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Aleister Crowley and the Argument from Design  

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Los
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17/10/2013 3:33 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
I’ll give you one more chance

I'm done with you.


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jamie barter
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17/10/2013 3:41 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
I’ll give you one more chance

I'm done with you.

Cluck-cluck-CLUCK!  (sundry "chicken" noises)

G.M. Kelly aka "The Sword of Horus" has an interesting way of dealing with correspondents whom he has begun to find tiresome – he makes the sign of Silence with them, or rather signs off one last time “Yours as Harpocrates”.  (I know this from personal experience when I asked him one too many questions, I fear!)

I of course maintain and reserve the right to chip in again at any time of my choosing whenever I should feel like doing so; therefore my decision shouldn’t necessarily be taken as final.  So there...

Yours as Harpocrates,
N Joy


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Los
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17/10/2013 3:43 pm  
"Hamal" wrote:
And therein is the fundamental flaw in your arguments that you seem to refuse to accept. You assess other peoples opinions or ideas or possibilities as claims which you then dismiss on the basis of lack of evidence and default back to a position for which you have a similar lack of evidence.

I don't. The issue here is whether there is sufficient evidence to think that the universe has some kind of "intrinsic meaning" or "purpose." There isn't such sufficient evidence (if you think there is, present some).

Until such evidence is forthcoming, I'm going to remain in the default position (not accepting that there is any intrinsic meaning or purpose to the universe). Now, my not accepting that claim doesn't automatically mean that I accept the converse claim ("The universe has no intrinsic meaning!")...it just means that I'm not in a position of accepting it.

Now, I might -- in certain contexts -- be willing to go that extra step and actively claim that the universe has no intrinsic meaning. It would have to be in a context where we're talking about practical day-to-day reality (where we're making claims about stuff that affects reality as we interact with it) and where it is understood that I'm not making any "absolute" claims...I'm simply saying what seems more likely to me.

Second, the argument I would make in favor of the claim that the universe has no intrinsic meaning would be, in the first place, to suggest that the converse claim ("The universe has intrinsic meaning") is incoherent. "Meaning," so far as I can tell, is something produced by brains and attributed to things. It's not a property possessed by things themselves. So the very idea of "intrinsic meaning," I would say, is incoherent on the face of it, and that's sufficient reason to support the claim that the universe doesn't have it.

Further, I would argue that "meaning" only happens in minds, which have only ever been demonstrated to be the product of physical brains (minds seem to be, essentially, what brains do). On the basis of the fact that the universe itself doesn't have a brain, it seems a likely conclusion that the universe doesn't have a mind, and therefore it seems likely that the universe, as a whole, is not capable of caring or attributing meaning to anything. It also does not seem likely that there are any disembodied minds that can attribute meaning in that way.

But again, all these arguments are over and beyond the initial point: that there's insufficient evidence for the claim that the universe has intrinsic meaning and that one is more than justified for not accepting it and living one's life without it.


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Los
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17/10/2013 4:11 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Thanks for your reply.

You're welcome.

In this particular instance, I'm not  interested in Crowley's views, but rather your own views and methodology.

Well, here's the thing. My views on the subject of True Will and the process of discovering it come from Crowley's writings. I've confirmed these views through experience, of course, but the starting point is Crowley. So you can ask me about my "own views," but you're really also asking about Crowley's views.

And isn't that lucky, given that we're at the Home of the Aleister Crowley Society.

Would it be accurate to say that in your view what's needed to discover True Will is to cease discimination between what's considered "good" and what's considered "evil"?

Yes, that's exactly what Crowley says, over and over again in his writings, stretching across decades.

In The Confessions, he writes:

"Crowley" wrote:
the average man's senses are deceived by his emotions. He gets things out of proportion and he exaggerates them even when he is able to appreciate them at all. I made up my mind that it should be an essential part of my system of initiation to force my pupils to be familiar with just those things which excite or upset them, until they have acquired the power of perceiving them accurately without interference from the emotions.

So, basically, the obstacle faced by most people is that their emotions prevent them from seeing reality as it is. He continues:

"Crowley" wrote:
It is all a branch of the art of concentration, no doubt; but it is one which has been very much neglected, and it is of supreme importance when the aspirant arrives at the higher levels, where it is a question of "making no difference between any one thing and any other thing", and uniting oneself with each and every possible idea.

So here Crowley says that what he's just been talking about pertains to the "higher levels" and involves AL I:22, as I was discussing earlier in this thread.

One primary way a person makes a difference between one thing and another is through an emotional tendency to think one thing "better" or "worse" than another (or "good" and "evil," if you will).

Crowley confirms this when in the immediate next sentence he discusses how to get rid of "evil":

"Crowley" wrote:
For as long as anything soever escapes assimilation there remains separateness and duality, or the potentiality of such. Evil can only be destroyed by "love under will"; and so long as it is feared and hated, so long as we insist on attributing a real and irreconcilable existence to it, so long will it remain evil for us. The same of course applies to what we call "good". Good is itself evil in so far as it is separate from other ideas.

This idea is sounded again and again in Crowley's works. In Liber Samekh (where Crowley advocates "The absence of his bodily, mental and astral consciousness" [which primarily include ideas about "good," "evil," and what kind of person one is] as a means of allowing the magician to " concentrate his deepest self, that part of him which unconsciously orders his true Will, upon the realization of his Holy Guardian Angel";

In Book 4 part II (where Crowley instructs the student to "endeavor to see facts as facts" and "avoid the imaginative interpretation of any facts," with many examples of the difficulty and necessity of this task);

Magick in Theory and Practice (where he explicitly states that the techniques of the book symbolize a method for enabling a magician to discriminate "between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be");

Liber Reguli (where he writes "The Magician should devise for himself a definite technique for destroying "evil" [...] to see accurately, and interpret intelligently");

And many more (Liber Aleph and Little Essays are both swimming in this idea, for instance)

As he says in Reguli,

"Crowley" wrote:
This then in the virtue of the Magick of The Beast 666, and the canon of its proper usage; to destroy the tendency to discriminate between any two things in theory, and in practice to pierce the veils of every sanctuary, pressing forward to embrace every image; for there is none that is not very Isis.

In other words, the theory that I expound here is derived from a reading of Crowley -- and not from some "cherry picking" reading of Crowley where I just pull out one isolated quotation, but from a reading that takes into account all of his writings and seeks to extract a relatively consistent position from them. And there is such a consistent position: Crowley taught that all beliefs about "good" and "evil" are the ways that minds attach more or less importance to various aspects of reality, in violation of AL I:22. By overcoming that tendency -- yes, by going "beyond good and evil" -- the individual is freer to perceive and act on his actual inclinations, as opposed to his thoughts about what would be "good" or "evil."

Where does "Skeptical Thelema" come into all this?

"Skeptical Thelema" is Thelema as Crowley created it. The intelligent practice of Crowley's Thelema involves a skeptical evaluation of all claims, especially "moral" claims and the mind's claims about the Self.

Whether Crowley lived up to the skeptical ideals of his system is an entirely different discussion.


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HG
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17/10/2013 4:36 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
While you’re there, explain your title ferchrissakes – what does “the Argument from design” mean?

Los explained it in the very first post of this thread.

This is what you always do, Jamie: you don't understand something, and you think it's the other person's fault.

No wonder people find it difficult and tedious to attempt to communicate with you.


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HG
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17/10/2013 4:47 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"HG" wrote:
You know, I actually argued with you about this position in the good old "ring charging" thread

Oh yeah, that classic thread. I never answered you in that thread because I had my hands full of supernaturalists at the time.

OK, so you are an intelligent human being.  You can do extraordinary things with your massive brain.

But can you make your brain?  Can you grow it, in all it's magnificent complexity, from a single cell?  Can you take that single cell and construct a functioning human body with trillions of cells from it?

Yet you do have that intelligence inside of you.  All of us do.  But it is most definitely not the intelligence we know and use all the time.

Perhaps Crowley was talking about this very intelligenge.  It's alien, it's apart from our physical brain, and we can make contact with it when we're discovering our will.  ("I like cabbage but I loathe mushrooms.  I have no idea why it is so.")

(It's neither discarnate nor extraterrestial, by the way.)

Yeah, I do agree that Crowley sometimes did speak about the True Self as something Other (from the perspective of the mind) because from the perspective of the mind, it *is* other. But it's not some external being, as you point out...it's just the actual self, as opposed to one's false ideas about the self.

However, in this specific quote I'm discussing here, Crowley explicitly says, on the question of the meaning of the universe, that the universe "is its own evidence to design, and that design intelligent design."

I'm not sure how you can read that other than as saying that the universe looks like it's designed and, from that, we can infer that it was intelligently designed. I'd definitely be open to hearing a different way to read that part.

Well, it's the latter part:

But there can be no possible doubt about the existence of some kind of intelligence, and that kind is far superior to anything of which we know as human.

That one easily fits into my explanation.  That the universe contains intelligent design, even if the universe was not created by intelligent design.

But it's true that this sentence is trickier:

It is its own evidence to design, and that design intelligent design.

It could be interpreted my way, but I confess that it requires more convolution.  As in: "When you look at the universe, you see a lot of evidence of intelligent design."  -  talking about the state of the universe right now, not how and why the universe was created.


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jamie barter
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17/10/2013 5:25 pm  
"HG" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
While you’re there, explain your title ferchrissakes – what does “the Argument from design” mean?

Los explained it in the very first post of this thread.

The first post – which was about five pages long on an A4 printout, so pardon me if it may have winged me by without my noticing it or fully taking it on board.  (And no – I haven’t gone back to check.)

"HG" wrote:
This is what you always do, Jamie: you don't understand something, and you think it's the other person's fault.

I say, steady on there guvnor!  I don’t “always” do anything of the sort.  Occasionally I may make a slip up – we’re all human there – and when I do, if necessary I apologise, and/ or acknowledge the fact - as I have done previously here when required & as I did so with William Thirteen’s posting.  You seem to be doing that thing about "protesting too much"?(!)

"HG" wrote:
No wonder people find it difficult and tedious to attempt to communicate with you.

Again, I don’t know where you are getting this from.  Feedback on my posts has on the whole tended to be positive rather than negative, lately.  Are you a paid-up member of the Los fan club/ world-view clique, or just like stirring the pot a bit?  (Which, I can't really complain, I myself do now & again, I have to own up :D)

N Joy


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Hamal
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17/10/2013 5:34 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Hamal" wrote:
And therein is the fundamental flaw in your arguments that you seem to refuse to accept. You assess other peoples opinions or ideas or possibilities as claims which you then dismiss on the basis of lack of evidence and default back to a position for which you have a similar lack of evidence.

