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The Heart of Dialectics

The Heart of Dialectics

By Dennis Loo (5/7/14)

In the Preface to Globalization and the Demolition of Society, I distill the book’s key themes and arguments in the space of two highly concentrated paragraphs. At the beginning of that summary I say the following:

Everyone and everything that exists does so only in relationship to other beings and to other things. (p. xii)

I mean this as literally as it is possible to mean anything. In fact, I mean this more literally than any other statement could possibly be literal.

One of the manifestations of this point is the relationship between individuals and groups. But that is only one concrete manifestation of this larger point that I would argue is the heart of dialectics.

Existence itself cannot be without dialectics being true. Put another way, it is impossible for there to ever have been or ever be a state in which there is not matter in motion. Put still another way, it is impossible for there to ever have been a time or ever be a time when there is only space without matter or matter without space.

In the Bible, Genesis reads:

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

Like any other human society’s beginnings mythology, an explanation is offered in metaphor (some believe the Bible to be literally the Word of God) for the beginnings of the World. Let’s consider it as a literal account and examine its validity.

In the biblical tale, the Spirit of God precedes the creation of the Universe. According to dialectics, in which everything and everyone that exists only does so in relationship to other things and beings, however, a spirit of God or any other kind of disembodied spirit could not have ever existed separate and apart from a material universe.

What would the nature of this disembodied spirit be? Some say that that is unknowable. But if you argue that something is unknowable, then absolutely anything is possible and you are arguing that reason has no meaning. Those who believe based on faith would not demure from this. They would say that faith takes over when reason fails. Again, however, if you accept that there are limits to reason and that faith explains what reason cannot, then you are no longer operating in the realm of science and reason and when you do that, then absolutely anything could be true because there is no longer a criterion by which to determine and test whether something is true of the objective world. The world that we live in not only depends upon our use of reason and the stability and inescapability of the fact that a physical world exists outside of our consciousness of it, we all operate based upon this. Even those who claim to be motivated by faith or by some version of radical relativism (e.g., those who deny the existence of an objective reality separately existing from subjective states of mind) operate in their day to day life based upon the stability of the independent existence of an objective world. That is because the objective world governed by certain physical laws actually does exist.

When I use the word “stability” I don’t mean unchanging in the sense that the physical world is unchanging. It is changing all the time. What I mean by stable is that consciousness is based upon a) brain matter which is a material thing, and b) that when I die the universe will go on because my consciousness of it isn’t what brings it into being.

In the world of physics and specifically Big Bang Theories, some hold that before the Big Bang there was nothing. Something came from nothing.

Based on dialectics, however, I would argue that something cannot ever come from nothing and that in some physical form, prior to the Big Bang, material substance existed in some form of matter in motion. Energy, matter, and time as we know from Relativity Theory, are inter-related phenomena. While a Big Bang, a gigantic explosion, occurred a very long time ago to create the expanding universe that we know of today, the universe (which by definition is everything there is) that we know of was preceded by some other universe. It did not come from out of nothing.

If all that exists only exists because it is relative to what it is not, then the only proper approach to understanding has to be dialectical because dialectics rests upon the fact that existence can only occur in relation to other beings and other things. There is no “up” without a corresponding and necessary “down.” There is no “in” without a corresponding and necessary “out.” There is no “right” without a “left.” There is no “sound” without a corresponding and necessary “silence.” There is no life without death. Thus, the notion of heaven and hell where there is life everlasting does not make sense. The notion of god does not make sense any more than there can be only sound and no silence or matter without space. There is no existence without everything being bound up with other things. In other words, boundaries between things are only relative and they only exist because everything and everyone only exists in relation to everyone and everything. Solitary existence of something or someone, in other words, is impossible.

