No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby Serendipper » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:24 pm

Part 3 of 3

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Serendipper wrote:No he's not very emotional. My friend can't stand the fact that Alan is so monotone and I never really noticed it until he said that. So I'm listening one day and thinking to myself why I would speak in one way vs the other when it dawned on me that the only reason to animate my voice would be to fervently try to compel someone to buy what I'm selling. It's an appeal to emotion tactic and indicative of intent to persuade. So, I think the monotone is saying "take it or leave it" while those who resort to such seductive vernacular strategies are probably up to something.

Not having emotions present in your voice is not the default.

I see what you're saying, but I'm not sure because the default IS to convince people of our convictions. We fervently want to bring people around to our way of thinking and default to animated tone to achieve the goal.

You are looking at it as if that facet of being a social mammal is an option to choose.

I suppose one could strive to not be animated as yet another method of swaying, but people are sometimes calm of their own accord as well.

And then second, why should emotional expression be seductive and a strategy. Are babies being strategic?

Oh yes babies are strategic. Their only goal is to convince you that the world revolves around them and they will scream and do anything in their power to bend you to their will.

One can certainly perform and perform to be seductive and as a strategy, but that doesn't mean that if you speak with passion or emotion, you are being manipulative, strategic and seductive.

Yes it does. Why else? I'm being animated now, lol, you just can't see it ;) So I see within myself that I want you to believe me. Idk why... probably because I want to objectively analyze Watts together with you without your having prior biases that warrant his dismissal.

Removing the emotions, or continuing to suppress them after cultural or spiritual training IS DEFINITELY STRATEGIC.

I could agree that removing emotions is strategic, but what if the emotions weren't there in the first place to be removed? What if I genuinely don't care if I convince anyone? In that case, would I be emotional? Would I type in caps if I didn't care? So then, does Watts desire to convince anyone?

Of course hiding emotions for one's own protection may be wise, but that's another story. I, as a social mammal, do not choose to be emotional and express my emotions. I can however choose not to. The people who tell me that choice is the loving one or the rational one or the compassionate one bear the onus. I tend to find their vibe rather unpleasant. Why is honesty seen as information based and not also emotion based?

There is an aphorism that states something like "it's impossible to lie in anger". Emotions reveal the truth of our own opinions, but do not substantiate the validity of those opinions and that's an important distinction. For instance, it's true that you do not admire Watts, but it may not be true that Watts is not admirable.

Christianity is all about emotions. Watch some RW Schambach sometime ;)

About the emotions in specific contexts, aimed in certain ways. And desires are no nos. Christianity is filled with guilt. Guilt suppresses emotions and is often confused with emotions.

How is guilt different from emotions?

Shame is also central to Christianity and this also suppresses emotions. Of course many Christians are inconsistent about how guilt and shame suppress emotions, but the religion is definitely trying to shrink you down, channel and restrict emotions. Compared to Buddhism it can seem emotional, but you get a set of regulations of emotions that is huge and profound. And think about how one would likely react emotionally to a God who made the world this way and the crucifixion, adn then imagine how the various churches would come down on your natural reactions - and in the past kill you rather than simply shame and ostracize you - and you get a taste for how strong the fascism is around emotions. Islam can look emotional also, but shit, leave the grooves to follow your own emotional line, a bam you'll find out what they really think about the emotional body.

Maybe it's one set of emotions against another set (infidel)? Mom is a fundamentalist and I used to be, so I know all about it ;)

He has nothing to sell. Geese flying over a lake do not intend to cast their reflection and the lake has no mind to retain it.
And go near the goslings and Mamma goose will walk towards a much larger entity not speaking in monotone. While Alan Watts is getting off on being less than he could be, basking in the attention of people who put him on a pedestal, while telling people to be like nothing. I'm wary of people basking in the light telling you to be less than you are.

Alan isn't saying be like nothing. He's saying the nature of things is play; hide and seek; it's a game not to be taken seriously. See, this is what I was saying about needing to listen intently and multiple times.

And why should geese attitudes about their reflections be my role model? And then no other aspects of goose being in the world?


In the words of a Zen poem: The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection; the water has no mind to retain their image. When a mountain stream flows out of a spring beside the road, and a thirsty traveler comes along and drinks deeply, the traveler is welcome. But the mountain stream is not waiting with the intention of refreshing thirsty travelers; it is just bubbling forth, and the travelers are always welcome to help themselves. So in exactly that sense I offer my ideas. Allan Watts

"The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing, it refuses nothing. It receives but does not keep." - Chung-Tzu

"When you are hungry, eat. When you are tired, sleep. This is Zen." - Hiakajo Roshi

The point is not to cling to any ideology, but have faith. Faith is not clinging to any idea of god or religion, good and bad, but is walking into the total unknown with confidence. You can't make a religion from it though.

"Moderation in all things, including moderation" - Mark Twain

These kinds of 'profound' images, spoken in graceful, ooh, how profound tones, have, over time, come to really offend me. Talk about seductive language use.

I guess I haven't yet discovered what is your main objection, besides hypocrisy and ego, which is common to humanity.
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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Serendipper wrote:Part 3 of 3
I see what you're saying, but I'm not sure because the default IS to convince people of our convictions. We fervently want to bring people around to our way of thinking and default to animated tone to achieve the goal.
Watts was telling people the truth, what to value, I mean the goose image over the water thingie. But further that's not really the point. I don't think animation or passion or emotions need necessarily or even usually are to convince. If I am talking about death or a relationship or life, the feelings are part of how I respond to those things, they come up during the topic. Are we really saying that Watts took on a monotone to keep himself from trying to convince people. Me, I wouldn't write a bunch of non-fiction books if I wasn't trying to get across my sense of the truth in convincing ways. Why write non-fiction? Why not tell some jokes or write plays? His books are filled with prescriptive and ontological assertions and implied assertions.

You are looking at it as if that facet of being a social mammal is an option to choose.

I suppose one could strive to not be animated as yet another method of swaying, but people are sometimes calm of their own accord as well.
Sure, but 1) calm people tend not to talking in boring monotones 2) why weed out the emotions if one does not judge them. If you judge them, you are judging a part of your natural flow, which is an odd thing for a neo-Buddhist to do.

And then second, why should emotional expression be seductive and a strategy. Are babies being strategic?

Oh yes babies are strategic. Their only goal is to convince you that the world revolves around them and they will scream and do anything in their power to bend you to their will.
Have you been around babies? They don't express emotions with goals, they express emotions in reaction to feelingfs: like hunger pain, the joy of seeing your face, diaper rash, uncomfortable body positions. Their emotions may function in ways that compel you, the adult who has the goal to fix the problem to act in certain ways, but that is another story. Sure, later kids understand how their emotions affect adults, but not early babies.

Yes it does. Why else? I'm being animated now, lol, you just can't see it ;) So I see within myself that I want you to believe me. Idk why... probably because I want to objectively analyze Watts together with you without your having prior biases that warrant his dismissal.
Well, what can I say. I experience myself differently for you. I can certainly choose to express things passionately in the hopes of being convincing, but I can express things emotionally also simply because i have emotions connected to what I am talking about. I am sure that sometimes I may not realize that I am acting, adding on emotion, as a kind of force to put pressure on the other person, but it's no rule. If I tell a friend about a break up and cry, I am not crying to convince them I am a victim or to hate my ex - though I certainly could be manipulative like that if I wanted to. I am crying because I am sad. If I were to talk about spiritual experiences it could also cut both ways or be a combination. If I am suppressing my emotions and talking in a monotone, as a rule, it would mean either I do not trust people and fear them, as a rule, or I judge emotions. And somehow the way you view the expression of emotions as always about power, control, seduction and manipulation is not quite convincing me you don't have judgments of emotions. Notice how in Eastern religions all is one, all is to be observed, do not judge, everything is the Buddha - but don't express your emotions, they are bad. The outside is good and can flow as it flows. The inside is, on the other hand, needs to be controlled.

I could agree that removing emotions is strategic, but what if the emotions weren't there in the first place to be removed? What if I genuinely don't care if I convince anyone? In that case, would I be emotional? Would I type in caps if I didn't care? So then, does Watts desire to convince anyone?
I have emotions all the time when I am not trying to convince people of things. I have them when I am alone. And, again, what the heck is he telling all these profound truths for in books and lectures if he isn't trying to convince people of things. Why tell us about how perfect the geese are flying over the water and how great the water is, why use a standard religious rhetorical approach, the image, if he is not trying to convince us?

There is an aphorism that states something like "it's impossible to lie in anger". Emotions reveal the truth of our own opinions, but do not substantiate the validity of those opinions and that's an important distinction. For instance, it's true that you do not admire Watts, but it may not be true that Watts is not admirable.
Hey, he was a very smart guy that helped give me access to something I needed to have access to for my own development. I admire many of his qualities, but in the end he did not convince me - get it, lol - with all his books and talks, that his approach was for me. I do not think that emotions validate the opinions, I just think it is human to have them there and unless I am convinced that I should stifle them or develop a style with their absence or suppression, I will continue to have them present. Even when I am calm, I tend to feel satisfied and good and that comes through also.

How is guilt different from emotions?
There is isometric tension between emotions and ideas. The mind is telling us we should feel bad, often about an emotion. I am angry at my dad, but I should honor my mother and father. So my guilt will shut down the feeling and be in tension with it. The fear that I will be punished by God for my feelings and acts also often gets locked into that isometric tension and is not gone through or expressed. I feel bad about myself. I feel anxiety that i am bad, which means I might go to hell, but the tension allows room only for a kind of stifled state.

Alan isn't saying be like nothing. He's saying the nature of things is play; hide and seek; it's a game not to be taken seriously. See, this is what I was saying about needing to listen intently and multiple times.
He was using the geese in a prescriptive way. We should be like them, not interested in our reflection. Not in our egos. He used an image to be convincing, and it is a clever one. It sounds both simple and profound.

And why should geese attitudes about their reflections be my role model? And then no other aspects of goose being in the world?


In the words of a Zen poem: The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection; the water has no mind to retain their image. When a mountain stream flows out of a spring beside the road, and a thirsty traveler comes along and drinks deeply, the traveler is welcome. But the mountain stream is not waiting with the intention of refreshing thirsty travelers; it is just bubbling forth, and the travelers are always welcome to help themselves. So in exactly that sense I offer my ideas. Allan Watts
My point was that a mother goose will come at you and honk if you get to close to her babies. HER babies. Anger expressed. So why should they, the geese be my role model only in relation to flying over the water but not when they express emotions and protect what they identify with. And why can't his emotions bubble out, not to convince, but simply because they are there. His ideas bubble forth, but not his emotions. Ideas fine, emotions bad. And I really don't know how anyone can read these carefully rhetorical quotes and not think he is trying to convince about who he is, who we should be, the nature of reality and so on. He could have just said. I'm just saying what I think. But he went into some serious rhetorical approachs - that is using tools to convince.

[i
]"The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing, it refuses nothing. It receives but does not keep." - Chung-Tzu

"When you are hungry, eat. When you are tired, sleep. This is Zen." - Hiakajo Roshi
I can't see any reason, then, to sit for hours and have some guy hit me with a stick when he doesn't think my posture is up to snuff. I never have the urge or need to do that. I guess that isn't zen.

These kinds of 'profound' images, spoken in graceful, ooh, how profound tones, have, over time, come to really offend me. Talk about seductive language use.

