Allan Kurzberg And The Paradox Of Organized Religion, Part 2.

“I stepped into the abyss and felt something in my chest.  Stars were on the left and right, above and below.  I was among the stars, and I understood that I was a small part of this giant world, where the human was just a grain of sand.”–Alexei Leonov, Russian cosmonaut 

 

 

In the last post, we proved the Paradox of Organized Religion by using certain parts of Allan Kurzberg’s system.  In this post, we will try to define religion as opposed to organized religion.  However, before we do that, we might examine a more vivid example of the Paradox of Organized Religion, the Example of the Knife.    Briefly, it states that a visitor has come into our home brandishing a knife.  S/he then tells us we have nothing to fear since s/he is a member of a specific OR.  Does that statement ensure our safety?  Of course, the person could be lying, but we will assume the person is telling the truth.  Does the stranger’s belonging to an OR give us definite assurance that no harm will come to us?  And the answer is: certainly not.  The proof lies in the definition of an OR and the application of a few of Allan’s postulates.  I leave the proof to the reader.

As we have stated in previous posts, Kurzberg was quite disturbed by misleading or, as in the case of a human being, downright false definitions.  He attributed the falseness of definition to P 2, that lying is a major part of a human’s existence.  And this is not surprising, because wherever we look, we see the perpetuation of lies.  And with new technology, lies can spread at a faster rate than ever before.  They not only come from the mouths of demagogues, but often from scientists and mathematicians, supposedly paradigms of rational thought.  Indeed, Allan reminded us that a mathematician and mathematics are two different entities.  A mathematician, according to our new definition of human being is an irrational being that is mostly capable of rational thought, while mathematics is a purely rational creation, constructed of precise definitions, postulates, theorems, corollaries, and lemmas.  And with each discovery brought on by the above, mathematics moves forward along a rational axis, using pure reason to achieve truths.  In a similar manner, Kurzberg felt there was an essential difference between organized religion, steeped in the human world of unpredictable motivational forces, creating “Others”, steeped in complex, misleading symbols, and manifesting hierarchy by P 4, often resulting in the torturing and wholesale slaughter of human beings. ORs, according to Allan, have perpetrated meaningless distinctions such as “secularity” and “religious fanaticism”.  Allan would insist that all ORs are secular, and that it is this fact that is the most disturbing.  If God exists and is pure reason, it should be the function of all ORs to strive for pure reason.  In that way, they would be a more accurate reflection of the grandeur of God, rather than holding on to outmoded and sometimes completely wrong ideas of the universe.  “Religious fanaticism” would then be a contradiction in terms, because religion would be an emanation of pure reason and fanaticism is just the opposite.

Allan Kurzberg often said that what bothered him was not that a human being was made in God’s image(whatever importance that has, because all things in the universe have been made by God.  Although, Allan admitted that such a concept needed explanation).  But what disturbed him was the idea that God is being made in a human being’s image.  That is, God is a projection of all of the human being’s failings listed above.  Kurzberg sought to clarify the difference between an OR and pure religion or just religion.  He said that first you need to know that all ORs are fundamentally unstable and this led him to the Bifurcation Principle of Organized Religion:  At some point in time, any organized religion will split up into at least one other branch of the original OR.  Kurzberg thought this was not surprising since by P 3, humans are “Other” creating beings and by P 4, create inclusive and exclusive relationships.  But, he said, a pure religion is a manifestation or reflection of a permanent system of order that does not accept any fragmentation or rupture.  Therefore, an OR is the more true the more it minimizes OE-, and, in particular, the creation of the “Other”, and seeks for an all-inclusive relationship, eliminating the barrier created by P 4.

Allan felt he needed to elucidate the differences between organized religion and religion further through the stories of The Three Children : Laura, Robert, and Bill.  Subsequent posts will contain excerpts from these three stories, followed by a discussion of the principles they represent.

Allan Kurzberg And The Paradox Of Organized Religion, Part 1.

“…the Chinese had a good idea of their origins, related in a creation myth concerning one Pangu, the first(almost human) being, who spent 18,000 years chiseling out the universe from chaos.  When he died, the vermin on his body became the human race.”–Richard Gunde

 

 

 

Before we try to examine Allan Kurzberg’s approach to organized religion, we would do well to review his entire system and think about each part carefully.

 

New Definition of human being:  A Human being is an irrational being that is mostly capable of rational thought.

Postulate 1.  The ability of humans to think rationally developed late in human history.

