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XenoFish

Science vs. Religion

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DieChecker
8 hours ago, eight bits said:

Anything other than a personal opinion? I thought my post was a combination of a considerable amount of factual material and my own personal opinion about how those facts bear on our topic.

Oh, what you wrote is true, of course. But it doesn't prevent her from, in her own words and actions, being religious. Or, also, in her own words and actions, following the scientific method.

You tried (or so it seemed to me) to create a context in which to dismiss (?), her religious nature. You state she was a genius, and imply that to do what she did, she must have faked being religious. Though her own words strongly suggest this was not the case.

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Regardless, my position is no less a personal opinion than to interpret her reported experience as an interaction with something supernatural rather than a rare but not unprecedented psychological phenomenon. That category of experience is not even rare if we think of these two examples as definiing the far end of a spectrum of human experiences of similar kind, but usually less dramatic.

True. Her reported vision could have been a mental phenomena. 

But religion is a active thing she followed her entire life. Even if we assume she was mentally having issues, to her it was religion. And she believed in it.

And yet, she practiced science better then many, if not most, scientists of the day.

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Someone whose explanation is that the Creator of the Universe personally intervened in history to improve medical care by first helping the British prosecute the Crimean War, having pursued that goal by revealing himself to one woman alone, persuading her that she's on a mission from God,  should be careful whose theory they call "convoluted."

All religion is convoluted. In that it requires belief in the unprovable. 

A debunk of recorded history that puts in what amounts to "if this, then..." statements, could be considered convoluted also.

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I didn't characterize her overcoming opposition as anybody finding an "excuse" for anything.

I'd say you were characterizing her as using a false belief in religion to help move her science forward. Was that not what you meant? Perhaps "excuse" was the wrong word?

Quote

She practiced science and she practiced religion. Simply? It seems to me we are having this discussion because her personal involvement with each of those domains was anything but "simple." Hence the absurdity that I mentioned, which view you needn't share, of course.

She was extraordinary, I'll give you that. She wasnt common, in her beliefs, or science, for the time.

So, given that... I'd agree it is "absurd", in that she was a very rare individual.

But, regardless... she united religion (if only in her own way), and science, in moving forward to many benefits to mankind.

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jmccr8
1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

You tried (or so it seemed to me) to create a context in which to dismiss (?), her religious nature. You state she was a genius, and imply that to do what she did, she must have faked being religious. Though her own words strongly suggest this was not the case.

Hi Diechecher

Not to your detriment of intent I find myself agreeing with eightbits in the nature of the discussion and in a sense we could see her as a female Jesus given temperament of the culture at the time.A good person is a good person no matter where a person stands in viewing them and she stood up against the norm and should be appreciated for their commitment to realize a potential that was probably intended to change how people thought.

jmccr8

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psyche101
13 hours ago, DieChecker said:

Well, I'd encourage you to read up on her, and then return and comment again. Her life was steeped in religion. More so then either of her parents. She sought out religious leaders for training and advise. And later provided religious leaders with training and advise.

Religion was her motivation, science was her weapon against illness.

That's how she wants to tell the story. That's all. It's not religion and science coexisting. It's a personal view. Sister Kenny wasn't even a sister by religion, but gained the title through military, and made quite an impact herself. Is encourage you to have a look at her life. My ex wife was from Nobby, there is a statue commemorating her life there. 

Interesting little place. The iconic Dad and Dave cartoon characters were based on real people that lived there too. The shed still stands. Tiny town though. 

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eight bits
1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

You state she was a genius, and imply that to do what she did, she must have faked being religious.

I'm baffled how you get fake from genius, for either woman.

There's no secret that I have a particular view of human unconscious contents, generally similar to the one held by Carl Jung. Jung isn't at all unusual in holding that unconscious content will sometimes do extraordinary things to express itself when repressed. Unconscious content includes as yet undeveloped talents and potential skills.

Ordinarily, repression is something an individual does to their own "disapproved" thoughts and attitudes. Here, it is social repression, both in the form of active discouragement and also the passive absence of relevant opportunity for women within the social order. Some of that social repression may even have been internalized to become garden variety self-repression. Regardless, the result is to prevent expression of unconscious content, and that sets the stage for something extraordinary to occur.

Without apology, I do not believe that supernatural beings communicated with these women. That is very different from believing they faked anything. On the contrary, because I am familiar with relevant history (e.g. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience), I have tremendous confidence that they had the experiences they report, and interpreted them as they said they interpreted them.

1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

Even if we assume she was mentally having issues, to her it was religion.

That sounds as if you're tagging me with describing Joan or Nightingale as mentally ill, at least marginally ("having issues"). That's not so.

Both women were pious within the bounds of the established and conventional religion of their place and time. Their "religious experience crisis" had lasting effects on them and their attitudes toward their cradle religion. How could it not? That's not a "mental issue" or sign of illness. That's coming to terms with your life experience as you've lived it. That's a healthy thing to try to do.

1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

I'd say you were characterizing her as using a false belief in religion to help move her science forward. Was that not what you meant? Perhaps "excuse" was the wrong word?

