Spiritual dimensions of scientific cognition by Alexey Burov

This is a guest post from Alexey Burov summarizing his seminar given to our club on Monday 12 of September 2011

inviting discussions with him about the talk on our blog

the link to the audio file
It is http://fermiru.org/fireflect/CERN%20talks/Spiritual%20Dimensions_tr.mp3

and to the talk

https://indico.cern.ch/conferenceDisplay.py?confId=154336

Spiritual dimensions of scientific cognition

 

Alexey Burov

 

Abstract

 

By its content, scientific knowledge is universal, impersonal, and thus value-free. However, being a hard human adventure, science requires certain values and sacraments, faith in them. From another perspective, the scientific worldview makes its own imprint on the entire human culture, destroying some sacraments, and elevating others. Due to that duality in science-faith  relations, self-negation of the scientific cognition happened. As a result, we are living in a split world of internally hostile Duoverse of Macrocosm and Microcosm. Is this split state dictated by rational thinking? Is there any way to return to the Universe, rescuing all the noble values, scientific values included?

 

 “Ethics and psychology are grounded in metaphysics. When it comes to saving man’s essential nature, psychology – whether as such, or in the form of psychotherapy – is helpless; ethics as a mere doctrine or imperative is helpless unless man first comes to have different fundamental relation to Being – unless man of his own accord, so far as in him lies, begins at last to hold his nature open for the essential relation toward Being…”

      

“The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.”

Martin Heidegger, “What is Called Thinking?”, 1954

Science Definition

Science can be defined as the cognition of universal or pure reason. Both theoretical concepts and scientific facts must be independent of personal, cultural and biological properties of theorists and observers. Science is a sort of knowledge, designed to be maximally transferable to any sufficiently developed extraterrestrial reasonable beings.

“The kernel of the scientific outlook is the refusal to regard our own desires, tastes, and interests as affording a key to the understanding of the world.”,

Bertrand Russel, “The place of Science in A Liberal Education”

Thus, the spiritual sphere is a priory excluded from science. Humans, seen through scientific glasses, cannot be distinguished from animals. This is not a drawback of science – it is just its limit, other side of its power. Due to this limit, only our bodies can be scientifically seen. Man as a spiritual being is neither observable, nor thinkable scientifically. The same is true for any real or imaginary personalities – for God, in particular.

Scientific Doubt and Scientific Faith

 

Doubt in the existing scientific knowledge is absolute – this is a necessary condition for this knowledge to stay open. From another side, science is based on its values, on the strong faith in its values – as any big and difficult human affair. Since the very essence of faith contradicts to global scientific doubt, this faith requires certain out-of-science ground. It is ethics, which gives us values and motivations. Thus, ethics plays a fundamental role to the scientific cognition.

A. Einstein on the scientific faith

“ I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research. Only those who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion without which pioneer work in theoretical science cannot be achieved, are able to grasp the strength of the emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue. What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand, were it but a feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable them to spend years of solitary labor in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics!

Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered wide through the world and through the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.”

Religion and Science”, 1930.

 

 

Cosmic religious feeling as the Scientific Credo

 

–    There is the Rationality – Logos behind all phenomena.

–     The Logos kingdom is all-scale and total – from tiniest particles to the entire Universe.

–     The Logos is beautiful.

–     The Logos can be visible to human minds – it is the scientific cognition.

–     Science, as a human communion with the Logos, is one of the noblest ways of life.

–     Quantum Mechanics: The Cosmos is a product of not only Logos, but also of Chaos.

Brief History of “Logos”

 

Plato and platonics: Cosmos resulted from the primordial Chaos, formed by Creator, through His emanation of Logos and Soul. Human soul and reason have the same divine origin.

John 1:1-1:18 “Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος” – “In the beginning it was Logos and Logos was with God and Logos was God…

Christianity essentially inherited Platonic metaphysics, with its consequences

–    World is created as rational. Platonic God loves theories.

–    Human ability to see this rationality has the same divine source.

For R. Descartes, trust in God was a precondition to trust our ability to think and observe.

I. Newton: “It is the perfection of God’s works that they are all done with the greatest simplicity. He is the God of order and not of confusion.”  After his life, success of his physics worked against his belief in personal God.

It was Benedict Spinoza who first clearly proclaimed religion of the totally ruling Software – impersonal Substance – instead of personal God. His Substance was omnipotent and omnipresent, leading to total determinism and refutation of the free will. All the values lost their power when the old God was killed and impersonal Substance was enthroned instead. Spinoza at some moment of his life started to believe that there must be only one explanatory principle of the World. He saw that there were two of them: Reason and Person. Thus, one of them had to be sacrificed. “The reason and will which constitute God’s essence must differ by the breadth of all heaven from our reason and will and have nothing in common with them except the name; as little, in fact, as the dog-constellation has in common with the dog, the barking animal.” – Spinoza, 1677.

“We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.” – Laplace on his “demon”, 1814.

After the Darwinian exclusion of God from life and human reason (1859), Nietzsche coined his diagnosis: “God is dead”. Saying this, Nietzsche actually meant more than death of God. He also meant death of all big values: Truth, Justice, Love, Beauty, and yes – Reason. Thus self-negation of Reason was spoken. Dehumanization of the Universe was finished. Metaphysically, man lost his divinity and fell down into a world of objects among objects. Any resistance to that became either obscurantism, “wishful thinking” or a white lie.

If man is an object among objects, the society is a machine to be optimized.

Some old details have to be eliminated, of course….   Evil is probably eternal. But in this new kingdom of Reason the very concept of sin was abolished. Scientific communism and national socialism were consequences.

Scientific worldview as a self-negation of Reason

Negating all the values, scientific worldview negates the scientific credo as well, i. e. we see a self-negation of Reason as a consequence of its idolization.

With empty heavens under his head, man is running to collectivistic cults, Dionysian madness, drugs, suicide, or just degrades in a meaningless shallow life.  In the Spinozian world, all the values are contingent nonentities, as man is. Cognition is not excluded. A soap bubble, even one reflecting sunlight, is still just a bubble. In the Spinozian world, there is no difference between humans and bubbles.

The Duoverse

When God was killed, cosmos got a face of daemon, a single look on whom ruins all the values, turning people into stones.

To save our human world, a theme of cosmic hostility is actually tabooed. We have to pretend that the king is wonderfully dressed. We have to lie to each other for the sake of our life and civilization.

It does not help though. Our values are fatally humiliated by the scientific cosmos. True values cannot be accepted out of fear, even if it is a fear for the humankind. Values, accepted under a gun, can neither inspire nor give strength at the face of tragedy.