What most people are trained in their thinking to do is to think in mechanical and static terms. They do not see the inherent dynamism in any state of being, including the state of being of the body politic. They see only the power of those in authority and the apparent acquiescence of those who are under that authority. They do not see the dynamic tension and rumblings beneath the surface that can explode under the proper circumstances. They do not see that under conditions of dominance, conflict does not go away and it is not absent because the surface appearance is that of acquiescence. Under conditions of dominance, conflict continues to exist but in a more hidden and subtle form, waiting for the opportunity at some point to become open conflict. People using mechanical and static ways of seeing things do not see the possibilities but only the current state. They think that what is possible is that which is more or less what is already going on. They do not see that the apparent current state is full of dynamism that can be unleashed to create a dramatically different situation if you understand the dialectics of the situation.

Those in authority adhere to and propagate mechanical and static ways of seeing things. This serves their purposes and helps to discourage people from seeing and acting upon dramatically changing the status quo. This is the equivalent of having as your intellectual tools a Phillips screwdriver that you are using to try to turn the head of a flat head screw.

Comments   

 
0 # jnandez 2014-05-08 06:34
This article is something very difficult for me to wrap my brain around and understand. I completely agree with the bottom half, but your explanation on faith seems to me false. For example, a thought in ones mind is unknowable to anyone else, yet there still is reason behind a thought. Science is still operating and so is reason. Yet you cannot read my thoughts and you never will be able to unless some sort of technology is invented, but for now, it is unknowable to others. Even though my thoughts are unknowable to you, it is still true that anything is NOT possible. So here in this one example my thoughts are both unknowable to others, yet my thoughts are being articulated by brain matter, a physical existence. According to this article, isn't this contradictory?
p.s. this may not make sense because even I had some difficulty writing my words down.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-08 14:13
I am not sure I'm understanding your point. Thought is something that happens because of the material foundation for it, gray brain matter. You have to have enough of it in order for the possessor of that gray matter to be self-aware. Some animals can think but they aren't smart enough to be self-aware because their brains aren't big enough. Thought is a higher form of matter but it's nonetheless based upon and can only exist because of gray matter. Researchers are actually (I don't think this development is a good thing, by the way) now able to determine what someone is thinking about with machines. They don't yet have the ability to see exactly what the thought is but they know if someone is thinking about a specific song, for example. The question of unknowingness and the unknown has to do with the consistency of material existence, whether it's animate existence or inanimate existence. What is unknown is not necessarily unknowable given enough time. Cont.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-08 14:29
Using faith as an argument is different from not yet knowing something but continuing to pursue knowing it. Faith represents an abandonment of the methods of knowing through science and reason, methods that have shown themselves consistently to be able to help us decipher many things. Again, I don't know if this is speaking to your objection.
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0 # jnandez 2014-05-12 06:13
This somewhat answered my question. I was unsure in how to phrase my question to begin with though. I feel that faith and reason aren't so black and white. I think that people can use reason in faith and can also have faith in reason. Science cannot disprove that there is no God.
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0 # Monique V. 2014-05-09 22:16
Researchers are now able to determine with machines what we are thinking? That is incredibly scary. There has already been an invasion of privacy in our daily lives such as recording phone calls, and tapping into our computers etc. This takes that invasion to an entirely new level, and if it used for purposes other than research it just seems wrong. (and I have a feeling it will be used for others purposes)
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-09 22:36
To be clear, they aren't yet able to determine what we're thinking but they are making progress on this front and can already determine things like if we are thinking of a specific song.
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0 # Monique V. 2014-05-09 23:32
Right, but do you think it is only a matter of time before that technology advances and they will be able to tell what we are thinking?
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0 # vices 2014-05-10 07:07
I completely agree that everyone and everything exist in relationship to other beings because we all depends on others for our food, clothes, shelter, etc. I believe that the truth exists and it is something that can be sought, but lies exist as well of course. I would say our government uses a mixture of both, but would it ever be possible to have government purely telling only the truth? If truth exists, how would you combat the lies? Do lies have to exist just so we can expose them for what they actually are? I guess I am basically asking, how do you keep the "good" from being corrupted by the "bad" because they both must always exist. Will it always have to be a constant conflict between the two where one triumphs over the other just so another conflict can arise again?
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-10 14:26
Quoting vices:
how do you keep the "good" from being corrupted by the "bad" because they both must always exist. Will it always have to be a constant conflict between the two where one triumphs over the other just so another conflict can arise again?