I believe that she and Joan were mistaken in their belief about what really happened to them. Other people have similar experiences that motivate them to do things they wouldn't otherwise do, but some of them interpret the experiences as secular, or if religious, then a different religion than Joan's or Nightingale's (which are actually two religions today, but fairly similar and in Joan's time in full communion with each other).

Once again, however relevant these women's experiences are to the topic, neither one is a simple example or a typical example of a religious person who achieved greatness in the secular sphere.

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DieChecker
44 minutes ago, eight bits said:

Once again, however relevant these women's experiences are to the topic, neither one is a simple example or a typical example of a religious person who achieved greatness in the secular sphere.

Given what you posted, would you believe anyone could be a simple case? Or, would all be extraordinary by default?

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jmccr8
46 minutes ago, eight bits said:

I'm baffled how you get fake from genius, for either woman.

There's no secret that I have a particular view of human unconscious contents, generally similar to the one held by Carl Jung. Jung isn't at all unusual in holding that unconscious content will sometimes do extraordinary things to express itself when repressed. Unconscious content includes as yet undeveloped talents and potential skills.

Ordinarily, repression is something an individual does to their own "disapproved" thoughts and attitudes. Here, it is social repression, both in the form of active discouragement and also the passive absence of relevant opportunity for women within the social order. Some of that social repression may even have been internalized to become garden variety self-repression. Regardless, the result is to prevent expression of unconscious content, and that sets the stage for something extraordinary to occur.

Without apology, I do not believe that supernatural beings communicated with these women. That is very different from believing they faked anything. On the contrary, because I am familiar with relevant history (e.g. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience), I have tremendous confidence that they had the experiences they report, and interpreted them as they said they interpreted them.

That sounds as if you're tagging me with describing Joan or Nightingale as mentally ill, at least marginally ("having issues"). That's not so.

Both women were pious within the bounds of the established and conventional religion of their place and time. Their "religious experience crisis" had lasting effects on them and their attitudes toward their cradle religion. How could it not? That's not a "mental issue" or sign of illness. That's coming to terms with your life experience as you've lived it. That's a healthy thing to try to do.

I believe that she and Joan were mistaken in their belief about what really happened to them. Other people have similar experiences that motivate them to do things they wouldn't otherwise do, but some of them interpret the experiences as secular, or if religious, then a different religion than Joan's or Nightingale's (which are actually two religions today, but fairly similar and in Joan's time in full communion with each other).

Once again, however relevant these women's experiences are to the topic, neither one is a simple example or a typical example of a religious person who achieved greatness in the secular sphere.

Some times we agree so much it leaves me speechless.thanks

jmccr8

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eight bits
21 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

Given what you posted, would you believe anyone could be a simple case? Or, would all be extraordinary by default?

My understanding is that surveys show a substantial proportion of working scientists (and more generally workers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - STEM fields) who also profess pious religious belief or practice. I'm OK with the reliability of those data.

You could think of my circle of friends as a "focus group" within the sphere of such surveys. As luck would have it, there are a reasonable number of STEM people within that circle. Some STEM friends believe in God, some don't. All of them do interesting secular things, sometimes exciting things (some in the group have had their work mentioned in the news now and then). But I'm confident that my friends would agree that among us, there's nobody of the stature of Joan of Arc or Florence Nightingale.

There's nothing about anybody's religious or irreligious stance within the group that strikes me as "extraordinary." Put it all together, and I'm almost certain that there are plenty of "simple cases," the same confidence I have that Joan and Nightingale are anything but simple cases.

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lightly
8 hours ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Lightly 

For some it is a bigger problem than it is for others, for me there is no conflict because I think we are creators, realize potential,. dream and realize greater potential each of us exceeding our forefathers in some ways if we apply ourselves. We can manipulate ourselves and our environment to adapt both for our benefit and for the most part it is for the good of the whole.

jmccr8

Hi j ,  always good to see you. . and hear your thoughtful views

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Mr Walker
On 3/20/2020 at 11:22 AM, joc said:

That's why I gave up Romantic Love and Religion for Lent...not to mention cleaning out the clothes dryer...

I do that every cycle, to get rid of the lint   :) 

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Mr Walker
On 3/20/2020 at 12:08 PM, Hammerclaw said:

"Wot?!?!? Is It Lent, again slready?"

Must be. The y had "pancake tuesday" quite a while back :)   (traditionally a time to use up all the stuff you aren't allowed to eat in lent ) 

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Mr Walker
Posted (edited)
On 3/20/2020 at 9:02 PM, eight bits said:

The story is fine. There is a complication, though. Florence Nightingale was a genius. Like Joan of Arc.

Both lived in societies that systematically confused cognitive capacity with genital architecture. In order for their respective abilities to express themselves at all, the women's gifts had to be packaged in a form that would punch through the social barriers against women behaving as normal human beings, never mind exceptional performers.

The need could well have been not only to persuade others to get out of the way, but to persuade the women themselves that they really were exceptional human beings, and so "had permission" to behave in an exceptional way for a woman. In their cases, exceptional for a man, too. Exceptional, full stop, what genius means.

Both chose the same vehilcle: religious mysticism. That's a whole different world from piety or conventional religious adherence.

