Consciousness, projection, myth and science

What needs do mythology and religion serve in today's world and in ancient times? Here we discuss the relationship between mythology, religion and science from mythological, religious and philosophical viewpoints.

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Consciousness, projection, myth and science

Post by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:28 pm

1) We are born into this world with a consciousness, abiding the human individual is relatively healthy, that encompasses all the five senses (taste, smell, touch, perception and hearing) and the qualitative phenomenal experience that goes with it, i.e. thats what a rose smells like, or music sounds like this etc. (note: this is the problem of consciousness within philosophy - How can physical properties (if we assume physicalism - the doctrine that the universe is fundamentally made out of physical stuff -) give rise to phenomenal experience.)

All consciousness has is itself and its phenomenal experience. However, specifically (although a few animals may have a limited version of this) human consciousness also has a self-reflective capacity; it can reflect on its own consciousness, for instance, an adult looks at itself in a mirror - and receives the phenomenal experience - and asks: is that what I now look like?

Now, consciousness, for some reason (and I will not speculate what the reason is) has a self-preserving life instinct.

(1) Assumption - Consciousness has a self-preservation instinct

The problem for consciousness is that the world is terribly violent. Nature itself whilst nourishing and reasonably protecting, is destructive, overwhelmingly powerful and everything in the end becomes decadent and turns into death. (Hence the "mother" Kali mythological character) Nature is overwhelmingly abhorrent to consciousness.

(2) Within nature is decadence, violence, and death

So consciousness has a massive problem, consciousness is brought into nature, a world of terrible violence and ultimately death. How does consciousness with its self-preservation instinct guard against the world? We have the two options:

(3a) Religion - You begin creating gods and the afterlife - why? - Consciousness realises that nature is impassable and the world will forever contain predators, danger, loss, sorrow, violence and finally consciousness itself will be annihilated. So Consciousness (not allowing itself suicide, it has a self-preservation instinct so it does want to be voluntarily annihilated - this is not to deny that suicide happens - but there is no suicidal mass movement against the conditions of life) has to envisage a time when itself still survives; and not only does it still survive, the primal destruction of nature is removed. Consciousness obviously would not accept its prolonged survival with violence and death because what's the point? Moreover, consciousness sees violence as a potentiality towards death, so its not acceptable to have a consciousness that lives ever-lasting with terrible nature because it would be a contradiction for consciousness, and obviously we can cite empirical information: when has anyone ever talked about a heaven-type existence that includes pain.

(3a) To avoid the death of consciousness, consciousness projects God and the afterlife.

(3b) Science - For various reasons that I wont go into here (but will at a further date), consciousness turns towards science. Now science (and technology) ultimately are an expression against nature and the pre-set conditions of life, for instance, we build a house to go against the weather etc.

Now, the movement of science denies the projection of God and the afterlife, which is fine. So science has to deal with nature itself. So what does Science do? It tries to find cures to disease, pain, sorrow, suffering and eventually tried to avoid the annihilation of consciousness - with all the promise (or more accurately the hope) that science will prolong life within an average life-span and finally, prolong life indefinitely so that death will not exist and be an issue.

The ultimate aim of science is to transcend nature and make nature void, we only have to look at the recent transhumanism movements, scientific utopia's, and basically, the whole world: as amazing as pharmaceuticals and medicine are, what are they if they are not to stop consciousness from feeling the violence of nature - not that itself is not an unworthy, if impossible, task.

(3b) To avoid death, consciousness "turns" to science.

So the argument is as follows:

(1) Consciousness has a self-preservation instinct
(2) Within nature is decadence, violence, and death
-------
(3a) So, to avoid the death of consciousness, consciousness projects God and the afterlife.
(3b) So, to avoid death, consciousness "turns" to science
Last edited by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius on Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:34 pm

In an related note:

I have all of J.C's , Eliade, Neumann, Jung etc. books at my parents house, but I've just moved house and left the books with my brother,so does anyone know any good internet papers or resources to research myth: especially myth and science, myth and consciousness, myth and psychology and, myth and projection?

I'm writing an article for a magazine (yes, I know my above post isnt written to the best standard), and I was going to bump it up and make it better in everyway possible.