See this: http://dennisloo.com/Articles/is-telling-people-the-truth-enough.html. Dialectics tell us that opposites will always exist but they don't necessarily have to exist in the same manner as they do now. For ex., while the gov't lies (and must lie) to us now because they can only continue their rule thru deception since peo wouldn't accept them if they knew the truth, under a different system the gov't wouldn't have to lie all of the time. It would nonetheless still be true under a different system (socialism) that there'd still be the need to distinguish the truth from wrong ideas. Those wrong ideas might not be lies as those telling them might not be trying to deceive, but the ideas would still be wrong.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-10 14:29
It's impossible to know what the future holds but I suspect that they will have difficulty determining exactly what we're thinking. They can already determine some about WHAT we're thinking ABOUT. But whether they can tell exactly what our thoughts are in regard to the subject, I expect that is going to be too complicated for them to determine.
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0 # LA305302 2014-05-10 17:55
Much of religion holds strong to the idea of faith, but I do not exactly see this as a flaw that makes us throw logic out the window. Science is only theory, so therefore isn't everything in a way started by faith? People who believed in relativity or etc. had faith in their science, and went out and found it. Faith in my mind, is something that one believes strongly in but is yet to have seen the concrete answer too. Therefore, we should not rule it out because it has not been scientifically proven. We must always question everything always including science, or current policies in order, but never assume their true validity.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-10 18:01
There's a difference between conviction and willingness to continue to try against difficulties (which I think is what you mean) and religious faith. Religious faith, as I'm discussing it in the article, is the abandonment and in some cases, repudiation of reason. Science isn't just theories. Science is verifiable and falsifiable. Darwin's theory of evolution has been, e.g., proven. In other words, it's not just an idea with no relation to objective reality. What has been adopted by science as true has been adopted because it has been repeatedly verified by experiment and testing. Without science's verification we could not reliably fly airplanes or build bridges or tall buildings. We could not use GPS devices. We could not cure diseases that are verifiably a result of specific pathogens that we can see. Etc.
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0 # jnandez 2014-05-12 06:21
It is very true that evolution has been proven, but it is also true that the existence of a God, or higher power, has not been disproven. So if something has not been disproven, then it can NOT be said in the scientific world that it is not possible or does not exist. So in other words, it can not be verified through repeated experiments and testing, BUT it can also not be discredited because of this.
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0 # AGris 2014-05-10 20:36
I liked the example of faith. As a Christian I cherish the words of Bible. However it has always been an inner battle to understand how to believe in the Bible and also to respect the sciences and believe such to be true too. I do agree with furthering the learning the process and not to settle on what is already known to be true. There is always more and more of that to understand in relation to each other. For instance the explanation of the big bang theory and God's creation of the universe are two theory but that does't explain such in detail. Where did the matter come from that is explained in each theory. There had to have been something there before for the substances to be used in each process. That brings a good question, and hence forth suggests we stop fighting with each other to decide who is right but to focus our energy in establishing such theories with more detail.
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0 # Marisol Parra 2014-05-10 22:28
Materialism must truly have a brain before one can think .Mechanically we only want to see what state we are in at the moment because we forget to understand the truth behind each situation. Society has been accustomed to having such a limited and narrow view overall. Dr. Loo used the Phillip screwdriver as an example can it really unscrew a flat head screw of course not.
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0 # Christine Lopez 2014-05-10 23:41
Something has always been in existence. Dialectics at work is the opposite of the thing. For example, in and out, right and left, right and wrong, up and down. Dr Loo mentioned that "People using mechanical and static ways of seeing things do not see possibilities they do not see the apparent current state is full of dynamism." Many people cannot fully understand a situation, question, or statement, that is why it might make it difficult for them to distinguish and understand a certain situation's dialectics.
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0 # Sadiez Moreno 2014-05-12 00:54
I agree. Everything that exists today exists only because there has always been something or someone in existence. So, Professor, is it that "evil" will always exist because "good" is inevitable? Do you think that religion as a whole would cease to exist if most people thought in terms of dialectics. That is, if the gov't and the authoritative in our society stopped advertising in the static and dynamic way that you speak of, would the thinking process of our society differ drastically from what it is today? I have never been exposed to this 'dialectic' way of thinking, and I am having a hard time grasping what it is you're saying.
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0 # marcam 2014-05-28 20:43
I agree with you. Everything has its opposite. Without one thing the other doesn’t exist. The opposite needs to exist in order to fully understand the other. And by the way most people are feed their information instead of searching it for themselves they don’t fully distinguish one thing from another. An example, separating religion and science. Before it was only was religion said was true but now we know that science is also true.
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0 # deltoro 2014-05-11 03:33
Soc 305. This article mentions that there are always two sides which we are connected by. On the one hand, God makes earth but on the other hand science has facts on how the earth was created. Some people follow a fiction book called the Bible and others follow scientific books. Dialectics describes how two things opposite from each others co- exist. Furthermore, upper class and working class. These two classes need each other to co-exist. One class creates jobs and other class has the skills needed to work on those jobs.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-11 05:03
Quoting deltoro:
One class creates jobs and other class has the skills needed to work on those jobs.

