Post Number:#31 November 30th, 2011, 2:21 pm
Stranger_still wrote:Groktruth, we're talking philosophy, not new-age spiritualism, not out-dated religious dogma, nor specualtive metaphysics. We're talking about biology, in which case species, organisms or even life-forms are about as pragmatic as you can get.
1. it's altruistic
2. saying "altruistic self-sacrifice" is redundant as the term itself already alludes to self-sacrifice/selflessness.
3. where on earth are you getting this stuff?
Your claims lack substance, foundation, rationality. I'm a Ph.D in philosophy, it's what I have dedicated my life to. If you are going to quote and attempt to refute, argue, criticise or even expand on what I say, reference your sources so I can understand where you're coming from and why your using it or don't do it at all.
Biology being a part of the sciences, let's start with the philosophy of science. I read R.A.R Tricker's little book, "The Assessment of Scientific Speculation" as my introduction to the Bayesian formulation of the Hypothetico-deductive scientific method, later taking up Lakatosian methods.
The idea that human ecology, including human behavioral ecology, is influenced by living beings of a "higher" life form, in the sense that is commonplace usage in biology (more senses, higher intelligence, more complex structures) is a priori plausible by induction, because all the other species we observe have such an ecology. To argue that humans are the "top" of such a hierarchical arrangement is hubristic, and implausible in the face of evidence that we have behaviors that appear adapted to such living beings. And as we expand our senses through scientific innovations, we have discovered extensive parts of the universe that exist, but are outside our natural ken. Places where higher beings might live, and have senses we lack adapted to deal with directly.
Again, by induction, we humans have the science of ethology, and are directly interested in "talking to the animals." Read Konrad Lorenz, "King Solomon's Ring." So, it is plausible to suppose that life forms higher than us would be interested in talking to us. There have been, and are, of course, many reports of such contact. As such beings are "higher," we would have to assume that they were better at this than we are. Their messages to us (The bible?) would be as primitive to them, as , say, our efforts to talk to earthworms, say with cotton balls soaked in relevant chemicals. But, within our limited intellectual capacity, we could learn something. And, in near death studies, it appears that we do.
Meanwhile, returning science to its historical role, wherein "theology is the queen of the sciences," there has been much research in theology which can be reviewed in the context of Bayesian Science, now regarded as state of the art. Epistemologically, it is research that must be classified as "spy-lore," since so many theological hypotheses include disinformation agents which are higher living beings than ourselves. A truth table on this research, for example, proves that anyone "disbelieving" (not taking the hypothesis as true while testing it) theological hypotheses will usually reject them. In this table, we plot belief in testing against the truth of the idea. If the hypothesis is true, demons and gods are present. The unbelieving researcher does not take their influence into account though, and since the disinformation agents are loose to confound the research, and do not want the truth discovered, they will mess up the results and thinking of the investigators, who will then get negative results. "Believing" (for the sake of testing) workers can (so the theological hypothesis argues) restrain the disinformation agents, if they will. They would then get positive results, if the hypothesis is true.
If the hypothesis is not true, of course, both the unbelieving and the believing researchers will get negative results, doing good science. So, "atheists" always get negative results, whether the hypothesis is true or not. Tentative "believers" get positive results if the hypothesis is true, and negative if it is not true.
So, review theomatics, bible codes, prayer studies. And read John McTernan's studies of the time series correlations between "sins" and expressions of "the wrath of God." Plot his data in a two by two contingency table, and see what you get.
The posterior Bayesian calculation of the plausibility of these theological hypotheses is so close to one to be beyond reasonable doubt.
Other relevant philosophical input would be Diogenes, who warns us all that most men, including so-called experts, are not honest. The widespread presumption in biology that man is as "high" as it gets on earth is philosophically suspect. The sensible response to Dioenes discovery is to examine oneself, to see if one can make adjustments that would get one to look honest in the light of Diogenes lantern. The most dangerous liar of all is the one who believes the lies they tell, because they do not examine themselves, and get themselves examined. (a second opinion)
I rejoice to find support for the idea that this forum needs to be diligent in maintaining high philosophical standards.