the Germany, they destroyed Germany's heroes and praised efficiency. We did the same when replaced our liberal education with education for technology, and there are social and political ramifications. How is wrong to compare?

 

To maintain the purity of race? Interestingly education for technology has destroyed the social order we once maintained. There are some good things and bad things about this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hot damn, you said that so well! I wish I had thought to call God a "place holder". Duh, I struggle so hard to say what I mean, and I love it when someone comes along and with the right words.

 

I like this discussion but don't understand yet what it's about. Agree with a lot of the education stuff though.

 

For many religions, and for important divisions and sects of most religions, 'God' is explicity a placeholder and should not be thought of as any more than this. Even for classical Christianity it is would not be quite correct to say 'God' exists. It is inevitable that whatever we think of as 'God' is our own invention. To a lesser extent the same seems to go for 'tree' or 'electron', it is just that the contraints on the idea are much tighter. Concepts are all we've got in the end. Anything that isn't a concept cannot be the subject for intentional consciousness.

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  • 2 weeks later...

First, I don't care what some random naval surgeon said in 1917. It wastes my time to read it as much as it would waste my time listening to Rush Limbaugh today. The rationale behind the Smith-Hughes vocational education act is given in the 1914 report on which it is based. You can read the very well defined, and very non-military, reasons for its existence in that report available online here: Vocational education: Report of the Commission on National Aid to Vocational Education... 1914... Chapter 1: The Need For Vocational Education

 

Your long-winded preaching doesn't change the fact that you were mistaken on that point and mistaken on the act's effect on liberal education.

 

Second, when you say "our politics are now as reactionary as German politics were" you lose all credibility, and people will frankly stop putting up with you. Comparing a free and fair democracy to racially genocidal fascism shows such a lack of judgement, and such a lack of moral seriousness, that I am forced to notice that no amount of reasonable points could have any effect on the mindset from which you're preaching.

 

Your link appears to back up what Athena is "preaching." Her "long-winded" explanation of the perspective behind this thread was very good, and not preaching, I'd say.

 

And the more I learn about what Athena is trying to convey, in spite of the capitalized reference to the Nationalist Socialist, the more it seems to fill in some gaps in understanding how we come to find ourselves in this somewhat untenable position--with a populace ignorant of global concerns or considerations.

[edit]...or: --with a population ignorant of many abstract thinking skills.[/edit]

 

I may be off here, but I think those "global concerns or considerations" represent the "God perspective" (dissociated from any religions, as Athena emphasizes), which this thread is about: Why do we need that Global/God perspective?

 

~ huh.gif

 

p.s. ...from the link on the Vocation Education Act.

 

 

This means that there are over 12,000,000 people engaged in agriculture in this country who are not trained to deal with the soil in such a way as to make it produce, through scientific methods, what it should yield in order to sustain the present and future life of this Nation.

 

3. That they should be designed to prepare boys and girls over 14 years of age for useful and profitable employment in agriculture and in the trades and industries.

 

 

There is a great and crying need of providing vocational education of this character for every part of the United States--to conserve and develop our resources; to promote a more productive and prosperous agriculture; to prevent the waste of human labor; to supplement apprenticeship; to increase the wage-earning power of our productive workers; to meet the increasing demand for trained workmen; to offset the increased cost of living. Vocational education is therefore needed as a wise business investment for this Nation, because our national prosperity and happiness are at stake and our position in the markets of the world can not otherwise be maintained.

 

National grants for agriculture, and trade and industrial education are justified: (1)....

 

...national grants expended through Federal agencies for studies, investigations, and reports furthering the efforts of the States to place the work of their vocational schools on a scientific and business-like basis.

(2) by introducing into our educational system the aim of utility, ...making it purposeful and useful. Industrial and social unrest is due in large measure to a lack of a system of practical education fitting workers for their calling.

 

Every State superintendent ...and great national educational, civic, industrial, and commercial organizations, representing more than 12,000,000 people, have repeatedly gone on record as believing that a system of vocational education was absolutely necessary to the future welfare of the nation.

 

(4) to give interest and prestige in the States to the work of preparing our youth for useful and productive service.

 

European countries have gained much advantage over us because they are already in possession of this knowledge.

===

 

~ smile.gif ...see, it is those damned Europeans!

Edited by Essay
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I like this discussion but don't understand yet what it's about. Agree with a lot of the education stuff though.

