Archive for February, 2011
I’m always amazed by the ambiguities of what “spirituality” is to people from an empirical standpoint and from a theoretical standpoint. Janet’s sentiments are noble.
While at the International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society I heard a variety of presentations and papers on spirituality, some had to do specifically with representation of a non-physical being’s presence in affecting the life experience of physical beings. A paper and presentation by Dr. David Brisben titled Recognizing God’s active presence in a secular age: recovering a theology of common grace for Christian spirituality. Others heavily referenced spirituality while managing to avoid referencing a non-physical being or interaction through their entire elaboration, like those of Louis Silverstein titled Body as temple/sex as prayer: a spiritual practice. The rhetoric behind spirituality is synonymous with just about any type of human experience. I’m starting to think that the term itself compensates for our inability to elaborate well on what is actually going on physical
Having stated that, I think that it is necessary to explore what incentives people have to be compassionate. While there are some clear (and getting clearer as we invested out scientific abilities in exploring) physiological synergies in human interaction [ This is the study by the Heartmath Inst. http://store.heartmath.org/store/e-books/energetic-heart ], there are some strong philosophical disconnects between the people of the world that require more than education to mend. To be truly pervasive in spreading the compassion in a world of economic incentives to do nearly anyone harm, it will take a series of experiences to build harmonies inside the species. I hope that Janet and everyone else will afford themselves the opportunity to pay-forward some compassion.
The Economist is asking this question of us all currently in a debate series, and I felt compelled to write on the topic, after a rather passionate set of questions posed to me in Chicago following a speech I gave on Integrationalism and human kind’s technological potential.
Of course everyone is aware of my thoughts on the internet as a space and as a technology from earlier posts and speech rebuttals during 2010, but the ideal that it is inherently a force for democracy needs some further exploration (I think). Of course the philosophical community would have many problems with the use of language in the posed stance This house believes that the internet is not inherently a force for democracy... but i think we all get it, that the internet provides some inherent democratic utility to those of us who have the ability and who choose to engage it.
Democracy per doctionary.com is a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges, this definition is exclusive of the many political and national specific definitions of democracy that we all may know. The notion that equality can actually exist is an ambitious one, by the democracy as a philosophy, most would coin it as utopian and unrealistic, and if it weren’t for the internet I would agree. The reality of the day is that we are gradually possessing the potential to give everyone immediate access to the very economic and political indicators that leaders make decisions with. Through the engagement of the internet and only some space similar could there ever exist a potential for real equality.
Of course, as we bear witness, the internet has some downfalls as business and advertising (and like) incentives aim to control the potential of individuals engaging the internet in a useful way. Also, when the web of data sharing started between scientists in the middle of the last century, we have no reason to believe that they were planing on creating a phenomena that could be inherently democratic, but the technology is taking us to new heights. As a technological determinist I can accept how the technologies that we’ve inherited create an exponential growth and allow us to engage each other in higher volumes and high quality to force the understanding of our human need to communicate well.
Regarding the economist.com debate, I am voting that I disagree.
I just heard media correspondents talk about institutionalizing the “newly politicized youth” in Egypt. The social arbitrage enforced by an institution like a military requires political organization. The institutionalization and organization of political sentiments to combat the nation’s militaristic potential (force) is in fact the most dangerous economic phenomena that human kind looking for sustainability can encounter. The ideal of democracy has nothing to do with its institutions.”
Socio-Political factors derive our ability to innovation moreover technological development.
Technology determines our socio-cultural make-up
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These ideals are important to understand as we start to discuss phrases like “Information Society”, “Industrialized Societies”. So, is Infomation leading the change in social fabric or society took its course to spur Infomation Revolution. Or is there some meshing of the two that has yielded our modern reality? I think everyone already knows that I am a technological determinist, but I’m open to discuss the opposing ideal.
Karl Marx, the communist believed that capitalism will destroy itself giving way to a class-less society. Many argue that he was a technological determinist while others (Rosenberg: Inside the Black Box) show that it is easier to identify that he was not. Does that influence your subscription? If so, how?