Robertson's Science and Faith

I can’t hold out any longer; there is this irresistible urgeto weigh in on this “science and faith” discussion. What attracts me mainly, Ithink, is my suspicion that, as so often the case, when we debate questionslike these semantic misalignments have slithered silently into the discussion. Theissue over the op-ed journalist’s NYT article that even science requires anultimate step of faith—that the “laws of nature” discovered by experiment willcontinue to hold—are implicitly a step of faith has seemed to devolve into when we callsomething faith and when not. For example, are Rick and Martin really indisagreement over whether or not Rick can create and test models of variousphenomena without at some point assuming that: 1) the model is a totally validrepresentation of the essence of the phenomena in question; 2) that eachcontender can assume that his opponent perceives exactly what he perceives inapplying the same name (the name of the phenomenon) to his perceptions; 3) thatwhen the test of the model is over you can be sure that a future test will havethe same result?

From what I have seen so far I don’t have faith that I candecide firmly whether or not Rick and Martin are really in disagreement, oronly seem so because of holding different definitions of some of the terms,without awareness of that. Finally, if Rick has to make some assumptions in anyof the three issues described above, is that equivalent to saying he must havefaith about it, or is there a subtle difference between having faith aboutsomething, versus making assumptions about it?

{Damn, it’s at points like this that I most miss Phil’s abilityto cut through the semantic fogs.}

As to my own position: I’m asking myself why I feel thepressure to weigh in on this thread at all. I believe that I’m satisfied withmy position on the question and don’t have any interest in influencing what anyoneelse holds. I agree that an “Observer function” in myself reflects my awareness—orproduces my awareness—of implicitself-system conflict inherent in saying I’m satisfied with my (and everyoneelse’s) position and YET I feel pressure to say what I think. I know full wellthat either: No one will respond—in which case I expect to feel terrible; orsomeone will respond, in which case I can expect to find my position challenged. In that latter case I’m not likely to remain completelysatisfied. So, I seem to be looking for trouble either way.

I think a little of my history is relevant here, because Ibelieve (have faith -?) that one can come up with semantic misalignments withoneself in reorganizing a system-level concept and still unawaredly (pardon theneologism please) hang on to some treasured old memories of concepts that areinconsistent with one’s newer position.

I came upon my university education with a take on realitythat resembles Kenny’s, as far as I can judge. In the course of that educationI encountered ideas that I had never thought of on my own. On many scores Ifelt persuaded to change my views. After learning in anthropology courses thatso-called primitive societies all over the world have creation mythologies andhero-rescuer mythologies I came to wonder why I should give more credence tothe mythology of an ancient Hebrew tribe than any of the others. My son Pres,whose thinking is, I believe, rather similar to Kenny’s,told me that there areall kinds of internal tests of consistency that supports the judgments of thatgang of church fathers in 300 something AD who went through a bunch of oldwritings, deciding to keep some and throw out a lot of others. I guess theysaid that God told them which were TRUE and which were not. Well, I have aproblem when I compare what God is alleged to have told the faithful inLeviticus (about stoning women, keeping slaves, etc.) and what his son isalleged to have told the faithful about loving one another and treatingeverybody the way you would like them to treat you. Different human beings havesaid things like this throughout history, some claiming that they were sayingwhat God told them to say and others claiming their ideas were their own.

When I took the course in comparative religion and learnedthat through history, in many places priests pretty consistently found God telling the people to obey theking, I had an AHA reaction. It fitted with a view I already held about howbossy people will say anything to get others to do what they want—including subtlyassociating their own image with a higher one the people already revere. As oneof Mohammed’s wives is alleged to have said, it was remarkable how often Allahordered Mohammed to do what she knew that he (mo) wanted. It struck me the samethings happened with the clergy of Constantine, and Henry VIII ( to name a few),by referring to God as King, or Jesus as Lord. It has the unconscious effect(well known to the advertising industry) of “reverse association” whereby Royalty and Nobility get associated withthe divine in the consciousness of common people. The Jesus I knew from readingthe New Testament didn’t strike me as wanting to represent himself as any kindof “lord,” witness his remark about the “eye of the needle.”

And so it went. I decided that my judgment was as good asanyone else’s about whether God ever talked to anybody, or even existed in anykind of anthropoid form. Then I went further, referring back to my youth whereI prayed earnestly to God to make me wise and to know the truth about things Irealized that the outcome of that effort could only be one of two things:either my prayer was answered, or it was not. If it has been, then I feel confirmedin the judgment that what I perceive about reality is as good as it gets forme. If my prayer has not been answered then either there was no one to answerit or I’m on my own – all of which gets me back to my own judgment being as good as it gets – forme.

My judgment is that nobody has so far persuaded me that heknows more about what lies behind the cosmos, the human mind, the ultimatereality than I do. Since what I know doesn’t seem very extensive, I’m happy tothink there is a lot left for humans to discover about the nature of reality,and I’m not bothered to let Newton (and maybe Einstein) declare that the objectiveof science is to get to know the mind of God. Maybe Newtonmeant that metaphorically, maybe he perceived something firmly that I have not,i.e. he had a personal relationship of a sort that I might never have had, witha supreme being, or maybe we both have had (if my prayer was granted). If thelast point then I’m sure I know what God told me. It was Keep Looking.

One last step. In a discussion with Bill some years agoabout this stuff, he said to me, “What’s wrong with simply saying, ‘I don’tknow?’” Well, there is nothing wrong with that, except it’s not aestheticallypleasing to me. So I resort of one of my lineage’s kinsmen (some chauvinisticbias right there I admit) Kirkegaard, when he said, in matters of faith we_choose_ what to believe. I choose to believe that there is intelligencebehind, or in the universe, and that life is moving in a direction of somesort. And so, if there is, is it relayed to some humans in a speech theyunderstand like that of another person (in a Fatherly voice, as Freudsuggested), or only by way of Newton’stake on it? I like Newton’s take onit; I can’t see any proof for any take on it. So, it’s my choice, and I’mgoing for what feels good.

···

from Bjorn Simonsen (2007.12.02, 23:30 EUST)]
from Richard Robertson, received 2007.12.02, 21:40 EUST)]

It is nice to read your thoughts.

I like Newton�s take on it; I can�t see any proof for _any_
take on it. So, it�s my choice, and I�m going for what feels good.

Also I like Newton. I feel safe, and the simple way I make experiments using
laws from physique, tells me that the laws I remember are correct to what I
perceive. (I am not able to do experiments within quantum physique).
But the time when physicists use universal laws is no longer the case. And
biologists, psychologists and other -ists have no universal laws to use.
Some of they use models. But the problem with models used to study modern
scientific problems is that they will be so complex that they don't exist.
(e.g. Climatic problems).

So, it�s my choice, and I�m going for what feels good.

