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Skeptics guide to recocery.

Old 07-25-2014, 06:31 PM
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Skeptics guide to recocery.

I was hoping to get a discussion going about how people have changed overtime in recovery. Where people have shed and moved through and beyond dogma and belief and sort reality as platform to live happy and healthy lives.
My hope also would be that some people would see some value in discussing Science and scientific methods, critical thinking and healthy skepticism.

We all have stories about holding on to things and having them crumble in our grips, maybe stories of being convinced and converted or being challenged by reality and de-converted or any combination of those words Convinced, Converted, Challenged by Reality and De-converted.

Lets challenge each other and get curious and interested.

I look forward to hearing your stories and experience.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:23 PM
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One of my favorite writers is Thomas Kuhn. He wrote "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions". He explains how paradigms, or models of the way the world works, are subject to change. He talks about the process involved in scientists changing their minds. It's sort of a classic.

Arthur Schopenhouer summed it up nicely long before Kuhn. He said, "Every truth passes through three stages.
First it is ridiculed.
Second it is opposed.
Third it is regarded as self evident.

I would add a fourth. It is eventually discarded for a new and previously ridiculed idea.

I'm currently engrossed in physics (which is far afield from my more formal training). I love it.
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by awuh1 View Post
One of my favorite writers is Thomas Kuhn. He wrote "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions". He explains how paradigms, or models of the way the world works, are subject to change. He talks about the process involved in scientists changing their minds. It's sort of a classic. Arthur eventually discarded for a new and previously ridiculed idea summed it up nicely long before Kuhn. He said, "Every truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second it is opposed. Third it is regarded as self evident. I would add a fourth. It is eventually discarded for a new and previously ridiculed idea. I'm currently engrossed in physics (which is far afield from my more formal training). I love it.
Thanks for that. Did you find or have you found the same process working in your own recovery or life. Especially your fourth point "eventually discarded for a new and previously ridiculed idea" I like that point because it takes what looks like a set linear process and makes it more dynamic process.

Your physics interest sounds great, are you formally studying or is it more a hobby at this point? Are you getting into Quantum Stuff and do you have any writers or scientists in mind that are accessible to read.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:59 PM
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I am quite interested in quantum physics and my interest is personal rather than professional. I think I like it because studies show us that reality is actually quite different than we generally believe it to be.

A good example of this is the concept of 'nonlocality', or what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance". It turns out that things are connected in a way that we just do not understand. Quantum entanglement is one of the few instances where Einstein was wrong. In fact things are connected in a realm that does not include space or time. This seems to contradict our very notions of causality, and for that matter reality, but this has been experimentally demonstrated. It's another instance of how our mental model of how the world works needs to change, rather than not believing (or accepting) the experimental data. This is the process of scientific revolutions. (I must note that nonlocality is not an appropriate topic for this forum because, by definition, it is non secular ).

In recovery I find it necessary to not become too attached to any one way of looking at things. Giving up cherished beliefs can rock your world, yet in the long run I consider a better understanding of reality both healthy and adaptive. But understanding this makes giving up those beliefs no less difficult.

I would recommend the book "The Holographic Universe" by Michael Talbot

There is also a fascinating video presentation by one of Steven Hawkings former students here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d4ugppcRUE

As always keep an open mind. It will serve your recovery well
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:28 PM
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I dunno about non-locality being non-secular. Gravity is an example of non-locality, action at a distance. Newton described it in a way that explained his universe, and I suppose that it works still for most of us in our daily lives. I guess I am missing the spiritual aspect of stuff falling down. But if you'd like to discuss spiritual aspects of Bell's Theorem or Werner states or non-local Lagrangians, I'm all for it.