In fact, the current Worldview shows not one, but two worlds, hostile to each other: the scientific world, negating a person with its values – and the human world, trying to keep all its values – heroically and illegitimately. It is not a Universe, but a Duoverse.

Witness of B. Russell

“Brief and powerless is Man’s life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way; for Man, condemned today to lose his dearest, to-morrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness, it remains only to cherish, ere yet the blow falls, the lofty thoughts that ennoble his little day; disdaining the coward terrors of the slave of Fate, to worship at the shrine that his own hands have built; undismayed by the empire of chance, to preserve a mind free from the wanton tyranny that rules his outward life; proudly defiant of the irresistible forces that tolerate, for a moment, his knowledge and his condemnation, to sustain alone, a weary but unyielding Atlas, the world that his own ideals have fashioned despite the trampling march of unconscious power.”  “A Free Man’s Worship”, 1903

Back to the Universe

 

We are doomed to live in that internally hostile Duoverse, unless personality will return its cosmic position. To return a meaning to my life, I have to return the Person as a highest cosmic principle. It means I have to resurrect the killed God, and restore our true connection, true re-ligion: the religion of love.  The God’s acceptance is not “wishful thinking”, and is not science negation. On the contrary – it is reconciliation of the human world, Microcosm, with the scientific world, Macrocosm, saving us from a poor split state, where all the noble values, including reason, are indeed nothing else but “wishful thinking”.

References

 

Plato, “Timaeus”

Plotinus, “Enneads”

Gospel of John

Descartes, “Meditations on First Philosophy”

Heidegger, Martin. “The Word of Nietzsche: ‘God Is Dead'”

Lev Shestov, “In Job Balances”, http://shestov.by.ru/ijb/jb_0.html

Talk given in CERN, Sep. 12, 2011

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32 Responses to Spiritual dimensions of scientific cognition by Alexey Burov

  1. Michael says:

    Dear Alexey,
    many thanks for your thoughtful presentation last Monday.
    It was a rather interesting meeting and the blog will allow follow discussion
    on your thought provoking ideas.

    Here are my main thoughts that came up during and after the meeting:

    Somehow you only considered two “world” views.
    One general christian like view with a dominating creator (lets call it monotheistic more general) with which humans can interact in a deep spiritual way and a one which gave up on the idea of a creator responsible for order/structure in our universe and life and the creator is replaced by our economic / scientific visions (or however one wants to call it).

    You observe that todays “world” is dominated more by the (our) economic / scientific visions
    and that this view does not work and has lead us to Stalins, Hitlers and so on.

    Now, where I get lost is that you conclude that the “scientific” world view
    is by (your) definition limited and can not define ethics, good and bad and so on.
    As a result, in short, the Hitler/Stalin, or god like emperors,
    take the place of god and lead eventually to their actions and horrors.

    Well, when looking back at history and to the time when christian rules (or rulers) decided,
    the actions of the corresponding dominating people were essentially identical.

    500 years of colonialism and extermination of other less valuable people was and often is still justified by the superiority of our (white?) species/culture.
    The attack of the natural world, we see clearly today with its suicidal destruction of the biosphere, is also imbedded in this christian faith of superiority.

    Now, I agree with you that the current situation is not working.
    But, in contrast to your claim that we arrived at todays situation because of science(?).
    is where I disagree.
    In my understanding, the older more spiritual christian culture did also not work.
    This brings me to my view:

    The two options you mention are only two of many others and both are a manifestation of
    large scale unsustainable cultures, in contrast to smale scale sustainable cultures of our just one species.

    Small scale and sustainable cultures in general have a very spiritual and also scientific way (in my view) of the
    surrounding. In fact they do not see themselves as individuals as we do. And they live and strive in the ideal and are sustainable (not all of them are).
    The people in such small scale cultures live for the well being of their tribe and their surrounding land base (as Derrick Jensen calls it).

    Furthermore, science as I understand it has many different faces. Some destructive some others more on observing and experimenting with “what works” and “what doesn’t”.

    In this respect the part of modern science that looks at the real problems of our unsustainable living tells those who want to listen a lot about why certain things are not working.
    Most (very young and unspoiled) people automatically understand that the situation
    of our large scale culture is kind of suicidal.
    But, as we are all kind of blinded by many hundred years of so called progress (before falling down the cliff) we do not yet see working alternatives.

    So, in summary there are more than just the two views you presented and
    having these two which are not working, it means that we need to investigate others.

  2. Alexey Burov says:

    Dear Michael,

    First of all, I am thankful to you for inviting me to give this talk, for your encouraging attitude to that, for your good words in my address, and for your thought-provoking questions both during my talk and here. Below, I will try to respond on them on the order you put them, structuring them as a dialog between us, MD and AB.

    MD: “Now, where I get lost is that you conclude that the “scientific” world view
    is by (your) definition limited and can not define ethics, good and bad and so on.”

    AB: This definition of science is not just “my definition”, Michael. It is its description as a specific way of cognition, how it appeared and developed in the European history. To avoid a suspicion that this is just my personal vision, I gave a reference on B. Russell – a great scientist, historian of science and philosophy: “The kernel of the scientific outlook is the refusal to regard our own desires, tastes, and interests as affording a key to the understanding of the world.” (I was glad to see that Russell’s statement at the top of Francesco Spano web site). I do not see any possibility to shaken this definition of science, as we know it. Human cognition of spiritual sphere required other, non-scientific approaches, which were realized in philosophy, religion, esthetics, psychology and various humanities. Of course, nothing prevented for humanities to use scientific results and methods, but humanities are not limited to that narrow scientific way, and they are using scientific things in their broad humanitarian context. May be, the most impressive attempt of this sort of scientific incorporation into humanitarian sphere is psycho-analysis; there are many others as well. I think it is important to see the differences between the modes of cognition, to see limits and power of any one of them. It could be productive or not to combine in a certain specific way scientific and humanitarian approaches, but it is good to see what they are per se. It is important to realize that fantastic success of scientific cognition is due to its specific filtering of the entire reality. It is important to keep this filtering and to care about that. That is why I disagree to broadening of science definition: it would be dangerous to lose the essence of science.

    MD: “As a result, in short, the Hitler/Stalin, or god like emperors,
    take the place of god and lead eventually to their actions and horrors.”

    AB: What I tried to say, Michael, is that those atrocities of the previous century were not results of the limits of science, but of blindness to these limits. People were so much impressed by scientific triumphs that they idolized the scientific way of cognition, starting to believe that science is a single right way to see the entire reality, including man. Man, seen by science, by necessity became an object among objects, and the society with the same necessity became a machine to be optimized. This view was a seed of atrocities of “scientific communism” and “national socialism”. Genesis of these two branches of socialism from scientific worldview is shown with a lot of details in masterpieces of F. von Hayek “The Road to Serfdom”, “The Counter-Revolution of Science”, which I am happy to recommend anybody who wants to see this issue in historical details. Scientific worldview per se is a mistake – science is too specific way to see reality to be able to see the entire reality, Being. An attempt to comprehend Being scientifically is a heavy mistake, resulted in a too distorted vision of reality and terrible consequences.

