The Knowledge Illusion

Enthetan

Veteran of the Psychic Wars
Regarding "stable data" previously mentioned, probably the most significant one in scientology is past lives. Most scientologists look at, experience or imagine past lives, take your pick. Elron obsessed on the past "going back" ever further in uncountable numbers of years apparently attempting to discover the beginning of existence, assuming such a thing exists. (What existed before existence?)
Once you accept the idea of past lives, then you accept the idea of a multitude of future lives. Once you do THAT, then this current life shrinks in importance into insignificance.

That was the whole point. Once you get people to consider this current life to be unimportant, it's easier to convince them to sacrifice it to the Cause.
 

Dotey OT

Dis-Membered
Once you accept the idea of past lives, then you accept the idea of a multitude of future lives. Once you do THAT, then this current life shrinks in importance into insignificance.

That was the whole point. Once you get people to consider this current life to be unimportant, it's easier to convince them to sacrifice it to the Cause.
One of the "high points" in the cult is the so called knowledge that this life is one life of many. I can recall back to the moment I started to really think with that BS, I began to sacrifice myself more to the cult than ever before, and caused others to do that as well. I also recall the moment when I realized "OOPS" recently, when I realized that there was a comfort in using that "stable datum" of multiple lives, and that I have used that datum as a fall back in life. In some ways that datum was too easy to use, almost like a drug.

Oh, on a different note, have you ever seen the movie "Captain Fantastic"? Great movie about home schooling that went to the max! Viggo Mortenson.
 

PirateAndBum

Administrator
Staff member
One of the "high points" in the cult is the so called knowledge that this life is one life of many. I can recall back to the moment I started to really think with that BS, I began to sacrifice myself more to the cult than ever before, and caused others to do that as well. I also recall the moment when I realized "OOPS" recently, when I realized that there was a comfort in using that "stable datum" of multiple lives, and that I have used that datum as a fall back in life. In some ways that datum was too easy to use, almost like a drug.

Oh, on a different note, have you ever seen the movie "Captain Fantastic"? Great movie about home schooling that went to the max! Viggo Mortenson.
Thanks for the recommendation, looks like a good movie.
 

Pseudonym

Well-known member
So, what do you do ? Are you going to learn enough to diagnose and treat cancer ? To repair a car ? To plan policies for a government ? To create a just legal system ? To decide every question on every issue ? No one lives long enough to even try.
I'm not aware of any expectation that people should individually be the retaining receptacles of the sum total of human knowledge. I have no interest in being a walking talking Encyclopedia Britannica. People are free to choose their professions and life directions and interests. When collectively combined we as a species have civilization interacting with each other. We to various degrees depend on each other so civilization continues. Unless you're a hermit. lol.
 

Zertel

Well-known member
I'm not aware of any expectation that people should individually be the retaining receptacles of the sum total of human knowledge. I have no interest in being a walking talking Encyclopedia Britannica. People are free to choose their professions and life directions and interests. When collectively combined we as a species have civilization interacting with each other. We to various degrees depend on each other so civilization continues. Unless you're a hermit. lol.
The two chamber human brain can only retain just so much memory and information. Beings with four, eight or sixteen chamber brains might be a lot smarter. Artificial intelligence combined with quantum computing might help us "catch up". 😂
 

La La Lou Lou

Well-known member
I've just been listening to Corbyn making a live speech on the Beeb @La La Lou Lou. He's just said that there are now more pensioners living in poverty (inferring that this is the fault of the conservatives) than ever before.

I am a pensioner. My rent is probably more than someone living in a council flat since I rent from a private landlord. My housing benefit covers most of my rent, but I still have to pay £80 per month out of my pension credit to the owner of the property to cover the shortfall.

I get about £170 from the state per week to live on. My weekly food bill comes to about £40. I don't order in bottles of champagne or eat much smoked salmon, so my food bill is quite modest.

I've just received my £140 annual warm home heating allowance, and in a few more weeks I'll be getting my £200 winter fuel payment. What I'm trying to say is I just cannot understand for the life of me how any pensioner living on benefits is living in poverty or has to go to food banks. (If I was a real cheat I could lessen my food bill even more by going to the food bank and pleading poverty, but I wouldn't dream of doing that).

I'm also not in the best of health and if I wished to do so there are a whole span of additional financial benefits I could be claiming.

My mattress becomes ever lumpier the older I get under the avalanche of cash the state throws at me, and sometimes I just wish it would stop. If you're living on benefits and you blow your income betting on your smartphone casino app, drinking 10 cans of Carlsberg Lager every day and ordering in KFC chicken in a bucket every night you are going to be in the shit, but that's all your own fault!
I have to admit that my pension still seems like luxury after being in the cult. I can afford to live. I don't have luxuries very often, but I have basics and grow some tomatoes etc. I know though that some elderly people are too proud to ask for benefits like Housing Benefit that they are entitled to.

