Author Topic: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...  (Read 468 times)

Offline Baruch (OP)

Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« on: July 01, 2017, 10:13:21 AM »


Human behavior comes from biology and psychology.  It doesn't come from Marxist idealism ... which is Lysenkoism.

This is hard for us non-conformists to hear.
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Offline Hakurei Reimu

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 08:58:55 PM »
So I'm irrational to commit myself to rationality? Are you irrational to believe this video of yours?

I have never believed that the natural person is rational. I've seen too much bullshit and superstition to think that. However, what I believe is that we can do better than be a natural person, through discipline and learning. The natural person is irrational, but the educated person can be rational. You will always have irrational thoughts and notions. The key is to not confuse them with rational thoughts and notions, and enjoy them for the entertainment they provide.
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Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 12:40:47 AM »
I respect Harris as a biologist.  But not as a theologian.  I respect Hawking as a astrophysicist.  But not as a theologian.  I don't know there are any good theologians ... though Rabbi Harold Kushner, a process theologian ... comes close.

The idea of the Enlightenment, that of Progress, from barbarism to French salon decadence and Robespierre revolution ... is simply Cultural Marxism.  Rationality is good, but it is a small part of human experience, but I can't "privilege" it .. because I am not really like ... Descartes or Spinoza or Leibniz.  i am empirical.

The person being interviewed ... I didn't know him before this week, but he is pretty smart to me .. he knows what Cultural Marxism is.
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Offline Shiranu

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 07:28:03 PM »
The entire concept of a "natural person" doesn't even make sense to me, so from the very get-go I cant accept his premise. The "natural person" is anyone of any mindset, because "persons" by their very nature are natural. Civilized is just as natural as barbaric, rational as natural as irrational. The idea that being civilized or rational or whatever is unnatural implies that there is something supernatural in their origin.
“Life isn't long enough to enjoy and understand all at the same time. You have to decide which is more important." - Pedro Juan Gutierrez

"Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be." - Miguel de Cervantes

Offline Cavebear

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 08:30:48 AM »
The entire concept of a "natural person" doesn't even make sense to me, so from the very get-go I cant accept his premise. The "natural person" is anyone of any mindset, because "persons" by their very nature are natural. Civilized is just as natural as barbaric, rational as natural as irrational. The idea that being civilized or rational or whatever is unnatural implies that there is something supernatural in their origin.

I'll have to disagree about "Civilized is just as natural as barbaric".  Civilized essentially means organized agriculture and towns at least.  Which are NOT natural and take a lot of effort and organization.  And "rational as natural as irrational" too, in fact. 

"Unnatural" does not imply "supernatural".  Unnatural mostly means "not innate", ie, learned.  Learned behavior is not natural.  It is what happens to many creatures that learn after birth as opposed to what they know instinctively AT birth. 

And before anyone jumps on me about how even creatures who get no parental training improve their abilities, that is "experience". 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2017, 12:41:30 AM »
What Cave Bear says ;-)

It is unnatural and irrational to automatically tie natural and rational as it is to tie unnatural and supernatural.  I would say that most of what is natural isn't rational they way Descartes means it.  I would also say that making out with road kill is unnatural, but it doesn't require any super powers.

It is also an abuse of semantics ... to say everything is X ... and just because I say so (you are actually creating a private language at variance to any dictionary).

I think this applies to more traditional views (everything is natural by definition) as it is with newer stuff (everything is quantum stings).  Both are examples of over-generalization and over-simplification.
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Offline SGOS

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2017, 06:00:54 AM »
Our natural state of intelligence is the tabula rasa, a clean state, or complete ignorance.  Our natural state of physical and emotional need is pure id driven by the need to eat, poop, fuss, punish, and as we mature, to copulate as dictated by whim.  So I would agree that when intelligence is removed from the birth mix, our natural state is irrational.  But I don't think it takes a Noble Prize Winner wannabe or media whore to figure that out.  It's rather basic.