Postulate 2.  No perceivable living creature on Earth lies, prevaricates, or pretends more than a human being.

Postulate 3.  All human beings are “Other” creating biological entities.

Postulate 4.  All human interactive behavior is the result of the dynamics between inclusive and exclusive relationships.

The Corollary of Human Existence or The Five Motivational Forces:  The five motivational forces that govern all human behavior are:  E+, E-, OE+, OE-, and r.

The Corollary of Instability:  The five motivational forces are unstable and at any point in time one force may change into any of the other forces.

 

It is important to note that although Allan believed the above definition, corollaries and postulates were necessary and sufficient to analyze all forms of human interactive behavior, he admitted that additional postulates and corollaries might be discovered in the future.  He also believed that the language he used in the above parts might be altered or refined to make the concepts even clearer.

We shall now look at one of the areas of human interactive behavior that Allan had a particular interest in:  organized religion.  To take all emotions away that might hamper an objective analysis of organized religion, Kurzberg reverted to symbols OR-1, OR-2,,,  OR-n, where n is finite since the number of human beings is finite. Allan thought that the naming of individual ORs was the main reason studies of ORs have not been objective, since they conjure up emotions that necessarily interfere with rational thought.  An OR is required to have at least two or more members (by definition of “organized”.  Each OR contains elements  that are common to every other OR.  Fundamentally, all ORs contain a finite set of beliefs whose purpose is to link each member of an OR’s life with the universe and to endow it with meaning..  Let us now state the paradox of ORs that Allan examined and pondered over.

 

The Paradox of Organized Religion:  Although every organized religion purports to make people more moral, no organized religion can ensure the moral behavior of any of it’s members at any point in time.

 

By the Corollary of Human Existence, we know that OE- must be present in each member(they are all humans), and by the Corollary of Instability, we know that any of the five motivational forces can change into any of the other motivational forces at any point in time.  OE- by definition is the state where rational thought is overwhelmed by destructive emotions.  Therefore, we have proved The Paradox of Organized Religion.

Kurzberg’s query was how do we try to undo the paradox?  What must each member of an OR do to ensure moral behavior?  It’s clear that the task of every OR would be to find ways to limit OE-, especially that described by P 3.  To avoid “Otherness”, each OR would have to find ways not to judge or create inclusive and exclusive relationships by P 4.  A difficult if not impossible task to be sure.  But without a conscientious effort on the part of an OR to do the above, the paradox displays a contradiction as to what each OR purports to do and what it actually can do.

 

Allan Kurzberg And The Four Postulates, Part 4.

“It remains to be seen whether the human race is a mere intruder on the planet Earth, or a more permanent resident.”–Guy Murchie

 

 

 

In the last section we examined some consequences of the third postulate.  This post will conclude Allan Kurzberg’s systematic approach to interactive human behavior.   The last postulate is a universal that enables us to understand all aspects of interactive human behavior:  Postulate 4:  All human interactive behavior is the result of the dynamics between inclusive and exclusive relationships.  By exclusive, Allan means relationships that exclude other human beings(such as what happens through the “Other” function of OE-), and create divisions.  Inclusive, the opposite of exclusive , refers to relationships that seek to include other human beings.  An inclusive relationship is any organization that contains two or more members, such as a club, organized religion,  a political entity, or a marital union.  The “Other” is, of course, an obvious and prominent example of an exclusive relationship, since by its very nature it attempts to exclude and create distance between the individual defining the “Other” and the individual so defined.

Let us examine the concept of dynamics within the fourth postulate to make it clearer.  Google offers a bipartite definition of dynamics:  1) the branch of mechanics concerned with the motion of bodies under the action of forces; 2) the forces or properties which stimulate growth, development or change within a system or process.  Clearly, both aspects of the definition apply to the fourth postulate, because humans are bodies under the influence of the five motivational forces, and such forces can stimulate growth and development (although these forces can also do the opposite), causing continual change.

Note:  Scientist A, d’Abro has stated that the world of physics is governed by partial differential equations.  Differential equations involve quantities that are undergoing instantaneous change, a major aspect of differential calculus.  The word “partial” here refers to more than one quantity undergoing instantaneous change.  As a part of physical phenomena, human beings are also undergoing change initiated by stimuli applied to the five motivational forces.  So, theoretically, the dynamic behavior of the five motivational forces can be described by partial differential equations if we could specify what stimuli produce changes in our forces and when.