I don't. The issue here is whether there is sufficient evidence to think that the universe has some kind of "intrinsic meaning" or "purpose." There isn't such sufficient evidence (if you think there is, present some).

Until such evidence is forthcoming, I'm going to remain in the default position (not accepting that there is any intrinsic meaning or purpose to the universe). Now, my not accepting that claim doesn't automatically mean that I accept the converse claim ("The universe has no intrinsic meaning!")...it just means that I'm not in a position of accepting it.


OMG Los! You are impossible![/align:1p5unl7a]

So basically you are more interested in debate than truth. Which is a shame, because its a waste of that otherwise useful brain of yours!

"Los" wrote:
Now, I might -- in certain contexts -- be willing to go that extra step and actively claim that the universe has no intrinsic meaning. It would have to be in a context where we're talking about practical day-to-day reality (where we're making claims about stuff that affects reality as we interact with it) and where it is understood that I'm not making any "absolute" claims...I'm simply saying what seems more likely to me.

So having discarded one theory for lack of evidence you fall back on another despite the complete lack of any real evidence to support that. Thereby making you an utter hypocrite!

"Los" wrote:
Second, the argument I would make in favor of the claim that the universe has no intrinsic meaning would be, in the first place, to suggest that the converse claim ("The universe has intrinsic meaning") is incoherent. "Meaning," so far as I can tell, is something produced by brains and attributed to things. It's not a property possessed by things themselves. So the very idea of "intrinsic meaning," I would say, is incoherent on the face of it, and that's sufficient reason to support the claim that the universe doesn't have it.

Further, I would argue that "meaning" only happens in minds, which have only ever been demonstrated to be the product of physical brains (minds seem to be, essentially, what brains do). On the basis of the fact that the universe itself doesn't have a brain, it seems a likely conclusion that the universe doesn't have a mind, and therefore it seems likely that the universe, as a whole, is not capable of caring or attributing meaning to anything. It also does not seem likely that there are any disembodied minds that can attribute meaning in that way.

I'm very disappointed, the above two paragraphs are dribble. Your default position is supported merely by dribble!

"Los" wrote:
But again, all these arguments are over and beyond the initial point: that there's insufficient evidence for the claim that the universe has intrinsic meaning and that one is more than justified for not accepting it and living one's life without it.

Have you ever explored eastern concepts of reality? If you do I think your head will implode and all these concepts of yours that are based on some sort of concrete reality will be nothing more than confetti!

Skepticism is a useful and positive thing, a closed mind is not!

😮
93
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Hamal
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17/10/2013 5:40 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
"HG" wrote:
This is what you always do, Jamie: you don't understand something, and you think it's the other person's fault.

I say, steady on there guvnor!  I don’t “always” do anything of the sort.  Occasionally I may make a slip up – we’re all human there – and when I do, if necessary I apologise, and/ or acknowledge the fact - as I have done previously here when required & as I did so with William Thirteen’s posting.  You seem to be doing that thing about "protesting too much"?(!)

Hey now come on now be fair, there has been a lot to dispute and argue about in this thread. I can't say I follow all Jamie's posts, but I did dip into them a page or so back and he was raising valid points.

93
Hamal


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HG
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17/10/2013 6:33 pm  
"Hamal" wrote:
You have absolutely no evidence for the existence or non-existence of leprechauns. At most you can say you have never seen one and that in your opinion, based on your experience, you suspect they don't exist. You cannot however take the lack of evidence for their existence and evidence in favour of your theory that they do not exist, to do so is to pervert the facts or lack of facts to suit your own purposes.

...WHAT?

I was rereading this dread, making sure I didn't miss anything relevant, and I stopped right after this paragraph of yours, staring at it, my jaw dropped, in disbelief.

(OK, now that we got my emotional reaction out of the way, let's follow it with an example:)

I'm going to make an outrageous claim:  I can shoot Sith lightning from my fingertips!

Now, which one is the correct response to my statement?

A) "No, you can't.  Stop being silly."

or

B) "You have absolutely no evidence for the existence or non-existence of HG shooting Sith lightning. At most you can say you have never seen him do it and that in your opinion, based on your experience, you suspect he can't do that. You cannot however take the lack of evidence for his ability and evidence in favour of your theory that he can't do that, to do so is to pervert the facts or lack of facts to suit your own purposes."


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Hamal
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17/10/2013 7:43 pm  
"HG" wrote:
"Hamal" wrote:
You have absolutely no evidence for the existence or non-existence of leprechauns. At most you can say you have never seen one and that in your opinion, based on your experience, you suspect they don't exist. You cannot however take the lack of evidence for their existence and evidence in favour of your theory that they do not exist, to do so is to pervert the facts or lack of facts to suit your own purposes.

...WHAT?

I was rereading this dread, making sure I didn't miss anything relevant, and I stopped right after this paragraph of yours, staring at it, my jaw dropped, in disbelief.

(OK, now that we got my emotional reaction out of the way, let's follow it with an example:)

I'm going to make an outrageous claim:  I can shoot Sith lightning from my fingertips!

Now, which one is the correct response to my statement?

A) "No, you can't.  Stop being silly."

or

B) "You have absolutely no evidence for the existence or non-existence of HG shooting Sith lightning. At most you can say you have never seen him do it and that in your opinion, based on your experience, you suspect he can't do that. You cannot however take the lack of evidence for his ability and evidence in favour of your theory that he can't do that, to do so is to pervert the facts or lack of facts to suit your own purposes."

Precisely B!

And from the implicit tone of your post I now expect floods of laughter to come from your quarter. And I hope it makes you very happy with yourself, but you do yourself a great dis-service not to think a little more deeply before taking such a position.

93
Hamal


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threefold31
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17/10/2013 9:59 pm  

Dwtw

A lot of the arguments on this thread involve the idea of using rationality as a basis for accepting various claims about intelligent design and supra-human intelligence, etc. The difficulty with this approach is that it makes the particular the universal.

We look at a universe full of great complexity, and wonder how it could have all come about by chance. it doesn't seem possible in a common-sense sort of way, so it is easy to postulate some intelligence that designed it. This tendency derives in large measure from the fact that humans are intelligent, and therefore we project such intelligence onto the world at large. We know how to make watches in Switzerland, and granting that at least one intelligent species of our caliber exists in the universe, we feel free to postulate that something even more intelligent than ourselves must also exist. But the hidden premise here is that our particular manifestation of 'intelligence' is capable of providing adequate means for determining the existence or nonexistence of some other intelligence. In other words, we are able to cogitate and rationalize, and therefore presume this rationality is an adequate basis for accepting or rejecting claims about non-human intelligence. Yet there is no way to know with any certainty whether our type of rationality is up to the task we are giving it.

IF the universe as a whole is ruled by chance, and If all types of universe are equally likely, and one of those chance outcomes is the rise of human intelligence/rationality; why is it that such rationality automatically excludes the possibility of an equally likely non-rationality? We see all around us, just on this little ball of dirt, millions of species incapable of rationality. We as humans are the exception, not the rule. But since we are not bacteria or oak trees or zebras, their 'intelligence' is as foreign to us as a purported Martian's superhuman intelligence. They are all variations in kind. And reliance on evolutionary theory does not rule out that higher intelligences exist. If evolution has allowed for tapeworms and Mozart, it seems capable, by extension, to whole orders of magnitude of higher intelligence than ours.

As to whether the universe, as complex as it is, was completely developed by chance processes, there is no way a human intelligence could answer such a question. Unlikely things happen every second. What are the chances that I am breathing this particular air molecule right now, out of the untold -illions of air molecules in the atmosphere? Virtually everything that ever happens defies 'the odds' when looked at in a certain way. And yet from a different perspective, there is no way I could breathe any other air molecules than the ones I am inhaling right now, so that the odds are in fact 1:1

'Chance' is by definition not logical in the sense of rational and predictable. It's not irrational either. Simply non-rational because it doesn't admit of prediction. In the same way, it would seem an intelligent 'designer' would also be non-rational. There is simply no way to determine from the evidence if one ever existed or still exists. All one can do is act 'as if' one existed, or didn't exist.

There is most likely a part of the universe that we cannot see, whose light is so far from us that it will never arrive on earth. What are to say about this part of the universe? Not much, I would think. And there may be a complexity to the universe that is also beyond us, in the sense that our form of intelligence may not be capable of processing it adequately. What if we called that complexity 'chance' ? Just like simple rules can create complex outcomes, what if simple rules also created something so complex that it looks completely random? I am reminded of the tale of the blind men and the elephant.

So one could claim that rationally speaking we have no evidence for a 'designer' of the cosmos. Therefore it all happened by chance. Well, indeed, that designer just got a new name -- Chance, Fortuna, Lady Luck, thou art one hell of a designer.

The fact is, it's a human arrogance that presumes our intelligence is capable of understanding the universe with enough certainty to call it Truth. Basically, we guess a lot. And sometimes, by sheer chance, we may be right.

Arthur C. Clarke said that any sufficiently advanced technology would look like magic. And its possible that the corollary is that any extremely advanced intelligent design would look like chance. We humans are probably no more capable of discerning the inner workings of the cosmos than the bushman is capable of understanding the watch he found in the jungle. But we do know one thing, that watch didn't assemble itself. It was designed by a human being. Therefore there is at least one intelligent species in the world, and that species is part of the universe, ergo, the universe includes designers.

So did Crowley prescribe to the theory of intelligent design? One or two quotes don't prove a whole lot, and he seems to fall more on the side of Chance than Design. But in the end, these may be two sides of the same very complicated coin.

Litlluw
RLG


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Shiva
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17/10/2013 10:25 pm  
"threefold31" wrote:
The fact is, it's a human arrogance that presumes our intelligence is capable of understanding the universe with enough certainty to call it Truth. Basically, we guess a lot.

This is the best statement so far in this thread  😮


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Hamal
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17/10/2013 10:35 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
"threefold31" wrote:
The fact is, it's a human arrogance that presumes our intelligence is capable of understanding the universe with enough certainty to call it Truth. Basically, we guess a lot.

This is the best statement so far in this thread  😮

Case in point!  😀

93
Hamal


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Los
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18/10/2013 2:07 am  
"HG" wrote:
Well, it's the latter part:

But there can be no possible doubt about the existence of some kind of intelligence, and that kind is far superior to anything of which we know as human.

That one easily fits into my explanation.  That the universe contains intelligent design, even if the universe was not created by intelligent design.

Yeah, that does fit.

But it's true that this sentence is trickier:

It is its own evidence to design, and that design intelligent design.