    MD: “Well, when looking back at history and to the time when christian rules (or rulers) decided, the actions of the corresponding dominating people were essentially identical [to Hitler and Stalin – AB].”

    AB: Although evil is probably eternal, its every specific manifestation has its own reasons and its own scale. If we really want to see any specific case, we have to study this case. The atrocities of Scientific Communism and National Socialism are unique both by their driving forces and scale. Here we cannot go into this big issue; let me just add to the mentioned above books of Hayek the famous “Open Society and Its Enemies” of K. Popper, and less known for western readers “The Origin of Russian Communism” (1937) of Nikolai Berdyaev. As to historical Christianity, it includes not only St. Augustine and St. Francis, but also Torquemada. Christianity is responsible for many evil things, of course. In my talk, I am not saying anything about Christianity, except its very core: living God. I do not see any other way to return full-scale meaning to a human person except returning to its closeness to the very center of Being. This requires the Person at this center – the living God, Who is our eternal Father and Savior. I hope to consider this issue in more details in my next talk “Proofs and refutations of God existence”, I’d like to give in your club. I am not saying that Christians are free from evil things; moreover, I do not think that there is any philosophy or religion which can guarantee from evil. But this does not mean that trying to learn historical lessons is meaningless. I think, the recent lesson is just what I tried to show.

    MD: “The attack of the natural world, we see clearly today with its suicidal destruction of the biosphere, is also imbedded in this christian faith of superiority.”
    AB: I do not think that Christian faith of man’s superiority by necessity leads to the “suicidal destruction of the biosphere”. For Christians, natural world is God’s creature, “and God saw that it was good.” I think our true superiority is our responsibility for the God’s work and love to all animals, our minor brothers, and I can point you several great and influential figures of Christianity who stated this and lived according to this – St. Francis, for instance. By the way, I really admire his biography written by G. K. Chesterton. An epoch of “suicidal destruction of the biosphere” is not an epoch of Christian dominance – it is in fact the Duoverse time. I do not know any prominent figure of Christianity who could be blamed for that. Also, I am pretty sure that you can find a lot in official documents of Church in support of ecological movement, and there are many Christians among activists of this movement, having in Christianity inspiration for their ecological activity.

    MD: “The two options you mention are only two of many others and both are a manifestation of large scale unsustainable cultures, in contrast to small scale sustainable cultures of our just one species.”
    AB: I cannot agree that the human relation with Christian God is over. I think, we have an experience of the prodigal son, and this experience is already rich enough to come back – or at least to start thinking about that option. Since God is a person, relations with Him should be personal and creative. Any solution at that field is personal, and it is up to every man or woman to build his or her own relations with God. I am just trying to remind that these relations are extremely important, and there are fundamental options here. The worst option, to my mind, is not even a negation of God existence, if this negation followed after a long and serious seeking the truth. The worst option is personal ignorance to the problem.

    What relates to the “small scale sustainable cultures”, I think this issue lies outside of my theme, and I would prefer to hear a good talk about these structures from you or somebody else before going into discussions about them. What I see at the moment from this side is a danger to freedom, coming from ecological teachings. There are many alarming similarities between contemporary ecologists and Marxists: strong scientism, low value of civil rights and personal freedoms, and fanaticism. I wish ecologically concerned people to be alarmed by these similarities and learn better the Marxist approach, which a century ago seemed to so many educated Europeans so obviously moral and scientific.

    I hope, Michael, that this respond to your comment helps to understand better the content of my talk. For that, let me thank you one more time.

  3. Alexey Burov says:

    Opps… Please reply to this, so I will be notified.

  4. Michael says:

    Hi Alexey,

    many thanks for your very thoughtful and very interesting reply.
    Somehow I agree with you in several aspects.
    Looking forward for going deeper into all these important issues.
    Here are some replies and questions:
    starting with
    1) the definition of science .. (I feel that we must define our views much better before
    we can discuss the rest .. we might not have to different views but only different definitions
    right now)

    For me the scientific method is perhaps the most important one which
    defines what i mean by science and its limitations.
    (in short data collection–> hypothesis formulation –> testing and new data –> better description
    etc)

    with this approach especially the reductionist science domains, like our own
    domain physics, were “successful” in the past resulting in many world wonders
    like using electric energy to exchange ideas now with you and including the nuclear weapons for examples.

    Thus, I would say that B. Russells definition is more related to this field of science
    and its misuse of science. In Icarus, the future of science from 1924
    (for example here http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/russell2.htm)
    he ends with:

    “Science has not given men more self-control, more kindliness, or more power of discounting their passions in deciding upon a course of action. It has given communities more power to indulge their collective passions, but, by making society more organic, it has diminished the part played by private passions. Men’s collective passions are mainly evil; far the strongest of them are hatred and rivalry directed towards other groups. Therefore at present all that gives men power to indulge their collective passions is bad. That is why science threatens to cause the destruction of our civilization. The only solid hope seems to lie in the possibility of world-wide domination by one group, say the United States, leading to the gradual formation of an orderly economic and political world-government. But perhaps, in view of the sterility of the Roman Empire, the collapse of our civilization would in the end be preferable to this alternative.”

    Almost 100 years later I must say he had a great vision and well
    it seems difficult to disagree (in my view with this ending).

    So, what if the successful but destructive reductionist science is only
    how mainstream science and scientist like to define it?

    What about the scientific ecology (not the political)?
    The approach is not really looking into isolated phenomena but the collective
    functioning of (eco) systems and use the scientific method.
    (actually in your analysis of “history” don’t you use just this method?)

