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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 67 days)
Posts: 1189
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


(1)
Message 1 of 83 (891386)
01-28-2022 12:44 PM


Hangdawg13 here... anyone still here that I used to know? Haven't posted here since I was in college about 18 years ago.

A big thanks to EvC forum and posters here for being instrumental in my intellectual development and helping me talk through some ideas that eventually helped me to break free from fundamentalist Christianity.

Randomly reading some of my old angsty posts here from 2004... (cringe!)

Edited by Hangdawg13, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AZPaul3, posted 01-28-2022 1:16 PM Hangdawg13 has replied
 Message 4 by Percy, posted 01-28-2022 3:56 PM Hangdawg13 has not replied
 Message 7 by Tanypteryx, posted 01-28-2022 6:24 PM Hangdawg13 has not replied
 Message 18 by ringo, posted 01-31-2022 11:29 AM Hangdawg13 has replied

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 6834
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 2 of 83 (891387)
01-28-2022 1:16 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hangdawg13
01-28-2022 12:44 PM


Hey Hangdawg13, welcome back.

You have been gone a while.

You thank EvC for helping to resolve some issues for you. If you care to share, in the years you have been away what else has changed in your world view? Who is Hangdawg13 today?


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Hangdawg13, posted 01-28-2022 12:44 PM Hangdawg13 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Hangdawg13, posted 01-28-2022 6:20 PM AZPaul3 has seen this message but not replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


(2)
Message 3 of 83 (891388)
01-28-2022 3:09 PM


Welcome Home. Pull up a stump and set a spell.

My Website: My Website

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20962
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 4 of 83 (891391)
01-28-2022 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hangdawg13
01-28-2022 12:44 PM


Hangdawg13 writes:

A big thanks to EvC forum and posters here for being instrumental in my intellectual development and helping me talk through some ideas that eventually helped me to break free from fundamentalist Christianity.

Gee, thanks.

I don't think anyone here has any problems with fundamentalist Christianity. It's a religion, fine. No problem with religion. After all, Francis Colins (recently retired director of the National Institutes of Health) is an evangelical. It's only when fundamentalist thinking leads them to emphasize revelation at the expense of real world evidence that we have a problem with it.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Punctuation.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 6834
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


(2)
Message 5 of 83 (891392)
01-28-2022 6:12 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Percy
01-28-2022 3:56 PM


No problem with religion.

Ahem.

Religion does have its detractors ... in some places. Not everyone is enthralled with religion's intolerant bloody abhorrent evil history toward humanity since forever and are now intolerant of its continued existence.

Major, major problems with religion ... in some places.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Percy, posted 01-28-2022 3:56 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by nwr, posted 01-28-2022 6:34 PM AZPaul3 has not replied

  
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 67 days)
Posts: 1189
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


(2)
Message 6 of 83 (891393)
01-28-2022 6:20 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by AZPaul3
01-28-2022 1:16 PM


Hi Paul

When I started posting here at age 18 I had just started college at a Christian university and just read Walt Brown's book that related some anomalous things in geology to the Biblical flood.

At that time my faith was what I was raised to believe and hadn't been tested really.

After only a few weeks or so of debating the evidence here with some good folks here, I encountered enough evidence (e.g. endogenous retroviruses, pseudogenes, and a better understanding of radiometric dating) to shake my faith in YECism.

My worldview at that age was of course very fragile and untested, so this threw everything into doubt. I ended up spending most of my time here debating in the faith and belief section rather than about evolution. And as is often the case when a person's worldview is under attack, defense mechanisms kick in and I was probably very angry and rude at times trying to cling to what had provided me a sense of stability and direction and meaning.

Over the next year, I sort of took a rapid journey through all the philosophical schools of thought... experienced existential nihilism for a few months and being hopelessly depressed and uncertain of any truth at all, I returned to Christianity simply because the stories in the Gospels felt good and right. But the seeds of doubt were sewn and I spent the next 7-8 years at a fundamentalist church hoping to see some kind of miracle to validate my faith.

Eventually, I decided my map of reality wasn't matching up with reality and I needed to expand my sources for spiritual and metaphysical understanding beyond just the Bible, and beginning with a Skeptiko Podcast interview of Eben Alexander I ventured into NDE research, and parapsychology, which eventually helped me sort of find a third way to have a spiritual world view without being forced into the false dichotomy of EITHER fundy Christianity OR existential nihilism.

I still agree with a lot of values of Christianity and can see some esoteric archetypal truths in the stories in the Bible, but don't really consider myself to be a Christian any more.

My metaphysics is probably closer to the simulation analogy than anything. I do still believe in a kind of afterlife. A component of Consciousness is a feedback loop - comparing goals with outcomes to adjust input and get better at attaining those goals. Many NDE's have a sort of life review which is a kind of feedback... so if there is feedback, it likely serves the purpose of getting better next time around.

From the simulation analogy, we put an agent in an environment with a set of goals and we run the simulation again and again with the intent to improve the agent. And I think reality has this nested fractal holographic type of structure to it, so things rhyme and repeat at various scales. Our efforts to create AGI are probably a repetition of a pattern that spawned us.