The above is just the skeleton of my thoughts, so criticisms, argued points etc. are welcome (obviously since its a forum, but written for emphasis sake)

Thanks :D
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Post by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:05 pm

Just out of interest, a way to respond to the opening post may be by elaborating on my ideas, so that we all learn something new and can discuss, talk and think about it.

By the way, I haven't just came on this forum so that I can get ideas to improve a piece going into a magazine. I'm also a keen researcher into mythology, and you will, hopefully, see alot of posts by me.
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Post by Cindy B. » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:53 am

It would be helpful if you'd first give us your definition of "consciousness," Tlon. Thanks.

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Re: Consciousness, projection, myth and science

Post by Evinnra » Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:36 am

Since you've asked, I am compelled ... :)
Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius wrote:1) We are born into this world with a consciousness, abiding the human individual is relatively healthy, that encompasses all the five senses (taste, smell, touch, perception and hearing) and the qualitative phenomenal experience that goes with it, i.e. thats what a rose smells like, or music sounds like this etc. (note: this is the problem of consciousness within philosophy -
All consciousness has is itself and its phenomenal experience. However, specifically (although a few animals may have a limited version of this) human consciousness also has a self-reflective capacity; it can reflect on its own consciousness, for instance, an adult looks at itself in a mirror - and receives the phenomenal experience - and asks: is that what I now look like?

Now, consciousness, for some reason (and I will not speculate what the reason is) has a self-preserving life instinct.

(1) Assumption - Consciousness has a self-preservation instinct

The problem for consciousness is that the world is terribly violent. Nature itself whilst nourishing and reasonably protecting, is destructive, overwhelmingly powerful and everything in the end becomes decadent and turns into death. (Hence the "mother" Kali mythological character) Nature is overwhelmingly abhorrent to consciousness.
Agree. Even if consciusness attempts to self-destruct, even in complete silence, when all is 'empty' , awareness will occur eventually. (According to Mahayana Buddhism.)

(2) Within nature is decadence, violence, and death

So consciousness has a massive problem, consciousness is brought into nature, a world of terrible violence and ultimately death. How does consciousness with its self-preservation instinct guard against the world? We have the two options:
... and I too, habitually state the obvious. :lol:

(3a) Religion - You begin creating gods and the afterlife - why? - Consciousness realises that nature is impassable and the world will forever contain predators, danger, loss, sorrow, violence and finally consciousness itself will be annihilated. So Consciousness (not allowing itself suicide, it has a self-preservation instinct so it does want to be voluntarily annihilated - this is not to deny that suicide happens - but there is no suicidal mass movement against the conditions of life) has to envisage a time when itself still survives; and not only does it still survive, the primal destruction of nature is removed. Consciousness obviously would not accept its prolonged survival with violence and death because what's the point? Moreover, consciousness sees violence as a potentiality towards death, so its not acceptable to have a consciousness that lives ever-lasting with terrible nature because it would be a contradiction for consciousness, and obviously we can cite empirical information: when has anyone ever talked about a heaven-type existence that includes pain.

(3a) To avoid the death of consciousness, consciousness projects God and the afterlife
Just wondering, wouldn't fear of self-delusion and madness be an equally powerful motivator to avoid belief in 'Heaven/Afterlife/Karma' ?

(3b) Science - For various reasons that I wont go into here (but will at a further date), consciousness turns towards science. Now science (and technology) ultimately are an expression against nature and the pre-set conditions of life, for instance, we build a house to go against the weather etc.

Now, the movement of science denies the projection of God and the afterlife, which is fine. So science has to deal with nature itself. So what does Science do? It tries to find cures to disease, pain, sorrow, suffering and eventually tried to avoid the annihilation of consciousness - with all the promise (or more accurately the hope) that science will prolong life within an average life-span and finally, prolong life indefinitely so that death will not exist and be an issue.
*sniggering* This is fabulous. 8)

The ultimate aim of science is to transcend nature and make nature void, we only have to look at the recent transhumanism movements, scientific utopia's, and basically, the whole world: as amazing as pharmaceuticals and medicine are, what are they if they are not to stop consciousness from feeling the violence of nature - not that itself is not an unworthy, if impossible, task.