The bourgeoisie claim that they are job creators, but first, jobs don't need to be created and throughout most of human history the community understood what needed to be done and those tasks were done. So job creators is a phony title. Secondly, the bourgeoisie are primarily job destroyers in fact as they are relentlessly trying to slash their payrolls to reduce the amount they pay for human labor. Consider the impact of WalMart on a town's jobs. They wipe out Mainstreet and produce a net loss of jobs. Under conditions of capitalism the largest job creators (if we use that term) are actually small businesses, not the bourgeoisie. In the larger analysis, the working class doesn't need the bourgeoisie to create jobs because without the bourgeoisie society could get the work that needs done much better by far without the b's interference and profit-making.
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0 # deltoro 2014-05-11 03:33
Soc 305. Those in power have the ability to create an image in our heads by television, news, and other social tools of communication. They don’t guess what we are thinking. They put thoughts in our heads through media. The dominant group puts images in front of us like the show Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Those shows keep us away from our real issues. Or in commercials, they advertise a nice car in order for people to buy one. But in reality people do not need to have the newest model. Most of us do need to see how rich people with no talent and no education appear on television with stupid issues about what they are going to wear.
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0 # Michelle Ngo 2014-05-11 08:31
In the past, we used to be very one-minded. Slowly with new developments, we are adapting to the relationship of new ideas. We cannot exist with one thing and not the other. This article used examples that makes it easier to understand. This article said, "there is no existence without everything being bound up with other things." Everything that we know has something that complements it, which creates a relationship.
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0 # CamouflagedWife 2014-05-12 01:59
Like you've shown in the film about Waco we just recently watched, faith can only go so far as to the extent of the relationships people hold together. I think the idea of "hope" is something that makes no sense to me, because like you have stated in other lectures, we don't "hope" that the airplane will go, we "common knowledge" know that aerodynamics will work to get the plane "going." I truly think we cannot exist without others. Our ideas of self and living comes from interactions with other people from some time in our lives. We are never alone from "the get-go" without interaction.
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0 # flr9d 2014-05-12 02:03
I had to read the article a few times just to makes sure i get a full understanding of the material it's trying to explain. In class it was explained that we are social beings and that this can also be applied to everything. Everything has a cause and a way it came about. It is relatable to society because there need to different levels in order for the other levels to exist.
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0 # jnc 2014-05-12 02:38
Religion is such a diverse component of peoples lives. New religions develop, old religions evolve, and many stay the same. Faith and spirituality is a beautiful thing, but the scary part about religion is the heavy influences that it has on people. Like the article said, there is much dominance in religion and if this dominance is in the hands of the wrong leaders then that is when faith needs to be questioned and observed.
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0 # AJ 2014-05-12 03:57
I also agree that everything that exists is relative to a pre-existing relationship. I exist because of parents, my parents exist because of my grandparents, and so on. My family's existence, like everyone else's, is a product of a already existing relationship. I believe that there is always a reason behind everything, there are people that say that faith decides for them, however, in my opinion, I would say that people are subconsciously deciding for themselves due to a pre-existing idea.
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0 # menava 2014-05-12 04:09
I believe it is all of matter of perception. For some people faith is their perceived reason regarding what is valid and possible, even if it cannot be explained. Science is provable but often can be so abstract that is seems unreal. When I was learning about Feynman Dynamics it was so challenging to understand I had faith that the guy was right because I could not prove him wrong. I had faith that my professor was teaching us something true.

