[Dump Thread] Javed Akhtar's stuff
#13
Jaggi Vasudev invokes the typical spiritual woo about "some knowledge being beyond logic and reason" and spirituality is about acquiring that knowledge. I love to imagine the following response to counter such thinking:

Imagine after Jaggi finishes saying his statement, Javed Akhtar goes into meditation pose. Does some breathing exercise and says "You are wrong!". And thats all. The obvious response would be why/how? And then Javed Akhtar would say "Why resort to logic now?".

That is the fundamental problem with people who claim that some knowledge can be beyond reason. How do we verify that the knowledge is correct? One has to use either evidence or logic to validate its worth. How else can one separate hallucinations from divine revelations?

It remains a fact that none of this spiritual gurus have provided one bit of knowledge that wasn't already known, or knowledge which can be verified. So its irrational to invoke such deepities.
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#14
Sorry for diverting this JA thread to JV thread.

Quote:How do we verify that the knowledge is correct? One has to use either evidence or logic to validate its worth.

Of course, but JV will give one of the two responses.

1) How can you trust the evidence that is gathered (senses can be duped) by fallible processes?
2) Or how can you trust the scientific method itself when it told us that gravity worked in the way Newton explained some 300 years ago but then changed the framework when Einstein came along?

JV knows that these responses are meaningless. But his job is to fool enough people to keep his cult going. Sad to say that he is great at this job.

Seriously, what will bring down orgs like Isha and AOL? I know there are excellent articles on Nirmutha.com exposing their lies and stupidity. But when you look at the comments section you find a lot of apologists for these orgs who simply don't change their views. It is frustrating.
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#15
(17-Nov-2012, 05:33 AM)Captain Mandrake Wrote: Of course, but JV will give one of the two responses.

1) How can you trust the evidence that is gathered (senses can be duped) by fallible processes?
2) Or how can you trust the scientific method itself when it told us that gravity worked in the way Newton explained some 300 years ago but then changed the framework when Einstein came along?

I find Stanovic's statements from "The Robot's Rebellion" very apt here. Copy pasting a paragraph that discusses about basically belief evaluation:

"I will argue that we can evaluate memes, albeit not in an absolute sense which guarantees success. Instead, we must engage in a process which displays
the same sort of provisionality as science itself—what might be called a Neurathian project of skeptical bootstrapping. Philosopher Otto Neurath (1932–33; see Quine 1960, 3–4) employed the metaphor of a boat which had some rotten planks. The best way to repair the planks would be to bring the boat ashore, stand on firm ground, and replace the planks. But what if the boat could not be brought ashore? Actually, the boat could still be repaired, but at some risk. We could repair the planks at sea by standing on some of the planks while repairing others. The project could work—we could repair the boat without being on the firm foundation of ground. The project is not guaranteed, however, because we might choose to stand on a rotten plank."
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#16
(17-Nov-2012, 05:37 AM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote: I find Stanovic's statements from "The Robot's Rebellion" very apt here. Copy pasting a paragraph that discusses about basically belief evaluation:

"I will argue that we can evaluate memes, albeit not in an absolute sense which guarantees success. Instead, we must engage in a process which displays
the same sort of provisionality as science itself—what might be called a Neurathian project of skeptical bootstrapping. Philosopher Otto Neurath (1932–33; see Quine 1960, 3–4) employed the metaphor of a boat which had some rotten planks. The best way to repair the planks would be to bring the boat ashore, stand on firm ground, and replace the planks. But what if the boat could not be brought ashore? Actually, the boat could still be repaired, but at some risk. We could repair the planks at sea by standing on some of the planks while repairing others. The project could work—we could repair the boat without being on the firm foundation of ground. The project is not guaranteed, however, because we might choose to stand on a rotten plank."

Thanks for that quote from "The Robot's Rebellion" . It is amazing. The advice in that boat metaphor is great for all kinds of problems.

I have added this book to my wish list. Ever since I joined Nirmukta the number of books in my wish list has grown dramatically.
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#17
(17-Nov-2012, 05:37 AM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote: I find Stanovic's statements from "The Robot's Rebellion" very apt here. Copy pasting a paragraph that discusses about basically belief evaluation:

"I will argue that we can evaluate memes, albeit not in an absolute sense which guarantees success. Instead, we must engage in a process which displays
the same sort of provisionality as science itself—what might be called a Neurathian project of skeptical bootstrapping. Philosopher Otto Neurath (1932–33; see Quine 1960, 3–4) employed the metaphor of a boat which had some rotten planks. The best way to repair the planks would be to bring the boat ashore, stand on firm ground, and replace the planks. But what if the boat could not be brought ashore? Actually, the boat could still be repaired, but at some risk. We could repair the planks at sea by standing on some of the planks while repairing others. The project could work—we could repair the boat without being on the firm foundation of ground. The project is not guaranteed, however, because we might choose to stand on a rotten plank."

A simple guide for meme evaluation with 'the same sort of provisionality as science itself' is outlined in the series 'Making beliefs pay rent' in the Less Wrong blog. Quoting from the series:

Quote:Every guess of belief should begin by flowing to a specific guess of anticipation, and should continue to pay rent in future anticipations. If a belief turns deadbeat, evict it.

Choosing 'vindicated anticipations' as the criterion for choosing planks to stand on, or beliefs to base worldviews on, trumps criteria such as convention or compactness. Feynman illustrates this by describing the opportunistic choice of 'planks' in 'Babylonian mathematics' vis-a-vis Greek mathematics where some planks are conventionally identified as foundational:




The Idealist, almost solipsist stance as the basis for belief, as Jaggi Vasudev and multitudes of his ilk adopt, meets criteria of convention via its adherence to formalisms and even compactness, since it can be stated simply as "The Self if all there is", but when it comes to the key test suggested above, no specific guess of anticipation flowing from this belief has been forthcoming, let alone vindicated.
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