    I tend to see this as a more deeper approach, which after all includes
    “spiritual” thinking (depending on the definition) and interactions between actors in
    the ecosystem.

    michael

  5. Alexey says:

    Dear Michael, there are many things science is unable to tell us, without losing its meaning and power. One of these things is a sphere of goals. To resolve contradictions between various important goals, we have to weight them somehow. Let me take your favorite example of small groups, leaving in agreement with nature – for instance, Amish communities in the US. As far as I know and understand, all groups of this sort are based on strong collectivistic moral, negating personal freedom and creativity. Essentially, time stopped there, they do not have their history, and do not suppose to have. I do not know and cannot imagine a great poet or artist or philosopher or scholar or scientist could appear within that sort of group, and continue to leave among them. Essentially, it is a totalitarian world, negating creativity. We see in this example a contradiction between 2 “goods” – between ecological self-consistency, from one side, and personal freedom and creativity, from another side. There is no science which is able to tell what is more important. Science is looking for causal laws and for means to given goals. If somebody would derive from his scientific model that either we, europeans, will follow amish-like sort of life or go through a serious ecological troubles, it would be up to you and me to decide, what is the lesser evil, and what side you or me are going to support. Somehow you will weight the problem on your personal spiritual weights, and the solution will be yours. My weights are different, and I may come with the same certainty to the opposite solution. Science is unable to provide us with its universal weights for values. Moreover, science is unable to predict new ideas, so in the described case the third solution could be found. Attempts to derive that sort of ethical solutions from scientific models I see as a cognitive mistake and practical danger. As I already mentioned, the most impressive example of that sort is “scientific communism”. Science cannot see a personality, with its freedom and creativity – thus, any global scientific approach to social life negates freedom, and has a tendency to become a totalitarian teaching. As I already mentioned, there are alarming similarities of that sort between extreme ecological teachings and Marxism.

    Now, about the Russell’s conclusion you cited. Both his scenarios are hopeless. And this is not surprising, knowing his worldview (remember my “duoverse” citation from him?). I consider his worldview as mistaken. He lost a crucial thing – persistent efforts of humans to truth, beauty and good, personal meaning of life and spiritual evolution of humankind rooted in these efforts. He neglected this as a not so important factor. But this factor is central to history, and if lost the history and the human life are miserable and meaningless. If to tell not just about “Icarus”, but about his philosophy, he lost a problem of spiritual power, and its relation to the metaphysics. His philosophy does not give any reason to see eternal value of our best efforts, so for him all our efforts for truth, justice and beauty are negated by time-space infinity. I am sorry to say that, but with all his erudition, this makes him a poor philosopher.

  6. Michael says:

    Hi Alexey,
    let me reply in several parts.
    As we are trying to come to common definitions etc..

    I am kind of really stuck with what you think and write here.
    In fact somehow from all what I know about tribal people you are totally mislead
    by prejudice here.

    “Let me take your favorite example of small groups, leaving in agreement with nature – for instance, Amish communities in the US. As far as I know and understand, all groups of this sort are based on strong collectivistic moral, negating personal freedom and creativity.”

    I disagree totally. In contrary, the supposed freedom in our society today or
    the christian dominated societies of the past few 1000 years was in fact
    giving perhaps freedom to some elite while slaves (and you find this in the bible everywhere)
    and woman were not really considered as humans with personal freedom etc.

    In contrary, when you look at decision making (i do not know much about the amish)
    in indigenous tribes .. you find that individuals have had a much larger freedom than we
    have today. For example someone who did not want to join a hunting group
    or going to “war” was not forced to do so.

    in contrast what we have seen during past wars in christian or anti(anti christian) societies.
    Leaders, even if democratically elected decided above the will of individuals.

    also the following is not true:

    “ Essentially, time stopped there, they do not have their history, and do not suppose to have. I do not know and cannot imagine a great poet or artist or philosopher or scholar or scientist could appear within that sort of group, and continue to leave among them.”

    anthropologists have documented again and again that tribal people
    have a incredible tradition in keeping their history (oral way)
    over many more generations than people in todays societies.
    Ask some history questions in the USA for example
    for example how long slavery was considered to be normal
    or the death penalty (despite “you shall not kill”) etc.

    see above. I feel that it is in fact the contrary.. the modern or past christian societies
    are examples of totalitarian societies in different strength.
    Take the woman right for contraception of abortian (pill) for example
    “ Essentially, it is a totalitarian world, negating creativity.”

    Woman in traditional societies knew what plants to eat for abortians..
    in christian societies they were killed as witches when telling other women these secrets.
    (in fact I would call them scientists)

    michael

  7. Alexey Burov says:

    Hello Michael,

    First of all, I do not consider myself an expert in tribal sociology. I know some facts, definitely not sufficient. I also have a certain understanding, which may change with a better knowledge. That is why I would prefer rather hear than tell about that. Moreover, I did not touch this theme in my talk.
    Still things what I know allows me at least formulate a question.

    As I understand, we are talking about a tribal life as a possible social structure for the future of (European) civilization. If so, I expressed my concerns about this project, which looks for me as a possible next totalitarian idea. I tried to show, why I have these concerns. I am not saying that this idea is wrong, I can suppose that there may be some good things in that. At the same time, I’d like to show that I see possible seeds of evil there. May be, my concerns are 100% wrong – but I would prefer to see that from a careful, high-quality, non-ideological analysis of those who understand my point. Any analysis of that sort has to learn very well the existing experience of the tribal life within European civilization for the last couple of centuries at least. Not being an expert, I know just a bit about Amish tribes and about similar groups in US and Russia before the revolution. I expressed you briefly my knowledge and my understanding about them. My concern is about liberty, private freedom – freedom to to think differently about the world, than your community, freedom to love and hate different things, freedom to invent strange artistic styles, freedom to start your own business and be its real owner, and so on. This freedom was gradually developed by Western civilization, and up to now does not exist at this scale anywhere outside the West. To me, born in other civilization, an extremely high value of that western fruit is more than obvious. As far as I know tribal experience within european civilization, all tribes either did not stay long or were totalitarian. I would appreciate if somebody would show me a counter-example. Of course anthropologists have a lot to tell us about archaic tribal culture. After all, all archaic culture was tribal, and I am sure there were many good things in tribal life – ecological balance, for instance. But I do not know and cannot imagine a liberal tribe, neither now, nor in the past.

    As to your criticism of the sins of historical Christianity – I could add much more. Christianity has its own big experience of totalitarian states, for instance. But it is not limited to that tradition; it also has an opposite tradition – starting schools and universities, supporting sciences and arts, and more recently – being a core of anti-totalitarian resistance in some communist states. I am far from saying that we have to copy some Christian experience. My main point is not social, but personal: to do my best in helping people to think about eternity. To me, this is a highest value, requiring liberty.

  8. Michael says:

    Hi Alexey,
    thanks for the clarification.
    But, I think we still have some misunderstanding.

    Before we can try to figure out a (theoretical) solution or imagine how the future
    of our societies will look like, after we have managed in a scientific inspired
    way to deplete all required resources from Europe and from the rest of the planet,
    we need first to figure out how we came into such hopeless situation.

    this is why we should not yet discuss this.
    “As I understand, we are talking about a tribal life as a possible social structure for the future of (European) civilization.”

    after potentially we agree that our technofix scientific like culture leads to total destruction
    or suicide one can think about alternatives. But in my view it is abuse of
    science and the scientific method.