The behaviour of a single photon is interesting under certain conditions, even unexplainable with our present knowledge, but it doesn't change my life. Our mental model of the universe, from Copernicus to Newton to Maxwell to Einstein to Weinberg to Kaluza, has long passed from things we experience with our senses into the esoteric realm of quirks and quarks, bozons and neutrinos. These understandings may be profound, and lead to other more profound understandings, but the mental model of the universe we must carry with us need not follow every development at CERN.
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:46 PM
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Quarks gotta do what quarks gotta do, me I gotta choose

A is A
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
I dunno about non-locality being non-secular. Gravity is an example of non-locality, action at a distance. Newton described it in a way that explained his universe, and I suppose that it works still for most of us in our daily lives. I guess I am missing the spiritual aspect of stuff falling down. But if you'd like to discuss spiritual aspects of Bell's Theorem or Werner states or non-local Lagrangians, I'm all for it. The behaviour of a single photon is interesting under certain conditions, even unexplainable with our present knowledge, but it doesn't change my life. Our mental model of the universe, from Copernicus to Newton to Maxwell to Einstein to Weinberg to Kaluza, has long passed from things we experience with our senses into the esoteric realm of quirks and quarks, bozons and neutrinos. These understandings may be profound, and lead to other more profound understandings, but the mental model of the universe we must carry with us need not follow every development at CERN.

I like this response and agree.

So often in my recovery, I felt a strange attraction (almost comforting) towards the unexplained as being evidence for the 'spiritual'. When you are in that mindset its amazing how confirmation bias works, you can find yourself with great confidence believing things without any evidence, other than the belief makes you feel good.
Often for me I would put trust in what appeared to be profound people with profound ideas, throw in some charisma and my belief.in weird things was set.
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Old 07-28-2014, 03:00 PM
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I remember learning about confirmation bias, and I think that sort of thing tends to be the rule rather than the exception in most people, so it is a good thing to be aware of. But I also think we can have spiritual feelings without there being a spiritual (in the traditional sense) component. I don't believe in a higher power, but when I gaze up at the billions and billions of stars and the feelings of awe and connectedness wash over me, I equate that to a spiritual feeling. I know it's just my brain making chemicals, just as love is also a bunch of neurons firing a certain way, but it doesn't make the feeling any less enjoyable or less 'real'. I don't need to believe in God or anything supernatural to feel this way, so belief isn't required to be a spiritual type of person imo.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:02 PM
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Yup, the unexplained is not evidence in itself. I never had the need for comfort which is ascribed to some people who do not have a strictly materialistic standpoint. I just wanted to know the truth. That's what made me feel good lol. Giving up my old beliefs, which involved a strictly mechanistic understanding of how things operate, was very uncomfortable for me. I had an enormous amount of confirmation bias to overcome in order to reach my current views.

As for non-locality being non-secular. I'm starting from a Webster's definition of secular which states, "of or relating to the worldly or temporal". Temporal of course meaning in relation to time. 'Spooky action at a distance' is a phenomenon that takes place outside of spacetime (or, beyond both space and time). The change in one entangled particle effects another entangled particle instantly, regardless of the distance between them. This is proof of a dimension outside of space and time (as difficult as that may be to imagine).

Your right freshstart. Having a Newtonian understanding of how gravity works is just fine for how most people live their lives. In the same vain, people did not seem to be too adversely effected by believing that the earth was flat. Nevertheless, we seem to have made some progress since we gave up that idea.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:36 PM
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Nw
Nice sentiment in your post , that you experience a sense of awe and connectedness when looking at the stars. It struck me that you didn't go to the clichéd insignificance , leads me to believe the crossing of our paths is a consequence of bumps in the road.

I tend toward a more "mechanic" view, but I do see/feel the spiritual in the chemical reactions. The lenses of my eyes provide sight, but I see, I feel the emotions that bubble out of the brain. All thanks be to the universe that made me, but when I go I hope to wish it well.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by NightsWatch View Post
I remember learning about confirmation bias, and I think that sort of thing tends to be the rule rather than the exception in most people, so it is a good thing to be aware of. But I also think we can have spiritual feelings without there being a spiritual (in the traditional sense) component. I don't believe in a higher power, but when I gaze up at the billions and billions of stars and the feelings of awe and connectedness wash over me, I equate that to a spiritual feeling. I know it's just my brain making chemicals, just as love is also a bunch of neurons firing a certain way, but it doesn't make the feeling any less enjoyable or less 'real'. I don't need to believe in God or anything supernatural to feel this way, so belief isn't required to be a spiritual type of person imo.
Yes I agree and the word Spiritual as I was using it in my post was the traditional sense. Its one of those words "spiritual" that can have so many meanings that it often is not the best word to use. I like the word AWE, I think this quote from Douglas Adams captures what you are saying Nightwatch

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too"
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:26 AM
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Funny, I feel awe at humanity, mankind, homo sapiens.

