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Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Barnabas, Mar 2, 2010.

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  1. OP
    Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    the fourum been up for 663 days according to the counter on the top right. It's not about the days of the years but instead about the dayss of the forum.

    Plus all we ever hear about now is 2012 as or magic doomsday number, let's mix it up a bit.


     
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  2. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Agreed on both points, however note the major difference - primitive tribes have... other people!

    That's why they say: men created god in their own image...
     
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  3. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Great question. Both logic and religion are ultimately based on assumptions. Whether the assumption is 1+1=2 or the assumption that every design must have a designer, neither is really testable outside of human perception. It is very possible that there are dimensions in which 1+1=3 or that the universe ultimately did come into existence on its own without any intelligent guidance, but humans can only guess as to whether or not this is true. I would say at present that Occam's razor supports an atheistic conception of the universe rather than a Christian one, simply because it takes fewer assumptions, but just because the human brain is programmed to accept the answer that requires the fewest assumptions doesn't mean the answer with the fewest assumptions is ultimately the right one.
     
  4. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    About the natural origin of /simple/ superstition (with which I do not argue):
    [youtube]9xrWqsLHd2M[/youtube]
     
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    #44 enfp can be shy, Mar 2, 2010
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  5. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    What other image do men have to view God?

    God doesn't exactly make many personal appearances.

    For all we know, God is an alien who flew by in his spaceship 250,000 years ago and played around with the DNA of our primate ancestors and then has come by and utilized his advanced technology to put on "magic" shows for us so that he could control the course of our history and evolution.

    Would that be anymore farfetched than a supernatural being living in a magic kingdom? Would it require anymore or less assumptions?
     
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  6. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Well, this hypothesis, remains art, which in itself is also a giant set of hypotheses, at best. Nothing wrong with having hypotheses, about what is unknown, as long as we remember that it's unknown. :)

    P.S. I also appreciate all religions as art, and I think they should be taught at schools freely, instead of just one religion.
     
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    #46 enfp can be shy, Mar 2, 2010
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  7. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    The human mind is naturally uncomfortable with ambiguity. Our egos demand certainty because doubt does not allow us to be decisive and being decisive is often a necessary aspect of our ability to survive. For example, when a lion charges us we act on instinct, whether that is to fight or to run like hell. In the split second that our lives are in danger, we cannot ponder what is the best option, we simply react. Some of us have better instincts than others. It is very unlikely that any human can outrun a lion, but there is a chance that standing your ground may confuse or even intimidate a lion. Our values are similarly based on an instinctive knowledge, or what we INFJs like to refer to as intuition. We place certainty in our intuition because it has helped our ancestors survive in the past. As such, humans will usually choose under pressure the path supported by evolution rather than the one supported by reason. Hence the old saying, "There are no atheists in foxholes."
     
  8. NaeturVindur

    NaeturVindur Cuddlemaster
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    I can think of something that I don't lose. My complete and utter free will. and that is something I will hold onto come damnation and hell fire, literally if it comes to it. If I accept christianity, I have various expectations, and I would be denied my reward if I don't. The way it is in the bible AND the way its practiced, I have to follow various laws and uphold myself to various expectations. Though they might not be all of the ones listed in the OT, there still are quite a few.

    My religion say "'An it harm none, do what thee will." That is THE ONLY requirement to be wiccan, and I came to accept that by my own reasoning, not by commandment. The rest of the religion are more suggestions of "if you want X to happen, try Y." Even worship/recognizing deities is done my choice. I respect those who I deserve my respect because they have acted in a way that I approve of. I hardly even worship, and I certainly don't do so in any conventional way.
     
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  9. Krumplenump

    Krumplenump Community Member

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    If you think that I am unaware of vast differences in how followers of Christianity adhere to their faith, and that I do not take this into consideration, you evidently have not read my other posts in the forum on this topic properly, no offence meant. I'm afraid I can't be arsed to write them all up again, especially not for Barnabas' sake since I've repeated myself several times to him now and I still get the same sort of questions.

    I'm fairly sleepy and I want to go and sleep and dream of something pleasant. Night night.
     
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  10. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Do you know how many religions have a variant of Pascal's wager?
     
  11. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Good points again, Satya, but note then /something I've noticed before too/, that the need for strong beliefs in unknown assumptions, also called conviction, is mostly or more relevant, under special existential pressure, rush, lack of time and other vital resources. In other words, it's a sign for primitiveness.

    I'll give one example - the glorified heuristic, known as Occam's razor, popularized to almost cult proportions by the TV series House MD. In reality, it's only slightly useful, in very rushed, emergent situations; but has no relevance to truth, and soon turns into dogma.

    Some people also tend to assume that whatever can be formulated simpler, somehow is more correct; or whoever gives the shortest answer is more honest. /?!/
     
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  12. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Humans are animals. Our desires to preserve ourselves for as long as possible and to reproduce are programmed into our very DNA and make up the foundation for how we shape our lives. The emotions of fear and love are derived from these very drives. The fact that we refer to those as "primitive" means that we pretend that we are somehow higher than what our biology actually makes us. Even abstract constructs like morality are naturally derived and were favored by evolution in our species as a mechanism for social cohesiveness and have been observed in other primate species. Reason and problem solving skills are largely what give humans an advantage over other species, but these too are natural adaptations in brain development and as you indicated earlier with your feral child example, are largely dependent on social interaction for their development.

