Re: Debunk All Religiosity Equally (D.A.R.E.) ---> inloading

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Wed Jul 11 2001 - 06:11:44 MDT

Robin, commenting on Amara's comments wrote:

> A thoughtful and unusually clear explanation. But to me the key
> question is: is it *true*? People have such a strong need to belief
> such things that one must worry that they see it even when it is
> not there. Is Amara's strong acceptance of the events around her
> best explained by her unconsciously arranging those events to give
> her what she needs, or by her unconsciously deciding after the fact
> that whatever happened must have been what she needed?

To deal with the question of "is it *true*" one has to deal
with the question of the "frame of reference". There are
three realities:
(a) The reality of ones personal experience. If you have
    "experienced" it, it is "true" in ones personal reality
    and to contradict that is very difficult. Thus we have
    people who know "What is the sound of one hand clapping"
    as well as "What does it feel like to be impregnated by
    an alien".
(b) The reality of shared experiences. I.e. we all collectively
    experience "gravity" in the same way, so we discourage
    most people from the belief that they are able to overcome
    gravity by "flying". Most of us may have tried flying
    (in our childhoods), it didn't work, perhaps with
    negative consequences as some list members can attest,
    so we discourage the pursuit of such "unrealitles" by
    attempting personal flight.

    Obviously politics & religion fall someplace between (b) and (a).

(c) The physical reality. I.e. electron repulsion between
    all physical materials and the radiation bath which
    we all experience. Our physical senses are poorly designed
    to deal with most of this reality, and so we only experience
    it indirectly.

> To me one of the great tragedies of the human condition is that the
> young largely ignore advice from the old.

This is easily explained by the problem that one cannot transmit
(with full emotional impact) the realizations associated with
personal experiences, e.g. (a).

> Another tragedy is that people are overconfident in their own
> wisdom relative to that of other people.

If you are "alive", your own wisdom has proved itself to be a
"reliable" guide. One has no certainty that the acceptance of
other's wisdom would be so successful.

> But the smell of garlic? I fear that seeing great wisdom in
> that is most likely wishful thinking.

Not so. I believe garlic has recently been shown to be a metal
chelator. If so, it should have health promoting effects. The
"wisdom" here may be simply cultural wisdom passed from generation
to generation as a result of the better health of ones ancestors.

It will be very interesting to learn whether or not there are
"real" receptors that sense and/or respond to garlic. If so,
that wisdom will have made the transition from folklore into
the hardware.


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