 

For many religions, and for important divisions and sects of most religions, 'God' is explicity a placeholder and should not be thought of as any more than this. Even for classical Christianity it is would not be quite correct to say 'God' exists. It is inevitable that whatever we think of as 'God' is our own invention. To a lesser extent the same seems to go for 'tree' or 'electron', it is just that the contraints on the idea are much tighter. Concepts are all we've got in the end. Anything that isn't a concept cannot be the subject for intentional consciousness.

 

Wow, something intelligent has been said. I love the analogy of reducing the discussion of a tree to the discussion of electrons. For sure, I do NOT remember people speaking of God as they do now. One of my nephews is a preacher, and intent on the idea that we can "know God". The idea that we can "know God" effects me like an electric shock. Surely when we think we know God, we know God not. I thought, when we got into quantum physics surely we would give up the idea that can define matter and know reality, but instead of moving in the direction of spirituality we have gotten more materialistic, and more narrow minded.

 

Stoicism dealt this issue of matter verses spirit. Morale is certainly a matter of spirit. It is the high spirited feeling we have when we believe we are doing the right thing. Or love, which is also known to improve our health. People with heart problems, who feel loved, literally live longer than those in the same physical condition who do not feel loved. There is a connection between our minds and bodies, that is not just material in nature.

 

Our nature is different from the animals, in that we have words and these words have power. We used to say, Sticks and stones can break bones, but names will never hurt me". That is not true for many people. Words can totally change how we feel and how we behave. Words can increase our physical strength and endurance, and this is what makes a good coach so important. Or words can demoralize us. The spirit of the word matters, and I worry about Atheism going too far in denying spiritual reality?

 

Your link appears to back up what Athena is "preaching." Her "long-winded" explanation of the perspective behind this thread was very good, and not preaching, I'd say.

 

And the more I learn about what Athena is trying to convey, in spite of the capitalized reference to the Nationalist Socialist, the more it seems to fill in some gaps in understanding how we come to find ourselves in this somewhat untenable position--with a populace ignorant of global concerns or considerations.

[edit]...or: --with a population ignorant of many abstract thinking skills.[/edit]

 

I may be off here, but I think those "global concerns or considerations" represent the "God perspective" (dissociated from any religions, as Athena emphasizes), which this thread is about: Why do we need that Global/God perspective?

 

~ huh.gif

 

p.s. ...from the link on the Vocation Education Act.

 

 

This means that there are over 12,000,000 people engaged in agriculture in this country who are not trained to deal with the soil in such a way as to make it produce, through scientific methods, what it should yield in order to sustain the present and future life of this Nation.

 

3. That they should be designed to prepare boys and girls over 14 years of age for useful and profitable employment in agriculture and in the trades and industries.

 

 

There is a great and crying need of providing vocational education of this character for every part of the United States--to conserve and develop our resources; to promote a more productive and prosperous agriculture; to prevent the waste of human labor; to supplement apprenticeship; to increase the wage-earning power of our productive workers; to meet the increasing demand for trained workmen; to offset the increased cost of living. Vocational education is therefore needed as a wise business investment for this Nation, because our national prosperity and happiness are at stake and our position in the markets of the world can not otherwise be maintained.

 

National grants for agriculture, and trade and industrial education are justified: (1)....

 

...national grants expended through Federal agencies for studies, investigations, and reports furthering the efforts of the States to place the work of their vocational schools on a scientific and business-like basis.

(2) by introducing into our educational system the aim of utility, ...making it purposeful and useful. Industrial and social unrest is due in large measure to a lack of a system of practical education fitting workers for their calling.

 

Every State superintendent ...and great national educational, civic, industrial, and commercial organizations, representing more than 12,000,000 people, have repeatedly gone on record as believing that a system of vocational education was absolutely necessary to the future welfare of the nation.

 

(4) to give interest and prestige in the States to the work of preparing our youth for useful and productive service.

 

European countries have gained much advantage over us because they are already in possession of this knowledge.

===

 

~ smile.gif ...see, it is those damned Europeans!

 

Oh my goodness, "global concerns or considerations" represent the "God perspective" , yes! I am not sure if this is the meaning of AAA's higher power, but we are capable of thinking globally, and if we reduce our thinking to self interest, our families hurt, our civilizations are in trouble, and in today's world, the whole world is in danger.

 

"Fitting workers for their calling." What beautiful words. How different it feels to believe perhaps a higher power has a purpose of us. Our nature is not equal to animal nature. If nothing else, human beings are far more diverse than any other species. We are born equal under the sun, but not the same. We are as different as the gods, and each one of us has a purpose. When my grandmother was teaching, it was the teachers purpose to help each child discover his or her unique talents and interest, and thereby, discover his or her place in the world. This education was the complete opposite of Germany education philosophy, the idea that we are all born with blank brains and anything can be written on them, providing the right technique is used. This assumes the state has the right to write on young brains.