It could be interpreted my way, but I confess that it requires more convolution.  As in: "When you look at the universe, you see a lot of evidence of intelligent design."  -  talking about the state of the universe right now, not how and why the universe was created.

Right. There's a little too much twisting, for my taste, to get it to say what you want it to say. It may just be an odd outlier in Crowley's thought -- or possibly a sign, as I suggest in the OP, that he was seduced by the flawed argument from design.


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Los
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18/10/2013 2:14 am  
"HG" wrote:
I'm going to make an outrageous claim:  I can shoot Sith lightning from my fingertips!

Now, which one is the correct response to my statement?

A) "No, you can't.  Stop being silly."

or

B) "You have absolutely no evidence for the existence or non-existence of HG shooting Sith lightning. At most you can say you have never seen him do it and that in your opinion, based on your experience, you suspect he can't do that. You cannot however take the lack of evidence for his ability and evidence in favour of your theory that he can't do that, to do so is to pervert the facts or lack of facts to suit your own purposes."

I've got one, too: Hamal, someone has put a curse on you, and bad things will happen to you in the relatively near future, and the only way to lift this curse is to pay Los $500.

Now, what's your response? Is it:

A) "That's not true. Stop being silly."

or

B)"I have no evidence for the existence or non-existence of this curse or the validity or non-validity of paying Los as a means of lifting it. I cannot take the lack of evidence as evidence in favor of the theory that there is no curse and that the theory that paying Los won't do anything."

If the answer is B, feel free to PM me for paypal information.

Oh, what's that? You don't intend to pay me $500? Why not? Are you operating under the theory that there is no curse and that, even if there were, paying Los wouldn't do anything? Seems like you're taking the lack of evidence as evidence in favor of your theories, even though your theories have just as little evidence to support them as the "cursed and need to pay Los" theory....

And this guy has the gall to call me a hypocrite.


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Los
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18/10/2013 2:22 am  
"Hamal" wrote:
"HG" wrote:
B) "You have absolutely no evidence for the existence or non-existence of HG shooting Sith lightning. At most you can say you have never seen him do it and that in your opinion, based on your experience, you suspect he can't do that. You cannot however take the lack of evidence for his ability and evidence in favour of your theory that he can't do that, to do so is to pervert the facts or lack of facts to suit your own purposes."

Precisely B!

Look what you've been reduced to. Your absurd way of looking at things has forced you into a corner where you actually have to admit that you're not sure whether a human can shoot lightning out of his fingers a la Darth Sidious.

I'd be willing to bet, though, that this is just a pose that you've been forced to adopt for purposes of this argument: you probably don't use this way of looking at things to live your day-to-day life. If you seriously do think like this in everyday life, I've got some magic swampland in Florida to sell you for a low, low price....

And from the implicit tone of your post I now expect floods of laughter to come from your quarter.

You can expect floods of laughter from anyone with half a brain. By your own admission, you are unsure whether leprechauns and darkside force powers are real. The people who aren't laughing at you are the ones who are going to be trying to back away slowly and not make eye contact.


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Los
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18/10/2013 2:38 am  
"threefold31" wrote:
As to whether the universe, as complex as it is, was completely developed by chance processes, there is no way a human intelligence could answer such a question.

A human intelligence might not be able to absolutely answer such a question -- just like human intelligence probably can't answer anything absolutely -- but to the extent that we can know things, we can make good determinations based on evidence. It's not like we know literally nothing.

We know, for example, that there is a natural mechanism that gave rise to intelligence on this planet, a mechanism that is undirected and that relies on a partially random component. We have no examples of intelligence that did not arise from this mechanism. In every example we have, intelligence is the product of this natural process and emerges from physical brain functions. Matter throughout the universe at least appears to operate in blind, undirected ways.

Let's not pretend that just because we can't draw any absolute conclusions that it's just as likely that the universe was designed by intelligence as it is that the universe was not designed by intelligence. It may surprise some people to find out that just because there are two options does not mean that there's a 50% chance of each being true. If I buy a lottery ticket, I'm either going to win or not, but there's not a 50% chance of each outcome being the case just because there's two. In a similar way, just because our options are "designed by intelligence" and "not designed by intelligence" does not mean that there's a 50% chance of each. The evidence that was have access to is waaaaay over on one side of the divide.

'Chance' is by definition not logical in the sense of rational and predictable. It's not irrational either. Simply non-rational because it doesn't admit of prediction.

By the way, just so we're all clear, when we say that the universe is "random" or "ruled by chance," what this means is that the behavior of matter is undirected by intelligence. We don't mean that matter behaves in completely unpredictable ways.

In the same way, it would seem an intelligent 'designer' would also be non-rational. There is simply no way to determine from the evidence if one ever existed or still exists.

Well, that's quite a statement...there's no way? You know this for sure, buddy? What's all this about "arrogant human assumptions" or whatnot later in your post?

At any rate, again we may not be able to answer that question absolutely, but the evidence we do have points waaaay over on one side.

The fact is, it's a human arrogance that presumes our intelligence is capable of understanding the universe with enough certainty to call it Truth.

Wow, that's deep, man. And...would you say that that statement is true?

If you do say that, then, by your own statement, it's an example of human arrogance and you're just guessing (so maybe we ought not trust it, eh?)

If you don't say that it's truth, then you're just gibbering to hear yourself talk.

Take your pick. You can be wrong either way.


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threefold31
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18/10/2013 6:26 am  

Dwtw

Like I said, we guess a lot. That's about all any claim to knowledge is, (including this one) - an educated guess.

As for "evidence" - appearances may be deceiving. Who's to say for sure?

Why shouldn't we assume that design vs. chance is equally likely? The portion of the universe we do not know or comprehend may be far bigger than the one we do, in which case, you can't justify saying the chances for chance are more than 50% And there may be lots of evidence we haven't examined yet. The universe is pretty young, as far as we can tell, and we're pretty small and insignificant in comparison. So there may lots more to find out.

You infer that matter behaves in predictable ways. Quantum mechanics would disagree with you, but I take your point. Thanks for the definition. To my way of thinking, chance is non-rational and unpredictable, which seems to be a characteristic of much of the universe we observe. But we've seen so little so far...

My statement that there is 'no way' to determine the existence of a designer was most certainly an arrogant human assumption, not too dissimilar from many that you have made. I'll stick with it.

As for talking about human arrogance, I see you've recognized the inherent paradox in my making an absolute claim about it. Thus you've also recognized my own human arrogance. And the guessing on my part. Would that you would see any of that in your own writing.

I find it highly amusing that anyone uses their intelligence to argue that the universe is not intelligently designed. Want to talk about paradox some more?

Yes, it IS human arrogance to think we can know the Truth about the universe. And that rule applies to the rule itself, which should effectively undermine the rule whose purpose is to undermine rules. Where do you see a way out of that? Would you like a rule that says rules can't be undermined? I think Godel found just the opposite.

Litlluw
RLG

Litluw
RLG


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jamie barter
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18/10/2013 11:22 am  

I have returned to the scene of the crime, as it were, and read through the first post again, despite the fact it will be another precious ten minutes of my life I will never be getting back again (sigh!), simply just in order to check the accuracy/ veracity of your earlier statement, HG:

"HG" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
While you’re there, explain your title ferchrissakes – what does “the Argument from design” mean?

Los explained it in the very first post of this thread.

This is what you always do, Jamie: you don't understand something, and you think it's the other person's fault.

No wonder people find it difficult and tedious to attempt to communicate with you.

There were a number of references by Los to the term “argument from design” in itself, beginning with the second line of his post there where he stated it “explores the argument from design before turning to Crowley’s writing to see where he addresses it.”

However in the 5 direct quotes from A.C.’s writings which were embedded with that first post, nowhere did A.C. make any reference at all to the phrase or words within “the argument from design” – although he did mention the word ‘design’ in the context of intelligent design once, in Letter LXXII quoted from Magick Without Tears.

(This was one of the main reasons why I was trying to get Los to clarify if he understood design and intelligence to be synonyms for one another, as he continually implied that design when it occurs in the universe had an accidental and not any intelligent (i.e., preconceived, predetermined or planned basis).  Also with his accident, randomness and chaos being equated with Pure Chance.  (And another one of course is leprechauns = preternatural supergoblins = now Bigfoot).  And which Los was most extraordinarily reluctant to do – almost as if he was suspecting me of laying some intricate diabolical trap for him prior to a checkmating from out of the blue. ;))

Of the meaning attributed by William Thirteen – i.e., that it is “a specific, philosophical term describing a particular argument for the existence of God” – there is no direct sign whatsoever, although in his Paragraph 2 of the opening post Los indirectly stated “there is a popular apologetic for Xianity and sometimes for other religions that runs something like this” before then proceeding to bewitch us with his ‘watch left in the woods’ parable.

So, HG, neither Los nor A.C. explained this particular concept in this context in the very first post, or certainly not in the straightforward way you were attempting to imply.  You were trying to fit Los’s posting in with your own interpretation that he was clearly explaining it in terms of William Thirteen’s subsequent posting, but this was not the case at all. 

So, when you accuse me of not understanding something & that it must be someone else’s fault – since in fact you do not have understanding, and point the finger at me as if this was my fault – you appear to have been carrying out transference (don’t worry about it, it’s a fairly common psychological defence mechanism so you’re not alone.)  It may be an idea if you perhaps check your facts in future too before enthusiastically jumping in to berate poor little old me.

In your first paragraph, you were factually inaccurate in that Los did not explain the term The Argument from Design “as such”.
In the second, you exaggerated wildly and were basically wrong.
In the third, you rode Los’s coat-tails along with ‘tedious’ and were factually wrong again anyway.

I don’t mind criticism at all, but please – make it accurate.  A good example followeth:

"Hamal" wrote:
Hey now come on now be fair, there has been a lot to dispute and argue about in this thread. I can't say I follow all Jamie's posts, but I did dip into them a page or so back and he was raising valid points.

Nought out of three – or at most, two halves – for you is not a very good “track record”, HG!

Trusting that this matter is now a tad more crystal clear to you and that you now sufficiently comprehend it.  (And Then??)

Yours truly,
N Joy 🙂


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the_real_simon_iff
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18/10/2013 1:53 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Finally, we might also say that Crowley’s personal belief in superbeings (“Secret Chiefs” or preternatural goblins) – if we take him at his word and grant that he really did believe in them – may actually be bound up in his intellectual error in seriously entertaining the argument from design.

93!

It is no intellectual error in seriously entertaining the argument from design. Many, many scientists - even the most famous ones, even Darwin - entertain this argument. Not exactly as childishly as you try to portray everyone who is not your opinion, but scientists always did and continue to do so. Which to me seems quite plausible, since the existence of a designer answers all questions, and scientists have questions.