(3b) To avoid death, consciousness "turns" to science.
I'm affraid you've just lost me here, as I do not recall ever thinking about science as a means to cheating death. My thinking was (and is) that science makes things better in the present, rather than science having a 'snowball's chance in hell' to prolong life indefinitely. Have you any news I haven't yet? :shock:

So the argument is as follows:

(1) Consciousness has a self-preservation instinct
(2) Within nature is decadence, violence, and death
-------
(3a) So, to avoid the death of consciousness, consciousness projects God and the afterlife.
(3b) So, to avoid death, consciousness "turns" to science
Put me down for 3b. It is easier for mer to agree that we turn to science to avoid death - if science is making our life safer and if a safer life lasts longer. . :lol: However, I find it difficult to accept 3a, as the premises would only explain a motive for having faith. Having a motive to have something is not equal to having that something. ( I.e. faith in God is tangible for those who have it. )

Welcome to the forum, Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius . Can I just call you something shorter? Like Steve?
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Post by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:52 am

Cindy B. wrote:It would be helpful if you'd first give us your definition of "consciousness," Tlon. Thanks.

Cindy
Consciousness is typically hard to define, so I'm thinking of something rather commonsensical like the following offered by the philosopher John Searle:

"Consciousness consists of states of awareness or sentience or feeling. These typically begin in the morning when you wake up from a dreamless sleep and go on all day until you go to sleep or otherwise become “unconscious.”

Although I didn't link it very well in the previous article to the actual conflict between consciousness and nature, the typical feelings of a consciousness, its phenomenological character (for example, that vision looks like this, or food tastes like that ) is in conflict with nature.

So typically consciousness identifies unpleasant phenomenological states (for example, of being extremely cold, extremely hot, that gash on your head hurts immensely, - insert your own gruesome life-threatening example - ) with death, and tries to avoid them. The problem is, is that more overtly in past society's where animals ran wild, and you were one insufficient harvest away fro death, blood-shed and violence was overtly rampant in nature.

Consciousness finds this abhorrent, because of the phenomenological feelings involved and the ultimate inevitability, death
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Re: Consciousness, projection, myth and science

Post by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:43 am

Thanks for the welcoming message.

Lol Steve is fine, but so is Tlon - the name my mother christened me. Warning to all to future sons, pray your mother doesn't read too much Borges through pregnancy.

Part 1


(3a) Religion - You begin creating gods and the afterlife - why? - Consciousness realises that nature is impassable and the world will forever contain predators, danger, loss, sorrow, violence and finally consciousness itself will be annihilated. So Consciousness (not allowing itself suicide, it has a self-preservation instinct so it does want to be voluntarily annihilated - this is not to deny that suicide happens - but there is no suicidal mass movement against the conditions of life) has to envisage a time when itself still survives; and not only does it still survive, the primal destruction of nature is removed. Consciousness obviously would not accept its prolonged survival with violence and death because what's the point? Moreover, consciousness sees violence as a potentiality towards death, so its not acceptable to have a consciousness that lives ever-lasting with terrible nature because it would be a contradiction for consciousness, and obviously we can cite empirical information: when has anyone ever talked about a heaven-type existence that includes pain.

(3a) To avoid the death of consciousness, consciousness projects God and the afterlife
Just wondering, wouldn't fear of self-delusion and madness be an equally powerful motivator to avoid belief in 'Heaven/Afterlife/Karma' ?
Originally, when I read that reply I thought you were saying self-delusion and madness could be a possible reason for the projection of God and the afterlife, which I would agree with.

However, whilst the above is true, it doesn't affect my premise (I think) because my premise is a general claim, so a few individuals that are mad and deluded who come up with the same projection can be ruled out. All I have to do is add ceteris paribus laws (definition is at bottom of this reply).

- Now - I realised that I had mis-read your reply when I examined the following:
However, I find it difficult to accept 3a, as the premises would only explain a motive for having faith. Having a motive to have something is not equal to having that something. ( I.e. faith in God is tangible for those who have it. )
So your saying that "fear of self-delusion" or "madness" can be a reason to avoid belief in God and the after-life. In which case I can run the ceteris paribus laws again, and rule out those cases, because your agreeing that we have the projection of God etc, but we can envisage people who don't have it for fear of self-delusion etc.

The main thing is the causal relationship between consciousness and its self-preservation instinct and the conflict with the violence, decadence and pain of nature.

But, you do have a line of argument that I haven't thought through enough, and I'm not quite sure how to get around it.