He disagrees with Dawkins and Harris, but he doesn't explain why very well.  I don't think he cares much about the "why", since he believes man's natural state is irrational.  OK, that's a cheap shot.  But he spent an unnecessarily long time avoiding explaining himself, partly because his caustic nature prompted the moderator to ask him if he liked Sam Harris, and because his lead in of a controversial click bait, which followed up with, "No, no, I think he is an intelligent man," and at then I punched the pause button as he was wandering off his own topic.

Unfortunately, like all the rest of the id driven rabble, I was attracted by his opening tactic of presenting a controversy "Sam Harris is Wrong."  I really wanted know where Harris was wrong, but I lost interest when I realized this point was going to be buried in utube full of unnecessary babble.  As my rational side was not being nourished  by reasoned arguments, I lost patience.  My id loves controversy and slander as much as the next guy, but somehow there is a rational side of me that resists when the attack is left unsupported for too long.  He's just become another guy with an axe to grind.  Who doesn't?  Get in line.

This may be the same guy I heard on NPR one time, who was ragging on the "New Atheists" big three.  I listened all the way through on that one because it was new, but this isn't new anymore.  Some people don't have a point of their own, so they fashion one by attacking someone else's.  And like the riff raff that get themselves on television with the help of Jerry Springer, this is the way the more intelligent class feed their own irrational needs.

Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2017, 08:22:43 AM »
OK, so you only like the Powerpoint version ;-)  You must be Short Attention Span Avenger!

Sorry, tabula rasa is 18th century science.  Do you wear a powdered wig?  Read up on Gestalt.  You have gestalt in your visual cortex ... your built in programming (yes there is nature vs nurture) categorizes vertical, horizontal etc automatically.  You didn't have to have you parents or teachers show it to you.  Simpler animals are mostly gestalt functional, only the highest level animals have extensive nurturing of the young (primates mostly).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalt_psychology

I assume you believe that everything psychological, is based on learning and cultural pollution.  And that would make you a Rousseau in politics (and all other far Left).  If the State will just program the children properly, we can have our utopia?

Irrational psychology as our natural state?  Don't tell the other posters!

Sam Harris isn't a psychologist ... this guy is.  But go to the local fortune teller for help with cancer .. if that is what you prefer.
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Offline SGOS

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2017, 10:15:05 AM »
OK, so you only like the Powerpoint version ;-)  You must be Short Attention Span Avenger!

Read up on Gestalt.  You have gestalt in your visual cortex ... your built in programming (yes there is nature vs nurture) categorizes vertical, horizontal etc automatically.  You didn't have to have you parents or teachers show it to you.  Simpler animals are mostly gestalt functional, only the highest level animals have extensive nurturing of the young (primates mostly).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalt_psychology

I assume you believe that everything psychological, is based on learning and cultural pollution.  And that would make you a Rousseau in politics (and all other far Left).  If the State will just program the children properly, we can have our utopia?
Thanks for the lecture.  I need to be put in my place.  Unfortunately, I still find this guy's presentation indirect and scrambled, probably to hide his facts, if indeed he has any.  Not that Harris or Dawkins don't try to promote themselves, just like Jordan Peterson, but their presentations are much clearer.  And yes, I have a very short attention span for people that don't get to the point.

Sorry, tabula rasa is 18th century science.  Do you wear a powdered wig?
The age of something is not testimony to its value.  The worth of a thing is determined by how accurately it describes reality, not how old or new it is.  Tabula rasa may have been described in the 18th century, but it still describes the ignorance we all experience at birth in the 21st century.  Don't confuse a blank slate with how someone decides to fuck with it.  Or were you born all knowing?    Do you think we should also discard Darwin and wipe Galileo out completely since he came even earlier?

And your powdered wig thing was just plain stupid.  I should expect more from you.  Unfortunately, I don't.  Like your buddy in the video, you could be more direct and just say you got annoyed.  But directness is not your forte.  I suppose it's part of whatever that language Gawdzill Sama refers to.

Irrational psychology as our natural state?  Don't tell the other posters!
Sam Harris isn't a psychologist ... this guy is. 
Sam Harris is a neuroscientist.  I haven't heard him claim otherwise.  Do you claim Jordan Peterson is an irrational psychologist?  How does that improve his credibility?