When things are hard to understand we have faith because it's a easy way to accept something without being invested in finding out the truth. Same can be said for having faith that everything in the U.S.A. is going A-OK, because after-all the people in power are telling us everything is OK! It's dangerous logic to just accept something because we can't understand it. Feynman is an example of someone who looked beyond the current state (of science) and discovered more. We need to look beyond to discover what's really holding us back.
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0 # BBalty 2014-05-12 04:27
After reading the article several times I believe I finally understand the main point Professor Loo was trying to make. The general American public is trained to think in a specific way, which is "in mechanical and static terms" and this is our intellectual tool our "philips screw driver." Authorities need us to think in this manner in order for them to retain their dominance over us. This way we only see the world through the eyes of the government and we adopt their views. We are blinded and not able to see the tensions and conflict that are present underneath the surface because all we believe that can exist is what already exists. If we liberate ourselves from this form of thinking we will be able to see beneath the surface and realize that we have the power to change the status quo.
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0 # MarieB 2014-05-12 04:39
The statement "if you argue that something is unknowable, then absolutely anything is possible" is a perfectly acceptable and possibly humble lifestyle to live by, as there are many people who appreciate the incredible realms of the world and science and art without understanding it. But to say that reason has no meaning doesn't make sense to me because it could just be that we don't understand the unexplainable thing yet, and it takes reason to see our current reality from a possible future perspective. The fact that we are always discovering new scientific and mathematical revelations proves to me that the world is full of more things than we can currently comprehend; if we could comprehend it all, we would be beyond the capacity of human knowledge. This topic is fascinating and also overwhelming, because there is no possible way to prove either theory right or wrong. The laws of physics and existence can be related to human society, and one could not exist without the other.
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0 # shannon barkley 2014-05-12 04:44
Quoting AJ:
there are people that say that faith decides for them, however, in my opinion, I would say that people are subconsciously deciding for themselves due to a pre-existing idea.