Neither woman's public achievements depended on anything religious or mystical, but both women used the "aura" of the "numinous" to attain their positions from where action was possible. They overcame irrational opposition, some of which was religiously supported, so that the women could get on with secular accomplishments commensurate with their abilities.

Yes, that's within the scope of the announced topic, but it's absurd to say it's just another example of an outstanding scientist who is also "religious."

 

 

Interesting observation Any evidence for this ?

Not denying it but I think the y were just ordinary women touched and driven by god.

I doubt they had the conscious political awareness you  show here, to use their devotion to get a job done.

  I tend to believe they were genuine and just as the y presented themselves   Of course historically you have made similar comments about other women who claimed to be touched or empowered  by god or in contact with "him"  You have mentioned that, in your opinion,  the y were suffering from  a medical condition like epilepsy OR the y were faking it to give themselves power to achieve their goals  Not in a selfish way, necessarily but because this was needed to do what the y believed needed doing 

Is it REALLY so hard to believe they experienced a real contact with  a being who motivated and empowered them ?

And of course many men make the same claims and the y were often in power and powerful, not needing either self  validation or social validation The women are notable only because they were women, in a time when most women had no power or authority,  and so these cases are  more noted than  similar examples  among men.  

Edited by Mr Walker

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eight bits
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Interesting observation Any evidence for this ?

So far as I can tell, there's no disagreement in this discussion about the observable facts of either case. There is ample evidence that the type of visionary experience in question can be elicited in human beings by natural means (I often post about Tanya Luhrmann's work at Stanford and more recently I mentioned earlier work by William James). Most of that evidence was unavailable to  either woman at the time she formed her opinion about the unobservable cause of her experiences (their life dates were ~1412-1431 and 1820-1910 respectively).

Further, there is ample clinical evidence about the ordinary effects of psychological repression. There is no disagreement here in the face of ample historical evidence that each woman experienced chronic determined social pressure consistent with attempts to induce  repression.

My principal claim was that neither woman was a "simple" example of the coexistence of secular concern and religious piety in the same personality. I believe that I did present sufficient evidence to justify my confidence about the complexity of the two cases. Introducing an invisible third party who sometimes intrudes upon a normal but occasional human cognitive performance can only make these two cases even more complicated than when only well-known natural mechanisms and undisputed facts are taken into account.

3 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

you have made similar comments about other women

And men. I've posted in earlier threads about Napoleon Hill being requested by a spectral Abraham Lincoln to engage in visionary contact with Lincoln and others. You and I have discussed Richard Bucke's "cosmic consciousness" episode and his subsequent studies of the phenomenon throughout history - predominantly among men, I've also posted about Tennyson who could elicit these things while awake more-or-less as routinely as you dream lucidly... I never shut up about Carl Jung and Philemon.

The source of the women's difficulties was other people's foolish underestimation of their capabilities because they were female. Their response to that situation was human, not female.

3 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

You have mentioned that, in your opinion,  the y were suffering from  a medical condition like epilepsy OR the y were faking it

It is my already stated opinion that they were sincere in their reports. Their achievements are objective facts. I haven't discussed epilepsy in connection with them, full stop.

Throttle back the speed reading.

3 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

And of course many men make the same claims and the y were often in power and powerful, not needing either self  validation or social validation

Well, Julius Caesar was powerful and an epileptic, and there is some suspicion that he used ancient popular opinions about that condition to reinforce his "social validation." It was thought to be evidence of - wait for it - personal contact with the gods. He also portrayed himself as a descendant of Venus, hence divine himself. There is no evidence that he was insincere in his professed beliefs. Based on his writings, it's fair to say that he enjoyed ample self-validation.

There are other forms of opposition than sex discrimination. Throughout history, both men and women have done what it takes to overcome the opposition that they face, regardless of its source or motivation.

None of which is rebuttal to my principal claim that Florence Nightingale cannot be offered as a simple case of a pious scientist.

 

Edited by eight bits
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Mr Walker
1 hour ago, eight bits said:

So far as I can tell, there's no disagreement in this discussion about the observable facts of either case. There is ample evidence that the type of visionary experience in question can be elicited in human beings by natural means (I often post about Tanya Luhrmann's work at Stanford and more recently I mentioned earlier work by William James). Most of that evidence was unavailable to  either woman at the time she formed her opinion about the unobservable cause of her experiences (their life dates were ~1412-1431 and 1820-1910 respectively).

Further, there is ample clinical evidence about the ordinary effects of psychological repression. There is no disagreement here in the face of ample historical evidence that each woman experienced chronic determined social pressure consistent with attempts to induce  repression.

My principal claim was that neither woman was a "simple" example of the coexistence of secular concern and religious piety in the same personality. I believe that I did present sufficient evidence to justify my confidence about the complexity of the two cases. Introducing an invisible third party who sometimes intrudes upon a normal but occasional human cognitive performance can only make these two cases even more complicated than when only well-known natural mechanisms and undisputed facts are taken into account.

And men. I've posted in earlier threads about Napoleon Hill being requested by a spectral Abraham Lincoln to engage in visionary contact with Lincoln and others. You and I have discussed Richard Bucke's "cosmic consciousness" episode and his subsequent studies of the phenomenon throughout history - predominantly among men, I've also posted about Tennyson who could elicit these things while awake more-or-less as routinely as you dream lucidly... I never shut up about Carl Jung and Philemon.