I generally agree with the hermetic principles... As above, so below, etc.

So I see "the soul" as kind of like the AI agent being trained by this environment and this soul has goals and this life is but one of many attempts to achieve those goals.

If we are going to play the game of Monism where we assume a fundamental reality and we assign a label to that fundamental reality, then the label we choose should be linked as closely as possible to everything else.

The two major competing Monisms are Materialism and Idealism. These result in "The Hard Problem of Consciousness."

My preferred label for the Monism is "Pattern" because this resolves the hard problem of consciousness. A pattern cannot exist without both objective similarities and differences as well as subjective choices about where to place boundaries that define the pattern. Subject/object united in one term. It sounds objective so it is appealing to the materialists, but sneaking in the back door is the antithesis to materialism: free will.

Anyway... another big impact on my thinking was "The Trickster and the Paranormal" by George P. Hansen as well as reading about the studies by Dean Radin, Hal Puthoff, Russel Targ, etc.

Science is a tool for discovering that which reliably repeats. Mechanisms reliably repeat. Therefore science can only see mechanisms and anyone who explores solely through the lens of science will see everything as a mechanism. Anything that can be explained mechanistically can therefore be folded under the tent of Materialism by expanding the known laws to include it. But the idea that we are mechanisms with merely an illusion of free will I think is what was depressing to me as a college student and partly what kept me wanting to believe in something magical and miraculous and is what kept me locked into fundamentalist Christianity far longer than was beneficial to me.

Now, I believe that there is a mechanistic aspect to the universe, but at the boundary between mechanisms is an opportunity for the "something Other" or "Will" to interact with the mechanism. A boundary IS a choice.

Choices are arbitrary without a goal. A goal implies a lack of attainment of the goal which implies a frustration. Pure Will where goals manifest instantly would obviously be chaos. Pure mechanism would result in nothing new. We exist then on the boundary between order and chaos, mechanism and will, Logos and Abyss, Known and Unknown, computable and non-computable spaces. We are an expression or an exploration of novelty and an the result of some attempt to achieve some goal. Meaning only exists within the context of an attempt to achieve a goal.

I have a utilitarian view of truth. Truth is a symbolic representation that cannot be dissociated from a goal. The more "true" something is the more efficiently it aids in achieving a goal. Truth is a tool.

Anyway, I have a world view now that I believe to be internally self-consistent and helps me make sense of the world and experience meaning and deal with suffering in a positive way without feeling the need to convert anyone or get anyone to believe a particular interpretation of a myth.

I have a great engineering job working fully remote from Austin TX, an amazing wife and 2-year old son who is incredibly smart and wonderful and healthy.. and a 2nd baby girl is on the way soon.

I'm still very contrarian in many ways. I believe in science... rocket science for example, because you can't lie or the rocket blows up... or the type of engineering I do... I can't lie or the equipment will fail... but when the effect sizes are small, when the effect is delayed and must be teased out after the fact with statistics (How to Lie with Statistics?), and when the opportunity for profits are high, and billions in government contracts are involved I am going to be extremely skeptical of "the science". You can guess where that puts me on things like COVID or climate change... I'm very much a conspiracy therapist.

And although I am long over the YEC flood stuff, I am still intrigued by catastrophism... particularly the idea that our Sun has periodic micro-nova coinciding with Earth's magnetic pole excursions that are the source of many creation and flood myths as well as some of the anomalous things that YEC's like Walt Brown pointed out.

Anyway... that's where I am now, Cheers!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by AZPaul3, posted 01-28-2022 1:16 PM AZPaul3 has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by nwr, posted 01-28-2022 6:50 PM Hangdawg13 has replied
 Message 12 by Tangle, posted 01-29-2022 3:27 AM Hangdawg13 has replied

  
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 3428
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 7 of 83 (891394)
01-28-2022 6:24 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hangdawg13
01-28-2022 12:44 PM


Welcome back Hangdawg13. You were here before my time.

What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Hangdawg13, posted 01-28-2022 12:44 PM Hangdawg13 has not replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6037
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 8 of 83 (891395)
01-28-2022 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by AZPaul3
01-28-2022 6:12 PM


Religion does have its detractors ..

I, too, have no problem with religion. But I do have a problem with some religious people, particularly those who try to shove their religion in our faces.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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 Message 5 by AZPaul3, posted 01-28-2022 6:12 PM AZPaul3 has not replied

Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6037
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 9 of 83 (891396)
01-28-2022 6:50 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Hangdawg13
01-28-2022 6:20 PM


Thanks for that update on your history and current philosophy.

I still agree with a lot of values of Christianity and can see some esoteric archetypal truths in the stories in the Bible, but don't really consider myself to be a Christian any more.

That description fits me pretty well, too. Welcome to the club.

Science is a tool for discovering that which reliably repeats. Mechanisms reliably repeat. Therefore science can only see mechanisms and anyone who explores solely through the lens of science will see everything as a mechanism.

Yes, that seems about right.