Obviously your real motive for this thread is not Crowley and the argument from design but your continuing crusade - with your "hands full of supernaturalists" - setting straight those "occultists". The only problem of course - as usual - is, that "Crowley’s personal belief in superbeings (“Secret Chiefs” or preternatural goblins)" is THE cornerstone of his philosophy, his biography, his whole body of work. You cannot have it without the "preternatural goblins". So please, do not claim to speak for the old goat as in "you can ask me about my "own views," but you're really also asking about Crowley's views." Really, you are the most wrong person to turn to when asking about Crowley's views. I do concede that some of Crowley's views seem to be "functionally identical to what Crowley meant", but that's all. The sooner you and the bottle-feeding Sith Lord (as well as your other fanboys) accept that fact, the easier it will be for you to get rid of that fancy picture of yourselves.

But anyway, even if we agree with you and Crowley was a hundred percent certain that the universe is ruled by pure chance and that the instances where he seems to say otherwise are down-dumbings to attract followers, there is no logic in the equation Chance-Ruled-Universe = No-Aiwass.

Sorry.

Love=Law
Lutz


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the_real_simon_iff
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18/10/2013 2:48 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
I do concede that some of Crowley's views seem to be "functionally identical to what Crowley meant"

93!

This of course should read: I do concede that some of YOUR views seem to be "functionally identical to what Crowley meant".

Love=Law
Lutz


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Hamal
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18/10/2013 2:56 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Look what you've been reduced to. Your absurd way of looking at things has forced you into a corner where you actually have to admit that you're not sure whether a human can shoot lightning out of his fingers a la Darth Sidious.

I'd be willing to bet, though, that this is just a pose that you've been forced to adopt for purposes of this argument: you probably don't use this way of looking at things to live your day-to-day life. If you seriously do think like this in everyday life, I've got some magic swampland in Florida to sell you for a low, low price....

And from the implicit tone of your post I now expect floods of laughter to come from your quarter.

You can expect floods of laughter from anyone with half a brain. By your own admission, you are unsure whether leprechauns and darkside force powers are real. The people who aren't laughing at you are the ones who are going to be trying to back away slowly and not make eye contact.

I thought this forum was an enlightened place, attracting people with open minds and the intellectual capacity to engage with complex abstract concepts, to grapple with challenging metaphysical ideas. I didn't realize it was a school yard where ignorant bullies with closed minds and over stretched mental capacities taunt anyone who ventures to question their simplistic views of reality.

I have better things to do with my time.

🙁
Hamal


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jamie barter
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18/10/2013 3:25 pm  

Now we have got some of the silly dead wood out of the way from previously – some more fun and games with recent postings!

"Los" wrote:
... Look what you've been reduced to. Your absurd way of looking at things has forced you into a corner where you actually have to admit that you're not sure whether a human can shoot lightning out of his fingers a la Darth Sidious.

Are we now meant to also now add “Darth Sidious” to the list of leprechauns, supergoblins and, er, Bigfoot??

Oh, and I forgot, another thing: what could be the ”difference” between (a) "inclinations" (b) "preferences" and (c) A.C.'s tendencies?

"Los" wrote:
... If I buy a lottery ticket, I'm either going to win or not, but there's not a 50% chance of each outcome being the case just because there's two. In a similar way, just because our options are "designed by intelligence" and "not designed by intelligence" does not mean that there's a 50% chance of each. ...

This is of course nonsense.  The original question relates to the chance of winning – not how much, or how many people bought tickets in the hope – and, as such, is strictly 50/50: as is said, you either win, or you don’t.  There is no “similar way” here, besides:

"threefold31" wrote:
... So did Crowley prescribe to the theory of intelligent design? One or two quotes don't prove a whole lot, and he seems to fall more on the side of Chance than Design. But in the end, these may be two sides of the same very complicated coin.

This is what I have been trying to say all along, actually (except my fall was more 50:50)!  Thank you for encapsulating it for me there, 31!

"Los" wrote:

'Chance' is by definition not logical in the sense of rational and predictable. It's not irrational either. Simply non-rational because it doesn't admit of prediction.

By the way, just so we're all clear, when we say that the universe is "random" or "ruled by chance," what this means is that the behavior of matter is undirected by intelligence. ...

But this is not any form of "absolute” statement here?

"Los" wrote:
... We don't mean that matter behaves in completely unpredictable ways.

Oh!  Maybe it is?!

"Los" wrote:

In the same way, it would seem an intelligent 'designer' would also be non-rational. There is simply no way to determine from the evidence if one ever existed or still exists.

Well, that's quite a statement...there's no way? You know this for sure, buddy? What's all this about "arrogant human assumptions" or whatnot later in your post?

I’m afraid I have to (reluctantly!) agree with Los here, ‘31!

"Los" wrote:
At any rate, again we may not be able to answer that question absolutely, but the evidence we do have points waaaay over on one side.

“But not now”! (Liber AL, III. 13)

"Los" wrote:

The fact is, it's a human arrogance that presumes our intelligence is capable of understanding the universe with enough certainty to call it Truth.

Wow, that's deep, man. And...would you say that that statement is true?

If you do say that, then, by your own statement, it's an example of human arrogance and you're just guessing (so maybe we ought not trust it, eh?)

If you don't say that it's truth, then you're just gibbering to hear yourself talk.

Take your pick. You can be wrong either way.

Ho, ho!  And again, ho!

"threefold31" wrote:
Like I said, we guess a lot. That's about all any claim to knowledge is, (including this one) - an educated guess.

As for "evidence" - appearances may be deceiving. Who's to say for sure? ...

Yuss!  "For sure!"

"threefold31" wrote:
... The universe is pretty young, as far as we can tell, and we're pretty small and insignificant in comparison. So there may lots more to find out.

Well, in comparison with its eventual entropic heat death, anyway (This ‘finality’ keeps me awake at night, sometimes – doesn't it you!?! ;D)

"threefold31" wrote:
... My statement that there is 'no way' to determine the existence of a designer was most certainly an arrogant human assumption, not too dissimilar from many that you have made. I'll stick with it.

As for talking about human arrogance, I see you've recognized the inherent paradox in my making an absolute claim about it. Thus you've also recognized my own human arrogance. And the guessing on my part. Would that you would see any of that in your own writing.

I find it highly amusing that anyone uses their intelligence to argue that the universe is not intelligently designed. Want to talk about paradox some more?

Yes, it IS human arrogance to think we can know the Truth about the universe. And that rule applies to the rule itself, which should effectively undermine the rule whose purpose is to undermine rules. Where do you see a way out of that? Would you like a rule that says rules can't be undermined? I think Godel found just the opposite.

I agree with all of this!  But “any chance” of new balls, please?!  For instance,

I think we are all looking at things from one order of magnitude down.  We are all basically clumps of dna – or cells, to go slightly up – machines put together in order to move them all around.  As Stanislaw Lem (speaking as Golem XIV) remarks in his masterpiece Imaginary Magnitude:

THE MEANING OF THE TRANSMITTER IS THE TRANSMISSION.  SPECIES ORIGINATE FROM A MISTAKEN MISTAKE.  And here is the third law of Evolution, which you will not have suspected till now: THE CONSTRUCTION IS LESS PERFECT THAN WHAT CONSTRUCTS … [Capitals sic]

Meantime, boozing it away down at the (last) Chance saloon,
N Joy

PS  As you so wisely previously advised, Hamal - Lighten up, dude! 🙂  Ain't no cause for you to get your said knickers into a twisteroony!


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the_real_simon_iff
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18/10/2013 4:44 pm  

93!

Here is another nice quote of Crowley on the argument from design. It is from 1944 and was published a few years back in "Brother Curwen, Brother Crowley".

"a letter by Aleister Crowley to David Curwen from Septmber 23, 1944" wrote:
About The Equinox of the Gods I hope I shall be able to show you the importance. We have plenty of evidence of discarnate forces in the last hundred years. Any number of quite unsuspected forms of energy have been discovered, measured, controlled and employed. But there has never been any evidence whatever of a discarnate intelligence except in the old childish argument that evolution knocked silly - that a beautiful created thing argued the existence of a creator with a sense of beauty. The Book of the Law does prove the existence of an intelligence possessing knowledge and power quite beyond anything we know of as human. That is the only reason why I say that for all men without exception it is a document of supreme importance. The evidence for this knowledge and power is internal. It does not depend on a statement of any person.

The bold highlighting is mine.

Love=Law
Lutz


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HG
 HG
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18/10/2013 6:54 pm  
"Hamal" wrote:
"HG" wrote:
"Hamal" wrote:
You have absolutely no evidence for the existence or non-existence of leprechauns. At most you can say you have never seen one and that in your opinion, based on your experience, you suspect they don't exist. You cannot however take the lack of evidence for their existence and evidence in favour of your theory that they do not exist, to do so is to pervert the facts or lack of facts to suit your own purposes.

...WHAT?

I was rereading this dread, making sure I didn't miss anything relevant, and I stopped right after this paragraph of yours, staring at it, my jaw dropped, in disbelief.

(OK, now that we got my emotional reaction out of the way, let's follow it with an example:)

I'm going to make an outrageous claim:  I can shoot Sith lightning from my fingertips!

Now, which one is the correct response to my statement?

A) "No, you can't.  Stop being silly."

or

B) "You have absolutely no evidence for the existence or non-existence of HG shooting Sith lightning. At most you can say you have never seen him do it and that in your opinion, based on your experience, you suspect he can't do that. You cannot however take the lack of evidence for his ability and evidence in favour of your theory that he can't do that, to do so is to pervert the facts or lack of facts to suit your own purposes."

Precisely B!

And from the implicit tone of your post I now expect floods of laughter to come from your quarter. And I hope it makes you very happy with yourself, but you do yourself a great dis-service not to think a little more deeply before taking such a position.

93
Hamal

This.  Is.  BEAUTIFUL.

HAMAL THINKS I AM DARTH SIDIOUS!

This is the most beautiful and elgant thread I have ever read in Lashtal.  I shall shrine Hamal's comments forever, as an example of how seriously [s:9yh94rof]fucked in the head[/s:9yh94rof] one can diverge from consensus reality with this occult stuff.

Whenever anyone ever complains about "you sceptic followers of Los and vicars of Erwin", I just need to link back to this thread.  There is no better example anywhere to point out just how pathetic the supernaturalist point of view is.

Thank you for this gift. 🙂  Your post will be saved and referenced for ever and ever.


