Myth as Meth

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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Magritte
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Re: Myth as Meth

Post by Magritte » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:16 pm

Two thoughts on that. One, all the empirical evidence is against the kind of blank slatishness that would imply. Second, it sounds to me like the decontextualization and unmooring you're describing is exactly what Bakker means by the semantic apocalypse.

(edit: to be clear, Bakker's semantic apocalypse comes about through technological intervention, not through some innate mental ability to wish away the fundaments of humanity)
One of the hallmarks of freedom is that when you recognize someone is being intellectually dishonest or arguing with you in bad faith, you have the option to walk away without being punished, imprisoned or tortured.

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met
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Re: Myth as Meth

Post by met » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:08 am

Magritte wrote:Two thoughts on that. One, all the empirical evidence is against the kind of blank slatishness that would imply. Second, it sounds to me like the decontextualization and unmooring you're describing is exactly what Bakker means by the semantic apocalypse.

(edit: to be clear, Bakker's semantic apocalypse comes about through technological intervention, not through some innate mental ability to wish away the fundaments of humanity)
Well, in this evolutionary context, I didn't mean it could happen overnight, obviously. But otoh it may not be so necessary to technically intervene for humanity to integrate themselves with technology-dominated environments as perhaps you assume? Have you ever noticed how quickly and easily children pick up on the accelerated pace of technological innovations already?
[Epigenetic] Role in Evolution

The role of epigenetics in evolution is clearly linked to the selective pressures that regulate that process. As organisms leave offspring that are best suited to their environment, environmental stresses change DNA gene expression that are further passed down to their offspring, allowing for them also to better thrive in their environment. The classic case study of the rats who experience licking and grooming from their mothers pass this trait to their offspring shows that a mutation in the DNA sequence is not required for a heritable change.[10] Basically, a high degree of maternal nurturing makes the offspring of that mother more likely to nurture their own children with a high degree of care as well. Rats with a lower degree of maternal nurturing are less likely to nurture their own offspring with so much care. Also, rates of epigenetic mutations, such as DNA methylation, are much higher than rates of mutations transmitted genetically[11] and are easily reversed.[12] This provides a way for variation within a species to rapidly increase, in times of stress, providing opportunity for adaptation to newly arising selection pressures.

Controversy

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposed that species experience certain obstacles in their lifetimes which they must overcome. They acquire certain characteristics to deal with these challenges, and such accumulations are then passed to their offspring. In modern terms, this transmission from parent to offspring would be considered a method of epigenetic inheritance. Scientists are now questioning the framework of the modern synthesis, as epigenetics has shown to be in direct contrast with the core of Darwinism while being in agreement with Lamarckism. While some evolutionary biologists have dismissed epigenetics' impact on evolution entirely, others have begun to discover that a fusion of both epigenetic and traditional genetic inheritance may contribute to the variations seen in species today.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contribut ... _evolution

Maybe your author and you are correct that something essentially genuinely human is at stake in these changes. But then again, maybe not. Humanity has shown itself to be very adaptive, so perhaps what's been expressed here is only an echo of something like an (almost Heideggerian) pastoral sentimentality? ;)
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Magritte
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Re: Myth as Meth

Post by Magritte » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:01 am

I should read some Malabou, huh? Plasticity and epigenetics and that.

Bakker wrote something about her. She thought he was mean.
One of the hallmarks of freedom is that when you recognize someone is being intellectually dishonest or arguing with you in bad faith, you have the option to walk away without being punished, imprisoned or tortured.

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Re: Myth as Meth

Post by met » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:06 am

Cool, good article.( Myself, I haven't had time to read up more on epigenetics and stuff she brings up in her Kant book - yet - but it's interesting...)
The longer continental philosophy pretends to be somehow immune, or even worse, to somehow come first, the more it will come to resemble those traditional discourses that, like astrology, refuse to relinquish their ancient faith in abject speculation.
Well, the problem would seem to be that the more that sentence - or any other sentence like it - tries to deny the precedence of the symbolic (on rational or even empirical grounds) the more it seems to be implicitly assuming it? (Graham Harmon has commented that every philosophy has to have a blind spot if it's to make any progress in other areas.) So, in order to achieve this reordering, if that's what you want, perhaps you gonna NEED that dreaded 'semantic apocalypse''? Tho I'd suggest it wouldn't help because it'd only create yet another symbolic regime.

Also, I hope you can see the irony that all his categorizing - all his harrumphing and performatizing on the competition between disciplines and on "in-groups" and "out-groups" and all - is actually extremely resonant with Foucault, and that he appears to be engaging in a Foucualdian power struggle while simultaneously putting forward and denying the idea that ONE particular symbolic tract (his) DOES somehow precede and correctly represent reality?
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Magritte
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Re: Myth as Meth

Post by Magritte » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:36 am

met, I'd LOVE it if you'd post your concerns about his ideas on his blog, on one of his relevant posts. He responds enthusiastically to good questions from intelligent commenters, and I'd love to see how he'd reply.

(I think his semantic apocalypse is about moral significance and "meaning" in that sense, not about epistemology per se)

(but that's my reading, don't take it as representative of his ideas)

(actually scratch that, it is about knowledge - he talks about "what comes before" - I love that phrase - in the sense of priority. It's one of his major themes. And what comes before? To us, darkness.)
One of the hallmarks of freedom is that when you recognize someone is being intellectually dishonest or arguing with you in bad faith, you have the option to walk away without being punished, imprisoned or tortured.

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Re: Myth as Meth

Post by Magritte » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:02 am

Yeah, I think that clears things up. It's a question of priority. Symbolic priority is quasi-religious - "in the beginning was the word." - but actually, it's more like, in the end was the word. That doesn't mean that correspondence doesn't work, or that symbols aren't important to formulate and express ideas. I don't know if Bakker would put it the same way. I dunno.

More on the darkness that comes before

(great comments on that link, too)

edit: further thoughts on the relationship between blind brain theory and the semantic apocalypse: because we're not aware of the underpinnings of our thought - because, as Bakker puts it, we can't see our workings for the same reason an eye doesn't see its retina - we're likely to make changes to our workings (through technology) that fundamentally alter what we are as humans, as well as learn to game our subsystems on a more efficient level than ever before, to say nothing of what will happen when AIs or even dumb algorithms are set loose with a better "understanding" of our subsystems than we can muster from introspection.
(Graham Harmon has commented that every philosophy has to have a blind spot if it's to make any progress in other areas.)
That blind spot may not be where you think it is...!
One of the hallmarks of freedom is that when you recognize someone is being intellectually dishonest or arguing with you in bad faith, you have the option to walk away without being punished, imprisoned or tortured.

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