Re: Debunking Synchronicity (was: Debunk All Religiosity Equally (D.A.R.E.)

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Thu Jul 12 2001 - 12:45:54 MDT

From: "Amara Graps" <>
> Lee was originally asking questions for definitions, so I did my
> absolute best to find words (which mostly don't exist) to explain
> some perspectives. He or J.R. can choose to accept it or not, and
> ask questions to try to understand the different perspectives
> better, but I must say that I was horrified and very dissapointed to
> hear the immediate knee-jerk condemnations "False" that my way to try
> to see what was in my subconscious to gain wisdom, be open to learn from
> my environment, trying to bring me to a higher awareness with what
> life had to offer me. I don't find it 'false' at all that life has
> a richness that I can't explain, and I'm doing my best to explore it
> and learn about it in every way available to me.

Playing the definition game doesn't really help to debunk religiosity. So, I
won't play that game. The question Lee originally asked had to do with _why_
people use particular terms to describe themselves. Here's the paragraph where
he asks that:

<<Okay, so this discussion has gone on ever since Darwin, at least,
I suspect. Perhaps there is not only a gene for religiousity,
but a separate gene that causes one to find the terms "religious"
and "spiritual" appealing, and causes one to wish very strongly
to apply them to oneself regardless of one's actual beliefs?
I'm being only half-serious, of course, but it indicates my
desperation here to find out what is going on. My friend came
to admit that he and I did not differ substantially in either
our experiences or our beliefs. So after all that time, I still
came away perplexed as to why atheists/materialists sometimes
employ those terms to describe themselves. Perhaps one of the
people who so do use the terms could think long and carefully
and help us understand why.>>

The question for me is not so much why people describe themselves as
"spiritual" or "religious" but rather why they hold onto beliefs, sometimes
even after a clear and rational analysis shows them to be mistaken. This is
not meant to diminish the importance of Lee's question, because I'd also like
to know why people hang on to words like "spiritual" to describe themselves. I
don't want to have to guess that they are sentimental or superstitious, and so
use these terms to win Pascal's wager. I'd like to hear from them why they
don't jettison outdated descriptions for something more contemporary. I
suspect it's more than nostalgia or fond reminiscence, like the comeback of
hip hugger pants or granny glasses. Then again, perhaps it really is just a
matter of fashion.

> If my tools of discovery aren't your tools, then so what? I don't
> like all of your tools either, nor does your way of 'discovering'
> the world appeal to me (I see it as dry, rigid and not very fun,
> to be honest), but I don't label your way as "False".

If one wishes to describe serendipity as a tool of discovery, that's fine with
me, as long as one doesn't go so far as to conflate it with science. (AFAIC,
"synchronicity" simply means serendipity in time.) However, I'm surprised to
the point of dismay with your description of tools of discovery as "dry,
rigid, and not very fun." That fairly accurately describes the tedious method
of science all right, and is a complaint of many who drop out because they
find the scientific method not very fun. I thought you worked in astrophysics,
so to read your complaint about "dry, rigid, and not very fun" is a real

Stay hungry, stay extropic,

--J. R.

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, CYC, and ELIZA

We won't move into a better future until we debunk religiosity, the most
regressive force now operating in society.

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