But go to the local fortune teller for help with cancer .. if that is what you prefer.
You sure get things mixed up in your head and misconstrue them (It's not a gift).

Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2017, 12:20:40 PM »
Thanks for the lecture.  I need to be put in my place.  Unfortunately, I still find this guy's presentation indirect and scrambled, probably to hide his facts, if indeed he has any.  Not that Harris or Dawkins don't try to promote themselves, just like Jordan Peterson, but their presentations are much clearer.  And yes, I have a very short attention span for people that don't get to the point.
The age of something is not testimony to its value.  The worth of a thing is determined by how accurately it describes reality, not how old or new it is.  Tabula rasa may have been described in the 18th century, but it still describes the ignorance we all experience at birth in the 21st century.  Don't confuse a blank slate with how someone decides to fuck with it.  Or were you born all knowing?    Do you think we should also discard Darwin and wipe Galileo out completely since he came even earlier?

And your powdered wig thing was just plain stupid.  I should expect more from you.  Unfortunately, I don't.  Like your buddy in the video, you could be more direct and just say you got annoyed.  But directness is not your forte.  I suppose it's part of whatever that language Gawdzill Sama refers to.   
Sam Harris is a neuroscientist.  I haven't heard him claim otherwise.  Do you claim Jordan Peterson is an irrational psychologist?  How does that improve his credibility?
You sure get things mixed up in your head and misconstrue them (It's not a gift).

Your rhetoric, is the rhetoric of suspicion ... like all the other paranoids here ;-)  And no, no lecture, just shocked ... I see signs in texts ... that imply certain beliefs.  And yes, I apologize if I misconstrue ... but you gave me evidence to back it up.  My mistake regarding Harris ... I was thinking of Dawkins.  OK ... so there are folks who think that everything about people can be understood by just the neurons.  There is no psychology, just neurology.  But that is a separate post that probably nobody is interested in.  The psychology pros have been arguing that one for over 100 years now.  So I partly take it back.  If you want to post some video that shows that some part of the cerebellum is responsible for social behavior ... please post.  We are just wet-ware after all.  The neurons are naturally atheist Democrats ... therefore all theists or Republicans or others are neurologically defective (sarc).
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 12:28:57 PM by Baruch »
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Offline SGOS

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2017, 01:14:32 PM »
so there are folks who think that everything about people can be understood by just the neurons.  There is no psychology, just neurology.
No doubt there are such folks, and maybe someday neurology will lead us to understand the big mystery of brain function and why we put things together in odd ways, but it seems to be a long ways off.  I think it's likely we will never understand it, but that's an unwarranted assumption too.

Offline SGOS

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2017, 09:48:41 AM »
Read up on Gestalt.  You have gestalt in your visual cortex ... your built in programming (yes there is nature vs nurture) categorizes vertical, horizontal etc automatically.  You didn't have to have you parents or teachers show it to you.  Simpler animals are mostly gestalt functional, only the highest level animals have extensive nurturing of the young (primates mostly).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalt_psychology
I find the subject of Gestalt interesting.  There's nothing special about Gestalt as far as I could ever understand.  At one time, I was a fan of Gestalt therapy.  Fritz Perls was my hero.  But I think Gestalt is best understood by NOT understanding it.  I'm not going to get too deep into the subject, because I think it's kind of a waste of time, interesting philosophically, even helpful in application, and possibly fun to discuss while wearing a white robe and quoting from a scroll the articulations of its champions.  But it's one of those things you just know when it happens.  That's the Gestalt in Gestalt.  Even not knowing that it's there is a Gestalt as I think you interpret it.  We could get into the structure of the whole and its parts, but I'd rather not go there.  It might be important to neuroscientists trying to explain brain functioning, but only because it may lead to some future discovery, but it might also lead to nothing at all.  Those that are interested can pursue it.

My interest in it is limited to practical applications in therapy, helping clients make new perceptions by reassembling the parts of the whole, and I've actually watched films, those old 16mm clickity clack reels with sound, of Fritz Perls demonstrating the technique with clients.  With Perls in action, it's a breathtaking world wind of what seems almost like personal attacks on a his clent/victim.  I'm not sure, but I think he was constantly trying to disrupt the client's parts of the whole in such a way that the parts can be reassembled into a new whole, possibly one that can be more personally helpful to the person on the couch.