    For the future options .. yes, i share that all possible options do not look to encouraging
    especially with 7 and more billion people living with a largely destroyed ecosystem
    thanks to among other things what you pointed out in your talk and writings.

    concerning:
    “If so, I expressed my concerns about this project, which looks for me as a possible next totalitarian idea.”

    the christian like dominated planet didn’t look different to what you describe above.

    again.. lets first understand / discuss our position within the existing ecosystem and the
    role of science and “religion” or better as you call it combined the “duoverse”
    “ I tried to show, why I have these concerns. I am not saying that this idea is wrong, I can suppose that there may be some good things in that. ”
    michael

  9. Alexey Burov says:

    Hello Michael,

    To avoid misunderstanding. I’d like to make one more remark. When I am saying about Christian faith, I do not mean one or another of its special social form in history. There are many of these forms, and more can come. The center of Christianity is not social life, but personal relations of man and God. Social implementation may change a lot, and still it would be Christianity. One specific Christian church can support autocracy and suppress liberty, while another may be very liberal. My own vision of true Christianity is that it is incompatible with suppression of liberty, but historically it happened a lot, although an opposite tendency played a great role as well. I do not think that it is methodologically good to compare Christianity with tribal experience, it would be a comparison between apples and birds or so. Christianity can exist in many social forms, tribal life included. What I am sure, that any serious thinking about social future has to care a lot about understanding of true history – what is spiritual history. We would be blind without understanding of most important teachings of our civilization – from Plato to Marx.

  10. Michael says:

    Hi,

    I am a little puzzled, for the “mystical” part of the duoverse you imagine only one
    option with a christian god (defined in the bible?) and refuse all other mystical options.

    This seems to be a strong contradiction to what you call “liberty” etc.

    Now, a dogmatic marxist/atheist would probably reply that the “scientific” universe allows for
    a large number of views as well and the Stalin like ones are similar to the
    ones the christian dominated world practiced during the last thousands of years.
    And, the next round of marxist / socialist etc rulers will learn from all the errors in the past
    like the fractions of christianity you mention.

    For me, believing to be certainly much more close to the scientific mystical view
    which I would explain like.. the mystical approach (which I do not really know what it means)
    tries to unify/realize the universal “connections”.

    Thus the gaia hypothesis: as described on wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis
    The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.

    there is much more..

    michael

  11. Alexey Burov says:

    Dear Michael,

    in my talk I tried to consider essential features of the worldview with impersonal reason and chaos as its two fundamental principles. In this worldview, a person of God is rejected, and as a consequence, human person falls into nothing. My point was not theological, but metaphysical – about rejection of personal God from the worldview. How reasonable is that rejection? This level of consideration is very abstract, and does not touch any difference between visions of the Creator. It does not make any sense to talk about Christianity, if a principle of a personal Creator – common to Platonic, Stoic, Jewish, Christian, Muslim and some Indian worldviews is rejected. My talk was about that principle.

  12. Michael says:

    I am still confused about your view. There seems to be a contradiction
    in your latest reply with the one before:

    “I do not think that it is methodologically good to compare Christianity with tribal experience, it would be a comparison between apples and birds or so.”

    now, it seems you accept a general Creator, no matter what the color of this
    “bird or apple has”.

    and
    “Christianity can exist in many social forms, tribal life included.”

    So the word Christianity is kind of reserved for just one color.

    “What I am sure, that any serious thinking about social future has to care a lot about understanding of true history – what is spiritual history. ”

    We seem to agree on this important aspect.

    “We would be blind without understanding of most important teachings of our civilization – from Plato to Marx.”

    But even with understanding their teaching about “our” civilization
    we might be blind (and probably are!) about the foundation of
    what we call civilization and science.

    Thus, for me .. the (trivial?) “discovery of the limited size” of our planet and its
    resources means the end of the current civilization which functions only because
    of never ending growth of using “things”.

    Thus, we need to rethink old teachings about the limits and connections of
    our species with the rest of the environment.

  13. Alexey Burov says:

    Hi Michael,
    In my talk I compared two worldviews: the spinoziam duoverse and the monotheistic, both taken in very abstract aspect. The framework of my talk requires discussion of monotheism, not the Christianity. I tried to excite people thinking at that big scale, describing the spiritual alternatives instead of trying to convince or describe my convictions. Essentially, I followed the Nietzsche diagnosis “God is dead”, telling who, how and why killed God, about consequences of that, personal importance and possible personal solutions. One of my favorite articles in this matter is Heidegger’s “Nietzsche’s Word: God is Dead”
    http://ia700509.us.archive.org/2/items/HeideggerNietzschesWordgodIsDead./Heidegger-NietzschesWordgodIsDead.pdf
    which I would recommend to those who wish learning more about that. A huge variety of questions about differences between monotheistic religions, about their historical realizations lie outside of my talk.

  14. Alexey Burov says:

    I am not sure, that I clearly told what I call as monotheism.
    Monotheism, as I use this term, is a worldview, where it is true that:
    1. World Creator is a Person
    2. Human minds and souls origin in a seed of the Creator’s Mind and Soul. In that sense, we are His kids.

    In that sense, Platonism, Stoicism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, some of Indian teachings are monotheistic.

  15. concernclub says:

    Dear Alexey,

    ok, so if I understand correctly in principle we agree somehow
    that the duoverse is discussing “monotheism” and atheism only
    but we have a third line .. lets call it perhaps very generally “animism”
    (i do not like that word but it does not matter really) or perhaps better
    a broad spiritualism which takes into account the soul of the entire
    biosphere (like in the Gaya hypothesis perhaps)

    So, a broader discussion needs to consider this as a third alternative.

    In judging one could perhaps argue that

    monotheism like atheism in their most radical cruel interpretation
    results in mass murder and total destruction of our life support system.
    (the destruction can be explained easily within the context of
    never ending progress which is included in the marxist or christian
    based society in which we live today .. “the growth and domination by humans
    of the rest ..”

    I do not see that adherents of the Gaya hypothesis
    results in anything similar.

    So, with this third option you have an interesting alternative

    the spiritual part which you observe as missing in todays world
    the scientific approach towards evolution and ecosystems etc
    as well the equality of our species and the long term sustainability
    law .. required to survive.