Well what feels good for you, I guess, is the words you put on them. And the
words you put on them depends on your own knowledge and imagination. A
feeling is maybe a perception of a certain state of the body along with the
perception of a certain mode of thinking and thoughts with a certain theme.

bjorn

For example, are Rick and Martin
really indisagreement over whether or not Rick can create and test models
of variousphenomena without at some point assuming that: 1) the model is
a totally validrepresentation of the essence of the phenomena in
question; 2) that eachcontender can assume that his opponent perceives
exactly what he perceives inapplying the same name (the name of the
phenomenon) to his perceptions; 3) thatwhen the test of the model is over
you can be sure that a future test will havethe same
result?
[From Bill Powers (2007.12.03.0530 MST)]
Dick Robertson (2007.12.02.02:39 PM –
Why does a model have to be a totally valid representation of the essence
of the phenomenon in question? Faith isn’t required to propose and test a
model; in fact, quite the opposite. If you have faith in the model, you
don’t need to test it, and in fact testing it would be a sign of lack of
faith (like saying “OK, God, if you really exist, strike me down
right now!”). We gradually find out if a model continues to predict,
and as long as it does, we can use it. As soon as it doesn’t, we go back
into modeling mode and try to see why it failed. There’s nothing
upsetting about failure of a model. Sometimes failure is the most useful
thing that can happen. That’s how science works.
As far as I can see, faith isn’t just an extra-strong sense of knowing or
believing. It’s making up a reality to achieve some end that is so
important that the usual tests of truth are thrown out the window. If you
want something to be true fervently enough, you can simply suppress all
doubt and tell yourself it is and always has been true. After that, there
is no kind of argument that can change what you believe. Facts and
evidence no longer matter, because you simply know that there must be
some flaw in them if they don’t come out with the answer you have decided
upon. What’s the point of considering evidence if you already know that
all valid evidence will support what you have faith in, and that
any evidence that fails to support it is automatically invalid?

One last step. In a
discussion with Bill some years agoabout this stuff, he said to me,
“What’s wrong with simply saying, ‘I don’tknow?’” Well, there is nothing
wrong with that, except it’s not aesthetically pleasing to me. So I
resort of one of my lineage’s kinsmen (some chauvinistic bias right there
I admit) Kirkegaard, when he said, in matters of faith we_choose_ what to
believe. I choose to believe that there is intelligence behind, or in the
universe, and that life is moving in a direction of some sort. And so, if
there is, is it relayed to some humans in a speech they understand like
that of another person (in a Fatherly voice, as Freud suggested), or only
by way of Newton’s take on it? I like Newton’s take on it; I can’t see
any proof for any take on it. So, it’s my choice, and I’m going for
what feels good.

I guess this is exactly why I don’t like making that choice. I simply
can’t forget that I made it. If I decided it was aesthetically
displeasing not to know the density of mercury, and made up a density of
13 just so I could have a feeling of knowing, I would never really have a
feeling that this number meant something about the world. I still
wouldn’t know the density of mercury, in my heart of hearts. I would have
to try to forget having made that decision even to think I knew it, and
even then I would always feel uneasy about it.

If we decide to accept as factual just the things that feel good, doesn’t
that reduce everything to a mockery of knowledge? What’s the point of
science, then, if all we have to do is figure out which facts would make
us feel good, and believe them? And how do you deal with the world when,
as inevitably will happen, something comes up that shows that your belief
can’t possibly be right? If your faith is to remain undisturbed, you have
to compound the original invention of facts by inventing more facts to
support what you have faith in and to provide grounds for disbelieving
the new evidence. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice
to deceive – ourselves.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Kenny Kitzke (2007.12.3)]

Dick Robertson wrote:

<So, it’s my choice, and I’mgoing for what feels good.>

Like Bill, I can’t believe you meant what you wrote! I agree with it being your choice (everyone’s own choice) but did you really mean “what feels right” rather than good? Then, I would agree.

What seems so elemental, and consistent with PCT, is that when you attack/criticize others high level reference programs, beliefs and systems perceptions you will get an energetic (high gain) protective and reactive defense. It leads to interpersonal conflict, name calling and animosity.

Whether in life or on this CSGNet, there are topics like religion and politics that engender animosity. I believe this is easy to understand from HPCT. Ones references, especially the highest ones, basically reflect you as an individual. So, when you attack ones beliefs (whether based solely on science or on a combination of science and Bible faith), it is equivalent to attacking the person. And, sparks fly.

Numerous times, I have suggested not discussing religion or politics on the CSGNet. I don’t think I have ever brought either one up first, but have replied when others do. To call Republicans or Christians a-holes on this forum is not just crude, and unprofessional, it is inconsistent with science for it is casting a net instead of testing a specimen. Not all Republicans believe alike and are demonstrably not identical.

It is a fact that some of the world’s greatest scientists believed in God and even accepted the Bible as God’s inspired revelation to man about Himself. How else could one know or judge what that claimed God was like? And, some successful scientists totally reject both. Their scientific discoveries stand on their own merit. Whether a Christian or an atheist or an agnostic, all can make progress in expanding PCT science by theory and practice. That is what I desire in this forum.

My religious or political beliefs are irrelevant and putting them out here is like playing with dynamite. What is the value? A great deal of my life is involved in religion but in forums whose purpose is discussing religion. They are not very interested in PCT. The reasons are obvious and acceptable to PCTers and them. There is a time and purpose for everything under heaven, or at least that is what King Solomon believed. It seems wise and workable to me.

···

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[From Dick Robertson,2007.12.03.0930CST]

[From Bill Powers (2007.12.03.0530 MST)]

Dick Robertson (2007.12.02.02:39 PM –

For example, are Rick and Martin

really indisagreement over whether or not Rick can create and test models
of variousphenomena without at some point assuming that: 1) the model is
a totally validrepresentation of the essence of the phenomena in
question; 2) that eachcontender can assume that his opponent perceives
exactly what he perceives inapplying the same name (the name of the
phenomenon) to his perceptions; 3) thatwhen the test of the model is over
you can be sure that a future test will havethe same
result?
Why does a model have to be a totally valid representation of the essence
of the phenomenon in question? Faith isn’t required to propose and test a
model; in fact, quite the opposite. If you have faith in the model, you
don’t need to test it, and in fact testing it would be a sign of lack of
faith (like saying “OK, God, if you really exist, strike me down
right now!”). We gradually find out if a model continues to predict,
and as long as it does, we can use it. As soon as it doesn’t, we go back
into modeling mode and try to see why it failed. There’s nothing
upsetting about failure of a model. Sometimes failure is the most useful
thing that can happen. That’s how science works.

OK, granted. I got kind of carried away there, concentrating on whether you are making a real distinction between assuming that a model represents what you believe it does, or whether you should call it having faith in your model. That is, does assuming have a place in science such that Ric can say he doesn’t need to have faith about anything when he builds a model, as he argued to Martin, but still can make assumptions about his model? I didn’t say it as well as I wanted to, but I was trying to argue for clearing up semantic fogs before going on with an argument. I don’t think we follow the strict rules of math–in defining terms-- in verbal argumentation and therefore can go on arguing endlessly without getting any resolution.