I lived in sheltered accommodation for a while, there was a couple there who lived in two separate one bed flats, next to each other while most people lived in studio flats. They took hot water from the communal kitchen rather than boiling their own kettle, they saved toilet paper by going to the toilet in the corridor not in their own homes, they cooked only in one flat and even bathed in only one flat. Each year they went on a cruise. One day I looked at Ethel, in her pleated polyester skirt with clashing polyester blouse and white sling back shoes and the thought dawned, she is the same age as Mick Jagger. Ethel was ranting one day, I asked what was up and she showed me the paper saying that a family of foreigners had moved into a council house. I was speechless, these two were hogging a large one bed flat out of personal greed, (they were big flats, big enough for a couple) and had sold two houses before moving into their flats, completely breaking all the rules.

But there are pensioners living in difficulty. I think the amount paid for a pensioner couple is little more than that paid for one.

Apparently the pensions in Germany and France are way higher, £24-26000 pa.
 

stratty

Inveterate gnashnab & snoutband
I have to admit that my pension still seems like luxury after being in the cult. I can afford to live. I don't have luxuries very often, but I have basics and grow some tomatoes etc. I know though that some elderly people are too proud to ask for benefits like Housing Benefit that they are entitled to.

I lived in sheltered accommodation for a while, there was a couple there who lived in two separate one bed flats, next to each other while most people lived in studio flats. They took hot water from the communal kitchen rather than boiling their own kettle, they saved toilet paper by going to the toilet in the corridor not in their own homes, they cooked only in one flat and even bathed in only one flat. Each year they went on a cruise. One day I looked at Ethel, in her pleated polyester skirt with clashing polyester blouse and white sling back shoes and the thought dawned, she is the same age as Mick Jagger. Ethel was ranting one day, I asked what was up and she showed me the paper saying that a family of foreigners had moved into a council house. I was speechless, these two were hogging a large one bed flat out of personal greed, (they were big flats, big enough for a couple) and had sold two houses before moving into their flats, completely breaking all the rules.

But there are pensioners living in difficulty. I think the amount paid for a pensioner couple is little more than that paid for one.

Apparently the pensions in Germany and France are way higher, £24-26000 pa.
I had to read the bit about going to the toilet in the corridor twice. The first time I thought you meant they pissed and shat on the linoleum.

Germany and France get £24-£26,000 PA? Jesus! That's THREE TIMES what we get. Maybe they paid a lot more in taxes when they were working? I don't know.
 

Helena Handbasket

Well-known member
Once again, here's Helena to throw some light on all the silliness.

My area is a little bit too socialist for my cares. My pet definition of socialism is where everyone's needs are taken care of except the taxpayers'.

In any society, there are some people who are at the bottom of the heap. While I'm not trying to punish people for being poor, the existence of the bottom and the fear of ending up there is what keeps people working.

To keep claimants from bankrupting the system, there are rules to make certain that people, even when they entitled to benefits, will never ask for them. Where I live, If you have no way to pay for health care, the government will pay for it for you -- but they make sure they will never have to by forcing you to buy health insurance. That's like being generous with one hand while stealing with the other.

(Oh and by the way; health care based on having health insurance is IMHO the wrong approach. Health care should be available to all without having to go through a for-profit insurance company.)

Another example: when you die, you must leave a portion of your estate to your natural heirs -- so they have enough, not necessarily to live on, but to be able to not have to make a claim on any of that money socialism is so proud to offer.

Having kids when you can't afford them is a touchy topic -- logical on the surface, but there will be a big uproar if you try to tell someone they aren't allowed to. Quite to the contrary, where I live, they pay parents so much per month per child, but is this really fair to those who don't have children?

There are basically 3 arguments for encouraging population growth -- (1) it provides young, taxpaying workers to pay into the system that pensioners depend on, (2) it gives people a chance to indulge their hormones, and (3) it makes it a bit easier for people to find a new body when it comes time to reincarnate.

But there are many arguments for discouraging population growth. (1) the food supply isn't able to feed everyone, (2) real estate prices keep going up despite building booms, (3) excess population is contributing to global warming, with the possibility of an ecological crash, (4) taxes take up a significant portion of ones income, (5) a nation that is running out of resources will want to "steal" those of a nearby nation, (6) you could end up with more people then jobs, and so on.

One way to get younger workers to pay into the system, if birth rates aren't high enough, is immigration. I'm okay with that as long as it's limited to about 1/10 of 1% of the current population each year -- any more will strain that society's ability to absorb newcomers and integrate them. (Not to mention, again, the increase in real estate prices.) In one European country, citizens are backing an initiative to stop refugee immigration in spite of the government's "let them all in" policy.