  16. Alexey Burov says:

    Dear Michael,

    I agree about big importance of ecological problems, but I do not think they are fundamental ones. When people are trying to solve some special problems, losing fundamental ones, the results are poor. This Gaia teaching shows to me all the features of mixture of poor religion with poor science with seeds of totalitarian ideology. I call it a poor religion because it neglects eternity. Monotheistic religions discovered us as kids of the transcendental Creator, Who is a Master of eternity and infinities. This Gaia teaching is bringing us back to idolatry. When a special good transforms to an ultimate value, it shows its evil sides. It is true for any special good – family, justice, truth, life, etc. The ultimate position is for the God only. I could even suppose that this teaching could lead to solving ecological problems – requiring, however, to sell our ultimate birthright for a mess of pottage. Of course, pottage is important, but still the birthright is not to be lost. Our birthright assumes spiritual freedom, negated by totalitarian teachings. The spiritual freedom becomes possible due to the rule of law and strength of the private property. Of course, nothing is perfect in this life, but we should see where evil is going from. Does it go from the evil side of the dominant worldview, or does it go from human weakness? Up to now, there is no other form of social life, which would suggest space for freedom even comparable with Western civilization. This space was endangered in the past and I am sure is going to be endangered in the future. But all the best things West has in its possession, compared to other civilizations, are related to its devotion to liberty. The main danger to that lies in totalitarian teachings, appealing for justice, will of people, power of the state, triumph of a single right religion. Currently I see the most danger for the Europe as coming from Islam and socialism. Ecological teachings may contribute as well.

  17. concernclub says:

    Dear Alexey,
    you raise many points and claim that what I call misconceptions of the now dominant
    culture is the only way to go. And with a certain logic, is this culture drives and
    millions of other species into extinction (the apocalypse writings in the bible),
    that this might be ok as the Creator wanted it to be like that.

    When you write:
    “I agree about big importance of ecological problems, but I do not think they are fundamental ones.”

    It means in fact that we totally disagree about the dimensions of the ecological problems.

    Before answering more in detail, perhaps we could agree that your duoverse
    is neglecting the third option. The one our species lived through over more than 95%
    of its existence. The 5% one calls today history (since 5k years or so) are nothing
    than a little (destructive) moment in real human history.

    but back to your vision (which fails the basic understanding of the third option in my view).

    “When people are trying to solve some special problems, losing fundamental ones, the results are poor. This Gaia teaching shows to me all the features of mixture of poor religion with poor science with seeds of totalitarian ideology.”

    In the contrary, real science shows more and more that this is what it is
    and that the laws of nature act, no matter if we like them or not.
    This has nothing with totalitarian ideology.

    We can not fly (without technical tools) that is a fact which limits our freedom
    if you want to call it like that. I consider this as absurd however and I am sure you do
    yourself as well.

    “ I call it a poor religion because it neglects eternity. ”

    Well, one could argue about that. But, the meaning of “sustainability” of a
    ecosystem is closely related to eternity.

    In contrast to the unsustainable way of living promoted by the “western” culture.
    Unsustainable means = ignoring eternity

    “Monotheistic religions discovered us as kids of the transcendental Creator, Who is a Master of eternity and infinities.”

    Well, I have a problem with the scientific word “discovering”.

    “This Gaia teaching is bringing us back to idolatry. When a special good transforms to an ultimate value, it shows its evil sides. It is true for any special good – family, justice, truth, life, etc. The ultimate position is for the God only. I could even suppose that this teaching could lead to solving ecological problems – requiring,”

    I do not understand what you are trying to say with the above!

    but I strongly object to:

    “ however, to sell our ultimate birthright for a mess of pottage.”

    what you consider the “birthright” of humans of a dominating culture.
    This is what in fact is “totalitarian ideology”.

    “Of course, pottage is important, but still the birthright is not to be lost. Our birthright assumes spiritual freedom, negated by totalitarian teachings. ”

    no, absolutely not. The teaching of Gaia etc is just telling us about our
    limits and yes, if you want obligations to accept living within these limits.
    But it is like with our inability to fly! just how things are!
    For a short time we can fly a plane.. but only until the tank runs dry
    and we die.

    “The spiritual freedom becomes possible due to the rule of law and strength of the private property.”

    Well, another important point where we totally seem to disagree.
    The private property and the laws made by the elite to keep this for themselves
    is the real origin of the mess we are in (in my view).

    “Of course, nothing is perfect in this life, but we should see where evil is going from. Does it go from the evil side of the dominant worldview, or does it go from human weakness?”

    yes, that is what I expressed above. The idea of being superior is what
    is the reason for the problems (or if you like to call it “evil” fine with me but I do not like this word really.)

    “Up to now, there is no other form of social life, which would suggest space for freedom even comparable with Western civilization. ”

    Well, as we discussed already.. Western civilization as we know it today can function only
    because the to unsustainable exploitation of the natural capital and by this its total
    destruction. This stands for the idea that we live as if there would be no tomorrow
    and no other people/cultures and other living beings.
    In fact it is this view which leads to people like Stalin and Hitler and a like
    which our western culture produced.

    How many cultures have we already exterminated?

    “This space was endangered in the past and I am sure is going to be endangered in the future. But all the best things West has in its possession, compared to other civilizations, are related to its devotion to liberty.”

    You mean the liberty of private property and its maximization, no matter
    how many people have to be enslaved and die?

    Not really a model supported by the teaching of Jesus for example.

    “The main danger to that lies in totalitarian teachings, appealing for justice, will of people, power of the state, triumph of a single right religion.”

    The main danger today? I am lost, what are you trying to say?

    “Currently I see the most danger for the Europe as coming from Islam and socialism. ”

    Lets look at what Europe and its culture did and is doing to the planet and the other humans.
    You know, the suicidal culture we are in today will kill itself..
    the only hope seems to be that this unsustainable culture will disappear before
    it has destroyed the rest of the things around.

    “Ecological teachings may contribute as well.”

    You might be right, teaching about the ecological limitations and the understanding that
    this culture is destructive and suicidal is certainly a danger for the
    dominating culture.

    Lets hope that the ecological teaching about the limits will be sufficient
    to stop the total destruction.

    Yes, at some point one needs to choose but let me end with the great words of
    Chief Joseph

    • Alexey Burov says:

      Dear Michael,
      The mountain of cognition is so huge, that most likely two hikers occasionally met on its slope would have a hard time to understand each other. That is why, I am not saying that my vision is an only one possible for other people, but I may try to explain what good I see in one case and what wrong in another. Respecting human differences, I may only hope that some of my findings could be useful. I tried to show why I see as very important the fundamental values of the western civilization, grown from monotheistic worldview. I tried also to show that there is a contradiction between the value of personality and collectivistic goods, so we have to be in continuous hard process of finding the best balanced solution. I do not know how to do that. But I do know that both personal and collectivistic values are important. I do know that it is important to see and appreciate all the contradicting goods. Inability to do that is fanaticism. And I do know that any specific good, being idolized, or worshiped as the ultimate one, would lead to a catastrophe.