As far as I can see, faith isn’t just an extra-strong sense of knowing or
believing. It’s making up a reality to achieve some end that is so
important that the usual tests of truth are thrown out the window. If you
want something to be true fervently enough, you can simply suppress all
doubt and tell yourself it is and always has been true.

Agreed. I was trying to stick to the idea of faith in the sense that the op-ed writer was saying you can’t avoid at certain points in doing science.

One last step. In a
discussion with Bill some years ago about this stuff, he said to me,
�What�s wrong with simply saying, �I don�tknow?�� Well, there is nothing
wrong with that, except it�s not aesthetically pleasing to me. So I
resort of one of my lineage�s kinsmen (some chauvinistic bias right there
I admit) Kirkegaard, when he said, in matters of faith we_choose_ what to
believe. I choose to believe that there is intelligence behind, or in the
universe, and that life is moving in a direction of some sort. And so, if
there is, is it relayed to some humans in a speech they understand like
that of another person (in a Fatherly voice, as Freud suggested), or only
by way of Newton�s take on it? I like Newton�s take on it; I can�t see
any proof for any take on it. So, it�s my choice, and I�m going for
what feels good.
I guess this is exactly why I don’t like making that choice. I simply
can’t forget that I made it. If I decided it was aesthetically
displeasing not to know the density of mercury, and made up a density of
13 just so I could have a feeling of knowing, I would never really have a
feeling that this number meant something about the world. I still
wouldn’t know the density of mercury, in my heart of hearts. I would have
to try to forget having made that decision even to think I knew it, and
even then I would always feel uneasy about it.

There might be some danger of going overboard in the way you describe, but I meant to say that it makes some kind of sense to me to choose to believe that the universe has an underlying coherence that differs from a random concatenation of processes that might never be able to be made sense of. Such an underlying coherence is always the result of intelligence in human experience, as far as I can see.
By making that choice I support my resolve to “keep looking,” otherwise I fear I might have a stronger tendency to (at some point) think I may as well give up, we have got as far as we can hope for. That is not any kind of universal argument. It’s just how I view muyself.

.

If we decide to accept as factual just the things that feel good, doesn’t
that reduce everything to a mockery of knowledge? What’s the point of
science, then, if all we have to do is figure out which facts would make
us feel good, and believe them?

Well, “feel good,” might have been a poor choice of terms. I hope I made that clearer in the above.

And how do you deal with the world when,
as inevitably will happen, something comes up that shows that your belief
can’t possibly be right? If your faith is to remain undisturbed, you have
to compound the original invention of facts by inventing more facts to
support what you have faith in and to provide grounds for disbelieving
the new evidence.

No, no. I have no desire to have my faith remain undisturbed. I tried to show in giving some of my history that I have already changed my views significantly several times in my life.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice

to deceive – ourselves.

Indeed.

Best,

Dick R.

[From Dick Robertson, 2007.12.03.1000CST]

-> From Bjorn Simonsen (2007.12.02, 23:30 EUST)]

From Richard Robertson, received 2007.12.02, 21:40 EUST)]

It is nice to read your thoughts.

Thanks Bjorn, likewise for me.

I like Newton’s take on it; I can’t see any proof for any
take on it. So, it’s my choice, and I’m going for what feels good.

Also I like Newton. I feel safe, and the simple way I make
experiments using
laws from physique, tells me that the laws I remember are
correct to what I perceive.

Yes, this is what makes sense to me, too.

Well what feels good for you, I guess, is the words you put on
them. And the words you put on them depends on your own knowledge and
imagination. A feeling is maybe a perception of a certain state of the body
along with the perception of a certain mode of thinking and thoughts with a
certain theme.

I like your way of putting it.

Best,

Dick R.

[From Rick Marken (2007.12.03.0815)]

Bill Powers (2007.12.03.0530 MST)--

As far as I can see, faith isn't just an extra-strong sense of knowing or
believing. It's making up a reality to achieve some end that is so important
that the usual tests of truth are thrown out the window.

Righto! I started this "science and faith" thread because I knew
something was fishy about the idea that science rests on faith. In
fact, science is just a word for an approach to life that is the
opposite of faith. Science is a willingness to test one's beliefs
against experience. Faith is exactly what Bill says here: making up a
reality to achieve some end while disposing of the usual tests of the
truth of that made up reality. So it's not just that science doesn't
involve faith; science is a word for an approach to life that is the
opposite of a faith-based approach. And faith is not just religion.
It's all untested (or untestable) ideologies, like much of economics,
psychology and sociology as well. In economics, it's faith that leads
people to believe (despite the data) that increased taxes slow growth,
that increased investment drives growth, that price drives demand.
It's interesting that there is a large overlap between those who have
faith in the existence in realities such as supernatural real estate
agents and those who have faith in the reality of these economic
"facts".

I think a PCT-based case against faith itself can be made by noting
that faith involves controlling a variable with very high gain against
the disturbances created by counter arguments of other controllers
(who may have a different faith). Therefore, one would expect faith to
be a major cause of interpersonal conflict. And there is certainly a
lot of evidence that it is. Religions, of course, often "keeps the
faith" by oppressing or killing people who do (or might) offer counter
arguments. The same has been true of other faith based ideologies,
like Communism and, of course, Capitalism.

I think faith itself is a very big problem, not only because it is a
major source of conflict but also because (as Bill notes) by it's
very nature it is impossible to overcome. Faith is the worst software
failure humans can experience. Bad virus. Unfortunately, it's the kind
of virus that causes the most damage to people who are around the
infected system, and ot to the infected system itself.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

[From Dick Robertson, 2007. 12.03.1010CST]

[From Kenny Kitzke (2007.12.3)]

Dick Robertson wrote:

<So, it’s my choice, and I’mgoing for what feels good.>

being your choice (everyone’s own choice) but did you really mean “what feels
right” rather than good? Then, I would agree.

Yes, right. I hope I made that clearer in my response to Bill’s post. What feels “right” feels good, because there no sense of error. I know, you don’t “feel” error signals, but they are betrayed by the locking up that accompanies conflict.

What seems so elemental, and consistent with PCT, is that when
you attack/criticize others high level reference programs,
beliefs and systems perceptions you will get an energetic (high
gain) protective and reactive defense. It leads to interpersonal
conflict, name calling and animosity.

I agree. That is why I said I am comfortable with everyone being comfortable with their own position on science and faith. Where a person doesn’t experience high level conflict about science and faith he/she is functioning as well as capable of at the moment, as far as i can see.

I tried to describe how I have had several reorganizations of my systems-concept of the nature of everything in my life, each one reducing the overall conflict, I think. It also leaves me curious about (without feeling a need to convert you to my way of thinking) how a smart guy like you has come to the conclusion that you know what God wants humans to know, while he has either: 1) told me to “keep looking” as he told Newton (I wish I had his brains of course, but sadly, don’t); or 2) hasn’t told me anything, because of either: a) there’s nobody there, or b) there’s somebody there but doesn’t communicate to me. If the latter, why not? Why have you been chosen to “know the truth,” where I have not? That’s why I don’t mind such discussions on CSGnet, when they are constructive.

