Is it worse to fail at something or never attempt it in the first place?

Something that i posted somewhere else before. Seems good enough to repost it here though. Enjoy!

Instead of talking about all the heavy stuff in the world i want to talk about some questions that are floating around in life in general. Most of these questions are propably something many people already did ask themselves before.So, after all the heavy stuff that i wrote about in my philosophical introduction posts im actually taking break there before im going to continue to talk about philosophical systems and so on. Instead of that im going to talk about some questions that are floating around in life that. Most of these questions are propably something many people already did ask themselves before.
You know, stuff like what is matter or what is a number or why we humans just cant describe some things, as hard as we might try.
I actually searched around a bit on the internet to find some good questions that one could talk about. There are tons of those out there, no mistake about that, but you need to ask them correctly before you can analyse the problem they are describing.
One of these questions is e.g.:”Is it worse to fail at something or never attempt it in the first place?”
A solid question. A common one aswell. I mean, everyone was atleast once in her or his life at a point where he/she failed and did ask him- or herself: ‘Why did i try this?”. Similar to that most people propably already pondered before certain discussions if they should do it and what would happen if they would fail.
But what is actually worse here?
In general people will tell you that you should try something even if you fail. People did it before when i wasnt sure if i should do something, others will propably experience the same all the time. Its kinda like when you dont even try you cant be successful. Which is correct in its own way. If i apply for a job i actually need to give them my application if i want the job. On the other hand, if i dont apply i cant fail. Which sounds like a argument from defeatism. Defeatism is basically when you accept your loss without even struggling. Though i would see this differently here.
You see, this basically comes down to ‘Can i do this or can i not?’. And i personally believe that it is important for humans to accept the fact that we have boundaries that we can not surpass at this very moment in time. There are things a human can not do at certain moments in time, like traveling through space without a space suit or traveling through time (atleast for now i guess, who knows?).Additionally to that, there are things for every human being out there that he or she can not do as an individual right now. Those boundaries change all the time, obviously. As a baby i cant write a computer program, doesnt matter how hard i try. As an adult i will never understand the perspective of a baby. I just cant do it. Im too far gone from that to ever understand it again. The same goes for every other thing out there. There are things that we can do and there are others that we cant. Understanding that and knowing my own boundaries is a good step in actually using this to your advantage. I mean, this sounds so very negative, right? All of it. There are things you just cant do right now and thats all there is to it. But thats where your advantage kicks in.
If you just rely on mere chance to achive your goals your chances of actually failing at something are propably rather high. But knowing your boundaries can help with that. First of all, this would allow you to improve. As you might have noticed, im always writing about how there are certain things one can not do right now. Its important that this describes a certain point in time. It doesnt tell anyone anything about other points in time like e.g. the future. That leaves room for you to actually taking advantage of the situation. Minimize the chance to fail. Change the boundaries that you know of.Secondly, it lowers your risk of failing unexpectedly. This is kind of the worst feeling, right? You try something, you fail just like that. It did seem so good and it should have been fine. But it wasnt. Thirdly, knowing your boundaries actually furthers the cause of knowing yourself, something that sometimes doesnt get the attention it deserve these days. You like it or not, boundaries are a part of you. They can tell you a lot about yourself and who you are.
So in the end, my answer to that question would be an answer from rationalism. Dont let emotions or anything like that guide your decisions when it is important. Try to rationally decide if a problem or anything like it is something that lies inside of your boundaries. Obviously you still could fail then. There are no guarantees. But i will always take failing after consciously thinking about the problem at hand and deciding im capable to solve it over blindly running into my demise.

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Parapsychology online course introduction

Hey.

So i was talking about that parapsychology course a while ago.

They put up their introduction to parapsychology on youtube. Hopefully the other videos will follow. I had no time (and to be honest, i was lazy as well) to follow the other lectures till now. Even so, you can rewatch them afterwards. You just have to join the course.

Anyways, the video:

It explains a few fundamental things about parapsychology like a bit of the history or what belongs to parapsychology and more importantly what doesnt belong to it. The people that are talking are propably a bit hard to understand, but well, i blame the internet for that.

[Quote] intuition and proponents vs non-proponents

Hi.

So today im going to talk about a few things related to a specific quote from one of those many internet forums out there. As a note on the side before im getting started, im biased aswell. Im not stating that im objective since i never could be like that.