This is what it is - I've now added the ceteris paribus clauses/laws and were examining the specific causal relationship. And you say: "However,I find it difficult to accept 3a, as the premises would only explain a motive for having faith. Having a motive to have something is not equal to having that something."

This is correct and good reasoning. Pain, violence and death are an acceptable motive for having a belief in God and the afterlife, but just stating that, it isn't strong enough to show that's why we have the belief in God and the afterlife.

Just thinking about it now, I think the best way to argue against this, is to show that it is the most likely way to have a belief in God and the after-life, than the alternatives. Which clearly you don't have to accept, and I've given no reasons or explanations as to why its the best explanation of this belief. However, given that your on a Joseph Campbell/ mythological forum, I suspect that you think it is.

----------------------------------------------------

Ceteris paribus is a Latin phrase, literally translated as "with other things the same," or "all other things being equal or held constant." (From wiki)

So that the specific causal relationship can be examined. For instance, suppose whenever someone takes out hot toast from the toaster and quickly spreads butter on the bread and it melts - and this is the claim that we are trying to prove, which may or may not be true. So whilst other people have jam and butter, or marmalade and butter, we can rule out these instances by introducing ceteris paribus laws.
Last edited by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius on Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Consciousness, projection, myth and science

Post by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:13 am

Part 2

The ultimate aim of science is to transcend nature and make nature void, we only have to look at the recent transhumanism movements, scientific utopia's, and basically, the whole world: as amazing as pharmaceuticals and medicine are, what are they if they are not to stop consciousness from feeling the violence of nature - not that itself is not an unworthy, if impossible, task.

(3b) To avoid death, consciousness "turns" to science.
I'm affraid you've just lost me here, as I do not recall ever thinking about science as a means to cheating death. My thinking was (and is) that science makes things better in the present, rather than science having a 'snowball's chance in hell' to prolong life indefinitely. Have you any news I haven't yet? :shock:
Looking back on what I've wrote here, I've been a little narrow in my usage of science. One of science uses is to find information about the universe, normally the causal regularities that abound (hence the Newtonian model of physics, cause and effect).

I disagree that science has made life better, better in what sense? If your talking about the happiness of the individual in society then you only have to look at "The Only Conspiracy" thread to show that isn't true.

If we compare a typical third world country, lacking in science and technology, compared to a typical first world country, abundant in science and technology what are the differences? It seems to me that the main difference is the effect of nature on our lives. The third world country is at danger to wild beasts, extreme changes in weather, starvation, disease, etc. more so than the first world.

If anything, science explores the universe, so that we can manipulate it to our advantage. We find out what causes dangerous fires, so that we can avoid being burnt by them, as one naive example. We manipulate to fit our desires, and those desires are to avoid pain, suffering and death - just look at the difference between the first and third world countries.

Lastly, you said that science doesn't have a "snowballs chance in hell", which to be fair is a hilariously funny statement, in prolonging life.

I don't think the issue is whether it can or can't, but rather it attempts to. Look at religion as a paradigm example: its believers thought that this belief would make them transcend death as the final end point of consciousness, but merely a belief has no chance in this.
Now the belief that science one day will enable man to do the same is also pertinent, it might never get to that stage, but it seems that science are trying to reach it. For example, the following movements and attempted or purported scenarios:

- freezing the body a few hundred years till science has the capability to rule out all diseases
- the transhumanism movement that believes we can become robots, or have added robotic parts, so that we can live forever
- science in its everyday cure of diseases, illnesses and ailments. It isn't merely just an attempt to make phenomenological consciousness comfortable.
- (from wiki) "Scientific and technological utopias are set in the future, when it is believed that advanced science and technology will allow utopian living standards; for example, the absence of death and suffering; changes in human nature and the human condition."
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Re: Consciousness, projection, myth and science

Post by Evinnra » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:27 am

Well, Tlon, lets see if we understood each other, shall we?
Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius wrote:

.

(3a) To avoid the death of consciousness, consciousness projects God and the afterlife
Just wondering, wouldn't fear of self-delusion and madness be an equally powerful motivator to avoid belief in 'Heaven/Afterlife/Karma' ?
Originally, when I read that reply I thought you were saying self-delusion and madness could be a possible reason for the projection of God and the afterlife, which I would agree with.