Whether in life or on this CSGNet, there are topics like religion
and politics that engender animosity. I believe this is easy to
understand from HPCT. Ones references, especially the highest ones,
basically reflect you as an individual. So, when you attack ones
beliefs (whether based solely on science or on a combination of science and
Bible faith), it is equivalent to attacking the person. And, sparks
fly.

I guess I agree with that in part. But I back away from the phrasing a bit. I wouldn’t say “religion and politics engernder animosity.” That sounds a little too S-R, but I know what you mean. When anyone describes a highest-order systems concept, the words of which sound alien to my way of putting it–that leaves me either to ignore it, or by taking it in, engender some error in my view of the matter. If reorganization starts as a result, that might be uncomfortable. I think the random errors that occur in reorganization do often cause some discomfort, hence the defensive posture: “No, no take it away.”

Numerous times, I have suggested not discussing religion or politics on
the CSGNet.

I presume you can see why that wouldn’t be my choice.

I don’t think I have ever brought either one up
first, but have replied when others do. To call Republicans or
Christians a-holes on this forum is not just crude, and unprofessional, it
is inconsistent with science for it is casting a net instead of testing a
specimen. Not all Republicans believe alike and are demonstrably not
identical.

Like Bill, I can’t believe you meant what you wrote! I agree with it

I agree

and even accepted the Bible as God’s inspired revelation to man about
Himself. How else could one know or judge what that claimed God was
like? And, some successful scientists totally reject both. Their
scientific discoveries stand on their own merit. Whether a Christian or an
atheist or an agnostic, all can make progress in expanding PCT science by theory
and practice. That is what I desire in this forum.

I know, and that’s why I am curious to learn how that works for different people.

is like playing with dynamite. What is the value? A great deal of my
life is involved in religion but in forums whose purpose is discussing
religion. They are not very interested in PCT. The reasons are
obvious and acceptable to PCTers and them. There is a time and purpose for
everything under heaven, or at least that is what King Solomon believed.
It seems wise and workable to me.

I hope you see why I don’t agree with you completely here.

Best,

Dick R

···

It is a fact that some of the world’s greatest scientists believed in God religious or political beliefs are irrelevant and putting them out here

[From Dick Robertson, 2007.12.03.1040CST]

[From Rick Marken (2007.12.03.0815)]

Bill Powers (2007.12.03.0530 MST)–

As far as I can see, faith isn’t just an extra-strong
sense of knowing or
believing. It’s making up a reality to achieve some end that
is so important
that the usual tests of truth are thrown out the window.

Righto! I started this “science and faith” thread because I knew
something was fishy about the idea that science rests on faith. In
fact, science is just a word for an approach to life that is the
opposite of faith. Science is a willingness to test one’s beliefs
against experience. Faith is exactly what Bill says here: making
up a reality to achieve some end while disposing of the usual tests
of the > truth of that made up reality. So it’s not just that
science doesn’t > involve faith; science is a word for an approach to life that is the
opposite of a faith-based approach. And faith is not just religion.
It’s all untested (or untestable) ideologies, like much of economics,
psychology and sociology as well. In economics, it’s faith that leads
people to believe (despite the data) that increased taxes slow growth,
that increased investment drives growth, that price drives demand.
It’s interesting that there is a large overlap between those who have
faith in the existence in realities such as supernatural real estate
agents and those who have faith in the reality of these economic
“facts”.

OK, now I can see how you are using the words. Makes better sense now.

Best,

Dick R

···

[From Rick Marken (2007.12.03.0850)]

Kenny Kitzke (2007.12.3)

Whether in life or on this CSGNet, there are topics like religion and
politics that engender animosity. I believe this is easy to understand from
HPCT. Ones references, especially the highest ones, basically reflect you
as an individual. So, when you attack ones beliefs (whether based solely on
science or on a combination of science and Bible faith), it is equivalent to
attacking the person. And, sparks fly.

Religion, politics, science and bible belief are among the many
fascinating behaviors produced by living systems. PCT is a model of
what behavior is and how it works. If, for some reason, you are unable
to engage in useful discussions of certain behaviors then just don't.
As far as attacking beliefs, well, that's kind of what you have to
expect in a scientific forum. Science is all about attacking
(testing) beliefs, including a belief in science itself. So if you
want to go to a place where your beliefs will be respected (protected)
then I suggest going someplace that thinks St. Augustine had some
great ideas.

Numerous times, I have suggested not discussing religion or politics on the
CSGNet.

Yes, which helps us see where your faith lies.

Not all Republicans believe alike and are demonstrably not identical.

That's a good point. There are probably even some decent Christians
around still.

It is a fact that some of the world's greatest scientists believed in God
and even accepted the Bible as God's inspired revelation to man about
Himself. How else could one know or judge what that claimed God was like?

Newton was certainly one of them.

Whether a Christian or an atheist or
an agnostic, all can make progress in expanding PCT science by theory and
practice. That is what I desire in this forum.

Me too. But I don't think a person who has _faith_ in any of these
things will be able to make much progress in understanding them.

My religious or political beliefs are irrelevant and putting them out here
is like playing with dynamite. What is the value?

Your religious and political beliefs are something you do. The value
of putting them out here is for us to explore what those beliefs are
and why you believe them. Same for me. My religious and political
beliefs are something I do and it is therefore of interest to me to
try to understand what it is that I believe and why. It's because PCT
is about understanding human nature. How else can we come to
understand it than by looking at it and testing models of it?

A great deal of my life
is involved in religion but in forums whose purpose is discussing religion.
They are not very interested in PCT.

That's true of all forums, isn't it? Most are focused on the
substance of ht forum itself: religion, biology, economics, etc; PCT
is about what the substance is and why people focus on it.

The reasons are obvious and acceptable
to PCTers and them. There is a time and purpose for everything under
heaven, or at least that is what King Solomon believed. It seems wise and
workable to me.

Then I think you should stick to religion because PCT will end up
causing you as much grief as evolutionary biology.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

[From Kenny Kitzke (2007.12.03.1300EST)]

<Rick Marken (2007.12.03.0850)>

Whether a Christian or an atheist or
an agnostic, all can make progress in expanding PCT science by theory and
practice. That is what I desire in this forum.

<Me too. But I don’t think a person who has faith in any of these
things will be able to make much progress in understanding them.>

So, how did Newton do it so well?

My religious or political beliefs are irrelevant and putting them out here
is like playing with dynamite. What is the value?

My religious beliefs are not something you have any right to explore unless I want you to explore. If I claim there is a 12th Level of Perception that our human spirit observes to understand human behavior, that is fair game for you to explore on this forum.