Our intuitions may be able to tell us how we feel about something, but that doesn’t tell us whether it is true. And whether or not someone is genuine does not tell us whether the events unfolded in the way they describe. I think that’s why you see a disconnect between the sorts of things which proponents are interested in – stories, feelings – and those things non-proponents focus on – events, validity. A non-proponent hears a story and asks, “I wonder what really happened?” A proponent hears a story and asks, “how does this story make me feel?” It becomes a puzzle as to why non-proponents aren’t interested in the story, and why proponents aren’t interested in whether the details are accurate.

I’m not sure that there is a way for the different perspectives to be compatible. Maybe all that can be accomplished is that we try to regard both perspectives as legitimate?

As you can see, its about intuition and the old battle between proponents and non-proponents (those guys are these days called sceptics, although that word isnt fitting for them). Lets talk about the contents of that quote. As a additional information, the person who wrote that isnt a proponent. That propably explains why she is seeing things the way she does.

Anyways, the first sentence is stating that intuition isnt telling us if anything is true or accurate. Obviously that got some truth to it, since intuition is everything except being accurate. Intuition is more like a feeling and feelings are pretty much never something  concrete. I got no problem with stating something like that; there are further investigations needed to explain certain things. Intuition alone isnt satisfing anyone.

Even so i got a problem with the second part of the post and thats also why im writing about it. Shes writing that non-proponents are interested in events and validity and propents dont care about that; instead they want to know about stories and feelings. I deem that to be wrong. To be accurate there, thats as wrong as it can be.

Ive met quite a few proponents in the last few months and discussed a lot of things with them. I also did that with a lot of non-proponents. I also read a lot of stuff from both groups.

I rarely saw a proponent that is saying that we shouldnt find out if the story is true. Most people agree that we shouldnt believe anything just like that. That means that validity is a thing for both groups. Its plainly wrong to say that proponents do not care about that. Even more it seems like the author of that post tried to discredit proponents by writing that. There are tons of studies and tests from the parapsychological sector out there. Its merely not true to say that those are not trying to prove that something is valid. I can imagine though why there is that impression; those kind of studies mostly include subjective experiences. Thats not a thing in normal science. That may be one of the reason why people think that they dont want to test validity. Another thing is that many parapsychological studies start their research under certain premises that arent conform to mainstream science. They are sometimes trying to prove things that many people deem to be wrong. Bias and misconceptions are playing a huge role here aswell.

Subjective experiences are also the thing that is making the difference between events and stories. A story always includes those, since its something a human being told to others. A event is something that tries to be more objective than that and is not taking subjective experiences into account as much as possible. The approach of events is based on the premise that subjective experiences could be wrong, since humans could tell lies or did see things that werent true at all(-> the brain is making it up, stuff like that).

In the end the difference between both approach isnt the struggle for validity, since both are involved there. The difference is the subjective experience. Those are always involved when it comes to anything involving human beings, true enough. But one approach is trying minimalize those experiences as much as possible, while the other one is trying to take those fully into account.

I dont know which one is getting us further. Thats up for everyone to decide themselves. I can state though what i would believe to be true here. And that would be the approach that tries to take subjective experiences fully into account. I cant wrap my head around the fact that some people try to explain subjective stories without subjective experiences. There may be a objective event behind it, true enough. Does that mean that we shouldnt consider that what humans are telling us about those events? Reality isnt a objective thing after all; why would we try to handle it like it is objective? And even if we consider reality as objective and we disregard everything that is telling otherwise, why wouldnt be consider the story of someone who witnessed the event? Im not saying that we should believe someone like that without any further investigations. Im saying that we should investigate subjective stories aswell. We are all humans, and without subjective experiences we wouldnt be able to percieve those “objective” events at all. Why would we try to exclude those very experiences then?

Parapsychology and Anomalistic Psychology: Research and Education – online course

Hi.

Just as a quick info for all those guys out there that are reading wordpress-blogs and are interested in parapsychology.

A online course, containing various presentations regarding that topic started yesterday. All of the people that will present there are researching several kinds of topics of the fields of parapsychology (so no random internet guys there; those people know what they are talking about). The first presentation that will contain a introduction to parapsychology will start in like 1 hour. I guess the name of that presentator is Carlos Alvarado.

My personal favorite before listening to any of those presentations is Dean Radin. I read a few things about and from him already. Hes talking about a lot of interesting things. He’ll presentating on a later day of the course, since the whole thing will be going on for several days.