I guess I haven't yet discovered what is your main objection, besides hypocrisy and ego, which is common to humanity.[/quote]I know I am being kinda a wall here. Might be a bad approach. It seems like we agree about many things, even your sense that Buddhism is anti-life. To me some of the statements here are anti-life. Not yours, but Watts and some of the Zen stuff - Twains quote doesn't bother me. I feel like Watts has serious judgments of emotions and the ego and desire. That ends up being judgments of me, a social mammal whose being includes those things. He is just bubbling his ideas. I bubble the whole thing. I keep allowing more of this bubbling, call that my path, bubbling the whole thing. I find him to be manipulative of himself, the suppression of parts of himself based on his upbringing in English culture and his later Christian and Buddhist/eastern phases. That this leads him to be manipulative in relation to himself I have, now, years later, only compassion for. Who isn't affected strongly by culture? But in his role as a proselytizer using rhetoric to seemingly point out the way to be in the world, I react by pushing away. Been there, tried that, not for me. He's dead so it's not personal. I feel no urge to hurt him. But the ideas...I want to push them off. One way to look at anger is to see it as wanting to push something back that is damaging. One way to look at fear is to see it as wanting to move back from something damaging. Of course one can be confused and have these emotions in the wrong contexts or with charge from the past or other situations. But my reaction to these ideas is to push them back. If I found myself in a Buddhist Temple, somehow seeming to have made vows and in monks robes, I would be afraid and sneak out. Here we are discussing the ideas and it is interesting to see how I react now. I am not enraged, I am not scared. But a pushing away is definitely there. I am interested in understanding what that is, now again, from an older more experienced position that I was in last time I responded. Partly, I think I see Watts more as doing the best he could given his experiences. Partly, I get what I find off-putting in the style, not just the content, of his communication. It's not really a good fit for our needs. You just found the guy and haven't had so much to do with Buddhism. YOu are moving toward it, finding value - which I did back then for example for me some of the spontaneity and love of nature - and here I am long ago having rejected it in the main. Maybe in ten years we will be in very similar places in relation to it. Maybe it will offer you what you really desire and we will simply and clearly disagree and both be content with our chose paths, and in that way be at ease, even in synch around the issues - though likely we would talk about something else. So it's kind of a bad fit. But I don't want to function like an asshole in your exploration of Watts. I don't think I am being an asshole, but I realize I am being blunt and wall-like in relation to his ideas and in some sense the man himself, which may be not only unpleasant, but more important not useful for you. I do think I have presented my reactions fairly clearly and it might be just repeating myself from this point out. We could just meet in other threads around other issues.
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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby Serendipper » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:41 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Serendipper wrote:Part 2 of X
I think you've illustrated two things here: that religions become perverted from their fundamental underpinnings (hypocrisy)
I think the underpinnings were tainted. I think Siddhearta and Jesus meant well, were brilliant, but had judgments, cultural and individual, that created systems that are problematic. On top of this perversions take place, though perhaps, sometimes, improvements also.

Did you miss post 1? This comes back to whether enlightenment is the same place for everyone because once we discover how to get there, how can it be improved upon? So either the elders didn't know or we haven't improved it enough yet.

and that buddhism is essentially suicide since the only way to end suffering is to end existence; if you cut out your tongue to stop the tasting of bitter, you will no longer be able to taste sweet and lack of perception doesn't equate to any sort of existence that I can imagine.
That's my take. Imean,something is alive, but it is after I would have cut out so many parts of myself, I am not interested.

Yup.

I used to believe that, but now I'm hung-up on the single entity concept. Perhaps there could be expressions of the ground of being in forms that we haven't recognized and I suppose that's an effectively similar belief that we share, though I'm getting the impression that you believe all entities are separate and I'm intrigued as to why.
I think there are connections also. Separate and also connected.

How can something be separate and connected?

There really is no way around the ego, I'm afraid... except the buddhist way of nonexistence, blah, nothingness, or maybe a nonopinionated drooling on oneself drugged-out type existence. This is why I prefer the "actor in the play" understanding since we're permitted to have realized egos as part of the act, which isn't taken seriously whereas the buddhists seek to end the existence of their character in order to do the impossible: end the ego.
Nothing wrong with an ego per se. You are in the best position to take care of you. That a facet of you prioritizes that and takes responsibility for you simply makes sense. One can also merge on occasion, say via intimate contact, and be aware of interconnections much of the time. Houses have walls, so do cells. Both are permeable in different ways. If you have too hard an ego you cannot be intimate, or eliminate the connections or experience of others, or are solipsistic. Just because something is bad if extreme does not mean it's bad when it's not.

Well, I suppose whether ego is bad or good, we're stuck with it lol

He says gurus are condescending to each other, and he said "I can say I don't put other gurus down; there, that trumps all of them!" There is no way to be better and the reason we want to be better is the reason we are not.
I've met gurus who do not put others down, so I don't know what he's on about here.

Whether it's true or not doesn't change the illustration he's putting up. By saying he doesn't put anyone down, he's put everyone down and put himself on top.

Not that I was fond of their religions (after engaging with them for various periods of time) but some of these people walk their talks. 'Better' is such a charged word. I see nothing wrong with realizing one knows something better (more accurately) than someone else.

"Better" only exists in the context of an imagined goal. I'm better than you because I do X and X is believed to be better than Y. None of that really exists outside of constructs.

Shit, some things I know i had to go to hell and find a way out of to understand and learn were true.

Dang, well tell me those things so I don't have to go to hell and find them for myself lol! No need to reinvent the wheel ;)

that drawing with the person annoyed by atheists and fundamentalists, well, he may very well be superior to them. imean, it's a funny comic, but the implication that someone getting annoyed by both groups must be somehow, to some degree, an ass for that, is off to me. You could be smug bastard and say something like that, and focus on it and use it as a false way to feel good about yourself, you could, but it's not necessarily so.

Well it's like your asking me if I'm pious for preferring regular people who don't practice anything vs pious people. So I'm pious about not liking pious people and that seems about right in the same way fundamentalists are just as annoying as atheists.
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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby Serendipper » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:32 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Serendipper wrote:Part 3 of 3
I see what you're saying, but I'm not sure because the default IS to convince people of our convictions. We fervently want to bring people around to our way of thinking and default to animated tone to achieve the goal.
Watts was telling people the truth, what to value, I mean the goose image over the water thingie. But further that's not really the point. I don't think animation or passion or emotions need necessarily or even usually are to convince.

What is the animation for then?

If I am talking about death or a relationship or life, the feelings are part of how I respond to those things, they come up during the topic.

That's not voice animation but crying mixed with talking ie blubbering.

Are we really saying that Watts took on a monotone to keep himself from trying to convince people.

I think he means to give that impression because people argued with him too much and that's his way of assuring that he isn't trying to convince, so no need to argue with him. I felt like that a bit ago when I posted "David DeAngelo said women don't dress to impress men, but each other." If you want to believe it, believe it; if not, then I don't care. I'm just throwing it out there in case anyone wants to research it or ponder, so that would be in a monotone voice if I had a voice on here.

Me, I wouldn't write a bunch of non-fiction books if I wasn't trying to get across my sense of the truth in convincing ways.

Truth doesn't or shouldn't need convincing ways. X is true and any reasonable person will see that. Other people who are too dumb to see it are just out of luck, but that's ok because blissfully ignorant people are happy with their ignorance, so if they're too stupid to recognize truth, then they're probably betteroff for it ;)

Why write non-fiction? Why not tell some jokes or write plays? His books are filled with prescriptive and ontological assertions and implied assertions.

So is a math book. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. The first step is to assert some postulates.

Like I said, Alan said, everyone has a metaphysical assumption that they can't prove; watchout for it! Like the statement: only statements that are empirically verifiable have meaning. By some strange quirk of the universe, he said that right as I typed it, so I'll post it:

Start at 8:30



I have videos playing all the time, day and night, and I tune in and out as I do this or whatever. I think I download like 60gigs a month or something crazy.

You are looking at it as if that facet of being a social mammal is an option to choose.

I suppose one could strive to not be animated as yet another method of swaying, but people are sometimes calm of their own accord as well.
Sure, but 1) calm people tend not to talking in boring monotones

I don't think he's that monotone. Some times are worse than others.

2) why weed out the emotions if one does not judge them. If you judge them, you are judging a part of your natural flow, which is an odd thing for a neo-Buddhist to do.

Am I a neo-buddhist? I have to ask because I don't know.

Alan did a talk on the salt in the stew. Salt in large quantities is horrible, but in small quantities in a stew, it's delightful. Then he went into gurus and how people expect them to be so holy, but they discover he smokes and drinks and has a lady friend, then leave because they're so scandalized. He says people have to have these eccentricities or they'd cease to manifest. Nobody can be perfect or the perfection would have no meaning. Meaning comes from contrasts. This takes us back to Mark Twain :Everything in moderation, including moderation. Be moderate all the time, except for some times... and that's like a bit of salt in your stew.

I'm tellin ya, Alan was a genius of geniuses. So dang over our heads that we think he's stupid. Seriously, er, sincerely ;)

And then second, why should emotional expression be seductive and a strategy. Are babies being strategic?

Oh yes babies are strategic. Their only goal is to convince you that the world revolves around them and they will scream and do anything in their power to bend you to their will.
Have you been around babies? They don't express emotions with goals, they express emotions in reaction to feelingfs: like hunger pain, the joy of seeing your face, diaper rash, uncomfortable body positions.[/quote]
Well, a baby doesn't say, in a monotone voice, "If you wouldn't mind terribly, I'm famished!" Naw, it's screams and does anything it can to get food. The monotone voice says, "Well, if it's a big bother, then I can wait." With the baby it's imperative.

Yes it does. Why else? I'm being animated now, lol, you just can't see it ;) So I see within myself that I want you to believe me. Idk why... probably because I want to objectively analyze Watts together with you without your having prior biases that warrant his dismissal.
Well, what can I say. I experience myself differently for you. I can certainly choose to express things passionately in the hopes of being convincing, but I can express things emotionally also simply because i have emotions connected to what I am talking about.

I can understand that, but is it wise? Noam Chomsky is another illustration of monotone (and boringly slow speed), but I've learned that older people tend to end up that way as it's proven to be most impressive to the most-impressive sorts of people. People who jump up n down in animation make fools of themselves to learned folks while impressing the man-children, mob. Think UrGod.

I am sure that sometimes I may not realize that I am acting, adding on emotion, as a kind of force to put pressure on the other person, but it's no rule. If I tell a friend about a break up and cry, I am not crying to convince them I am a victim or to hate my ex - though I certainly could be manipulative like that if I wanted to. I am crying because I am sad.

I think reasonable people can tell the difference between someone who is sad and who is trying to push a point.

If I were to talk about spiritual experiences it could also cut both ways or be a combination. If I am suppressing my emotions and talking in a monotone, as a rule, it would mean either I do not trust people and fear them, as a rule, or I judge emotions.

How do you talk when you're super-tired? That's probably the time when you give least shit about anything, so the way you talk then is what I would say is most objective.

And somehow the way you view the expression of emotions as always about power, control, seduction and manipulation is not quite convincing me you don't have judgments of emotions.

I'm not sure where you're getting that I judge emotions. Am I coming across that way? Maybe you have some insight that I'm not aware of. I don't *think* I'm overly harsh on emotions and I believe they have their place, but also recognize when someone is resorting to animation to drive a point, probably in lieu of their position being able to sell itself.

Notice how in Eastern religions all is one, all is to be observed, do not judge, everything is the Buddha - but don't express your emotions, they are bad. The outside is good and can flow as it flows. The inside is, on the other hand, needs to be controlled.

We agree that buddhism is death, so we can discount buddhist beliefs specific to them. Id' say, be a mirror most of the time, but salt your stew.

I could agree that removing emotions is strategic, but what if the emotions weren't there in the first place to be removed? What if I genuinely don't care if I convince anyone? In that case, would I be emotional? Would I type in caps if I didn't care? So then, does Watts desire to convince anyone?
I have emotions all the time when I am not trying to convince people of things. I have them when I am alone.

Do you yell at traffic? :D

And, again, what the heck is he telling all these profound truths for in books and lectures if he isn't trying to convince people of things.

I don't know why people write books. He said not to kill dolphins because they are so smart. Well, from his perspective of Brahman playing all the parts, why does he care? There is only one entity, so who cares if god as a man kills god in the form of a dolphin? Ah, but Alan cares. So, maybe he is writing books trying to help people like he's trying to help dolphins. Why? Idk and I doubt he would have known, which makes it perfectly compatible with buddhism because it's innate and natural behavior.

Why tell us about how perfect the geese are flying over the water and how great the water is, why use a standard religious rhetorical approach, the image, if he is not trying to convince us?