You can pursue that on religious or political forums where people participate for that purpose. Your personal religious or political views add NOTHING to the science of PCT. I believe the flaw in your approach is something which you and others have readily admitted in the past. PCT can’t discern what is right or wrong references or behavior for anyone but yourself. So, to lamblast those holding religious beliefs or political positions other than your own is bound to produce conflict. And, conflict is not a good format for learning anything.

<It’s because PCT
is about understanding human nature. How else can we come to
understand it than by looking at it and testing models of it?>

I conceive PCT to be about understanding observable human behavior. I know of no PCT models of how the human brain, emotions or creativity actually work, at least so far. But, other scientific disciplines pursue these aspects of human nature. The models, tests, experiments in these areas are probably a million times more extensive than what has been done concerning the nature of humans to control their perceptions.

The reasons are obvious and acceptable
to PCTers and them. There is a time and purpose for everything under
heaven, or at least that is what King Solomon believed. It seems wise and
workable to me.

If you believe in PCT, wouldn’t you agree that it is up to me to make that decision? What does what you think about it have to do with me? And, PCT won’t cause me to have any grief or stress. It is something only I can do to myself. At least that is what Ed Ford claims. Of course, he is not here to defend himself or his religion against your conceptions. He chooses not to do so. It is his choice.

···

Check out AOL Money & Finance’s list of the hottest products and top money wasters of 2007.

[From Rick Marken (2007.12.03.1130)

Kenny Kitzke (2007.12.03.1300EST)

<Rick Marken (2007.12.03.0850)>

> Whether a Christian or an atheist or
> an agnostic, all can make progress in expanding PCT science by theory and
> practice. That is what I desire in this forum.

<Me too. But I don't think a person who has _faith_ in any of these
things will be able to make much progress in understanding them.>

So, how did Newton do it so well?

I meant understanding the psychology of being Christian, atheist or
agnostic. I don't think anyone with a faith in any of these things
(including science) can make much progress in understanding what is
involved in doing them. Newton probably would not have been able to
look at -- let along understand -- his own religious beliefs as
something he was controlling for.

<Your religious and political beliefs are something you do. The value
of putting them out here is for us to explore what those beliefs are
and why you believe them.>

My religious beliefs are not something you have any right to explore unless
I want you to explore.

Of course. All I described were the potential benefits of exploring
them. Given your faith in religion and politics I would be surprised
if you would be willing to explore them with anyone.

Your personal religious or political views
add NOTHING to the science of PCT.

Probably true. But discussion of what those beliefs are and why I hold
them add PLENTY to the science of PCT because that is what PCT is
about: what people do and why they do them.

I believe the flaw in your approach is
something which you and others have readily admitted in the past. PCT can't
discern what is right or wrong references or behavior for anyone but
yourself.

My approach (at least, when I'm looking at things from a PCT point of
view and not evaluating them relative to my own references for rules,
principles and system concepts) has nothing to do with discerning what
the right or wrong references are.

So, to lamblast those holding religious beliefs or political
positions other than your own is bound to produce conflict. And, conflict
is not a good format for learning anything.

I agree. It's hard to discuss perceptions at this level without having
one's own references for those perceptions get in the way. It's like
the problem an MOL therapist has of trying to ignore the sometimes
juicy content of what the explorer is saying and just try to notice
when the explorer's point of view about the content has changed. You
seem to be particularly high gain in your protection of your religious
and political position. I think that in itself is an interesting
phenomenon; kind of what you would expect from person controlling for
maintaining a belief despite the evidence. (Not that there's
anything wrong with that;-)

I conceive PCT to be about understanding observable human behavior. I know
of no PCT models of how the human brain, emotions or creativity actually
work, at least so far.

I highly recommend that you read -- carefully -- the latest edition of
a book called "Behavior: The control of perception" by William T.
Powers. In it you will find all kinds of interesting speculations
(model) of how the brain, emotions and creativity actually work.

But, other scientific disciplines pursue these
aspects of human nature. The models, tests, experiments in these areas are
probably a million times more extensive than what has been done concerning
the nature of humans to control their perceptions.

Really? Could you give one example? It shouldn't be hard to find given
that there are probably millions of them.

<Then I think you should stick to religion because PCT will end up
causing you as much grief as evolutionary biology.>

If you believe in PCT, wouldn't you agree that it is up to me to make that
decision?

I'd believe that even if I had never heard of PCT? It's just a suggestion.

What does what you think about it have to do with me?

Because you seem to have a very deep faith in certain things and this
faith seems to make certain CSG topics very uncomfortable for you.

And, PCT won't cause me to have any grief or stress.

Great. If you can work it out so that that's true then that would be
great for you.

It is something only I can do
to myself. At least that is what Ed Ford claims. Of course, he is not here
to defend himself or his religion against your conceptions. He chooses not
to do so. It is his choice.

You betcha. I see he has chosen;-)

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

I think to say that we should discount political or religious beliefs from the study of science is absurd. Those beliefs drive the questions of science. To say they do not exist and do not influence an individual is crazy.

Much of what is done in psychology with research is developing a model and then using statistical data to prove that it works. That stat. data is influenced by politics and religion and inherently biased. It is not completely unbiased. You cannot accurately predict behavior 100%, only with a statistical probablity. Much of that has been helpful in the past, but in many cases it is just numbers and is not helpful. So, why do we hold the statistics to a higher value versus the qualititative studies that are done? Because we value the stats over the qual. research. That is political and it is bias. I think it is impossible to be able to come up with a study that is completely objective. However, I feel that quant and qual studies can both be helpful.

That will not stop me from studying something I like or believe in, but the answers I come up with will not be completely unbiased. Just as yours Kenny and yours Richard are not completely objective. Just as PCT is not completely unbiased. The reality of the world is that there is evil out there and that none of us will be able to completely eradicate it from the earth on this side. It’s here to stay, I believe, in the short term.

I think conflict can be productive and I don’t mind you personally attacking me. I think there can be some benefits to that that produce growth in a person. Perhaps you may want to call me a masochist, but I enjoy talking about these hot topics. Political correctness has caused us to hide behind a fake wall of reality. I would call that a fake wall of perception.

If we can’t talk about these topics, then I believe that this theory of PCT is just another theory for the books. BLAH BLAH BLAH. The thing I like about PCT is it gives us a platform to talk about the politically sensitive issues. My reason for being here is to find out who believes what and do you actually live it. Or, are you here just to study some theory so you can publish your research in some journal that will sit on a shelf? Or, is what your doing really contributing to trying to impact the things we talk about on here-religion, internationla conflict, education, clinical psych?