  18. concernclub says:

    Hi Alexey,

    yes, right I think you managed well to put the finger on some interesting fundamental problems of
    our so called only civilization. But, in my view by putting humans on a special scale
    (and especially the present humans of our dominant civilization) you forget about
    other cultures and future cultures and the requirement that even the most intelligent
    being (from our species and whatever intelligence means in this respect )
    “can not live without a functioning environment, while the environment can live without it”

    when you say
    “That is why, I am not saying that my vision is an only one possible for other people, but I may try to explain what good I see in one case and what wrong in another. Respecting human differences, I may only hope that some of my findings could be useful. ”

    doesn’t this mean that other options than the two you discussed in your talk
    need to be considered as well?

    So far, the history of our dominant culture has just done the opposite
    (no matter by what background ideology)
    destroying other cultures by genocide.

    look what happened to the natives of the americas.

    • Alexey Burov says:

      Dear Michael,
      In my talk I considered just one problem – how scientific cognition influences our relation to the essence of Being? I tried to show that this influence is very strong and in a certain sense blinding, leading to self-negation and Duoverse state. This blindness makes people unable to ask the most fundamental and personally important questions – first of all, about existence of God and their personal relations to Him. The question is about true existence of God, Super-Personal Creator of the World. Relation between the Creator and impersonal Reason was a central problem for Platonics, scholastic philosophers, Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza. In contemporary culture this question does not exist, and when occasionally appears, almost nobody understands and cares about its meaning. I tried to tell how this blindness happen, what were the consequences and is it fatal or not. I think this question is big and important to be considered for its own sake, not confusing it with ecology, justice, politics, multiple cultures, etc. Any historical or social data can be discussed, of course – but, in this context, only for the sake of this central problem. We would not be able to develop any application of electricity, if the electromagnetic theory were not of deep interest per se, without any relations to politics, justice and ecology. Although the questions you are asking are indeed very interesting and important, and I would be glad to discuss them more, I think I have to prevent my main point from confusion and overshadowing with other things.

  19. Michael says:

    Hi Alexey,

    well i think the problem I (and perhaps others) have with your view
    is just that it is too focussed on things which were more discussed a few hundred years
    ago. Some of them are certainly very important today but some other aspects
    need to be considered today. We learned (if we want at least) some more things since
    that time.

    So, if we want to have a fundamental discussion today these new aspects need to be included.
    They do not confuse the problem but in fact appear to be essential to understand our
    human relations with the rest of the universe, including what one often calls mystic
    unprovable aspects.

    michael

    • Alexey Burov says:

      Hello Michael,

      I think it is impossible to see where we are now, if we do not see the historical way of thought lead us here. Within the limits of a talk, I tried to answer this question from the metaphysical position. Of course, this answer was doomed to be too short and too incomplete. Problems of metaphysics are eternal, they cannot be resolved once and forever. However, the very attention to them is extremely important both for themselves and their consequences. These problems are almost forgotten by contemporary scientistic culture – and I tried to attract attention to them. Starting from Plato and Plotinus, I came to Descartes, Spinoza, Darwin, Nietzsche, Einstein, Russell and Heidegger. Then I gave and explained my own diagnosis of the current epoch as the Duoverse. So, moving within metaphysics, I came to the contemporary situation. I would appreciate any additional considerations of the metaphysical issues grounded on the recent experience, and I myself looking for that very much. No doubt that ecological problems are leading us to so serious ordeals, that the very existence of the cornerstones of the western civilization in some near future is questionable. However, the manner how somebody is dealing and going to deal with these and other special problems significantly depends on his relation with metaphysics.

  20. Alexey Burov says:

    PS
    I see as a main problem of contemporary Western culture that educated people mostly do not consider metaphysics as important for them personally.

  21. Michael says:

    Hi Alexey,
    as you write:

    “I think it is impossible to see where we are now, if we do not see the historical way of thought lead us here. ”

    absolutely, but I must add that it is not only the way of thought but also
    the way of acting.

    So, I would say an analysis of today’s situation requires
    first “a status quo evaluation” and next the thinking about what has brought us
    into the current mess.

    If one concludes that today everything is fine and better than it ever was
    (which most people in our culture claim) than basically everything is fine.

    However, everyday experience and also “science” tells us that
    this is not the case.
    You point out that we are missing in our culture the mystic part which we gave in
    for what “our culture calls science and technology”.

    I do more point to the “scientific method of looking at the data”
    which first tells us we are in a mess and secondly explains why we are in this mess
    (because never ending growth on a finite planet is impossible).

    When we look for the historic reasons on how we reached to todays messy situation
    you seem to indicate (that is what I understand)
    that the “marriage” of science and christian mystic is required.

    I disagree with that view, as I believe the growth and human domination over the rest of
    the universe is included in the christian mystic (the beginning of the bible) and
    my understanding tells me that it is this idea of superiority which is the problem
    (motivated by mystics or by science).

    I think that is our major difference of thought.

    So, I guess you need to explain me how to end the “domination” view
    within science or christian mystic or both.

    Or, how this view can solve the problems we are facing today
    created by this view.

    michael

    • Alexey Burov says:

      Dear Michael,
      I am glad you found a very good expression of my views as “the marriage of science and christian mystic is required” – many thanks. You and I have the same understanding of what is science – at least the superficial level, but it seems that we have very different visions of the Christian mystic. In a particular, I do not see any ground for the following of your statements:

      “I believe the growth and human domination over the rest of the universe is included in the christian mystic (the beginning of the bible) and my understanding tells me that it is this idea of superiority which is the problem (motivated by mystics or by science). ”

      No question that superiority of humans is embedded for all monotheistic religions (in a sense of monotheism I described earlier), Christianity included. But you will never find this superiority as an approval of careless consumption. Just in the opposite – consumption was always considered by Christianity as something to be strongly tempered and tamed. At the very core of Christianity you see an ascetic ideal. Consumption, which exceeds necessity, has been always considered as a sin. The human superiority has been traditionally understood not as a right for careless consumption, but as our specific responsibility. That is, by the way, what ecologists are appealing for – to be responsible. For Christians, there is a big reason for being responsible – the Earth with all its treasures and beauties was created by our Farther, and is given for us in our responsible use, for our spiritual growth. We are responsible to Him – this is the highest thinkable level of responsibility. For Christians, ecological problems are resulting from human sins.

  22. Michael says:

    Hi,

    glad that you like my expression about your
    worldview “the marriage of science and christian mystic is required”

    concerning the rest, yes I know that the view you express, one
    might call “christian ecology” is part of many christian activist
    who say “enough destruction of our life support system”,
    So do many scientists and even some communists (whatever this is supposed to stand for).