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HG
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18/10/2013 7:21 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
ISo, HG, neither Los nor A.C. explained this particular concept in this context in the very first post,

Your illiteracy is neither mine nor Los's fault.


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Hamal
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18/10/2013 7:39 pm  
"HG" wrote:
Thank you for this gift. 🙂  Your post will be saved and referenced for ever and ever.

That's good. You never know, one day, when you're all grown up... you may even understand it!

🙂
93
Hamal


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Shiva
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18/10/2013 8:11 pm  
"a letter by Aleister Crowley to David Curwen from Septmber 23, 1944" wrote:
The Book of the Law does prove the existence of an intelligence possessing knowledge and power quite beyond anything we know of as human.

Oh yeah!   Here's the old argument ... where AC sets aside the obviously possible explanation of his subconscious/unconscious/superconscious mind slipping in a bit of qabalistic numerology and so-called prophecy, which is firmly interpreted as PROOF of super-human intelligence.

[/align:1dw6bnpa]

An examination of The Book of the Law by AC does attempt to prove the existence of an intelligence possessing knowledge and power quite beyond anything we (AC) know of as my (AC's) knowledge and power. I (Shiva) might have bought into superhuman entities in my youth, but now, in my ancient age, I remain unconvinced.


I remain unconvinced
All the "proof" is mental jugglery[/align:1dw6bnpa]


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Los
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18/10/2013 9:02 pm  
"threefold31" wrote:
Why shouldn't we assume that design vs. chance is equally likely?

Because all the evidence that we currently have points very strongly to one side, so that's where the rational tentative conclusion lies. You might as well ask why we shouldn't assume I have a 50% chance of winning the lottery...after all, there's a lot about the lottery that we don't know for sure, right?

The portion of the universe we do not know or comprehend may be far bigger than the one we do, in which case, you can't justify saying the chances for chance are more than 50%.

Sure we can, because we're making claims about the universe that we know and comprehend. As we learn and comprehend more, we refine our claims based on the new evidence we uncover...and unfortunately for you, all of the evidence that we keep uncovering points to the "not designed by intelligence" side.

This is the problem. You think we're making "absolute" claims and that we can't therefore know anything. But we're not making absolute claims. We're making claims about the reality that we are capable of interacting with, and we can make tentative claims about it, to varying degrees of certainty, and keep refining those claims.

As for talking about human arrogance, I see you've recognized the inherent paradox in my making an absolute claim about it. Thus you've also recognized my own human arrogance. And the guessing on my part. Would that you would see any of that in your own writing.

I pointed out the discrepancy not to agree that all claims are nothing more than "human arrogance." I pointed it out to show you how stupid your idea is, since it refutes itself.

I find it highly amusing that anyone uses their intelligence to argue that the universe is not intelligently designed. Want to talk about paradox some more?

There is no contradiction or paradox in saying that intelligence emerged from natural processes but that the universe itself is not intelligently designed.


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Los
 Los
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18/10/2013 9:17 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
It is no intellectual error in seriously entertaining the argument from design. Many, many scientists - even the most famous ones, even Darwin - entertain this argument.

Ok, that's fair. I'll concede that point. I retract that sentence. I think I was just trying to express the point that Crowley may have been persuaded by the argument from design, and this would have been an error on his part -- since the argument is so flawed, as I explain in the OP.

However, as you nicely point out by supplying that quotation that I'll address in a second, Crowley explicitly confirms that he was aware that at least one version of the argument from design is silly.

Crowley’s personal belief in superbeings (“Secret Chiefs” or preternatural goblins)" is THE cornerstone of his philosophy

It's not. The cornerstone of Thelema is will. When Crowley talks about what Thelema is and how to practice it, he's always talking about will, not contacting superbeings.

I'm not rehashing this particular argument with you on this thread. Start another thread if you like.

there is no logic in the equation Chance-Ruled-Universe = No-Aiwass.

I'm quite sure that I've never said, or even implied, that equation.

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
93!

Here is another nice quote of Crowley on the argument from design. It is from 1944 and was published a few years back in "Brother Curwen, Brother Crowley".

"a letter by Aleister Crowley to David Curwen from Septmber 23, 1944" wrote:
About The Equinox of the Gods I hope I shall be able to show you the importance. We have plenty of evidence of discarnate forces in the last hundred years. Any number of quite unsuspected forms of energy have been discovered, measured, controlled and employed. But there has never been any evidence whatever of a discarnate intelligence except in the old childish argument that evolution knocked silly - that a beautiful created thing argued the existence of a creator with a sense of beauty. The Book of the Law does prove the existence of an intelligence possessing knowledge and power quite beyond anything we know of as human. That is the only reason why I say that for all men without exception it is a document of supreme importance. The evidence for this knowledge and power is internal. It does not depend on a statement of any person.

The bold highlighting is mine.

Love=Law
Lutz

Thank you for this! This is precisely why I started the thread because I was looking for a discussion on the subject, hopefully with references from other places in Crowley's writing that I might have missed.

Here -- written in 1944, which must have been in the same period when he was writing the letters that comprised MWT -- Crowley calls (at least one version of) the argument from design a "childish argument that evolution knocked silly." The version he's talking about here holds that since beautiful things exist, there must be a creator with a sense of beauty. It's not far off from the version of the argument recently used by Kirk Cameron, in which every painting must have a painter and so too the universe must have a creator, otherwise we would have a painterless painting.

There's a reference to evolution in Liber Samekh that I'll dig out in a bit. Although it doesn't speak directly to the argument from design, it is relevant in the context of accepting where the evidence points instead of the desires of the mind.

Thanks again, Lutz.


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the_real_simon_iff
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18/10/2013 9:49 pm  

93!

Chance-Ruled-Universe = No-Aiwass

"Los" wrote:
I'm quite sure that I've never said, or even implied, that equation.

No, you did not, but:

"Los" wrote:
Finally, we might also say that Crowley’s personal belief in superbeings (“Secret Chiefs” or preternatural goblins) – if we take him at his word and grant that he really did believe in them – may actually be bound up in his intellectual error in seriously entertaining the argument from design.

Well, to me it seemed likely - especially when remembering the overall motive of your participation here - that once you have proved the "silliness" of the designer argument, you would have gone on to "prove" the silliness of Crowley's belief in the supernatural. And I just wanted to point out in advance that these both statements are in no way connected (apart from your finding them silly). Especially if we remember that while Crowley points out the silliness of the (Christian) designer intelligence, he in the same sentence points out the coherence and factual existence of discarnate intelligence who dictated the Book of the Law. It's just not some bearded guy in the clouds...

So, Crowley was well aware that he is speaking of two things: the intelligence that contacted him was not the intelligence who created all, it was just a different and non-human intelligence:

"Crowley in his diary, June 16, 1923" wrote:
Astronomy shows an infinite diversity of modes of existence - even defining an existing being as one whose habitat is the skin of a star or planet. We deny consciosness to other forms of matter solely because we cannot communicate with them.

Love=Law
Lutz


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the_real_simon_iff
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18/10/2013 10:06 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
Oh yeah!   Here's the old argument ...

93!

Shiva, just a reminder that I am just pointing to Crowley's arguments, not mine. So if anyone claims he is correctly interpreting Crowley for me and is in fact too far off from some viewpoints of the old goat he (Crowley) held consistently over more than 40 years in private, official, published and unpublished writing, in fact when this anyone even claims that Crowley's viewpoints are a hindrance to finding one's True Will, I take the liberty to remind him of this discrepancy.

It's up to everyone to accept Crowley's story in total, in part or not at all. But trying to sell a tidied-up pseudo-rationalistic version of Thelema as Crowley's, is not okay I guess.

Love=Law
Lutz


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Los
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18/10/2013 11:40 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Well, to me it seemed likely - especially when remembering the overall motive of your participation here - that once you have proved the "silliness" of the designer argument, you would have gone on to "prove" the silliness of Crowley's belief in the supernatural.

I understand what you’re saying, but here, I wasn’t trying to “prove” the silliness of his belief in the supernatural, nor was I trying to “prove” that his belief in the supernatural was unjustified or incorrect.

As I said in the OP, I thought it might be possible that his belief in superbeings might be tied up in his potential “seduction” by the argument from design. But even if that were the case, it wouldn't follow that if the argument was wrong then the claim would automatically be false. It would, however, indicate that he may have had a bad reason for being persuaded of the claim or that his thinking about the claim may have been influenced by the sloppy thinking that led him to be seduced by the argument from design. But it was not my intention to argue that point...the tangential way I tossed it in to the OP should have indicated that.

At any rate, the more we talk about it and the more we look at examples from Crowley's writing, the less likely it's looking that he bought the argument from design, that one weird quote notwithstanding.

So if anyone claims he is correctly interpreting Crowley for me and is in fact too far off from some viewpoints of the old goat he (Crowley) held consistently over more than 40 years in private, official, published and unpublished writing, in fact when this anyone even claims that Crowley's viewpoints are a hindrance to finding one's True Will, I take the liberty to remind him of this discrepancy.

For what it’s worth, it’s not a “discrepancy” to say that Guy X invented Philosophy Y but that Guy X may not have perfectly practiced Philosophy Y – and, in fact, that Guy X may have held belief Z which may be a hindrance to Philosophy Y.


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Shiva
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19/10/2013 3:06 am  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
... just a reminder that I am just pointing to Crowley's arguments, not mine.

Yes, I realise that. Note that my quote quoted the Crowley quote and made no reference to you. I only spoke up because AC is often speaking somewhere about the absolute PROOF of higher beings. My post was merely in response to AC's comment.

Personally, I have spent a minor career in "channelling" higher entities. And looking back, it surely seemed like it/they was/were independent wise beings.  🙂

But now I don't think so.  😮

If we are to believe what is revealed in "The Masters Revealed: Madame Blavatsky and the Myth of the Great White Lodge," we finf HPB confessing at the end of her years that she "invented" the masters - who were based on real-enough (but mortal) people.

[/align:3erx44qn]


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Los
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19/10/2013 3:40 am  
"HG" wrote:
I AM DARTH SIDIOUS!

Oh, so that explains why you once told me, "Your hate makes you powerful. Gives you focus."


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threefold31
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19/10/2013 6:31 am  
"Los" wrote:
"threefold31" wrote:
Why shouldn't we assume that design vs. chance is equally likely?

Because all the evidence that we currently have points very strongly to one side, so that's where the rational tentative conclusion lies. You might as well ask why we shouldn't assume I have a 50% chance of winning the lottery...after all, there's a lot about the lottery that we don't know for sure, right?

Not really, your analogy is far off the mark. The lottery is a simple set of numbers. The universe is far more complicated, you know... from the evidence we have so far.