Jim Wuwert
School Counselor
Cook Elementary School
336-727-2784 (work)
336-727-8458 (fax)

-----“Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)” CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU wrote: -----

To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU
From: Richard Marken rsmarken@GMAIL.COM
Sent by: “Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)” CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU
Date: 12/03/2007 11:53AM
Subject: Re: Robertson’s Science and Faith

[From Rick Marken (2007.12.03.0850)]

Kenny Kitzke (2007.12.3)

Whether in life or on this CSGNet, there are topics like religion and
politics that engender animosity. I believe this is easy to understand from
HPCT. Ones references, especially the highest ones, basically reflect you
as an individual. So, when you attack ones beliefs (whether based solely on
science or on a combination of science and Bible faith), it is equivalent to
attacking the person. And, sparks fly.

Religion, politics, science and bible belief are among the many
fascinating behaviors produced by living systems. PCT is a model of
what behavior is and how it works. If, for some reason, you are unable
to engage in useful discussions of certain behaviors then just don’t.
As far as attacking beliefs, well, that’s kind of what you have to
expect in a scientific forum. Science is all about attacking
(testing) beliefs, including a belief in science itself. So if you
want to go to a place where your beliefs will be respected (protected)
then I suggest going someplace that thinks St. Augustine had some
great ideas.

Numerous times, I have suggested not discussing religion or politics on the
CSGNet.

Yes, which helps us see where your faith lies.

Not all Republicans believe alike and are demonstrably not identical.

That’s a good point. There are probably even some decent Christians
around still.

It is a fact that some of the world’s greatest scientists believed in God
and even accepted the Bible as God’s inspired revelation to man about
Himself. How else could one know or judge what that claimed God was like?

Newton was certainly one of them.

Whether a Christian or an atheist or
an agnostic, all can make progress in expanding PCT science by theory and
practice. That is what I desire in this forum.

Me too. But I don’t think a person who has faith in any of these
things will be able to make much progress in understanding them.

My religious or political beliefs are irrelevant and putting them out here
is like playing with dynamite. What is the value?

Your religious and political beliefs are something you do. The value
of putting them out here is for us to explore what those beliefs are
and why you believe them. Same for me. My religious and political
beliefs are something I do and it is therefore of interest to me to
try to understand what it is that I believe and why. It’s because PCT
is about understanding human nature. How else can we come to
understand it than by looking at it and testing models of it?

A great deal of my life
is involved in religion but in forums whose purpose is discussing religion.
They are not very interested in PCT.

That’s true of all forums, isn’t it? Most are focused on the
substance of ht forum itself: religion, biology, economics, etc; PCT
is about what the substance is and why people focus on it.

The reasons are obvious and acceptable
to PCTers and them. There is a time and purpose for everything under
heaven, or at least that is what King Solomon believed. It seems wise and
workable to me.

Then I think you should stick to religion because PCT will end up
causing you as much grief as evolutionary biology.

Best

Rick


Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

All e-mail correspondence to and from this address
is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law,
which may result in monitoring and disclosure to
third parties, including law enforcement.
AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER

[From Rick Marken (2007.12.03.1200)]

The reality of the world is that there is evil out
there and that none of us will be able to completely eradicate it from the
earth on this side. It's here to stay, I believe, in the short term.

Really? What is this "evil" that exists "out there"? How does it
work? Is it made of atoms and molecules?

I think PCT would say that "evil" is a perception and that the
behaviors we see as "evil" are just people controlling for things that
the observer sees as bad things to control for. I think the idea that
there is "evil" out there is a bad (not evil;-) idea because it leads
to people control for the elimination of evil; and the only way to
control for eliminating evil -- if it exists out there -- is to "wipe
it out". Hence the Nazi's who were controlling for getting rid of evil
by killing people they considered evil. Same for the Neocons, the
Inquisition, the French and Russian Revolutions, etc. The idea that
evil exists "out there" is the cause of an awful lot of misery.

Best

Rick

···

On Dec 3, 2007 11:39 AM, Jim Wuwert <JDWuwert@wsfcs.k12.nc.us> wrote:

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

So, are you saying that we should let the Nazis and the Islamic Fascists decide who to wipe out? Both groups are evil. We may not understand it fully, but we know it does exist. I.e. 9/11. etc. IN targeting the Nazis and Islamic Fascists we are not randomly targeting people. We are eliminating a group that would interfere with us having the freedom to control ourselves. Can’t we agree that we want the freedom to control ourselves?

Or, should we let them decide to wipe us out. You may claim that saying that it exists is cause for alot of misery, but saying that it does not exist creates a greater misery for me. Perhaps we may disagree on how to resolve the conflict, but I think eliminating the Nazis and eliminating Islamic Fascists is the right thing to do, so that we can continue to enjoy the freedom to control ourselves.

Jim Wuwert
School Counselor
Cook Elementary School

-----“Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)” CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU wrote: -----

To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU
From: Richard Marken rsmarken@GMAIL.COM
Sent by: “Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)” CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU
Date: 12/03/2007 02:58PM
Subject: Re: Robertson’s Science and Faith

[From Rick Marken (2007.12.03.1200)]

The reality of the world is that there is evil out
there and that none of us will be able to completely eradicate it from the
earth on this side. It’s here to stay, I believe, in the short term.

Really? What is this “evil” that exists “out there”? How does it
work? Is it made of atoms and molecules?

I think PCT would say that “evil” is a perception and that the
behaviors we see as “evil” are just people controlling for things that
the observer sees as bad things to control for. I think the idea that
there is “evil” out there is a bad (not evil;-) idea because it leads
to people control for the elimination of evil; and the only way to
control for eliminating evil – if it exists out there – is to “wipe
it out”. Hence the Nazi’s who were controlling for getting rid of evil
by killing people they considered evil. Same for the Neocons, the
Inquisition, the French and Russian Revolutions, etc. The idea that
evil exists “out there” is the cause of an awful lot of misery.

Best

Rick


Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

All e-mail correspondence to and from this address
is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law,
which may result in monitoring and disclosure to
third parties, including law enforcement.
AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER

···

On Dec 3, 2007 11:39 AM, Jim Wuwert JDWuwert@wsfcs.k12.nc.us wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2007.12.03.1740)

So, are you saying that we should let the Nazis and the Islamic Fascists
decide who to wipe out?

Actually, no. I wasn't saying that at all -- though it's true that
only the Nazi's and Islamo-fascists (whatever the hell that is; I
suppose you mean Islamic religious fundamentalists who are willing to
use terror to advance their cause) can decide who they wipe out.
What I was saying is that evil exists as a perception, not something
"out there" in the real world.

Both groups are evil.

You _perceive_ them as evil. Actually, you perceive them as groups of
behaving individuals and judge their behavior to be evil because they
don't match your references for the way people should behave. At
least, that's the way I see it through control theory glasses.

We may not understand it fully, but we know it does exist. I.e. 9/11. etc.

It exists as a perception. And I think we do understand it pretty
well. What we are seeing is conflict between systems controlling for
getting the same or equivalent environmental variables into different
states. When you favor one side of such a conflict, you see the other
side as evil.

IN targeting the Nazis
and Islamic Fascists we are not randomly targeting people.

Why target people at all? You never really get rid of the "evil" by
killing all the "evil" people. There are always more that will come
back and try to make trouble again.