Many have advocated for "globalism" -- which includes helping needy countries by building factories there and buying their exports. But the end result of this can only be a great leveling of wealth among nations, lowering the median standard of living in the richest countries to that of the lowest.

(This, by the way, is why so many people voted for President trump -- because he wanted to reverse free trade and the exporting of jobs, particularly well-paying manufacturing jobs. When he was elected, my attitude was let's wait and see how he does before demonizing him. But I'm still waiting for him to say just one thing that makes sense.)

Helena
 
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Mockingbird

Well-known member
We also have the situation, familiar to most people on this board, of the "experts on the mind" (Scientology) who turned out to be complete con-men, and where the field they were "expert" in was complete bullshit.
I think this point is a sensitive one for ex cult members and people who trusted the wrong people in any kind of relationship. It bears serious consideration in its own right in my opinion.

Once bitten twice shy and no one wants to get fooled again, yet we all too often are.
 

Karakorum

Well-known member
George Lakoff has extensively researched language and written many books. He believes we operate with metaphors, stories largely on an automatic and subconscious level, and his book Moral Politics takes on this topic.
The problem with Lakoff is that he comes from the same "make-believe" language studies background as Chomsky and the rest of the ivory tower linguistic postmodernists. What is worse, he has no formal education in the field of Psychology.
I would strongly suggest to dismiss anything Lakoff claims about the "cognitive" side of language, because he has no understanding of the subject other than being a self-declared "expert".

If one wants to speak about the mind or cognitive processes, he should have a firm understanding and background in neurology or psychology. Everyone else is a quack. Lakoff, Chomsky, the NLP cult, the believers in post-modernist linguistics are all quacks in these fields.
 

Mockingbird

Well-known member
The problem with Lakoff is that he comes from the same "make-believe" language studies background as Chomsky and the rest of the ivory tower linguistic postmodernists. What is worse, he has no formal education in the field of Psychology.
I would strongly suggest to dismiss anything Lakoff claims about the "cognitive" side of language, because he has no understanding of the subject other than being a self-declared "expert".

If one wants to speak about the mind or cognitive processes, he should have a firm understanding and background in neurology or psychology. Everyone else is a quack. Lakoff, Chomsky, the NLP cult, the believers in post-modernist linguistics are all quacks in these fields.
I think your conclusion is too black and white.

Saying everyone who doesn't meet a purity test is a quack means you are throwing every single person who is not in one category into another, no matter who they are or how they do what they do.

Sometimes someone from a different background is competent.

Frankly saying to steer clear of someone because of their background is the genetic fallacy. Anyone can have a valid claim, no matter what their background.The best thing to do is to judge each claim on its own merits.

I think it's strange how you put people into categories and either dismiss them and everything they say or accept them as sound experts.

That's a good way to keep believing what you already believe and to dismiss without examination everything else.
 

Karakorum

Well-known member
I think your conclusion is too black and white.

Saying everyone who doesn't meet a purity test is a quack means you are throwing every single person who is not in one category into another, no matter who they are or how they do what they do.

Sometimes someone from a different background is competent.

Frankly saying to steer clear of someone because of their background is the genetic fallacy. Anyone can have a valid claim, no matter what their background.The best thing to do is to judge each claim on its own merits.

I think it's strange how you put people into categories and either dismiss them and everything they say or accept them as sound experts.

That's a good way to keep believing what you already believe and to dismiss without examination everything else.
I don't throw the term quack willy-nilly. There are many great cognitive psychologists out there, but these are all people who studied actual psychology - Albert Ellis, Robert Zajonc, Albert Bandura, Ulric Neisser - I would strongly suggest all 4 if you want to find out how the science currently stands when it comes to describing the mind and the thought process.

Chomsky, Pinkus or Lakoff? They are linguists. Maybe they know a lot about morphemes and grammar or glottal stops. I'm not gonna challenge them in their field.
However, they have no education whatsoever when it comes to psychology or neurology, but they try to pose as experts in the study of the mind. None of what they say about the mind or psychology is supported by research that would meet APA standards... most doesn't have any clinical research behind it.

When it comes to psychology, they are quacks just like Hubbard, their research is like his 'research'.

Frankly saying to steer clear of someone because of their background is the genetic fallacy. Anyone can have a valid claim, no matter what their background.The best thing to do is to judge each claim on its own merits.
That is true. However when it comes to Lakoff he doesn't have a valid claim, because his theories are false and his research is worthless.

I think it's strange how you put people into categories and either dismiss them and everything they say or accept them as sound experts.
Well, if someone doesn't have knowledge about a certain subject in a field he did not study and puts forward theories that are unsupported by evidence, it is only sensible to dismiss him. Especially if what he claims is contrary to claims of established people in the field who are backed by actual research.

NOTE: In the statement above I am NOT saying I am dismissing your viewpoint. I am dismissing Lakoff.
 
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