 

The former education is based on a notion of God and human nature, and later is based on a notion of the state and it is dehumanizing. The first manifest an organic democracy, and the later a mechanical society. I have concerns about where a godless civilization will go. Should we agree it is up to us to decide who should live and who should die, and perhaps start culling out those defective humans, who drag us down? Where does the highest authority rest?

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Wow, something intelligent has been said. I love the analogy of reducing the discussion of a tree to the discussion of electrons. For sure, I do NOT remember people speaking of God as they do now. One of my nephews is a preacher, and intent on the idea that we can "know God". The idea that we can "know God" effects me like an electric shock. Surely when we think we know God, we know God not. I thought, when we got into quantum physics surely we would give up the idea that can define matter and know reality, but instead of moving in the direction of spirituality we have gotten more materialistic, and more narrow minded.

Thanks Athena. Still I cannot quite agree with what you say here. My view would be that we cannot conceive of the ultimate phenomenon, but that we can know of it by identity. That is, we can know of it because we are it. So I'd agree with your nephew, if he means 'know' in the same way. To keep this vaguely scientific, I'll mention that this was the view of Erwin Schrodinger. One of his books was refused by his regular publisher for disseminating the heresy that he was God. Luck for him. Quite a few mystics have died horrible deaths for saying the same in earlier times.

 

But perhaps this ultimate phenomena cannot be properly called God, as is the case according to the wisdom traditions, who say that 'it' cannot properly be called anything. I'd say that the more nearly God is equated with an ultimate phenomenon then the more necessary it would be to concede that the word is a mere placeholder, standing for something we we can neither conceive nor describe, but which we can only know or not know. If we have a clear idea of God in our heads, that can be conceived and described, then this is not an ultimate phenomen but a concept. It may be a very important and useful concept for all sorts of reasons, as an approximation to the truth, and I believe that it is, but it is a concept, not a thing. .

 

There is a connection between our minds and bodies, that is not just material in nature.

Yes. Mind is defined as not body, and clearly they are either connected or the same thing. The interesting question is whether they are directly connected or co-dependent phenomenon whose relationship is mediated by a third phenomenon, as I would suggest is the case. I would say that it is the failure to give this idea credence that causes the failure of western metaphysics.

 

Words can totally change how we feel and how we behave.

Yes. Weird isn't it. It really is an extraordinary fact, and not an easy one to explain the sciences. Here's an experiment. Lift one of your arm to shoulder height and then take it down again.

 

Done that?

 

How did that happen? How did my words cause your arm to move? It's very difficult to follow the chain of cause and effect without just guessing at certain parts of it, and very difficult to keep it entirely in the physical realm.

 

I worry about Atheism going too far in denying spiritual reality?

Ha. I expect most atheists worry that they cannot go far enough. But I do agree. Atheism is not the same thing as Materialism. If it were then Buddhism would be Materialism. The thing is, if there is a 'spiritual' reality, or if reality is 'spiritual', then they can never go far enough in denying it, so there;s no need to worry. Besides, even in the natural sciences simple Materialism is a pretty much dead idea. With people like Guth and Stenger exploring ex nihilo creation things are actually looking up/

 

 

Oh my goodness, "global concerns or considerations" represent the "God perspective" , yes! I am not sure if this is the meaning of AAA's higher power, but we are capable of thinking globally, and if we reduce our thinking to self interest, our families hurt, our civilizations are in trouble, and in today's world, the whole world is in danger.

Yes, but thinking cosmically is even more fun, and certainly more godlike. Thinking globally must look like a serious lack of ambition from His point of view.

 

 

"Fitting workers for their calling." What beautiful words.

Fascism here we come.

 

I have concerns about where a godless civilization will go.

If science would take the trouble to investigate the worldview of the Upanishads then it might all end up quite well, in a happy marriage of science and religion that transcends the theism/atheism argument. If science goes on thinking that religion is a waste of time then I share your concerns. Terrors would be a better word. Society places a lot of faith in scientists, and what they think about religion will do much to shape the future of our cultures. I fear that the second scenario may be the one that continues to be played out.

