OK. Reading the thread I was getting the impression that you might be talking past each other a bit. I enjoy reading what both of you have to say and wondered if I could help as a translator. (I'm a competent if not fluent speaker of both Scientist and Contemplative.)
In your insistence on 'substantiation', Larni, you appear to be demanding adherence to the scientific method. This is a professional discipline of yours and you're good at it.
anastasia's professional habits are different. Her field is soul-building. The work is art, not science. But for that reason she is not obligated to remove from her workbench those ideas that science must provisionally set aside.
As we're in the Social Issues department here, a synthetic approach may be fine. A lot depends on the established parameters and goals of the discussion. Is there a consensus?
I don't know if this is any help, but that's how it looks from this bird's nest.
And to be honest, I can't help thinking I have been riding Ana's posts lately, maybe I should back off a bit and reflect (or reload my guns, lol).
Well, whatever ammo you're packing, it's a good show. You both can take it. :)
It just seemed that repeated requests for 'empirical evidence of a higher power' might be jamming guns. ana has freely admitted, on other threads if not yet this one, that she can't produce this. (ana - Please correct any misrepresentations here.)
The mystics I've known all concede as much. It's worth noticing because it's one thing that distinguishes a true mystic from the fundies we so often see. Mystics don't seek science status for their belief system. They have no Science Envy. They are content to let science be science.
It's fair to say, though, that as a group they're not much in awe of science, either. :laugh:
Mystics know their own work doesn't qualify as science. They just don't find that disqualification fatal.
And we know subjectivity is well and good when the realm is personal. I know you see this in your own field. Psychologists--no matter how rigorous their use of the scientific method when conducting their research--always encourage clients facing moral dilemmas to consult their belief systems and feelings. Whatever the origins of human moral behavior, the process of doing it does demand that we consider these things.
I appreciate everyone's particiaption in this thought-provoking discussion. Here are a few things I've gleaned from it as a lurker:
- Talking about where behaviors come from is not the same thing as talking about how best to behave.
- Talking about how best to behave is not the same thing as talking about where behaviors come from.
- The subjective impressions of one person do not equal objective evidence for anyone else.
- Discussing morality in an empirical way does not substantially alter our personal experience of morality until the ideas also register in a subjective way. (hypothesis)
- Natural origins can be ascribed to things we think and do, but the origin of nature itself may (or may not) lie beyond reach of the scientific method.
- Supernatural origins can be ascribed to things we think and do, but the origin of this idea may (or may not) lie within reach of the scientific method.
- One can order one's life according to premises that cannot all be demonstrated empirically and still qualify as a rational, thinking person. But to order one's life according to premises that contradict obvious facts would be delusional.
Full disclosure: my own approach to morality is not to think of morality at all. I just think of making the best decisions I can make.
The word 'morality' appears to refer to a subclass of decisions: those for which society heaps special levels of shame on undesired outcomes. The image of divine displeasure would then be one way society stigmatizes unwanted behaviors and give solace to individuals harmed by them.