The beauty of our theory is that it provides us with a means of understanding all human interactions, be they in the arts, news, internet, politics, organized religion, or our everyday behaviors, while giving us a language for interpreting and describing such interactions.  In future posts we will see how Allan Kurzberg’s system can apply to education, evolution, war, organized religion, health, and the world of robots.

Allan Kurzberg And The Four Postulates, Part 3.

“If we can find ways to awaken the full power of awareness, we could enter a new phase of human evolution and revitalize ourselves and our world.”–Tarthang Tulku 

 

The “Other” is often deemed inferior, or, in the extreme, less than human.  In that case the “Other ” is denied basic human rights and often thought a hindrance to what is supposed as human.  The “Other” may look different from a beholder, speak another language, be of a different gender, belong to a different organized religion, have a different color, belong to a different political party, etc.  The making of “Others” is therefore the crucible of all prejudice and hate. Indeed, it only takes one counterexample to disprove an accepted prejudice.  Alas, throughout history and today the tendency towards separatism and judgmentalism have blinded people to this simple truth.  How many millions of lives would have been saved if this truth had been applied!  Of course, the fact that a counterexample was not put forth and accepted as proof by the vast majority of human beings, provides additional evidence that unreason holds sway in the human mind.  Thus, the range in producing the “Other” might be only a mild disapproval of someone with whom one does not agree, to a lethal degradation that “justifies” the slaughter of millions of human beings.  And as humans have developed ever greater means to destroy themselves, understanding the creation of “Others” is truly critical to the survival of humanity.

With all the research done in neurophysiology and psychology nobody really knows why we create “Others”, and yet the fact that we do may determine our eventual fate on this planet. Physicist, Erwin Schrodinger, in his book, My View of the World, has suggested a primal impulse, “euphoria”, a hitting out as a means of protection, might be a cause.  However, the “Other” may also be seen in a positive way, such as a human so superior that people wish to learn from or emulate the person.  Humans that are masters of their craft are examples of such mentors that are mentors, models, leaders, etc.  And the “Other” right refer to a country for whom one has special reverence.  So that for a true understanding of the “Other” both the positive and negative aspects need to be analyzed.

In the next post, the fourth postulate will be stated and examined.  There will also be a review of Allan Kurzberg’s system.

Allan Kurzberg And The Four Postulates, Part 2.

“The mind of man is beneficent and noble only when it obeys truth.  As soon as it betrays truth, as soon as it ceases to revere truth, as soon as it sells out, it becomes intensely diabolical.  Then it becomes far worse than instinctual bestiality, which always retains something of the innocence of nature.”–Hermann Hesse

 

When Allan examined his previous corollary, he decide to redefine the concepts of self-awareness and self-knowledge.  What is self-awareness?  It is to know that at any moment our rational thought may be overcome by the forces of OE+ and/or OE-.  What is self-knowledge?  It is to know that one’s actions are governed by E+, E-, OE+, OE-, and r.

It is interesting to reflect that almost all forms of therapy, meditation, psychological treatments and problem solving are attempts to help and strengthen r and to discover the “hidden” forces acting on it.    But even when such attempts succeed, there is always the possibility that r will again be overwhelmed by emotional forces.  Thus, all of the above methods employ specific exercises to bring the human minding balance to avoid cataclysmic shifts in emotional states.  Discipline and repetition are essential to such exercises, because without them the mind could revert into unhealthy, unbalanced patterns.  This fact leads to Allan Kurzberg’s Corollary of Instability:  The five fundamental forces are unstable and at any point in time one force may change into any of the other forces.  Hence the importance of self-awareness.

Kurzberg recognized the great difficulty in listing all forms of destructive behavior(OE-), but he realized that one form towers above the rest and so became his third postulate:  Postulate 3.  All human beings are “Other” creating biological entities.  For Allan, the concept of the “Other”cannot be overestimated because it is the primary engine that drives human behavior.  By creating “Others”, humans demonstrate the tendency to shape inclusive and exclusive relationships, the basis for the fourth postulate.  Also,  inclusive and exclusive relationships can be treated more precisely through elementary set theory.  “Otherness” runs the gamut to humans perceived to be a little different to “Others” perceived as less than human.  It is instructive to take another look at literary texts, especially, from the point of view of “otherness”.  You will find it everywhere.  In this continuing analysis of Allan Kurzberg’s philosophy, we will examine the concept of the “Other” in more detail.

 

 

Allan Kurzberg And The Four Postulates, Part 1.