The source of the women's difficulties was other people's foolish underestimation of their capabilities because they were female. Their response to that situation was human, not female.

It is my already stated opinion that they were sincere in their reports. Their achievements are objective facts. I haven't discussed epilepsy in connection with them, full stop.

Throttle back the speed reading.

Well, Julius Caesar was powerful and an epileptic, and there is some suspicion that he used ancient popular opinions about that condition to reinforce his "social validation." It was thought to be evidence of - wait for it - personal contact with the gods. He also portrayed himself as a descendant of Venus, hence divine himself. There is no evidence that he was insincere in his professed beliefs. Based on his writings, it's fair to say that he enjoyed ample self-validation.

There are other forms of opposition than sex discrimination. Throughout history, both men and women have done what it takes to overcome the opposition that they face, regardless of its source or motivation.

None of which is rebuttal to my principal claim that Florence Nightingale cannot be offered as a simple case of a pious scientist.

 

Interesting comments again and in general i dont disagree  However you dont present any evidences that THESE particular women did not have genuine encounters rather  than  them being some form of psychological delusion (That fits your belief that such physical  encounters are impossible because gods arent real )

The problem is that you use the ample evidence of underlying psychological causes inSOME cases  to ASSUME that all cases are the same and that these women had a similar form of delusion It disallows the possibility that the y had real encounters with a god form Youassume the following

The source of the women's difficulties was other people's foolish underestimation of their capabilities because they were female.

It might be more likely that people assumed their claims were hysterical because the y were women Or that because the y were women they needed to make such claims for validation and empowerment  of their causes  But as you point out,men make the same  claims   with no need for gender  based validation or empowerment 

Sorry if you misunderstood me Epilepsy was raised by you  years ago as a likely cause of visions etc in a number of  religious prophets and women, including Ellen white  and Joan  of Arc

I said 

""you have made similar comments about other women"

followed by 

"You have mentioned that, in your opinion,  the y were suffering from  a medical condition like epilepsy OR the y were faking it "

it was these comments from  quite a few years back that i remember vividly, because you for some reason were very passionate about it  and it caused our first disagreement .  I believe the mostlikely thing is that those women and some others had a real genuine physical contact with the same entity which i know.

  I have NO psychological issues yet i have the same form of experiences  and even physical contacts, as those women and others through history. I know mine are real and not delusions so I can accept the likelihood that other peoples are also real.   Of course i cant be certain  about other people's experiences,  but neither can you be certain the y are caused by some psychological issue or need, and not contact with a powerful independent entity. Your disbelief in such entities is not  a good enough reason to dismiss them out of hand.  

you have offered nothing to demonstrate that Florence Nightingale   was anything OTHER than a pious scientist Only conjecture based on your own world views and beliefs 

I thought maybe you had some evidences from  her life and medical records to support your view 

(it is, after all, a possible explanation, but it needs evidential support ) 

 

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Liquid Gardens
On 3/20/2020 at 6:32 AM, eight bits said:

Yes, that's within the scope of the announced topic, but it's absurd to say it's just another example of an outstanding scientist who is also "religious."

Are the scare quotes around 'religious' just noting that she doesn't fit firmly in the established religions?  Agreed, she was a genius, as was almost every scientist that we still hear about today who lived over a century ago, many of whom were religious.  How is her genius 'a complicating factor' as to whether she was 'religious' or not though? 

As an example, in the preface of Florence Nightingale on Mysticism and Eastern Religions, the author says, "Her heterodox theological views mellowed with age, so that she became doctrinally more conventional in her old age.  She was utterly consistent throughout her life in believing that, since faith is the basis of practical activity in the world, we are called to cooperate with God by studying His world, social and physical, to discover its laws and then intervene for good."  Would you say based on that quote, mainly the last sentence, that either you don't believe this statement is a true description of her views, that it doesn't qualify as 'religion', or both?

She is not really 'just another' example of anything, agreed, but not seeing where DC asserted that.  Nightingale does seems like a pretty good example of both 'science and religion' coexisting pretty cleanly though, and there does seem to be evidence that DC is not absurd when he says that she used science to improve medicine for religious reasons. 

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third_eye

Florence hardly had much of a choice from both ends, from the men of both, science and religion. 

~

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eight bits
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Are the scare quotes around 'religious' just noting that she doesn't fit firmly in the established religions?

She didn't at the time we were focusing on. I can readily believe that she became more conventionally religious as she got older (she died at age 90 - very unlike Joan in that respect).

I think that the relationship between visionary experience and religion is itself complicated, both from the religious perspective and the psychological. That's a big part of what makes her a complicated example for the topic. I doubt many people feel that they are on an adult-onset, overtly and personally commissioned mission from God. If that doesn't explain how quotes ended up around religious, then we're stuck.

1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Would you say based on that quote, mainly the last sentence, that either you don't believe this statement is a true description of her views, that it doesn't qualify as 'religion', or both?

I'm OK with the accuracy of the quote, and religion covers enough disparate aspects of human experience that it qualifies.