I agree with this. Although I do believe that things happen for a reason I do not necessarily think that their faith decides or has a part of these dicisions. The piont about the subconcious is a great point. That is because evry body has information and action just waiting to happen in their subconcious. Take Freudian slips for example, although they do not always have to be sexual, people sometimes say things or do things even if they do not know or mean to. This has to do with the subconcious.
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0 # Jane Doe 2014-05-12 04:47
I agree that people tend to turn to religion to explain the "unknown", such as a miracle. When science cannot explain something religion seems to be the easiest explanation. I myself find religion to be the easier answer. For example, one of my cousins was in a serious car accident in which her car fell off the side of the freeway while exiting. She fell asleep behind the wheel. An accident like this would be expected to end up fatal or at least serious but she was okay, with only minor scratches, something in which my family believes to be unexplainable, a miracle. My aunt actually said, God was not ready for her.
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0 # zzchi 2014-05-12 04:48
The bible has its flaws, and it has been proven that dates in the bible do not coincide accurately with some artifacts. One can justify this if they are driven by faith. Others want a more definitive answer in which they seek.
People are affected by decisions made in the hierarchy of politics. As Dr. Loo pointed out in class, the government stores peoples phone conversations, because we are all potential terrorists. The government has their branches of security to assure the safety of their people. This is fraudulent on their part to misuse their power. However, it happens everyday.
In terms of dialectics, this is used by people in power to manipulate others. It is also used by everyone of us. When there is love there will be hate, and when there is hate there is violence, and when there is violence there is crime. There is a relationship with love and hate. One could not exist without the other, yet it is tied into violence and crime
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0 # SecretSeaBridges 2014-05-12 05:07
Religion is always going to be a controversial topic. If someone doesn't believe in religion, then they believe that the earth was created by evolution. There is no in between belief when it comes to either, just like there is no in between good and bad.
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0 # tiffany 2014-05-12 05:52
This is just another pyramid of life. With out different levels of people places or things, nothing would exist. We need all levels in order to set order and survive. All relationships have are a product of something hence the creation of the relationship in the first place.
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0 # Sherlock 2014-05-12 06:02
If we accept all of these facts and reasons, does that mean that we have to abandon our beliefs? Just because certain things and theories are proven doesn't mean that we have to discredit our faith. Does your perfect society rid the world of religion altogether?
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+1 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-12 06:38
I don't believe in a perfect society. I don't believe in utopias. Peo who believe in religion have a right to believe in religion and I wouldn't nor could I compel someone to stop believing something. You can't force peo to believe something against their will. They can only come to their conclusions through their own time and willingness. On the other hand, this doesn't mean that I won't set forth what I believe to be true and invite debate and discussion about what is true.
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+1 # jnandez 2014-05-15 04:28
I believe there is a fear that comes from religious people when they face communism. It is true that in a communist society, religion is undermined. It is important to emphasize to the religious that faith and one's religious practices will not be eliminated in a communist society. I believe this topic needs more discussion and affirmation.
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0 # Princess Peach 2014-05-12 06:18
I agree with the statement that everything exists in relationships. Although it was somewhat difficult for me to understand the faith example, I was able to understand the concept that was being presented. Everything is dependent on something else. Something cannot truly exist by itself. For example, to understand that something is hot, you have to know what cold feels like. In SOC 302 we have recently watched the documentary “Waco” and it was discussed in class that what was communicated to the public and what actually happened were two different things. The public became dependent on the relationship that it had with the media, even though the information presented in the media is often times distorted.
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0 # Lomonaco 2014-05-12 22:09
Religion puts the fear of God into a person. I think it also helps keep society somewhat docile and compassionate. It gives people morals and values. It gives society a framework to build itself on.
For us to understand what sane means we look at what is insane. The government looked at what whiteness is not to describe what whiteness is.
Change takes time. We are socialized into society. We are taught the norms and values of the culture. The rich and poor socialize their children differently. The rich raise their children to ask questions and to question authority. The poor are taught to do as they are told.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-12 22:15
Quoting Lomonaco:
Religion puts the fear of God into a person. I think it also helps keep society somewhat docile and compassionate. It gives people morals and values.