However, whilst the above is true, it doesn't affect my premise (I think) because my premise is a general claim, so a few individuals that are mad and deluded who come up with the same projection can be ruled out. All I have to do is add ceteris paribus laws (definition is at bottom of this reply).

- Now - I realised that I had mis-read your reply when I examined the following:
However, I find it difficult to accept 3a, as the premises would only explain a motive for having faith. Having a motive to have something is not equal to having that something. ( I.e. faith in God is tangible for those who have it. )
So your saying that "fear of self-delusion" or "madness" can be a reason to avoid belief in God and the after-life. In which case I can run the ceteris paribus laws again, and rule out those cases, because your agreeing that we have the projection of God etc, but we can envisage people who don't have it for fear of self-delusion etc.
Your realisation is correct, Tlon, you have missunderstood the gist of my reply. My argument was that fear of not having reliable beliefs is a very very storng motivator. Perhaps in some cases this fear is strong enough that people reject even what they intuitively sense . In essence, if you claim that having a storng motive is causally sufficient to make people have a belief in God, I can reply that there are other relevant causes which strongly motivate people into aim for the opposite effect - i.e. rejecting religion.
The main thing is the causal relationship between consciousness and its self-preservation instinct and the conflict with the violence, decadence and pain of nature.

But, you do have a line of argument that I haven't thought through enough, and I'm not quite sure how to get around it.

This is what it is - I've now added the ceteris paribus clauses/laws and were examining the specific causal relationship. And you say: "However,I find it difficult to accept 3a, as the premises would only explain a motive for having faith. Having a motive to have something is not equal to having that something."

This is correct and good reasoning. Pain, violence and death are an acceptable motive for having a belief in God and the afterlife, but just stating that, it isn't strong enough to show that's why we have the belief in God and the afterlife.

Just thinking about it now, I think the best way to argue against this, is to show that it is the most likely way to have a belief in God and the after-life, than the alternatives. Which clearly you don't have to accept, and I've given no reasons or explanations as to why its the best explanation of this belief. However, given that your on a Joseph Campbell/ mythological forum, I suspect that you think it is.

----------------------------------------------------

Ceteris paribus is a Latin phrase, literally translated as "with other things the same," or "all other things being equal or held constant." (From wiki)

So that the specific causal relationship can be examined. For instance, suppose whenever someone takes out hot toast from the toaster and quickly spreads butter on the bread and it melts - and this is the claim that we are trying to prove, which may or may not be true. So whilst other people have jam and butter, or marmalade and butter, we can rule out these instances by introducing ceteris paribus laws.
Tlon, you have completely ignored the meaning of my argument although I clearly stated what I've meant "However,I find it difficult to accept 3a, as the premises would only explain a motive for having faith. Having a motive to have something is not equal to having that something." - i.e. faith is tangible for those who have it.
I think I argued clearly enough that conclusion 3a may or may not be caused by the given premises.
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Re: Consciousness, projection, myth and science

Post by Evinnra » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:53 am

Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius wrote:
Lastly, you said that science doesn't have a "snowballs chance in hell", which to be fair is a hilariously funny statement, in prolonging life.
Glad you find my statement funny, though that is not quite what I wrote. I wrote : science doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell to prolog life INDEFINITELY. Obviously, science had already extended human life expectancy - or at least that is what we are being told by sociologists, economists, etc.

I don't think the issue is whether it can or can't, but rather it attempts to. Look at religion as a paradigm example: its believers thought that this belief would make them transcend death as the final end point of consciousness but merely a belief has no chance in this.
Now the belief that science one day will enable man to do the same is also pertinent, it might never get to that stage, but it seems that science are trying to reach it.
You raise a good point here. Trouble is, science is not quite sure what consciousness is, let alone how this consciousness can transcend the death of the physical body.
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Post by Rimbaud » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:50 am

I'm pretty sure Tlon has justified his 3(a) by the very notion that we have religious beliefs asserting consciousness after death. The fact that some disagree with this notion has not a jot or bearing on 3(a)

In fact Nietzsche said the very same thing : "Weariness that wants to reach the ultimate with one leap, with one fatal leap, a poor ignorant weariness that does not want to want any more: this created all gods and afterworlds." -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Evinnara while you raise an interesting point of the motivation of an opposite belief - 'not wanting to self delude itself- it is repudiated by the very notion of a belief in the aferlife - one only has to trace the physiology of beliefs. For example, 'The idea of the second coming' was formulated in Asia Minor when the Romans were oppressing the christians. In the same way that tribes developed mythologies to reconcile the psyche to its circumstances and enviroments, and to enforce its structures and cosmologies. Another example is communists believing that rich men will willingly hand over their money when the time of the class stuggles are over. Only the oppressed could believe in such a fiction.

