June 27-28,2005 Dov, in IHS forum.
Re: "Have'nt we reached enlightenment yet?"
We are engaged in a brainstorming session involving "literature-learned" arguments and "personlly-convictioned" arguments.
With personal computers the extent and depth of information scientifically collected, assessed and sorted are growing at an ever accelerating rate. An averagely educated person can nowaday avail himself of ever much wider/deeper background information much faster and simpler than his predecessors. With the wealth of presently available scientific information and knowledge are we still afraid/wary of assessing things and forming attitudes by our own judgements, using our own think-tank on our shoulders?
You may find this info interesting… some figures about the complexity of our tool of sensing, reacting, cognition, the central-board of each of us humans, the disposable temporary Earthly conglomerates of cells:
From Sciam, May 2005, p.39-45, by K.Boahen.
"The brain activates links, or synapses, between neurons. Each such activation is equivalent to executing a digital instruction, so one can compare how many connections a brain activates every second with the number of instructions a computer executes during the same time. Synaptic activity is staggering: 10 quadrillion (10^16) neural connections a second. It would take a million Intel Pentium-powered computers to match that rate – plus a few hundred megawatts to juice them up".
"Building the brain's neural network – a trillion (10^12)neurons connected by 10 quadrillion (10^16) synapses – is a daunting task".
"The cortex has 100 million synapses and three kilometers of axon per cubic millimeter".
jtate: Perhaps it would be helpful if you would elaborate on the meaning of " 'literature-learned' arguments and 'personally-convictioned' arguments."
Of course you are right. When in doubt, first clarify the vague terms.
By 'literature-learned arguments' I mean quoted published qualifying judgements, attitudes, statements, i.e. applying someone else's stands, someone who may be held in high esteem. This, to me, is a form of religious practices…
By 'personally-convictioned' I mean judgement, attitude, stand formed by oneself based on the self's acquired information background and on the consequent self's convictions. This, to me, right or wrong, is the essence of enlightenment.
However, in my opinion neither of the above two can claim 'absolute' or 'perfect' truth; I simply prefer 'self-formed' opinions to 'quoted/instructed' opinions.
And my mind simply prefers and trusts more the still open non-absolute status of states to their absolute/perfect status.