The thing is... reassembling the parts into a new perception of the whole is just an insight, the "aha" moment when the new perception is recognized as a moment of clarity and new understanding of some hopefully misconstrued previous perception or belief.  Perls referred to it as the Gestalt moment.  But this doesn't require Gestalt therapy to make it happen.  Insights are insights, even when experienced in Carl Rogers' client centered therapy, and I've experienced them in both situations, and you probably have too.  You can call it a Gestalt moment, but it's just a fancy name for a moment of personal growth.  Those moments are special of course, but neither is more special than the other. 

Another thing I've come to realize in more recent years is that these changes in perception, while I personally believe are "bits of truth" about ourselves, i.e. our perceptions, are not necessarily truths.  They are just reorganized parts of the whole.  They feel like truths, just as the theist feels the truth of God's existence, and they become accepted.  However, the nature of such perceived truths are not verifiable.  No one else can experience them or verify them in the same way the original truth was perceived.  But truth or fiction, they can be revisited and revised for the sense of well being that results.  But from an atheist or skeptic perspective, these are recognized as different than the theist's truth of God. 

Theists imply that when Christian Gestalt occurs, the so called understanding of truth becomes permanent, in fact has always been so and will remain permanent.  By contrast, for those seeking only personal growth, no such endpoint occurs.  In fact, new insights reorganizing different parts from different wholes does not stop, and we never know where something leads or ends, and one new reorganization often results in a demanding look at other existing parts and "cleaning up" any possible faulty perceptions based on the new knowledge gained from more recent perceptions.  I've experienced that, and you probably have too.

To end this, one of the criticisms, although that's a harsh overstatement, of Gestalt is that for all its fal-der-ral, Gestalt has not been proven.  It seems to exist in spite of its descriptions, but why it's there and how it works is unknown.  It's like asking how does the mind (as opposed to the brain) sort through experiences and render what we perceive as information?

« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 04:58:26 AM by SGOS »

Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2017, 10:25:50 AM »
If you want to be objective, in psychology, you have to be a Behaviorist.  They say ... there is no mind, no thoughts occur ... because they can't be observed outside the body, and therefore can't be subject to scientific scrutiny.  But his is like PM Thatcher claiming that society doesn't exist.  IMHO ... both are expressions of the autism of the people involved (they simply can't relate to other people, or even to themselves).

"But I think Gestalt is best understood by NOT understanding it." ... that would put it on the level of QM, per Feynman.  But then the QM folk are hierophants of a black art (black body spectrum).

Are you denying the visual cortex research, that clearly and objectively show the kind of low level processing that happens?  I assume not.  If you are a therapist, then you are engaged in some kind of "Talk Therapy" ... unless you prescribe medications.  Not all Talk Therapy is Depth Psychology however ... or Jungian archetypes.

Quote
Theists imply that when Christian Gestalt occurs, the so called understanding of truth becomes permanent, in fact has always been so and will remain permanent.  By contrast, for those seeking only personal growth, no such endpoint occurs.  In fact, new insights reorganizing different parts from different wholes does not stop, and we never know where something leads or ends, and one new reorganization often results in a demanding look at other existing parts and "cleaning up" any possible faulty perceptions based on the new knowledge gained from more recent perceptions.  I've experienced that, and you probably have too.