Therefore, one sees that the motive is the justification, and the jusitfication is the motive. Tlon is not merely asseting a motive without cause. The cause presupposes a motivation. If Hamlet doesn't believe in the afterlife the corollary would be that Hamlet has rejected a projection of the psyche - thus still asserting that the psyche has projected such a belief into the world. The evidence would also be the ubiquity of the belief in consciousness sustaining death.

Tlon, infact your 3(a) is directly validated by 3(b) - I would modify your argument slightly, and assert that consciousness has always sought the abolition of the instincts while maintaining its own essence. - Heaven itself is characterised by the lack of suffering and violence and the continuity of consciousness. Communists have the idea of the end of history, where class struggle and labour would be abolished. - Note : the abolition of the struggle. Science, or lets call it Transhumanism, desires the abolition of the instincts, or of the ageing process. And Marxists envisage a society without violence or suffering.
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Post by Rimbaud » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:28 am

Tlon - It should be seperated into a) b) and c) within 3 - You have missed a step.

Firstly, it should be consciouness sublimates its own drives and creates society which contains within it the repressive and conservative instinct.

And secondly, Consciousness to defend itself against its own finality and futility within material existence posits religious belief. - which happen unconsciously and spontaneously

And then finaly, when the ego is more stabalised within the world, and deems religious belief as unsuitable, it turns to science to manipulate nature and its own human nature, while carrying within it its atavistic beliefs such as immortality and utopianism and lack of struggle and folly. Which we can give a historical date of the 15th century onwards, Berdyaev thinks the 18th century, but I think it happened a few centuries earlier with Shakespeare being a elegy of the old and new world, with the Italian painters such as Michelangelo etc, Da Vinci, and the birth of protestanism. Some speculators such as Van der Berg think the modern self was born with Martin Luther, and Harold Bloom thinks Shakespeare and I'm more inclined to agree with Bloom. And earlier their was from the 13th century onwards the myth of the Holy Grail originating from Bavaria and the idea of individuality which Hoeller and Campbell speculate being the true expression of the West and Christianity a mere diffusion and fossilization.

However, as a side note - it would be interesting to note what happened to consciousness in the area of the Middle East - why the values were inverted and gave rise to the three monotheistic religions, and created 'history' as we know it. One cannot talk of a historical process without locating where its beginning was. And if history is a process and has a definite goal then it’s axiomatic that history has a living process. This process is always linked to the tradition its born from. As Berdyaev can competently show, the philosophy of history stemmed from the Christian tradition opposed from the Hellenic world because of the eschatological revelation was to be revealed in the future : The divine Revelation and the coming of Jesus. This gave history a specific metaphysical quality and the metaphysical a historical process. Every event in history was unique, symptomatic and not subject to cycles of harmony, as postulated in the Hellenic world or as external events of mere phenomena, non impinging in the inner metaphysical realities of the Hindu tradition. Thus Christianity brought free will, and an uncertain destiny into the human conception of the historical as a dynamic process. Therefore one cannot even critique a historical event or manifestation without relating it back to it’s historical tradition. Thus even people who don’t believe in Christianity have inherited a Christian consciousness and destiny, [i.e. Marxism, Science and Atheism.] and the new consciousness to be born when the tradition dies, or as in the present, is currently dying.