Edited by PeterJ
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Scientists don't generally fly planes into buildings, bomb abortion clinics, restrict stem cell research that could save peoples lives, tell homosexuals they are inferior, subject women to be second and third class citizens, let children die from very treatable illnesses like diabetes, or try to prevent proven truths like evolution from being taught to children. Religious people rather often do. How this is even under dispute in this modern world with such vast access to information and verifiable evidence is truly beyond me. Do you also think it would be inappropriate to encourage people to stop believing in ghosts, santa claus, and the tooth fairy?

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There you go. This suggests that my fears have a solid foundation.

 

I'm sorry, inow, that you cannot see more in religion than this, but I don't think much good would come of discussing it with you. I suppose it must be difficult to take an interest in the face of the dogmaticism and fanaticism that surrounds the discussion in the US. Can you not see past these superficial issues?

 

Please don't be offended if I don't reply to such posts in future. No good can come of it.

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There you go. This suggests that my fears have a solid foundation.

 

I'm sorry, inow, that you cannot see more in religion than this, but I don't think much good would come of discussing it with you.

I am sorry, Peter, but you are quite simply wrong. I very much DO see more to religion than what that one post above described. I see value in the social aspect, the community, the joining together of people under common understandings, and also the idea that you have somewhere to go when you need help and the ability to associate with people who are often good and kind and honorable.

 

I also see value in the comfort many of these beliefs bring to people in need, and the way it helps assuage certain inherent anxieties that accompany existence and facing death.

 

The point, however, is that there are countless other ways to achieve those same benefits that don't themselves come from believing ridiculous and childish fairy tales or having to follow dictatorial commands from some fictional being with zero evidence in its favor.

 

I suspect the only reason you "don't think much good would come of discussing it" with me is because you know your beliefs rest on an absent foundation and you would never be able to address my very valid and accurate criticisms. However, as my words within this post should indicate to you, my position is hardly as simplified as you make it out to be, and it is (in fact) rather reasonable.

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There you go. This suggests that my fears have a solid foundation.

 

I'm sorry, inow, that you cannot see more in religion than this, but I don't think much good would come of discussing it with you. I suppose it must be difficult to take an interest in the face of the dogmaticism and fanaticism that surrounds the discussion in the US. Can you not see past these superficial issues?

 

Please don't be offended if I don't reply to such posts in future. No good can come of it.

 

Oh my goodness, yes, discussion of God goes much better with people who are open minded and have a better understanding of the big issues. Now perhaps you can help me with a personal crisis. This morning I got why democracy can be the beast of the last days. Like these ideas have been in my head all along, but I didn't fully realize the problem can be democracy! This seriously is a crisis for me, because I have been devoted to defending democracy for decades. Have you ever become aware of something that is just too terrible to think about? That is where I am at the moment. This is like being a Christian and realizing the biblical God of Abraham can not be true. My world is shattered and I must figure out how to put it back together, and this means focusing more on God, logos, universal law, because clearly man without God- a Godless democracy- is fascism in the worst way.

 

I am not sure how you interpreted -"Fitting workers for their calling." What beautiful words". Fundamental to Protestantism is a work ethic. Fundamental to a healthy democracy is everyone making their best contribution to the whole. I can so totally see how this leads to heaven on earth. What goes with this is an understanding of having a "calling". That means being born with a purpose, or as Buddhist might say, a place in the universe. When we step back and look at the bigger picture, where do we belong? What gifts of talents and interest do we come into this world with? My grandmother made sure the whole class was aware of the beautiful monkey a retarded student was craving out of pits. The point was, this student had a special gift that defines his place in life as a valuable human being with dignity. Everyone is to be thought of as what they can do, not what they can't do. And all to be included, not marginalized as we doing today.

 

What is beautiful becomes ugly when education is about preparing products for industry. I have a shelf full of books, old text books, books about school policy and the psychology and philosophy and history of education. I swear to you, past education was about preparing our young to be well, rounded individuals, and was modeled after education in ancient Athens and Rome. It was not until Eisenhower and the Military Industrial Complex, that we started preparing students to serve the Military industrial Complex and narrowed education, to a narrow band IQ scores, deemed important to technology for military and industrial purpose. And here is the killing blow I realized this morning. Democracy and this modern purpose of education, without God, gives us the beast, or the anti Christ. The beast and anti Christ being metaphors for a dehumanizing order of the mass of humanity. What Tocqueville warned us of in 1835, in his book "Democracy in America".

 

Why God, is this is what stands against the beast. Democracy without God is the beast. We have prepared for a technology society with unknown values, and this is the beast. Some people are aware of this, and they are searching for a new religion, because it is religion not government that meets our psychological human needs. Those needs that make us more than animals. If we do not connect with this, we are doomed.