Personality occurs in cultural context.  If you are Christian, then a catharsis will have Christian content.  My samadhi of 5.5 years ago, was Buddhist, because that was the context [Heart Sutra].  But as an inter-cultural, I can apply it to other contexts, Kabbalah for instance.  Pre-Christian and pre-Muslim spirituality, are clearly Kabbalah to me ... and Kabbalah is the intersection of the ME with India.  And yes, per Zen, kensho happens multiple times, the first time isn't the final samadhi ... though I am not sure I believe claims that anyone has had final samadhi.  A "final" catharsis seems to me to be ... out of the frying pan into the fire.  You really haven't escaped the Matrix.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 10:35:30 AM by Baruch »
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Offline SGOS

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2017, 11:16:10 AM »
If you want to be objective, in psychology, you have to be a Behaviorist.  They say ... there is no mind, no thoughts occur ... because they can't be observed outside the body, and therefore can't be subject to scientific scrutiny.  But his is like PM Thatcher claiming that society doesn't exist.  IMHO ... both are expressions of the autism of the people involved (they simply can't relate to other people, or even to themselves).
That might be over simplification, depending on how you define "behaviorism."  I knew a well regarded elementary counselor who said, "Behaviorism is the only therapy that works."  But at the elementary level, all the administration views as helpful is changing a student's behavior on the grounds that creativity must be stamped out before it becomes a problem.  Although, I recognize this is somewhat unfair accusation, and not true of all administrators.  I was just trying to underscore how behaviorism can be used.

But even behaviorism renders insights, as any other form of therapy does.  It's just that the order of experiences is reversed.  In conventional therapy the goal is to gain new perceptions or correct faulty perceptions, which leads to changes in behavior.  The behavior may be as small as being how one interprets perceptions, but there is usually outward behavior that changes also.  In Behavior therapy, the overseers may not care about the insights, and I suppose for kids that don't care about the insights, they might not even notice them, although I'm doubtful that they are not recognized in some way.  In what I consider useful Behavior therapy, the insights follow the behavior, as opposed to the other way around.  But to the Behaviorist, the insights may be no more than secondary and of minimal value.  I can't say it's true for all, but maybe for some.

I've always considered Behavior therapy to be something similar to training rats to choose the right passage in the maze, but I will concede that it can be helpful to the rats or whoever the trainees might be.  It isn't quite the same thing as depicted in Clockwork Orange, at least not that draconian or ultimately as useless.

Are you denying the visual cortex research, that clearly and objectively show the kind of low level processing that happens?  I assume not. 
Correct.  I wouldn't deny it.  First, I don't understand it well enough to deny it, and second, I have no interest in understanding it, and third, I'll leave that to those who may do something more useful with it.
 
If you are a therapist, then you are engaged in some kind of "Talk Therapy" (?)
I've been trained in it, but I've lost interest in it as a profession.  My main, I guess you could say overwhelming interest in it, even the most valuable knowledge I think I've gained from it, is through experiencing it as part of my graduate requirement to experience it from the "couch" rather than the chair.  I absolutely loved the experience.  It was life altering, and I kept it up for two years until I graduated and was sent off to "fend for myself."  I may have learned the skills without the experience, but I rather doubt it, and certainly not a quickly or as dramatically.


Offline SGOS

Re: Primate origins of hierarchy and religion ...
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2017, 01:50:14 PM »
Personality occurs in cultural context.  If you are Christian, then a catharsis will have Christian content.  My samadhi of 5.5 years ago, was Buddhist, because that was the context [Heart Sutra].  But as an inter-cultural, I can apply it to other contexts, Kabbalah for instance.  Pre-Christian and pre-Muslim spirituality, are clearly Kabbalah to me ... and Kabbalah is the intersection of the ME with India.  And yes, per Zen, kensho happens multiple times, the first time isn't the final samadhi ... though I am not sure I believe claims that anyone has had final samadhi.  A "final" catharsis seems to me to be ... out of the frying pan into the fire.  You really haven't escaped the Matrix.
To clarify my comment about the theist Gestalt being an ultimate truth, I didn't mean it as THE final catharsis.  Christians profess to continue growing:  "I continue to grow in Jesus," which I believe is a meaningless but poetic platitude, but there can conceivably be other related insights to follow, but for most, knowing of God's existence is A final catharsis, and becomes Gospel.  Further growth is pretty much going to be in the form of apologetics, which is suspect.  I don't know about kensho.  Oddly, Sam Harris of all people might, as he has taken an interest in Zen.  He described it in a recent book, Waking Up, but while he's a practicing advocate, he avoids tying it to mysticism.  It's pretty much just an attractive form of therapy for him, as best I can tell.