No one would ever even think the universe MIGHT be designed if it didn't show a lot of features that look like they were designed. And you keep talking about all this nebulous evidence without really offering any. No doubt you have some, and I'm not asking to hear it. In return I offer the vastness of the universe. Not the 320 million lottery combinations, but that many galaxies full of just as many stars, etc.

The portion of the universe we do not know or comprehend may be far bigger than the one we do, in which case, you can't justify saying the chances for chance are more than 50%.

"Los" wrote:
Sure we can, because we're making claims about the universe that we know and comprehend. As we learn and comprehend more, we refine our claims based on the new evidence we uncover...and unfortunately for you, all of the evidence that we keep uncovering points to the "not designed by intelligence" side.

This is the problem. You think we're making "absolute" claims and that we can't therefore know anything. But we're not making absolute claims. We're making claims about the reality that we are capable of interacting with, and we can make tentative claims about it, to varying degrees of certainty, and keep refining those claims.

Fair enough. if you're only talking about the universe you have perceived, then you're entitled to whatever opinion you want. I was mistaken to think you were talking about the Universe. As in the whole thing that exists. Which to me couldn't possibly be fully comprehensible by the human intellect (being arrogant and all, I would think that). So, since you're only limiting yourself to a little corner of the universe, I'll refrain from further comments. Hopefully your end game, where you dismiss all supernatural entities, will also involve only the universe within your perceived reality. You know, to be consistent.

As for talking about human arrogance, I see you've recognized the inherent paradox in my making an absolute claim about it. Thus you've also recognized my own human arrogance. And the guessing on my part. Would that you would see any of that in your own writing.

"Los" wrote:
I pointed out the discrepancy not to agree that all claims are nothing more than "human arrogance." I pointed it out to show you how stupid your idea is, since it refutes itself.

It's not stupid for an idea to refute itself. It's simply a recursive move that will end in paradox. Like any logical statements when their reach exceeds their grasp.

I find it highly amusing that anyone uses their intelligence to argue that the universe is not intelligently designed. Want to talk about paradox some more?

"Los" wrote:
There is no contradiction or paradox in saying that intelligence emerged from natural processes but that the universe itself is not intelligently designed.

I didn't say there was a contradiction. I said it's amusing. Then i went on to ask about paradox. Not being enough of a space, you must have thought the thoughts were related. Not so. However its an understandable mistake. Not the least bit stupid.

The reason i find it amusing that intelligence is used to discuss intelligent design is simply this: humans are intelligent, no doubt, and they can design things. but they most certainly are incapable of designing a universe. so to presume that our intellect's understanding of its own intelligence is actually able to provide us with enough information to decide if a universe (or our little part of it) - which we could never actually design ourselves - was designed or not designed by an intelligence admittedly greater than the one doing the thinking about designing, is really, really amusing.

I have nothing further to contribute.

Litlluw
RLG


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Los
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19/10/2013 5:19 pm  
"threefold31" wrote:
No one would ever even think the universe MIGHT be designed if it didn't show a lot of features that look like they were designed.

Well, this brings us right back to the OP, where I point out that the way we actually recognize design is not by "look" but by evidence. When we see a watch on the beach, we know that it's designed not because of its complexity -- or anything about the watch itself -- but because we have lots of evidence that watches are only designed and that watches aren't naturally-occurring.

As I said -- again in the OP -- in order to recognize design, we need to contrast it against something that's not designed. If you're seriously proposing that the entire universe might be "designed," then we would have no way of ever recognizing that in the first place (because there would be nothing to contrast it against to determine that it was designed).

if you're only talking about the universe you have perceived, then you're entitled to whatever opinion you want. I was mistaken to think you were talking about the Universe. As in the whole thing that exists.

Well, just to be clear, I'm not just talking about my personal perceptions. I'm talking about everything that evidence sufficiently reveals. For example, I've never personally laid eyes on the Eiffel Tower, but I know, thanks to evidence, that it's so likely that it exists that I would be happy to say I "know" that the Eiffel Tower exists (and even then, that's not a statement of absolute 100% certainty, though it might be close).

since you're only limiting yourself to a little corner of the universe

I wouldn't characterize it as "limiting" myself...I'm operating within everything humans currently know, as revealed by evidence. When we learn more, I'll gladly change my position. How else would someone go about understanding the universe?

Hopefully your end game, where you dismiss all supernatural entities, will also involve only the universe within your perceived reality. You know, to be consistent.

I can say, very confidently, based on all of the evidence available to humanity -- including millions of people pretending to talk to beings like "Jesus" or "Krishna" and even a tiny handful who pretend to talk to the "spirits of the goetia" but also including hundreds of years in which absolutely nobody can demonstrate any of these supposed beings doing anything that daydreams can't do -- there's nothing approaching evidence for the existence of supernatural entities and thus no reason to accept that they exist.

It's not stupid for an idea to refute itself.

Maybe I wasn't clear enough: it's stupid to accept an idea if it refutes itself.


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Michael Staley
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19/10/2013 9:17 pm  

So would it be fair to say, Los, that you think we shouldn't accept claims without tangible evidence, i.e. data that can be assessed by other people who are, on the basis of that evidence, able to endorse that claim?


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Los
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19/10/2013 10:50 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
So would it be fair to say, Los, that you think we shouldn't accept claims without tangible evidence, i.e. data that can be assessed by other people who are, on the basis of that evidence, able to endorse that claim?

No, I wouldn't say that. There are all sorts of claims I accept based on evidence that other people can't directly perceive or assess. For example, earlier today, before I had lunch, I made the following claim: "I'm hungry." I accepted that claim as true, based on the evidence at my disposal (that is, my examination of my own bodily feelings).

As far as I know, nobody else is capable of directly perceiving my hunger.

However, if I informed someone else of the evidence I was experiencing, anybody could assess the *process* by which I was validating the claim. I could, for example, say to someone, "I accept the claim that I'm hungry, and I accept it based on the evidence that my stomach is rumbling, I feel gentle pangs in my stomach, and it's been several hours since I had breakfast," and anyone hearing that could conclude, "Sounds like you've sufficiently supported that claim. If you're accurately reporting that evidence, then your claim is very likely true!"

Of course, no one would ever have that conversation, but it goes to show you that the *process* of drawing conclusions is something objective that *anybody* can assess, even if only one person has access to a direct experience of the evidence.

So no, I don't think claims should only be accepted if they have "tangible" evidence...I think claims should only be accepted if they are sufficiently supported by evidence. And the question of whether they are sufficiently supported by evidence is an objective question that can be determined by any impartial party, so long as that party is informed of the evidence (even evidence that can only be observed by a single person).


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jamie barter
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21/10/2013 11:42 am  
"HG" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
ISo, HG, neither Los nor A.C. explained this particular concept in this context in the very first post,

Your illiteracy is neither mine nor Los's fault.

Confucius, he [maybe not] say: quibbling about typos is the lowest form of wit. 

I might as well point out your error:

"HG" wrote:
This is the most beautiful and elgant thread I have ever read in Lashtal.  ...

The fact that you appear to have absolutely nothing else to say about the (remainder of the) content of my post/s speaks volumes in itself, HG.

As nobody else has addressed me directly, and I haven’t had the time to carefully digest the remainder of thread yet, I may comment further on matters following the delight of a light liquid lunch down at the old saloon.  (Betcha can’t wait!!?!)

N Joy


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jamie barter
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21/10/2013 3:52 pm  

That feels better!

"Los" wrote:
"threefold31" wrote:
No one would ever even think the universe MIGHT be designed if it didn't show a lot of features that look like they were designed.

Well, this brings us right back to the OP, where I point out that the way we actually recognize design is not by "look" but by evidence. When we see a watch on the beach, we know that it's designed not because of its complexity -- or anything about the watch itself -- but because we have lots of evidence that watches are only designed and that watches aren't naturally-occurring. ...

Oho, so the watch has ended up on the beach now, has it?  (as opposed to the woods.)  My, these watches certainly get around, don’t they?  I wonder what “the odds” are it might have been the same watch which I lost on a beach in Italy in 1993?

"Los" wrote:

if you're only talking about the universe you have perceived, then you're entitled to whatever opinion you want. I was mistaken to think you were talking about the Universe. As in the whole thing that exists.

Well, just to be clear, I'm not just talking about my personal perceptions. I'm talking about everything that evidence sufficiently reveals. For example, I've never personally laid eyes on the Eiffel Tower, but I know, thanks to evidence, that it's so likely that it exists that I would be happy to say I "know" that the Eiffel Tower exists (and even then, that's not a statement of absolute 100% certainty, though it might be close).

Did you hear about the aborigine who was dragged all the way to Paris so that, among other things, he might gaze upon and marvel said Tower?  He reported back to his ‘keepers’ that he thought what he was looking at was some gigantic and unfamiliar Tree.  Which just goes to show – you can’t always tell truth (or even Truth) is what you see, only interpret it by your own individual criteria of knowledge. (See also below *)

"Los" wrote:
I can say, very confidently, based on all of the evidence available to humanity -- including millions of people pretending to talk to beings like "Jesus" or "Krishna" and even a tiny handful who pretend to talk to the "spirits of the goetia" but also including hundreds of years in which absolutely nobody can demonstrate any of these supposed beings doing anything that daydreams can't do -- there's nothing approaching evidence for the existence of supernatural entities and thus no reason to accept that they exist.

For you, sure.  But of course,

"Los" wrote:
Well, just to be clear, I'm not just talking about my personal perceptions. ...

are you?  You are hoping to speak for everyone.  Fair enough, the universe allows you to do that.  Just don’t expect everyone to agree with you, and respect other’s (different) points of view.

I am slightly disappointed, but will no doubt get over it, that no one has picked up on the “dna” aspect.  I could write a bit more myself, but was hoping that someone more learned than me in these quarters (a poster who is a biochemist by profession but with a love of philology on the side, for example) might run with it first.  Let us forget for the moment that, although coming close, A.C. (and by which, I mean his legacy, his writings) had no idea of the ramifications of dna, let alone recent developments in quantum physics and language/information theory, and this would have coloured to an extent his viewpoints on an argument from design (sorry, I still think that sounds a little bit of a pretentious phrase even though Los didn’t originate it! :D) 

Perhaps I should have laid a bit more context?  In itself, I suppose the original qoute may have come across as a bit like 21st Century koans, which they are in a way:

THE MEANING OF THE TRANSMITTER IS THE TRANSMISSION.  SPECIES ORIGINATE FROM A MISTAKEN MISTAKE.  And here is the third law of Evolution: which you will not have suspected till now: THE CONSTRUCTION IS LESS PERFECT THAN WHAT CONSTRUCTS. ... [Capitals sic]

I can do not much more at this stage than quote again further, as far as I may, from Stanislaw Lem (whose work, I am sure if A.C. had read, he would have recommended it for the A.’.A.’. reading curriculum.  I personally recommend really reading the whole thing for the multiform overall context, and some of his other stuff which is also brilliantly written and expressed.)