I have a utilitarian view of truth. Truth is a symbolic representation that cannot be dissociated from a goal. The more "true" something is the more efficiently it aids in achieving a goal. Truth is a tool.

That's a good way of putting it (in my opinion).

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Hangdawg13, posted 01-28-2022 6:20 PM Hangdawg13 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Hangdawg13, posted 01-31-2022 10:11 AM nwr has replied

  
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 67 days)
Posts: 1189
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


(1)
Message 10 of 83 (891398)
01-28-2022 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by nwr
01-28-2022 6:34 PM


I see religion as a kind of memetic lifeform... a symbiont / parasite / mind worm. It would not continue to reproduce itself in the minds of people if it did not also provide some benefits to its host, providing a mirror in myths which help us become more self-aware, but it also can sacrifice its host in painful ways.. it can also be ruthless in its attempt to reproduce itself or defend itself. And the utility of religion is diminished when there are other means of passing along similar useful information.

That said, I think some fruit can come out of analyzing religious myths from a Jungian type of psychoanalysis as well as considering there are kernels of historical truth around which the myth is built up.

Also, religion is a bit like government bureaucracy... it can be painfully inefficient and cumbersome, but if you destroy it haphazardly, something worse might step into its place to fill the power vacuum.

We have considered going to a church again just to make connections with people who have some decent values as well as to introduce our children to the religion we knew growing up, but honestly the thought of returning to church now and trying to fit in kind of turns my stomach a bit. We'll see how it goes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by nwr, posted 01-28-2022 6:34 PM nwr has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by AZPaul3, posted 01-28-2022 7:55 PM Hangdawg13 has replied

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 6834
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 11 of 83 (891399)
01-28-2022 7:55 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Hangdawg13
01-28-2022 7:06 PM


EEEEK!! Help!! Help!!
We have considered going to a church again just to make connections with people who have some decent values as well as to introduce our children to the religion we knew growing up, but honestly the thought of returning to church now and trying to fit in kind of turns my stomach a bit.

No, please no. You have come all this way to rid yourself of such a fantasy world, to let your mind be free to know life in all its pains and glories, to know reality. Seems you still have fond thoughts from being poisoned. Vestiges of your acculturation in irrationality remain. Fight it, Brother! We're with you!

For the love of god, Hangdawg, please do not expose your children to church. They are going to get saturated with religious symbology and irrational thought all too soon and all too often. Give them a fighting chance to escape the woo of religious thought. The thought that supermajik is somehow real will ruin their minds forever. Please spare them this abuse by the priests.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Hangdawg13, posted 01-28-2022 7:06 PM Hangdawg13 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Hangdawg13, posted 01-31-2022 10:55 AM AZPaul3 has not replied
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 8579
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 12 of 83 (891401)
01-29-2022 3:27 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Hangdawg13
01-28-2022 6:20 PM


Welcome back!

It sounds like you've had a difficult journey but have managed to dump the most egregious garbage of YEC upbringing.

But it does seem like you've got a way to go yet. A metaphysical hole that big sucks in all sorts pseudo-philosophical/conspiracy theory bunkum.

Good luck with the rest of your journey.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Hangdawg13, posted 01-28-2022 6:20 PM Hangdawg13 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Hangdawg13, posted 01-31-2022 10:16 AM Tangle has replied

  
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 67 days)
Posts: 1189
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


(1)
Message 13 of 83 (891464)
01-31-2022 10:11 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by nwr
01-28-2022 6:50 PM


quote:
Thanks for that update on your history and current philosophy.

That description fits me pretty well, too. Welcome to the club.

Yes, that seems about right.

That's a good way of putting it (in my opinion).


You're welcome and thank you. Where's the "like" button for a post on this forum?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by nwr, posted 01-28-2022 6:50 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 67 days)
Posts: 1189
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 14 of 83 (891465)
01-31-2022 10:16 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Tangle
01-29-2022 3:27 AM


quote:
Welcome back!

Thanks!

quote:
It sounds like you've had a difficult journey but have managed to dump the most egregious garbage of YEC upbringing.

But it does seem like you've got a way to go yet. A metaphysical hole that big sucks in all sorts pseudo-philosophical/conspiracy theory bunkum.


Yes, it does. It is a metaphysical hole that basically permits anything to happen (though not everything is LIKELY to happen)... kind of like quantum non-locality... your atoms may spontaneously jump through a wall, but not likely.

Do you prefer to view reality as a singular mechanism... a block universe with fixed past and future? Or what is a superior metaphysics that I should graduate to... in your opinion?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Tangle, posted 01-29-2022 3:27 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by jar, posted 01-31-2022 10:42 AM Hangdawg13 has replied
 Message 17 by Tangle, posted 01-31-2022 11:04 AM Hangdawg13 has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


(1)
Message 15 of 83 (891466)
01-31-2022 10:42 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Hangdawg13
01-31-2022 10:16 AM


The past is fixed. The future not yet recorded.

My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Hangdawg13, posted 01-31-2022 10:16 AM Hangdawg13 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Hangdawg13, posted 01-31-2022 2:48 PM jar has replied

  
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