We are eliminating a group that would interfere with us having the freedom to
control ourselves.

Does that apply to everyone or just the "we" to whom you refer? Do the
Palestinians, for example, get to eliminate groups that are
interfering with their ability to control themselves? Hopefully, in
pondering that you will see that "evil" is a relative term -- relative
to the person judging that the other person is "evil". Didn't someone
once recognize this problem and say something like "Judge not lest ye
be judged". Probably someone who didn't speak English very well;-)

Can't we agree that we want the freedom to control ourselves?

No, I can't agree with you on that. First of all, I think we control
perceptions, not ourselves. And I notice that we do this controlling
in the context of other control systems, whose controlling we often
affect by our own. Our "freedom" to exert control is, therefore,
constrained by our own references for how we want to live with others
(I'm not free to steal because it violates a goal I have to "do unto
others") and physical law (I can't jump over my house because I can't
generate sufficient life force).

Or, should we let them decide to wipe us out.

So it's them or us? I think we should definitely defend ourselves as
best as we can from terrorist attacks. But I think you do that with 1)
intelligence work and 2) diplomacy and policies that are perceived to
be unjust and unfair. The wrong way to deal with it is to try to "wipe
them out" before they wipe us out. That was Hitler's approach and it
just doesn't work that well.

You may claim that saying that
it exists is cause for alot of misery, but saying that it does not exist
creates a greater misery for me.

I think you've been listening to way too much right wing talk radio.
You will have a lot less misery of you start reading books on
perceptual control theory;-)

Perhaps we may disagree on how to resolve
the conflict, but I think eliminating the Nazis and eliminating Islamic
Fascists is the right thing to do, so that we can continue to enjoy the
freedom to control ourselves.

Yes, we disagree profoundly. My disagreement is based on my
understanding of the problem in terms of control theory. I think your
approach is based on the old causal model of human nature. You seem to
assume that some people emit evil behavior like manure emits bad
odors. You seem to think that the way to fix the problem of evil
people is the same way you would fix the problem of smelly manure: get
rid of it. I am hoping that the PCT approach eventually replaces that
view but I see no evidence that that is going to happen soon. Ah,
well.

Best

Rick

···

On Dec 3, 2007 12:49 PM, Jim Wuwert <JDWuwert@wsfcs.k12.nc.us> wrote:
--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

[From Rick Marken (2007.12.03.1750)]

I really should proofread these more carefully _before_ I send them. I said:

But I think you do that with 1)
intelligence work and 2) diplomacy and policies that are perceived to
be unjust and unfair.

I meant to say:

2) diplomacy and policies that are _not_ perceived to be unjust and unfair.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

[From Bill Powers (2007.12.03.1746 –

Perhaps we
may disagree on how to resolve the conflict, but I think eliminating the
Nazis and eliminating Islamic Fascists is the right thing to do, so that
we can continue to enjoy the freedom to control ourselves.

I was in on the project for wiping out the Nazis, but somehow the evil
came back somewhere else. Why do you suppose that is? Could there be
something about the way we try to solve the problem of evil that is
actually creating more of it?

Best,

Bill P.

From Jim Wuwert 2007.12.03.2238EST

I think the evil will always come back. Perhaps we can try to talk with the Islamic Fascists, but I think at this point they are unwilling to talk. I think if we asked them to please stop plans to attack our country i.e. terrorist attacks in the U.S. that they might agree and then walk away and continue. I think that they would lie to our face. Now, I don’t think that gives us the right to be arrogant. I think at this point it is too far gone. They have no respect for us. They don’t believe us and we don’t believe them. What next?

Perhaps we can develop better interpersonal relations in the future, but the Islamic terrorists have one goal and that is to kill us. It is in their Koran. Their faith scriptures. Kill anyone that does not believe in Islam. How can anyone stand by and let them do that. That is not fair to any other faith even if I disagree with them. The Islamic fascists take it too far. I may disagree with the Mormons, but I certainly don’t believe that we should kill them, unless they were trying to force me to accept their Mormonism. Then, I would have a problem with that.

What would have been a better approach with Hitler? Let him do his thing and turn our heads? He had to be eliminated. Or, perhaps locked up for life and try a PCT intervention while in prison. :slight_smile: Maybe MOL? Where was MOL in 1939? I like MOL, but was Hitler at the point at the begininning of WW2 to sit and chat in a peaceful way? Why didn’t we do that? Why didn’t we sit and talk with him? Would that have even worked? At least you knew where Hitler was? Now, we can’t even find the source of the evil–OSAMA.

Osama Bin Laden knows what will happen if he comes out in the open. He is running like a scared chicken. How do we do diplomacy with him, when he will not come to the table? How can we even work to that point? He may act like he wants to do that, but in the same breath that he is making a deal with the U.S. he is making another deal to kill us. He talks out of both sides of his mouth. Meanwhile, we may have a perceived strong diplomacy with him while he is trying to kill us at the same time. How do we MOL with him?

Mr. Bin Laden, I don’t like it when you threaten to kill us. I don’t like it when you blow up our buildings.

He says I don’t care. I am going to blow up more buildings because I want to rule the world and you are a piece of crap.

What would you say to him?

Jim Wuwert
School Counselor
Cook Elementary School

-----“Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)” CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU wrote: -----

To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU
From: Bill Powers powers_w@FRONTIER.NET
Sent by: “Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)” CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU
Date: 12/03/2007 09:28PM
Subject: Re: Robertson’s Science and Faith

[From Bill Powers (2007.12.03.1746 –

Perhaps we may disagree on how to resolve the conflict, but I think eliminating the Nazis and eliminating Islamic Fascists is the right thing to do, so that we can continue to enjoy the freedom to control ourselves.

I was in on the project for wiping out the Nazis, but somehow the evil came back somewhere else. Why do you suppose that is? Could there be something about the way we try to solve the problem of evil that is actually creating more of it?

Best,

Bill P.

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.16.13/1167 - Release Date: 12/3/2007 12:20 PM

All e-mail correspondence to and from this address
is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law,
which may result in monitoring and disclosure to
third parties, including law enforcement.
AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER

From Jim Wuwert 2007.12.03.2357est

To: CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU
From: Richard Marken rsmarken@GMAIL.COM
Sent by: “Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)” CSGNET@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU
Date: 12/03/2007 08:36PM
Subject: Re: Robertson’s Science and Faith

[From Rick Marken (2007.12.03.1740)

So, are you saying that we should let the Nazis and the Islamic Fascists
decide who to wipe out?

Actually, no. I wasn’t saying that at all – though it’s true that
only the Nazi’s and Islamo-fascists (whatever the hell that is; I
suppose you mean Islamic religious fundamentalists who are willing to
use terror to advance their cause) can decide who they wipe out.
What I was saying is that evil exists as a perception, not something
“out there” in the real world.

So I guess you are saying that with a little love that Osama will come around and not hurt us. I don’t think that you can prove that it is a perception nor can I prove to you that it is not. We can talk in theory, but theory as you state is just a way to explain facts. Although I think we may disagree on what the facts are.

