Welcome to Under the Oak. Here ideas are free flow and grow without the pejorative of judgments, beliefs, and biases. Like watching a movie, come in with a open mind, and suspend doubts. Come take a seat with us Under the Oak as we dwell into what makes people charismatic, and where the answer to the meaning of is life found.
We began with Larry’s proclamation for his fascination with Alan Watts. He tells Ivan how intriguing he finds Alan Watts.
Larry: He was really huge in the 70’s and was a philosopher of religions. What’s cool is that he was a priest for 7 years then started teaching eastern philosophy.
Ivan: Oooo that explains his ability to express himself and engage others. That’s pretty awesome that he experienced that belief of God then changed it up. I think we’re too hooked on objective truths now to believe this type of stuff
Larry: Exactly!! Understanding people’s charisma has always fascinated me. What makes people like him and Bill Clinton so engaging? It just feels like they’re being so genuine when they talk. I wouldn’t say that Ivan. I would say that the most reasonable thing to believe is that we can never really know what reality is like. Maybe there is objective truths or are not (as Neil Bohr thought). And that it’s ultimately what you believe. And it seems like we believe similar things 🙂
Ivan: Yeaa. I think it might have to do with their humor. They don’t take themselves too seriously, so they naturally add some humor to what they say. This makes you feel closer to them instead of just listening to what they say. Yeaa I mean from what I notice though, is that there is a lot of religion vs science, and anything in between is disregarded as bologna or arrogance.
Larry: Yeah, they do! They’re so natural, it’s like we’ve known them for years. But people like that are rare. In principal seems so simple to just talk to people like they they’re best friends, yet in practice it’s extremely difficult. Why? That’s a hasty generalization, but one that I agree holds some truth. A big problem is that science is going outside of it’s field by trying to explain the world vs. describe it. This creates an attack on religion and on everything in between (philosophy). So I could see how someone would disregard the “in between”. Religion is painting a true picture of what the world is and this picture has been passed down through generations, and is captivating, and so on. And science is trying to paint a true picture of what the world is like through the use of the scientific method. The rigorous experimentation and peer-reviewed work of science makes me feel that I could trust it more. In addition, unlike religion or philosophy, science has been thought to us at every year of our education. So than what is the “in-between”? Your own personal ramblings, college courses or books that many do not take or read? Societal or cultural ideologies that people will inadvertently rebel against (even in subtle ways)? And why would you need an “in between” if science or religion tells me the truth and what I need to know. They answer questions like- “What is the meaning of Life”?
Ivan: Yeaa I’m with you. Hmmm maybe it has to do with not worrying about other’s judgment, because they’re saying what they want you to hear in order to get their message across, they’re not worrying about what you may be thinking of them. Hmm I see your point, but the religion one seems like more customs and culture we try to pass on instead of actually taking it as the meaning of life. It’s own rules seem really constricting compared to the fluidity of the universe. It’s hard to believe there is a given moral order when life itself is constantly changing. Science is much harder to go against, I believe, because of what you said, that’d we’ve been raised with it. I agree with the findings and such, but the thought keeps popping up that all the information is just how we interpret it (life) in our own mathematical way. It’s not facts.
Larry: I agree with the Maybe, but that can’t be the whole answer. People’s thoughts about you (the speaker) is not always judgmental or bad judgments. Their feedback is crucial to how you can better present your message. This also implies that they have a skill for discerning bad judgments from good judgments.- How does one develop that skill? Yes, religion is often closely tied to culture, and I would argue that science is too. Culture is the story of your people, your family. And what religions do is explain why. Why are we here? Why is there suffering? And religions do supply answers to the meaning of life, for example: “Do good onto others, and always have God in your heart”.
I just googled the meaning of life to find some examples, and the Wikipedia article is amazing. Here check it out: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meaning_of_life.
So what can we make of all of this? Philosophy, religion, and science each offer answers to what the meaning of life is. That’s where the answer is found. Which answer is correct is ultimately up to you. Before you go on trying to find the meaning of life, answer these questions first:
What is a belief?
What is a fact?
What is a truth?