Durkheim, you may recall, had a different take on this. He argued that religion is actually the unconscious projection of the power and role of society into the realm of the sacred (it's so important). While many peo think that it's religion that teaches people morals, Durkheim observed that morals are inculcated because social life requires peo as a whole learning how to get along with and respect others. Thus, it's social life itself and society in general that is teaching us this, via the putatively supernatural (and therefore presumably unquestionable) authority of religion.
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0 # Lomonaco 2014-05-25 06:28
Thank you for this clarification.
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0 # Frank Sahagun 2014-05-15 00:31
Quoting Jane Doe:
I agree that people tend to turn to religion to explain the "unknown", such as a miracle.
I agree that religion (supernatural) is used to offer explanations to what science can't answer. But if you think about it, are there really any other possible options to turn to other than the supernatural? some may call it good or bad luck, but what is luck? It certainly is not something that can be tested by science. It can also be applied to pretty much anything, so in my opinion, luck is more of a perception than an actual thing that can offer an explanation to real life events in which science can't explain. I have experienced several things throughout my life that I could not explain, or which worked out so perfectly in my favor, or so perfectly not in my favor, which keeps me holding on to the idea of a higher power. although I am still spiritual, I have steered away from organized religion, after extensive thought and research on the matter.
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0 # Frank Sahagun 2014-05-15 00:53
While I believe that there is some truth to the Bible, I feel that over much time, it has been distorted, corrupted, and information had been added or omitted from it for whatever reason. Also,it was written by man, and according to God, all men are sinful beings, and are extremely vulnerable to corruption & temptation. At this point people tell me that they were inspired by God. Well going by what I see now, the people who claimed to be inspired by God nowadays have committed some of the most atrocious things in history like Hitler, Jim Jones, or the Pope sex scandal, to name a few. So why should I trust that the men who wrote the bible were genuine? What makes them different from the men today who claim to be in contact with God? They just happened to be the first ones to actually claim godly contact, so maybe that's why their story stuck. maybe if i was able to meet them and get to know them, I would not have my guard up so high.
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0 # Frank Sahagun 2014-05-15 01:03
Also, the bible has so many different versions, and re-translations of it. On top of that, new ones are constantly coming out, making the chances of things being lost in the translation, or new things being subtle added very high. My train of thought lately has been: anything that the government supports or is in favor of, is probably not for our benefit or will have the opposite effect, and anything that the gov demonizes or tells us to stay away from, is probably good for us, and on the back of every single dollar bill (money is the root of all evil) are the words "In God We Trust." while this may be assumed to be the God of the Christian Bible, to the people who pull the strings of the U.S. Gov, it is also their God:
(G)old (O)il (D)rugs
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0 # James Dewey 2014-05-14 16:38
I have an issue with the argument that you make: "Thus, the notion of heaven and hell where there is life everlasting does not make sense. The notion of god does not make sense any more than there can be only sound and no silence or matter without space."

If dialectics is concerned about things existing in relation to dichotomies, like sound and silence, wouldn't the notion of heaven, a place of everlasting paradise, be complimented by hell, a place of everlasting torture? And to go as to say that the notion of god does not make sense through this logic befuddles me because wouldn't the antithesis of god be the devil? Wouldn't god be the sound, or matter, and the devil would be the silence, or the space?
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-14 17:00
Quoting James Dewey:
Wouldn't god be the sound, or matter, and the devil would be the silence, or the space?

The argument I'm making about the non-existence of god is with regard to the dialectic between matter in motion and consciousness (or spirit). That is, the idea of god is that god = spirit or a kind of (supernatural) non-material consciousness. In other words, the concept of god requires (as per the Bible's Genesis passage that I excerpted) that he exist prior to and in the absence of any matter in motion as pure spirit. I'm arguing that such a state is impossible.
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0 # Frank Sahagun 2014-05-14 23:56
in the case of the bible, after much thought, and in my reading of it, I concluded that God and Satan are one and the same, just appearing in different forms. In order for something to exist, its opposite must exist, in order for us to be able to define it, it must be comparable 2 something (its opposite). I used 2 ask y there is "bad" in the world, & I realized the answer is that "evil" must exist in order for "good" to exist.Everythin g has 2 have a balance otherwise the equilibrium will be thrown off.while I don't know the correct meaning of it, I use the Yin Yang symbol as an example. both sides have a dot of the opposite color within it.We all have some "good" in us, yet we also have some "bad" as well, so if the bible is true, then God was well aware of this concept too, which is why he created us with both "good" characteristics , and "bad" ones. And since he created us "in his image," then God must have "good" and "evil" in him as well, making God, and Satan one and the same.
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0 # Sarah Heitz 2014-05-19 01:00
Before this class I did not know what dialectics was and now that I understand it, I realized that I have been thinking this way for most of my life. Myself, nor my family have ever been very religious and the concept of God was always stifling to me. I always wondered how there could be something that supposedly created us and the world in seven days. It is so strange to me that I have thought in a dialectical way for a very long time and have never heard this before in any of my other classes. I guess it was meant to be for me to become a sociology major.
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0 # Heng Chang 2014-06-09 06:36
I agree with you but to the fact that it was hard for me to find an answer to those who aren't religious and to find a way to explain some things to make them understand and I guess I had to use terms instead of the word "God" to make it less confusing and therefore I began to say "intelligent creator" in place of the word "God" and a lot of people thought about it as there is no "God" but there is an "intelligent creator"
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0 # soad 2014-05-19 06:46
Some people believe that the universe was God's creation while many others believe in the big bang theory. People turn to faith and religion when questions cannot be answered due to science. If we thought in terms of dialectics would people loose their faith?
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0 # Karen Cornejo 2014-05-21 03:53
I was raised a christian and even now that I can make my own decisions and think for myself i continue to believe in God. I believe there is a heaven and a hell and that there is a God and a Devil. There is so much evil in this world that one must have faith in order to survive.