    Humans need pressure to thrive and the possibility of reward for motivation. That is why virtually every religion has some variant of Pascal's wager in which there is more to lose in not believing than in choosing to believe. The fear of hell and the reward of heaven are the Christian variations of external pressures which motivate our natural instincts. Furthermore, they are so abstract and memetic that they can motivate us to seek goals even beyond our self preservation. Hence why they were great ideas for so long and why the have been so integral to human progress and the development of human morality. However, reason and science are slowly replacing these frameworks.

    Indeed, I just said as much a few posts back.
     
  13. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Maybe we could claim that any leadership is the product of irrationality, and since leadership used to be important - irrationality was nurtured too. This view is supported by Descartes' error, quoted in my signature; i.e. decisiveness correlates with emotional bias. /implies that actually people like House MD are emotional, which makes them good leaders, rather than fair analyzers/
     
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  14. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    My view on leadership is that the people who are most successful are those who have high cognitive development (reasoning and problem solving) but low moral development (values and ethics). We have name for them. Politicians. They know how to work the system, but they have a moral conception which is equivalent to, "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." A politician is not interested in an idea unless you can explain how it will benefit them personally, namely how it will appease their constituents and get them re elected.

    In essence, successful leaders are highly rational, in that they are self serving and looking out for their own self interests. However, admirable leaders, the ones that history remembers, are self sacrificing and looking out for the interests of others. An admirable leader is usually a dead leader. Jesus, Lincoln, Gahndi, MLK, etc.
     
  15. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    By now I'm fairly convinced /by research data, but not claiming it's conclusive/, that both types of leaders - whether self-interested or self-sacrificing - are actually irrational. It's the element of irrationality which empowers them over other people, who wouldn't know what to do, in cases when nobody knows. Then, decisive irrational folk emerge from the chaos of personalities, in order to act, blindly, no matter what.

    The main argument is that this was much more needed in a primitive highly unknown and insecure environment of crude wilderness, and is gradually becoming less needed; as well as leadership in general.

    Along with leadership losing its importance and social status, irrationality loses its dogmatic relevance in the life of humanity too. /which gets us back on topic/
     
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  16. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    That would bring us back to the definition of rational.

    Rational is being consistent with reason.

    And as I said before, reason is based on assumptions. If your assumption is that serving your own interest is most important, then the way a politician goes about doing so is very rational. If your assumption is that serving the interest of others, even if it threatens your own existence, is most important, then the way an altruistic leader goes about doing so is very rational. Both Ayn Rand and Noam Chomsky are considered rationalists despite the fact that their fundamental philosophies are contradictory to each other, simply because what they assume to be most important under their own respective value systems is very consistent in regards to how they go about accomplishing it.

    But I would say that reality makes fools of us all. Those who only look out for their own interest will eventually cause harm to themselves, and those who look out only for the interests of others will eventually cause harm to others. The collapse of free markets and the purges under Communism are the most evident examples of these two truths.
     
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  17. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    You are probably right, by the literal definition of that term. I'd consider as more rational being consistent with measurable objective reality. Since reality, especially today, is changing too fast, it even becomes irrational to be consistent with any internal set of values or principles. There's no physical explanation why should the brain be treated in such a static way, when it is functionally more dynamic.

    Agreed. But also don't forget that it's not like such sets of people are bound to always exist forever and ever. I think both these, supposedly opposed attitudes, are going to blur smoothly.
     
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  18. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    The problem is that we don't exist in an objective reality. Everything that physics teaches us about reality is that it is relative. You have to define the parameters before you can provide a truly meaningful measurement of reality. For example, I could measure 5 minutes here on earth, and I could measure 5 minutes moving near the speed of light on a space ship. But by the time 5 minutes passed on the spaceship, decades would have passed on earth. Furthermore, 5 minutes on earth would be less than a nanosecond to the people on the spaceship. The unit of measurement did not change. A minute is still the same length of time. What changed was the speed.

    It will never happen and for the very same reason as above. Human reality is also relative. Everyone has a different set of circumstances, their own parameters by which they view the world, and thus no two people are really existing in the same conscious reality at the same time. For example, the experiences you have had in life are the result of where you were born, the kind of body you have, the parents that raised you, etc. that has developed your own unique world view. By contrast, I was born in a different place, with a different body, and raised by different parents, etc. and so my world view is considerably different than your own. The result is that we each feel that the world that we perceive is "the reality," but in actuality it is our own relative reality.
     
  19. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Sorry, should rephrase the part in the second quote. Blur sounded kinda like people think the same things, which is not what I meant.

    I view these cognitive types of clashes as superficial and temporary. Like languages. They do have the same point of reference, and they can be emulated mutually. It will take some time, we just began understanding this.

    The process of liberation of the cognitive limitation of extremes should even allow more individuality than is possible today. Today it's always like in the song: "meet the new boss... same as the old boss".

    Yes, everything is relative, but it becomes objective, when common measures are accepted, like meters and kilograms.
     
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    Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    [quote=N
     
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