Some examples of this physiology and end of time idea :

Marxism is a manifestation of Christianity in two ways. Firstly, it is a manifestation and a symptom of the dying tradition of Christianity, and secondly, in a concrete way, according to Eliade ‘ Marx…continues one of the great myths of the asiatco-Mediterranean world - The redeeming role of the Just ( The chosen, the anointed…in our day the proletariat) who’s sufferings are destined to change the ontological status of the world…Marx takes over for his own purposes the Judeo-Christian eschatological hope of an absolute end to history [ Marcia Eliade, The sacred and the profane, page 206-207]

Atheism is specifically a reaction to Christian religion. Philosopher John Gray in his seminal work Straw Dogs states ’ Atheists say they want a secular world, but a world defined by the absence of a Christian god is still a Christian world, and goes on further to say ‘Atheism is a late bloom of Christian passion for truth…the long - delayed consequence of Christian faith was an idolatry of truth and found it’s most complete expression in atheism. If we live in a world without gods we have Christianity to thank for it. [page 206-207]

- Which is why I would speculate that the next stage of consciousness is Transhumanism because it fufills two important criteria. Firstly, it completes the schism of consciousness in the Middle East and the inversion of values which is specificallu Judaic, in origin. And Secondly, it fufills all 3 conditions of your argument a) -ie defence against nature, b) fufills atavistic religious belief and desires., and 3) represents a completion of the repressive and neurotic function within the individual in his relation to society.
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Re: Consciousness, projection, myth and science

Post by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:31 am

However, I find it difficult to accept 3a, as the premises would only explain a motive for having faith. Having a motive to have something is not equal to having that something. ( I.e. faith in God is tangible for those who have it. )
So your saying that "fear of self-delusion" or "madness" can be a reason to avoid belief in God and the after-life. In which case I can run the ceteris paribus laws again, and rule out those cases, because your agreeing that we have the projection of God etc, but we can envisage people who don't have it for fear of self-delusion etc.
Your realisation is correct, Tlon, you have missunderstood the gist of my reply. My argument was that fear of not having reliable beliefs is a very very storng motivator. Perhaps in some cases this fear is strong enough that people reject even what they intuitively sense . In essence, if you claim that having a storng motive is causally sufficient to make people have a belief in God, I can reply that there are other relevant causes which strongly motivate people into aim for the opposite effect - i.e. rejecting religion.
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Evinnra, I believe I have understood your argument, and ironically I feel as if you've miss understood mine: You write:
"My argument was that fear of not having reliable beliefs is a very very storng motivator [to avoid belief in God and the afterlife]"
I wrote:
"So your saying that "fear of self-delusion" or "madness" can be a reason to avoid belief in God and the after-life"
- Which to me seem pretty similar.

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Your main argument was this:
"However, I find it difficult to accept 3a, as the premises would only explain a motive for having faith. Having a motive to have something is not equal to having that something. ( I.e. faith in God is tangible for those who have it."
I wrote:
"This is correct and good reasoning. Pain, violence and death are an acceptable motive for having a belief in God and the afterlife, but just stating that, it isn't strong enough to show that's why we have the belief in God and the afterlife."
- And this clearly dovetails with the above, and with what you said here:
"I think I argued clearly enough that conclusion 3a may or may not be caused by the given premises."
- But however, I'm trying to give an argument for my claim, so I go onto say the following:

[So here I admit that pain, violence and death are not necessarily causally sufficient to be the motive as to why we believe in God - So I wrote a reason, although not fully explicated, as to why this might be the causally sufficient motive in believing in God:
"What I have to show that it is the most likely way to have a belief in God and the after-life, than the alternatives. Which clearly you don't have to accept, and I've given no reasons or explanations as to why its the best explanation of this belief. However, given that your on a Joseph Campbell/ mythological forum, I suspect that you think it is."
- That is, being on a myth forum, you're my likely to accept a naturalistic explanation instead of a super-naturalistic one. Although you may prefer Jung's collective unconscious explanation - but then you have to ask, why would consciousness have this in-built mechanism that we are unconscious of?

----------------------

Lastly you wrote:
"Admittedly, In essence, if you claim that having a storng motive is causally sufficient to make people have a belief in God, I can reply that there are other relevant causes which strongly motivate people into aim for the opposite effect - i.e. rejecting religion."
- Which I agreed with, with the following (although you said I mis-understood your case here):
"So your saying that "fear of self-delusion" or "madness" can be a reason to avoid belief in God and the after-life"
- that is, there are causally sufficient reasons not to believe in God

I agree that, once again, that there are causally sufficient reasons not to believe in God and the afterlife. But my argument is that pain, violence and death ARE causally sufficient for the belief in God and the afterlife.