So, if you are interested to learn a bit more about all those things, including obe’s and all that stuff, heres the link to the course:

https://www.wiziq.com/course/86144-parapsychology-and-anomalistic-psychology-research-and-education

I believe you need to create a account to take part in that. No worries though, its free to do that.

I propably will report back with some of my own impressions of those presentations in the following days. So if you dont have the time, you can read those. Or if you dont like that, im pretty sure that there will be youtube-videos of the presentations at some point. But im not sure about that.

Btw, today lecture started just now. Its about fundamental defintions in parapsychology and some other basic stuff.

The Ism’s – a humorous explanation

After i did that post regarding my problems with a few things, lets get some other stuff going. I thought it may be interesting to talk about philosophy at its core.

Especially the “ism’s”. They are the paradigms that are the foundation of what people in this world believe. Everyone is basing his or her opinion on something like that; Even if you dont recognize it or deny it, you still do.

So, to explain those i got a quote from one of those forums im discussing things with other people:

Idealism: You have two cow thoughts. Who needs milk? That’s more than enough.

Panpsychism: You have two cows made up of thousands of cow particles. How this works, nobody knows.

Materialism: There are no cows, no milk, no you. Just atoms in the Void.

Dualism: You have two cows. You make a bunch of hamburgers, and now you have two infinitely precious cow souls which is way better than actual cows.

Creationist: Those cow fossils were put in the ground by Satan. Also, in the Garden of Eden cows gave out strawberry and chocolate milk.

Nondualism: By milking the cows, you are milking yourself….Stop snickering and get those filthy thoughts out of the One Mind!

Mysterianism: I think you have two cows, but I’m too lazy to check.

CSICOP: I saw the cows, milked them, and am now drinking the milk. Still, it’s too early to tell if you have cows.

Mediumship: I’m sensing your great grandfather had….a beloved cow as a pet….Oh, he was farmer? Lots of cows then – that counts as pets. What? Sorry, no refunds…

JREF: I won’t believe you have cows until I kill them and eat their meat. And you first have to make a check out to the “Amazing” Randi.

Dawkinsian: The cow only wants to pass on its selfish genes. Did I mention God sucks?

So lets explain those a bit more in detail. You may know one or the other already. Btw, some people may say that this isnt totally accurate, especially for materialism or stuff like that. My opinion is going form with that though.

Anyways, its starting with Idealism. You know, thats the stuff where everything is in consciousness. Therefore thoughts are enough. Its a form of monism. That means that there isnt anything else except things that are in consciousness. There is no separate objective world out there.

Panpsychism is getting more and more popular these days. Its basically descrbing that everything can be divided in its parts and everything got some sort of mind, soul or consciousness. Christof Koch would be one of those persons out there that believe in that. Note that human consciousness would also be a complex structure of many other things. I guess you could say that we achieve our level of consciousness due to the interaction of matter; matter would already be conscious, although the level of consciousness of a matter-particle would be on a primitive level.

Materialism? Do i need to explain that? Its the current mainstream paradigm; or well, its more like physicalism these days. Everything is matter or a interaction between several matter-parts. What is matter though? Well, who knows. There are explanations. But nothing explicit.

Dualism means that there are 2 several groups of things; a material group and a “soul” group. Science denies that kind of view these days; it was popular a few years ago(like, a few hundred years ago). William James was kind of a dualist, although im not totally sure there.

Creationism…well, thats basically what the church is talking about in some sort of way. The creation of everything due to a divine power. Although people laugh about that stuff these days it isnt like we can disprove that.

Nondualism.. monism. There is just one group. Idealism is propably something like that, just like materialism.

Mysterianism…everything is a mystery. Wooooo. I imagine that is the belief that we cant explain anything at all for real, even if we try.

CSICOP is a organisation for sceptics. In that case sceptics refers to people that are critical against everything. And with that i mean really everything. Im not sure if CSICOP is really like that, but they claim they are. Propably the guys that tell you that you can never be sure about anything at all.

Mediumship isnt really a philosophical group. Its more like people that like to believe in psi. Thats not really grounded in philosophy. You could categorize them in several other groups i guess. Although those people propably dont care about all that stuff. Btw, dont deny mediums and all that psi stuff just because it seems like pure madness. Theres a whole lot more going on than mainstream science tells us openly.

JREF is propably something like the new age fundamentalist organisation for atheists and all those other people that hold materialism/physicalism dear to their hearts. I personally would say they are on the same level than religious fundamentalists, but thats just me.