I suppose quoting Lao Tzu attaches credibility and my quoting Watts adds credibility. Just to save time I guess so I don't have to spend days substantiating what his name could accomplish much quicker. Most of what we believe is by authority. I don't know how far away celestial objects are, but take it on faith by authority when I read a fact on a wiki page. I've never tested a verified the speed of light, but believe what people tell me; it's far easier.

There is an aphorism that states something like "it's impossible to lie in anger". Emotions reveal the truth of our own opinions, but do not substantiate the validity of those opinions and that's an important distinction. For instance, it's true that you do not admire Watts, but it may not be true that Watts is not admirable.
Hey, he was a very smart guy that helped give me access to something I needed to have access to for my own development. I admire many of his qualities, but in the end he did not convince me - get it, lol - with all his books and talks, that his approach was for me.

I sincerely think you've misunderstood his approach. He said "Some people regard me as a guru, but I'm just ole Alan Watts, who I know is just an act." He believes the Brahman manifests itself into you and me and every rock and star and whatever. We are all "I". He said "Everybody is I; you all know you're you. You know that very well."

He quoted Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, "If I am I because you are you; and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you."

How is guilt different from emotions?
There is isometric tension between emotions and ideas. The mind is telling us we should feel bad, often about an emotion. I am angry at my dad, but I should honor my mother and father.

Yep, mom gives me that one "honor your father and mother" which means "obey" to her.

Alan said Christianity institutionalized guilt, and the audience applauded.

So my guilt will shut down the feeling and be in tension with it. The fear that I will be punished by God for my feelings and acts also often gets locked into that isometric tension and is not gone through or expressed. I feel bad about myself. I feel anxiety that i am bad, which means I might go to hell, but the tension allows room only for a kind of stifled state.

Yeah I see what you're saying. It is stifling. Where would I be if I hadn't had to lug guilt around for so long. I need to get right with God and all that jazz.

Alan isn't saying be like nothing. He's saying the nature of things is play; hide and seek; it's a game not to be taken seriously. See, this is what I was saying about needing to listen intently and multiple times.
He was using the geese in a prescriptive way. We should be like them, not interested in our reflection. Not in our egos. He used an image to be convincing, and it is a clever one. It sounds both simple and profound.

No the geese do not intend to cast their reflections on the water, but it still happens. It's like your heartbeat, you do it, but you don't intend to do it. He is saying our subconscious is infinitely smarter than our conscious.

The water has no mind to retain the image means we should not cling to ideologies.

This all seems harmless and edifying to me. You cannot cling to things forever, so you may as well let go now. A further analogy is breathing: if you hold your breath, you die, but if you let it go, it returns to you. So, let go and let God, as they say on church roadside signs.

And why should geese attitudes about their reflections be my role model? And then no other aspects of goose being in the world?

It's just an analogy. Geese have egos too. I have 4 of them.

In the words of a Zen poem: The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection; the water has no mind to retain their image. When a mountain stream flows out of a spring beside the road, and a thirsty traveler comes along and drinks deeply, the traveler is welcome. But the mountain stream is not waiting with the intention of refreshing thirsty travelers; it is just bubbling forth, and the travelers are always welcome to help themselves. So in exactly that sense I offer my ideas. Allan Watts
My point was that a mother goose will come at you and honk if you get to close to her babies. HER babies. Anger expressed. So why should they, the geese be my role model only in relation to flying over the water but not when they express emotions and protect what they identify with.

You should be protective over your babies too. I don't think he is suggesting otherwise.

And why can't his emotions bubble out, not to convince, but simply because they are there. His ideas bubble forth, but not his emotions. Ideas fine, emotions bad.

Emotions are ok sometimes and sometimes not.

[i
]"The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing, it refuses nothing. It receives but does not keep." - Chung-Tzu

"When you are hungry, eat. When you are tired, sleep. This is Zen." - Hiakajo Roshi
I can't see any reason, then, to sit for hours and have some guy hit me with a stick when he doesn't think my posture is up to snuff. I never have the urge or need to do that. I guess that isn't zen.

Maybe he hits you because he wants you to defend yourself, but who knows what they teach. I'd rather study Alan than to go to a real teacher for the same reason I'd rather study Bruce Lee than go to a judo teacher; they have already done the hard work.

These kinds of 'profound' images, spoken in graceful, ooh, how profound tones, have, over time, come to really offend me. Talk about seductive language use.

I think (not sure) it was the founder of Zen who, after being asked why he doesn't like to talk about zen, he said, "because it turns one's stomach, but in everyday conversation is ok." So, it seems even the zen founder agrees with you.

I guess I haven't yet discovered what is your main objection, besides hypocrisy and ego, which is common to humanity.
I know I am being kinda a wall here. Might be a bad approach. It seems like we agree about many things, even your sense that Buddhism is anti-life. To me some of the statements here are anti-life. Not yours, but Watts and some of the Zen stuff - Twains quote doesn't bother me.

I think we're going to agree more often that not, that's why I say maybe you haven't gotten the correct understanding of Watts.

I feel like Watts has serious judgments of emotions and the ego and desire.

Not serious, sincere ;)

That ends up being judgments of me, a social mammal whose being includes those things. He is just bubbling his ideas. I bubble the whole thing. I keep allowing more of this bubbling, call that my path, bubbling the whole thing.

You're percolating ;)

Maybe in ten years we will be in very similar places in relation to it.

Yeah I've considered that since it's consistent with how I generally operate. I pursue something until I know 90% of what there is to know and find the remaining bit not worth the magnanimous effort it would take to discover, then I move to my next interest. I can't imagine looking at Watts in the rear view mirror, but I know the day is coming.

But I don't want to function like an asshole in your exploration of Watts.

Don't worry about that. Part of the reason I'm on here is to find someone who can refute his ideas because I can't think of a way by myself.
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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:04 am

Serendipper wrote:I see what you're saying, but I'm not sure because the default IS to convince people of our convictions. We fervently want to bring people around to our way of thinking and default to animated tone to achieve the goal.
Watts was telling people the truth, what to value, I mean the goose image over the water thingie. But further that's not really the point. I don't think animation or passion or emotions need necessarily or even usually are to convince
.[/quote]
What is the animation for then?
We react to life with emotions. If I am talking about what just happened in the street, me nearly getting hit by a car, I may tell the story with palpable relief, or palpable fear. I am reacting. Emotions are reactions. So if my topic moves me, the emotions will be a reaction to my own ideas, what happened, what my concerns are....

Emotions orient us and give us motivations. We are not necessarily using them to motivate others, even when we are interacting with them.

If I am talking about death or a relationship or life, the feelings are part of how I respond to those things, they come up during the topic.

That's not voice animation but crying mixed with talking ie blubbering.
Oh, come on Serendipity. I was giving an more extreme example, one with very strong emotions present, to show that even then, it need have nothing to do with convincing the other person, but rather simply emotions that come up for me when I talk about something. But perhaps you have are using animation in some specific, other sense sense.

Are we really saying that Watts took on a monotone to keep himself from trying to convince people.

I think he means to give that impression because people argued with him too much and that's his way of assuring that he isn't trying to convince, so no need to argue with him.
Perhaps you will notice a paradox in assuring people he is not trying to convince. He was trying to convince them about his motivations. And just because he took that approach does not mean he was not trying to convince people. IOW he decides that people are taking him as trying to convince. So he removes emotion from his speech. That doesn't mean he wasn't trying to convince. Maybe people noticed something. Maybe it is a given in an interaction between humans, not gurus or other perfect beings, where one person puts a lot of energy and time into telling people the way things are and uses rhetorical devices to do this.

Truth doesn't or shouldn't need convincing ways. X is true and any reasonable person will see that. Other people who are too dumb to see it are just out of luck, but that's ok because blissfully ignorant people are happy with their ignorance, so if they're too stupid to recognize truth, then they're probably betteroff for it ;)
Deciding to write a book with truths in them is not simply bubbling. And he edited his books. One is not only convincing people who are too stupid to realize. He put a lot of effort in to writing well and rhetorically. His books at least mostly are not simply conversational. IOW not simple spontaneous bubbling.

2) why weed out the emotions if one does not judge them. If you judge them, you are judging a part of your natural flow, which is an odd thing for a neo-Buddhist to do.

Am I a neo-buddhist? I have to ask because I don't know.
I meant him, but many things you say are neo-buddhist. Many things you quote are Buddhist. Since you quote them, I take it that you find them truthful/useful. So it comes off as neo-buddhist. But you present things, at least this is my impression, as if you are trying them on. So I would be happier to say it seems like you are trying on being a neo-buddhist.

Alan did a talk on the salt in the stew. Salt in large quantities is horrible, but in small quantities in a stew, it's delightful. Then he went into gurus and how people expect them to be so holy, but they discover he smokes and drinks and has a lady friend, then leave because they're so scandalized. He says people have to have these eccentricities or they'd cease to manifest. Nobody can be perfect or the perfection would have no meaning. Meaning comes from contrasts. This takes us back to Mark Twain :Everything in moderation, including moderation. Be moderate all the time, except for some times... and that's like a bit of salt in your stew.
I never cared much if gurus or masters were flawed. It wasn't Ah, ha you are not perfect. It was more like, Oh, I get what your core message is to me and what the core message of your teachings are and I don't like that. I wish most of them were more human, though that is not particularly centered on flaws.

Well, a baby doesn't say, in a monotone voice, "If you wouldn't mind terribly, I'm famished!" Naw, it's screams and does anything it can to get food. The monotone voice says, "Well, if it's a big bother, then I can wait." With the baby it's imperative.
Emotions are reactions. I feel pain and it makes me cry. I feel hungry or uncomfortable and I get irritable. You seem to see emotions as actions to gain things from others. A parent knows a child is often in need when they make emotional noises, but this does not mean the child has a goal of controlling the parent. The child is often, usually, reacting to something. Not taking measures to achieve goals. That comes later. Certainly adults add in emotions to control and sway others, though hardly all the time. If you make a loud sound around a child (or an adult) they may get scared. This is not an attempt to control you. It is an emotional REACTION, one that prepares potentially for flight, or for covering one's head with one's arms to protect the brain and senses. The reactions can also be to internal states - scared, hungry, sick. You seem to see emotions and the expression of them as socially goal oriented behavior ONLY and I just do not experience my emotions as primarily this even. Nor the emotions of others. Once one has the emotion, one can certainly express the emotion, talk about the emotion in goal oriented ways, but this seems to be the only way you view emotions which I think is confused and about something very important.

I can understand that, but is it wise? Noam Chomsky is another illustration of monotone (and boringly slow speed), but I've learned that older people tend to end up that way as it's proven to be most impressive to the most-impressive sorts of people.
IOW it is convincing. It is a good strategy to impress people. I could mention speakers who speak with passion and this does not undermine their objectivity, rationality or impressiveness, but that's beside the point. I don't think he transcended anything.

People who jump up n down in animation make fools of themselves to learned folks while impressing the man-children, mob. Think UrGod.
Expressing emotions need not be jumping up and down - this is an example of how when the issue is expressing emotions, you jump to extreme examples as if they are the only examples. Not that I am accepting the assumption that if one is jumping up and down that means you are not being objective, nor does it mean one is trying to manipulate. It could simply matter that much in that moment. Subjectivity and objectivity are not mutually exclusive or we would likely never have evolved emotions. We'd be like machines. And Sure, some people are foolish and express emotions a lot while being foolish. Many people in monotones are idiots also.

I think reasonable people can tell the difference between someone who is sad and who is trying to push a point.
Great, then there is no reason to strip communication of emotions.

I'm not sure where you're getting that I judge emotions. Am I coming across that way? Maybe you have some insight that I'm not aware of. I don't *think* I'm overly harsh on emotions and I believe they have their place, but also recognize when someone is resorting to animation to drive a point, probably in lieu of their position being able to sell itself.
Your view of babies' emotions. The idea you have that If you are expressing emotions you are jumping around like a fool. Or the one where: If you are expressing emotions while talking you are trying to convince, but if you are not, like Watts, then you are not, even though in other places you talk about how monotone is impressive and older people learn this approach because of that.. If you read back through your examples descriptions and ideas about expressing emotions I think you will see a lot of judgments and blanket ones. Of course one can manipulate using emotional tones, but that doesn't mean it is always or even usually the case. But your go to reaction is very negative about emotions. There are plenty of examples of cold, rational voices justifying horrible actions and beliefs.

Do you yell at traffic? :D
Sure, I have yelled in my car. I sure as shit didn't think I was going to convince someone. They couldn't even hear me. I have yelled at loved ones, because I reached that point. They have yelled at me. I have often, I repeat often, appreciated it - even if it took quite a while in some cases - because my habits in those areas were deep and it took the clear presentation of the effects on them to snap me out of not looking at myself. And usually in these situations I did not feel like the other person was 'trying to convince me'. It sounded like a reaction. I find monotone, rational explanations of what I am doing wrong to often be precisely about convincing. But, of course, I think there are good uses of calm rational talk. And I don't think 'trying to convince' is a bad thing. It can be, but it's part of good parenting friendship, teaching. If it is not then all you have is expressing emotions at them. If trying to convince is bad, then all I can do is express emotions. LIke when my kid runs out in the street repeatedly, and if it was bad to try to convince them this is dangerous, then all I can do is stand in front of our building and scream in terror. Of course you would say that is trying to convince. If I am at work and we are going in a direction I think is bad or immoral, I will try to convince. One does not simply, spontaneously bubble out dozens of books and lectures, articles and tapes. Oh, I was just expressing myself about something I don't feel strongly about. Please. I am not interested in convincing you. Please. I mean, be a clown for some kids dying of cancer. Do something useful, if you have no interest in the effects of your work. And really, spontenaity just doesn't explain that output.

I sincerely think you've misunderstood his approach. He said "Some people regard me as a guru, but I'm just ole Alan Watts, who I know is just an act." He believes the Brahman manifests itself into you and me and every rock and star and whatever. We are all "I". He said "Everybody is I; you all know you're you. You know that very well."
A guru is a specific type of role. I am not saying he is taking on that role. I've met gurus, been in Ashrams. I know that dynamic. I am not saying he is being that. I see him, however, trying to get people to believe what he does. Maybe it is simply part of his act. Unless I attribute godly types of mental gymnastic contortions to him, I see no other way to react to him. He's a guy, writing books, giving lectures, saying here's a better set of attitudes toward life, here are truths about me and what I am and what we all here - here, Brahma. That's fine. I don't actually have the judgments of trying to convince that you and Watts also, apparantly, seem to have. He's a guy, he's telling me how it is. Treating him as if that is not what he is doing, is treating him more like a guru. Oh, he's above all that.

Yep, mom gives me that one "honor your father and mother" which means "obey" to her.

Alan said Christianity institutionalized guilt, and the audience applauded.
Sure, and that was part of what drew me towards the East. It seemed to offer a less judgmental approach than Christianity, while still having the sacred that the technocrat West and the current paradigms of science did not.



Alan isn't saying be like nothing. He's saying the nature of things is play; hide and seek; it's a game not to be taken seriously. See, this is what I was saying about needing to listen intently and multiple times.
He was using the geese in a prescriptive way. We should be like them, not interested in our reflection. Not in our egos. He used an image to be convincing, and it is a clever one. It sounds both simple and profound.

No the geese do not intend to cast their reflections on the water, but it still happens. It's like your heartbeat, you do it, but you don't intend to do it. He is saying our subconscious is infinitely smarter than our conscious.
I don't think that is all he is saying when he says they do not care about their reflection. But let's say your interpretation is complete. Man, wasn't his rhetoric there with the geese rather convincing? And doesn't it seem to you, that since he says these things calmly, not animated, it is more convincing he is being objective?

The water has no mind to retain the image means we should not cling to ideologies.
My bolding. Yup, that is one thing he is telling us we SHOULD believe. It is prescriptive. He ain't just bubbling.

This all seems harmless and edifying to me. You cannot cling to things forever, so you may as well let go now. A further analogy is breathing: if you hold your breath, you die, but if you let it go, it returns to you. So, let go and let God, as they say on church roadside signs.
When you tell people to let go in this neo-buddhist way, you are telling them there is something wrong with their emotions and desires. Since these are often part of not letting go. If Watts were here now, telling me I needed to let go, I would tell him that he could let go of his judgments of emotions and desires. Accept the fact that he gets attached. Love the social mammal parts of himself as much as he does his thinky brain that he lets bubble and stop stifling the bubbling of his emotional self. He identifies with his neo-cortex and judges his limbic system. Why not be like the goose, flying over the lake who accepts everything about itself and if attacked by an eagle will fight hard, or if tired will honk to suggest they land. Who is following her desires through the night sky putting in tremendous effort. Come on Alan, why are you telling me to control and suppress my limbic system. Do you hate the goose in me? You've said he was just using an analogy. But analogy came from the very subtle skills of the neo-cortex and it has judgments of the limbic system. As if we must choose between them.

It's just an analogy. Geese have egos too. I have 4 of them.
Yes, geese have egos, that was part of my point.

You should be protective over your babies too. I don't think he is suggesting otherwise.
He is using one facet of nature to convince us what the good attitude is. One facet of the geese in a specific situation. It is an incomplete picture of geese whose beauty and naturalness is also there when they protect their young, get angry, express it and even jump around like fools - one might judge - when letting us know what they do not like about our behavior.

I feel like Watts has serious judgments of emotions and the ego and desire.

Not serious, sincere ;)
OK, sincere. So he has a dualism, which he does not admit, or perhaps notice.

Don't worry about that. Part of the reason I'm on here is to find someone who can refute his ideas because I can't think of a way by myself.
[/quote]For me it is more like: he is suggesting the way things are and the best way to live, in a universal way, as most do. I think he is wrong that it is for me, and that I should relate, for example, to emotions the way he does. But perhaps you want to be like him and will continue to be. So it is your path towards how you want to be. I am refuting his ideas as they pertain to me and as they are intended to be general truths. What you should do, that's something I can't know. I will say this, it seems to me you are treating him like a guru. Humans say things, I do not always take these at face value. I keep pointing out what Watts is doing that fits with him trying to convince. You respond by quoting him where he says he is simply bubbling and other ways of saying he is not doing X. I will go by his actions. You are taking his self-description as accurate and not possibly self-serving. He seems to be on a pedestal to me for you.
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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby Serendipper » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:29 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:We react to life with emotions. If I am talking about what just happened in the street, me nearly getting hit by a car, I may tell the story with palpable relief, or palpable fear. I am reacting. Emotions are reactions. So if my topic moves me, the emotions will be a reaction to my own ideas, what happened, what my concerns are....

Emotions orient us and give us motivations. We are not necessarily using them to motivate others, even when we are interacting with them.

Hmm... so emotions are quite primitive.

Based on discoveries made through neural mapping of the limbic system, the neurobiological explanation of human emotion is that emotion is a pleasant or unpleasant mental state organized in the limbic system of the mammalian brain. If distinguished from reactive responses of reptiles, emotions would then be mammalian elaborations of general vertebrate arousal patterns, in which neurochemicals (for example, dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin) step-up or step-down the brain's activity level, as visible in body movements, gestures and postures. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion#Neurocircuitry

So emotions are communications on the animal level, which is distinct from higher cognitive cerebral processes. That's why I say someone speaking on video or in front of an audience using animated tones is appealing to the most basic nature of people while bypassing cognitive processing.

If I am talking about death or a relationship or life, the feelings are part of how I respond to those things, they come up during the topic.

That's not voice animation but crying mixed with talking ie blubbering.
Oh, come on Serendipity. I was giving an more extreme example, one with very strong emotions present, to show that even then, it need have nothing to do with convincing the other person, but rather simply emotions that come up for me when I talk about something. But perhaps you have are using animation in some specific, other sense sense.

Yes I'm mainly talking about public speaking, lectures, talking heads on tv, and the like. When one rallies the mob for a witch hunt, they employ emotions. If one is merely delivering facts, they tend to be less animated.

Are we really saying that Watts took on a monotone to keep himself from trying to convince people.

I think he means to give that impression because people argued with him too much and that's his way of assuring that he isn't trying to convince, so no need to argue with him.
Perhaps you will notice a paradox in assuring people he is not trying to convince. He was trying to convince them about his motivations. And just because he took that approach does not mean he was not trying to convince people. IOW he decides that people are taking him as trying to convince. So he removes emotion from his speech. That doesn't mean he wasn't trying to convince. Maybe people noticed something. Maybe it is a given in an interaction between humans, not gurus or other perfect beings, where one person puts a lot of energy and time into telling people the way things are and uses rhetorical devices to do this.

If he were less monotone, do you think he'd be more believable?

Truth doesn't or shouldn't need convincing ways. X is true and any reasonable person will see that. Other people who are too dumb to see it are just out of luck, but that's ok because blissfully ignorant people are happy with their ignorance, so if they're too stupid to recognize truth, then they're probably betteroff for it ;)
Deciding to write a book with truths in them is not simply bubbling. And he edited his books. One is not only convincing people who are too stupid to realize. He put a lot of effort in to writing well and rhetorically. His books at least mostly are not simply conversational. IOW not simple spontaneous bubbling.

Maybe he was merely trying to make a living writing books.

My friend has tried every reason in the world not to like him: first was the monotone which led to my discovery, then he brought up the fact that he was rich and therefore hypocritical, and finally we had to stop talking about Alan since it was evident that he was determined not to like him.

2) why weed out the emotions if one does not judge them. If you judge them, you are judging a part of your natural flow, which is an odd thing for a neo-Buddhist to do.

Am I a neo-buddhist? I have to ask because I don't know.
I meant him, but many things you say are neo-buddhist. Many things you quote are Buddhist. Since you quote them, I take it that you find them truthful/useful. So it comes off as neo-buddhist. But you present things, at least this is my impression, as if you are trying them on. So I would be happier to say it seems like you are trying on being a neo-buddhist.

Yes that's probably right... I'm trying them on. Dad labeled me as "unconventional" and I find that's about the only label that fits. :-? I mean, I don't even fit in with the outcasts :lol:

Alan did a talk on the salt in the stew. Salt in large quantities is horrible, but in small quantities in a stew, it's delightful. Then he went into gurus and how people expect them to be so holy, but they discover he smokes and drinks and has a lady friend, then leave because they're so scandalized. He says people have to have these eccentricities or they'd cease to manifest. Nobody can be perfect or the perfection would have no meaning. Meaning comes from contrasts. This takes us back to Mark Twain :Everything in moderation, including moderation. Be moderate all the time, except for some times... and that's like a bit of salt in your stew.
I never cared much if gurus or masters were flawed. It wasn't Ah, ha you are not perfect. It was more like, Oh, I get what your core message is to me and what the core message of your teachings are and I don't like that. I wish most of them were more human, though that is not particularly centered on flaws.

Have you discovered a religion that allowed for eccentricities? Like, try not to sin, but also try to sin on occasion lest ye get too pious about it.

Well, a baby doesn't say, in a monotone voice, "If you wouldn't mind terribly, I'm famished!" Naw, it's screams and does anything it can to get food. The monotone voice says, "Well, if it's a big bother, then I can wait." With the baby it's imperative.
Emotions are reactions. I feel pain and it makes me cry. I feel hungry or uncomfortable and I get irritable. You seem to see emotions as actions to gain things from others.

Yes, I think that's what they are. Whether it's an angry dog barking, growling, warning you to stay away or low blood sugar causing me to be irritable, my outburst are warnings to stay out of my way until I've eaten and relaxed. Crying is appeal for friendship for consolation and solution to a problem. Emotions have to be regarded as communications and since every action can only benefit the self, all emotions are also self-serving.

A parent knows a child is often in need when they make emotional noises, but this does not mean the child has a goal of controlling the parent. The child is often, usually, reacting to something. Not taking measures to achieve goals. That comes later.

Sure, the child is not cognitively seeking to control the parent, but innately through emotional displays.

They say (and you'll probably hate it) that the sound of the rain needs no translation. We do not need to be taught what emotions mean.

Certainly adults add in emotions to control and sway others, though hardly all the time. If you make a loud sound around a child (or an adult) they may get scared. This is not an attempt to control you. It is an emotional REACTION, one that prepares potentially for flight, or for covering one's head with one's arms to protect the brain and senses. The reactions can also be to internal states - scared, hungry, sick. You seem to see emotions and the expression of them as socially goal oriented behavior ONLY and I just do not experience my emotions as primarily this even. Nor the emotions of others. Once one has the emotion, one can certainly express the emotion, talk about the emotion in goal oriented ways, but this seems to be the only way you view emotions which I think is confused and about something very important.

You could be right. It's a confusing philosophical issue about whether emotions are communications or just chemical reactions, but the main point I wanted to drive home was concerning public speaking and not all emotions in general.

I can understand that, but is it wise? Noam Chomsky is another illustration of monotone (and boringly slow speed), but I've learned that older people tend to end up that way as it's proven to be most impressive to the most-impressive sorts of people.
IOW it is convincing. It is a good strategy to impress people. I could mention speakers who speak with passion and this does not undermine their objectivity, rationality or impressiveness, but that's beside the point. I don't think he transcended anything.

It depends who is listening. If I am listening, then I would interpret emotional content as compensation for something... like they say guys who drive big trucks are compensating for something ;)

People who jump up n down in animation make fools of themselves to learned folks while impressing the man-children, mob. Think UrGod.
Expressing emotions need not be jumping up and down - this is an example of how when the issue is expressing emotions, you jump to extreme examples as if they are the only examples. Not that I am accepting the assumption that if one is jumping up and down that means you are not being objective, nor does it mean one is trying to manipulate. It could simply matter that much in that moment. Subjectivity and objectivity are not mutually exclusive or we would likely never have evolved emotions. We'd be like machines. And Sure, some people are foolish and express emotions a lot while being foolish. Many people in monotones are idiots also.

I suppose so, but usually when someone is on the losing end of an argument, they begin jumping up n down (metaphorically) because they're out of ammo.

I think reasonable people can tell the difference between someone who is sad and who is trying to push a point.
Great, then there is no reason to strip communication of emotions.

I don't think I suggest they should. I like knowing who is pandering and who is not and if we take that indicator light away, then I won't be able to tell ;)

I'm not sure where you're getting that I judge emotions. Am I coming across that way? Maybe you have some insight that I'm not aware of. I don't *think* I'm overly harsh on emotions and I believe they have their place, but also recognize when someone is resorting to animation to drive a point, probably in lieu of their position being able to sell itself.
Your view of babies' emotions. The idea you have that If you are expressing emotions you are jumping around like a fool. Or the one where: If you are expressing emotions while talking you are trying to convince, but if you are not, like Watts, then you are not, even though in other places you talk about how monotone is impressive and older people learn this approach because of that.. If you read back through your examples descriptions and ideas about expressing emotions I think you will see a lot of judgments and blanket ones. Of course one can manipulate using emotional tones, but that doesn't mean it is always or even usually the case. But your go to reaction is very negative about emotions. There are plenty of examples of cold, rational voices justifying horrible actions and beliefs.

I think you get that impression because this happens to be the topic. Come hang out with me and you'll quickly find I'm very emotional indeed lol! Especially when my neighbor starts acting like an idiot "that sock sucking, good fer nothing, motha trucking, son of a biscuit eater!" :angry-cussingblack: I get pissed fairly easy :-? I get it from grandpa I think... the pride.

Do you yell at traffic? :D
Sure, I have yelled in my car. I sure as shit didn't think I was going to convince someone.

Yes but you wanted to convince someone.

They couldn't even hear me.

But you wanted them to.

I have yelled at loved ones, because I reached that point. They have yelled at me. I have often, I repeat often, appreciated it - even if it took quite a while in some cases - because my habits in those areas were deep and it took the clear presentation of the effects on them to snap me out of not looking at myself.

That's a case where the cognitive approach didn't work and they resorted to emotions to drive the point so you would finally get it.

And usually in these situations I did not feel like the other person was 'trying to convince me'. It sounded like a reaction.

But they did convince you because you said you appreciated it.

I find monotone, rational explanations of what I am doing wrong to often be precisely about convincing. But, of course, I think there are good uses of calm rational talk.

Calm talk is about convincing, but not by relying on emotional content.

And I don't think 'trying to convince' is a bad thing.

No, but striving to convince is a red flag warranting further scrutiny.

Of course you would say that is trying to convince. If I am at work and we are going in a direction I think is bad or immoral, I will try to convince.

Would you say "I think X is immoral" or "Jesus people, can't you idiots see that X is immoral?"

One does not simply, spontaneously bubble out dozens of books and lectures, articles and tapes. Oh, I was just expressing myself about something I don't feel strongly about. Please. I am not interested in convincing you. Please.

If I set food out for an animal, am I forcing the animal to eat? Writing thoughts into a book is not forcing someone to believe the thoughts or even read the book. If you want to feed on the wisdom, that is fine. If not, that is fine. How is that line of thought inconsistent with Alan's actions?

I sincerely think you've misunderstood his approach. He said "Some people regard me as a guru, but I'm just ole Alan Watts, who I know is just an act." He believes the Brahman manifests itself into you and me and every rock and star and whatever. We are all "I". He said "Everybody is I; you all know you're you. You know that very well."
A guru is a specific type of role. I am not saying he is taking on that role. I've met gurus, been in Ashrams. I know that dynamic. I am not saying he is being that. I see him, however, trying to get people to believe what he does. Maybe it is simply part of his act. Unless I attribute godly types of mental gymnastic contortions to him, I see no other way to react to him. He's a guy, writing books, giving lectures, saying here's a better set of attitudes toward life, here are truths about me and what I am and what we all here - here, Brahma. That's fine. I don't actually have the judgments of trying to convince that you and Watts also, apparantly, seem to have. He's a guy, he's telling me how it is. Treating him as if that is not what he is doing, is treating him more like a guru. Oh, he's above all that.

Whether he is trying to convince or not is inconsequential because at the end of the day I'm just worried about the truthfulness of his words. This topic evolved from why he talks in monotone and my developing a theory to explain such behavior.

Alan isn't saying be like nothing. He's saying the nature of things is play; hide and seek; it's a game not to be taken seriously. See, this is what I was saying about needing to listen intently and multiple times.
He was using the geese in a prescriptive way. We should be like them, not interested in our reflection. Not in our egos. He used an image to be convincing, and it is a clever one. It sounds both simple and profound.

No the geese do not intend to cast their reflections on the water, but it still happens. It's like your heartbeat, you do it, but you don't intend to do it. He is saying our subconscious is infinitely smarter than our conscious.
I don't think that is all he is saying when he says they do not care about their reflection. But let's say your interpretation is complete. Man, wasn't his rhetoric there with the geese rather convincing? And doesn't it seem to you, that since he says these things calmly, not animated, it is more convincing he is being objective?

I think it's more convicing being unanimated because I know he is not having to resort to animation to further his point. Here is the info and you can inspect it and do with it as you wish. That's better than high-pressure sales tactics.

Many times he is simply describing buddhism and not his own beliefs. For a long time I thought he was supporting logical positivism until I recently learned he was against it.

I sent my friend the bit about the gold in the vaults sinking into the ground, but the book-keeping was impeccable so it didn't matter. My friend says "I don't believe that really happened." I said, "it's a story, not history." He said, "I can't tell the difference." That's why I say you really have to listen and pay attention to the context. He could be telling a story or describing a belief he does not hold.

The water has no mind to retain the image means we should not cling to ideologies.
My bolding. Yup, that is one thing he is telling us we SHOULD believe. It is prescriptive. He ain't just bubbling.

So do you believe we should cling to ideologies? He is saying we should not, except for sometimes lest the not-clinging itself becomes an ideology we cling to. It's consistent with Mark Twain.

This all seems harmless and edifying to me. You cannot cling to things forever, so you may as well let go now. A further analogy is breathing: if you hold your breath, you die, but if you let it go, it returns to you. So, let go and let God, as they say on church roadside signs.
When you tell people to let go in this neo-buddhist way, you are telling them there is something wrong with their emotions and desires.

Nothing wrong with emotions and desires, but the clinging is the problem.

Reminds me of this bit:

How do you know what's good for others? How do you know what's good for you?!? If you say you want to improve, then you ought to know what's good for you. But obviously you don't because if you did, you would be improved. So you don't know.

If you ask for spiritual instruction, you are confusing yourself. Because you are looking outside for what you are asking for... as if someone else could give it to you.. as if you didn't have it.

If you ask me for enlightenment, how can you ask me for enlightenment? If you don't know what it is, how do you know you want it? Any concept you have of it will be simply a way of trying to perpetuate the situation you're already in. If you think you know what you're going out for, all you're doing is seeking the past... what you already know... what you already experienced. Therefore, that's not it, is it? Because you say you're looking for something quite new. But what's your conception of something new? You can only think about it in terms of something old.

We WASPs have been on a rampage for the last 100+ years to improve the world. We have given the benefits of our culture, our religion, our technology to everybody. And we have insisted that they receive the benefits of our culture and even our political styles,,, our democracy. "You better be democratic, or we'll shoot you." And having conferred these blessings all over the place, we wonder why everybody hates us. Sometimes doing good to others, and even doing good to one's self, is amazingly destructive because it's full of conceit.


As I said, he got out of the ministry because he didn't want to presume who are the swine and didn't like evangelizing. He said it's a good thing to spend 2 weeks in the forest alone, but it's not for everyone. He said sailing is a good thing, but it's not for everyone.

Since these are often part of not letting go. If Watts were here now, telling me I needed to let go, I would tell him that he could let go of his judgments of emotions and desires. Accept the fact that he gets attached.

I think he would say "fine". Like the student who asked "what's this religious stuff all about then? Why not just forget it?" He said "Fine, forget it. Go away. But realize that by going away you're still seeking. What a problem! If you stay here and listen to me or anyone else who comes around here, you're fooling yourself, but if you leave you're fooling yourself also. What a trap! What can you do?"

Love the social mammal parts of himself as much as he does his thinky brain that he lets bubble and stop stifling the bubbling of his emotional self. He identifies with his neo-cortex and judges his limbic system. Why not be like the goose, flying over the lake who accepts everything about itself and if attacked by an eagle will fight hard, or if tired will honk to suggest they land.

He is being natural. He can't help his emotional handicap. Perhaps he's on the autistic spectrum. Maybe you are being judgmental.

Come on Alan, why are you telling me to control and suppress my limbic system.

I don't think he is.

Do you hate the goose in me? You've said he was just using an analogy. But analogy came from the very subtle skills of the neo-cortex and it has judgments of the limbic system. As if we must choose between them.

Well we can't abandon all reason in favor of the limbic nor vice versa.

You should be protective over your babies too. I don't think he is suggesting otherwise.
He is using one facet of nature to convince us what the good attitude is. One facet of the geese in a specific situation. It is an incomplete picture of geese whose beauty and naturalness is also there when they protect their young, get angry, express it and even jump around like fools - one might judge - when letting us know what they do not like about our behavior.

He can't be comprehensive about geese. It was just one aspect of nature that he wanted to convey.

I feel like Watts has serious judgments of emotions and the ego and desire.

Not serious, sincere ;)
OK, sincere. So he has a dualism, which he does not admit, or perhaps notice.

He admits one cannot give up the ego nor desire.

He says:

But actually the middle way is a little more subtle than that and it's beautifully discussed in professor Bahm's book "The Philosophy of Buddha". A fascinating analysis in the form of a dialog:

The student brings a problem to the teacher and he says "I suffer and it's a problem to me."
The teacher says, "You suffer because you desire. If you didn't desire, you wouldn't suffer. So try not to desire."
And the student returns and says "I am not very successful in this. I can't stop desiring; it's terribly difficult. Furthermore I find that in trying to stop desiring I'm desiring to stop desiring, now what am I to do about that?"
The teacher replies "Do not desire to stop desiring anymore than you can."
The student says, "I still find myself desiring excessively to stop desiring and it doesn't work."
The teacher replies "Do not desire too much not to desire to stop desiring."

Do you see what's happening? Step by step the student is being brought together with himself to the point that he catches up with his own inner being and can accept it completely. And that is the most difficult thing to do.. to accept ones self completely. Because the moment you can do that you have in effect done psychologically the equivalent of saying in philosophical terms you are the buddha. Because we are always trying to get away from ourselves in one way or another. And it's only stop doing that through a series of experiments as we try resolutely to get away from ourselves as we are. That's the middle way.