As people can use space and time up with funny videos and pictures etc (which I, being a technological Neanderthal, do not know how to do anyway), hopefully I should be able to respond by uploading a small amount of quotation which I feel pertinent to the issue under discussion, even if only tangentially (and especially as I have to go to the effort of typing it all out myself! & so please excuse any typographical errors, incidentally…)

You had reached the point where Evolution was no longer keeping a sharp eye on you or on any other creatures, for it is interested in no creatures whatsoever, but only in its notorious code.  The code of heredity is a dispatch continually articulated anew, and only this dispatch counts in Evolution – in fact, it is Evolution.  This code is engaged in the periodic production of organisms, since without their rhythmic support it would disintegrate in the endless attack of dead matter.  Thus it is self-generating, for it is capable of self-repetition by an orderliness that is beleaguered by thermal chaos.  Where does it get this strangely heroic bearing?  From the fact that, thanks to the concentration of favourable conditions, it originated precisely where that thermal chaos is perpetually active in tearing all order to pieces.  It originated there, so that is where it remains; it cannot leave that stormy region, just as spirit cannot jump out of a body.

The conditions obtaining in the place where the code was born gave it such a destiny.  It had to shield itself against these conditions, and did so by covering itself in living bodies, though they are a continually rotting relay race, since one generation passes the code on to the next.  Whatever it elevated as a microsystem into barely elevated macrosystemic dimensions had already begun to deteriorate, to the point where it disappeared.  Nobody created this tragi-comedy: it condemned itself to this struggle.  You know the facts that bear me out, for they have been accumulating since the nineteenth century, though the inertia of thought secretly nourishing itself on honor and anthropocentric conceit is such that you support a gravely weakened concept of life as a paramount phenomenon which the code serves solely as a sustaining bond, as a pledge of resurrection, beginning existences anew when they die as persons.

In keeping with this belief, Evolution is forced to use death, since it cannot go on without it; it is lavish with death in order to perfect successive species, for death is its creational proofreader.  Thus it is an author publishing ever more magnificent works in which typography – the code – is merely its indispensable instrument.  However, according to what your molecular biologists are now saying, Evolution is not so much the author as a publisher who continually cancels works, having developed a liking for the typographic arts!

So what is more important – organisms or the code?  The arguments in support of the code ring weightily, for a countless multitude of organisms have come and gone, but there is only one code.  However, this merely means that it has got bogged down once and for all in the microsystemic region which puts it together; when it emerges periodically as organisms, it does so unsuccessfully.  It is this understandable futility – the fact that organisms, in their very inception, have the mark of death – which constitutes the driving force of the process.  If any generation of organisms – let us say the first, the pre-amoebas – had gained the skill of perfectly repeating the code, then Evolution would immediately have ceased, and the sole masters of the planet would be those very amoebas, transmitting the code’s order in an infallibly precise matter until the sun went cold; I would not be talking to you now, nor would you be listening to me in this building, but all would be savannah and wind.

So organisms are a shield and breastplate for the code, a suit of armor continually falling off: they perish so it can endure.  Thus Evolution errs doubly: in its organisms, which are impermanent owing to their fallibility, and in the code, which owing to its own fallibility permits errors – mistakes you euphemistically term mutations.  Therefore Evolution is an error that errs.  As a dispatch, the code is a letter written by nobody and sent to nobody.  Only now that you have created informatics are you beginning to grasp that not only something like letters, carrying meaning, letters that nobody wittingly composed (though they came into being and exist), but also the orderly reception of the content of such letters, is possible in the absence of any Beings or Intelligences whatsoever.

Only a hundred years ago the idea that an order might arise without a personal Author appeared so nonsensical to you that it inspired seemingly absurd jokes, like the one about the pack of monkeys hammering away at typewriters until the Encyclopaedia Britannica emerged.  I recommend that you devote some of your free time to compiling an anthology of just such jokes, which amused your forebears as pure nonsense but now turn out to be parables about Nature.  I believe that, from the standpoint of every Intelligence unwittingly contrived by Nature, she must appear at the very least as an ironic virtuoso.  In its rise, Intelligence – like the whole of life – results from the fact that Nature, having emerged from dead chaos via the orderliness of the code, is a diligent spinner, but not an entirely competent one; whereas, if she had been truly competent, she would be unable to produce either genera or Intelligence.  For Intelligence, along with the tree of life, is the fruit of an error erring over billions of years.  You might think I am amusing myself here by applying certain standards to Evolution which are – despite my machine being – tainted with anthropocentrism, or simply ratiocentrism (ratio, I think).  Nothing of the sort: I regard the process from a technological viewpoint.

The transmission of the code is indeed very nearly perfect.  After all, every molecule has its own proper place in it, and procedures of copying, collating, and inspecting are rigorously supervised by special polymer supervisors; yet mistakes occur, and errors of the code accumulate.  Thus the tree of the species grew from two very short words “very nearly,” which I used just now in referring to the code’s precision.

Nor can one even count on an appeal from biology to physics – the appeal that Evolution “deliberately” allowed a margin of error in order to nourish its inventiveness – because that tribunal, whose judge is thermodynamics itself, will reveal that, on the level of the molecular dispatch of messengers, infallibility is impossible.  Evolution has really invented nothing, desired nothing at all, planned nobody in particular, and if it exploits its own fallibility – if, as a result of a chain of misunderstandings in communication, it proceeds from an amoeba and comes up with a tapeworm or a man – the reason for this is the physical nature of the material base of communication itself.

So it persists in error, since it cannot do otherwise – fortunately for you.  But I have said nothing that is new to you.  On the contrary, I should like to restrain the ardour of those theoreticians of yours who have gone too far, saying that since Evolution is a chance grasped by necessity, and necessity runs on chance, man has arisen quite by accident and could just as easily not exist.

That is to say, in his present shape – the one that has materialized here – he might not have existed, which is true.  But by crawling through species, some kind of form had to attain Intelligence, with a probability approaching unity the longer the process went on.  For although the process did not intend you and produced individuals only on the side, it filled the conditions of the ergodic hypothesis, which states that, if a system goes on long enough, it will pass through all possible states, no matter how slim the chances are that a given state will be realized.  As to which species might have filled Intelligence’s niche, had the primates not entered the breach, we might speak at length at another time.  So do not let yourselves be intimidated by the scientists who attribute necessity to life, and fortuity to Intelligence; the latter was, to be sure, one of the less likely states, so it developed late, but great is the patience of Nature; had such a gaudium not occurred in this billennium, it would have occurred in the next.

And what then?  There is no guilty party, nor are there any rewards to be given.  You have come into being because Evolution is a less than methodical player.  Not only does it err through errors, but it also refuses to limit itself to a single set of tactics in vying with Nature: it covers all available squares by all possible means.  But, I repeat, you know this more or less.  Yet this is only part – and, I might add, the initial part – of your initiation.  The essence of it revealed thus far can be formulated concisely as follows: THE MEANING OF THE TRANSMITTER IS THE TRANSMISSION.  For organisms serve the transmission, and not the reverse; organisms outside the communications procedure of Evolution signify nothing: they are without meaning, like a book without readers.  To be sure, the corollary holds: THE MEANING OF THE TRANSMISSION IS THE TRANSMITTER.  But the two members are not symmetrical.  For not every transmitter is the true meaning of a transmission, but only such a meaning as will faithfully serve the next transmission. …

THE CONSTRUCTION IS LESS PERFECT THAN WHAT CONSTRUCTS.
Eight words!  But they embody the inversion of all your ideas concerning the unsurpassed mastery of the author of species.  The belief in progress moving upward through the epochs toward a perfection pursued with increasing skill – the belief in the progress of life preserved throughout the tree of evolution – is older than the theory of it.  When its creators and adherents were struggling with their antagonists, disputing arguments and facts, neither of these opposing camps ever dreamed of questioning the idea of a progress visible in the hierarchy of living creatures.  This is no longer a hypothesis for you, nor a theory to be defended, but an absolute certainty.  Yet I shall refute it for you.  It is not my intention to criticize you yourselves, you rational beings, as being (deficient) exceptions to the rule of evolutionary mastery.  If we judge you by what it has within its means, you have come out quite well!  So if I announce I am going to overthrow it and bring it down, I mean the whole of it, enclose within three billion years of hard creative work.

I have declared: the construction is less perfect than what constructs, which is fairly aphoristic.  Let us give it more substance: IN EVOLUTION, A NEGATIVE GRADIENT OPERATES IN THE PERFECTING OF STRUCTURAL SOLUTIONS. [Etc.]

(Imaginary Magnitude [Golem XIV] by Stanislaw Lem, pp. 11-18)[/align:3izer776]

(See also above * re. the following):

Civilization is a thing both necessary an d accidental; like the lining of a nest, it is a shelter from the world, a tiny counterworld that the large world silently tolerates, with the toleration of indifference, because in it there is no answer to the questions of good and evil, beauty and ugliness, laws and customs.  Language, the creation of civilization, is like the framework of the nest; it binds all the bits of lining and unites them into the shape that is deemed necessary by the occupants of the nest.  Language is an appeal to the joint identity of the nesting beings, their common denominator, their constant of similarity, and therefore its influence must end immediately beyond the edge of that subtle structure.

(His Master’s Voice, by Stanislaw Lem, p.82)[/align:3izer776]

Also the following, though strictly tangential, is rather amusing:

…If, as usually happens to me, I first become acquainted with someone through his work [writings] – and therefore, as it were, from the most spiritual side, the impact of meeting that entirely physical organism, which I had pictured instinctively as a kind of Platonic emanation, was always a shock.
To observe how pure thought or lofty detachment sweats, blinks, digs in its ear, how it manages, with varying success, its own machinery, which, supporting the soul, so often gets in the soul’s way – this has always been for me an iconoclastic treat, malicious through and through.  I remember how once I was being driven by a famous philosopher who admitted to solipsism, and he got a flat tire.  Interrupting his discourse on the phantasmagoria of illusion which is all existence, he set about – in the most ordinary way, even with grunts – jacking up the car and hauling out the spare.  I looked on with childish delight, as if seeing Jesus Christ with a stuffed nose.  Using the illusion of a wrench, he removed, one by one, the non-existent nuts, then looked with despair at his hands covered with grease; the grease had no more substance than a dream, according to his doctrine – but somehow that did not enter his head.
As a child I honestly believed that there existed a category of perfect men; scientists, first and foremost, belonged in it, and amongst them the holiest had to be the university professors.  Reality compelled me to part with such idealistic convictions.
[etc etc]

(His Master’s Voice, by Stanislaw Lem, pp. 134-5)[/align:3izer776]

As Voltaire put it, “when the grain is shipped to the Sultan, does the Captain concern himself about the comfort of the mice on board?"