God is a greater power, that is why he sent his son in the flesh to die for our sins. Just because science says he doesn't exist because he is not tangible or seen doesn't meant he is not real it just means it takes more faith to believe. And you do not only need faith to believe in God you need faith when things get hard and for hope to feel like things will get better.
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0 # Ch 2782 2014-05-24 19:16
If dialectics have to be true for existence to occur, then faith would be considered unholy? Would faith be a bad thing, since we cannot use reason or any kind of evidence to determine why it happens? I feel most individuals are trying to find explanations to everything and anything, but miracles could happen if god chooses to make one.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-24 19:47
Holiness or unholiness are categories within religious belief systems. To dialectical materialists, faith would not be considered unholy but rather the product of religious belief. Dialectical materialists are atheists because the supernatural violates the basic principles of dialectics. Those who believe in religion cannot be merely talked out of their beliefs based on reason since by definition those who believe based on faith are immune to rational arguments. People should have the freedom to believe in religion since the only basis for people to stop believing is for them to see things differently and you cannot force people to see things a specific way. You can, however, continue to struggle over what is true in the world and what needs to be done. The origins of religious belief grow out of contradictions in the secular world. The belief in religion, while not excluding peo from dealing w/ secular oppression, does create certain barriers to people fully acting in the real world.
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0 # Karla Garcia 2014-05-30 06:16
I agree that most things exist in relation to each other. we can see this in things like the sun and moon, boy and girl and other things I also agree that when things can't be explained some people tend to turn to the bible to explain what has happened because they can't find an explanation to what has occurred. what i question which seems to be the same question u ask is that where did gods spirit come from if he was the one who created everything than how did he come to be?
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-30 13:50
Quoting Karla Garcia:
I agree that most things exist in relation to each other....where did god's spirit come from if he was the one who created everything than how did he come to be?

It's not just most things that exist in relation to other things. It's absolutely everything that does. Existence is impossible without being in relation to and in contrast to other things. That is why I argue that the notion of a spirit existing separately from matter in motion is impossible.
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0 # Sinnerman 2014-06-08 22:11
The final conclusion from many Big Bang theories of something coming from nothing has always bothered me, for is it even possible for something to have always existed? No matter how far back you go everything has a beginning right? By that logic eventually something would've had to have come from nothing, but I can't help but question if nothingness is actually possible and is our narrow language's limitations preventing us from being more specific.
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0 # Heng Chang 2014-06-09 06:32
Religion and faith are both things that connect religious together. Science does too. As a Christian, I stand strong in my faith, however it is difficult for me to explain my faith to other people. I've often wondered how to word things or find a way to balance faith and science together. Everything has an opposite, for example light and darkness, good and bad etc. So is there a connection between the creation of the universe and the Big Bang theory? Because one thing exists because of another.
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Elaine Brower 2

Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12