Of course, he is merely describing the Middle Way and not necessarily his beliefs, but I suspect they are. You must accept yourself completely, whatever you are and you do that by letting go of trying to change, get better, improve.

Don't worry about that. Part of the reason I'm on here is to find someone who can refute his ideas because I can't think of a way by myself.
For me it is more like: he is suggesting the way things are and the best way to live, in a universal way, as most do. I think he is wrong that it is for me, and that I should relate, for example, to emotions the way he does. But perhaps you want to be like him and will continue to be. So it is your path towards how you want to be. I am refuting his ideas as they pertain to me and as they are intended to be general truths. What you should do, that's something I can't know. I will say this, it seems to me you are treating him like a guru. Humans say things, I do not always take these at face value. I keep pointing out what Watts is doing that fits with him trying to convince. You respond by quoting him where he says he is simply bubbling and other ways of saying he is not doing X. I will go by his actions. You are taking his self-description as accurate and not possibly self-serving. He seems to be on a pedestal to me for you.

Maybe you're right. Well let's go on with refuting his ideas so I will stop pedestalizing him ;)
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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:03 am

double post
Last edited by Karpel Tunnel on Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:09 am

I get cranky below - meaning emotions, so we can conclude primitive, forcing you to believe and jumping up and down foolishly - but I want to be clear I've enjoyed and found the discussion useful, but I don't want to continue, at least for a while. I'm sure we'll meet elsewhere in here. KT

Serendipper wrote:Hmm... so emotions are quite primitive.
Not when it is an absolutely interconnected part of the most complicated thing in the universe found so far, the social Mammalian brain.

So emotions are communications on the animal level, which is distinct from higher cognitive cerebral processes. That's why I say someone speaking on video or in front of an audience using animated tones is appealing to the most basic nature of people while bypassing cognitive processing.
We are animals. And you are still finding ways to negatively judge emotions and justify cutting them out.

Yes I'm mainly talking about public speaking, lectures, talking heads on tv, and the like. When one rallies the mob for a witch hunt, they employ emotions. If one is merely delivering facts, they tend to be less animated.
You also use logical or 'logical' arguments to rally the mob. You want to get a mob going, make a mostly emotional speech. YOu want to kill millions, you need long texts with justifications. The worst murderers in history have used cold reason - which does not mean it was logical, but the neocortex has to be involved. This however does not make me think the neocortex is bad.




If he were less monotone, do you think he'd be more believable?
More relatable, more human, more self-loving, less self-hating. But less convincing to people who think emotions are the problem. It was a good strategy on his part to use people's fears of emotions.

Maybe he was merely trying to make a living writing books.
Sure.

My friend has tried every reason in the world not to like him: first was the monotone which led to my discovery, then he brought up the fact that he was rich and therefore hypocritical, and finally we had to stop talking about Alan since it was evident that he was determined not to like him.
It sounds like your friend didn't like him and then worked on justifying it. What turned him or her off could of course been wrong. But not liking monotone seems a fine reason to question the integration and intentions of someone.

Have you discovered a religion that allowed for eccentricities? Like, try not to sin, but also try to sin on occasion lest ye get too pious about it.
There are practitioners even in the Abrahamic religions who believe that. Pagans, Wiccans. Some Western Buddhist groups are open to some eccentricities.

Yes, I think that's what they are. Whether it's an angry dog barking, growling, warning you to stay away or low blood sugar causing me to be irritable, my outburst are warnings to stay out of my way until I've eaten and relaxed. Crying is appeal for friendship for consolation and solution to a problem. Emotions have to be regarded as communications and since every action can only benefit the self, all emotions are also self-serving.
It's the social mammals that are the most emotional, so that last idea is off. Let alone love, empathy, anger to protect, concern, etc. Emotions certainly are part of communication, but we will feel them when we are alone, even whne specifically not wanting contact with others.

Sure, the child is not cognitively seeking to control the parent, but innately through emotional displays.
No. It can be seeking control, though generally not from the beginning, but not usually it is reacting. You are confusing the adaptive reasons the crying trait took hold in animals with the intentions of the baby itself. It's a category error. Just because genetically the adaption leads to parents getting cues when to help the baby, this does not mean the baby is consciously or unconsciously intending to control anything or anyone.

It depends who is listening. If I am listening, then I would interpret emotional content as compensation for something... like they say guys who drive big trucks are compensating for something ;)
Again, what could be the case, is always the case for you. Perhaps this is what you experienced in your childhood, emotions used to manipulate and here to compensate. I have certainly experienced those things - though the neocortex is generally guiding the manipulative use - but I also experience other expressions of emotions without those facets and that includes public speaking.

I suppose so, but usually when someone is on the losing end of an argument, they begin jumping up n down (metaphorically) because they're out of ammo.
Again, binary thinking and not even true. I have seen people do many other things, including focusing rationally and calmly on much earlier parts of the argument which have already been countered. IOW they do not acknowledge refutations and go in circles. They are many other methods. You see the presence of emotions in some people at the end of some arguments when they are losing as showing that when emotions are present people are being irrational. Universalizing from individual cases.
I don't think I suggest they should. I like knowing who is pandering and who is not and if we take that indicator light away, then I won't be able to tell ;)
Again binary. Emotions present in a talk, the person is pandering, in this quote, manipulating in others, etc.

I'm not sure where you're getting that I judge emotions.

I think you get that impression because this happens to be the topic. Come hang out with me and you'll quickly find I'm very emotional indeed lol! Especially when my neighbor starts acting like an idiot "that sock sucking, good fer nothing, motha trucking, son of a biscuit eater!" :angry-cussingblack: I get pissed fairly easy :-? I get it from grandpa I think... the pride.


Do you yell at traffic? :D
Sure, I have yelled in my car. I sure as shit didn't think I was going to convince someone.

Yes but you wanted to convince someone.
No, I didn't. I was made, I made noise in my car.

They couldn't even hear me.

But you wanted them to.

Well, no, I didn't. I certainly have wanted others to hear it. But not as a rule. again binary. Here, emotions must be about convincing, rational verbal thought need not be.

That's a case where the cognitive approach didn't work and they resorted to emotions to drive the point so you would finally get it.
'Resorted'. You live in a very Machievellian universe where all actions are planned for effects, all interpersonal, and all about control. I see that facet of the world, but it is not the only one.

But they did convince you because you said you appreciated it.
1) I am not arguing that emotions can not be part of convincing, I am saying that this need not be the only way they arise 2) I would say that the emotions burst out in reaction to my behavior and that caught my attention and my motivation because, because of my own emotions, to see what was happening.

And notice that rational arguments ALWAYS are trying to convince. Which is what you think Alan Watts was not doing for some reason, which is what you think is bad in communication, for some reason, yet for some reason think only happens when one is emotional when communicating with someone.

Honestly I think that's on the cooky side. Rational argument and rhetoric is ALWAYS ABOUT CONVINCING. Not that that is bad. SEriously, Serendipity, I am losing patience here.

Convincing is not good.
Emotions present in communication mean that convincing is the goal.
Alan Watts was not trying to convince.
Alan Watts used reason and rhetorical devices to present what he considered to be true to people in dozens of books.
He was not trying to convince since he took emotions out of his voice - like that makes them go away.
Emotions as opposed to objective reasoning are subjective and not convincing.
Wise older people speak in monotones because this is impressive (but oddly this choice is not because they are trying to convincing)
When people argue without emotion they are not trying to convince.
Alan Watts didn't want to be a guru though he chose to communicate in a way that you say is the way older smart people choose because it is impressive.

It's a mess, Serendipity.

Calm talk is about convincing, but not by relying on emotional content.
Though not, for some reason in Watt's case. And here, finally, you admit this.

No, but striving to convince is a red flag warranting further scrutiny.
Well, calm talk then warrants a red flag. Everyone giving a public speech in a monotone is trying to convince people of things, unless they are just telling a story. Here's what I think is true, neccessary, important and here is why. Convincing through reason, examples and rhetorical devices. So their speeches should definitely get a red flag, but the emotional ones, for you, even if there is the same reasoning present, get a red flag while the monotones do not. That is strange.

Would you say "I think X is immoral" or "Jesus people, can't you idiots see that X is immoral?"
Depends on how well I know and trust them. Is it better to keep my tone neutral and pretend I am not also emotionally reacting to better convince them? Does this mean that Italians and Puerto Ricans are trying to convince more and are less rational because they come from cultures where emotions are expressed more openly? Is it better that we all go around and pretend we social mammal humans are not having the emotional reactions we are having? Are the people who care the least really the ones who should be making decisions? Is it possible to be both emotional and good and reasonable? Is the limbic system bad? You know that Damasio demonstrated that when there is damage to the emotional centers of the brain people cannot reason, especially when it comes to things human, like the subjects of Watts books for example.

If I set food out for an animal, am I forcing the animal to eat? Writing thoughts into a book is not forcing someone to believe the thoughts or even read the book. If you want to feed on the wisdom, that is fine. If not, that is fine. How is that line of thought inconsistent with Alan's actions?
Sigh. If you set out food for an animal to eat, spend months writing notes to the animal about why that food is good to eat, edit your notes to the animal, give talks telling the animal why it is good food to eat, using all the skills gained from your long education in a number of fields and subtle rhetorical devices and reasoning, you are trying to convince the animal to eat, you are hoping the animal will eat. I notice you suddenly introduce the word 'forcing'. You are trying to convince the animal to eat this food, hence you to put in this particular bowl, one that is appealing, convincing, in a place where the animal will smell the food, cut in pieces to make it easy to eat and so on. No speech forces anyone to eat. And remember you have said that wise men impress by removing emotions from their speeches. They have learned, it is implied, that this is effective, an effective way to get the animal to eat.
Come on Serendipity.

Whether he is trying to convince or not is inconsequential
[/quote]You have gone to extraordinary lengths to defend the idea that is was very important whether he was trying to convince or not. It is the foundation for our entire discussion of emotions, which were bad, in speeches and perhaps in general, because they are trying to convince. Now suddenly, it is inconsequential.

I've had enough. This discussion feels precisely like a discussion with a fundamentalist about, say, Jesus. You have no problem suddenly dismissing something you have considered very important as unimportant. I am pointing this out and hopefully you can go back through our exchange and notice that I am correct. You have put a lot of energy into defending his not trying to convince, to damn emotions for meaning that one is trying to convince. And obviously it was important to Alan Watts that people view him as not trying to convince. Even the feeding the animal example above is part of this. The whole disagreement centers on this. Now it does not matter. I think the contradictions I listed earlier, the set of beliefs/assertions you've made about calm reason vs talks with emotions present simply does not hold. There are so many contradictions in this and I think this may be part of why suddenly 'trying to convince' does not matter. Obviously people like Noam Chomsky are trying to convince, even though they speak in monotones and use unemotional language. I am going to give this exchange a rest for two reasons 1) It feels like you will say anything to keep Alan Watts on the pedestal. 2) As a social mammal, I am now tired of seeing emotions and the expression of emotions judged so universally negatively. I did read that you are an emotional person in your private life and hopefully the fact that you are will perhaps affect the universal and what I would call Machiavellian way you view emotions.
I think it might be useful for you to go back through what we have written, using this last about face - about trying to convince suddenly not being important - as a sign that you are defending for reasons you are not conscious of. I hesitated to say that about you coming off like a fundamentalist, even though it does feel that way, since you have said you experienced fundamentalists and the impression is that it was not pleasant. But since it is my experience - X must be true, so I will say anything, even if it denies obvious real phenomena or contradicts other things I have said to defend that X is true - I decided to keep it in. Rhetoric on the table. None of this means you have to give up whatever it is in Watts writing that you value. Or maybe it does. It certainly seems possible that this is the fear.