I didn't criticize @DieChecker for passing off a non-example as an example. Here is his opening statement on Florence Nightingale:

Quote

My kids are homeschool. We read a good example of religion and science working together the other day.

Florence Nightingale... She used science to improve medicine in numerous ways, but did so for religious reasons.

He introduced the issue of how good an example Florence Nightingale was ("a good example") from the outset. He also opined about her motivation to make the contributions that she did ("for religious reasons" - no other apect of her personality mentioned).

I do not believe that all human motivation is conscious motivation. I take all self-reports of motivation with a critical stance. Accurate and complete self-knowledge is not a free good. "I'm on a mission from God," or the equivalent, may merit more scrutiny than some other self-reports.

1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

and there does seem to be evidence that DC is not absurd when he says that she used science to improve medicine for religious reasons. 

I didn't say that he was absurd. As I said in a surrebuttal post, in response to DC's "She simply embodied religion AND science,"

Quote

She practiced science and she practiced religion. Simply? It seems to me we are having this discussion because her personal involvement with each of those domains was anything but "simple." Hence the absurdity that I mentioned,

Again, we're stuck if that doesn't clarify what (not who) is absurd to say, and why I find it so.

Finally for this round, I don't recall disputing that she reported her inspiration was religious. DC asked (the question had been addressed to another poster) whether someone doubted "the story of her inspiration" (which I think is a less sweeping claim than that she had only one motivation worthy of mention - something brought up here not because he said that, but because it describes what he said when introducing the subject). My answer began "The story is fine."

On a point that just came up,

15 minutes ago, third_eye said:

Florence hardly had much of a choice from both ends, from the men of both, science and religion.

My understanding is that she was courted, and that although (as with Joan) she preferred a celibate course, nevertheless she did apparently form some long-lived platonic attachments with one or more gentlemen.

Edited by eight bits
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third_eye
2 minutes ago, eight bits said:

My understanding is that she was courted, and that although (as with Joan) she preferred a celibate course, nevertheless she did apparently form some long-lived platonic attachments with one or more gentlemen.

My understanding is, Florence had seen enough dying and dead men to last her a few lifetimes... 

;)

~

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Liquid Gardens
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, eight bits said:

He also opined about her motivation to make the contributions that she did ("for religious reasons" - no other apect of her personality mentioned).

Maybe it comes down to whether we should infer the word 'solely' in 'for religious reasons', although, yes, it's more complicated than that.  Other aspects of her personality seem to include an inordinate interest in religion/spirituality and participation in at least some rituals of Christianity throughout her life.

1 hour ago, eight bits said:

I do not believe that all human motivation is conscious motivation. I take all self-reports of motivation with a critical stance. Accurate and complete self-knowledge is not a free good. "I'm on a mission from God," or the equivalent, may merit more scrutiny than some other self-reports.

That's fine, I guess in this case I would, sans some statements or actions from her that lead one to think otherwise, believe her self-testimony about her motivations and beliefs; her life and quotes don't read like Thomas Jefferson's.  If she was 'really' motivated by secular altruism and empathy but consciously thinks she's doing it for religious reasons, I think I count that as doing it for religious reasons.  Partly because religion is what you consciously believe by definition and partly because motivations can all be deconstructed ultimately down to dopamine (Book of Davros 1:1).

1 hour ago, eight bits said:

I think that the relationship between visionary experience and religion is itself complicated, both from the religious perspective and the psychological. That's a big part of what makes her a complicated example for the topic. I doubt many people feel that they are on an adult-onset, overtly and personally commissioned mission from God. If that doesn't explain how quotes ended up around religious, then we're stuck.

I guess when I see quotes around a word I interpret that as meaning, in this case, "I'm not sure I would really count her as 'religious' ".  The overlap between being on missions from God and being religious is about 100% for me, but maybe you just mean it as 'she was definitely religious, but not in the sense you might be thinking'.

Edited by Liquid Gardens
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eight bits
3 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

However you dont present any evidences that THESE particular women did not have genuine encounters rather  than  them being some form of psychological delusion (That fits your belief that such physical  encounters are impossible because gods arent real )

Working backwards, I'm an agnostic so I don't profess that gods aren't real. My belief about "physical encounters" is pretty much the usual thing: what would such a term mean if one party to the encounter isn't physical? (We are discussing Nightingale and Joan's beliefs, not your own claims of knowledge of physical gods, etc, that would contradict their interpretation of their experiences). I didn't characterize their beliefs as "delusional." Finally, working backwards, I think the "encounters" were genuine enough, I interpret them differently than these particular women described their interpretations. I have often used the term "encounter" for someone's conscious ego becoming aware of theretofore unconscious contents.

So yeah, I only presented evidence bearing on things that I did discuss.

4 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

The problem is that you use the ample evidence of underlying psychological causes inSOME cases  to ASSUME that all cases are the same

I stopped the quote there since I've already addressed your "delusion" theory. I don't assume that "all cases are the same." On the other hand, hearing voices, feeling presences and finding meaning and inspiration in personal experiences are all very common, while personal interviews with the Creator of the Universe or his incorporeal emissaries are very rare, I'm just playing the odds here, as I estimate them. Feel free to follow your own odds.

