both/and

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the excluded middle way

The clothes have no emperor

If the emporor remains, you’ve still got a lot of explaining to do


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Filed under: Atheism, Brain, conceptual mind, Dennett, gross mind, Mind, Science, Skepticism, Video

Ideas to die for

Memes. Fit for their own survival. Not yours.

Dan Dennett on Ants, terrorism, and the awesome power of the meme.

Filed under: Atheism, both/and, Christianity, Dennett, God, Humour, Islam, Science, Skepticism, Video

Dan Dennett: Can we know our own minds?

"Scientists, using their from-the-outside, 3rd person methods, can tell you things about your own consciousness that you'd ever dream of. And the fact that you are not the authority on your own consciousness that you thought you were.

Filed under: AQAL, Atheism, both/and, Dennett, Integral, Mind, Video

BOTH Dennett AND Dharma?

C4Chaos has recently posted alink to a Jonathan Haidt essay MORAL PSYCHOLOGY AND THE MISUNDERSTANDING OF RELIGION.

But once again I’m frustrated by people, Haidt not Coolmel,  lumping Dennett in the with new athiests. Sure he’s riding the same road as the bandwagons of Dawkins and Harris and Hitchens and he’s put his head well above the parapet, but his philosophy of science and religion is sound and not just saber-rattling.

Thank you Integral Options Cafe for not lumping Dan Dennett in with the fundamentalist, or Loud, athiests. Haidt’s essay is a good example of where people are mis-understanding Dennett.

The Failure of the Loud Atheists blog post says the biggest flaw of the atheist fundamentalists “is their failure to distinguish between objective reality and subjective reality” and I couldn’t agree more.

But Dennett, in both ‘Breaking the Spell‘ and ‘Consciousness Explained‘ is playing a completely different game and to roll him up into the angry atheist crowd is mis-reading him almost completely.

Dennett recognises interiors and exteriors and he doesn’t ever collapse them. He recognises evolution and development. He recognises the difference between left and right-hand quadrants (although wouldn’t use those terms). And he states clearly that 3rd person methodologies have a large part to play in really understanding interiors, how they came to be, how they work, who has them, who doesn’t.

He’s got Zone1 and Zone2 of the 8 Integral Methodological Pluralism zones covered and he spotted the blind spot that phenomenology has to structuralism and 3rd person methods. His hetrophenomenological method addressed the problem back in the 1980s.

This, from his latest TED talk, says it nicely.

"Scientists, using their from-the-outside, 3rd person methods, can tell you things about your own consciousness that you'd ever dream of. And the fact that you are not the authority on your own consciousness that you thought you were.

Has anyone read anything other than ‘Breaking the Spell’? Its his most ‘populist’ to date and perhaps suffers because of that worldly connection but ‘Consciousness Explained’ lays it all our pretty clearly.

I also think Haidt is being disingenuous in saying Dennett is mis-reading the evidence. Haidt doesn’t show how the studies he cites are reliable and he fails to recognise Dennett’s main point in BTS, that giving is an outward show of ‘belief in belief’ rather than a result of belief itself.

To say “religious believers give more money than secular folk to secular charities” shows us very little about their interiors.

If giving is part of the creed and a way of proving you believe to your peers then that starts to sound like pre-conventional morality to me, rather than proving religious people are morally superior to secular folk.

This whole debate has been polarised for way too long. Can we please have BOTH Dennett AND Dharma.

Filed under: AQAL, Atheism, both/and, Brain, Dennett, Integral, Mind, Science, Understanding the Mind

Bill Moyers with philosopher Daniel Dennett

Moyers: Is there a ‘ground of all being’
Dennett: Sure! I’d like to be able to thank someone for the universe we live in but the best I can do is study it, learn about it, with awe. Anselm described God as that being than which no greater can be conceived. If that is your definition of God then I DO believe in God. The universe is greater than we can conceive and it’s far greater than anything I can fully comprehend.

So who is right? Dennet or Anselm?

If, in meditation we can come to a place of rest and identify our true self, or identify with everything that is arrising with no subject or object distinctions, then aren’t we too experiencing Anselm’s God?

Can we explain it using blogs and words and gestures? No.

So who is right?

BOTH Dennet AND Anselm!

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Filed under: Atheism, Dennett, God, meditation, our precious human life, Skepticism, Video





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