prior to the Meta-Analysis on Skepticism and Cynicism (#1273)
Also see other excerpts from my discussions with the Society for Scientific Exploration.
Regarding argument between L & P:
What an interesting clash of paradigms! I won't be drawn into the argument directly but I think some meta-analysis would be useful. I'm only interested in this discussion on the level of a clash of paradigms.
You both seem like very intelligent and commited people - your hearts are in it but there are fundamental 'knots' in this exchange of ideas. Simply pushing harder from either side will get you nowhere. But if you step back and look at things from a 'meta' level and try to understand where and why you differ so completely - then perhaps you may both learn something profound.
However so far the only profound comment I recall from the exchange is "I don't think our minds are going to meet entirely". But if you can both get a glimpse of where the other is coming from you may really learn something rather than just misunderstand each other and throw arguments about until you are both burried under a mound of misunderstandings.
Don't be too quick to judge what the other is saying, these are extremely subtle issues and any preconceptions will only lead to growing confusion. I trust that you are both open to the possibility of learning something from your differences.
I'm no expert on anything at all but I feel inspired to step in here, God know's why, but here I am. I have printed out the exchange so far for deeper analysis and will get back to you sometime in the coming days. In the meantime I have two comments to make off the top of my head, one for each of you.
Spirituality is THE most subtle and misunderstood issue of all time, and it has been corupted and abused by materialist agendas and turned into political regimes which masquerade as 'religions'. Don't let these perversions blind you. Take a materialist approach by all means but understand that it too is a belief system. Have a look at my first posting #1207
By talking about spirituality P is saying we need a deep adjustment in the way we relate with the world, the way we interpret our experiences and thereby construct our understanding of the world. He's not talking about adding a new commandment to some religion - he's talking about a profound shift in our concept of "being in the world". Call it philosophy/metaphysics if the world spirituality stirs up too many inapropriate associations for you. True spirituality is a deep relationship with your 'self' and the cosmos whereas corrupt religion is a relationship with a dogma and a hierarchy of 'others'.
In my humble opinion your approach is too mind oriented, centralised and controlling, it lacks trust in the overall flow of the world. Lajos is right to disagree with many of your specific measures. Just as there is no system of laws and statutes and lists of priorities that maintain the health of your body, so too our global health cannot be attained in that way. They serve their purpose but there are deeper forces at work. In this context Lajos is saying we need to recognise and work with the natural metabolic processes of society. But I think he is wrong to suggest that these very metabolic processes (e.g. war)are 'healthy' and are not in need of change. Your approach is like that of a surgeon or allopathic doctor and L's approach is like that of a person who adjusts to pain and dysfunction and comes to consider it 'normal', whereas we need a naturopath in this case. The problem is not localised and mechanistically simple, and it can only be ignored at our peril, it is a systemic and holistic dis-ease, it may just be birth pains (civilisation is the baby and the planet is the womb) or it may be a dysfunction but we need to prepare ourselves for it whatever it is. We need a more systemic and holistic approach.
Perhaps we need a deep cultural change that brings us each into a more harmonious relationship with the world and works upward from there. Each cell of the global organism needs to realign with the holistic metabolic processes and to stop struggling in perceived isolation. The metabolic process based on isolated struggle worked sufficiently for a while, whilst the world was vast, we were few, resources were plentiful and our power was small. But as the world rapidly shrinks and we explode in number and power we soon start to realise that we are not separate, that was just an illusion. We are all bound together in a vast web of life and by struggling with the 'other' we only struggle with ourselves. This realisation of connectedness needs to be experienced by each of us before we begin to act in more cooperative ways, only then will the rampant destruction come to an end. In this endeavour true spirituality (not corupted religion) can play a vital role.
For more info on the overall metaphysical context described in msg
#1207 and elsewhere see:
For more info on the analogy of an organism as a civilisation and
civilisation as an organism