Meanwhile, waiting for Honest Annie (aka ‘Honest Annihilator’) to utter (will she ever?!!)
N Joy


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jamie barter
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01/11/2013 3:52 pm  

The following may be of further relevance to the argument in respect of dna and possible mutations of the code (design), from pages 457-8 of The Eye In The Triangle by Israel Regardie:

A friend of mine – a sincere and enthusiastic fan of Crowley’s work – has said that regardless of his shortcomings and personal problems, Crowley had something which permitted his selection and use as a messenger.  The Gods, whoever and whatever They may be, care nothing for human beings per se, save as they may be employed to further the work of the evolution of the human race.  This business of evolution is never a smooth, forward-moving process.  More likely it proceeds by sudden spurts and jolts, accompanied by social catastrophes and overwhelming cataclysms of nature which, somehow, promote the occurrence of mutations.  It is the resulting mutant that is the evidence of evolution, as well as the promise of better things to come.  He also suggested that Crowley may be one of these mutants, and that The Book of the Law, no matter how distasteful its violence and haughty disdain of our so-called civilized values may be to us, is the scripture as it were of violent change and evolutionary cataclysm from which mutants emerge. ...

Since the code is the unifier of all living things on Earth including and especially intelligent sentient organisms, it would surely include (involve) the Earth herself as the fullest expression (possibly again in some aspect of ‘as above so below’) of it as Atu XXI, its manifestation of The World/ The Universe? 

Or could that even be vice-versa with the little Earth our sister Herself as the prime mover?

N Joy


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Hamal
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01/11/2013 6:48 pm  

I'm taking a ring side seat for this one!

🙂
93
Hamal


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jamie barter
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02/11/2013 6:12 pm  
"Hamal" wrote:
I'm taking a ring side seat for this one!

🙂
93
Hamal

I think possibly the amphitheatre may have emptied, Hamal!

(Refunds are available on the way out)
N Joy


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Hamal
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02/11/2013 6:41 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
I think possibly the amphitheatre may have emptied, Hamal!

(Refunds are available on the way out)
N Joy

Darn it... what's on telly then...

93
Hamal


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jamie barter
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03/11/2013 7:41 pm  

For sports fans, the final score was: Game, Set and Match to the supernaturalists on points, after Los conceded or declared (due to fading of the Light.)

It was (is?!) a debate which despite the obvious snags (the familiar lack of a final resolution of course, for starters) held some promise in some of its benign aspects.

But put one last time for the round – I mean road – in what is becoming an echoing arena:

“The Meaning of the Transmitter is the Transmission.” ! (Discuss.) (- No!)

Perhaps the last one out will kill the lights/
N Joy


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gurugeorge
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13/11/2013 12:24 pm  

Great exposition Los. 

I am (as usual 🙂 )in agreement with a lot of what you say, but let me try to explain what I think is only an apparent contradiction in what Crowley says:-

When Crowley says "There is no question of any moral significance—"one man's meat is another man's poison" and so on", I think that's the bit that links up with what he's saying earlier about "chance ruling the universe". 

IOW, particular outcomes (including everything up to the ultimate "we won the lottery!" outcome of a universe that is somewhat hospitable to us, in which we exist), are as they may be, they are "ruled by Chance."  And whether they're "boo" or "hooray" outcomes depends on their saliency to our interests (breathing oxygen, for example).

But any outcome must have been the result of "intelligent design" in the sense that Crowley is using it in the later quotes. A universe of dumb rocks would still be the outcome of "intelligent design" in the sense meant.  For it would still be the result of operation of some kind of structuring law (or "habit of the universe", let's say), and that structuring principle is itself what is referred to by Intelligence, Logos, De, etc., etc.

IOW, any of the trillions upon trillions of possible outcomes, each is equally ultimately either probable or improbable depending on perspective, but each outcome would nevertheless be the outcome of that kind of "intelligent design".

Now, I don't think Crowley is using a teleological analogy to support this point of view (e.g. nothing like Paley's).  It's more of an intuition, it's the religious intuition par excellence, and you've either got it or you're tone deaf to it.  It hasn't really been best served by attempts like Paley's to put it into rational terms.  It's a take it or leave it proposition.

The question isn't really "why does stuff have the order it does?": that's ruled by Chance.  The question is is really "why is there ordered stuff at all?"

You can boil stuff down to "laws of physics", and either a hospitable universe or a universe of dumb rocks might be produced by those laws.  But whence the laws of physics (which just so happen to contain the possibility of intelligent, knowing beings?)

Obviously, positing an extra being as creator is redundant.  The laws of physics, the structuring principle, must be inherent in some manner in the Universe, therefore the Universe itself is Intelligent, or is Intelligence, etc., etc., and self-reflexive and self-creative.

I suppose the nearest one can come to it in Thelemic parlance would be to say that Nuit is the infinity of raw possibility, and Hadit the point of intelligence or knowingness that serially actualizes (and/or comes to know) that raw possibility.

At a more mystical level, we think when we look at a rock that we are aware of the rock.  That is not so, it is the rock (and the entire causal concatenation behind it) that is aware of itself, there is really no "us" in the picture at all - our encountering of it ("it" being ) just is Its awareness of itself (i.e. a portion of the infinite possibility becoming aware of itself by the stratagem of momentarily splitting itself into observer and observed).

This "stratagem" is really the Intelligence of which Crowley is speaking.  It doesn't matter what the particular possibility that's being realized is (that's the "make no difference" bit), what matters is that it exists, and it exists becuase of this "Intelligence" (i.e. this innate "desire" - Spinoza's conatus - on the part of infinite possibility to become aware of itself - this possibility being itself of course but one possibility in the infinity of possibility that is no-thing).

The upshot of it all is that reasoning can only get you so far, because reasoning is based on perspective and interest - this concatenation appears as things in relation to interest and desire (and if outcomes pain, the remedy is the ultimate perspective of Chance Rules).  But this Intelligence Crowley's talking about - the thing seen by all religious intuition, however dark the glass it's seeing it through - cannot be seen at the level of seeing things; it is the reason why seeing things is possible at all.


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Hamal
(@hamal)
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13/11/2013 2:48 pm  

Anyone interested in the topics in this thread would do well to listen to this talk by Alan Watts who had a real gift for explaining abstract concepts, and here he discusses the essence of what we are grappling with here. So I recommend you take 53 minutes and 5 seconds out of your day and have a listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um6SX3ZgJRs

If you aren't familiar with Alan Watts, he was a former Church of England minister who went on to embrace Eastern Philosophy and became something of a counter culture Guru. He was as imperfect a being as any of us, but he did have a knack for explaining things. He is also very entertaining!

🙂
93
Hamal


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Los
 Los
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13/11/2013 3:29 pm  
"gurugeorge" wrote:
some kind of structuring law (or "habit of the universe", let's say), and that structuring principle is itself what is referred to by Intelligence, Logos, De, etc., etc.

Maybe, but in that case, I think it's disingenuous and highly misleading to call the natural laws of the universe "intelligence." When I drop something and it falls, there's no "intelligence" there in any sense of the word "intelligence" that we ever use. It's just stuff doing what stuff does. More specifically, the huge mass of the earth is curving space time and attracting other mass to it, so that when I drop a pen, down goes the pen toward the huge mass. It's that same force of attraction that I push against when I lift my arm.

There's nothing remotely like intelligence in the operation of natural forces like gravity. You might as well say that my coffee table is "intelligent" because it holds up whatever I put on it: of course, that would be ridiculous to say, because there's no "intelligence" there -- it's just things doing what they do. The so-called "laws" of the universe are just our attempts to describe what stuff does.

I don't see any benefit at all to calling it "intelligence," except the dubious benefit of being able to turn around and talk oneself into thinking that the universe really is intelligent in the other sense too, and golly gee whiz I'm connected to that intelligence because all is one and all is consciousness, and hey maybe I can even subtly influence the "intelligence" of the universe with my "intelligence," even though that's an equivocation fallacy (two entirely different meanings of "intelligence") and even though these supposed powers can never ever be demonstrated, not even once.

It's more of an intuition, it's the religious intuition par excellence, and you've either got it or you're tone deaf to it.

Or you've got it and are misled by it.

The question is is really "why is there ordered stuff at all?"

You can boil stuff down to "laws of physics", and either a hospitable universe or a universe of dumb rocks might be produced by those laws.  But whence the laws of physics (which just so happen to contain the possibility of intelligent, knowing beings?)

It might very well be because "that's the way things are," and no deeper reason.

I mean, even if we granted that there had to be some kind of "intelligence," you've just pushed the question back a level: whence this intelligence? At some point, you just have to say that this is the way things are, no deeper reason. I see no reason to push it back to some dubious, equivocation-prone appeal to a non-explanation like "intelligence," supported only by the warm and fuzzies you get inside.

At a more mystical level, we think when we look at a rock that we are aware of the rock.  That is not so, it is the rock (and the entire causal concatenation behind it) that is aware of itself, there is really no "us" in the picture at all - our encountering of it ("it" being ) just is Its awareness of itself (i.e. a portion of the infinite possibility becoming aware of itself by the stratagem of momentarily splitting itself into observer and observed).

Ehhhhhh. I think I sort of agree with the point you're trying to make here, but I definitely do not agree with the phrasing. "Awareness" happens inside brains. It's deeply misleading to talk about the universe itself having awareness.

But this Intelligence Crowley's talking about - the thing seen by all religious intuition, however dark the glass it's seeing it through - cannot be seen at the level of seeing things; it is the reason why seeing things is possible at all.

Ugh, this is based on that old ridiculous saying attributed to the piss-poor Christian apologist C.S. Lewis: "I believe in God like I believe in the sun, not because I can see it, but because of it all things are seen."

But of course that's bullshit. You're merely asserting that this "intelligence" exists, just as Lewis merely asserts that his god exists. I'm sure each one of you has those warm and fuzzy intuitions that confirm these claims ("to you," no doubt....) but isn't it interesting that your intuition and Lewis' intuition lead you each to diametrically opposed conclusions about the universe, both of which cannot be true simultaneously. It would appear that this intuition you trust so much is unreliable on these questions.


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