4 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Youassume the following

The source of the women's difficulties was other people's foolish underestimation of their capabilities because they were female.

What part of that are you saying is an assumption? That people underestimated their capabilities? I think that's the historical record, as is how remarkable those capabilities really were. Because they were female? I think that's in the record, too.

4 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Sorry if you misunderstood me Epilepsy was raised by you  years ago as a likely cause of visions etc in a number of  religious prophets and women, including Ellen white  and Joan  of Arc

The controversy about Ellen White and whether or not she was epileptic (as a possible result of an apparently undisputed acute head trauma) is widely discussed, so I don't doubt that I discussed it, too. Joan of Arc's reports about her voices are "consistent with" some epileptics' self-reports, but I am unaware of any other evidence that she suffered from epilepsy. Given how widespread similar reports are in non-epileptics, and how many non-epileptics there are, I don't think it's a promising hypothesis in her case.

4 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

I thought maybe you had some evidences from  her life and medical records to support your view 

Why would a normal healthy experience be in her medical records?

 

12 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Other aspects of her personality seem to include an inordinate interest in religion/spirituality and participation in at least some rituals of Christianity throughout her life.

I don't know "inordinate," but Uncle Carl might remark that part of the point of some "rituals of Christianity" is to manage experiences of the sort we're discussing. I've had one (which I didn't interpret "relgiously"), and am glad of it. But it would be totally impractical to live that way 24/7/365, and at best inconvenient to live with the possibility of one kicking in at any time without notice. That was Tennyson's distinction - he could indulge repeatedly, because he had control of where and when.

20 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Book of Davros 1:1

I love Davros, but I am not of his flock. Dopamine is the result, IMO, not the cause, of many things where he puts the causal arrow the other way around. As to Florence Nightingale. I am no more impressed with appeals to empathy or diffuse altruism than to religion as explanations for her activities, although those are all aspects of her personality (and others', too).

You need not share my dissatisfaction with she did science for religious reasons, but I am dissatisfied and happy to say so.

28 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

The overlap between being on missions from God and being religious is about 100% for me, but maybe you just mean it as 'she was definitely religious, but not in the sense you might be thinking'.

Yes, that is one way to think about the issues I've raised.

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Liquid Gardens
6 minutes ago, eight bits said:

I don't know "inordinate," but Uncle Carl might remark that part of the point of some "rituals of Christianity" is to manage experiences of the sort we're discussing.

Inordinate for a person who does not count as religious, as I misinterpreted your quotes to mean.  

24 minutes ago, eight bits said:

You need not share my dissatisfaction with she did science for religious reasons, but I am dissatisfied and happy to say so.

No problem of course, I understand your skepticism and I agree that as stated it doesn't have enough nuance.  Has anyone ever done anything for religious reasons?  To establish a lower boundary, are you skeptical that Nightingale sometimes felt good about her work and was motivated to do it in some part because she thought it pleased God?

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eight bits
1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

To establish a lower boundary, are you skeptical that Nightingale sometimes felt good about her work and was motivated to do it in some part because she thought it pleased God?

No, I'm not skeptical that she felt good about her work, or that part of her satisfaction with it was her belief that God was satisfied with it, too.

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Mr Walker
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, eight bits said:

Working backwards, I'm an agnostic so I don't profess that gods aren't real. My belief about "physical encounters" is pretty much the usual thing: what would such a term mean if one party to the encounter isn't physical? (We are discussing Nightingale and Joan's beliefs, not your own claims of knowledge of physical gods, etc, that would contradict their interpretation of their experiences). I didn't characterize their beliefs as "delusional." Finally, working backwards, I think the "encounters" were genuine enough, I interpret them differently than these particular women described their interpretations. I have often used the term "encounter" for someone's conscious ego becoming aware of theretofore unconscious contents.

So yeah, I only presented evidence bearing on things that I did discuss.

I stopped the quote there since I've already addressed your "delusion" theory. I don't assume that "all cases are the same." On the other hand, hearing voices, feeling presences and finding meaning and inspiration in personal experiences are all very common, while personal interviews with the Creator of the Universe or his incorporeal emissaries are very rare, I'm just playing the odds here, as I estimate them. Feel free to follow your own odds.

What part of that are you saying is an assumption? That people underestimated their capabilities? I think that's the historical record, as is how remarkable those capabilities really were. Because they were female? I think that's in the record, too.

The controversy about Ellen White and whether or not she was epileptic (as a possible result of an apparently undisputed acute head trauma) is widely discussed, so I don't doubt that I discussed it, too. Joan of Arc's reports about her voices are "consistent with" some epileptics' self-reports, but I am unaware of any other evidence that she suffered from epilepsy. Given how widespread similar reports are in non-epileptics, and how many non-epileptics there are, I don't think it's a promising hypothesis in her case.

Why would a normal healthy experience be in her medical records?

 

I

I had never heard about Nightingales experiences until you raised them  You made it sound as if SHE believed the y were a physical contact but i might be prejudiced by my own experiences  How does a non physical but existent being communicate with another physical being?

 Iff the communication was genuine then the other entity existed.

If not, it was all an inner dialogue 

Even if it was the second I find no reason to attribute the reasons you gave  about her need for validation and authorisation for her life's mission.