Think about this: IF our concepts of reality are correct, there are millions of lives out there that can sustain life as we know it. Probably many more that will surprise us. Barring this being some bizarro universe where Stargate is really reality, there is one thing I know for a fact: We will never meet more human beings.

We are it for homo sapiens.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:12 AM
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I love your post, sam. The shedding of ideas has been challenging for me, but it has been critical in my journey. As Awuh mentioned, its scary to let go of old ideas. In order to question and move through previous beliefs, one must be fearless in a sense. As much as I desperately wanted out of the cycle of addiction, even more so I wanted to stop being afraid in general. From the Buddhist standpoint, railing against the impermanence of life is the root of suffering. When we cannot accept that everything is always changing, that everything is in a state of flux, then we suffer. When we can understand and accept that truth, we find equanimity. It is not the changes themselves that cause the suffering but rather, it is the gripping or attachment that is causing the suffering.

Originally Posted by Nightswatch
But I also think we can have spiritual feelings without there being a spiritual (in the traditional sense) component. I don't believe in a higher power, but when I gaze up at the billions and billions of stars and the feelings of awe and connectedness wash over me, I equate that to a spiritual feeling.
YES! I absolutely agree with this. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by this feeling. I get this same sense when I look at my children and think about how they grew inside my body. From tiny dots on the sonogram, to young men who stand taller than me. I am awed by things like this.

When it came to the end of the road for me in active addiction, I had a powerful experience. It was that feeling of revelation, of deep knowing. I don't call it a spiritual awakening, but I do call it an awakening. I think it is a misconception that non theists can't have that kind of experience.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:28 AM
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i never got "converted' I immersed myself in as many philosophies possible and even though i state my opinion I remain an open book..I don't think mixing spirituality and recovery is productive..for the masses under 1 dogma not to mention it has violated the constitution. there are many brilliant scientists who are let's say agnostic. Steven Hawkins is
I believe..
Richard Dawkins thinks it was impossible to be proper scientist and not be an atheist..my spiritual thoughts are a direct result of my experiences..not being spoon fed, feared or shamed into something. i found that people change their drinking habits because they want to and also because they have something to live for..they may moderate or quit completely....getting excited about life..not recovery..is the key
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:28 AM
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just as there is theory about a gene for addiction..there is also a theory about a "God" gene...people of this gene will seek a higher power regardless of their environment or

education..this seems to be theory put forth by atheist scientists trying to explain why a lot of educated people believe in God..One thing is for sure..you are not going to solve

the God thing looking at it with a scientific mindset..just as the religious people try to make up their own scientific theories to prove the existence...one theory goes something like this..energy just doesn't die..so where does it go when a person dies? and then there is philosophy trying to prove the existence...one theory is that a coconut is on island nobody ever visited...nobody put it there...so there must be a God...I wish i remember the philosopher but that was really a famous theory....yeah seems to fall short of common sense...but a lot of philosophy is in the delivery
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:38 AM
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getting excited about life..not recovery..is the key

this jumped out at me because for so many recovery is exactly that: getting excited about life.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:49 AM
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does infinity go both ways?
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by caboblanco View Post
just as there is theory about a gene for addiction..there is also a theory about a "God" gene...people of this gene will seek a higher power regardless of their environment or

education..this seems to be theory put forth by atheist scientists trying to explain why a lot of educated people believe in God..One thing is for sure..you are not going to solve

the God thing looking at it with a scientific mindset..just as the religious people try to make up their own scientific theories to prove the existence...one theory goes something like this..energy just doesn't die..so where does it go when a person dies? and then there is philosophy trying to prove the existence...one theory is that a coconut is on island nobody ever visited...nobody put it there...so there must be a God...I wish i remember the philosopher but that was really a famous theory....yeah seems to fall short of common sense...but a lot of philosophy is in the delivery
In light of some new theories, let me ask: Can information die?
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by LBrain View Post
does infinity go both ways?
No.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:16 AM
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prove it
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