I can imagine that a first way of eliminating contradictions will be to say that emotions manipulate in a primitive way, whereas reasoning convinces in an objective way. But 1) this does not fit with your saying that you like that people do not remove their emotions, because that helps you track them 2) number 1 raises an issue with Alan Watts since we cannot tell what his motivations are (and we should be wary of someone who says he has none) 3) it assumes that emotions and reasoning cannot go together 4) being reasonable and calm in style tells us nothing about what is actually going on in the person or the truth of what they are saying. People can and do justify their emotional choices after the fact. AND the people who cut off their emotions necessarily have cut off knowledge of them to that degree. IOW if you suppress and judge your own emotions, you will get less knowledge about them (and so will others) and not be able to know how they are affecting your reasoning, positively, neutrally, negatively, and also how our reasoning is affecting your emotions and intuition, necessary parts of reason. But the important part of all that is your own contradiction. 1 Alan Watts good, he presents without emotions. 2 Best if people do not remove emotions because this allows you to track what they are up to better. Those two ideas of yours do not fit together. And there are a bunch of others that also do not. Last all that binary thinking. If it can, then it always does or usually does. That is really problematic in relation to the complicated creatures we are. You did actually ask why I thought you judged emotions negatively. Give our exchange a read and perhaps you will realize why that seemed like a bizarre question coming from you.[/quote]
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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby iambiguous » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:13 pm

Emotions orient us and give us motivations. We are not necessarily using them to motivate others, even when we are interacting with them


Emotions, however, are no less existential contraptions.

We all come into the world with the biological/genetic capacity to feel particular emotions in particular contexts.

But in reacting to things like God and religion, different people will express very different emotions.

So, it still comes down to the extent to which philosophers are able to ascertain which emotional reactions rational men and women are obligated to feel in any particular contexts.

With emotions though it all gets trickier. "Feelings" would seem to be embedded in that part of the brain that comes closer to instinct, to id, to the "naked ape" aspects of the behaviors that we choose.

How then do we make that crucial distinction here between nature and nurture, genes and memes?

How much do we really know here regarding the extent to which they are really under our control?

Providing even that homo sapiens have some measure of autonomous control here regarding anything that we say, feel or do.

Ayn Rand once famously insisted there were no emotions that she could not pin to the mat "intellectually", "philosophically". And yet there are any number of books written about her which seemed to suggest quite the opposite.

She could be as flagrant and fickle and flaky as the rest of us in any particular context.

So, is there an "ontology" of emotions? Is there a way to grasp a "right feeling" and a "wrong feeling" regarding any particular behaviors that we react to?

Or are emotions just one more manifestation of daseins interacting in an essentially absurd and meaningless world that ends for each of us one by one in oblivion?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:10 pm

iambiguous wrote:Emotions orient us and give us motivations. We are not necessarily using them to motivate others, even when we are interacting with them

Well, you quoted me, but then wrote about things having nothing to do with what I wrote. Your mind got triggered by the word emotions and this, unsuprisingly, reminded you of you position, allowing you to express that position again, as if participating in the dicussion. Your thoughts reminded me of something I have said many times.
Emotions, however, are no less existential contraptions.
As opposed to other kinds of contraptions, LOL.

We all come into the world with the biological/genetic capacity to feel particular emotions in particular contexts.

But in reacting to things like God and religion, different people will express very different emotions.

So, it still comes down to the extent to which philosophers are able to ascertain which emotional reactions rational men and women are obligated to feel in any particular contexts.
My emphasis. This ambiguous it. Here we have someone who focuses on dasein, but tells us what 'it' comes down to. Our implicit objectivist telling us what the real issue is, fuck whatever we were on about.

With emotions though it all gets trickier. "Feelings" would seem to be embedded in that part of the brain that comes closer to instinct, to id, to the "naked ape" aspects of the behaviors that we choose.

How then do we make that crucial distinction here between nature and nurture, genes and memes?

How much do we really know here regarding the extent to which they are really under our control?
A determinist for some reason thinking that the emotions, which he disidentifies with, here in any case, would in this sense be less under control than any other facet of minds and brains. I don't really find many determinists who seem to understand determinism. When I point out things like this they tend to assume I believe in free will and shift their focus on the absurdities of believing in that. As if they avoid being absurd themselves, if other people are absurd.

Providing even that homo sapiens have some measure of autonomous control here regarding anything that we say, feel or do.
Why provide for that as a determinist?

Ayn Rand once famously insisted there were no emotions that she could not pin to the mat "intellectually", "philosophically". And yet there are any number of books written about her which seemed to suggest quite the opposite. She could be as flagrant and fickle and flaky as the rest of us in any particular context.
Yes, let's cite someone and then undermine the person cited.

Kierkegaard said X, but he said it when he was drunk and lying in a ditch.

Well, thanks for the pointless digression. Or is it just that you enjoy feeling superior to someone else's hubris?

So, is there an "ontology" of emotions? Is there a way to grasp a "right feeling" and a "wrong feeling" regarding any particular behaviors that we react to?

Or are emotions just one more manifestation of daseins interacting in an essentially absurd and meaningless world that ends for each of us one by one in oblivion?
[/quote]Why don't you tell us? Oh, but you just did with rhetorical questions. OK, we get your position, which we already did. You can go back to your own threads where your solipsism belongs. I don't think anyone here was suggesting right and wrong feelings. I certainly wasn't. But I do resist your sense that depression is the right feeling to have.
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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby Serendipper » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:55 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I get cranky below - meaning emotions, so we can conclude primitive, forcing you to believe and jumping up and down foolishly - but I want to be clear I've enjoyed and found the discussion useful, but I don't want to continue, at least for a while. I'm sure we'll meet elsewhere in here. KT

Take your time; there is no hurry. Don't worry about how you act; even if I did get offended, I forgive easily. Grandma used to say that everything comes out in the wash.

Serendipper wrote:Hmm... so emotions are quite primitive.
Not when it is an absolutely interconnected part of the most complicated thing in the universe found so far, the social Mammalian brain.

A super computer could churn out the answer to 2+2, but it wouldn't mean it's any less trivial. Emotions are common to some of the lowest forms of life, but cognition is specific to higher forms.

So emotions are communications on the animal level, which is distinct from higher cognitive cerebral processes. That's why I say someone speaking on video or in front of an audience using animated tones is appealing to the most basic nature of people while bypassing cognitive processing.
We are animals. And you are still finding ways to negatively judge emotions and justify cutting them out.

I like to solve puzzles and you keep presenting me with new ones lol. All I wanted to accomplish is establishing that Alan was monotone because he's not trying to sell, but it's branched out into this because you keep coming up with counterpoints to justify emotions when I never meant to attack them in general, only this specific instance. I'm just going where you lead.

Yes I'm mainly talking about public speaking, lectures, talking heads on tv, and the like. When one rallies the mob for a witch hunt, they employ emotions. If one is merely delivering facts, they tend to be less animated.
You also use logical or 'logical' arguments to rally the mob.

The mob is too stupid to understand logic and calm speaking isn't going to hype-up anyone.

This is how you get a crowd going:




If he were less monotone, do you think he'd be more believable?
More relatable, more human, more self-loving, less self-hating. But less convincing to people who think emotions are the problem. It was a good strategy on his part to use people's fears of emotions.

More relatable. There you go. We use emotions to be more relatable in order to sell the product.

My friend has tried every reason in the world not to like him: first was the monotone which led to my discovery, then he brought up the fact that he was rich and therefore hypocritical, and finally we had to stop talking about Alan since it was evident that he was determined not to like him.
It sounds like your friend didn't like him and then worked on justifying it. What turned him or her off could of course been wrong. But not liking monotone seems a fine reason to question the integration and intentions of someone.

Yeah that could be, but I've found no one who likes him. Even people who say they like him, don't really like him. I know he has fans, but don't know where they are hiding. I tend to play devil's advocate so if I hang around folks who like him, then I may discover a way not to like him ;) But as long as people don't like him, I'm going to think I'm onto something.

Have you discovered a religion that allowed for eccentricities? Like, try not to sin, but also try to sin on occasion lest ye get too pious about it.
There are practitioners even in the Abrahamic religions who believe that. Pagans, Wiccans. Some Western Buddhist groups are open to some eccentricities.

I don't know anything about pagans and wiccans. I listened to a guy on youtube for a while who was head of the satanist church, but that got old quick. According to him, we are the result of aliens and genetic engineering for the purpose of mining gold and now we've been abandoned.

Yes, I think that's what they are. Whether it's an angry dog barking, growling, warning you to stay away or low blood sugar causing me to be irritable, my outburst are warnings to stay out of my way until I've eaten and relaxed. Crying is appeal for friendship for consolation and solution to a problem. Emotions have to be regarded as communications and since every action can only benefit the self, all emotions are also self-serving.
It's the social mammals that are the most emotional, so that last idea is off. Let alone love, empathy, anger to protect, concern, etc. Emotions certainly are part of communication, but we will feel them when we are alone, even whne specifically not wanting contact with others.

What I mean is that there is no such thing as an unselfish act. And that's another Watts point: we can only love ourselves so the commandment to love god and our neighbor is not possible.

Sure, the child is not cognitively seeking to control the parent, but innately through emotional displays.
No. It can be seeking control, though generally not from the beginning, but not usually it is reacting.

Just reacting? Like chemical reactions? Well, so, where does life begin? I'm confused because if we regard the baby as just reacting, then how am I not just reacting now? We could say all emotions and cognition is just chemical bubblings.

You are confusing the adaptive reasons the crying trait took hold in animals with the intentions of the baby itself. It's a category error. Just because genetically the adaption leads to parents getting cues when to help the baby, this does not mean the baby is consciously or unconsciously intending to control anything or anyone.

Can a baby do things that are neither conscious nor unconscious? It seems it would have to be one or the other because the sound is coming from the baby and it's clear the baby is doing it.

It depends who is listening. If I am listening, then I would interpret emotional content as compensation for something... like they say guys who drive big trucks are compensating for something ;)
Again, what could be the case, is always the case for you. Perhaps this is what you experienced in your childhood, emotions used to manipulate and here to compensate. I have certainly experienced those things - though the neocortex is generally guiding the manipulative use - but I also experience other expressions of emotions without those facets and that includes public speaking.

Yeah, mom did run the guilt trips, but I never even noticed Alan's monotone until my friend complained about it. Then I sat by a fire and listened and thought "So why would I seek to animate my voice?"

I suppose so, but usually when someone is on the losing end of an argument, they begin jumping up n down (metaphorically) because they're out of ammo.
Again, binary thinking and not even true. I have seen people do many other things, including focusing rationally and calmly on much earlier parts of the argument which have already been countered. IOW they do not acknowledge refutations and go in circles. They are many other methods. You see the presence of emotions in some people at the end of some arguments when they are losing as showing that when emotions are present people are being irrational. Universalizing from individual cases.

Yeah, generalizing, but I was speaking in general while being aware there are exceptions. For a while my siggy read "When people are out of ammo, they throw mud." It's a paraphrase of Socrates' "Slander is the tool of the loser."

This video says we default to the fight or flight mechanism when our beliefs are challenged:



I don't think I suggest they should. I like knowing who is pandering and who is not and if we take that indicator light away, then I won't be able to tell ;)
Again binary. Emotions present in a talk, the person is pandering, in this quote, manipulating in others, etc.

A lot of the binary you're noticing is just my countering your points as a possible objection. It doesn't mean that I'm going to default to dismissing anyone who employs emotions. I'm just saying they're a red flag warranting further scrutiny.

Do you yell at traffic? :D
Sure, I have yelled in my car. I sure as shit didn't think I was going to convince someone.

Yes but you wanted to convince someone.
No, I didn't. I was mad, I made noise in my car.

Poppycock! :D You wanted them to hear you, just like people who yell at football games on tv want desperately to communicate to the ref just what a dumbshit he is. Just because they can't hear you doesn't mean you don't want them to. A lot of people use the horn and middle finger along with the yelling lol

They couldn't even hear me.

But you wanted them to.

Well, no, I didn't. I certainly have wanted others to hear it. But not as a rule. again binary. Here, emotions must be about convincing, rational verbal thought need not be.

Sure, I'm seeking to substantiate my side and you're seeking to support your side. Each of us are practicing confirmation bias. In reality I'm probably less binary since it's only because you're taking the other side that I'm on this side; otherwise I'd be more spread out, I'm sure.