    The problem is that neither christian nor technology (nor science)
    dominated economies remember such things but instead
    claim that infinite growth is possible (so god will) and that in any case
    destiny is expressed in the Apocalypse..

    michael
    ps..
    What I was referring to was however the beginning of the bible:

    The Sixth Day
    1:26 God said, ‘Let us make man with our image and likeness. Let him dominate the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock animals, and all the earth – and every land animal that walks the earth.’
    1:27 God [thus] created man with His image. In the image of God, He created him, male and female He created them.
    1:28 God blessed them. God said to them, ‘Be fertile and become many. Fill the land and conquer it. Dominate the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every beast that walks the land.
    1:29 God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every seedbearing plant on the face of the earth, and every tree that has seedbearing fruit. It shall be to you for food.
    1:30 For every beast of the field, every bird of the sky, and everything that walks the land, that has in it a living soul, all plant vegetation shall be food.’ It remained that way.

    • Alexey Burov says:

      “The problem is that neither christian nor technology (nor science) dominated economies remember such things but instead claim that infinite growth is possible”

      This statement sounds strange for me, Michael. Could you give me any reference for Christian claim of infinite growth?

      As to your Bible citation, I already wrote that this dominance has been never considered as a right to do whatever you want. Christianity can be blamed and was blamed for centuries for its suppression of human desires – and there is a truth in this blame. But to blame it for the opposite is something strange. If you will insist on your statement, I would ask a reference, because it contradicts to all what I know about Christianity.

  23. Michael says:

    ok,

    may be I should have written
    “christian nor technology (nor science) dominated economies (cultures) remember such things but instead behave like (not claim even though many do!)
    that infinite growth is possible”

    For references .. you just need to look at what christian or technology
    claiming economists and politicians say every day in the news..
    (how to terminate the financial crisis for example? with growth..)

    “If you will insist on your statement” yes.. I look around in our western culture
    and this is what I see. If another oil well or whatever mine is required in a nature preserve
    christian and technology enlightened elite people claim that we can not stop
    our current path ..

    Look at the talking and inaction about the co2 problem.

    “I would ask a reference, because it contradicts to all what I know about Christianity.”

    Well, you represent most likely a small minority of this group which thinks differently.

    But, our western culture is just taking the first parts of the bible
    and does it (the non christian marxists do (actually the do not anymore because they are not
    in charge anymore) and believe the same by the way.).

    But, perhaps you could agree with me when observing from far away
    that our Western culture (christian or not) did and does just this:

    ‘Be fertile and become many. Fill the land and conquer it. Dominate the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every beast that walks the land.

    small scale cultures did not and have a different philosophy towards their surrounding.
    That is why I make the point about the trioverse and the Gaya philosophy
    and why the historical duoverse idea is outdated.

    There is more in philosophy than the western culture allows.

    That is my view of course.

    • Alexey Burov says:

      “For references .. you just need to look at what christian or technology claiming economists and politicians say every day in the news.. (how to terminate the financial crisis for example? with growth..)”

      If somebody wants to know something about physics, he should probably ask physicist. It would be strange to ask economists or politicians in this case. The same is correct for Christian point of view, I think. For that purpose you have to use words of Christian leaders. I would be very surprised if you will find any message of any Pope, or great preacher appealing for the careless consumption, or infinite economy growth.

      However, I still see, Michael, that we are talking about different levels of Being. My concept of Duoverse is not description of choice, but description of dominating spiritual reality, consisting of two internally hostile spheres, the sphere of impersonal universal reason and the sphere of all personally important, the meaning of life, the values and sacraments, with all their mutual contradictions: ecological values, values of progress, art, science, family – all thinkable values. Duoverse was formed in XVII – XIX centuries and is currently dominating set of mind. This is one of my core statements, and if you either disagree with that diagnosis or considering it not so important, then we are missing the core of my talk.

      There are a lot of proposals to overcome this inner conflict of the european culture. I tried to show that the ultimate problem is to win over infinities and abyss. In other words, to defeat the death – which has nothing to do with making lifetime of Earth as long as possible. Ecology is not an issue for this aspect, since ecological problems are about temporal world. Your problem is – how to made people ecologically responsible. I agree that the problem is important. But my level – what I see as the most fundamental – is “not of this world”.

  24. Michael says:

    Hi Alexey,
    you raise several interesting thoughts.

    “If somebody wants to know something about physics, he should probably ask physicist.”
    I would say it depends on what level you want to know details.

    Take as an example.. to know about the wrong criminal acts of Stalin and Hitler
    and colonialism .. I do not have to aks the admires of the ideology

    I can just ask the victims.
    However in order to make a process about the ones being guilty of crimes
    yes, one should interrogate the criminals and their followers.

    Concerning the idea of infinite growth imbedded in different philosophical views,
    I think it is enough to follow the actions of the different elite people.

    but yes, one can find such statements from time to time.
    I remember a priest in Germany who defended transformation of
    food into biofuel even if we have starving people not far away.
    Priest which help soldiers before going into their final battle
    are also common.

    “Duoverse was formed in XVII – XIX centuries and is currently dominating set of mind. This is one of my core statements, and if you either disagree with that diagnosis or considering it not so important, then we are missing the core of my talk.”

    Yes, I understood this, but the problem I have with it is that many more informations
    are available since that time and that an up-to-date discussion needs to include this
    information.

    You too include the outcome of the “marxist-stalinist” technocrats in judging
    the one side of the duoverse ..

    Thus, why not including the ecological catastrophe developing while we are discussing
    today?

    “Your problem is – how to made people ecologically responsible. I agree that the problem is important. But my level – what I see as the most fundamental – is “not of this world”.

    Well, not really, my problem is that I see that all existing dominant western philosophies
    are leading directly and with almost open eyes into the abyss.

    So, looking for a view different from the “black and white” might perhaps lead to a deeper
    understanding.

    Also, I have a hard time to look into things “not of this world” which I even do not
    understand or have access to,
    while there are plenty of important problems within this world.

    regards

    Michael

    • Alexey Burov says:

      Hello Michael,

      I think I have to thank you for this discussion, since it seems to me that we already expressed the most important statements – unless you wanted to add something. Hopefully, it was somehow useful for you. For me it was an interesting experience – many thanks!

      Alexey.

  25. Michael says:

    Hi Alexey,

    I agree, and yes I think we exchanged a lot of interesting thoughts.
    Pity that no one else participated ..
    Anyway lets think for a while, look for new results and do some hypothesis testing
    about our exchange and discuss again some time in the future about these ideas

    (and of course about other topics when we have occasions to chat)

    michael

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