From what i read about her,  she possessed enough personal authority to get what she wanted, even from  men in positions of authority  

I agree that delusions maybe more common than realities. But on the other hand i am not sure how many of the millions of recorded contacts are real, and how many delusional  It is an assumption that most are delusional  One could as easily assume that most were real contacts.   If there is no medical evidence for any form of delusional thought, then it is an even greater assumption to make 

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eight bits
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Even if it was the second I find no reason to attribute the reasons you gave  about her need for validation and authorisation for her life's mission.

That's a bit "spun" from what I said, but let's think about it some more.

A peculiar feature of scientific achievement is that it isn't "uniquely personal." Some person has to do it, but whatever one person can do, many others can also do. Nevertheless, of all the people who could have done what Florence Nightingale did, they didn't until after she did it first.

Whoever did it would have faced "barriers to acceptance." She changed how an army conducted one of its core functions. There is no bureaucracy like a military bureaucracy, and the bureaucrats' motto is "We've always done it this way." Hospital bureaucracies are pretty rigid, too, and she basically imposed an entire novel profession upon them. And, her contrubutions to data visualization are not self-explanatory, she didn't need only to invent these things, she also needed to bring other people up to speed in how to use them.

Given the time, place, social norms and her own personal situation, it is suprising that she was the one to do these things first. It is surprising that she herself would confidently estimate that she could, and unsurprising that many others around her estimated that she couldn't. Her stuff worked, but by its nature, to be seen to have worked, it had to be deployed at scale first - deployed when nobody knew whether it would work or not (however promising her ideas and practices were a priori).

That last paragraph exemplifies what the word visionary means in secular terms. Visionary is what she needed to be. Visionary is not a synonym for delusional - her stuff worked, and still works today, everyday.

Now, in her own psychic economy, she became a literal visionary. Other people similarly situated might have become meaningful dreamers, or held regular "interior dialogs," or whatever. There are many ways - Poincare stepped onto a bus and had an involuntary "download" of a new branch of mathematics, and then he took his seat and completed his errand.

There's no one way to do it, but the "it" is pretty much the same, across time, space, societies and individuals. Every instance is exceptional, but instances happen often enough to enough people that there's a respectable history of instances by now. They are like winning one of the big national lotteries: almost nobody does, but quite a few people have.

That's the background of how I see Florence Nightingale's career, and how I see Joan of Arc's career. Another thing they had in common: by far the most accessible model of exceptional experience in their cradle societies was offered by the dominant religion of those societies. Secular scholarly psychology didn't exist, so forget that as an option for them when discussing these women.

So, yes, they interpreted what happened to them through the lens of religion, using its vocabulary, grammar and iconic figures. They also probably used the ritual support of those religions to regulate or moderate the re-occurence of similar episodes. Why wouldn't they? What alternative did they have, given that if their experiences had overwhelmed them, then they would have been unable to follow through on the achievements for which we remember them?

There is a proverb: some people drown in the same waters where others swim. Florence and Joan were swimmers. It didn't have to turn out that way for them. (And, literally, Joan died because of her visions, died young and violently. She did well in the meantime, though, eh?)

I have never denied that these women are valid examples of secular achievement (including scientific achievement) coexisting with religious orientation. Like many small samples, however, there is a danger in extrapolating from their history when trying to understand how some appreciable population of religious scientists manage their personal psychic economies. These women are exceptional in both religious practice and secular practice. (And not just because they were women - Poincare was similarly exceptional in his achievement and psychic economy, even though he was a man from whom, because of conventional training, social background and admirable previous performance, much was expected).

 

Edited by eight bits
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Mr Walker
18 hours ago, eight bits said:

That's a bit "spun" from what I said, but let's think about it some more.

A peculiar feature of scientific achievement is that it isn't "uniquely personal." Some person has to do it, but whatever one person can do, many others can also do. Nevertheless, of all the people who could have done what Florence Nightingale did, they didn't until after she did it first.

Whoever did it would have faced "barriers to acceptance." She changed how an army conducted one of its core functions. There is no bureaucracy like a military bureaucracy, and the bureaucrats' motto is "We've always done it this way." Hospital bureaucracies are pretty rigid, too, and she basically imposed an entire novel profession upon them. And, her contrubutions to data visualization are not self-explanatory, she didn't need only to invent these things, she also needed to bring other people up to speed in how to use them.

Given the time, place, social norms and her own personal situation, it is suprising that she was the one to do these things first. It is surprising that she herself would confidently estimate that she could, and unsurprising that many others around her estimated that she couldn't. Her stuff worked, but by its nature, to be seen to have worked, it had to be deployed at scale first - deployed when nobody knew whether it would work or not (however promising her ideas and practices were a priori).

That last paragraph exemplifies what the word visionary means in secular terms. Visionary is what she needed to be. Visionary is not a synonym for delusional - her stuff worked, and still works today, everyday.

Now, in her own psychic economy, she became a literal visionary. Other people similarly situated might have become meaningful dreamers, or held regular "interior dialogs," or whatever. There are many ways - Poincare stepped onto a bus and had an involuntary "download" of a new branch of mathematics, and then he took his seat and completed his errand.