That's a case where the cognitive approach didn't work and they resorted to emotions to drive the point so you would finally get it.
'Resorted'. You live in a very Machievellian universe where all actions are planned for effects, all interpersonal, and all about control. I see that facet of the world, but it is not the only one.

Well, if memory serves, you said your family had gotten emotional with you at some point and you appreciated it. So I'm thinking "Hmm... how can I relate to this?" All I can figure is someone from your family tried other approaches that didn't work as well as finally getting frustrated and becoming emotional which led to your seeing the light and feeling appreciative. So "resorted" seemed an appropriate choice of words. It doesn't necessarily illustrate my worldview, but merely my interpretation of the example you gave.

But they did convince you because you said you appreciated it.
1) I am not arguing that emotions can not be part of convincing, I am saying that this need not be the only way they arise 2) I would say that the emotions burst out in reaction to my behavior and that caught my attention and my motivation because, because of my own emotions, to see what was happening.

Maybe we're confusing the feeling of emotions with the display of emotions. I was only focusing on the displaying of emotions, but the feeling of emotions is motivational, I agree.

And notice that rational arguments ALWAYS are trying to convince.

Yes the argument is trying to convince, but not the proponent of the argument. The adding of emotional content does not derive from the argument, but the person's desire to push the point. So then I have to ask myself why this person feels a desire to make truth more believable. Why not just present the facts without all the added colorization? I remember the Star Trek movie where Spock described cuss words as "colorful metaphors" lol! Do you remember that? He was right, you know. The colorizing of speech with obscenities may not be unwarranted, but when reporting the news, why customize it? Just give me the facts.

Honestly I think that's on the cooky side. Rational argument and rhetoric is ALWAYS ABOUT CONVINCING. Not that that is bad. SEriously, Serendipity, I am losing patience here.

Why are you trying to convince me? If we resolve it, then what are we going to argue about? If we agree perfectly, then what do we talk about? I'm having fun with this and there's no need to speed it along to get to the end.

Convincing is not good.
Emotions present in communication mean that convincing is the goal.
Alan Watts was not trying to convince.
Alan Watts used reason and rhetorical devices to present what he considered to be true to people in dozens of books.
He was not trying to convince since he took emotions out of his voice - like that makes them go away.

I think you were doing well up to this point. Why would he have emotions if he is not desiring to convince? Why would he display emotions he didn't feel? He didn't take emotions out of his voice because he didn't have to; they were never there.

Emotions as opposed to objective reasoning are subjective and not convincing.

There is no objective reasoning.

Wise older people speak in monotones because this is impressive (but oddly this choice is not because they are trying to convincing)

It is impressive to a small, tiny, teenie weenie group of smart people. That's not exactly pandering to the crowd.

When people argue without emotion they are not trying to convince.
Alan Watts didn't want to be a guru though he chose to communicate in a way that you say is the way older smart people choose because it is impressive.

It's a mess, Serendipity.

It's fixed now ;)

Calm talk is about convincing, but not by relying on emotional content.
Though not, for some reason in Watt's case. And here, finally, you admit this.

I'm not sure I ever denied it. If a person speaks, obviously he is talking to someone. If he is talking to someone, obviously he wants to be believed. I can't think of a reason to talk with the hope that the other person thinks I'm spewing shit. So anything I say is trying to convince someone of something or I wouldn't say it. But I'm using "convince" in a different way than "coercion".

1. to move by argument or evidence to belief, agreement, consent, or a course of action.

It doesn't say "appeal by emotional coloration".

No, but striving to convince is a red flag warranting further scrutiny.
Well, calm talk then warrants a red flag.

I think in some situations you are right. The calm talk can be a flag.

Everyone giving a public speech in a monotone is trying to convince people of things, unless they are just telling a story. Here's what I think is true, neccessary, important and here is why. Convincing through reason, examples and rhetorical devices. So their speeches should definitely get a red flag, but the emotional ones, for you, even if there is the same reasoning present, get a red flag while the monotones do not. That is strange.

I think it depends on the situation and I have to go with my gut. If the monotone seems suspicious, strange, out of place, then I'd investigate as to why.

Would you say "I think X is immoral" or "Jesus people, can't you idiots see that X is immoral?"
Depends on how well I know and trust them. Is it better to keep my tone neutral and pretend I am not also emotionally reacting to better convince them? Does this mean that Italians and Puerto Ricans are trying to convince more and are less rational because they come from cultures where emotions are expressed more openly?

That's interesting. I've never considered the racial angle. So blacks, whites, asians, jews in order of increasing intelligence; does that correlate to animation? Maybe so.

Is it better that we all go around and pretend we social mammal humans are not having the emotional reactions we are having?

No. I've often said never get married to your argument because it makes the divorce easier ;) It's better not to feel the extra emotions in the first place when arguing a point, but emotions are ok other times. Isn't it better NOT to be frustrated in a debate? So how do we accomplish that? By striving for objectivity and not being married to an idea. That's the only way, as far as I know.

Are the people who care the least really the ones who should be making decisions?

Yes, I could probably argue that side of it. If there are choices A and B and Joe feels adamant about A but Sally doesn't have an invested interest in the decision in order to feel anything, who is more likely to pick the correct choice B?

Is it possible to be both emotional and good and reasonable? Is the limbic system bad?

I don't know; what's good and bad?

You know that Damasio demonstrated that when there is damage to the emotional centers of the brain people cannot reason, especially when it comes to things human, like the subjects of Watts books for example.

I could see that since the limbic is tied into everything.

If I set food out for an animal, am I forcing the animal to eat? Writing thoughts into a book is not forcing someone to believe the thoughts or even read the book. If you want to feed on the wisdom, that is fine. If not, that is fine. How is that line of thought inconsistent with Alan's actions?
Sigh. If you set out food for an animal to eat, spend months writing notes to the animal about why that food is good to eat, edit your notes to the animal, give talks telling the animal why it is good food to eat, using all the skills gained from your long education in a number of fields and subtle rhetorical devices and reasoning, you are trying to convince the animal to eat, you are hoping the animal will eat.
:lol: I got a good laugh out of that.

I see him doing the research for his own knowledge, then it sprouted into book writing, probably to make a few bucks, then seminars and lectures and by the time he was rich, he didn't give much of a shit. I wouldn't. I'd just sit and talk on my houseboat and who cares what people think. Nobody ever heckled him, that I know of.

I notice you suddenly introduce the word 'forcing'.

I should have said "coercing".

You are trying to convince the animal to eat this food, hence you to put in this particular bowl, one that is appealing, convincing, in a place where the animal will smell the food, cut in pieces to make it easy to eat and so on. No speech forces anyone to eat.

Speech does force one to eat because it appeals to subconscious emotional cues which circumvent cognition.

Whether he is trying to convince or not is inconsequential
You have gone to extraordinary lengths to defend the idea that is was very important whether he was trying to convince or not. It is the foundation for our entire discussion of emotions, which were bad, in speeches and perhaps in general, because they are trying to convince. Now suddenly, it is inconsequential.

Yeah that does seem odd. :-k What was the rest of the sentence? Voice animation or lack-of is inconsequential to the truth he speaks, but not inconsequential to whether he warrants a red flag.

I've had enough. This discussion feels precisely like a discussion with a fundamentalist about, say, Jesus.

Doesn't that say more about you than me? I enjoy these conversations.

You have no problem suddenly dismissing something you have considered very important as unimportant.

Nope, I corrected the misinterpretation. You jumped the gun due to emotions. You see? You got emotionally involved, got frustrated like with Jesus-people, and are displaying your frustration.

I am pointing this out and hopefully you can go back through our exchange and notice that I am correct. You have put a lot of energy into defending his not trying to convince, to damn emotions for meaning that one is trying to convince.

I'm not trying to damn emotions as I think they have good uses.

And obviously it was important to Alan Watts that people view him as not trying to convince. Even the feeding the animal example above is part of this. The whole disagreement centers on this. Now it does not matter. I think the contradictions I listed earlier, the set of beliefs/assertions you've made about calm reason vs talks with emotions present simply does not hold. There are so many contradictions in this and I think this may be part of why suddenly 'trying to convince' does not matter. Obviously people like Noam Chomsky are trying to convince, even though they speak in monotones and use unemotional language. I am going to give this exchange a rest for two reasons 1) It feels like you will say anything to keep Alan Watts on the pedestal.

Well I feel like you've done a lot of misinterpretation of me and him, so why would I take him off the pedestal on that basis? I haven't seem a good objection yet, but mostly I've been correcting your accusation of my being binary, my generalizing, my past emotional influences, your assessment on what Alan believes, and that's not an exhaustive list. The only reason I'm bring that up is that I'm defending myself and otherwise I feel like I've been accommodating, but I can't say "you're right" unless I think you are. Surely you understand that. I don't buy the argument that I'm being dogmatic.

2) As a social mammal, I am now tired of seeing emotions and the expression of emotions judged so universally negatively.

That's a misperception based on the context of the debate. It appears universally negative because I've been put into a position where it appears that way due to the particular points you raise. It's ironic that on another forum, I'm the one arguing the benefits of emotional content.



I did read that you are an emotional person in your private life and hopefully the fact that you are will perhaps affect the universal and what I would call Machiavellian way you view emotions.

It takes a rascal to catch a rascal ;) I know what people are up to because I do it myself.

I think it might be useful for you to go back through what we have written, using this last about face - about trying to convince suddenly not being important - as a sign that you are defending for reasons you are not conscious of. I hesitated to say that about you coming off like a fundamentalist, even though it does feel that way, since you have said you experienced fundamentalists and the impression is that it was not pleasant.

Mom is a fundamentalist. How much more experience could I get?

I can imagine that a first way of eliminating contradictions will be to say that emotions manipulate in a primitive way, whereas reasoning convinces in an objective way. But 1) this does not fit with your saying that you like that people do not remove their emotions, because that helps you track them 2) number 1 raises an issue with Alan Watts since we cannot tell what his motivations are (and we should be wary of someone who says he has none)

That's a good point nonetheless, but what I said or meant to say was that we shouldn't make it a rule that people should not display emotions because then I won't be able to tell if they would otherwise be displaying emotions. So no contradiction.

3) it assumes that emotions and reasoning cannot go together

No I don't assume that, but think emotions tend to circumvent reason. I don't believe everyone who is emotional is unable to reason, though maybe not as well as when they are calmer.

4) being reasonable and calm in style tells us nothing about what is actually going on in the person or the truth of what they are saying.

Yes it does. It demonstrates there is nothing going on inside because there shouldn't be in debate or lecture. You're conflating lack of emotion with suppression of emotion.

People can and do justify their emotional choices after the fact. AND the people who cut off their emotions necessarily have cut off knowledge of them to that degree.

There is no cut off. There was nothing to cut off. I would add some commentary, but I'm worn out after this post lol

I hope you don't abandon it because we haven't gotten to inspecting what Alan actually believes yet since we're still trying to figure out if he's believable. :lol:
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Re: No Evidence For God, Why Still Believe?

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Thu May 24, 2018 6:39 am

Since the idea of God emerged >10,000 years ago till now there are no convincing proofs for the existence of a God. Many theists concede their belief in a God is based on faith.
I have demonstrated here 'God is an Impossibility.'

Despite the above, why do theists continue to believe in a God even to the extent of defending their theism with all sorts of contorted arguments and to the extreme of killing non-theists when they perceive threats against theism? Abraham was willing to kill his own son upon hearing a command from God. Many theists are willing to commit all sorts
of abominable acts in the name of their God on the belief they are carrying out their divine duty to please God. Why?

Since there are no strong evidence to prove God exists as real within an empirical-rational reality, I believe the reason why the majority of humans believe in a God is due to a very forceful existential psychological impulse that is compelling [subliminally] them to believe in a God.

Views?


There is no convincing proofs about the existence of God in the same way that there is no convincing proof about the existence of other people's consciousness, or about the existence of mind-independent objects in the external world.
J.Brewer
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The Truman Show, 1998 Paramount Pictures

Q: What lies beyond the "Matrix" that is consciousness?
A: The conscious and unconscious mind of God.


email me at: phenomenal_graffiti@yahoo.com
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