 

I am sorry, Peter, but you are quite simply wrong. I very much DO see more to religion than what that one post above described. I see value in the social aspect, the community, the joining together of people under common understandings, and also the idea that you have somewhere to go when you need help and the ability to associate with people who are often good and kind and honorable.

 

I also see value in the comfort many of these beliefs bring to people in need, and the way it helps assuage certain inherent anxieties that accompany existence and facing death.

 

The point, however, is that there are countless other ways to achieve those same benefits that don't themselves come from believing ridiculous and childish fairy tales or having to follow dictatorial commands from some fictional being with zero evidence in its favor.

 

I suspect the only reason you "don't think much good would come of discussing it" with me is because you know your beliefs rest on an absent foundation and you would never be able to address my very valid and accurate criticisms. However, as my words within this post should indicate to you, my position is hardly as simplified as you make it out to be, and it is (in fact) rather reasonable.

 

I like part of your post, and it seems more thoughtful than the one before. Please work on the countless ways to achieve the good of religion, because this is our task as we break into the New Age.

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Hey. This is not your usual style. Or perhaps I misremembered. I'm happy to chat about this with you if we can do it like this.

 

I am sorry, Peter, but you are quite simply wrong. I very much DO see more to religion than what that one post above described. I see value in the social aspect, the community, the joining together of people under common understandings, and also the idea that you have somewhere to go when you need help and the ability to associate with people who are often good and kind and honorable.

 

I also see value in the comfort many of these beliefs bring to people in need, and the way it helps assuage certain inherent anxieties that accompany existence and facing death.

 

The point, however, is that there are countless other ways to achieve those same benefits that don't themselves come from believing ridiculous and childish fairy tales or having to follow dictatorial commands from some fictional being with zero evidence in its favor.

So far I agree with all of this. I just don't include all religious beliefs in the list of fairy tales.

 

I suspect the only reason you "don't think much good would come of discussing it" with me is because you know your beliefs rest on an absent foundation and you would never be able to address my very valid and accurate criticisms. However, as my words within this post should indicate to you, my position is hardly as simplified as you make it out to be, and it is (in fact) rather reasonable.

There no 'absent foundation', I would not post as I do if I couldn't put my money where my mouth is. And I do not see any criticisms, only the claim that my view is wrong. Yet I'd be amazed if you understood what my view actually is.

 

In a everyday sense I can accept that your view is reasonable and thoughtful. Probably more so than many. But in metaphysics it is not. In metaphysics we find that my view is the only reasonable one. This does not make it true, but it makes it the most constistent with reason. This I can demonstrate.

 

Because of this I find your attitude to religion patronising. Like, okay, it's jolly good for consolation and promoting social harmony etc., but has nothing to do with science or the facts. This can only mean that you have not delved far into religion. No offence meant, not many people do. However, it is not enough to just take Dawkins approach and say that a lot of it is rubbish. Of course a lot of it is rubbish. This is not news. A large part of the secret of understanding what religion really claims about the universe is being able to distinguish the wheat from the chaff. This takes scholarship and/or practice.

 

We shouldn't hijack the thread though. I'd be happy to delve deeper but probably not a good idea on a God thread. I'd rather do it in a science thread.

 

Anytime you want to get to the bottom of our disagreement I'm up for it, but not to simply trade opinions. It would be interesting to attempt to sort our our differences even if we fail.

 

Athena - Did you know Churchill called democracy 'the least worst form of government'. I don't understand the religious fervour of the Americans for it. It's pretty good, but it is not approariate for all situations. The thing is, it's perfect for global capitalism. Maybe this is partly because people have become fixated on the work ethic and forgotten the lilies of the fields.

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I just don't include all religious beliefs in the list of fairy tales.

Nor do I. It's just that the majority of those used to inform specific beliefs are, in fact, fairy tales (or, at the very least, fictions with little more than tenuous supporting evidence).

 

Because of this I find your attitude to religion patronising. Like, okay, it's jolly good for consolation and promoting social harmony etc., but has nothing to do with science or the facts.

Correct, and you've conceded this yourself the moment you took it out of the realm of science and facts and placed into the realm of metaphysics. If you cannot support your approach with empiricism, then you cannot claim your approach is based in science or facts.

 

This can only mean that you have not delved far into religion. No offence meant, not many people do.

You should try to stop making so many assumptions. You continue to be wrong when making assertions like this one.

 

Anytime you want to get to the bottom of our disagreement I'm up for it, but not to simply trade opinions.

This is a welcome change from your previous comments that, "I don't think much good would come of discussing it with you."

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