- So its not an attempted refutation to argue that there are causally sufficient reasons not to believe in God and the after-life because they've accepted pain, violence and death and projected the belief in God and the after-life but don't want to appear stupid, self-deluded or mad.
Since you've already accepted that pain, violence and death ARE causally sufficient for the belief: the relationship between violence, death and pain and the beliefs ARE causally sufficient. Your just arguing that they have through self-consciousness they reject a belief that is occurring due to the conditions of life.

Another example, suppose that 2+2 must always equal 4, and this comes due to the relationship of consciousness to the world, and lets suppose there is no other reason. In this case unlike mine, lets suppose that this really is the causally sufficient outcome. So, it can't be a refutation of the causally sufficient relationship to say that because Mr X doesn't want to appear mad, self-deluded or insane, that Mr x decides that 2+2 does NOT equal 4.

Mr x has a causally sufficient reason not to believe that 2+2 = 4, but it doesn't discount that 2+2 equals 4. Mr x's own self-conscious beliefs get in the way of an naturally occurring, causally sufficient belief.

- And I've been saying this in the previous post:
"The main thing is the causal relationship between consciousness and its self-preservation instinct and the conflict with the violence, decadence and pain of nature."
So what does this mean for you?

- You have to argue that pain, violence and death are not causally sufficient in the respective beliefs
- Or my line of reasoning is inconsistent, or logically/ practically absurd.
Last edited by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius on Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Consciousness, projection, myth and science

Post by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:37 am

Lastly, you said that science doesn't have a "snowballs chance in hell", which to be fair is a hilariously funny statement, in prolonging life.

Glad you find my statement funny, though that is not quite what I wrote. I wrote : science doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell to prolog life INDEFINITELY. Obviously, science had already extended human life expectancy - or at least that is what we are being told by sociologists, economists, etc.
- Fair enough I mis-quoted you there, sorry.Although in the rest of my posts, prolonging life indefinitely is implicit.


Tlon wrote:I don't think the issue is whether it can or can't, but rather it attempts to. Look at religion as a paradigm example: its believers thought that this belief would make them transcend death as the final end point of consciousness but merely a belief has no chance in this.
Now the belief that science one day will enable man to do the same is also pertinent, it might never get to that stage, but it seems that science are trying to reach it.
You raise a good point here. Trouble is, science is not quite sure what consciousness is, let alone how this consciousness can transcend the death of the physical body. :oops: :oops: :oops:
- Hahahahah, yeah. It does seem that scientists are trying to run before they can walk! Good point, scientists and philosophers haven't got a clue, and are absolutely nowhere near to deciphering it

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Rimbaud, I've made notes of your comments. I'm busy for the rest of the day, and I'll reply tomorrow (I hope)
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Post by Tlon, Ugbar, OrbisTertius » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:07 am

Rimbaud wrote:I
Therefore, one sees that the motive is the justification, and the jusitfication is the motive. Tlon is not merely asseting a motive without cause. The cause presupposes a motivation.
.
Just a quick post before I go. Rimabud, Evinnra clearly hasn't said that my cause has no motive. Evinnra agrees that pain, violence, and death might, might not be the motive that causes belief in God and the afterlife.
If Hamlet doesn't believe in the afterlife the corollary would be that Hamlet has rejected a projection of the psyche - thus still asserting that the psyche has projected such a belief into the world. The evidence would also be the ubiquity of the belief in consciousness sustaining death.
Although, this is basically what I'm saying, Hamlet only rejects the projection of his psyche if the causal relationship between pain, violence and death is causally sufficient for the belief, and for various reasons (fear of self-delusion maybe) he rejects it.

Hamlet may reject the notion of God because he thinks its a stupid belief. My argument only works if the causal relationship cited is always in effect.

Although, I guess, you do say its always in effect, by citing the ubiquity of the belief in consciousness sustaining death.

I think the best question is this to argue against me, for both you and Evinnra: in today's scientific and fully conscious (as opposed to unconscious world) world where many reject the belief in God and the afterlife, do they already reject a projected belief, or is there no causal relationship between god and the afterlife with pain, violence and death, and they just reject a nonsensical belief.

Questions to ask yourself:

Do some people not have a projection, because in today's less nature impinging environment the threat of death, violence and pain isn't as in your face?

Do we reject the projection because we belief that God and the after-life have to be literal rather than metaphor's to help the individual or collective psyche against the dangers of nature?
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