There's no one way to do it, but the "it" is pretty much the same, across time, space, societies and individuals. Every instance is exceptional, but instances happen often enough to enough people that there's a respectable history of instances by now. They are like winning one of the big national lotteries: almost nobody does, but quite a few people have.

That's the background of how I see Florence Nightingale's career, and how I see Joan of Arc's career. Another thing they had in common: by far the most accessible model of exceptional experience in their cradle societies was offered by the dominant religion of those societies. Secular scholarly psychology didn't exist, so forget that as an option for them when discussing these women.

So, yes, they interpreted what happened to them through the lens of religion, using its vocabulary, grammar and iconic figures. They also probably used the ritual support of those religions to regulate or moderate the re-occurence of similar episodes. Why wouldn't they? What alternative did they have, given that if their experiences had overwhelmed them, then they would have been unable to follow through on the achievements for which we remember them?

There is a proverb: some people drown in the same waters where others swim. Florence and Joan were swimmers. It didn't have to turn out that way for them. (And, literally, Joan died because of her visions, died young and violently. She did well in the meantime, though, eh?)

I have never denied that these women are valid examples of secular achievement (including scientific achievement) coexisting with religious orientation. Like many small samples, however, there is a danger in extrapolating from their history when trying to understand how some appreciable population of religious scientists manage their personal psychic economies. These women are exceptional in both religious practice and secular practice. (And not just because they were women - Poincare was similarly exceptional in his achievement and psychic economy, even though he was a man from whom, because of conventional training, social background and admirable previous performance, much was expected).

 

This is well explained and acceptable to me but a bit difernt to how i read your initial posts,  however i question the one bolded line 

Why WOULD they do this  As you put it, it sounds a s if the consciously constructed such episodes to further their causes and shaped them to fit the religious protocols of the day so this worked more effectively for them  

I am a simple bloke 

I don't see people like this at all,

I tend to think that what you  see  with people is how they are. I see florence and joan as having  experiences which they interpreted  from their own contexts and world views  The experiences would not have overwhelmed them, just given them courage and conviction. This combined with unusual natural intelligence,  courage, fortitude and discipline, made them who the y were  I dpubt   anyone could have prevented them from doing as the y each did. 

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eight bits
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

however i question the one bolded line 

[ They also probably used the ritual support of those religions to regulate or moderate the re-occurence of similar episodes. ]

Why WOULD they do this  As you put it, it sounds a s if the consciously constructed such episodes to further their causes and shaped them to fit the religious protocols of the day so this worked more effectively for them  

(Obviously, I copied in the line in question for the sake of readability and so that the quote block stands alone.)

No, I don't think that Florence Nightingale or Jeanne constructed the unusual episodes consciously. The unconscious contents, IMO, took whatever form they did, and thereby came to the women's conscious attention so that they could then act in the real world consistently with what would otherwise have been unrealized prodigious potential. Unconscious contents take many forms, and what the two women report falls well within the range of what others have also reported.

Example I have already mentioned in the thread Napoleon Hill talking things over with Abraham Lincoln long after the latter's death. This was a secular conversation about secular concerns. Jeanne, too, felt that she had interacted with famous dead people. Both Hill and Jeanne were successful in secular endeavors, and both attributed that success, in part, to help furnished by the famous dead people they'd met. Jeanne's correspondents were Catholic saints; her conversation with them was religiously tinted, although ultimately about secular concerns.

So why would the women use the ritual support of the religions of their native cultures to "manage" these manifestations of unconscious contents?

First, because the rituals in question are effective for that purpose. Actually, that should suffice. Why do people take over the counter medicines for headaches? What more explanation is needed than that people find that the medicines work for them?

More explanation is needed, apparently, because you don't think there's any problem with talking things over with dead people whenever the dead people feel like dropping in. I base this upon:

1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

I tend to think that what you  see  with people is how they are. I see florence and joan as having  experiences which they interpreted  from their own contexts and world views  The experiences would not have overwhelmed them, just given them courage and conviction.

In contrast, I tend to think that their experiences in and of themselves (like so many things) had both potential to empower and also potential to disable the women (and Hill, and from earlier posts, Poincare, and everyone else who's been mentioned). In order to realize the potential to empower, it is helpful to mitigate the potential to disable.

I also hold with Jung against Freud that simply knowing that unconscious contents are being manifested is insufficient for the person involved to manage the manifestations as well as possible. The woolies ought to be integrated into the personality, made part of some coherent stable "whole" personality and biography. Long story short - the person needs to do something, not just know what's going on. And also like so many things, if you really do a right thing, it may not matter that you don't correctly know what's going on.

Enagaging in a ritual where a priest breaks God apart and then you eat this God and drink his blood has a great track record for soothing the unconscious. Over the counter psychotherapy at its finest.

From that second quote block, I gather you think your woolies are empowering for you personally and more-or-less free of any down side. I mentioned the proverb, some people drown in the same waters where other people swim. Unconscious contents are deep waters with treacherous undertow. You've managed to swim without being aware of how you do it (and it is so transparent that you aren't). Well, good for you; it's way better than drowning. Jeanne and Florence, too, found a way to swim. Not everyone does.

 

Edited by eight bits
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