 

“The depths and the mysteries of the universe lie not where the clouds and blackness are; the depths are to be found in the spaces of clarity and serenity.”–Hermann Hesse

 

Allan Kurzberg is known primarily for his philosophical works and essays.  His four postulates serve as the best introduction to his thinking.   Therefore, I will begin this exposition with a listing of the postulates with some comments about their origins and applications:

Postulate 1.  The ability of humans to think rationally developed late in human history.

 

The latest research has shown that the development of the neocortex (the seat of rational thinking) occurred quite recently.  This would imply that for the majority of man’s existence, a lack of rational thought, or ‘primal emotion”  has dominated.  So in lieu of the above, Allan provided a new definition of human being, grounded in the area of thought: A human being is an irrational being that is mostly capable of rational thought.  He explained that “mostly capable” was necessary, because some humans are born with defective brains that deprive them of all rational functions, and some people suffer strokes or forms of Alzheimers that prevent any kind of reasoning power.  However, the most important conclusion to be drawn is the overwhelming dominance of unreason as compared to reason.  Kurzberg affirmed that the proof of this statement is demonstrated throughout human history, including the present.  Indeed, Allan thought that what unites all human beings is not reason, but unreason.

 

Postulate 2.  No perceivable creature on earth lies, prevaricates, or pretends more than a human being. (the clause “perceivable” is necessary, because there may exist beings on earth in dimensions unknown to us that lie, prevaricate, and pretend more than humans.)  Kurzberg believed that this postulate cannot be overestimated.  It is precisely because of P 2 that rational thought and precise definition are so essential in understanding human discourse.  He applied the postulate approach of mathematics and the use of precise definition to study human interactive behavior, because mathematics represents the pinnacle of pure reasoning.  His postulates, corollaries and definitions provide the impetus that occurs when he analyzes their implications for human behavior.

 

As a consequence of P 1, Allan concluded that there are five primary motivational forces in every human being.  Using the abstract approach to generality from mathematics, he proposed the Corollary of Human Existence or The Five Motivational Forces:  The five motivational forces are:  E+, E-, OE+, OE-, and r.  E+ and E- represent emotions that are positive and negative, respectively, but are not strong enough to overcome rational thought. OE+ and OE- also represent positive and negative emotions, respectively, but they are strong enough to overpower rational thought.  r, rational thought, is not capitalized to show its relative weakness in relation to the forces of unreason, another consequence of P 1.

Note:  One could literally write volumes about the fundamental instability of r and its struggles with the forces that seek to undermine it.  r’s instability is the source of plays, films, poetry, novels, law, economics, philosophy, organized religion, and many other human endeavors.  The truly fragile r has been given a daunting task:  to try to make intelligible a mental environment permeated with irrationality.

 

In the next post I will explore new ways of defining self-awareness and self-knowledge according to Kurzberg, and study briefly the enormous implications of his next postulate.

 

Some Thoughts Rise To The Surface

First, I’d like to thank my 143 followers that have stuck with me during these fallow months.  Your constant support has been a source of inspiration and joy.  It gives me great pleasure in knowing I’ve connected with people in over a hundred countries and that the future looks to be one that connects all of our planetary citizens.  I do hope that in the interim the lives of my followers have been filled with wonderful surprises and insights that have made their lives worth the living…

On January 11, I lost my father, which has had an enormous impact on my life.  His true love of nature, his desire to help all individuals in need, his keen scientific mind and concern for all of earth’s creatures will be missed.  Another pillar has been removed from the family structure and we must form the next block ourselves.  It is not an easy task, for there are feelings of loneliness and sadness along with apprehension as to where our journey will take us.  And we know that our time and energy are dwindling and our stay on this planet will soon come to an end.  But we will try to face the inevitable obstacles with honest hearts and the willingness to persevere as we try to complete our own path.  May our father’s life and vision help us through these uncertain times…

Although I haven’t put up a post in months, my mind has not been still.  I’ve been revising some of Allan Kurzberg’s theoretical notes and synthesizing them into The Theory of Us or An Alien’s Guide to Humans.  I find his system of postulates useful, especially in disproving The Three Lies.  Readers that would like to know more about the theory are referred to the Writer’s Corner in the category My Publications.

I hope to be able to explore many different topics in the months ahead.  Ours may be a troubled time, but the solutions to a number of our problems are close at hand.  I look forward to sharing with my followers my ideas and thoughts concerning an ever intriguing planetary existence.