Dawkinsian..erf… i quote wiktionary for that:

“The concept of viewing genes as if they were the primary drivers and beneficiaries of the evolutionary process.” Its all about the genes. As the line above also states, it denies god.

Another philosophical view that didnt get mentioned is gnosticism. Thats basically about spritualism, although those guys think that they can achieve enlightment and stuff like that with being poor, sexual abstinence. Its also a approach that is related to a belief in god. The whole thing is a bit more complicated though. Dont blame me for not explaining that in detail right here.

These are not all views that are out there. Also its a bit of a humorous approach. Dont take everything serious. Even so, its a nice little overview of the most popular stuff out there.

Neutral monism – neutral what?

Hi.

Lets dive deep into something philosophical. And with that i mean something really philosophical.

For that, let me quote someone from your average discussion forum about all the weird things out there. Its about the philosophical system called neutral monisim(Before i start, in case you dont know – monism means that there is just one thing out there. Thats different to stuff like dualism, where there are two things.).

“The way I choose to express it myself is that reality is like a fractally recursive dialectic of (perhaps infinitely) regressing mirror repeats of an essential act of “relation,” where said relations are called out of a kind of fibrous All_Potential. This universal activity of “relating” is somehow ontologically active in the exact way that gives to the actualized realm a “sense of presence,” utlimately culminating in our Mind-World dialectic. However, even the most basic (discernible) instances of the relation are already capable of “detecting” in some sense the other partner or end of that dialectic relation. In other words, as I have expressed before, and as the article I linked expresses, there aren’t really any “things”…what exists is a stack of relations, perhaps finite, perhaps infinite. The quantum process of “observation,” whether by ourselves or by lesser systems, seems to me precisely the enactment of this process of actualizing relation…called out of All_Potential.”

That sounds pretty weird, right? Atleast to me it did. Not because i agreed or disagreed – it just that this stuff is in some way so abstract, i have a hard time understanding what this guy wants to express with that.

Anyways, before we analyse that, what is neutral monism anyways?

Basically, this:

“In philosophy of mind, neutral monism is the view that the mental and the physical are two ways of organizing or describing the same elements, which are themselves “neutral”, that is, neither physical nor mental.[1] This view denies that the mental and the physical are two fundamentally different things. Rather, neutral monism claims the universe consists of only one kind of stuff, in the form of neutral elements that are in themselves neither mental nor physical; these neutral elements might have the properties of color and shape, just as we experience those properties, but these shaped and colored elements do not exist in a mind (considered as a substantial entity, whether dualistically or physicalistically); they exist on their own.”(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_monism)

So, there is only one thing, and thats some sort of neutral stuff that contains mental aswell as physical things. Matter of fact, there isnt anything mental or physical at all. Those neutral things are not something that is getting created in our mind (idealism in some forms is talking about consciousness being fundamental to our world; that wouldnt be true in that case since the neutral elements would be fundamental). If im allowed to interpret it in that way (and im sure that other people disagree with that) – to me its some sort of neutral materialism. It denies the mental(and the physical too, i know) and its saying there is just one kind of elements; there are not the material we know, i got that, but they still seem to be “material” in some sort of sense – just different than that what we understand as material these days. Anyways…

The first quote of this blog post is a quote from a user that is pretty sure of him finding his own notion of neutral monism. Hes doing so by changing those somehow magical neutral elements to relations; but not just that. Hes going to that point where hes saying that there arent any objects or anything that could be in relations to each other; no, there are just relations that relate to each other. Hence everything would be described as relations. So, humans would be just a bunch of relations, related to each other. Your consciousness for example wouldnt be a “thing” – its a group of relations. If you take normal materialism here, well, that one is telling you that your consciousness is also a group of relations – but those relations are materialistic things related to each other. Relations between relations versus relations between objects.

So thats what that guy is basically implying. Of course, in case you are wondering, that whole thing is purely philosophical discussion. Unlike others who are trying to explain their theory with the world that we are seeing neutral monism is based on philosophical assumptions. If you are saying right now “wait, the others like materialism, idealism, whatever are doing the same”, well, you are right. But atleast to me personally their theories are closer to the subjective reality we experience. And well, from the very same wikipedia-article that i quoted before – if you might wanna read why neutral monism isnt as popular as others: Its basically because of the neutral elements. Its actually weird to think about something that is the base of everything we know, but at the same time we cant say anything about it for real. The first quote above tried to get rid of that problem with the notion that relations are the neutral element – even so, that doesnt help at all.