Both groups are evil.

You perceive them as evil. Actually, you perceive them as groups of
behaving individuals and judge their behavior to be evil because they
don’t match your references for the way people should behave. At
least, that’s the way I see it through control theory glasses.

If you are physically harming someone, then that is a bottom line for me. I believe that is when we need to step in. Perhaps diplomacy can work in the beginning. If we do not get anywhere and you continue to kill and hurt people, then I have a duty to step in or I am agreeing with your arbitary killing/harming of people.

We may not understand it fully, but we know it does exist. I.e. 9/11. etc.

It exists as a perception. And I think we do understand it pretty
well. What we are seeing is conflict between systems controlling for
getting the same or equivalent environmental variables into different
states. When you favor one side of such a conflict, you see the other
side as evil.

It is impossible for me not to favor one side of the conflict over another. I am one of the parties in the conflict i.e. a U.S. citizen. I can agree to live in a world with OSAMA, if he agrees and holds to his agreement that he will not physically harm me or others in my country. Whether we are abroad in a different country or in our homeland. Leave us alone and we will leave you alone, unless we both want to do business with one another then we establish an agreeable contract upfront and agree to abide by it with consequences for either party violating it.

IN targeting the Nazis
and Islamic Fascists we are not randomly targeting people.

Why target people at all? You never really get rid of the “evil” by
killing all the “evil” people. There are always more that will come
back and try to make trouble again.

Evil as I call it manifests in people. Guns don’t kill. People kill. Evil will always exist on this side of the spectrum. Perhaps we can only control for it. However, if you violate my bottom line of killing those in my country and I catch you–it’s on. That is how the U.S. justice system works. Once you have taken the life of one of our citizens your const. rights are limited. You have violated the freedom to control. It’s at least jail and in some cases the death penalty.

We are eliminating a group that would interfere with us having the freedom to
control ourselves.

Does that apply to everyone or just the “we” to whom you refer? Do the
Palestinians, for example, get to eliminate groups that are
interfering with their ability to control themselves? Hopefully, in
pondering that you will see that “evil” is a relative term – relative
to the person judging that the other person is “evil”. Didn’t someone
once recognize this problem and say something like “Judge not lest ye
be judged”. Probably someone who didn’t speak English very well;-)

The palestinians can do what they want. I may be in a better position to not take sides with them because I am not a palestinian. However, if they touch ISRAEL, then I would have a problem with that. I think the great book also says thou shalt not kill and an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. How do we prioritize those two statements that are in the same book? That is a big decision. As much as I say go get OSAMA, if he is alive and open to working through peace in an honest way, then let’s do it. If not, then I think the death penalty would be appropriate for him. He may actually prefer to get it because he seems to think that he will get something like 40 virgins on the other side. :slight_smile:

Can’t we agree that we want the freedom to control ourselves?

No, I can’t agree with you on that. First of all, I think we control
perceptions, not ourselves. And I notice that we do this controlling
in the context of other control systems, whose controlling we often
affect by our own. Our “freedom” to exert control is, therefore,
constrained by our own references for how we want to live with others
(I’m not free to steal because it violates a goal I have to “do unto
others”) and physical law (I can’t jump over my house because I can’t
generate sufficient life force).

Okay, you want the freedom to control your perceptions. OSAMA is waiting on the front porch to stop you from doing that. He wants to control you. He wants to tell you what you can and cannot do. How is that anywhere close to PCT? He might as well be over it all.

Or, should we let them decide to wipe us out.

So it’s them or us? I think we should definitely defend ourselves as
best as we can from terrorist attacks. But I think you do that with 1)
intelligence work and 2) diplomacy and policies that are perceived to
be unjust and unfair. The wrong way to deal with it is to try to “wipe
them out” before they wipe us out. That was Hitler’s approach and it
just doesn’t work that well.

Diplomacy policies that are not unjust and unfair is relative also. What is unjust to me and unjust to you may be two different things? Again, how do you bring a mass murderer to the table to talk about how we can live peaceably? I don’t see OSAMA doing that. He will not even come out of the caves long enough to engage us in a fight. He is too scared. If he wasn’'t scared he would sit doown with us right now. He knows that if he comes out we will take him out. I think it may be too far gone, although I wish it were not. Someone is bound to think it is wrong to wipe him out, but we will be a little safer. I value that over what we have now. I am not sure Hitler would have been open to diplomacy to. I don’t think we can completely eliminate evil although we can try to control for it when it violates our bottom line–i.e. physically harming people.

You may claim that saying that
it exists is cause for alot of misery, but saying that it does not exist
creates a greater misery for me.

I think you’ve been listening to way too much right wing talk radio.
You will have a lot less misery of you start reading books on
perceptual control theory;-)

Perhaps I could say you have been listening to too much of media matters. PCT is one piece of it. Right wing talk radio seems to be the only radio that lasts. I have yet to hear of any left wingers making it on the radio. Perhaps because they do not tell the facts. The drive by media does not investigate thoroughly like they should. They have just as much of an agenda as the right wing talk radio. Right wing talk radio is more upfront about it. They tell you they are biased. Bottom Line-I believe that evil will always exist on this side of life. We can only control for it or manage it per se. It will always be here.

Perhaps we may disagree on how to resolve
the conflict, but I think eliminating the Nazis and eliminating Islamic
Fascists is the right thing to do, so that we can continue to enjoy the
freedom to control ourselves.

Yes, we disagree profoundly. My disagreement is based on my
understanding of the problem in terms of control theory. I think your
approach is based on the old causal model of human nature. You seem to
assume that some people emit evil behavior like manure emits bad
odors. You seem to think that the way to fix the problem of evil
people is the same way you would fix the problem of smelly manure: get
rid of it. I am hoping that the PCT approach eventually replaces that
view but I see no evidence that that is going to happen soon. Ah,
well.

I am all for trying diplomacy first. In some extreme cases, the manure must be taken out. When the person is completely unwilling to work towards peace or while locked up is still a threat to the world, then I think the only option is to end that life to protect the greater good. Who makes that decision? I sure hope it is not me–it’s a tough one. I don’t think this world was made for people to be mass murderers. Perhaps the structure of our society has failed when that happens, but that does not justify letting the manure stay in the front lawn. Clean it up and move on. Do what you can to change in the future with communication, diplomacy, building caring communities, so that the liklihood of a repeat offender decreases.

That is what is happenning with some folks that are doing PCT in prisons. These are low crime people, but the recidivism is greatly reduced after learning more about PCT.

We cannot undo what we have done in the past with OSAMA, but we can try better in the future with our diplomacy with future potential terrorists.

Best

Rick

Richard S. Marken PhD
rsmarken@gmail.com

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is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law,
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AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER

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On Dec 3, 2007 12:49 PM, Jim Wuwert JDWuwert@wsfcs.k12.nc.us wrote: