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That was pretty terrible right from the beginning, and I had hoped it was maybe just some guy, who maybe took an intro philosophy class, who made a video about his naive views on the appearance reality distinction - much like that misinformed imagining the tenth dimension video. But, no, it becomes this atrocious plug for Kabbalah.
You seem like a very happy man, sordavie... noticed a trend in your posts. Now that you bashed the ideas and Kabbalah all together, I'd like to hear your argument or experience to be so quick at shooting it down. Have you read the site? It's not pushing the Kabbalah as mysticism or occult or any of the many "misconceptions" it has been associated with.
They've actually taken a more scientific and traditional teaching view on the Kabbalah. From before known dated religions. Read at http://www.arionline.info before you assume it is another off-shoot of what Kabbalah truly is, please. And then I'd like to hear your opinions.
kab·ba·lah or kab·ba·la or ka·ba·la also ca·ba·la or qa·ba·la or qa·ba·lah (kb-l, k-bäl)
1. often Kabbalah A body of mystical teachings of rabbinical origin, often based on an esoteric interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.
The presenter clearly states it is not a religion, yet it is defined as one, except where they refer to it as a cult, so take your pick.
He did not inform me on anything revolutionary or enlightening. I felt that I got better definition from the Matrix movie when Morpheus first introduced Neo to what the reality they lived in.
As for me, I will stick with the enlightenment I receive from a really good bottle of whiskey and a fine cigar!! :)
"The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws." -Machiavelli
Haha, I thought of the Matrix as well; which actually used many popular theories in such esoteric and occult teachings as allegories in that movie. Fun to go back and watch it again and find so many hidden meanings. Makes the movie much more entertaining to me.
I just found the content on the websites on the Kabbalah very interesting to read and ponder. Thought some others would find it to be as well. It's not for everyone's tastes though.
You got that right, I am quite happy. Thanks for noticing. Nobody chooses academic philosophy as their profession unless they enjoy critical thinking and the like - it's certainly not for the money. Thinking about arguments about what reality is like is my job, and I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it.
What arguments or considered opinions would you like to hear of mine?
Here's an easy start: There isn't any science going on there. This guy is being disingenuous in using the word 'science' to describe what's going on.
Here's an analytic argument for this opinion: Science by definition studies only the physical world. That's due to the way the scientific method works and science is defined by its method. This guy claims that we can know what reality is like outside of the physical world through certain teachings or whatever. By definition, these teachings or whatever cannot be based on science.
Here's another: The idea presented in the video about similarity relations being the analogous to the spatial relationship of closeness or distance can't be right.
note: It's actually hard to tell exactly what he's getting at because he says that in the nonphysical world there are no distinct things. But then he goes on a few seconds later to posit the thesis that if things in the nonphysical world are similar then they are close and if they are dissimilar then they are distant. And if they are completely similar then they are "bonded" together. Of course this is an inconsistency because unless you have distinct things there can't be any relationship of dissimilarity between different things. And if you don't have distinct things you can't have "bonded" things. So, that's another problem. Perhaps he's making use of some distinction between 'object' and 'thing', which will help the immediate inconsistency, but gives rise to other inconsistencies; but it doesn't matter for the purposes of the argument below.
Anyway, here's the argument: There are no such thing as objective similarity. Similarity is context sensitive. Distinct things may be similar in certain respects and not others. But there is no similarity simpliciter. Whether the claim that something similar to another is true depends on the context in which the claim of similarity is made. The claim that A and B are similar is really elliptical. It's the claim that A and B are similar in some salient respect. This is why those SAT analogy questions gave you two sets of things, even though an analogy is a similarity relationship between two things. The first set of things given on an SAT analogy question sets the context for you to be able to answer the second set.
I don't think that this guy really wanted to make the claim that whether two things are close or distant is a context sensitive notion - that whether it's true that two things are close or distant is a matter of the context in which the statement is uttered. One of his mistakes is to not think deeply enough about what similarity is.
Ok, I understand you disapprove of his video. I believe it was merely to begin to make people think of the Kabbalah and check the actual teachings on the website. His use of the word "science" in respects to the spiritual world is more of a figure of speech. It is LIKE a "science of the spiritual world." As it begins to focus on the energy of the Upper Worlds, etc.
I'd love for you to go to these pages and tell me your opinions on what they are teaching, if you don't mind.
They all seem to point that Kabbalah was a common practice in the time of Abraham and Moses, before man-made religions were formed around books written by known Kabbalists (Bible, Quran, etc).. but taken literal and not in a Kabbalistic sense ("Kabbalists wrote all their texts in a special language: “the language of branches.” "). The "language of branches" being that reading a sentence in the Bible may be taken totally different. One way it can be about the literal, physical world. The other about the Upper World or spiritually. Thus "the language of branches" .. one is the root meaning, the other the branched meaning.
So practitioners of Kabbalah recognize that words can be written and read in a figurative manner? What's the big deal? You didn't know that?
Abraham is traditionally considered to have existed somewhere around 2000-1500 BCE, and Moses some few hundred years after that. There are many, many man-made religions far preceding 2000 BCE - in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia, everywhere! Even if Kabbalah did predate "man-made religions," so what? That doesn't give it any credibility. Historical humans knew far less about what reality is like than we do. What's so special about what some people long ago believed? I grant that it might be very fascinating in a historical, cultural, or sociological sense what they believed. But it's not very fascinating at all as a piece of evidence for what we should believe. It's just the nature of how humans accumulate knowledge. I'll never understand the idea that some ancient "knowings" are superior to what we know now. You don't see physicists yearning for the days of Democritus. They don't say things like "oh we should make use of ancient methods of science, because, those ancients, they knew way more than we do." Or "Let's call it a day guys. Thales argued that everything is made of water. He's an ancient and wise Greek, so that's good enough for me. Everything's made of water!"
What's the point in calling it a "science of the spiritual world" if it's not science? Is the point to make it sound epistemically safe? To make it sound credible? To make it sound like a method of rational inquiry? If so, that's pretty disingenuous.
Last edited by sordavie; 07-23-2009, 12:17 PM.
I don't know what you're asking by those questions. Half of the work in answering hard philosophical questions is in asking the right questions and being able to formulate them precisely. The other half is in being able to think critically about proposed answers.
"What is your philosophy, view, or belief on life" is far too vague and ambiguous a question to give an adequate answer to. My life? Your life? Our community? The human community? The concept of biological life? Life on Earth? Or what? What aspect of whatever you mean by 'life' do you want my philosophy, view, or beliefs on?
The second question is loaded. Asking what it's purpose is presumes that it (whatever that may be) has a purpose. And I still don't know what 'it' refers to, so I can't give an answer.