What can we say about relations? Well, just as much as about neutral elements, cant we? What is a relationship in that sense exactly? My mind would tell me that a relationship is a connection between 2 things. I could also ask the question: What does that relation relate to? Well bla, the first quote stated that they relate to another relation, dummy. Thats actually a infite loop of relations. But being the guy i am, i would ask: How do those relations look like? How can i imagine them? You cant say that those relations describe the properties between some things, because there are no things. Therefore, no properties. And thats what i was talking about – we are not capable of thinking of a notion for those kind of relations since all relations we know are between “objects”. And i cant really imagine a definition for relations that would fit the situation here(i mean, sure, go on and tell that you claim that relations without objects are possible – you wont find any way of proving that though. Btw, i account for humans as objects here). Therefore, i highly doubt that relations are the neutral element.

If there is any neutral element at all – well, i dont know. Could be. For all that i know, it could be everything. It could be consciousness – therefore, consciousness would be fundamental. But thats up to what you want to believe.

My take on beliefs and interpretations

Hi there.

Last time i did some definition-gibberish. Wasnt the most exicting stuff i assume, but its necessary if you want to talk about that kind of stuff (it would be even necessary to define it more clearly and to define even more… but lets do that when we need it, right?)

So, what will i write about right now? Well, if you are interested readers of all kinds of knowledge out there you might have noticed that proponents of various groups (that i described before) tend to swing at each other with several arguments all the time. They do it at debates since, i dont know, several hundred years. They do it in the internet since its possible there. And well, we all know those arguments that they trade. Materialists are arguing with neural correlations in the brain, dualists with NDE’s, theists with the bible (examples… these are not all arguments, obviously). Stuff like that. That kind of stuff did change in the last decades, im sure of it. But the essence of those arguments is always the same. People tend to take everything they can get to argue for their point of view. Im no different. I state it clearly for everyone to read: Im a dualist of some sorts. Of course i would try to use all the arguments i can get to argue for my opinion. And well, surely i will try to refute every other argument out there as good as i can. Im a human after all.

The thing with all this is: Every opinion, even if we think it is based on facts, is a belief. Believing isnt something that is exclusive to theism and religions. Everything we know is based on beliefs. Lets take physics for example. We believe that there are fundamental laws out there; and with those laws we are trying to explain the world. Gravity for example. Its there, right?  Well, in our subjective experience we believe so. We know these days how it works, right? We believe we know. We can explain it with the knowledge that we got from our research that is actually based on the belief of a fundamental system. And that very system is a belief in itself, filled with tons of assumptions. You know, our system of understanding of this world doesnt have to be true. I know that this is something where some are actually saying that it is not true and i actually should deliver facts to that, but ahm… Have you ever asked yourself if you could explain something differently? Something that you are certain of? There are possibilities to do so; those other explanations would still fit into the “knowledge” we have.

In the end its a matter of belief. And interpretations, of course. If you believe something; well, that something isnt anything else than a interpretation. Take the neural correlations that i already mentioned as a example. Materialism tells us that is a clear indicator for mind=brain, right? Well, is it? In the end there is a lot of propaganda involved too, i know, but materialism is a belief system that tries to explain everything with only matter; they try to interpret it within that system. No suprise here that this would be evidence; they interpreted it that way. The dualist would say that its awesome that science found out how to intercept the connection between the mind and the body.

If we are actually trying to be objective here, we are noticing though that science doesnt do anything of that at all. Both of them are wrong. Neural corellations are not proof of mind=brain or any stuff like that. We just map some cognitive and perceptive abilities to brainwaves and signals. Our thoughts, our memories and our consciousness isnt involved here (i know, there are people out there who are saying that they are involved, but ahm… if there are “interfaces” to our cognitive abilities and our perceptions, there may be some of the same sorts to memories, etc. too. Its like a computer; we are accessing interfaces) . And with this, mind isnt involved either. There are theories for that kind of stuff out there; some materialistic theories about that are kind of popular. But there are others too; and there are obviously tons of critics about every single one of them. They all make sense in their own belief system, thats for sure.

Fundamental to that all is though: Theories may be based on “known facts”, but they are speculations about how something else could be. Sadly, many people these days dont recognize this and take a lot of stuff for certain while it truly isnt.

Bottom line of this: We dont know as much as we think we do. We believe more than we think we do. People these days are actually just substituting these words for each other; the meaning of them isnt getting substituted.